The Ruins; Tamoguna

DM Log - Session 7

Drumm, Crow & Aster stood some distance from the beast, opting to watch from afar to learn its weaknesses rather than rushing in. They carefully looked for any outlooks on the stone tower or patrolling inside the hollow carapace. Drumm thought he saw a flicker of movement pass across one of the eyes, which was back-lit by a greenish glow, but no-one else saw a thing. Drumm therefore suggested that they walk some distance in front of it, and see if the skeleton reacted in any way. The beast was walking half of their usual pace, so this wasn’t much of a feat. They got a few hundred metres in front of it and waited as the minutes dragged by for it to slowly but surely step closer, and closer, and closer. The heroes were the first to break the game of chicken and retired to the side to watch it pass. As it hadn’t reacted in any discernible way yet, it was decided they would attempt to jump up & grab onto the shell, which was full of small cracks, dents & minor protrusions. The skeleton mekillot stood a good 13 feet off of the ground, so they knew it would be difficult.

They discussed a few options before deciding that Aster, with a rope in hand, would rely on her superior acrobatic reflexes to get onto it. They got ahead of the beast once again then Crow & Drumm stood firm as Aster climbed onto their shoulders. Together the group waited as the beast stomped closer, and timing her moment perfectly, Aster leapt up into the air. She had a terrifying moment where she grabbed at nothing but air, though a moment later she found purchase and swiftly pulled herself up. This close to the edge she found it hard to keep her purchase, as the shell was practically cliff-like. She tied a rope through some cracks in the carapace & signalled the others to clamber up. Crow easily did so, but Drumm failed three times before he got a good enough grip on the rope. The moment that Drumm touched the Mekillot shell a surge of knowledge poured into his mind. From it, he learned that:

  • He got the sense that the Mekillot is known as ‘Crawl,’ in homage to something else. This seems to have been burned into its very essence.
  • He knew that Crawl is far larger than it was when it died, and he got the feeling it has been grown through some unnatural means. The mekillot approves of this change though.
    *You also get the sense that a “False Heart” is powering Crawl, and without the ‘False Heart’ Crawl would return to a full death.
  • After some more divining, he learned that the False Heart was towards the top of the tower

Together they found some stairs which had been carved into the shell & made their way upwards towards the stone tower. Climbing the stairs they suspected that this was how Bodach’s People were able to expand beyond their normal limitations. As they neared the top the smell of decay choked the air that wafted out of the tower in front of them. From here, they could see inside a dark
passage that revealed another staircase going up. Darker patches indicate that the kennels were built inside the tower as well as outside. They glimpsed glowing pinpricks in the gloom ahead and a faint shuffling noise that grew louder. Those dots of light were the faintly glowing eye sockets of horrid, rotting zombie dogs with blackened claws.

2 such dogs leapt out at them teeth bared. The moment sunlight touched them small flames began to erupt on their bodies, and the dogs quickly returned to the safe darkness of the tower. At the orders of Drumm Aster pulled one of the dogs out, which was quickly finished off by Aster. The second dog took more goading, and it was only when Ahren, the party’s fourth & most arcane member, appeared that the second dog ran out of the tower to savage the group. This too was quickly reduced to a mere pile of flaming, twitching meat.

Now that they had time to catch their breath, Ahren & the group exchanged tales of what they had been up to. Ahren seemed different to before. When they had met him he had been stoic, strong of mind & mercantile to the extreme. Before now stood a dray that seemed just that little bit wilder. His grip on the axe was loose, and small magical flames danced between his fingers. The look in his eye was more wild & excitable, and he held himself casually. Ahren kept making reference to ‘the monkey,’ and praising it like some powerful primal spirit. He insisted to Crow that her pet, Egg, was a ‘god,’ reincarnate & would bring Mad Monkey Wobbles to all.

The group didn’t quite know what to make of their companion, and shrugged it off. Ahren had always been a little bit boisterous, so they put it down to drinking too much salty water or the like. Besides; they had bigger fish to fry than Ahren’s sanity, so together they plunged into the tower, with the goal in mind to somehow stop the mekillot from spreading the zombies further afield. Inside the tower was dark and cool. The stench was overpowering, and in the limited light that pooled about the entrance they could see more bloodstains. More canine growls issued from the darkness & half a dozen dogs rushed forward to greet the guests. The action became hectic.

Ahren first glowed dimly, slashing at one dog whilst casting his defiling spells at another. Aster whipped about the battlefield, lashing at enemies with her shadow-wrought nooses. Drum waded his spirit into the midst of battle to swat at the dogs whilst lighting a torch to allow all to see what was going on. Crow fired at the rottweilers from afar. Sooner rather than later Ahren got in over his head as the dogs latched onto him, with one managing to swallow Ahren’s whole head inside its own. Rather than flail about desperately like the rest of the party imaged though, the spellscale dray inhaled deeply and expelled a thick, heavy blanket of fire {{dragonbreath: element fire}}. The fire burst out of the first dog and burned at those nearby. Thus freeing himself, Ahren made the most of the situation to aggressively set himself on fire, harming those about him while remaining safe himself.

While the fight was raging Crow & Aster found a grate thickly covered with blood. Just seeing it made them unreasonably angry, and they found themselves brutishly attacking with renewed vigour {{Critical on 18-20 while next to the grille}}. The dogs refused to die, often hanging onto their half-life with extreme tenacity. One by one they became still, until there were just 2 left, which fled.

160 EXP Earned

After that, the group examined the room. They didn’t want to be set up by a horde of zombie on a level where they couldn’t easily escape, so they tried to find any likely entrances if the zombies were below. There were a number of thin holes that the rottweilers used to access lower levels, but other than the bloody grate there was nothing too suspicious. They examined the badly made cells, finding a number of still warm blankets. Finally, they came across some dank water in a fountain. It would be enough to sate all their thirsts, but the group was wary of it. Drumm finally plucked up the courage to test it, and as his cupped hand entered the water it sizzled painfully. He retracted his hand, suggesting they shouldn’t drink it.

Ahren, on the other hand, had other ideas. He emptied one of his waterskins and carefully filled it up with the necrotic water, before carefully annotating a skull & crossbones on the cap to remind himself of its contents. Feeling lost between exploring the grille & heading up the stairs the group turned to Drumm. He tried to speak with Crawl’s spirit once more, but Crawl could not be found. He was able to sense that the False Heart that powered Crawl was above them though. Thus sated, the group opted to head upstairs.

{{Final notes: I realised I made a mistake. I had been giving Drumm resist 3 damage, rather than resist 3 to ongoing damage (such as ongoing damage from being on fire).}}

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