Hidden Enemies

Chameleon Woman

Picking up right after we left off, but with Enkirash being played this time and Rook on hiatus.

As the characters were catching their breath after fighting the razor boar (and gutting it for its bezoar), a lizardman in a golden (and poorly-fitting) helmet, leaning idly against a tree with his (larger lizardman) companion says, “very pretty” maybe about the bezoar. He admires their painting and says he knows a buyer for it, he can give them 2000 coins right now. They decline, but Chameleon wants the helmet (which clearly matches her compass and torch) and she steps behind a tree, transforms into her osprey form, and circles round to grab the helmet. The lizardman doesn’t see her transform, but does see the osprey coming, but fails to defend his headgear, which Chameleon grabs and takes to Mija, who takes it into her mouth and scurries up a tree, while Chameleon resumes human form.

Enkirash learned a new skill from her time in the trees: Attune to Forest. Roll + CHA. on a 10+ get 3 holds on a 7+ get 1 hold on a 6- take -2 forward to next use of magic or negotiation in the forest, but avoid catastrophes like she encountered already, she has at least asked the forest for permission to work there, has shown respect. Holds may be used within the forest to get +1 for magic or negotiations. Only one hold may be spent at a time. This may be the first skill for a compendium class.

The lizardman does not like this, but suggests that rather than being like that, they should take his offer and that in addition to the coin, they can get their friend back. This is when they notice Rook is missing. Also, Mija can smell some kind of reptile coming up the tree at her, although she cannot see it.

Never one to back down from a fight, Clovis strides forward and stabs her bloody boar spear at the larger of the two lizardmen. She connects, but not well, and not only does the lizardman strike back with his spear, but she gets hit by two machetes from attackers she cannot see.

Tsafnur draws his rapier and stabs the smaller of the lizardmen (the one formerly with a golden helmet), and hearing a sound behind him, whirls around and cuts an almost perfectly camoflaged attacker.

Guided by Mija’s senses, Talisa shoots the reptile creeping up the tree. Seeing the blood and Talisa’s arrow, Enkirash is able to target it with a magic missile, finishing it off, although Mija can smell another one coming up the tree, on the other side of the tree to avoid Talisa’s arrows. Chameleon, communing with the tree, is able to stab the reptile in the ass with her dagger as it climbs, distracting it just as Mija drops on it from above and rakes it ferociously with her hind claws, disembowling it. The dead reptile and Mija drop to the ground. The two corpses are chameleon women, no longer perfectly blending in with their surroundings.

Clovis misses her next attack on the lizardman and is ensnared by a barbed net, thrown over her by an unseen foe. Enkirash finishes the large lizardman with another magic missile and the smaller lizardman flees. Tsafnur sends a deafening blast so powerful it leaves his own ears ringing after the running lizardman, killing him. They search around, but even Mija’s senses cannot find any lingering chameleon women. One of the lizarman had some coins and small gems, but the other had no treasure apart from the golden helmet.

Talisa skins the chameleon women and takes a vertebra bone from each of their necks. She hopes the skins can be tanned and enchanted into a cloak of invisibility. She also found they each had pouches with 500 coins.

After looting the dead chameleon women, they discover that the survivors looted them – the painting of the False Chantrelle is gone. Using Chameleon’s new helmet, they manage to track the surviving chameleon women almost to Skagway, veering off to the seaside cliffs just before entering the outskirts of town. There they almost lost the trail, but after searching around they found a false boulder that could be moved out of the way to reveal a steep path down into the cliff. As they progressed down the steep slope through a series of small caves, the path split. Searching again, Enkirash found the trigger for a secret door, which dumped her down a short chute onto the sandy floor of a cave and closed behind her. In the cave was a huge minotaur holding a torch, which he handed to her and said, “You will need this, small one. Run!”

Asterion

Enkirash takes off through the tunnels, calling for help from her friends. They are close behind, but it took them awhile to find the secret latch again and get through without falling or the secret door closing behind them.

Labyrinth

When Enkirash thought she had eluded the minotaur, she tried to stop and wait for her friends to catch up, but the creature showed up again and told her, “That is one,” and she kept running. Later when she paused she heard its voice in the distance, “You only have until three.”

The rest of the party has trouble catching up with Enkirash because the maze appears to change ahead of them, leading them in the wrong directions. By following her voice, and noting when it suddenly gets fainter, they find the right way, but these deceptions keep slowing them down as they take the wrong stairs and have to backtrack and find a secret door to carry on the pursuit.

Enkirash realizes the minotaur is trying to keep her separate from her friends and uses a spell to blend in with the wall before a door. The trick works and the minotaur passes her a few moments later to go through the door. Soon her friends catch up, but their relief is short-lived as a portcullis closes off the way back, leaving them with no way to go but forward through the door.

They open the door to find an octagonal room, lit by beams of apparent sunlight (even though they are deep underground and it shouldn’t be that bright outside now) slanting down from small holes in the ceiling to the flagstone floor.

This is where we will pick up next.

Some things we learned this session:

  • The runaway’s name is Genesa
  • There are extensive tunnels and catacombs underneath Skagway are three times as big as the city.
  • Known entrances to the tunnels in the city are guarded, but others lead to the sea and are used by pirates and smugglers.
  • Skagway is ruled by a Drow gang that controls several cities, the leader of this gang is a powerful Drow. Clovis has had a premonition of this guy.
  • Chameleon figured out how to get the golden torch to light, but it is dim (will get brighter when danger is near). When she has all three golden items working she will be able to track nearly anything.
  • The Dead Minstrel died in Skagway

Bonus Comic

Written on January 10, 2017