Age of Worms Adventure Path – Game Session 72

Game summary for February 26, 2008; present characters included Carn Fodelfex (whisper gnome cleric), Eolas Windmaster (moon elf duskblade), Grim Firestorm (shield dwarf barbarian/battlerager/frenzied berserker/warmain), Iapetus Hasur (hu-charad giant rogue/scout/vigilante), Lady Aridarye Phylund Brokengulf (human aristocrat/harbinger/ranger cohort), Lyrin Sinbal (simian incantatrix/ring sage/warmage), and Syvarius Strongbow (moon elf archer-ranger/peerless archer).

The Mercenaries were able to rest within the Citadel, and move toward the vault room, enhancing their abilities with spells as they went. Aridarye used her ring of telekinesis to insert both vault keys in the doors, but she could not turn both at once. With the looming “undead” giants on either side of the door, Grim and Iapetus sprinted for the doors in an effort to turn the keys at the same time. Both skid to a halt as a ghostly figure of a boy appeared, his fingers long and clawed, and his head lolling to one side on his broken neck. The spirit, Alastor Land, called out to Lyrin and told him how both were descendants of ancient guardians the Djinn had set to protect the Whispering Cairn. Alastor helped Lyrin delve into the memories of his ancestors and awaken the ritual of opening. As Alastor faded back into the netherworld, Lyrin began chanting in Druidic, and the party helped him fling the doors wide.

Within the vault rose a platform adorned with a large draconic statue. Resting inside the dragon’s exposed ribcage lie a glowing ruby orb—Dragotha’s phylactery! Immediately, Grim flew across the room to chop at it with his axe while Lyrin battered it with spells. Nothing seemed to harm the stone, and when spells slammed into its shimmering facets, smoke poured from the eyes of the statue. Iapetus examined the statue and found no traps, but he warned the party that the sharp ribs of the statue would be the perfect place to put a trap he may not have discovered. As the team began puzzling over the phylactery, the room began to quake, and a large crack ripped across the floor. Suddenly, light spilled through as a third of the room plunged into the gorge below, riding atop a mudslide. Dust filled the air, which was quickly driven back into the room. The Mercenaries caught sight of a massive dragon winging its way up to the opening just as its horrendous, burning breath filled the room.

The dragon filled part of the room with a mind fog, which destroyed Syvarius’ ability to resist mental influence, and he found himself magically compelled to stay within the room for the next 15 hours. Grim flew out of the vault and assaulted the dragon, only to find himself driven insane by the dragon’s magic. Lyrin, noticing Gazzilfek moving into the room, surrounded the spriggan with a blade barrier. Eolas peppered the dragon with alternating dispel magic and polar ray effects, with tremendous results. Aridarye tried repeatedly to pull the phylactery to her with telekinesis, to no avail. To protect the gem, Lyrin surrounded it with curtain after curtain of blade barriers.

With the insane Grim flying about haphazardly outside, and Syvarius’ arrows only landing a few true strikes, Iapetus felt he alone could bring the fight right to the dragon. With no thought of his own safety, he quaffed a potion of flying and hurtled toward the dragon. His early assault did little, but he pressed the wyrm every time it cast. The dragon unleashed a mass suggestion, which caused Syvarius to cluck like a chicken continually; fortunately, Eolas and Carn avoided the compulsion. The massive winged lizard failed to drive Carn insane and continued to suffer under the arrows of Syvarius, the spells of Eolas, and the biting blade of Iapetus’ legendary Striker.

Eolas, the elven duskblade, successfully stripped the magical defenses from the dragon, leaving it vulnerable to the party’s assault. Brave Iapetus, still battling toe-to-toe (or wing-to-fly, as it were) with the dragon, grabbed the monster (suffering a horrible bite in the process) and pulled himself up astride its neck. With a grunt of effort, the giant vigilante drove Stalker deep into the neck of the dragon, spraying blood high into the air and eliciting a ground shaking roar of rage. With its head thrown back in agony, Eolas saw his opening. His rapid elven magic flowed from his fingers, striking the wyrm in its neck with double polar rays. So precise were the strikes, that part of the dragon’s throat froze and burst, spraying flaming gore and blood into the air. Iapetus lithely leaped away as the carcass plunged into the gorge, thousands of pounds of dragon all but exploding upon impact, spraying gore and entrails hundreds of feet.

Soon, Carn was able to recover Grim, while Aridarye pulled the phylactery from the remains of the statue battered apart by the blade barriers. Gazzilfek made his move, trying to invisibly grab the phylactery. Carn used invisibility purge to reveal the spriggan and darted toward the gemstone himself. Carn took a painful stab from the giant’s sword, but he was able to greater teleport with the phylactery to Waterdeep. As invisibility settled back over Gazzilfek, Iapetus (whose gaze could pierce the shrouding magic) caught a glimpse of the spriggan’s true form—a rotting corpse writhing with green worms. Gazzilfek snarled and disappeared with a tip of his hat.

Grim gathered a fortune in gems and items from the dragon corpse, while the party found a hidden cache of treasure in the vault. Using a sending from a ring found on the dragon, Lyrin called Carn back. Lyrin unleashed a disintegrate, and unprotected by the statue, the phylactery cracked into dust. A dark spirit rushed from the phylactery and darted past the party deeper into the gorge. The gnome then whisked the party away to Longsaddle, home of the loony Harpell family. What course shall Malchor steer the Mercenaries to now? With the phylactery destroyed, can Kyuss’ general be eliminated once and for all?