DW Session 41: Sahuagin Are Getting Weirder
11/4/897 After Beleren and Flora escaped the sewers of Noggin and its sahuagin abominations, they rushed back to Mulane College's fortifications to warn Cassandra Gaspard and the rest of the party about the horrors they discovered below. Fearing an imminent Sunken God invasion, Cassandra allowed the party to explore the tunnels below and eliminate any sahuagin they came across. With a downpour of rain still flooding over Noggin, the party sank back into the tunnels and its ancient murals depicting scenes from the fall of the 2nd Cycle's Myltev Empire. After half an hour's travel they reentered the vast chamber of murals and came face-to-face with a sahuagin cult leader draped in dark blue robes, the symbolic color of the Sunken God's power. Unlike many sahuagin the RKB had fought, he spoke in fluent Common and warned the party of its imminent demise in deep bellowing tones. As smaller sahuagin abominations and a hulking creature in dark blue robes appeared from the shadows, the RKB armed itself for another fight with the Sunken God's forces. The battle began with a shock as Margaret disappeared in a powerful wave of energy and reappeared dozens of feet away facing the sahuagin cultist, damaged by the mental whiplash of the forced teleportation. The lead cultist had performed some powerful spell to relocate Margaret, the magic's shock-wave damaging Asdis and Kacie in the nearby blast radius. Meanwhile Jax sparred toe-to-toe with the hulking creature in the shadows, and Flora and Beleren teamed up against the lead cultist in the chamber of murals. Flora's holy blessings and spells kept the abominations at bay, and Beleren's well-placed attacks threw the sahuagin cultist off its footing. Margaret, disoriented by the effects of the teleportation spell, resorted to throwing pieces of stone at the cultist to little effect. Before long the hulking creature and the sahuagin cultist were both felled by the RKB's united efforts, after which Flora cast 'Mass Cure Wounds' to heal her fallen allies Asdis and Kacie. Both creatures exploded into a pile of flying fish and piranhas upon death, similar to the type of fish summoned by when the Sunken God's priests and priestesses cast 'Spirit Guardians'. Jax, curious about the ubiquity of these flying fish, picked one up and became immediately tormented by visions of the Sunken God taunting his insolence and inevitable demise. Jax shouted back several comebacks, only to realize he was in the middle of a tunnel miles away from the monstrous deity. Beleren did his own investigating of the cultist's body and the remains of the sahuagin abominations. Many parts of the sahuagin were familiar, but a closer inspection revealed deformities that indicated that the abominations were some type of hybrid creature. Beleren thought back to the massacre at Gordigrad where villagers spliced their bodies together with pieces of sahuagin to turn themselves into deep scions. Perhaps these abominations were the next stage of experimentation, splicing sahuagin with otherwordly creatures beyond human comprehension. Beleren took a partially intact sahuagin skull and the cultist's blackened scepter (while many sahuagin spellcasters used staffs coated in shells and corals, this scepter was solid black and twisted into the shape of a tentacle) back to Cassandra for inspection. Just then, the party heard the rumblings and movement of something large above ground. The Sunken God had begun the invasion of Noggin. Racing above ground, through a thick torrent of rain the RKB could see a band of sahuagin rushing Mulane College's barricade. A lone elf appeared to be fighting off the creatures singe-handedly, his allies dead and fallen nearby. Less than an hour after the tunnel encounter, the RKB was thrown into another fight with the Sunken God's relentless forces. The party decided to split up down three different alleyways to surround the sahuagin from all sides, Jax and Margaret taking the brunt of the attacks while Flora and Beleren approached the enemies from the west and east. The situation looked dire when a swarm of flying fish and piranhas summoned by the sahuagin's leader consumed. The sahuagin's leader was a creature wrapped in an incomprehensible number of dark blue robes and fabrics, its face shouded in rain and darkness. Jax survived the volley of blows and escaped the leader's swarm of abominations, fighting alongside Margaret to slay a handful of sahuagin and their obscene amount of limbs. Flora's 'Flame Strike' ravaged the sahuagins while Beleren's well-placed sneak attacks wore down the leader's strength, and Adam rejoined the RKB by literally punching his way through the enemy. Together they killed the leader and his band of sahuagin, watching as it collapsed into a pile of fabric and abominable fish. The party had survived another brush with the Sunken God's armies. Back in Mulane College the party regrouped and told Cassandra about their findings in the tunnels below, Beleren presenting the sahuagin head and black scepter discovered there. Cassandra and Helena agreed to spend the evening researching this new species of sahuagin and the threat it posed, refusing Jax's offer to escort Helena down into the tunnels to explore the murals below. While the rest of the party rested for a moment after two intense encounters, Beleren took a stroll over to the Smoking Beehive to meet with local shopkeeper and fellow Shroud member Chenna Honeypot. With the rain and cold weather raging outside the two of them shared warm cups of tea and discussed the new sahuagin abominations, intel that Chenna promised to send over to Medraad as soon as possible. Chenna discussed how the Shroud had tried to warn world governments about the Sunken God threat for years, but despite their best efforts the monstrous deity had found a way to enact its reign of terror on the former Elflands. Beleren agreed, hoping that this terrible episode in world history would force nations to take cultish threats more seriously. Back at Mulane College the party regrouped and discussed its next plan of action. They had just watched Flora cast 'Earthquake' on the army of sahuagin besieging Noggin's eastern gate, three massive fissures forming in the ground and swallowing dozens of sahuagin whole while hundreds more struggled through the difficult terrain ravaged by the fissures. It was the most powerful spell cast by Flora to date, and many of the Characters agents manning the gate stood in awe of the godlike power displayed by the cleric. The RKB discovered it had little time to marvel over Flora's miraculous power. The six necklaces given to them by Filip Vikander began to glow with a bright purple color, and the RKB's leaders quickly remembered the promise Filip made to them. The party would let Filip continue his studies on the monstrous brain in peace, and in return he would let them inspect his island at the year's end. Just one problem: the necklaces were glowing in the last month of Nimbus, two whole months before the end of the year. Beleren, Flora, Jax, Margaret, Kacie, and Asdis found themselves abruptly teleported inside the barn on Filip Vikander's island, the soft hum of rain beating on the roof outside. Asdis was dumbfounded by this change in scenery, but the RKB advised her to just roll with it. Sure enough Filip showed up a few moments later, rail-thin, exhausted, and drinking straight from a pitcher of coffee. He hurried the party into his study in the lighthouse, moving the RKB down the breadth of the island through the rain. A hurricane raged on the island's shores, but some magical barrier stopped most of the storm from breaking through. Inside Filip's study the party found dozens of books and charts and notes and runes scattered around the room with two giant blackboards set up on the back wall. Once everybody was seated Filip went on a wild ten-minute spiel about how the Sunken God's rise to power was caused by Aldo Snaggletooth's killing of the Kraken back in 875. After studying two decade's worth of records, he explained how sahuagin attacks had been on the rise every month since the Kraken's death. Meanwhile the party cared more about Filip's discoveries with the so-called Elder Brain, intrigued to learn that a certain kind of metal contained the brain's telepathic powers and that elder brains like these were being used by the Sunken God to enslave tens of thousands of sahuagin. The great transmutation wizard promised to give them copies of his notes on the metals and the elder brains, but he tried to explain to the RKB the reason for why he summoned them to his island months before the agreed-upon date. Filip said that he had discovered a way to save the world for decades to and prevent other monstrous deities like the Sunken God from tormenting the world's oceans: he would cast 'True Polymorph' on the Elder Brain stored in his lighthouse and turn it into a new Kraken. Filip paused for effect, but the RKB proved skeptical of his world-changing 'Polymorph' spell. Filip promised he could cast the spell in a matter of moments, but the reason he needed the RKB present was to keep the lighthouse safe from any potential Sunken God attacks. Filip's concentration of the magic shield around the island would end the moment he started casting 'True Polymorph', and with sahuagin attacks getting more and more frequent he needed to perform the spell by the night's end. So much for a long rest. Reluctantly, the party agreed to help with Filip's quixotic quest to make a new Kraken for the world. But first, Flora stopped the wizard and ordered him to let her use his transmutation chambers and transform into any race besides a thri-kreen.