The Devil's Backbone Report in Legends of Elohey | World Anvil

The Devil's Backbone

General Summary

Grolm 10, 578
about 6:00 PM

Pale Riders by Chip Malinowski

Who wants to live forever?
We open with most of the SNAFU Posse standing in the main chamber of Oatman Cavate -- a chamber that is a giant geode, holed and smoothed and given a compact filling on the bottom to make a somewhat flat floor -- while a pair of Pale Riders clop slowly in from the southward tunnel. This fiendish duo are between the Posse (and all the civilians they had just rescued from Master Kerner's tyranny) and the only confirmed way out of the cave system.
Their voices continue to rise and fall in perfectly blended song.
The banshee remnant of the Storm Shepherd brings up Ranger Bruthazmus' voice in counterpoint. Should her voice sound so unnatural?
Should his?
Some of the rescued civilians may have been captivated by the Hester duo's Hell Hand Serenade! They mill about uncertainly, but more than a few have taken those first tentative steps toward the Riders. Monk Lee Chung saw this effect earlier this evening when Bruthazmus succumbed: the first steps were hesitant, yes. But then pain fell away, along with the bugbear's cares and sorrows. He walked purposely toward peace despite Lee's best efforts to restore him.
(If it hadn't been for that call upon the banshee...!)
Will-Bound Druid Jesse Devonshire and his Bestest Buddy Wrong Way keep the stone softened while curse-bearing Stormborn Sorcerer Miro Teague in his Dire Coyote form finishes digging a new, looping tunnel around the blocked entrance to the secret escape in the air shaft.
Just out of reach of flying rock clods, Spiro divides its attention between its halfling friend and the ominously flickering southern entrance.
What could be making the light from below act so strange?
Padre De Mario surely did not burst into full light again, did he? His body may be healed, but he needs rest before he channels Angelfire at anything like that intensity again.
Hey, Miro, let's check out this exit real quick to see if it is a safe way out, then run back to the others.
— Jesse to Miro
Okay checking out the escape tunnel to make sure it's an escape tunnel is a Great!! idea. Then we can defend people escaping...Yes...I have a thing that might help with that! Sadly it's not a wand of spell storing (le sigh) and I'll have to make trip to Moradar or the Geldar lands to get it replaced,but I think it will work in a pinch to at least buy us sometime!
Now you have to ask..What's in it's seems precious. hehehehe
— Miro to Jesse
Angelfire Acolyte Cirino "Padre" De Mario has faith in the SNAFU Guild.
Within reason.
Reason long ago ceased to bear more than a nodding acquaintance with the week's events!
Padre does not consider a weeks-decayed banshee to be a good ally.
(Neutral with growing tendencies toward evil, at best!)
And yet ... and yet ... she (?) (he?) addressed two Cuali merchants with open affection. She (??) appears to be placing the body she now controls into the direct path of danger, physically forming a barrier to shield some of the helpless folk.
His neurons may be scorched from the day's abuse, but Padre can feel on his skin the decline of the daylight outside this cavate.
If that truly is the Hester duo over yonder, something is horrifically wrong beyond Padre's worst imaginings!
Princess Alfredo-Alston, who just moments ago signed away her birthright, smiles and smiles as she feels the sonorous melodies of her two most senior, most trusted ranch hands fill up her weary limbs.
They are not sweet folks.
But they have looked out for her family's best interests since Piera was a toddler at her mother's knee.
Relief washes away her worries and her strife.
As she steps forward, her blond ringlets flutter in a breeze that even Zhang Sephia does not feel.
The Devil's Backbone Opening Credits
Generic article | Jan 15, 2021

Rewards Granted

  • Each member of the SNAFU Posse except for the missing Chef -- each of the Player Characters -- receives 1760 XP for several important accomplishments: They removed Griefgalls without victim death, reached a truce with the Hell Hand Duo for the time being (which required surviving the combat long enough!), and rescued a large share of the citizen population.
If only we could find Chef!
And the hidden portion of Master Farvald Kerner's life!
Remember, we have worked out that your Animal Companions determine their levels off of their Chosen Person, so going forward we will not include them in XP calculations.
General note: By this point in the campaign, everyone is probably past the necessary experience point accumulation that qualifies you for 7th level. Please remember that you can't Ding! and do the actual leveling up until you have time to train. Right now, it looks like you won't have a chance for that until after the end of this adventure. Record the XP, but don't level yet!

Recovered sort-of-Treasure:
Nodin Ranger Bruthazmus, now back in control of himself, has volunteered to delay his departure from Oatman Cavate in order to search intensely for clues as to how-and-where Chef vanished.
He has the Storm in a Bottle safely tucked away.
He has picked up a one full wineskin and one half-full wineskin of an alchemist's Oil of Pass-Through.
He has rummaged through the shelves and drawers of the Master's Chamber until he managed to collect three high-quality glass bottles, which might be suitable for use in a ritual to contain a spirit or a powerful arcane energy.
He has begun to learn the most basic rudiments of Fa'lain as taught by a deceased priestess of Dkar Po.
He is nearly out of arrows, with poor prospects for more shafts.
Will-Bound Druid Jesse Devonshire has sturdily established his authority over much of the remaining plant-monster creations in Oatman Cavate. He instructed the remaining Lord Jacks and the Briarseedling to return to their nurseries and rest, then prepare for the Ultimate Showdown where the Dusk Army will destroy the Evil Herd. He also removed a Griefgall that attempted to infest Topiary Rex and put Rex to bed with specific instructions to remain until Jesse or Wrong Way come to lead Rex to his next task.
Jesse also now has a small, potted shrub with lilac-tinted or maybe lavender-tinted purple fan-shaped flowers. It is a cutting from the heart of a larger plant. It is tied to Jesse as closely as Wrong Way is, if in a different sort of arcane sense.
Copeshi Stormborn Miro Teague got hit on so hard by Lawful Higgins that he may have to write a new contract template for his collection.
He ate a truth-compelling cornbread muffin that was fairly good and a supper that was marginally adequate.
He experienced the custom-jarring scenario of a Longgrass Plains Rancher not minding if a traveling stranger spends unchaperoned time with the rancher's daughter so long as he stays far away from said rancher's barns.
Ranger Zhang Sephia won her way to not just missing pieces of information that may fit into the whole puzzle of The Troubles, but also the trust of the Hesters despite -- or perhaps, in part, because of? -- having killed one of their horses during the combat in the Main Chamber. She talked Adder Hayward into letting the rescued citizens into the Juniper Flail Ranch House even before father Brawn Hayward or Foreman Lawful Higgins signaled that the agreed price had been fulfilled.
Traveling scholar Lee Chung coaxed useful information out of the Banshee that may become critically important during the Ultimate Showdown: Griefgalls can be removed with the greatest chance of a victim's survival if the victim's body temperature is dropped to near-fatal levels. Usually the plant will die of the cold before the host follows suit. It can then be sliced loose from the victim's nervous system and destroyed, with great care taken to make sure no fragment is left behind.

Missions/Quests Completed

Many lost citizens of the region have been rescued! Among them:
Some members of the Bicchieri Caravan have been rescued!
Cavate Main Chamber
Main Chamber of the Oatman Cavate in the Oatman Canyon Region. The crystals in the ceiling still glow with the crimson of late sunset as seen from the highest regions of the mountain above. The crystals set into the floor glow a divine blue with the last of the Angelfire previously channeled out of the Master's Chamber (above and to the north, closer to the heart of the mountain).  


Map created on Inkarnate by Jarissa Venters.

This map involves some purchased textures that come with licensing limitations on how they can be re-used, so if you want to copy the map and use it yourself, please change all the colors!

The Bows of Purgatory Gulch
Lee Chung
-Level Monk 6
Jesse Devonshire
6-Level Druid
Zhang Sephia
6-Level Ranger
Bruthazmus Kele
Nodin Bugbear
6-Level Ranger
Miro Teague
7-Level Sorcerer
Player Journals
20210102 War and Peace, and Tense Negotiations by Jesse Devonshire
Rocky Road to Reflection by Bruthazmus Kele
Report Date
02 Jan 2021
Primary Location
Secondary Location

Cover image: by CB Ash


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