S1 E43: I Want to Show You Something Amazing

General Summary

The gang walks through the rooms underneath the stage and finds gibbering things in the cellar...  
  • After dispatching the Shadowghasts, they have time to do a thorough search of the storage/library room, but find little of interest other than where the Shadowghasts likely remained dormant near the ceiling, and possibly finding a few more mundane books of interest. The door in the back of the room leading deeper into the cellar has been open a beckoning crack the entire time, so they take it to see where it leads.
  • On the other side, there's a round chamber over a water drain, and doors to the north or south. The north door opens to a closet full of mismatched handbags and carrying cases full of mundane clothing and worthless personal items - hairbrushes, belts, shoes. The cistern grate has sticks and pieces of clothing partially blocking it, and reveals metal handholds descending into darkness, but ultimately is probably just a water drain. A voice from the other side of the door in the south says - says "come here, I want to show you something."
  • But the room on the other side is profoundly empty other than a small pile of stone shards near the door. As Blizzard approaches, the stones fly at him like daggers, but they bounce harmlessly off his armor. its unclear whether this is a pit trap or something else at play. No undead creature reveals itself to his or anyone else's senses. The voice, now on the other side of the next door, continues to beckon them further. When questioned, it calls itself the stage manager; perhaps, but the theatre staff are all Kenku and this is not a hodgepodge voice of mimicked sounds and other people's voices, the way theirs is. The shards come flying a few more times but they are merely an irrelevant inconvenience to this group.
  • The next door opens to a rectangular room running east-west; on the far side of the door in the dim light cast by his illuminated sword, they see three human sized mummies or corpses in woven shrouds completely coated in tar. His undead sense confirms these are the real deal. Seeing something flammable, Blizzard uses the grenade he bought from the Kobolds, and it explodes to great effect; unfortunately it also sets these Pitch Horrors on fire. They are clumsy and slow, their attack mostly one of just sticking to an enemy and causing necrotic damage, but the additional raging fire makes them even more tough than they might otherwise have been. When they perish, they collapse into themselves in a smoldering puddle of rotten cloth, dusty bone, and pitch.
  • The voice behind the door is now behind the next door, and tells them to stop screwing around with the dead sailors and come through this next door because what's on the other side is so amazing they won't believe it and their lives will be changed forever. The gang figures out eventually that the voices must simply be coming from the doorways themselves, as part of some other strategy or trap, leading them in to the backrooms of the cellar. Nevertheless, they need the Pearl of Wisdom, and they were headed this way anyway.
  • But the next room too is mostly empty, a storeroom that looks to have been abandoned long ago stacked with stage costumes and what is immediately seen to be prop jewelry made of paste or cleverly painted stone. The far side of the room has yet another door, and behind it the voice is almost in hysterics now, begging them to continue, to finally see the amazing thing it's promised them. Along the way, though, they dig around in a cabinet and find a lead-lined box containing a worn-out ceramic and cloth doll, the paint faded to white on most of the extremities and face.
  • The doll perturbs them for a while; dropping the box to the floor dents it, and the doll and the lining of the box go flying, revealing that what had sounded like soft sand under the lining was actually the hollow pupae shells of thousands of tiny maggots. The contents spill out across the floor, and mae delivers a mighty blow to the doll with her magical flaming sword, nearly hard enough to chip its magical edge; the doll is knocked away but despite the gouge in the stone of the floor, the doll suffers not even a scratch. Finding it more trouble than it's worth, the gang puts the doll back in place with some difficulty, with Mae casting Mending on the box, scooping up the doll, the lining and some of the maggot shells, then putting the whole thing back in the cabinet where they found it.
  • Finally, the voice says as they open the door, revealing two things in a large, high-ceilinged square room beyond: An enormous, ornate throne made of stone and rare metals, resplendent with gems and sized for a giant; and a horrifying broken mass of bloodless meat, broken bones and white fat that's rapidly stutter-shamble-stepping its way towards them. The Crooked Flesh certainly seems like something from Borem's realm, though the more troubling possibility is that it's completely unrelated to Borem, and instead has something to do with what happens when one sits on the throne. Regardless, the butcher-shop horror creature is put down with little difficulty, other than the delicious smell of cooked steak when it's hit with fire attacks. The speculation is that this mass of organless meat is what's left of the people whose luggage was found in the closet just off the library.
  • Xi Shi is almost certain she recognizes the throne as an artifact known as the Chaos Throne, something made for or at least used by the Yuan Ti Abominations of old. She contacts Ophidra to ask for information about it, and very little is forthcoming other than the warning that the gems on the front of the chair's arms are buttons, each with a different magical effect - or curse - and that while the boons may be incredibly powerful, the curses outnumber the benefits. She first said that she wanted the throne in her Pyramid, but then got very nosey about exactly where the gang was as if she would come to get it herself, and Xi Shi eventually just cut the connection, glad that they're in a city without a name, in the middle of the Arborvast, several hundred miles from the Keep and the Caves of Chaos.

Missions/Quests Completed

  • "Come Check This Out"
Report Date
14 Feb 2023
Primary Location
Secondary Location


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