Apogee of Ages

Release the Crabken

After defeating a few of the cultists who had been using the tunnel network as a base, the party went on to try to clear the rest of the cult out of the tunnels. Fi scouted ahead and came across the cult in the middle of a ritual of some description.

The chamber was a natural cavern in the rocks, with a high arched ceiling and two streams flowing through, drawing together at the opposite end to the entrance through which the party were able to come. Some of the water from the streams had been diverted into some sort of ritual circle. At the centre of the circle was an alter made of flowing water, a copy of the sigil previously found seeming to ‘swim’ around it. As Fi watched, a beam of light shot from the central alter, illuminating the cavern with a watery light through which an immense creature seemed to swim and scream.

Fi let off a wolf whistle, drawing the attention of the cultists, before running back to the others. In the fight which ensued, Sha Re was hit by an unfamiliar spell, Drown, but shot back with a Suggestion that the cultist conducting the ritual cease it. After one failure, this succeeded, and the participant effectively turned against the ritual.

Eventually, the party managed to defeat the cult, taking the leader (a silver dragonborn woman), her second-in-command and a couple of lesser cultists. One of them, an elf called Ta Li, offered help after having a crisis of faith. They are currently free, in exchange for helping deal with the threat.

The party found a variety of things and information.

The Book

The majority of research into the summoning of the Kraken had been done by one one, the leader of the cult, and kept in a notebook bound in what seems to be some sort of fish scale. It begins seemingly part way through the research – likely, she had a lot of initial research elsewhere.

The writings are hard to decipher, written not only in an obscure dialect of Hulfsan. but in terrible handwriting and increasingly frenzied scrawling. What you can make out includes writings on what she calls the ‘Elder Ones’, most notably the Kraken. Reading the book, she appears to have held the heretical belief that these things came before the gods, from a plane beyond the commonly known material, ethereal, celestial, infernal and elemental planes – or perhaps from outside the planar system itself.

Towards the end are more clearly written notes on how to summon the kraken creature itself – or perhaps an avatar of it, you can’t quite tell. The ritual appears to be a progressive one – at first, the kraken is summoned in an ethereal form, and then becomes material before gaining in strength. From what you can extrapolate, you have the material Kraken but not a hugely powerful one.

The Amulet

The leader was wearing an amulet, which Sha Re took.

Mundane Treasure

You spent some time ransacking the personal belonging of the dead cultists. You find

  • Two longswords
  • Three daggers
  • An attractive shell necklace
  • A holy symbol, seemingly handmade, with the sigil you’ve seen.
  • What appears to be an engagement ring
  • 17gp
  • 108sp
  • 63cp
Swimming can make you GLOW
Welcome... to the Adventure Log

The adventure begins in the Swaggering Narwhal tavern, a relatively recent establishment in the trendy part of time which, simultaneously, is aspiring to be posher than it is and pretending to be slummier than it is. Fi and Skarev are playing cards in the corner while Silese hangs out with some of her society friends. Gwyn and Sha Re are both drinking alone and looking shady, and Colm is getting as pissed as possible with some of his drinking buddies.

A man stumbles in, looking very confused. A large portion of his body is glowing. The barman, Dave, talks to him, calling him Alan and mentioning that he’s been missing for several days and he was worried about him. The glow is spreading. At some point. Alan lays a hand on Dave’s bare arm, leaving a glowing handprint that starts to spread. The glowing light overtakes Alan’s entire form and he explodes in a dazzling flash of light.

The glow is spreading up Dave’s arm, so they decide to amputate it after Sha Re sends him to sleep. Now that the arm is detached from the body, the glow spreads even more rapidly and the arms explodes quickly. As the party are attempting to work out what to do about this, the police rock up and take everyone in for questioning. It is clear that the police have had to deal with Fi before, but as he’s not currently doing anything massively dodgy they don’t actively arrest him.

While the party are at the police station, it becomes clear that there’s some kind of emergency situation going on: a magical plague of glowing explosions appears to be spreading from the docks. Although they initially wanted to talk to the party as witnesses, it becomes clear that they have more important things to do, so the party are released. They decide to go down to the docks.

On the way, Sha Re mentions that he can cast identify if they provide him with a pearl worth 100gp. Fi spots some well dressed young ladies and determines that one of them has a pearl brooch. Colm attempts to distract them as Fi swipes the brooch, but they still notice. Silese comforts them, as she knows these society ladies, allowing Fi to escape.

#Once they reach the docks, they talk their way past the impromptu police barrier. Fi stabs someone and brings back the body for the wizard, who cast identify and determines that the glow is some kind of magical plague. Gwyn at some point touches some of the glow, but has sufficient willpower to avoid infection.

After some investigation, the party determine that the glow is coming from under the broken ship. The warlock ties themself up with rope and dives into the water, where they meet a giant crab, also infected with the glow. They fight the giant crab ineffectually before being tugged out of the water, giant crab attached. The paladin shoves the crab, and thereby the warlock, back into the water. Sploosh.

The party spend a while talking about what exactly is going on, wondering whether they should attempt to go via the sewers. Silese objects to this, so Gwyn attempts to demonstrate the use of presdigitation to clean by dirtying Silese’s outfit. This does not fly: she rages, sending Gwyn back into the water.

Eventually, they make their way over to the ship by turns, Fi (who did a stunning acrobatic leap) lands neatly, Gwyn just fucking swims. They explore and find an air pocket full of glowing angular lines through the crack from which the light seems to be emanating and then come back. The group decides to explore it collectively – Sha Re is extremely reluctant, but Scarev doesn’t give a shit and drags him in with her.
This turns out badly when the party are attacked by crabs. Fortunately, they get an unlikely saviour in the form of a reef shark who arbitrarily attacks a crab. Everyone clambers back on the ship, and they shark and crab (both affected by the glowing magic) explode under the water. The way cleared, the party make their way through the tunnel and up through the passageway, until they come to a room with a font and benches, from which boils up a humanoid figure who proceeds to attack them. Weirdly, they seem to have been healed in this time.

Once the figure is subdued, Scarev kicks at the font. This causes the figure to boil up again and they have to fight it once more. As most of the party do this, the wizard explores the room, finding a panel in one of the walls behind which is a button with old ddafaeg writing on it. The party press a button that releases a shock of magical energy and the font creature resents, introducing herself as the Enchanted Spectral Helper, or Esh. The party determine that she is the result of some super freaky magic from just over a thousand years ago, created as a spa and then, it seems, forgotten about. The most recent people to breach her seem to have been crabs.

They swim back to the docks. The spread of the infection appears to have been contained, and people who have not been completely consumed are being treated at the local hospital. The party now have to opportunity to investigate what exactly went on, if they wish.

If you plan to investigate the rack, please let me know ASAP!

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