Adventure #9: Cerfal Pass

DM: Robin
Players: Missy, Mike, Lynn, Daniel

The Master of Void offered to send them home, and was about to do so. While he was concentrating, Ezren and Tellar were arguing over the warp marble. Just as the Master opened the wormhole, Ezren accidentally activated Tellar's warp marble and the two of them disappeared, along with Daiten. The effect twisted the wormhole, and the adventurers, together with a visiting warrior priestess named Natashi, were sucked violently into the malformed portal.

Fighting their way through a steep, rocky pass, they came to a walled city which seemed to block the only route out of the mountains. Seisha recognized the city as Cerfal Pass, a fortress and trading city protecting the eastern lands from the monstrous creatures in the swamp and the haunted ruins of the ziggurat builders. They were allowed to enter after paying a high gate toll of five gold pieces per person.

Why does no one like my cities?After passing through the citadel, they discovered that even the inside of the city was split up by a series of magical gates. After wandering around a little, they bought a map (an invasion plan by the infamous Oogmok the Kobold) and found the Pasha's Palace Inn, an expensively decorated eastern-style place which was well-known in the area. They were enjoying excellent spiced food and drink when Seisha noticed that their host, Mestipsha, had hands that bent backwards. Even with telepathy, she was only able to discover that he had a very scornful attitude towards humans. Natashi was able to detect a powerful, unearthly evil coming from the innkeeper.

By other means, Seisha discovered that Mestipsha was in fact a rakshasa, a powerful creature that dines on human flesh. Shao Tsang went to speak to Mestipsha and returned strangely convinced that all was well. The others cooked up a plan to push the creature into Seisha's portable hole which seemed to work perfectly. They decided to spend the night in a different inn, where they discovered that the rakshasa had read the plan in their minds and used its powers of illusion to trick them into killing one of his employees instead.

Worried that the rakshasa would come after them, they holed up together in one room and took turns staying up and watching for trouble. Aside from some scrabbling at the door, nothing happened during the first watch. During a later watch, they heard alarms clanging and found out that a horde of ghouls was attacking the city. Heading out to help a passer-by who was being mauled by ghouls, they found out that the whole attack was an illusion. Knowing who the prime suspect for that would be, they decided it would be best to get out town as soon as possible.

GLORP! Is Shao Tsang levitating?Unfortunately, the fake attack had stirred up real panic in the city, and all the magical gates were closed because of the emergency. After running around in circles for a while, they found an alley entrance to what was supposed to be a secret tunnel going under the gates. Turned out to be a whole maze of tunnels instead of just one. After falling for a couple of pit traps, they found an orc guarding a chest. The orc turned out to be an olive slime creature, and the chest was full of slime. They also encountered an undead elf (a wyrd) trashing a library and a gelatinous cube which swallowed Shao Tsang (but they got him out in time).

They finally had to fight their way through a theater full of zombies. (Nobody knew why there would be a theater in the tunnels, or why it would be full of zombies.) Nearly driven back, they were able to defeat the zombies with the powerful but unpredictable wand they found after fighting the wyrd. A side-effect was that Shao Tsang was left with the gaze of a basilisk for a couple of days afterwards. They also obtained a cloak which granted certain spider-like abilities at the cost of growing extra legs and dealing with a spider-mind which didn't want to let go. No one wanted it.

Not a nice bird.Re-surfacing in an alley and finding their way to an inn, the travelers rested till morning and then left town. They headed out into the swamp, showing little interest in the towering monolith between the two huge ramps upon which they descended. They hacked their way through a number of harrowing encounters, including a swarm of pirranha-birds and a wight. Before finally leaving the swamp, they witnessed a sinister ritual being conducted by a village full of evil bird-men.

And except for some whining about the treasure, that's about it.

Think you've seen the last of Mestipsha?