Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Against The Reptile Cult - Part II

... She was of an ethereal beauty, stepping out of the shadows. Her short cropped hair, though some might consider boyish, made her devilish smile all the more noticeable. In a quick gesture, she blew the would-be heroes a kiss, from which a pair of dice, knucklebone of eldritch origin, clattered against each other as they rolled across the earthen floor ...

Burning reptilian eyes of red came swiftly out of the gloom, crimson with murderous intent. Korrick and Malark stood firm, with Manjores just behind them, steady to meet their charge. Swords, Scales, and Great Maul met in a savage clash of violence. Korrick rushed forth and summoned his strange Druidic powers to entangle his foes as his rage set in. Malark cracked scaly skulls with his Great Maul and Manjores moved to the first rank of their formation, skewering serpent men as he went. Elvish Arrows split the shadows and found their marks in the chests of Troglodytes, again and again, as the fray continued in the claw dug earthen tunnel.

As quickly as it begun, it was ended and the party of fighting men  felt as lady luck was surly on their side. They pressed deeper into the Reptile Cult's warren, eyes ever ready for retaliatory attacks.

They descended stairs deeper into the lair, and found themselves in a labyrinthine network of tunnels. Dorian lead the party with light Elf steps into the shadowy halls. Suddenly, with an unearthly quickness, the shadows leapt forth at the elf, covering him with chitinous legs hungry for his blood. The great arachnid was quickly dispatched by Malark's heavy Maul, but not before Dorian had succumb to the beast's poison. Wearily, the brave Elf managed to stand and press on with the party's aid ...

The winding tunnels of earth opened up to reveal a large chamber of shin deep mud. This hindered the group slightly, but as they waded through the muck, more hungry arachnids attacked them from below. Burrowing out of the wet floor were great centipedes that latched onto their legs in search of rare meals. Now, others fell victim to poisons and Malark and Llywillin struggled to carry the fallen to the other side of the chamber, fighting off hungry Centipedes as the went.

"Halt ... Drop your weapons and comrades," a voice called from just beyond the threshold of mud. Six to Eight bow-armed men drew bead on the Barbarian and Elf as they struggled to drag the rest of the party to dry earth ... but surrender they did to the bowmen. They were lead to a great chamber that was engulfed with an underground lake. A phosphorescence of lichen cast the rocky walls in a pale green glow. Great pillars reached to the cavern ceiling and great serpents were carved into the stone, which entwined their circumference from the waterline to their top ends.

Upon reaching the opposite shore, the party was forced to kneel before a serpent entwined pillar - but the serpent clinging to this stone column was not carved of rock, it was very much alive. The great beast lowered it's human-like head, just nearly shadowed by it's cobra-like hood, before the group. It spoke to Malark and Llywillin in a gravely, yet whispering voice,

"Worship Me ..."

With a golden glow in its eyes, The Naga's spell of charming seemed to take hold on the both of them. The group was then lead to a jail of sorts, were they were stripped of their belongings and locked away, under close watch by the charmed duo of Malark and Llywillin.

There was the sounds of many voices outside of the brig, as though some social event was about to take place in the bowels of the Cult lair. Trident armed men entered the jail, and Llywillin, who'd been biding his time - unaffected by the Naga's charm - dove into one of the guards. Malark shook off the magical effect just in time to aid his Elvish comrade.But one of the guards managed to yell above the growing noise outside and call for assistance. Keys were quicly collected from the guards, and now, Korrick and Malark, armed with two newly acquired Tridents stepped into the outer hallway, looking for their stolen gear.

After a quick fray with Cultists, in which the guards were soundly defeated, the group turned to the South to evade more sentinles spilling into the outer hall. Some manner of undead attempted to hinder what was turning into an escape from this subterranean temple. The fortitude of the undead creature was formidable, but the fight against the creature was cut short as more cultist took up pusuit of the party ... a chant was swelling in the twisting turns of the labyrith ...

"Ia, Ia, Yig-Ia!"

The chant caused panic in the party, yet somehow - without a map to aid them -  the stairway back to the surface was frantically located by Manjores ... they ran, clearly outnumbered by the Cult, through the claw carved warren and out into the marsh of The Woods of Sharp Teeth ...

They vowed to collect the rest of the Ivory Scimitars and strike again at the Reptile Cult ... this tale was far from over ...