Seeing Double

In which Elvraema returns and the group finishes exploring the third level of the tomb.

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We rejoin our brave adventurers as they come to grips with the fact that their cleric is now an inanimate statue. They decide to retreat to the fountain room to regroup.

Erethas goes to tip Elvraema over so that he and Hakkar can carry her back with them. As the eladrin touches the statue, the spirit of Kubazan emerges and insists on joining with him in order to take the fate to the hated Acererak! With his newfound super-strength, Erethas is able to carry Elvraema’s petrified body on his own, which is a good thing because Hakkar is finding his own trickster spirit incredibly distracting right now.

Back at base, the group fills Gretchen in on what just happened and then settle down for a brief rest. Close to an hour later, they hear the secret door in the southern corridor slide open and a voice call out: “Hello?”

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Puzzles and Petrification

In which our protagonists are repeatedly stymied by Acererak’s puzzles.

We begin with our protagonists, having escaped from Wongo’s tomb, returning to the fountain room for a rest. Safely ensconced in a series of tiny hut spells cast by Ziles, the group spends the better part of a day resting, training, squabbling, and puzzling over Acererak’s riddles.

Ziles, meanwhile, is still being plagued by the golden skull of Yaka, who keeps bothering him with distracting blather. He pleads with the skull to leave him alone and eventually Yaka tells him he has a hankering for some gems. Over the course of the day, Ziles and his companions feed the skull numerous gems. Every time, Yaka grinds them into dust with his teeth and then asks for more.

In frustration, Carn catches Yaka’s skull in a bag, only to have magically reappear by Ziles’ shoulder. “You can’t get rid of me that easily, pointy!” taunts the skull. Carn throws his hands up in disgust and tries his best to ignore Yaka.

As the light trickling through the cracks in the ceiling fades, it is finally time for sleep (or meditation, in the case of the elves in the party). In the morning, when everyone is getting ready for a new day of dungeon delving, the group notices that Hakkar is now not just covered in fine goat fur but he also has the beginnings of some horns budding from his forehead and his eyes have become goat-like.

Elvraema offers to call on the Dark Maiden to break the curse, but Hakkar insists that the risk of turning into a goat is minimal compared to the value of the magic staff that is causing it. Much to the spirit of Obo’laka’s disappointment, Hakkar declines Elvraema’s offer.

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Of Frogs and Fans

In which our protagonists continue to explore the Tomb of the Nine Gods.

When we rejoin our trio of elven explorers, they have decided to return to the magic fountain room for a rest (and to check on their slumbering human companions). They head back the way they came, accompanied by Yaka’s acerbic commentary as the skull continues to float along behind Ziles.

Back in the fountain room, Ziles buries himself in Withers’ stolen spellbook (and does his best to ignore Yaka), while Elvraemo settles down to commune with his deity and Carn fidgets (and occasionally throws things at the floating skull). Eventually Gretchen and Hakkar wake up, and the elves fill them in on their adventures deeper in the tomb.

The two humans are understandably upset about having been left behind, but their companions explain that they simply couldn’t wake them up so there wasn’t much of a choice!

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Tomb Raiders

In which our protagonists continue to explore the Tomb of the Nine Gods.

We return to the room with the magic fountain to find the party resting. All of a sudden, the sound of a stone door grinding open echoes through the dungeon. Carn and Ziles, still alert during their nightly elven meditation sessions, look down the corridor in time to see a large, armored figure step into the hall to the south. It immediately turns and starts lumbering toward them.

The elves are able to awaken Elvraema, but Hakkar and Gretchen are deep in slumber and won’t be disturbed. The three stand their ground, ready to defend their sleeping friends as the armored hulk walks uninhibited through the room with the magical magnetic shield of rusting.

A short but sharp fight ensues. When the hulk lies defeated on the ground, the party pokes and prods at it. Under all the armor is a stitched-together body … a flesh golem!

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Tomb of the Nine Gods

In which our protagonists enter the Tomb of the Nine Gods.

We begin in Port Nyanzaru, where two foreigners are warily getting to know each other at the Thundering Lizard. One is a moon elf named Ziles. An evoker by trade, he has come to Chult in search of a lost library. He has found some clues pointing in the direction of an ancient city, all but wiped from the history books, that may hold yet more clues to the location of the library itself.

The other is a human woman named Gretchen. She does her best to hide her noble bearing, but it is plain to see for those who know what to look for. Although she has manifested her family’s ancestral draconic magic, she has sworn herself to Kelemvor’s service … and it is in his name that she has come to Chult. Through divinely-inspired visions, she has been told of the existence of the Soulmonger. It is her mission to destroy it.

The two adventurers decide to join forces. They hire a local to guide them into the jungle. His name is Hakkar, and he insists on waiving his fees, for their mission is personal to him as well. He had a wife, and she was everything to him. She died once but was fortunate enough to be raised from the dead by a kindly cleric. But the death curse cruelly took her from him again, and now Hakkar has sworn to find a way to put an end to the curse so that no one else will have to go through what he went through.

The three embark on a journey into the jungle.

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An End for Some

In which our protagonists avoid the frying pan but end up in the fire all the same.

We pick up with our band of adventurers ready to pounce on Ras Nsi in his throne room. But it would appear that the former Chosen of Ubtao has detected their presence, despite their best efforts at stealth. The warlord invites them in, and they soon find themselves standing in his presence, his attendants gazing at them with a mix of suspicion, curiosity, and contempt.

The first thing we can observe about Ras Nsi is that he has joined the ranks of the yuan-ti. Instead of legs, he has the lower body of a snake. The second thing we can observe about him, however, is that his upper body is wrapped in bandages. It would appear that he is suffering from the death curse himself.

Ras Nsi exchanges pleasantries with his guests, but talk soon turns to his affliction and its possible source. The party explains that they have come to put an end to a necromantic device known as the Soulmonger, which is sucking the life out of all those who have previously been raised from the dead (as well as preventing anyone who dies from being raised anew). They have reason to believe the device is hidden in the Tomb of the Nine Gods.

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The Back Door

In which our protagonists find a secret entrance into the yuan-ti temple.

After their humiliating rout at the front entrance to the yuan-ti lair, the party regroups and decides to have another go at searching for a back door. The Red Wizards, who are trying not to show their annoyance at having just lost a good chunk of their mercenary force, agree to “swap” sides of the palace with our protagonists.

Thus, the party spends the rest of the day searching the northwest quadrant of the palace. They find little of interest but do disturb a nest of giant wasps. Veronica and Tobias both contract shivering sickness later that night, but Eku happily cures them of the disease.

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