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Defenders Adventure #41: The Island of Dr. Piggy Moreau

Party Roster:

Felix, 5th level fighter, 53 hp, played by Alex
Balinor, 5th level fighter, 50 hp, played by Joel
Kodo, 3rd level woodsman, 36 hp, played by Rob
Morgan, 5th level fighter, 27 hp, played by Alan
Quentin, 6th level druid, 25 hp, played by Jeremy
Donald, 4th level mage, 21 hp, NPC
Alduin, 4th level thief, 15 hp, played by Vic
Nakumanu, 2nd level fighter, 14 hp, henchman of Felix
Kain, 1st level cleric, 6 hp, played by Jeff

The party had just been left wandering confusedly about the tunnels. We had just defeated three pairs of crystal golems. Sadly, the hoped for exit was not beyond the door, and we continued wandering around. We discovered a rubble filled room, with a weird natural tunnel coming out of it. We had some hopes that it might lead out, but of course, this being our favorite compound, things just got even more bizarre.

We went down the tunnel, Balinor in the lead due to some nice healing on him. Suddenly, Alduin noticed a rumbling sound. It became much louder. We turned to run…

And a huge worm came whipping up the tunnel, opened its mouth and swallowed Balinor whole. Felix, Kodo, Morgan, and Nakumanu turned to fight the creature. Morgan yelled “Thunderstruck” and pounded it, and the fighters began ripping at it. The creature was enraged with Morgan and tried to kill him. Take a wild guess what happened.

Nakumanu discovered while swinging the magic falchion that it was +3 vs. regenerating creatures, which the worm was.

Even more enraged, it was beaten severely by the fighters, and died just before trying to take a final swipe at Morgan (having taken over 200 points of damage). Tearing at the front, Felix pulled out a sodden and paralyzed Balinor, who amazingly was still conscious and recovered quickly.

Then we made a strange discovery—the back of the worm had been damaged by several lightning scars, and the worm was injured before it ever attacked us. Donald identified it as a mottled worm, which is at least semi-aquatic.

Who was this lightning firing creature, and why would it try to kill a mottled worm?

We decided not to finish exploring the tunnel, fearing that the creature had come from down below. We checked out a number of other possibilities, destroying 6 more crystal golems in the process. We found a room full of hideous snakes, that suddenly activated when we opened the door. We shut the door rapidly. Alduin snuck through the stirge nest and found another entrance to the snake room there. In the room were murals depicting horrors inflicted on humanoids by dark beings.

Maryanne, the woman we rescued, had by this time slipped into a state of constant shock and distraction.

We found another passage that completely infuriated us by leading back to the zombie room, through the other door we hadn’t yet checked out. However, tracking revealed that someone had passed through the door from the temple complex toward the orcs, bleeding, sometime about a week earlier.

We found another passage leading to an underground fungal forest. There we established relations with the leader of a group of giant toads (ala Ring of Toad Control).

The toad told us that the fog monsters (we identified them from the description) were in the passage leading out of the fungal forest (not the one we came down). They were behind a strange spiked metal gate that would actually attack those who approached.

There was a second set of three thrones much like the first set, but a floor below them. In the center throne was a boar’s head amulet. The thrones and the pillars next to them were magical.

We headed back up and into the rubble room. Searching about we discovered a torn once-magic cloak, and a magic user scroll of Hold Person and Fireball in its pocket. There were weird swirling black patterns in it reminiscent of the mosaic in one of the rooms with the red dots on the wall. In addition there were lightning scars on the walls of the room.

Down the tunnel of the worm was a large cavern with several murky pools. This gave us some ideas about waterbreathing our way out. There was also a natural diamond resting on a stalagmite. Felix drooled at it, but we didn’t touch it.

Gambling a bit, we checked out the thrones. After some experiments, we eventually determined that 5 of 6 of them gave the user a scrying image of a particular room in the complex—the rubble room, the flaming lizard room, the spiky gate room, the mosaic room, and one other.

We decided to send a message to the ship and hope that it would remain a few more days, or at least return in a month or two, telling them that the mission had essentially been accomplished and we were still alive.

Kain cast Light on a stone, and we chucked it down the stairs. Most of the stirges went flying at it, and Donald cast Sleep at most of the rest, and Quentin’s crow Morris escaped through the top of the volcano (we presume the stirge exit) with our message. Hopefully he would find the ship. Realizing that we couldn’t rely on it, we looked desperately for a way out.

Then we searched the displacer beast room, and found that the mother had been sitting on a bedding made out of about fifty of the ripped swirling cloaks. We also found three serviceable ones, which were actually magical, and the swirling patterns actually moved.

Quentin took the risk this time, wearing the robe and pressing his hands against the red dots in the zombie room. And a tunnel opened in the wall, leading to a small room. The portal closed after five minutes. It was determined that on the other side there was a black square, and the cloak did not appear to let anyone back through it. However it could be opened seemingly limitlessly. We thought that perhaps Mr. Pig had been trying to build these robes, and that they were imperfect or flawed. So we decided to make only minimal use of the robes.

We went to the white dots in a room in the far temple complex, and opened that one. On the other side were the gorillas! One hurled a boulder at Quentin and hit him, but Quentin finished his Speak with Animals and talked to them. They said they would not attack, but that we could not pass through their lair because of the young ones, and how the last humans they had let pass through had killed many of them. We understood, but were rather frustrated. They did say that we could pass through at the beginning of the rainy season when their young were away. We could not determine if the portal was two-way.

We checked out the final portal, in the mosaic room, which was right next to the zombie room. This one opened out into the Trail of the Dead, as Alduin quickly verified, on the convenient swamp side. We had a way out!

However, that portal was not two-way.

So, we figured we had won. Kaal Na Ka would have difficulty in setting up his operation, but were had recovered great treasure and really mangled his operation. And we had rescued Maryanne….

Where was Maryanne?

We look around. She was gone. We all went cold. Was she Kaal Na Ka…?

Chester traced her right up to red dots in the zombie room. We decided to charge after her, promising to return within nine hours, and leaving behind Alduin, Nakumanu, and Kain with two of the three cloaks, who would open it every two hours.

We charged through, and almost immediately hit another long corridor. After an hour and fifteen minutes of walking, we came to a T-intersection. To the right was a door that Chester refused to go near, since it scared him. It was not displacer beasts.

We went left and soon came to another door. Kodo crashed into it, but it didn’t open. We realized it was Wizard Locked. Felix charged, and thanks to the Shield of the Stallion smashed the door down!

It was a large room, about a hundred feet long. Nearest to us were six of the weird greater zombie beings with the _Slow_ poison. Behind them were two huge pigs, and behind them, with a section of deck plating partially shielding him, was Kaal Na Ka. Mirror Imaged into three forms.

Kaal Na Ka’s held spell went off, and Felix, Morgan, Quentin, and Kodo were slowed. Fortunately, Balinor and Donald had not been in view of the door, and thus were not affected. Balinor held his ground, waiting for a good moment to charge across, while Donald pulled out the scroll of Fireball/ Hold Person.

Felix, Kodo, and Morgan moved forward to engage the zombies. Quentin began a Dispel Magic. Donald began casting Hold Person.

Unfortunately, Felix was triple teamed, and luck was on the fat man’s side. Soon Felix and Kodo were moving like slugs, and only the ever incredible Morgan was still moving at half speed. Felix and Kodo slew two in their initial shots, then became nearly irrelevant.

Suddenly a dagger sank into Balinor’s back, and he turned around to face Maryanne, apparently unarmed. However the damage was cosmetic and Balinor roared, bashing her twice, though she did not fall.

Morgan sliced one of the zombies up, but then Kaal Na Ka’s Lightning Bolt went off, slamming the party… or so he thought. Fortunately, we had anticipated the contingency and Morgan had given Thunderstruck to Quentin, who deliberately sucked down the bolt in his protection! Two of the zombies were damaged by the blast, and Felix went down bleeding, but Kodo and Morgan were unaffected.

Donald stepped out and threw the Hold Person at the mirror images, but unfortunately there was no effect. Maryanne, realizing she couldn’t even hurt the enraged Balinor due to weapon length problems, turned and tried to run. However, she had never seen Balinor sprint, and was terrified to see him dash after her, catch her, and knock her down bleeding. Now Maiden Basher was appropriately named. Growling, Balinor returned to help the combat.

Donald and Kaal Na Ka threw Magic Missiles at each other, but the fat man had four missiles, slamming the durable Donald, who was still standing.

Balinor ran forward to engage one of the zombies, and then Quentin Dispelled the Slow effect, bringing Morgan and Kodo back up near normality, though Morgan was still Slowed by the zombie effect, and Kodo was double slowed. Quentin was now unSlowed.

Donald threw the Fireball into the room, killing one of the pigs and injuring the other, and hurting Kaal Na Ka. However, he dodged the worst of it.

Balinor smashed a zombie, but was struck and Slowed by it. Quentin threw a Slow Poison, bringing Balinor back up to normal speed, and he trashed it. Kaal Na Ka threw another Magic Missile, sending two at each of Balinor and Donald, knocking Balinor to his knees and sending Donald to the ground. Quentin began a Cure Serious on Donald.

Balinor roared again and dashed across the room, running straight at Kaal Na Ka. The fat mage was dumping potions down his throat which appeared to be healing him, but Balinor caught him slightly unprepared and smashed him with Maiden Basher. Then Kaal Na Ka’s staff swung out. With a flash, Balinor flew back, blood flying everywhere as he collapsed onto the ground.

Donald stood up thanks to Quentin’s Cure Serious and Cure Light, and threw a Sleep catching the pig Balinor had been running past. Kodo took down the final zombie and began to move, but Kaal Na Ka threw a Sleep and caught Kodo, who fell snoozing in the middle of the room. Donald’s final spell, a Web, caught Kaal Na Ka partially, and Morgan shot him with an arrow. He noted that it appeared to have no effect on the fat wizard.

Once again it was up to Quentin to save the day. Donald ran to see if Balinor was still alive, Morgan drew Thunderstruck from Quentin’s belt, and together they advanced on Mr. Pig. Quentin cast a Flame Blade and lit the Web, catching the wizard, who was finally out of potions and was starting to look somewhat beaten up. There was no time to wake Kodo, and Donald began a desperate attempt to heal Balinor, who was on the edge of death. If the battle could be won, everyone might survive…

Kaal Na Ka threw a Charm spell at Donald, but it failed.

Morgan and Quentin advanced on the wizard. Kaal Na Ka swung his staff, missing Morgan. Quentin hit him with the Flame Blade and Morgan yelled, “Thunderstruck!” and slammed the wizard, who was definitely affected. He appeared to crumble, and suddenly a huge boar was in front of us, much larger than any other boar we had ever seen. Morgan and Quentin gasped with dismay. Suddenly he was very difficult to affect (AC 0) and began to kill Quentin with his claws. He ripped at the druid, doing significant damage and wounding him. Morgan and Quentin attacked back, Morgan hitting but Quentin having a very difficult time injuring the boar. The creature was slow, and Quentin hit it, as did Morgan for a second time. It looked injured, but it was not looking good as Quentin got slammed again. Finally Quentin was missed, but neither of the two could injure the boar. Quentin got hit a third time and was falling dangerously low. Finally, the enraged druid whipped up the Rod of Thorns, and said, “To hell with this!” Before the boar could react, Quentin trapped him in the Wall of Thorns, doing massive grinding damage.

The boar didn’t die! He was extremely beat up, but he ran through the thorns and tore straight at Quentin, missing. Quentin struck back, but missed, and backed away. The creature tried to run at him.

Morgan, face grim, slammed him full force with the longsword, and Kaal Na Ka finally keeled over.

Quentin Cured Felix, and saved him with healing. Kodo eventually woke up. Donald tried to save Balinor and did, but realized he was likely to sustain permanent damage. He pulled out Keoghtarn’s ointment from Balinor’s pack and spread it on the fallen warrior, preventing all permanent damage, thankfully.

Maryanne had bled to death in the meantime.

Extremely beaten (I don’t think anyone but Morgan had double digit hp) we returned to Kain and the others. Kaal Na Ka’s robe was two-way, and we explored the remainder of the area with Quentin Dispelling the Wizard Locked door at the back.

And we hit the motherload.

Forget what we found last time. This just blew us away. Before treasure, a quick resolution.

We found Kaal Na Ka’s journal. His real name was Tekmaas (I think—someone correct me). His story was bizarre and intriguing.

Kaal Na Ka was a Cromwellian human with extremely bad handwriting. He contracted lycanthropy at the hands of some sort of “Greater Lycanthrope,” a fact it appears he was proud of. He was certainly quite intelligent and fascinated by research of various morphing effects. Some of you out there MAY have heard of his employer: Skylltor Rhune.

For those of you who do not know, Skylltor is a powerful wizard living in the most heavily populated city in Cromwell, Melbonia. He has been known for a love of theatre and other civilized things, but many of his operations seem quite shady.

Skylltor contracted the wizard to work on displacement, and was impressed by his abilities, but worried by his problems with the law. There was one particular note in which Skylltor angrily describes some sort of 160,000 gp bill from Wilbar’s Fish and Critters he was presented with. Finally, the whole situation was unacceptable to Skylltor and he removed the research grant.

We found an interesting letter from Skylltor, telling him that he was shut down, and that he would settle the accounts with Wilbar.

Bitter and perhaps insane, Kaal Na Ka embezzled 60,000 gp from Skylltor, including all of the lab gear he had been provided, and fled, apparently looking for somewhere to gain the wealth to continue his research. He had heard of the Kara-kara and knew about the fog monsters, who had been living in a section of the island. They have a sort of society, and Kaal Na Ka charmed the key fog creatures and took over. He was always worried about them, and sent them on missions far away, hoping to keep them occupied and gain wealth, but wanting them far away from him.

The three people we had killed earlier were clearly pirates from the Northern Isles, based on the insignia on their arms.

Kaal Na Ka had sustained damage when he had been exploring the temple complex, and suddenly ran into the worm. He drove it off with Lightning Bolts but was injured in the fighting.

He discovered three original two-way cloaks, though we only found two. He had been attempting to copy them, but had only succeeded in the inferior one-way cloaks we initially found. When we burst in, he thought we might be “Skylltor’s goons” and were here to slay him. It appears that Kaal Na Ka’s biggest fear was for Skylltor to track him down. He believed that the wizard would not be interested in spending the time to go to such a remote place for “a mere 60,000 gp” and so felt fairly secure.

Maryanne was his daughter, and the only one who wasn’t charmed, and actually served him for the fun of it. When Maryanne informed him that we were not Skylltor’s men he assumed he could wipe us all out.

Finally, in fear of Skylltor gaining anything from his death, Kaal Na Ka burned and destroyed all of his research, relying on his memory to carry him through.

Astounded, we finished reading and took the journal and as much as we could carry of the treasure horde to the boat and sailed away. We are not yet sure how to return, but there is so much treasure it seems like a waste not to.

As to the treasure we DID get:

Falchion +1/+3 vs. regenerating creatures
Short Sword +2
Dagger +2
Medium Shield +1
Mace +1
Felcon Walking Stick
Elf mage’s spellbook including: Hold Portal, Continual Darkness, Detect Invisibility,
ESP, Mirror Image, Dispel Magic, Slow, Invisibility 10’ Radius
Bag of Holding 600/2000
Scroll of Dispel Evil and Neutralize Poison
Scroll of Flamestrike and Commune (both of these are Nevronian)
Staff of Cracking (Kaal Na Ka’s staff)
Ring +2/ Dagger +2 of Concealment (it can switch forms instantly)
Kaal Na Ka’s cloak
(15) Arrows +3
Plate Mail +2
Leather +2
(2) Boar’s Head Amulets (+3 protection, but only for lycanthrope wearers)
Kaal Na Ka’s spellbook, which had 4th level spells in it (and maybe even a 5th?)
Elven Chain Mail
Suit of Tugutan Commander Full Plate armor of quality (+1) and matching shield
Gold and platinum platter, from Skylltor’s house
Quality light crossbow +1
Lots of diamond jewelry
Kegs of spices
Gold precise hourglass
Gold scroll cases
Black Falcon statue
About 1000 platinum pieces
And all sorts of gold and platinum trinkets

Of course, much of this stuff has been stolen, and some is just useless to us. We will likely be returning a great deal of the stuff (hoping for some recognition of our existence and maybe making some friends).

There is a small chance that Quentin contracted lycanthropy from the hits, and so we will head to Carse first to make sure he is alright. Then we’ll head to Restenford for a salvage tax fest. And next time, training!

We FINALLY got off the island!



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