This week we returned to ancient times for another session of our Mazes & Minotaurs campaign!
We picked up where we left off, in the mystic grove of the shapechanging stag, with two players present:
Meteora, the Amazon
Ellipsis, the Hunter
and two NPC warriors, Buff & Guff
Porphyra the Lyrist's player couldn't make it, so we rules that Porphyra stayed behind to entertain the stag this session.
We started off with some carousing and conversation. The magic stag was quite talkative, and shared a lot of information about the locale. It also shared some magic mushrooms with the humans, although it warned them about side effects... Meteora ate one, and gained the power of regeneration - although for each wound regenerated she would gain an animal feature or other cosmetic mutation, leading to her slow transition into an unrecognizable woman-beast! Ellipsis also partook in the mushroom party, and his shadow detached and became his henchman!
Through conversations, the players learned that the Stag and the Mother Superior (stern overseer of the lake nymphs) were actually siblings! They were both hatched from eggs of their mother, a magnificent bird, called the Feathered Queen. The Stag also disclosed that it wasn't on speaking terms with the Queen. However, it was worried that something had happened to the Feathered Queen, because she hasn't been seen flying around for some time.
The party also learned a lot about the history of the land: like the tribe of the Golden Warrior, the Warrior's conflict with the witch, Mother Superior, and other tidbits.
Leaving Porphyra behind, Meteora, Ellipsis, and the two warriors set out towards the mountain peak to the north, the abode of the Feathered Queen.
The mountainside was steep and rocky, without much vegetation, so when two vultures appeared on the horizon, the party only had some bushes to duck under. The vultures circled around, and dropped something on them. This something hit the ground and exploded into a cloud of nauseating gas, rendering Meteora and Buff unable to act for quite some time, until Ellipsis and Guff dispersed the mist with ferocious fanning. The vultures flew away, into the direction of the volcano.
Ellipsis examined the "bomb", which was something organic, like a gigantic bean, filled with mushy pulp... Weird!
Fearing a second attack, they quickened their pace, and soon reached the summit of the mountain, where they found a gigantic nest, almost like a palace!
Ellipsis noted some tracks leading towards the entrance, circular tracks that he interpreted as belonging to giant centipedes...
He sent his shadow henchman forward, but the shadow couldn't enter the dark corridors (as it can only exist in better-lit areas).
The party also didn't have any more lamp oil... so they had to explore relying on the light filtering through inbetween the branches that make up the nest.
Inside, they found a maze of passages; and after some time, overheard barbaric voices arguing, saying something about "being lost" and being afraid that a certain "hawkman" is sure to find them sooner or later. And before soon, the speakers were right upon the party ---
Two scorpion-men were scouting out the nest, and they even said something about bringing in more of their tribe and taking over the place for themselves.
A fight ensued; but the players were overpowered, as, unlike the scorpion-folk, they couldn't see properly by dim light. The combat, in the closed confines of the passage, proved to be a harsh one. One of the scorpion's poisoned Meteora, and the other killed Guff...
Then, suddenly, there was a flash of lightning; and the scorpions were attacked from behind by...
A WINGED MAN!
|Yes, I've been listening to the Barbarella soundtrack a lot lately|
So this must be the "hawkman", and he hit one of the scorps with a lightning bolt from a wand he was wielding. After some more fighting, one of the scorpions went down, and the other surrendered. The hawkman interrogated the player characters, and when they said that they came from the Stag and meant no harm, he agreed to lead them to the Feathered Queen - his mother. He also healed Meteora's poisoning with his tears. The scorpion was dragged there too, to be judged later.
The group was led into the center of the nest, where they were introduced to...
A GIANT EAGLE!
The Feathered Queen was a magnificent bird, at least 40' big, nesting in the middle. She looked hurt, sick.
A long conversation followed, and the player characters managed to learn a lot about this part of the land. Too much to summarize here, but the main points are:
- Approximately a year ago a new tribe appeared out of the blue and set up base in the dormant volcano! They are humanoid, ride multi-headed vultures, and have many strange weapons!
- One of these weapons hit the Feathered Queen, and she is dying.
- The vulture riders hired the scorpion-folk to scout out the nest and finish off the Queen.
- The Stag is the Queen's "prodigal son", there is some sort of a tension between them.
- The Golden Warrior and his tribe used to be a strong power, some 100 years ago, but are now gone, only their enchanted forest remains.