Chronicles of Khaldun: Crux of Eternity
In Mourning of the Tattered King
The Mourners of Saerun Road — Wilkul Chorster the human cleric, Norros Babausong the tiefling warlock, Quotumal Goldheart the dragonborn fighter, Indrak Kingpost the warforged assassin, and Prulove Soundinghorn the eladrin wizard — part company with the Shields of the Sorrowfell. They immediately move into formation and set to work, moving from room to room. Taking the cave-in into account, they decide to forgo the zigzagging path they recommended for the Shields of the Sorrowfell, instead traveling along the hallways and taking rooms as they can. They find the room next to the Skyfall settlement uninhabited, as well as the wedge-shaped room across from the Skyfall settlement. They then travel to the next room, and find it swarming with three large, ooze-like creatures, each a queer alien shade previously unknown to the Mourners.
Staying at the door, Prulove shines her sunrod within as the group waits for the creatures to rush them. Two move into position while a third exits through a side door, apparently trying to ambush the Mourners down a side passage. The Mourners begin to enter the room to engage the beasts; Prulove moves last to wrench the door closed and prevent the third ooze from entering. Quotumal, upon engaging in combat with an ooze, is swiftly devoured. Indrak spreads poison on his dagger and hacks at the things, but is also swiftly devoured. However, it becomes obvious that the two are still alive, fighting inside the things to emerge. Wilkul is similarly devoured while entering into melee with the things. Norros attempts to stay at a distance, but one manages to close with him and eat him. Prulove continues to sling spells while running around the room, closing doors to prevent the entrance of the third ooze. Meanwhile, the rest of the Mourners continue to hack away at the things from the inside, occasionally forcing their way out of the creatures to regroup and attack. The two oozes stuck within the room fall quickly, just as the third breaks open a sealed door and devours Prulove, leaving the Mourners to deal with it. Despite being uninjured, Prulove escapes its maw and the Mourners make swift work of it.
The Mourners rest about fifteen minutes to regain their strength, finding a lost piece of alien technology as they investigate the room. Feeling refreshed, they regroup and consider their options. The Mourners note that something might be in the room across the way, but they decide to access the room next door first. Hearing a low-pitched hum emanating from the room, they brace themselves and breach the room. A group of four thin, grey-skinned humanoids wearing skins and wielding spears and shields is in the room. One holds a blowgun. Prulove steps into the room to menace the creatures with spells. The creature with a blowgun responds by shooting her with a dart; the burning throb of the wound suggests a vicious poison. Wilkul, Indrak, and Quotumal quickly enter into melee with the humanoids, particularly menacing the chieftain. There is a brief pause in the battle as a large tremor shakes the place for several seconds; after the initial panic subsides, the Mourners continue to press their attack. They make swift work of one of the creatures, but one shoves Wilkul backward, sending him onto a section of electrified floor and causing him to be electrocuted. Norros takes the opportunity to note that a roughly 250 square foot area in the middle of the room is electrified, apparently from some accident. He surmises that the creatures have been using this to their advantage.
Despite his injuries, Wilkul manages to escape fatal electrocution. As he moves, Indrak wraps his poisoned garrote around the chieftain’s throat and pulls. Although the brute behind Indrak continues to menace him with his spear, Indrak is resolute and finally chokes the last out of the chieftain. As Wilkul and Quotumal move to kill another of the grey creatures, the brute behind Indrak dashes across the electrified floor and shoves his tribesman out of the way. Unfortunately, this only places the two together and prolongs the inevitable, as the Mourners make swift work of the wounded grey-skin. The brute with the blowgun is all that remains, and for all his ferocity, he does not survive the sustained onslaught of five trained warriors.
The Mourners take a moment to rest and find the discarded pistol the creatures were examining. While resting, Wilkul takes the opportunity to contact the Shields of the Sorrowfell by way of the Sending Stone to inquire if they are all well in the earthquake — Bosabrieln of the Shields replies that they are fine, and the earthquake was caused by a large worm, similar to a purple worm, burrowing to the surface in a search for prey. Peren of the Shields of the Sorrowfell asks how the Mourners are doing, and they reply that all is well, briefly describing their encounters with the oozes and the grey-skinned humanoids. Satisfied, Wilkul wishes the Shields well, and the Mourners prepare to move forward.
Moving to the next room, the Mourners of the Saerun Road gather around the doorway and Prulove shines a sunrod within, illuminating the room. Four withered figures, stinking of natron and bitumen and wrapped in ancient bandages, carry a cylindrical metal case. A chilly mist emerges from some of the wrecked consoles in the room. Prulove casts an illusion in the far corner, prompting two of the mummified figures to abandon the case and rush for the corner. A voice emanates from the case and echoes in each of the Mourners’ minds, saying, “IMPUDENT MORTALS! KNEEL BEFORE THE MIGHT OF CHAATHS-NEB!”
The Mourners decide to ignore this commandment.
They pour into the room. The mummies set down the case, which teleports of its own volition into the cold mist. The mummies then maneuver to engage the Mourners, but Wilkul smites one of the creatures and sends it running into the corner, where it is enticed to stay by Prulove’s illusion of treasure.
The Mourners are easily able to engage the remaining, mobile mummy, but find the case to be a far more challenging opponent. It teleports throughout the battlefield, emanating painful psychic energies from its sturdy metal frame. It also telepathically communicates arrogant taunts at the Mourners, suggesting they will die before its might.
While still contending with the container, Chaaths-Neb, the Mourners manage to slay one of the mummies. Another manages to overcome the illusion luring it into the corner, leaping into the fray. It, too, is slain. However, in the chaos, the cylindrical container sends a burst of mental energy at Prulove and Quotumal, felling them both. As the cylindrical container holding Chaaths-Neb appears to be critically damaged, it disappears, leaving one last taunt floating in the minds of the Mourners. Norros, however, wanders into the hall and happens to notice the case sitting on the floor. He sets it ablaze, the magical conflagration finally cracking the case and scorching the disembodied brain within — apparently the last remnant of Chaaths-Neb.
Although the brain of Chaaths-Neb managed to fell Prulove and Quotumal before it attempted to flee, Wilkul is able to revive Quotumal and Quotumal can subsequently revive Prulove, allowing the recovered Mourners to make short work of the two remaining mummies.
Exhausted, the Mourners rest, but decide to press onward in the hopes of clearing more of Skyfall delve. They begin to rest a while to recover, but are interrupted after ten minutes when suddenly the door is wrenched open. Standing at the doorway are several thin, bulbous-headed, grey humanoids clad in hides and holding spears and shields. Their leader, however, carries no weapons, but instead bears comically oversized chest and arm muscles. Apart from the leader, the creatures resemble the thin, grey humanoids they have previously encountered in Skyfall delve.
Prulove immediately reacts, flinging a charm at the creatures to disrupt their thoughts. The leader staggers into the room and flares with light, blinding a couple of the Mourners while also blinding several of his fellows and somehow lighting himself on fire.
Amidst the chaos, Norros and Prulove use their magics to keep the creatures pinned in the doorway, while Wilkul and Quotumal move to engage them in melee. Indrak stays at a distance, flinging his dagger at them. The leader, disoriented from the Mourners’ alien magics and his own fiery disaster, is quickly slain. His fellows do not flee, but instead attempt to overpower the Mourners. Despite their valiant efforts, the Mourners quickly overpower two more the creatures. The final two attempt to flee, but to no avail — both are killed as they attempt to disengage.
The Mourners take a moment to rest and then investigate a couple of the smaller rooms before moving on to another one of the larger rooms. Creeping to the door, they find several green-skinned humans clad in skins and carrying spears and torches. Wilkul attempts to parley, and the group responds favorably. A green man steps forward; wearing chainmail and carrying a spear, he is evidently the group’s leader. Wilkul explains their mission, and indicates that they will continue to move through and clear rooms, or they can allow the green men to do so and salvage whatever remains inside. The green man indicates that this would likely be unfavorable to his boss, the Traveler of Roads Untrod — given that the Mourners appear to be outlanders from beyond the portal, the Traveler would like to meet them. Wilkul makes reference to another group, and the green man indicates the Traveler would likely wish to meet them as well. Despite coming from deeper underground, the green man says he thinks the Traveler is closer to the surface at the moment, and would be easier to find. After a bit more discussion, a bargain is struck — two rooms remain. If the groups tackle them together, the green group can claim salvage from one while the Mourners claim salvage from the other. Afterward, the Mourners can meet with the Traveler. The green men are amenable to this plan, and so they strike a deal and decide to move to the next room.
The green men take one door while the Mourners take another. Both doors are shut. The green men post a lookout, and on the Mourners’ signal, both parties open the doors.
Inside the room, amidst the debris, are a group of pale-skinned men — filthy, largely nude, clad in rags, and bearing menacing claws — led by a cloaked humanoid with a greatsword and chainmail. Upon further inspection, this creature is composed of writhing maggots and worms.
Upon seeing the white humanoids, the green men shout a warning that they are diseased. The green men’s leader nocks and arrow and sends it through one of the white things’ neck, killing the creature instantly. His fellows cautiously move inside the room and set up positions. As the Mourners enter, the white creatures move to engage — one manages to claw Norros, but the green men move to engage them and slay two of the things. The final two engage with some of the other green men and are quickly slain, although not before one manages to claw one of the green men.
As the green men make short work of the white creatures, the Mourners and remaining green men move to engage the man made of maggots. Quickly, they surround him, pinning him in place and leaving him no room to withdraw. While the green men prove deadly and effective with their spears, appearing to have some familiarity with fighting opponents such as this blasphemous creature, the Mourners also seem to have no problems, fighting the maggot-thing with spell and blade. Despite being a fearsome combatant, the maggot-thing cannot withstand the might of twelve trained combatants, and finally shudders and collapses into a heap of maggots under their continued onslaught.
As the battle ends and everyone starts to rest, Norros begins to shiver, displaying symptoms of fever and horrific lesions across his body. Wilkul moves to heal him, instantly reversing the onset of the disease.
During their rest, the green leader, introducing himself as Cathorso, reveals how impressed he is with Wilkul’s magical ability to heal his own comrade. Cathorso explains that the disease is usually a death sentence, and as Wilkul explains about his faith, Cathorso explains how the grim gods of Carcosa do not grant such miracles lightly. Usually, one prays to the gods to avoid ruin.
Fully rested, the twelve-man group organizes to tackle the last room. Wilkul sends Cathorso with his bow, along with one of his men and Quotumal and Prulove to the far door, while the remaining five Green Men along with Wilkul, Indrak, and Norros stay at the near door. At his signal, the ones at the far door will attract the attention of whatever lies in the room, and then Wilkul and his team will enter in a wave to either flank or detain the room’s inhabitants.
With their door open, Indrak sneaks a peek into the room. In the gloom, he can make out some rubble as well as an enormous shape, almost touching the ceiling of the room fifteen or twenty feet above the ground. It appears to be some manner of massive construct. Nearby is a crane, although it is too short to support this thing and lacks any sort of attachment point.
Armed with this knowledge, Wilkul gives the signal and Quotumal opens the door. As the area is illuminated by Prulove’s sunrod, she steps into the room to menace the massive construct with a spell. It lurches forward, striding as a titan through the room. It launches a volley of debris from an internal catapult, but her eladrin grace allows her to dodge out of the way. Cathorso sends an arrow at the thing and Quotumal enters the room, taking an advantageous position. Wilkul moves to engage the thing in combat, learning that it swipes at those who try to engage it at close range, while Norros steps forward and curses it, moving to menace it with spells. As Indrak and the spearmen move to menace the titanic construct, Norros and Prulove continue to fling spells while Cathorso launches arrows at it. Quotumal moves to engage the thing and breathes his cold breath upon it, cutting into its metal carapace with his greatsword. As it quickly becomes surrounded, the fighters attack it again and again with their weapons. It shudders, but continues to swipe at them with its hammer-like hands and shoveled appendages, keeping the cleric pinned nearby with its massive hands. Despite its size and power, it is eventually brought down through sheer numbers, overloading and exploding in a final malfunction. As the dust clears, only one of the spearmen is notably wounded. The combined group rests and then goes to gather their salvage. Rejoining, the Mourners and Cathorso’s group discuss what happens next…