Champions of the Titan's Eye

S5: Journey into the Deep Sea

The Sacred Pathway leads to a Sky-ship

The party, having arranged with the Church of Procan, set out upon the seas in order to reach their destination in the islands in the deep waters off the continent. The journey began peacefully, but soon it became apparent that this journey was far more than a simple cruise. Along their charted course, terrible storms arose on either side of the vessel, terrible to behold and constant in their churning, but curiously the storms did not encroach upon their path despite practically surrounding the group on all sides. While the storms remained at bay, denizens of the water did not. A week from port, the ship was suddenly attacked by a group of Kuo-toa. Immediately the group dived into the water to protect themselves and the vessel with her crew. Though they were outnumbered, careful use of spell and blade allowed the group to fend off the attacks and even capture a few for interrogation.

The group spoke with the highest ranking officer of the Kuo-toa to gain whatever information they could. They learned more of the conflict between the allied sea humanoids and the Kuo-toa. A dispute over underwater territory had brought the full might of the Kuo-toa to the war, which luckily distracted them from the Procan vessel. Furthermore, the officer informed the party of the vessel’s encroachment upon the deep seas and the agreement that was broken by the Procan-ites in making this journey. Procan and Dagon, god of the deep seas, made an agreement that Procan would rule the shallows and Dagon would rule the deep. The storms surrounding the Procan vessels were the manifestation of this agreement, Dagon’s fury made manifest to wreck any ship that would venture into his domain. But the Procanites noted that Procan made a legal, although tricky, maneuver to gain some territory of the deeps in the forms of pathways know as Sacred Pathways. These pathways prevented the storms from destroying ships, but the knowledge of them had been lost until the party discovered one in Alithor’s Sanctuary. Alithor, in the constant quest to show mercy to mortals, allowed the creatures to leave with their lives, despite the protests of the party and crew.

With this knowledge, the group continued their journey. They briefly stopped by an island when they spotted humans. They humans spoke dialects they were unknown, but this did not prevent Alithor’s natural charm from washing over them, inducing the Chieftain to offer a woman to him. Alithor politely declined, but the natives did teach him of a drug used to fight the Kuo-toa, and the party was able to make some for future encounters. Hanuman realized the ingredients for the drug where the same as the ones for the itching power he so frequently employed, plus some local mushrooms and common vegetables. The drug was effectively a poison. Those without proper immunity would suffer vivid hallucinations, often involving spirits.

They continued still, but three days from their destination danger struck. The storm which had kept their distance suddenly fell upon the ship, and soon after the ship was rocked by an attack from underneath. Again, the group dived in, this time to find a much more terrible sight. A Kraken was attacking. Alithor tactically blinded the beast so that Raguel and Yarsin could rush the beast and so that Hanuman could fire his spines in safety. While the blindness hindered the beast greatly, the sheer number of arms and tentacles made it a formidable foe even blinded. Each member fought constantly to avoid of escape a grapple by the monster, and the battle wore on for a great deal of time. Eventually, with spike, blade, and magic the group routed the beast, unfortunately dragging Yarsin with him. With a final blow, Yarsin struck down the beast with his axe, before he was dragged to the bottom, and the beast sank back down to the depths from which it came. With the Kraken gone, the path cleared and the ship made it safely to the island marked by the Map.

At the island, the group quickly discovered the facility The Man in the Lonely Tower spoke of. They set out to explore it, but at its entrance they were ambushed by a war party of Kuo-toa. Mid battle with the foe, their party leader fled as a group of allied sea creatures rushed up shore and destroyed the remaining creatures. The allies offered to protect the entrance while the group explored, and the party accepted their help. Inside, the group came across a lowly worker Kua-toa and interrogated him. The layout of the facility was learned, and the worker told the group of the central lab where all the equipment inside was being taken. When they were done with him, Alithor wished to release him, but Raguel vehemently disagreed. They argued at length, but eventually Raguel bowed to his bestial nature and moved to kill the worker. Alithor attempted to intervere, but was unable to stop the killing. Furious, Alithor gave serious thoughts to subduing Raguel in order to avert more killing, and Raguel raged at Alithor’s mercy. Fortunately, before the two came to blows, monsters decided to do the attacking for them. The group were ambushed by two undead with the power to drown the living. Hanuman and Raguel both lacked the protection from their powers, and fought valiantly despite occasionally succumbing to the affects of drowning. Yarsin was able to grab both of them and bring them to a safe area where they could breathe again before it was too late, and the group managed to slay the monsters at a distance with Hanuman’s deadly spikes and Raguel’s arrows.

Finally, the group made it to the center. As they entered an empty room, Alithor explored a pool of water in the middle which he believed held a pathway to more of the facility. Through a stroke of insight, Alithor noticed the presence of an invisible creature, and took some of the vision drugs. This counteracted the invisibility of the Kua-toa in the room, but it was too late for the rest of the party to use the drugs before the fight was on. Alithor quickly dispatched a group of weaker Kuo-toa with his fire blasts, while Yarsin, Raguel, and Hanuman focused on the tougher leader of the group. The battle was long and deadly. The attackers outnumbered the group, and nearly all the group was brought to deaths door. Luckily, Alithor’s fire blasts caused the Kua-toa to focus their attacks on him. But with divine power guarding him from harm, Alithor was able to deflect the attacks that would have otherwise brought down his allies. Finally, with the Kua-toa leader defeated and his troops defeated or routed, the group explored the final area of the facility. They climbed up a set of stairs to the roof, only to find a strange sight. Upon this roof sat a ship. The party boarded it, found it smaller than usual and without the normal trapping of a sea vessel. Where the captain’s wheel normally stood, a small pillar with an inset the size of stone sat. Alithor examined it, realized it seemed to match the gem in his sanctuary, and attempted to use the gem with the ship. What happened next was beyond their wildest expectations. The ship began to rise into the air, and a control mechanism appeared out of nowhere. As Alithor found the gem in his own sanctuary, his angelic self must have known this ship would aid in a future quest, and so the group set off to traverse the skies.

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