A Relic of the Past

Session 11

To the Death

Almsday, 1844 Rain 14th

The party debates a few options of how to deal with Falco and Jerrosh. They don’t really trust either one.

Falco is content to wait in the cave, and D’Jango doesn’t want to kill his mentor, who seemed to have his interests in mind. Falco’s Sending Stone continues to pulse with a faint green light, a reminder that there is limited time before his reinforcements arrive.

Vayol won’t leave without the relic, which Jerrosh (probably) has. Rif is irritated with Jerrosh for slowing down their return to Baleton where her father can receive care. They’ve repelled Jerrosh twice now, and they feel they would have an advantage on land, even without Falco’s help.

Eventually, they decide to confirm Falco’s story by asking Jerrosh about the item his kobolds took. D’Jango suggests not revealing the item’s value, as the dragonborn may try to use that against them. Rif decides to pretend it has sentimental value to Falco and that he won’t come out of the cave without it.

When they emerge from the crevice, they see that Jerrosh has worn a spot on the sand by pacing. He also has some friends of his own: three winged kobolds perching on the huge rocks jutting out of the sand. He demands to know what took so long and why they haven’t brought “the one who shamed [him]” out of the crevice.

Rif sticks to the script, and Jerrosh suspects nothing. He’s had the relic—a humanoid jawbone—hanging by a strap on his belt as a sort of trophy. He hands it to Vayol. It feels hot to the touch and has symbols carved into it—something to investigate later. Jerrosh grows more impatient. “Lead that dog out here with his bone, and I’ll have my revenge.”

As the group heads back into the cave, Vayol is the first to notice some unusual signs. The sand is dry, but it gives under his foot as if it’s wet. The stone wall deforms under his hand and is then solid. These effects become more pronounced and noticeable to everyone in the party as they move deeper into the cave. They see a green pulsing light ahead of them where Falco is, now bright enough to fill the space and overcome the light of Falco’s small campfire. Vayol suspects that Falco’s reinforcements will arrive imminently. Rif feels her stomach lurch, as often accompanies her Wild Magic Surge, only this is continuous.

They retreat from the cave. As they near the exit, they hear Jerrosh cursing after his kobolds, calling them cowards. The unusual effects are present and obvious outside the cave also. As the party emerges, Jerrosh notices they still don’t have Falco with them. His rage is singularly focused on them. He has been abandoned by his followers, shamed by a halfling he can’t reach, and is in the middle of some kind of chaotic effect he doesn’t understand. He attacks, catching the whole party in a poison cloud he coughs up.

Jerrosh fights with reckless abandon. He lands a few hits and mostly ignores the physical attacks of the party. As fight goes on, eyes and mouths and eyes within mouths and mouths within mouths appear on rock faces and sand. Two gibbering mouthers emerge from the earth. They attack everyone indiscriminately.

Rif falls back and casts a spell. Her Wild Magic triggers, causing her hair to fall out. (Don’t worry, Megan. It will grow back in 24 hours.)

Jerrosh crits Vayol, dropping him, and drops Rif with his next attack. D’Jango casts dissonant whispers on Jerrosh, causing him to flee toward one of the mouthers. It lashes out at his leg, and he goes down. It immediately begins devouring the dragonborn, merging his flesh with its own, popping off his equipment from the inside, like a banana being squeezed out of its peel.

The other mouther attacks an unconscious Vayol, putting him on death’s doorstep. D’Jango administers a healing potion to Vayol and pulls him to his feet.

At this point, Falco emerges from the crevice and the mouther stops attacking. He extends a hand toward it, and it pets itself against him like an affectionate cat. (The mouther consuming Jerrosh continues doing so.) Falco instructs the mouther to take the knowledge it came for, and it eyes Vayol. Falco tells Vayol to let it touch the relic and they can be on their way.

Vayol, not about to risk parting with the relic he just recovered, casts sanctuary on himself, retreats with D’Jango, then casts healing word on Rif to get her on her feet.

C-c-c-c-cliffhanger!

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