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Unfathomable! Session 12

  Ye Dogs of Destiny fight the Cult of the Mindless God in they very heart of their subterranean Temple!

The Campaign: Operation Unfathomable! and Odious Uplands!, both by Jason Sholtis

The Ruleset: 5e

Ye Dogs of Destiny:

  • Brother Ded, a monk/political shit-stirrer. (absent)
  • Mort, a fugitive from Imperial justice.
  • Greta, a baby-eating hag-turned-Citizen Lich.  (absent)
  • Ulther, a ranger and artifact smuggler. 
  • Zinee, a wooly neanderthal druid/cosmetologist. 
  • Toljin, a magical boy raised by pirates. 
  • Doloth, an unwilling-Citizen Lich.

The Story So Far

Ye Dogs of Destiny have traveled into the Underworld in pursuit of the legendary Nul Rod. After days of searching, they have found the Temple of Nul.

This Session

Psaltir 17 (5th day in the Underworld), 4th Bell

There's a party atmosphere oustide the Temple of Nul! There are groups of alabaster-white humanoids mingling with grey-skinned humanoids. Decorative tents have been set up, there is the smell of cooking pastries, music is in the air, children are running around playing, and drinks are pressed into the hands of the PCs as they approach. 

One of the white humanoids gives a toast: "I, Solaroo of the Ivory Citadel and my brave company salute the wedding couple! Yoothandra of Castle Ziro, sharp as scimitar's edge! Fuloso of Cyrulea, unbending as chitin steel! May your enemies die in agony and wretchedness!" Everybody drink! To wretchedness! And then make a CON save!

The temple itself is carved in the shape of a headless humanoid, squatting on its haunches. Stairs rise up to its belly, where great double doors lead into the Temple proper. Ulfer, hanging back from the party, notices a figure wander out of the doors, only to be quickly escorted back in by a cult acolyte. Endolynn! A member of his Uncle Henrik's band of treasure-hunters! 

Ulfer signals his party members, who convene at the doors—even Zinee, who was having a fine time dancing with the wedding couple.

Inside, they each donate 6 gold pieces in stone coffers in order to proceed. The interior is clean, well-lit, and spartan. The Cult's headless soldiers, decapitantes, stand motionless at various posts, and a couple acolytes watch over things. Mort talks to an acolyte and tells him that they are here to meet with Mother Futility. No, he can't say what it is about. Yes, he understands she is very busy. They're willing to wait.

They find Endolynn and four other members of Henrik's band around a deep black pit: Nul's Abyss. Stare into the Abyss and it will pull the unwanted thoughts right out of you, leaving you relaxed and a little spacey. Henrik's crew have been doing nothing but staring into the Abyss for days or weeks, and most of them are basically catatonic. Endolynn is able to share a little information: Henrik was with them, but he achieved freedom from thought, and has been taken behind a door. Which door? Who knows? Does it matter? 

The party feels pretty sure that this means Henrik is about to be turned into a decapitante.

Toljin, a cleric who doesn't actually know which god is powering him, is intrigued by this talk of the Abyss and Emptiness and how it might relate to his recent revelation that the Void, too, must be celebrated. He stares right into Nul's Abyss. And feels great! All his guilt and uncertainty are gone! But he also senses that this is not the same as the Void that calls to him.

Ulfer notices that Benevolence, another of Henrik's crew, is still hanging on to Henrik's magical Battle Axe of Spell-Cleaving. He gently pries it from her hands. 

Mother Futility appears. She is not happy about being interrupted in her duties, and very skeptical about the party—until they show her Goddard's bundle of coded letters, addressed to her. She begins to skim them with intense interest. "Where is the pirate Goddard?" Dead. "Do you know the child mentioned in these letters?" We're not sure, what does it say? Toljin was mostly raised by Goddard... Wait, are you Toljin's mom?

Mother Futility responds to this suggestion with a withering stare and says that she must go read the letters throughly, and that the party can make itself at home, but should not leave the Temple until she returns.

The party hangs out for awhile, but their anxiety about what might be happening to Uncle Henrik is building. Should we bust in after Mother Futility? Start knocking doors down? Leave? The tension is broken when Mort picks up an acolyte and throws him into Nul's Abyss. 

The thrown acolyte disappears into the darkness, but Mort can hear it strike stone just thirty feet below. "I knew you guys were frauds!" he yells triumphantly.

Combat ensues: ye Dogs of Destiny versus decapitantes and acolytes. Things are going the Dogs' way, when a door at the back of the temple opens, and an ape steps out. A giant ape. A giant two-headed ape. A giant two-headed ape mummy carrying a six-foot long great club.

This combat took most of the evening. Mort and Doloth could not roll anything but 1's, but fortunately Zinee made up for it with a bouquet of 20's. They took down decapitantes, acolytes, and ape—but not before an alarm started blaring, alerting the entire Temple. They could hear the tromp of approaching feet above them and from behind the doors to the left. They started to run to some doors to the right, but at the last minute, veered towards the door the giant two-headed ape mummy had come out of. 

Surely they won't regret that, right?


I warned the players that this was so potentially dangerous that I had printed out emergency back-up characters for them to play when someone died. I really was worried about a TPK. Fortunately, this didn't make them any more circumspect, because, really, the most dangerous approach would be to safely get all the way into the depths of the Temple and then bring all its forces down on their heads at once. As it is, they've dealt with at least a portion of the Temple's defenses. If they can break the rest of the forces in two or three chunks without blowing through all their depletable resources early on, this could turn out alright.


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