The Wardens of the Eclipse

Chapter 4. On horror's head horrors accumulate

28 Flamerule, 1490 DR

The party binds their wounds and heads deeper into the Upperdark. Ignoring the voice in their head, taunting and threatening them, they follow trails down into cavernous paths. At a large crack in the earth, they are attacked by mutated Kuo Toa, their arms warped into fleshy wings and their feet curled into gnarled claws. Though the party fends them off easily, they begin to throw jars of rot grubs at the party. One of them hits Elara, and the small insects burrow deep into the flesh of her left arm. With no other choice, the party amputates it just above the elbow.

After bypassing the chasm, the Duskcloaks are ambushed by cloaked figures and small brains with limbs, later identified as Darklings and Intellect Devourers. After a hard battle, two of the attackers flee, and the party chases after them, where they find two heavy doors. Moving through, the party uncovers the lair of the mighty Aboleth, Yog-Koshath.

The frozen chamber pulses with aberrant power. Ashtar attempts to leap across a gap in the floor, but falls into the ice-cold water of the Aboleth’s subterranean lake. Splashing into the water, he feels the sudden warping of the Far Realm begin to mutate his body! His legs immediately fuse into a grotesque snake-like tail, becoming all but useless. He sinks beneath the waves. Elara also falls in, and feels the aberrant corruption shrivel up her remaining arm, making it completely ineffective.

Aedan leaps down toward the water, and massive wings spring from the back of the Breastplate of the Nightingale. Snatching Elara from the water, he then flies her back up onto dry land, as the wings fade as quickly as they’d appeared. Tonden summons his stone homunculus with the chisel given to him by Ta’Liza’s Father. Elara is placed within, taking control of its stone form. The party battles on furiously, but the minions of the Aboleth are overwhelming, and they find the tide swiftly turning against them. While Aedan and Tonden try to keep the party alive, Ashtar is attacked by the Aboleth directly, and tries twice to hurl his Dagger of Banishing at the monstrous fish, but both times narrowly misses. Succumbing to the effects of the water and his wounds, he passes out and begins to drown.

Tonden lifts the stone under Ashtar’s unconscious body, pulling him out of the water. One of the Darklings goes to recover the Dagger before the party can recover it and use it against the Aboleth. As Tonden runs to the treasure hoard and attempts to grab the Wyvern Claw, Aeden is swarmed by Grell, who knock him out and begin feasting on his flesh. Elara, seeing the dagger, runs for the Darkling and pulls it from its grasp. Tonden grabs the Wyvern Claw, as well as the potion that the Aboleth has been using to mutate the Kuo Toas. Elara takes the dagger in her homunculus’ stony fist, takes aim at the Aboleth, and throws the blade. Striking true, the dagger explodes into a portal and drags the beast back into the Far Realm, unable to return for half a century.

The minions of the Aboleth pass out at their sudden mental release. It is then that the party realizes that Ashtar, badly wounded, mutated, and diseased, has suffocated from the poisonous water in his lungs. He is dead.

As the party encourages him and Tonden begins trying to resuscitate Ashtar, Aeden attempts to plead with Amon Re to spare Ashtar’s life. After a tense moment, Ashtar returns to life, coughing up buckets of water. As Aeden breaths a prayer of thanks, he feels his connection to his goddess deaden slightly, and watches as his Holy Symbol, a Hooded Lantern, crumbles into a pile of rust and ash.

Aedan, Elara, and Ashtar are all still severely mutated and wounded. Quickly looting the chamber, the party rushes as fast as they can up the way they came and back to Immersea and Castle Redstone. GIving the potion they found to young Edmund, the boy transforms into a massive Wyvern before collapsing, unconscious, to the ground.

The party is taken to the city’s priestess of Selune, who with the money from the Merandus family backing her powers, heals all of the party’s ailments and wounds. Exhausted and bruised, the party retires for the night. Aeden and Ashtar sleep long and hard, their recoveries in hand. Tonden, relatively unharmed, relaxes in the sitting room. And Elara, her rest interrupted by Mander, watches as her Egg from Father hatches into a small black Wyvern, it’s shoulder emblazoned with an identical birthmark to her own.

Present: Aedan, Ashtar, Elara, Tonden.


jacobyaworski MrNathanY

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