The Cabin Sessions

Sessions Index

Game: Eye of Setal - Part One

Friday, October 13, 2000

[THAT explains the two deaths ahead!]


GM: Mark Thomas

2nd day of Daronesh, 1347 (Veka in Tunlot)

City of Ume

Various members of the group receive a message via a talking (obviously magical) sphere which says:

Come to the Inner Gate Tower when Yeotu rises.

The party arrives in dribs and drabs at the appointed time and meet with their old contact with the Legion, Migan Kesmin. She's not alone this time though -- she's accompanied by:

In her typical brusque style, Migan lays out the situation to the party. As the party knows, something is going on all along the edge of the Burning from Ume northward. Their last two adventures involved investigating threats to the local civilization and trade routes. Both ended in encounters with enemies that were both strong and well organized. She also mentions a few new things that some of the party wasn't aware of:

Migan indicates that the Prince, in consultation with the high mages of the Tower of the Four, have concluded that someone or something may be moving to find and revive Zulos, the ancient terror from the last age, or restore some portion of his power.

Obviously no one wants this, but the Prince is finding it difficult to gain support in Imperial circles. Outside Ume and parts of the Compact (the two Dwarves present are high officials in that government), his theory has met only with skepticism.

The Tower of the Four and the Prince are starting to gather a group of people who may be able to deal with this potentially devestating situation. Since he has no official support from the Empire, he is working with the Tower on a plan locate and recover Oslan, the sword used to slay Zulos 1300 plus years ago. [1]

The first part of the plan involves recovery of the Eye of Setal [2]. This artifact's last known location is within a ruined and abandoned (?) temple complex deep in the heart of the northern jungles. The second part of the plan involves recovering a fragment of the original shard used for forge Oslan from Kergan's tomb in the Compact, a task given to others.

Migan asks if the party is willing to take on the the recovery of the Eye. The Prince and the Tower have offered to outfit the party as needed, and granted them the right to claim all loot recovered save the Eye and any related materials. The Tower will provide transport to a location within the jungle near the ruined temple. From that point the party will travel northward, recover the Eye, then continue to the mouth of the river where they will be met by a trade ship (there is a small village trade outpost there). [3]

At this point Duras, the Dwarf with the gem in his forehead, describes a bit more history of Oslan and Kergan, and also reintroduces Thrag and Zmar, representatives of the Compact that have asked to accompany the party. Since the Dwarf and Gnome carried themselves well in the previous adventure (Mines of Kranar), the party was happy to have them along. Everyone finished their food and drink and departed, planning on spending the next day in preparation for their trip.

3rd day of Daronesh

The party spent this day preparing for their trip. They were limited to two pack animals, so they packed somewhat lighter than they would have liked. There was much discussion of logistics, food, and water. Fighters complained about the heat and heavy armor.

4th day of Daronesh

The party goes to the Tower of the Four and is sent through a magical portal to the heart of the jungle [4], where they met Zebulon and Pandol. Unfortunately the party also meets a large beetle-like creature that followed them through the portal. The creature attacks and quickly knocks Pandol (the mage at this end of the transport) out. The party responds to the threat in typical fashion and eliminates the creature just as Pandol is revived enough to close the portal behind it.

The party spends the rest of the night at Pandol's camp, which is situated near some ancient ruins -- apparently related to the main temple ruins the party is to find. There are some communications problems between various party members (language barriers), but everyone is soon discussing the next day's travel. Zebulon warns that the trip will be dangerous as most of the region the party will be travelling throug is no-man's land. On that note the party takes their rest.

5th day of Daronesh

The party departs early in the AM, travelling on the the sout/east side of the river, close enough to it to hear the flow, but far enough from it to avoid being seen. It's hot and humid and jungle-like. The party plans on travelling from about 8:30 AM til 12:30, breaking for two hours, then travelling on from 2:30 PM til 6:30 or so.

As dusk falls the party begins to set up camp. Thyme casts a Leomunds hut and Zeb and Zippy scout around the perimeter while the rest of the party unpacks the mules and prepares the campsite. There is a sudden scream from either Zippy or Zeb (hard to tell), and the chaos ensues. In short order most of the group is headed towards the screams, augmented by various spells and magics. Zmar is left holding the mules in the hut.

A few javelins are hurled at the party from the growing darkness, and Thrag manages to spot a group of four humanoid figures. Bo casts a hold person spell (with no apparent effect), while the warrior types (joined by Zippy and Zeb who seem to have recovered from their screaming fit) advance towards the supposed enemy. They are greeted by a magical wall of fog that quickly cuts off all vision. In the ensuing confusion Zippy manages to stab Thrag while Zeb spears one of the humanoids who surprises everyone by rising up into the treetops, leaving behind a trail of greenish icor.

Thrag flies up through the trees (courtesy of Thyme's spell) and sees a group of four figures making their way across the tree tops (magical means?). He starts to pursue, realizes that is dumb and returns to camp, along with everyone else.

6th day of Daronesh

The party travels onward, encountering masses of biting insects and flies (repelled by Nasir's magic), and some sort of border marker, featuring a serpent skull on top of a carved staff. The party camps on schedule, but has a difficult time sleeping due to a very noisy troop of monkeys in the treetops.

7th day of Daronesh

The party travels onward, pausing only to examine a very old and dead skeleton. A speak with dead spell does not work, so obviously it was long dead. Later in the day the party is forced to cross a fairly steep cliff, which they accomplish with fly and levitate spells. The rest of the day passes uneventfully.

8th day of Daronesh

During the day's travel Benik is surpised by a leopard that leaps onto his back from a tree limb above the path. After a brief clash the leopard is driven off, much worse for the wear and wet to boot.

9th day of Daronesh

Thyme is bitten by a poisonous snake, which is dealt with easily by Nasir's magic. Later in the day the party stumbles into a scattering of bones, nearly hidden by the jungle foliage. Just as Zeb is about to warn the group, a mass of lashing vines slithers down from the treetops and attacks.

Several of the vines grab party members and begin to drag them upward, but the rest of the group manages to hack and cut the victims free (including one of the party's mules). The party quickly vacates the area.

10th day of Daronesh

A quiet day of travel, but a noisy night. Monkeys in the trees prevent sleep until Nasir (flying thanks to Thyme) flies up and speaks with the apes, convincing them to leave.

11th day of Daronesh

The party is not surprised when they are ambushed by a group of humanoid creatures, possibly the same group as before. The fight begins with Zippy running away in fear and snakes appearing at Zeb's feet. As the party scatters to deal with their attackers, Fasheen looks up and notices a half-man/half-snake creature in the trees above. He unleashes one of his special arrow shots and inflicts major damage on the thing. Nasir attempts to negotiate with the creatures ahead while Zmar takes the more direct ice storm approach. Nasir's efforts are met with an entangle spell that snares Thyme, Nasir, and a mule. Nasir and Thyme spend some time getting free.

Meanwhile Fasheen manages to critical and kill the snake-thing in the tree, and Zippy recovers from his panic and begins heading back towards the party. The groups close and clash and there is much hacking of bits. For a moment it looks like the party is going to roll over the enemy, then Zippy returns just in time to have his most critical bit cut off [5]. In short order Thrag falls stunned with a blow to the head. Things begin to look bad for the group, but the hardcore fighters rally and start carving up the enemy. After a pitched battle the enemy breaks and runs, leaving several corpses behind.

After healing various party members, the group searches and surveys the corpses. They discover a few minor gems and about 300 coins, mostly normal gold and silver, but a handful (30 or so) odd coins with outer ring of gold and an inner disc of silver (no seam between the metals). Thrag and Zmar are impressed by the craftsmanship.

The group moves off to rest and recover in a safer locale, and the rest of the night passes quietly. Father Bo attempts to speak with one of the corpses using speak with dead but receives no useful information.

12th day of Daronesh

A quiet day save for an antelope slain by Thrag and Zeb for food.

13th day of Daronesh

Another river crossing to make, easily accomplished with levitate and fly. Other than that an uneventful day.

14th day of Daronesh

The party is charged by a group of water buffalo, and loses several hours recovering a mule that fled and crossing another river.

15th day of Daronesh

During the afternoon of the 15th, the party sees a large structure rising from the jungle ahead. They slowly close and see a huge 300' pyramid surmounted by a 100' statue of a dragon rising from the jungle. This is probably the place. In addition to the great pyramid there is a stone archway leading into a nearby hillside and a large rectangular building nearer the river. There are signs of life near the rectangular building (trails), but no movement. Zeb offers to fly a circuit around the clearing to see what he can see. As he gets closer he spots a few of the serpent creatures near the rectangular building. One drops into the canal that passes by the building and swims off (through the rotting corpses - ew) as Zeb watches. He also notes a whole series of carved metal plaques on the structure's walls and the pyramid.

The party establishes a watch on the clearing and sets up a base camp nearby. Someone notices that the dragon statue and the wall plaques all glow after sunset.

16th day of Daronesh

Thyme does an invisible flying recon of the arch in the hillside and discovers the doors have not been used in a looooong time. They are also magical and engraved with dragon head symbols. He moves over to the rectangular building. There are three altars on top of the structure, with signs of recent (bloody) use. The party returns to base and improves it, resting most of the day.

17th day of Daronesh

The party decides to investigate (attack) the rectangular structure. After securing the mules they make their way to the edge of the clearing. Thyme and Nasir fly across the open space and attempt various means of sealing the doors. The glowing plaques are apparently some sort of ward as they negate spells affecting the walls (but not wizard lock). The party then moves into the structure via the south door. They are almost immediately attacked by the serpent humanoids. The melee rapidly escalates into a massive fight, with spells and steel flying. Nasir is poisoned and several people run screaming in terror from the building. The party is shocked when spells start flying at them from the creatures! Thrag is bravely holding the front line while the rest of the party tries to regather its wits. Benik methodically chops up the opponents he faces, but the battle is turning against the party.

The party begins to fall back, but just as they do, one of the creatures casts wall of stone behind Benik, cutting him off from the group! He is in trouble, poisoned and fading fast when Thrag stoneshapes the wall and leaps through. Zmar (for some insane reason) elects to advance and provide better fire support for Thrag and Benik.

That's when the ice storms hit.

Alas Thrag and Zmar are slain by the icy blasts, and Benik is knocked unconcious. The group pulls the fallen from the far side of the wall and beats a fast retreat, pausing only long enough to get Benik back on his feet. Unfortunately Thrag's heirloom axe remained behind.

The party heads back to a sad and quiet camp, and buries their dead (dividing up their loot of course in typical party fashion). The rest of the night passes quietly as the survivors mourn the fallen.

18th day of Daronesh

Today the party elects to check out the stone arch in the hillside. After setting off one glyph of warding in the 'Corlis Way', the party uses a knock spell on the inner doors and advances into a room lined with axe wielding skeletal figures. As they enter a figure appears and looks at the (invisible) Zippy and says:

This is the last resting place of the followers of Setal. Those who disturb them risk the wrath of the Father of Dragons.

The group agrees to leave everything untouched but explore anyhow. They find several tombs within , each holding various corpses and remains. The last tomb contains a very finely preserved corpse with a gold crown, and a magical great axe. The party is tempted but resists the urge to take the gear.

The party completes their exploration and decides to try the west door of the rectangular building (cause another frontal assault is sure to work). Zippy in the lead hears spell casting and charges. He is almost immediately struck from behind by a serpent attacking from one of the pillars inside the structure. The rest of the group advances and Thyme rips a chain of magic missiles at the obvious spellcaster. Ooops, something stops them. Thyme says "Shit" [6]. The party quickly realizes they're going to get their butts kicked again as Fasheen sees more creatures coming from the other side and the double doors inside the main entrance begin to open. Unfortunately Zippy is pinned by his foe, and about this time a large number of party members are paralized by fear again.

All sorts of bad fighting happens while the party struggles to escape. Luckily Bo manages to hold several of the creatures, blocking the rest while Zeb slams the inner doors and holds them shut single-handedly as Thyme seals the right hand passage with a wall of ice.

The party pulls back, but as they do the wall of ice is dispelled and more fighting ensues. Eventually the party manages to flee into the woods and make their way to camp, licking their wounds.

19th day of Daronesh

The party decides to watch the building for a day to see what happens [7]. As they watch, several humans, obviously slaves, are led up to the altars on top of the structure and there sacrificed. At one point the party notices a small boy carrying an iron box. He seems to be in a daze, and he brings the box to the chief snake-head. The snake-head pulls forth what can only be the Eye of Setal.

The party acts quickly. Now that they have the creatures out in the open maybe they have a chance [8]. Fasheen and Bo rain arrows onto the building, focusing their fire on the fringes while Thyme lightning bolts the main snake-heads (killing the dazed boy with the box in the process). Zeb's flesh becomes scaley and hard as he approaches the temple, ready to fight.

General chaos ensues, with the party stomping snake-heads right and left. Thyme manages to catch both the mage snake-heads with a second lightning bolt (two points determine a line), and they both drop. There is much fighting and spell casting as other snake-heads enter the fray, including an ice storm that strikes Zippy, and Benik being turned into a snake. In a bold move Zippy manages to grab the box containing the Eye and, while blind, leap from the far end of the structure and hide in the undergrowth.

After a long fight the remaining snake-heads outside the structure are slain (or are they?) and the party loots the remains. They find many things (see list following), but beat a hasty retreat to avoid pursuit from other snake-heads that might be present.

The party heads back to camp and rests for a couple hours. After that they quickly pack up and start heading down river once again. Several party members cast pass without trace to hide their passage and those with woodcraft hide the trail further. The party travels for about 3 hours in this way.

20th day of Daronesh

The party continues to travel using pass without trace as much as they can. They make a solid day of travel down river. Whew! That evening Bo detects magic on the loot. There are several magic items present.

21st day of Daronesh

The party heads further down river, crossing one tributary (fly/levitate) and killing one buffalo (lightning).

22nd day of Daronesh

A quiet day of travel, but during the night some large flying creature attempts to land on the Leomund's hut. It doesn't appear to like bright light, and vanishes into the darkness.

23rd day of Daronesh

As the party begins looking for a camp site after an uneventful day of travel they hear noise in the nearby undergrowth. A humanoid creature shambles forth and moves to attack the nearest person. It appears to be a rotting corpse, so the party thinks "They're only zombies" when Zippy shouts "They're not undead!" Hmmm. That's not good. The clerics attempt to turn them anyhow with no effect, as several more of the creatures shamble forth.

The party forms a quasi-defensive perimeter and begins to fight. The first few creatures fall fairly quickly, but there are more of them, and they hit HARD. Several people take heavy damage and still more of the creatures creep from the growing darkness. They're all over the place!

The fighting grows desperate as each party member is faced with at least two of the nasty creatures, even the mule! One of the creatures claws at Nasir and nearly rips his throat out [9]! The mule falls with its guts laying on the ground, and still MORE of the creatures come from the darkness. The party struggles on fiercly falling into a smaller and smaller perimeter as the creature press forward, Zippy ran about supporting whoever needed aid, Thyme was missiling like a madman, and Benik truly earned his wall of steel nickname. The party fought valiantly and well, and in the end they prevailed. The last creature fell, and the party staggered to the remains of their gear, now covered in mule guts.

They rested briefly then gathered themselves and repacked their remaining mule. They moved on a ways and set up a camp off the trail.

The party sets up camp, and rests for the night, except for Bo, who sits off to one side, praying feverishly. The next morning Bo detects evil on the loot (see end notes). He also admits (remorsefully) that he had pocketed a jade bracelet from one of the corpses. He begs for the party's forgiveness, and they give it.

Bo claims he had some sort of divine inspiration during his vigil, and believes he can cure Nasir's throat wound with the Eye of Setal. The party agrees to let him try, and so he takes the Eye and casts a cure light wounds spell on Nasir while holding the Eye. There is a near-blinding flash of power as the magical energies arc from Bo to Nasir to the Eye, to Bo and back again to Nasir. When the party can see again, they find Nasir completely healed of all wounds, while Bo lies crumpled to the ground, Eye clutched in one hand. Nasir attempts to cure Bo but to no avail.

24th day of Daronesh

Father Bo remains inert and unconcious.

Thyme uses levitate to move Bo as the party continues their journey. The party camps the old fashioned way tonight, with tarps instead of a magical hut. In the distance they hear signal drums beating, but Zeb cannot make out what the signal is. Could be bad.

25th day of Daronesh

A day much like the previous, though Thyme catches sight of something off the trail. When the group investigates there is nothing there. Later that night, on the third watch, Thyme hears voices in the night, but can't make them out (even with magical aid). Zeb moves to investigate but finds nothing.

26th-28th day of Daronesh

The party continues their weary way down the river, the still unconcious Bo in tow. Nasir attempts to crush up goodberries in water to feed them to him, but to no avail.

Late in the evening on the 27th Bo wakes up, dizzy and weak.

Late in the day on the 28th the party begins to smell salt water, and shortly breaks free of the jungle, almost stumbling into the wall of a small village. After a few tense moments with the guards at the pallisade gate, a Vichar trader comes out and talks the guard into letting the party stay in the village, especially when the party mentions the Prince's name.

The party settles into the village greathall and makes themselves as comfortable as they can. Bo remains dizzy and weak, and cannot seem to focus on spellcasting.

Loot and Items

Items held by various folk temporarily:

Father Bo:


(*) This vial is sealed with a lead stopper covered in protective runes. There appears to be a figure moving inside. It is magic and detect evil reveals that it is EVIL.



Party loot:


[1] Oslan, Dark Bane in the common tongue, was forged from a shard of Somai the Lightgiver's sword by the Dwarven master smith Kergan. Shantu, First Knight of Trian and sister to Andros the Strong, used the sword during the Dark War and eventually slew Zulos by throwing the blade through his left eye. Since Zulos and all near him vanished when he fell, none know where Oslan now lies.

[2] Setal is a deity like being known as the Father of Dragons. Legend claims that he and Tunso, his spouse were the first Dragons. The Eye of Setal is supposed to enhance the wielders magical powers, but only at great cost.

[3] At this point Zippy freaks out when a previously unseen female figure leans forward from the shadows behind him and drops a map on the table. The map shows the general area of the River of Serpents and the supposed location of the ruins. It is obviously a very ancient (not to mention torn and bloody) artifact.

[4] Apparently the cool transport and visit to the depths of the Tower weren't worth the logkeepers time.

[5] Critical hit to the groin, gentials torn off.

[6] He really did too.

[7] Like they should have to start with dammit!

[8] Duh!

[9] Critical to throat, voice box ruined. Bad news for the group's only cure critical capable priest.