Serpent's Skull in Eberron

Draining Day

Sar, the 7th of Vult

In the early morning, Kreshton leads the group in exploring the stone structure. He leads them into a dank, water-filled room and they are attacked by thousands of leeches. After spending some time scraping them off, they venture to the other side of the building. They find a partially collapsed stairway and begin climbing it. Dadak’s companion, Kailia is attacked by a plant-creature and the whole group descends to fight it. Kreshton succumbs to the spores and is wracked by terrible coughing and gagging; his constitution is affected. The day is still early so the group decides to continue on, even though Kreshton is severely weakened. They continue up the stairs and find….

More monkey-men! Their foe begin to throw rocks and stones at the group and as the group rushes forward up the outside of the ziggurat, a large six-limbed ape joins the fray. Dadak trades blows with the beast as Pol and Kreshton rush to assist him. Kreshton and Pol fight against their mighty foe and with a spell from Dadak pummel the creature quickly. More monkey-men arrive to surround the group and Pol is critically injured. Suddenly, above them, they hear a sibilant hiss and a serpentfolk appears looking down at them. It shakes a wand at them and Kreshton, N’Ketchi, Dadak and Kailia are entangled. Clinging to the side of the ziggurat, Kreshton casts a spell and turns invisible, then continues to climb up onto the higher level. Pol runs around the outside of the structure trying to find a way to the higher level but only encounters two monkey-men trying to outflank the group. Dadak and N’Ketchi struggle to escape the web and are attacked by monkey-men coming down the stairs. The serpentfolk wizard creates a ball of flame that rolls down igniting the web on fire on its way towards a paralyzed Ja’Redd. Kreshton reaches the top and moves silently through the group of monkey-men and serpentfolk peering over the edge, intent on the battle below. Kreshton lines himself up and with a mighty push, bulrushes the serpentfolk wizard off the side of the ziggurat, leaving himself exposed to two monkey-men and their attacks. While Kreshton fends the monkey-men off, Dadak and N’Ketchi join together and Dadak causes a large gush of wind to carry them up to the higher level. The angry serpentfolk rushes up the stairs and casts a ray that makes Kreshton almost fall to his knees. Pol, having run all the way around the outside of the ziggurat, follows closely behind the serpentfolk.

Pol throws his mind-blade at the wizard as N’Ketchi casts a cure spell and revives Kreshton. Dadak calls out for this companion Kailia to join the battle. Warding himself from two monkey-men attacks, Kreshton reaches into his Handy Haversack and throws a Tanglefoot bag at the angry serpentfolk wizard. Unable to move, it casts a spell at N’Ketchi in an attempt to keep him out of the battle; N’Ketchi is suddenly overcome by a fit of laughing that passes in an instant. Pol once again summons his blade and throws it at the wizard. Both N’Ketchi and Dadak call lightning down on the wizard’s head but it protects itself with a spell. A severely wounded Kreshton continues to attack the last two monkey-men and pulls his wand out of his haversack to toss to N’Ketchi. Kailia rips the throat out of one of the monkey-men while Dadak changes tactics to fry the last. With his allies all dead, the serpentfolk wizard casts a mirror image spell and summons seven figments to protect himself. The group surrounds the serpent folk and pummels him until he tries to retreat from the battle. He is barred from the stairs by N’Ketchi sprouting wicked spikes and brambles. With a loud roar, Kailia jumps onto him and rides him over the edge to land upon him on the lower level. The serpentfolk wizard dies.

The group spends the rest of the day exploring the ziggurat and find that the serpent folk’s possessions include three of the four stones they need to make the Pillars of Light work. The Pillars of Light will show them the location of Saventh-Yhi. Kreshton speculates that they must be somewhere else and perhaps the monkey-men leader may possess them. Their lair is the only location in Tazion they have not searched. Several rooms of the ziggurat are themed to the various stars and elements of nature, including the sun and moon. They recover Ja’Redd’s burnt corpse with mixed emotions for the fellow, and there is nothing that they can do for him except go through his pockets looking for loose change.

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We are Finally Getting Somewhere
Sar, 7th of Vult

Since entering Tazion, things have been very surreal. This is a place that seems to be created for adventure since that is what we have had in bushels. From the monkey-like people we came across on our first day to elemental creatures to insects and leeches, it has been a constant flow from adventure to adventure.

I think we are finally getting close to figuring out how to get from here to Saventh-Yhi and our finding out what is happening there. We have discovered a map of sorts, it was more a mental picture of what we need to do to find the location of the City so now all we have to concern ourselves with is finding four gems to activate the Pillars of Light. More adventure I am sure.
That Saventh-Yhi harbors Idarthius is more certain for me now. On this quest we came through a complex of rooms that were waist deep in snakes. Also, it seems that Dadak is plagued by dreams of his father and a possessing evil that awaits us. I think that many questions will be answered (for good or ill) once we find the four gem stones and make it to Saventh-Yhi.

In the mean-time we need to keep ourselves alive. Poor Kreshton is in poor health after inhaling some spores exuded from a strange plant/fungus creature we ran into today. He is mobile but not as spry and hale as he normally is and that will be a huge disadvantage for us if he is under-the-weather for long. Perhaps Dadak or Nketche have some idea of remedy for him that is more herbal since their healing magic seems insufficient. Regardless, for now he will need to take it easy and not get himself into any situations that tax him until he is recovered.
Despite all the delays and hindrances we have faced I am getting hopeful and excited that we are nearing the conclusion of this journey. I have less doubt that we will be facing some aspect of evil and when we destroy it, the world will be made better for it.

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Just Not My Day
Race To Ruin

Sar, the 7th of Vult

(Wheeze) Except for not dying in my sleep, the day did not start off well at all. Pol has been stepping up to the front, doing a majority of the exploring of Tazion while I’ve usually kept to rear guard. Logically, rear guard is an important position in an adventuring party – a position that must be filled by a competent person. Looking back, (cough, cough) I’ve been rear guard more often than not; by my choice, really. I like to be aware of what is happening around me and avoiding any dangers sneaking up, but this keeps me away from the real excitement of exploring.

So, today, I decided to take a bit more of an active role and do some reconnoitering. I “reconnoitered” all us into a pool of ravenous leeches. Great! We entered the room through a door that I had discovered the day before; the day we fought those giant wasps. The stairs lead us down into a flooded room, full of dark, dank water that reached up to our thighs. The moment that Pol yelled out, “’Ware! Leeches!” I knew we were in trouble and I rushed out of the water at top speed, but not soon enough to avoid a large mass of leaches stuck to my legs. I would have felt more foolish had not Pol also been injured. (hack, hack!) I don’t know what Dadak was doing while Pol and I began to scrape leaches off of us. I could hear Dadak cast a spell or two, and he exited the room without a single leech, but he also needed N’Ketchi’s healing in the end. (coughing spasm)

That was that. We left the leech room behind and moved to the other side of the structure. Upset with my earlier attempt, I decided to look out into the jungle for more monkey men or a caravan from Eleder arriving while the rest of the group explored further. Suddenly, I heard Dadak’s companion, Kailia, screech loudly. I rushed into the room and saw her on top of a stairway with a large, “plant??”, creature attacking her. The creature looked like a large tulip with stalks growing out of it – something not unlike the purple fungus we encountered on Smuggler’s Shiv – surrounded by a light haze of floating spores. I rushed in to plunge my blade into its side as Pol and Dadak descended from the floor above via the staircase.

Battle was joined, and it was good! In just a short moment the unmoving shape of the plant creature lay on the floor. Unfortunately, (hack!) I was dealt two minor scrapes and must have inhaled some of those spores for I lay on the floor seeming to be hacking my lungs out of my body. Most of the coughing finally passed but each hacking spell seemed to sap the strength out of my body. I can stand now, but I have nowhere near the constitution that I once had. N’Ketchi says that there is nothing he can do about it until he gets new spells from Gozrah in the morning. Until then, I vow to stay an active member of the group, but stay farther in the back than is my want. I will keep Mischief’s Blade in its sheath and keep my axes and whip handy. (cough, cough, cough)

—From the log of Kreshton Rel’Astra

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Hey, Is Statue Or Me

Far, the 6th of Vult

After the battle with the queen bee, N’Ketchi does what healing he can. Most of the group is uninjured so they continue to explore the building. They enter into a room that Kreshton had previously glanced into. At the end of two stairways along the side of the rectangular room, is a lower section. On the wall of this section are four statues of great age. Kreshton moves in to examine them and his will is easily overcome by a suddenly floating statue that begins to attack him. Pol rushes in to protect the unmoving Kreshton and is also rendered immobile and staring into space by a second statue. The other two statues begin to float around the room as N’Ketchi calls down lightning upon them with no effect. Unaware of the lightning’s ineffectual damage, Dadak calls down lightning as well. Ja’Redd keeps one of the statues busy by allowing it to slam into him again and again. With a roar, at her master’s request, Kailia pounces on one of the statues. A short time later, Kreshton stirs and enters the fray, quickly followed by Pol. Together they smash the remaining statues to rubble. As soon as all four statues crumble, everyone’s sight is filled with the vision of four pillars and the knowledge of how to use them. Their use requires four different stones: moonstone, diamond, onyx, and amethyst.

The group decides to end the day and barricade the doors. One door is left open for a watchman to see into the rest of the building while the rest get what sleep they can so that when morning comes, spells and abilities are refreshed.

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A Fine Blade Indeed

Far, the 6th of Vult

Something has occurred in the last couple of days that was unexpected. I pulled my rapier, Mischief’s Blade, from its scabbard and was struck by its brightness. Something floated up from the depths of my mind telling me of the sudden change in the weapon. I see a new ability that was hiding within it, and is now available for my use.

The ability I now possess is an enhancement to my bardic skill of oration. I see that if I were to have my blade in hand and were to flash it about in a display of martial prowess it will add power to my words. My effectiveness in inspiring those around me will increase when I use it to punctuate my words.

I welcome this assistance as the foes we have begun to encounter in our trek through Xen’Drik have become more and more powerful. I am sure that Ileana\Ysidris has not been idle since we chased her from the temple on Smuggler’s Shiv. Most likely she wishes some revenge on us for that dead as strongly as I wish to revenge for the sinking and destruction of the brave ship Jenivere due to her machinations.

—from the log of Kreshton Rel’Astra

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Buzzy As Bees

Far, the 6th of Vult

The group climbs down off the ruined pyramid and rush into the jungle. They follow Tazion’s wall northward and find another stone building. Kreshton and Ja’Redd stealthily circle the structure while Pol gathers dried branches and leaves. As the rest of the group attempt to force open doors on the outside, Kreshton and Dadak enter through a large pillared opening. They attempt to open a door when I loud buzzing sound heralds the arrival of a huge wasp, quickly followed by a second. The party regroups and takes down the three large wasps and continue on deeper into the building, finally finding the hive.

Buzzing within the hive implies another wasp. Bored with waiting for the last wasp to exit, Kreshton explores the interior of the building, uncovering several rooms. He is drawn back to the hive when Dadak is suddenly attacked by the queen herself. She drags him to the top of the hive and despite his thrashing and wildshaping into a rat, Dadak gets pulled into the hive. Pol enters the lower entrance to find his way in, while Kreshton climbs the outside. Within the hive, the queen is met by Kreshton from above and Pol from below. A battle ensues and Pol dispatches the queen with his sword.

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Almost Lost A Friend

Far, the 6th of Vult

From around the corner the buzzing produced a large, man-sized monstrosity; a humongous wasp. Instinctively, I tossed by axe at it and moved back towards the center of the room. I was joined there by Dadak a moment later. I yelled for Pol and the rest to aid us as another shape appeared behind the first, buzzing just as loudly; it went straight for Dadak as I took on the first. Only my skill kept me from being stung, poor Dadak was stung at least once before help arrived. Our band stayed together as a third wasp appeared. It was only a matter of moments before the insects were twitching their last… breath?… on the ground. In moments we found the hive and Dadak took up a position to attack any last wasps that exited.

Damn! That thing was fast! That giant queen bee grasped Dadak before any alarm could be raised. Earlier, I had poked my head into the room containing the large wasp nest and seen its massive shape. The entrance to the room was blocked by Dadak, Pol, Dadak’s companion Kailia, and a summoned hippogryph, all preparing to take on whatever monstrosity exited from that grey shape.

There was little I could do while they stood there, so I explored about the inside of the ruins we were in. I found several dusty rooms, all with stairs to a lower chamber and some with statues along the walls. I was hesitant to go deeper into the ruins and risk not hearing any call for assistance, so all I did was to reconnoiter the area. There was no room that avoided the jungle’s touch, and one room I found only by peering through some massive vines and clearing them away with my axe.

That was when I heard the call.

I rushed into the room just in time to see Dadak being dragged into the upper reaches of the ceiling, on top of the great hive. The room thrummed with the beating of the queen’s wings and the yells from Dadak as he was being pulled away. I climbed upon the outside of the nest to try and grab a hold of Dadak as he wildshaped into a rat. Unfortunately, the queen kept a good hold on him, stinging him again and again. As I climbed the outside, Pol bravely entered the nest through the bottom opening.

Once I reached the top of the hive, Dadak had been already dragged into another opening on the top. I dove in, lighting my watchlamp so I could see within the shrouded interior. The queen had Dadak in a large hexagonal chamber, grappling him to the ground when I entered the cramped quarters; a moment later, Pol entered from another direction. My light and the light of Pol’s glowing swords jumped about as we fell onto the queen bee. My fighting style is more flips, tumbles, and swift movements to confuse my foes so the tight quarters limited my actions and I was less effective against the queen. Fortunately, Pol, and Dadak back to his real shape, were able to thrash her. The battle was held in a balance for a while.

I am glad Dadak was able to survive this encounter with the monstrous wasp. It was a close thing.

—from the log of Kreshton Rel’Astra


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A Curse, A Warning
Dadak's Tales
A Curse, A Warning
For audio version click here





Hack.. Smash.. Smash. Smmaaassshhhhh!!

Ahhh yes, this feels goood!. Hacking that vile winged wasp to pieces. Yeeesss, it is good to destroy abominations such as these. Even Pol stays behind until this abomination becomes a rotting wasted corpse, no longer a threat to natural……

“Pol….” Dadak’s fury is curiously spent, and he seems to be wavering as if in a light breeze.

“Pol…. Something is wrong…. with…”

Dadak’s face becomes expressionless and his eyes seem to dilate, unfocus, darken, and finally look far away.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The world begins to darken and slowly Pol fades from my sight. I become tired and weak and I don’t feel myself. I don’t feel… myself. I don’t feel… myself. I don’t feel… anything.

Slowly the world lightens again, but it is not lit… It is unlit. It is a world of shadow. Light is vague, bright, stabbing, a painful intrusion. Red-eyed demonic shadows flit about, grasping at my ankles, legs, body, and arms with sharp malicious claws. This world is evil, I feel it flowing all around me, coursing through my veins, beating in my heart. This world is evil, and it slowly permeates throughout my body and mind. I feel it beginning to take control. Though I fight with all my will, I sense it gradually becoming my master. And finally, it does.

Darkest of all in this world is the dagger of malice in my right hand. This is the one which slew my father. It is the blackest black, and malevolent evil emanates from it. I belong to it and know it has become my master.

Before me stands Pol, surrounded by a halo of bright light, goodness incarnate. He sees the danger and summons a weapon of luminous justice. A tower of iron will, a knight of purity and good stand before me. I have no control. Furiously I fight against myself as I lift my dagger and bring it to him. My arm is strong, it is deadly, and it wields an evil of purest blackness and malice. Brave Pol falls before it.

Kreshton responds to the noise and falls as well. I revolt at the joy that surges through my body as his warm blood pours down my arm. The blade inhales his lifeforce too, but is not sated just yet. N’Ketchi runs, but not far; and Ja’Redd’s look of surprise only seems to amuse it.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


The shadows flit around in a frenzy. They know what is about to happen and they violently express their eagerness by swirling in a chaotic vortex. My arm finally lifts the dagger and makes a cutting motion in the air. Slowly a rip becomes to form. A scar in the air before me! Within it is pure and utter blackness. The dagger gleams darkness and continues slicing. Blackness shines from the gaping wound and evil radiates from it.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


A vortex of dark energy whooshes and swirls about the room. The rip is not discernible though it is the center of the darkness. Small vile shadows come from it and join the vortex already created. Finally, a dark omnipowerful evil begins to radiate as well. I feel my body smile, though I cry out in fear.

With insane evil my body laughs at me at length. Finally it gloats with a hiss, “Son, I am still waiting for you.”


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


“… me.” Dadak’s face contorts in fear as his eyes suddenly return. He slumps to his knees. Pol doesn’t know what just happened and wavers between concern and caution.

“Pol”, Dadak says. “I think they know we are coming… and I think we haven’t much time. Let me tell you what I saw with my waking eyes. Perhpas I am going mad.”


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I Need to Step Up My Game

Far, the 6th of Vult

Remarkable that it has only been a little over five months since we were all shipwrecked on Smuggler’s Shiv. We were just novices back then, just a group of inexperienced castaways hoping to survive. Then this Serpentfolk conspiracy was dropped on our laps. Ileana/notIleana or Yarzoth, or whatever her damn name is, seems hell bent on finding her way into Saventh-Yhi. What nefarious reasons she has, I’m still not completely sure of. But for what she did to us, especially what she did to the Jenevere and her crew, has gained her us as her enemies. It seems like she wants to bring her kind back into Eberron to reconquer it. Their time has passed, this is our time!

More and more, I’ve become impressed with my group’s martial prowess. Pol’s competence in battle has improved remarkably. His enemies have great reason to fear him. He is becoming a great force for his cause. Even Dadak, with that huge great axe of his, seems to be able to handle himself well in battle. I am confident that we will find his father somewhere ahead of us and free him from the chains that Dadak’s nightmares have shown him in. With the addition of N’Ketchi and his magics, we make a good team. Ja’Redd has kept himself apart from us too much to be included and I’m beginning to wonder his motives. Joffa did recruit him, and where Joffa has run off to, no one knows.

We took more time dealing with those snakes than I wanted to. Kailia, who has until now been such a boon to the group, has let us down some. There was no way she was entering that room with its multitudes of snakes, not to mention, that one large one. I guess if I was worried that I could be eaten whole, I would have hesitated myself. Dadak took some time trying to corral that thing, but in the end, blades are what mattered. A few axes, and Pol’s glowing blades, were enough to dispatch it. Now, I just need to convince everyone that the next temple we visit in Tazion is the one to the north; the one whose passage underground was blocked by rubble. Where else are we to go in our quest to find the Pillars of Light that Yarzoth was searching for? We’ll have explored all the ruins Dadak saw on his flight above Tazion a couple of days ago.

I am eager to come against some flesh and blood foes, and let me prowess with a blade shine. That water elemental was tough to fight with just a sword. The snakes were a threat but also a nuisance. Undead are no fun either; not to mention that they are undead and frightening in their own right! I’d even welcome some serpentman opponents, Yarzoth can’t be the only one about.

—From the log of Kreshton Rel’Astra

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Slip Sliding Away
Snakes.. why did it have to be snakes

Far, the 6th of Vult

After exploring all the tunnels underneath the city of Tazion, the group rests the rest of the day and prepares to climb up a shaft to a possible exit. Kreshton leads the way and discovers a small room filled with a mass of snakes, which leads into a larger chamber filled with even more snakes. Dadak determines that the snakes are harmless but warns other types may not be. Quickly the group discovers a single gigantic snake amongst the hissing horde. Dadak casts a spell to transform himself into a primal form of fire and moves forward to block the large snake from the rest of the party as they explore the building. The building has several windows that are obstructed by massive trees growing in the jungle. There are indeed several poisonous snakes but they are dealt with no problems. Pol finds a way to climb into a higher level, deftly avoiding the hazards around the opening to keep the large snake inside.

Pol and Ja’Redd explore the second level and find a way out into Tazion. Meanwhile, Dadak is successful in herding the large snake away from the party but they are in an impasse; Dadak’s companion, Kailia, does not want to enter the building because of her fear of snakes. Kreshton attempts to fascinate the snake with his bardic abilities but is unsuccessful. Kreshton, using the power of the Zenj Totem Tattoo, attempts to coax Kailia onto climbing onto his back so that he can take her out of there and is once again unsuccessful. A final attempt to fascinate Kailia to help her overcome her fear of the snake fails. Fed up, Kreshton begins to throw his axes at the large snake to kill it. The large snake takes advantage of the confusion of battle to slip away from the corner that Dadak held it in. Swiftly the snake slithers to the exit only to meet Pol and Ja’Redd who dispatch it easily.

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