Abyss Modified-Session 32
Notes from the DM: Abyss Modified is a Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons campaign based on the Out of the Abyss prepublished adventure, so there might be spoilers if you are planning to play that campaign. It has home brew content mixed in to make it more unique and better facilitate fluctuating party numbers found when running a public game in a game store.
Off their last victory, the group decided to hit up the convenient temple that was in the ruins of a cloud giant city, and also happened to the closest. Thelrum the tortle abjuration wizard, Syre the yuan-ti whisper bard, Haskan the dragonborn zealot barbarian, Dinak the drow gloom stalker ranger, Godric the half elf bard warlock, Xanaphia the human wild mage, Orion the tiefling monk of the long death, and Drifting Cloud the tabaxi grave cleric of Anubis made their way towards the flying city. There was a quick craft check and the fabrication of a bone scythe on the way. Orion also borrowed some of Godric’s sovereign glue to attach a demon’s horn to his own broken horn stump, it worked well.
They noticed in the clouds a group of shapes headed the same way they were going and found themselves at a landing platform meant for surface folk visiting the could kingdom. The city was constructed for creatures that neared twenty-five feet in height, larger than rational buildings lined the oversized cobblestone streets, with doors over thirty feet tall and roofs nearing almost one hundred feet. A troll, a human with spectacles and scholars’ garb, and another armored human with a large sword stood on an ancient large flagstone with three gryphons milling about nearby. Thelrum went down and eavesdropped on the group while the rest of the party made their way down from their airship, leaving Ralph and Ixxon in command. It seemed the troll and the guy with the sword were the body guards of a strange individual named Professor Aldein Pulldiver.
The professor was running around and tasting soil samples while the others were on guard duty. The troll turned and pointed at Thelrum and stated “turtle” and the Professor claimed it was nonsense, because they were currently very high up in the sky and turtles lived on the ground. Thelrum said hi and the rest of the group caught up. Professor Pulldiver told them he was investigating the giant city, which was the third giant city he had been to on his daring adventures, looking for a magic item depicted on a scroll he procured and showed the party. The scroll showed a giant wielding a staff made of lighting that seemed to control the clouds and storms. He and his crew sought the staff to help combat the growing demon issues going on down below.
The party quickly assumed this guy was either a fake or crazy, watching him jump around and taking and tasting more soil samples, claiming he was looking for air soil. They agreed to travel with him as additional guards, figuring the Mystra temple they needed to find would most likely be where this weapon was as well. Professor Pulldiver introduced his associates of the Pulldiver Delvers, Thudds, the large troll gentleman that smashed its hands into the ground when he heard his namesake, and Anchor, the armored human with a great sword and was very quiet, mostly grunting at the party or nodding. Professor Pulldiver knew his quarry, the staff, should be in the treasury if it was anywhere on this floating city in the clouds. The party fell into a marching formation, now being eleven strong, and made their way towards the castle.
Drifting Cloud saw movement as they made their way across the city, a figure made of ice and stone was, of all things, repairing the damage to one of the buildings. When he brought attention to it the rest of the party did not see it, it had disappeared. Thelrum mentioned that many powerful mages had magical guardians to take care of basic tasks, the same way Ralph could now use unseen servant. Professor Pulldiver agreed and went into a tale about mages on the plane of water, and got distracted by a large ceramic pot outside a building, noting the fabulous carvings across the surface. The party gave each other side glances.
Professor Pulldiver screeched loudly and ran towards a building labeled, as both Thelrum and Godric had comprehend languages rocking, Smithy. Thudds charged the door, knocking it open large enough for the party to enter. Anchor stayed outside to guard and Syre opted to stay by and observe him, not trusting him alone. The rest of the group explored the ancient forge, finding a bandoleer of potions of resistance to fire, a giants tooth that turned out to be a luck stone, and a sentinel shield. Xanaphia did some additional searching and found a potion of cold resistance as well. Pulldiver told the group he had no need for these trinkets, but did look near the anvil and the furnace, finding some sky mithril, the group took some, it was somehow even lighter than normal mithril. They left the smithy and noticed a few more of the ice and stone elementals, which melded into the walls when they were noticed. The group also passed a golem creature watering a solitary tree, they said hi and it waved.
The group heard rustling from one of the nearby buildings and went to investigate. Haskan kicked the door open and revealed five demonic cambions stealing things from the house, more of a shed. The cambions were misshapen, a sign of the demonic powers flowing within them, and they attacked the party for interrupting them. Godric walked into the room and calmly sliced into one of the cambions, using eldritch smite, bard dervish dice, booming blade, and almost cut the poor guy in half. The cambion fell to the ground, went “Hey!” and blood shot out of his wound anime style. Syre attempted to intimidate the rest of the cambions pointing out the fallen warrior, two ran into the next room. Orion noticed one of them putting a giant skull into some kind of black fabric and launching into an attack, on the sly trying to collect more skulls. Haskan got hit with a spear, so he pulled it out and threw it back at the attacker, and then charged him. Dinak launched arrows into the necks of two of the cambions, Thelrum made great use of his dragon’s breath spell. Xanaphia used multiple chromatic orbs, seeing these creatures had numerous elemental resistances. Anchor attempted to strike the cambions but kept missing with almost theatrical and comedic proportions, Professor Pulldiver hid outside and kept telling the party that they were doing great, and Thudds had difficulty getting into the fray so he attempted to break down one of the walls. The cambions fell to the might of the party.
The group looked into the bodies and found they were dissipating into an orange muck, leaving behind their scale shirts and their spears. Orion looked at the strange bag the cambion had and found it was a portable hole with a strange potion and the giant skull. It turned out the potion was of storm giant strength and the skull had belonged to a cloud giant. Drifting Cloud used speak with dead to attempt to figure out what the giant knew. They had five questions, one of which they would allow the professor to ask. For their first question, they asked if the skull, when alive had seen where the item on the scroll was kept, and showed it the scroll with the staff depiction. The giant said it was under the castle. They asked if there were any traps in the castle, it answered no. Third they asked where the temple to Mystra was and it told them under the castle. They asked how they could gain control over the flying city and were told if they killed the guardians, they could command the city. Professor Pulldiver asked what the guardians were and was told dragons. With this information they made their way further into the city towards the castle.
On their way they found a library and excitedly made their way among the stacks, only to find everything was written on large cylindrical cones and flat tablets. Godric did find a story called “Among the Clouds” which chronicled the relationship between two cloud giant lovers from rival kingdoms but devolved into smut.
The party found the gates of the castle, claws of some enormous beast had carved into the stone terrible gashes. The party looked around and found fist sized white scales as well. they figured they were up against at least an adult white dragon. They noticed iced over chambers and the temperature started dropping, forcing a few to adopt their cold weather gear. The throne room is where they ran into trouble.
Two white dragons, one sized large and familiar, the other huge sized and less familiar stood on the far side of the frozen throne room, gold coins and a broken throne were trapped within the ice. The large dragon looked like the white dragon that rescued its sibling from the party a few weeks back, the huge one must have been either the mother or an older sibling. Dinak started the fray by shooting the huge dragon multiple times, then backing up. Drifting Cloud tried to get into a better position while Xanaphia blasted the large dragon with a chromatic orb, growing a feather beard again with her wild surge. Godric entered the fray by blasting the bigger one with eldritch blast and hex while approaching across the chamber and Haskan charged up as well starting his rage. Syre cast greater invisibility before cursing her party for not attempting to talk first and ran off to the western side of the room. The large dragon spewed frost at the party, only hitting a few of them within the cone and the huge sized dragon engaged Haskan, taking very big bites out of him. Orion ran up to the huge dragon, launching into a suite of attacks and attempting to stun it, forcing it to use a legendary resistance. Thudds and Anchor charged the dragons, Thudds heading to the large dragon and realizing he could not reach it. Anchor attacked the huge dragon and was able to take a big hit out of hit. Professor Pulldiver on the other hand hid behind a pillar. Thelrum blasted one of the dragons with arcane energy.
Dinak pulled further into the hallway, trying to fire into the melee without being noticed. In his distraction he did not notice what was affectionately called “Big Momma”. Bigg Momma engulfed DInak with a bite attack, almost halving him in the process. the party all turned and saw a gargantuan white dragon blocking the way they came, and filling that area with a wall of ice. Once the ancient white dragon showed up Professor Pulldiver knew it was time to leave, he dropped the guise of human and returned to his backwards handed Rakshasa form and called for Thudds and Anchor to run. Anchor removed his human guise as well, becoming an ogre mage, or oni. Thudds just ran. The Pulldiver’s Delvers made to retreat out the back exit of the chamber but Thelrum blocked the door with a wall of force, hoping to force them to help with the fight. The party focused their attacks on the two dragons that were already hurt, to get them out of the picture so they could deal with the new threat. Big Momma watched as the party killed her two children, right in front of her, so she blasted them with her breath attack, catching most of the group in the cone. Luckily Syre put of a circle of power, lessening the blow. Both Xanaphia and Orion fell to the frost breath, both now holding on with death saves. The rest of the group did not fare much better, with only Haskan making his saving throw. We ended the night there, and I am excited and terrified to see how this interaction resolves.
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