Lorn Song of the Bachelor AP - Part II
A short session, and missing Wit. The party wakes up in the bunkhouse and splits up to conduct their own business. Mold breaks bread with a prospector, a lean mage from the mainland with a civet for her familiar, wilting in the heat. They speak of the crocodile cult - the prospector tells Mold that the locals would consider such a thing to be blasphemous, if it exists. Eve goes into town and meets Bavu wa Bavu, a weaver fresh from the ecstatic throes of creation. The two have tea and Bavu probes Eve about her experience as an adventurer and killer. Then Bavu offers a proposition: she wants to kill Sati wa Sati, who murdered her father with the evil eye. If Eve will accomplish Bavu’s revenge, Bavu will reward her with the just-finished magic tapestry. Eve doesn’t believe the evil eye story and says she’ll think about the deal. Strawberry strikes up a conversation with a woodworm infesting the sodden timber of the bunkhouse. He is a simple, pious worm. The structure is his world, but it offends his god, so he must hollow it out. When it collapses, a better and more just structure will arise in its place. Some sages claim other structures exist, but he does not believe it. Strawberry offers to take any free-thinkers among the woodworms off to see the wider world. The party meets up and decides to go to the old ruin. Unfortunately they have no idea where it is. Asking around in a bad part of town, they see a group of thugs cornering a fat hunter, demanding the location of a secret grove. Eve impulsively shoots one of the thugs with an arrow and battle is joined. The thugs seem about to be routed when Strawberry casts confusion, which unfortunately makes them dig in for a longer fight (thanks, Black Hack!). With the help of the hunter, Bab si Bab, the thugs are finally driven off. A grateful Bab is happy to point the way to the old ruin - though he is cagier about the grove. Getting a boat seems like a lot of work, so the party walks along the river instead. It’s a day’s journey. The random encounter table decrees that the Bachelor stalks them lazily, almost playfully. First he pretends to be a sandbar and waits for them to walk over him - but Eve spots his breathing and they take another path. Then he waits under a floating corpse (with a catfish parasite). The party gets closer this time, but again decides not to investigate. Not one to let good food go to waste, the Bachelor drags down the corpse as they leave. Kingfishers follow the characters as they pass the pepper farms and arrive at the old ruin. By now it is dark outside. The characters make camp and sleep through a largely uneventful night (though a vine monkey does steal some trinkets). The old ruin at last! The party enters the Mouth through the archway, and Strawberry is excited to take a mysterious mask from the hands of the monkey statute. Venturing deeper they find a fork with four tunnels. They go left into what turns out to be a dead end. But here the random tables conspire to make a very challenging encounter. The tunnel has mossy walls and an antigravity hex that makes them float slowly down to the dead end. Lurking at the dead end are a clutch of three brown puddings, waiting to jump on any hapless prey drawn in by the hex. What ensues is an odd battle that nearly results in a TPK. The party clings to a 10’ pole which floats in the air and bounces back and forth as the leaping puddings impart force to it. Mold swings his hammer like a baseball bat against the incoming slimes, which divides them. Eve is ineffective with her dagger. Strawberry both causes problems and solves them. First she tries sleep which takes out some tiny slimes but also Eve. More effective is charm monster, which gets the larger ones to leave them alone. Burnt by acid and robbed of their dignity, the party finally manages to drag themselves out of the tunnel and back to the crossroads.