Ninety-Nine Problems

Session 79: Scouts & Sharks
"We get to shimmy through the slime hole"

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The Dragon Punchers, led by Cloud, made their way along the route out of Tilesía and into the kelp forests. Along the way they passed the desolate remains of the sunken world outside the city. The decaying villages, strangely preserved forest and fields, and outposts, long since abandoned by the citizens of Tilesía, provided a strange, bleak glimpse into the past of the sunken continent. After some time the group noticed a large shark following nearby, as well as some movement deeper in the kelp.

Jinn’s investigation led him to a small detachment of deep sahuagin which had been tracking the Dragon Punchers for some time. Curious as to what they may be carrying, the rogue began the delicate process of rifling through their bags. Unfortunately, his attempts were discovered and the sahuagin engaged. In the heat of battle Chari accidentally hit and killed Cloud with a tidal wave. Thankfully, Bart’s quick response afforded the young scout with a second lease on life.

In time, Cloud brought the Dragon Punchers to a series of underwater pools at the base of a large rock formation. Not wishing to put the Tilesían in any more danger, they thanked him for his service and parted ways. Jinn scouted the largest pool and discovered a passageway into a series of small caves. Within, he heard the sounds of whips and muffled voices.

While the rest of the party prepared to explore the caves Jinn and Chari snuck ahead to find the source of the noise. Inside they found a cluster of kua-toa worshiping a strange, whispering statue. Unfortunately, the pair were discovered and found themselves face-to-maw with a group of agitated piscine individuals.

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Session 78: Disappointment & Diving
"This place kind of bums me out"

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It was Chari, a few days after encountering the undead leviathan, that first spotted the pod of mermaids frolicking below the ship. The enormous creatures were friendly enough, though none of the party were able to understand them. The skyship followed for a time until breaking off to find Zaahir Mara’hid and her Wave Riders.

The location was deserted. Icebergs floated idly where a fleet should have been. Sensing trouble, Bart flew down to investigate. With a word, he dispelled the illusion covering the wreckage of the Wave Riders. The Dragon Punchers picked through the broken ships searching for survivors, but found none. They would need to go beneath the waves to find more information.

They bid farewell to Tabitha, leaving her with the crew of The Hornet, and dove in. Deep below the waves they began to encounter the remains of buildings, turning eventually to villages, inhabited by strange, vaguely piscine humanoids. Nestled in the center of an enormous crater, the domed city Tilesía not only existed, but continued to thrive. The natives seemed on edge, but allowed the Dragon Punchers to meet with Sun, one of their city leaders and a mage of the Rippling Eye.

Sun took in their concerns and offered assistance in exchange for knowledge to benefit the city. As Jinn related the extensive history of his family and nation, something finally clicked. On a hunch, he drove a dagger firmly into the woman’s throat, forcing her to reveal her true form. In the aftermath the group was able to enlist the help of a Tilesían scout, Cloud, to lead them to where the cult was likely operating.

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Session 72: Shadows & Siblings
"You sound way less dumb than the sword"

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Dean Sunan and Professor Poplarlachs met the Dragon Punchers upon arrival at Iriswood University. They hurriedly ushered Micah to a secure room at the top of the Divination town. With Soma’s help they summoned Calla back to the material plane. Wherever the fey had been with Cordyceps, it had taken a grievous toll.

Rushing into the tower, Poplarlachs finished preparations and asked who would be sent to retrieve Micah’s soul. Without hesitation—or consultation—Chari volunteered and grabbed the sword. She instantly fell unconscious as her own soul was ripped from her body. The monk found herself in a horrifying landscape of claustrophobic warrens. At first, Micah thought his rescue was yet another hallucination. When Cordyceps’s form arrived and attacked, however, be began to believe otherwise.

Meanwhile, on the other side, Bart, Wilf, and Jinn were forced to fend off wave after wave of shadow efts to protect their friends’ bodies. Adva and Poplarlachs struggled to maintain the protective barrier around the party. Spiderweb cracks appeared throughout the sword as Chari, in the form of a golden dragon, landed the final blow in Cordyceps’s realm. In a final act of defiance, Sir Bartleby shattered the sword before the entity could claw its way into to reality.

It was an emotional reunion for the Dragon Punchers as they updated their friend on (most of) what he’d missed. For the first time in a long time, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. They would finally be able to rest over the next few days. Micah was back.

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Session 71: Birthdays & Briefs
"I'll treat them with all the respect and care that Bart does"

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In the morning Chari awoke to find Aethelynd gone. Drawn to a ruckus at the docks, she found the dragon in a new form, swimming in the harbor. Assuring the guards that all was well, the monk brought the dragon back to the palace to reconvene with the rest of the party. Before heading to Jarrow, Bart and Mani needed to check in with Sir Jarek in Calicia.

The leader of the Order of the Chalice was surprised to see Bart return so soon, moreso when the paladin produced the Cup of Faith. Shaken by this development, he alerted Bart both of the gravity of the situation, and of their sacred duty to celebrate its return. However, the Knight of Cups insisted that the festivities be put on hold until Micah had been delivered from Cordyceps.

Reunited, the party teleported to Jarrow. In the streets they were met by a young fan, illuminating the impact the heroes had made on the citizens. After checking in on the commissions made from General Irador‘s hide and bones the Dragon Punchers dropped in on the Wilmont-Burke estate. Although the ladies Anjah and Tabitha were currently in Glassfog celebrating the latter’s Nameday, Emerson was able to attend to the party. On the eve of rescuing their friend the group spent a quiet evening celebrating their own Namedays, which had slipped by in the whirlwind of the past year.

In the morning the group made a trip to Alderth hold to meet with Esper Sherman and retrieve Micah’s body. The guardswoman allowed them to claim their companion, but was unwilling to allow them to bring him to Iriswood University without an escort.

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Session 70: Trysts & Transformations
"No licking the most precious relic of my order"

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Bart’s magic had removed the curse upon the girl, releasing her true form. The Dragon Punchers watched in horror as she grew into a huge, raging, silver dragon. Unsure what to do, they attempted to defend themselves as the creature lashed out. As the initial effects wore off, the dragon’s faculties returned. It introduced itself as Aethelynd—the very same individual both Sakesu Windrider and Sir Adamar Erendriel had encountered. They gifted Bart with the Cup of Faith. With the artifact in hand, the Knight of Cups had fulfilled his duty.

Realizing that the end of the Oubliette had deposited them squarely at the center of the Caedos Shroud, Mani transported the group back to the palace in Mas’Uld. The group appreciated a hard-earned cleanup before tending to business.

Bart briefly met with the king to announce his success and to introduce Aethelynd. Afterwards, he and Mani discussed what the future held. The princess was hesitant to remain behind in Mas’Uld, but recognized that the Dragon Punchers had business elsewhere. She returned Bart’s Martyr’s Heart, telling him it would do her no good without him there.

With all distractions finally out of the way, Wilf was close to rescuing his brother. He summoned Calla to his chamber. The ranger was willing to strike a bargain with the fey for assistance with Cordyceps The promise of Wilf’s return to the Summer Court, sweetened by some personal dealings, allowed them to reach a satisfactory accord.

Taken with Aethelynd, Chari enlisted Wa’sim Marahid’s assistance in finding appropriate wooing attire. Clothed in one of Priya’s gowns, the monk went to visit the Dragon Puncher’s new companion. The two spent the evening eating and chatting into the wee hours of the morning.

While the rest of his party recuperated, JInn donned a disguise and headed into the streets of the Satin Village. Dressed as The Goldfinch, the rogue found his way to a meeting place of the Hollow Thorn. To protect his family, he sought to put out a hit on himself. To his dismay, the order was taken by his old acquaintance, Riss.

In the morning, they would travel to Jarrow to secure Micah for the cleansing ritual.

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Session 69: Bubbles & Banishment
"When you're done brooding I have so many high fives"

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Chari crawled deeper into the tunnels. A wrong turn in the labyrinthine warren led her to a close encounter with an enormous chain worm. Finding the monk was more trouble than she was worth, the insect scuttled away to search for easier prey. Pressing forward Chari discovered her small furry friend nestled away in the ribcage of another of the dungeon’s victims. Weak and emaciated, barely breathing and covered in open sores, she scooped up her pet . To her horror, his tiny body was now host to a clutch of boring beetles. Chari quickly made her way out to enlist Bart’s help.

Bartleby and Mani, avoiding discussing the finer points of future plans, were interrupted as the young monk emerged from the tunnels with Li’l Jinn. The paladin’s healing powers expelled the insects, allowing Chari to focus on the task at hand: freeing the girl trapped behind the prismatic wall. With Calla’s help the sphere was destroyed, allowing them access. The enormous statue at the end of the room animated at Chari’s attempts to deface it. Gravely injured, the group fell back with the young girl, leaving Jinn behind to face the colossus.

After felling the statuary the rogue scrambled up the wall to find a way out. Above, a gallery of scrying spheres revealed other, previously encountered portions of the oubliette. A large set of obsidian doors seemed to be the best means of escape. With considerable effort from Bart and Oliver, the doors were pulled open to reveal a stairwell leading up.

The girl followed, though she seemed scared and pained. Bart was unable to determine the cause of her malady, though it was clearly magical. Using his paladin abilities, the Knight of Cups attempted to remove what was ailing her. The girl immediately began screaming with pain and rage as her body began to transform and grow.

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Session 68: Poop & Prisms
"It's an onion book."

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In the morning the Dragon Punchers set out to explore the rest of the caverns. The stench of decay led them to an old nest and the decaying corpse of a long-dead purple worm. The party surmised that the creatures they encountered earlier were offspring of this behemoth. Jinn, not one to give up a golden opportunity, dug through the excrement to find an assortment of undigested gems.

Keeping herself occupied, Chari made her way further into the warren. A small den surrounded by golden hair suggested a particularly resourceful aurumvorax had established a symbiotic relationship with these creatures. Thinking Li’l Jinn might be inside, she dove in.

Not particularly keen on squeezing through the narrow tunnel, the group carried on their exploration. In the caverns Jinn inadvertently disturbed a chrysmal in its nest, but was able to parley with the small creature. The end result was a profitable exchange of destroyed crystal shards for precious gems.

At the furthest end of the cavern, behind a shimmering bubble of energy, stood an enormous statue of a fire primordial. Held in its hands, behind a smaller sphere of force, was a small girl looking frightened and confused. Unsure how to handle the conundrum in front of them, Wilf summoned a swarm of pixies for assistance. This proved a rather questionable decision, as they quickly disappeared to summon “someone who could help”: Calla.

The huldra was delighted to see the party again, though could not hide her mild disappointment at Chari’s noted absence. The remaining Dragon Punchers, however, made no efforts to hide their displeasure at this development.

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Session 67: Crystals & Casualties
"You're a little noodly in the arm region"

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Wilf pressed on while the rest of the party recuperated on shore. Ahead he discovered a bridge of stone and force spanning a rushing river at the bottom of a steep ravine. Jinn, being the more nimble of the group, tested the bridge first. Like so many elements of the Prismarc Oubliette, the way ahead was trapped. The group would need to move quickly and carefully to avoid falling as pieces of the expanse became insubstantial.

On the opposite side the Dragon Punchers, Ollie, and Mani faced a great stone door its lintel carved to represent a spell of madness. Sir Bartleby and Oliver watched as their companions, unable to resist the door’s compulsion, devolved into more and more erratic behavior. Fortunately, the effects were short-lived, though somewhat painful for Chari and Bart.

The group stepped forward into a cavernous chamber, the walls of which glittered with crystals of amethyst, tanzanite, and other gems. The ground, however, was carpeted with black silt and bone shards, indicating danger within. Avoiding the obvious stench of decay emanating from one of the hollows, the Dragon Punchers found themselves in a small grotto occupied by a strange pond. The water’s surface tension was abnormally high, allowing it to be “pulled” from the pool and manipulated.

Wilf cleared several clusters of particularly hardy mnemonic crystals to grant the group access to the deeper reaches of the cavern. Unfortunately, the resulting cacophony drew in a pair of purple worms that fell upon the party. An epic battle for survival ensued. Though the Dragon Punchers defeated the monstrous creatures it did not feel like a victory. Shaken by the encounter, the group retreated.


Items Acquired

Potions Magic Items Other Coin
Geode Antares Wizard Shackle (in jar)
Scroll of Power Word Stun
Scroll of Maddening Darkness
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Session 66: Deliverance & Drowning
"It was a funny joke about Bart's butt"

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Clever work allowed the party to disable the traps in the chamber Chari had discovered. While investigating solutions, the group uncovered an unexpected ally in the form of a miniature myconid they dubbed " Oliver ". The creature explained that they’d been cut off from their scouting group when the vegepygmies began to attack. Isolated from the colony, Oliver began to lose what simple faculties they may have had, going so far as to start their own small fungal colony.

Moving further in, the Dragon Punchers came across the remains of dozens of vegepygmies. The destruction of the fungal nymph had driven them to frenzy and ultimately destroy themselves. Behind a large statue they discovered a statue leading to an underground river. Tumbling over the rapids and beset by eel hounds, the group fumbled their way towards shore.

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Session 65: Myconids & Mold
"Wait....Micah.....Nid?"

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In the morning the Dragon Punchers set out to find the source of the Eaters. Creeping through to the upper floors of the Greenhouse they came upon an enormous razor fern that had abandoned its post. Bluffing their way past the plant, the crew gained entrance to a spiral staircase leading to a room overgrown with moss, ferns, and vines. Hidden within lay a chest of gems containing a deadly surprise. Jinn was rather concerned when an arrow sprouted from his chest—more so when it could not be pulled out.

After a painful emergency surgery the party continued on. The winding pollen-and-spore-filled depths led them to the origin of the Eaters’: a fungal nymph controlling the host of vegepygmies and mold wretches. Her destruction caused the remaining creatures to fall into a frenzied confusion, attacking friend and foe alike.

Before the group could recover, Chari decided to venture forth through a recently revealed passage. The young monk found herself in a chamber with an enormous statue of the efreet Prismarc. The sound of rushing water beckoned from further in. However, no more than a few steps out of the entry she heard the soft tell-tale “click” of a trap being triggered and vapors began to pour into the room.

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