Romance of the Jade Kingdom

The Shadow Rebellion Hideout, Part 2

Romance of the Jade Kingdom: Session 6

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We last left the PC’s in a part of the rebellion’s hideout previously unexplored for many years. They found a potion of water breathing and heard the sound of rushing water nearby. But first, they decide to explore the large chamber where they killed the ankheg. They find a small room which holds dozens of gelatinous pulsating eggs. It’s not long before they realize they’ve stumbled into the ankheg’s nest! After some discussion on whether they should burn the eggs or leave them alone, Yuriko, the party druid, sternly convinces the group to leave the eggs be.

The PC’s head back to the main cavern where they discover an underground pool and hear the sound of rushing water. They also spot a faint bluish glow in the pool, along the Eastern wall of the cavern, discerning that this is the direction that the current is heading. The three strongest swimmers, Helga, Taka, and Yuriko, agree to scout ahead. Remembering the potion, the group decides to split the potion of water breathing (by drinking the potion, the user gains 1 hour of Water Breathing), giving 1/6 or approximately 10 min. of water breathing to each member of the scouts (and keeping the rest for the other members if they need it). Before entering the pool, Fox casts Light on a rock, ties a rope to it, and gives it to Taka. Upon going into the water, the three PC’s are immediately attacked by rabid swarms of quippers, flesh eating fish with razor sharp teeth. Alas, Yuriko makes quick work of them by casting Fear from her wooden Ring of Animal Influence given to her by the elven druid Yin Shi Shang. The quippers scatter.

Yuriko, Helga, and Taka enter the underwater tunnel where the water rushes them through to the other end. They exit into an old part of the cavern where they find a rocky island, and on the island, a weirdly twisted column made from a stalagmite and stalactite merged as one, and connecting floor to ceiling. Encircling the column are etched runes which glow an azure blue and pulse with ancient primordial magic. The first three heroes are unable to discern the meaning of the runes. They do, however, find another underwater tunnel which leads further into the cave.

Through the next tunnel, they make their way deeper into the ancient part of the cave. They step out from the water into an entrance room with walls covered with the same yellow fungi as in previous parts of the cavern. They tie their long rope, now a couple hundred feet, to a stalagmite. Walking towards the entrance way, Yuriko unknowingly springs a trap, and a spring door opens beneath her feet! The trap door snaps shut and Yuriko finds herself in a pit filled with water, slowly filling to the top.

Meanwhile, after waiting longer than expected for their comrades, Randuil, Fox, and Jevin decide to follow suit, drinking the rest of the potion of water breathing. They make it to the first room with the magical column. Randuil is clearly fascinated by the azure runes, but is unable to discern their meaning. Before leaving, he cleverly copies a few lines of rune text onto some parchment. The second group continues, following the rope that the others left behind.

In the meantime, Helga and Taka attempt to get Yuriko out from the trap. Helga is able to discern where the trap doors open and jams a spear in between, using it as a lever to force the doors open. As she focuses at the task at hand, both of them are unaware of a slithering ochre jelly on the ceiling, drawn by the noise of Yuriko setting off the trap.

At the moment that the jelly strikes, Randuil, Fox, and Jevin emerge from the water, witnessing a surprise attack on their friends. Taka and Helga spring into action, going immediately from defense to offense, as the ochre jelly swings at Helga to no avail. Helga attacks with her mighty axe and connects, a powerful hit that cleaves the jelly in two. However, to her surprise, rather than killing the jelly, it multiplies into two separate creatures! But before anyone can react and without missing a beat, Randuil casts Scorching Ray to consume both oozes.

Having killed the ooze, the PC’s free Yuriko from the trap and move on. They enter a dark dank oddly shaped large room. A bubbling pool of water lies in the center. The pool itself is covered by a film of slime, what Yuriko believes is the breeding pool for the ochre ooze. At the far end of the room, in a dark corner, they also find a statue of an innocuous Shenyuen teenage girl, nude if not for strategically placed whorls of water along her body, holding an empty bowl. Taka says the statue depicts Matsu, Serpentess of the Sea, the goddess of the sea, identifiable by the sea serpent on her arm with its tail morphing into a wave.

With no other visible exits in the room, the heroes quickly realize that they need to put something in the statue’s empty bowl. They turn to the bubbling pool and burned off the layer of slime on the surface to find water beneath. Fox pours the water from the pool into the empty bowl and immediately the heroes hear a loud noise echo somewhere in the dungeon underground. The PC’s then dive into the pool and find another water tunnel. This time, the effects of the potion of water breathing have worn off, so the PC’s have to navigate the underwater tunnels the old-fashioned way – by holding their breath and braving the dark waters.

The tunnel leads them into the middle of a pool encompassing a cavernous room. Three other underwater tunnels lead out form this room, to the South, East, and West, in addition to the North where they came from. At the bottom of the room, they also spot another statue of Matsu, this time a woman in her prime of adulthood with her hands creating an open circle. They attempt to place gems in her hands, but nothing seems to happen. Keeping this statue in mind, they move on.

Finally, they make their way to the East, some nearly drowning as they hold their breath, and find themselves in a stone-cut room, as if they’ve been transported from the water-logged cavern to the basement of a castle of some sort. At the far end of the room is a pool hissing with steam and in a corner stands a statue…to be continued in Part 3!

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Reoryn

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