First session of spring! Twan missing, Varnag was played by Jaroen.
…we’ve left the group just after the fight with the large shadow horror in a cul-de sac, while everybody is resting a bit, Therai decide to check an hunch of his, and pulls the Shadow Sphere out of the bag, by concentrating his thought he can somehow “contact” the sphere and realizes that with that, he can somehow “manipulate” the shadow-material.
The shadow wall at the end of the corridor begins to bubble and a cavity appears!
By walking slowly forward, the group is able to “tunnel” into the shadow substance. After a bit, or what it seems to be days, they emerge from tunnel into a strange room.
It is completely composed by shadow material, but it is very solid, and all the details are a lot more defined than anything they saw before. The room is septagonal, in the exact center, a pedestal rises, that looks like it has been made to hold the sphere. Around it, 7 chairs are disposed facing the pedestal. Around the room there are various benches and tables, covered in equipment.
Some of the tools are gardening tools, and some plant remaining on the tables suggest that the tools were used to plant, transplant and tend some sort of plants. Rochus checks the plant they got in the crystal tower, and notices first of all that they got 12 of them, second, the plants are solid black, but it seems that they are real plant but covered in a thin layer of
shadow substance, like a second skin. The plants have a bulbous fruit, like a tomato or sort of. Looking at the remaining on the table it looks like the fruit was the interest of whoever was dwelling in that place.
On other tables are alchemist tools and devices and some more stuff that nobody can decipher. There are also books, unfortunately they are completely black.
Therai and Varnag inspect the pedestal and they reach the conclusion that this is not a bad shadow copy of a room, this is a real shadow room, and that explains why the room is so well defined. They are now in the real shadow Yaramuk, probably the sphere come from this place. A quick check of Therai, confirms that the sphere now “wants” to go to the pedestal.
After a bit of thinking, Therai has an insight on the matter: the fruit are like concentrated life force, consuming them will give back some energy, but will also destroy the precious fruits. Another option, is to concentrate on the sphere and “embrace” the darkness, this will let them regain some of their strength, but at the price of becoming permanently connected with the shadow.
They debate a lot about the pro and con of every option, somebody is not very happy about “going dark” but the alternative, pointed out by Therai, is probably death. So they decide to take a middle-approach. Since they don’t have a lot of fruit, they decide to consume 2 each, leaving 2 in reserve and regain some precious energy, then everybody will decide how much “shadow” they want to go with.
So everybody takes his own decision, so they place the sphere on the pedestal, where the sphere remain hovering on top of it, then everybody concentrate on the sphere, Cor basically goes for the shadow, and as a result, his skin is visibly grayish, but he regain
a lot of strength and also some more insight in how the shadow-world works. Everybody else decide to keep it low and is not that much affected.
[everyone got 1 healing surge back by turning 1 “shadow” token into a permanent one, except Cor that went all the way and got 7 permanent token but he got 7 healing surge back. each fruit provided hp for 1 healing surge, everyone got 2]
They notices that the ceiling has begun to “wriggle” in spots: the shadow guardian has found them!
Therai has managed to get enough insight into how that world works so he figures that the trick is to “force” the sphere to open a tunnel to a specific place. He does so and the group continue into the shadow tunnel.
After some time walking in the tunnel the group emerges at the outskirt of the inner citadel, in natural (even if very scarce) light! The same place where they entered the inner garden, they can clearly see the semi-destroyed gatehouse where they fought the golem,
Hardok comments that it feels like a lifetime ago.
They also notice a very dense darkness hovering above, with swirling tendrils reaching down in search…
So it’s a “run for it”, but as soon as they reach the Hardok-shaped hole in the wall, they notices something wrong… the destroyed golem is still there, but is not ‘destroyed’… part of it are now shadow-substance and it’s functional.
Another battle ensues, since the golem is right in front of the door and there isn’t much space, Cor decide to test his renewed strength and perform a nifty trick climbing the wall, walking over a ledge and jumping down trying to take the golem from behind, sadly, he only manages to get halfway through, so he doesn’t get a full back-stabbing position, but still manages to impress is companions. Re-destroyed the golem, the group exit the gatehouse and decide that it is better to dive into some building instead of running in the open. The searching tendrils are very close now…
They quickly enters the same building they moved through when they entered, one of which had a bunch of corpses, remaining of a previous adventuring party. However they adventuring party is now replaced by shadows copies of it, and they attack.
The battle is complicated by the sudden appearance of another big shadow-horror and some tentacles from the nearby walls… in the meantime Cor has discovered that he can “tune” into the shadows creatures and manages to even turn one of them into a shadow-copy of himself, that join the fights against the shadow horror (even if only for a short time before being squashed by a force-attack).
The horror is vanquished, but ceiling and walls are now entirely black: more shadow coming… Rushing out of the building, they see a bunch of tendrils or tentacles plunging into the building they just left. No time to lose!
[MILESTONE: 1 Action point / 800xp gained about 1000 to the next level]