Monday, February 13, 2012

Sea Princes #22: Tumble Into Tamoachan

Be warned reader, this episode of the Sea Princes' ongoing adventures contains spoilers for the classic module C1: The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan. When last we followed the crew they stood among the tangled foliage overgrowing a massive city an central temple belonging to an ancient Olman society. Traveling with a pair of local guides, Captain Rennaud, the botanist Trebus and the female guard Scar, our protagonists are:

Victor Emmitt Hammond (rogue, got chewed out)
Araxo Tydan (rogue, got lamp out)
Cuahtehmoc aka "Cuahto" (ranger, got flattened out)
Brother Pickles "of the Jar" (cleric, got washed out)
and Henri Morgan (rogue, got gassed out)
 
The group had just began to spread out and look for the sage Lockard Meek when they mistook the still standing and unresponsive body of the Seeker ranger Fenley of Woodwych as an enemy. Once he was discovered to have numerous blowgun darts in his back they were ready, but not for the "oerthquake" that hit. The ground swallowed up half the party and the resulting slide of rock and earth sealed them in the chamber beneath their feet. The five protgonists got back up and took a head count. One guide was with them (which they named T'oken") but his partner was buried in the rubble still clutching a torch that stuck out for the survivors to take. The captain, Scar and Trebus were missing and as Araxo lit his own lamp they found themselves in a vault of seven alcoves and a single strong door with keyholes. The guide then noticed an eerie amber glow around the lamp and the smell of gas. He immediately related to Cuahto that the air down there was poisonous and they needed to escape in haste!
 
Splitting up, the crewmates searched the alcoves which held mini dioramas of scenes from everyday Olman life and religion. Nothing of importance was found and the scenes were left unmarred. The seventh alcove was actually a covered basin of water and in there one of the small idols carried a metal key that Henri then used to open the large door with success. Only five minutes passed and they could feel already their lungs hurting. Escaping the vault they moved on to an even larger room built of stone blocks yet covered in a slick layer of mud and dominiating the middle was a large boulder. Before they could get far inside a rather big crayfish waddled into view, began to flail its arms threateningly and strangest of all it spoke Olman! Stunned at first the party stood there and took the insults as Cuahto translated. Brother Pickles was already working on a recipe in his head. Having had enough of the belligerent crayfish he chased it down, slipping in the mud once then picked it up. That's when the creature screamed for Kalka-Kylla...
 
The boulder then moved and was revealed to be a giant crab of some sentience as well. Everyone began slip-slide-running for the west exit hall including Cuahto who stuffed the chattering crayfish into his dufflebag, dreaming not of food but a talking animal companion. Only Victor stayed behind to hold off the imposing crab guardian. Keeping his balance,Vic severed one of Kalka's many legs as it tried to get to the rest of the party. Vic then took a pincer strike himself but the battle soon grew in his favor as he slashed and darted under the large creature's lumbering attacks. Eventually the crab retreated back inside its shell in defeat. Heaving with exertion in the gassy air, he left the room to catch up to the others.
 
The group trudged on through more muddy, slimy, rubble filled corridors and rooms to look for a way out. Eventually the hall ended at a sturdy door flanked by a huge stone statue of an native holding a tray. What caught their attention was the sparkling obsidian eyes and the sword hilt that stuck out behind it. Cuahto climbed up on the tray for a better look and felt a rattle of stone. Everyone backed up. Cuahto fully stood on the tray and took out the weapon, exclaiming that it was an obsidian toothed maca like his own. Then the statue toppled over into the hall throwing Cuahto down and exposing the hidden hallway behind it. Cuahto had managed to leap free before he was crushed under the entire weight but in falling he inadvertantly squashed his captive crayfish. A loss for the ranger, a gain for Pickles.
 
Stooped and single file they all took the hidden passage and emeged in a wide rubble strewn hall that stretched off into darkness, yet in front of them was a short flight of steps down that was nearly filled with brackish water. After some discussion the party inexplicably split up to find a better way out. Araxo, Henri and T'oken went east down the dry corridor, while the strong swimmers Vic, Pickles and Cuahto chose to explore the submerged room down the steps. Araxo held his lamp aloft and proceeded down the long hall until their amber light faded, the farther they went the closer they came to the sound of dripping water, or perhaps singing?
 
Meanwhile, the swimming trio groped blindly into a small flooded room that had but a couple inches of airspace at its ceiling. Feeling and probing in the inky dark one of them found what seemed to be a swollen stuck wooden door. Bracing together they forced the portal open and in doing so, all the bottled-up water came rushing out in a torrential current that dragged the three around helplessly down a windy corridor and then spat them out into a deeper pool of water. Coming up for air the three looked discovered they were in a huge half-submerged, pillared chamber; dimly lit by silvery streaks on the ceiling and walls with one soft glow emanating from the distant eastern wall...
 
Araxo and Henri came upon a chamber containing water as well. A pool cut the crumbling room in half and at the other end was the only doorway out. Reclining on the edge of the pool however was a sight for sore sailor eyes, a beautiful golden haired goddess, nude save her seaweed shawl. She smiled and beckoned for them to come closer as she hummed her unearthly song...
 
Game notes: Wanting to not make a slog of this dungeoncrawl I chose the original convention version of C1 where gas fills the place and a way must be found out (the module even has a competitive scoring system for how efficiently differnt players escape). To that extent I edited a few locations to fit my own schedule. My rules for the gas is every 5 game minutes (all actions were tracked) the party makes a Fortitude DC12 roll or suffer 1d3 damage( 1 damage on a successful save). Scary enough for 4th level characters with rolled stats and hit-points.
 

5 comments:

Scott said...

Ah, AD&D art...a male teenage gamer's best friend back in the day.

mortellan said...

Hah! It's attention grabbing even today...

Valkaun_Dain said...

I'm not having any luck finding out what curse the macuahuitl has on it...

mortellan said...

It's not from the module I'll tell you that much...;)

Argon said...

Mort,

A game filled with my extended family (Gas). Another nice campaign update looking forward to the next installment.

Later

Argon