A Playtest Recap
On Tuesday (04/16/13) four adventurers were sent to Hot Springs Island on an expedition by the Martel Company. Their objective was to confirm or deny the rumor that four 50' tall statues made of gold could be found on the island.
This is their story.
- Threadgill - Fifth level human FIGHTER
- Rodelle - Fifth level half-giant/half-dwarven CLERIC of Challokbroth ancient elemental god of balance
- Dueggo Bronzesights - Fifth level dwarven RANGER
- Viril Wanderbrambles - Fifth level halfling WIZARD
Party assesses area. A large waterfall nearby becomes a giant cloud of steam instead of a lake or river beneath the falls. Two blue-green snakes appear to have been killed in a ritualistic manner near the falls. Party discovers ( without injury ) that the rocks where the waterfall touches down are super heated from below. Speculate magma.
Party heads north towards possible airship crash site. Comes across a 10'x10' tunnel that appears to have been carved into the volcano. Party enters. Discovers trip wire. Wizard marks ground beneath tripwire with an arcane mark so it can be more easily avoided if a hasty retreat is required. Tunnel opens into cavern. Dark. Uncomfortably warm. Smells bad. Party hears raspy breathing from the ceiling. Discovers a morbidly obease salamander clinging to ceiling above them. Salamander ( apparently frightened ) wants to know what they're doing here. Warrior uses jerky from his "never-ending bag of jerky" ( 5lbs per day ) to make the salamander feel more at ease. Party inquires about statues, reveal they were traveling with gnomes. Salamander calls himself "Fatty". Tells party he knows where statues are and will tell them their location if they provide him with beer, or gnomes to eat ( halfling wizard seems uncomfortable ). Party agrees, and takes Fatty with them to the crash site.
The crash site is not far from the cave. Fatty moves faster than party expects ( on all fours ). No gnomes to be found at crash site, but 3 barrels of Gnomish Pale Ale ( The G.P.A. ) survived the fall. Fatty drinks two, and begs for more jerky. Tells party to head north east around the volcano. When asked how far it is to the statues Fatty replies "From here *wheeze wheeze*, it's about *wheeze* three pounds." Further inquiry reveals that Fatty gauges all distance between places by the amount of weight he would lose were he to travel there.
Party follows Fatty's directions, and arrives at a plaza of polished black obsidian flagstones and four, 50' tall gold statues of a male efreet in different garb, just before sunset. Obsidian pedestals holding statues are engraved with the following "Svarku the warrior", "Svarku the poet", "Svarku the savior", "Svarku the wizard". Cleric attempts to climb the poet statue to steal its apparently magical quill. When he touches the statue, it appears to animate and ask "What are you doing bro?". Cleric is taken aback, removes his hand, and learns that none of the other members of the party saw the statue move, or heard it speak. Each member of the party then decides to touch a statue, and each sees the statue they touch move, and hears it speak. The voice identifies itself as "Svarku" and, though he does not threaten, he laughingly insults the dress, taste, style, and fitness levels of all party members, except the fighter. Svarku invites Threadgill to visit him in the volcano where he can get even better weapons and armor and become "even more swole and aesthetic". Svarku tells wizard he will teach him more powerful spells, but is more insulting about his diminutive ( "manlet" ) stature. Cleric decides to perform an augury and see if going to the volcano to see Svarku is a good idea.
The cleric's god, Challokbroth, ( perhaps because other "heathen" party members were referring to him as "chalk breath" and "chicken broth" ) indicates that going to the volcano may give them a way off the island, but it may also lead to their death. Ranger questions cleric's faith due to the vague answer. Party decides to head to the volcano, but do not make it, and camp instead. As they make camp, they encounter another adventurer who calls himself "Bryan" and claims to have been sent by the Martel Company too. He was not sent to seek the statues, rather, Martel Co. sent him to find a legendary "kujibird" as their feathers are said to be made of actual gold. The party made a watch rotation ( not fully trusting Bryan or the jungles ). The fighter fell asleep during his watch (3rd), but luckily, no attack came in the night.
In the morning, Bryan claimed to have a boat, and the party decided to go with Bryan and hunt the kujibird with the promise of a way off the island, instead of visiting Svarku. After traveling for a while, the party arrived in a part of the jungle where jets of flame would occasionally shoot up from the ground. They thought they were about to be attacked by a pack of 4 imps wielding large butterfly knives, but realized before they attacked that the imps were mortally wounded. The party asked one of the dying imps what had happened, and the imp decided to reveal that he and his friends were loyal to Svarku and reply that his group had been attacked by the Night Axe ogres. The party then bluffed and said they had been sent by Svarku to find this group, and help them fight the Night Axe too, and it was lucky they'd shown up. They cleric tried to heal them, but only managed to heal two. The two imps that lived called themselves "Combustarinos". One was named Paul, and the other Vick. Talk turned to the kujibird, but it was unclear if the combustarinos would help find one, even though the party claimed Svarku wanted one and that having one would ensure victory over the Night Axe 'cause of the bird's magical feathers.
The party traveled east and came across a spring. Three ogres, apparently meditating, surrounded a shackled human. When the human caught a glimpse of the party, he began to struggle against his bonds and make noise causing one of the ogres to hit him and say "Be still vile agent of Svarku!". Then there was a battle. An earth elemental was summoned by the cleric. A rope connected the shackled human to an ogre. The ogre got his forarm cut off, and the shackled human used the arm on a rope as a weapon until he could recover his gear. The ogres wielded obsidian axes with supreme accuracy and brutality. Bryan warned the party that both the ogres and combustarinos would likely call friends to assist in the battle, and that every time he'd seen these groups fight things would escalate to obscene levels. Six more combustarinos showed up shortly there after, and the party used that opportunity to flee east.
After several hours of traveling, the party reached a beach, then followed it 'till Bryan's ship could be seen in the far distance at which point they swam to it and got the hell off of Hot Springs Island.