Tl;dr: A gathering in Ruined Oak decided to go check out the GQE portal on a whim. This lead to them finding the Lost City of Zelmada and a betrayal for love.
Future Adventure Notes:
•The found city of Zelmada is northwest of the GQE portal.
•The GQE portal is currently surrounded by yuan-ti forces.
•A hostile, powerful, undead? spellcaster named Netsoashu is known to be occupying the found city of Zelmada
Session Title: Imp Romp Thirteen
Session DM : Neal
Session Date : 08 Aug 20:00 UTC
•”Trailblazer” Bardy (Bard 11/Cleric 1) with Sisyphus the Pegasus
•Daffodil (Wizard 9)
•”Scout” Eight (Monk 12/Wizard 2)
•”Leader” Faenoa (Fighter 10/Wizard 2)
•Griters Pebbles (Wizard 9)
•Zak (Barbarian 3/Fighter 10)
A recollection of my latest adveture
We were sitting around chatting at the Bitter Dwarf Inn, when curiosity seized the group about what the yuan-ti by the GQE portal are up to, so off we went. Our arrival was atypical for portal travel, (certainly this portal that I have been to several times now.) We passed through the portal and the moment we arrived we heard a noise above us and it became dark. (Poor Zak and Sisyphus could see nothing until we made some light.) The exits from the portal room were blocked by heavy filled bags.
We heard a female yuan-ti voice calling for us to give them our weapons and surrender or “they will fill it in!” (Fill the room in? it was not clear, but it was certainly a threat.) Eight and Zak let themselves be taken while the rest of us hid in a rope trick. (Sisyphus had to stay out but the yuan-ti ignored his presence.) We sat in the rope trick for a while. At some point the ceiling opened up above us again, (some contraption of the yuan-ti) before deciding it was time to make our exit.
Faenoa burst through the bags and started making noise and breathing fire everywhere in an attempt to make a distraction for us to escape unnoticed. Quickly we heard Zak yelling at Faenoa to knock it off, they were friendly. (The distraction did provide an oppurtunity to get an invisible Griters onto Sisyphus, Griters was avoiding the yuan-ti for some reason.) Faenoa, Daffodil and myself were escorted to the room where Zak and Eight were talking with a yuan-ti (that Zak apparently knew) named Moaztlu.
(I later learned some of the conversation between Zak and Moaztlu from Zak. Apparently they had taken control of the portal after chasing some rebels there and seeing them disappear. They had been unaware of the portal function until then. They had also started renovating the surrounding temple area and set up the blockade to trap the rebels upon their return.)
(During these moments I was contacted by Sisyphus who was telepathically linked to Griters, so my attention was split trying to keep Griters up to date through Sisyphus.) Moaztlu excitedly showed us some maps, and murals. (curiously one of the murals had the portal code written on it.) Moaztlu says they are images of an ancient tabaxi city (apparently lost now) named , showing its purported location. (Zak seemed to be following all of this)
Moaztlu then asked Zak if he remembered Netsuasha’s (Zak would later tell me that she was Moaztlu‘s childhood friend. A heretical writer and one time paramour) last words to him. After some thinking Zak said they were “Come find me in Zelmada and I (meaning her) will teach him (Moaztlu) to fear the darkness!” (Even before Zak explained all this to me I was expecting some sort of lovers feud by this phrase alone)
Moaztlu wanted us to go with him on his expedition to find the lost city, to protect him from Netsuasha. (this did seem odd to me at the time, I guess I was distracted here by Griters asking if I could get more information about the rebels Moaztlu had mentioned. As it turned out, it was two short statured individuals who had caused some destruction, but no one here had got a good look at them though. This seemed to satisfy Griters.)
We travelled with a contingent of yuan-ti forces, northwest over the next three days. (I tried to make friends with the yuan-ti, they seemed amused by my attempts, and while maybe a bit begrudgingly, they were nicer to us. Meanwhile Zak was trying to get the yuan-ti version of what happened to the tabaxi on the island, while Griters had apparently read some differing accounts.
In Moaztlu’s version, there are many tribes of tabaxi, of two different kinds. The yuan-ti do not know their origin or why they left. They tell of how the tabaxi betrayed the humans in the area, which caused an upset on this part of the island. There were wars and slaughter, which diminished the Lapendi tribes ancestor’s. At some unknown point of time after that, the tabaxi founded the city of Zelmada, where they worshipped a false god of deception.
In Griter’s version, the yuan-ti enslaved the Pazúrový teror tabaxi tribe,using them to slaughter the Lapendi’s ancestors until they were willing to agree to treaty that involves the sacrifice of maidens to the yuan-ti to this day. Then later one Parêzvanê nijadê, a leader of a different tribe, managed to break away from the yuan-ti enslavement, starting a period of building settlements. As time passed into “The Great Decline”, he gathered the remnants of his tribe and fled the island.
Eventually we got to a hilly area with an overgrown forest, almost hard to walk through (I was flying though, hah!) It was so hot and humid in the valleys, almost fetid. On the afternoon of the third day we came upon what at one time may have been a lake but was now a bog with unnatural areas. No trees anywhere in sight, and the ruins of a city far larger than anything currently on the island. The ruins were overgrown by vegetation. Moaztlu was rapturous.
As we approached the city, the sun started to be hazed out by the swamp gases. We crossed the lake portion by following a former road into the city. Near the outskirts was a peculiar large furrow in the ground, (as if a hand drawn through the dirt.) This furrow was perpendicular to the road, and clearly at one end a large object would have been. (as if a heavy stone had been hurled with great force.) The surrounding vegetation seemed to indicate this was recent, perhaps in the last year and that more recently, there were foot prints around the vacant object, indicating someone had removed it.
(The ever curious) Faenoa started looking around, finding some pieces of some odd, metallic wood. Before we could examine them she tripped on a putrefying tentacle. Zak connected the tentacle to the furrow and says it was a “Nautiloid ship” (I need to ask him what that is) that crashed here. As we were studying this, Eight and I became aware of shadows, seeming like panthers stalking and then circling around us.
Faenoa shouted to the shadows “what do you want from us?” to which a hoarse female voice responded with “giving blood keeping that faith” and that “Schtheraqpasstt” is the name of the one true god and she offered us salvation. In front of us appeared a shadowy yuan-ti female. Sadly, here we were betrayed by Moaztlu, who shouted that he had brought the offerings his love, then attacked Faenoa. (thankfully his soldiers we not in on the ruse and we also offerings or the outcome would most assuredly have been different.)
Netsoashu was a power spellcaster (with an unholy aura that damage all life around her) and had some monstrosities nearby. We fought for our lives and survived. As did Netsoashu who managed to dimension door away from us into the unknown parts of the city. (Moaztlu was slain). Not knowing which direction she fled, we opted to instead burn the the bodies of what remained from the monstrosities and the fallen yuan-ti and then leave the city to set camp outside its unnatural aura. We noticed as we left the city limits that the pyre was being pulled apart by something.
During the night we heard heavy wing beats, but are unable to locate a source. We trekked back to the portal, but bereft of our yuan-ti escorts (the surviving members had fled the city) we opted to avoid the portal and instead we walked along the road to end the journey several days later at Port Mirandia.