Eidolon of the Ape
Eidolon of the Ape
- In the month of Sparrow in the year of the Spider
- In the city-state of Jhaddar
- Sulili-Borsa, Shemite Bard
- Nuadeen, Fighter from the Black Kingdoms
- Lerdred, Kothian Men-at-Arms
- Turric, Turanian Thief
- Meroo, Shemite Fighter
- Akram, Turanian Explorer
- Mullora, Shemite Fighter
- Decimus, Nemedian Venturer
- Namuun, Kushite Men-at-Arms
- Meosus, Kothian Mage
- Killoc, Zamoran Fighter
- Jing Feng-Fu, Mage from Khitai
- Marag, Shemite Torchbearer
- Sahua, Mystic from Khitai
- Giuditta, Zingaran Assassin
- Caeso Sextilius Lactonius, Nemedian Knight
- Ra-Nefru, Stygian Tomb Raider
- Merwyn, Brythunian Fighter
- Sulili-Borsa, Shemite Bard
The party had plenty of downtime in Jhaddar. Jing Feng-Fu set up a laboratory, making potions for Decimus to sell. When selling the silver lotus, Sulili-Borsa got into trouble; his customer was one of the officers of the city and he was not corrupt. He got to court and only the bribes and the best lawyer money could buy that Decimus arranged got him off only with a public humiliation in the stocks. Decimus was more lucky as he sold all of the rest of the lotus for a good price to a group of blood-thirsty mystery cultists, and got out alive.
During their stay the party heard rumors about the temple of Simatala, an ape-god of the East. When they were invited by local lord Barsal-nuna to his palatial mansion to discuss the rescue of his favorite concubine Ereshkigal from the clutches of the cult, they knew what to expect. The promise of a hundred pounds of gold as a reward made sure that no one was hesitating even though Simatala was reputedly even more blood-thirsty than Gullah, the patron deity of Nuadeen. The party wisely used their advance to buy black clothes and tall boots as they planned to infiltrate the temple vie the city's extensive sewer system. They found Urur, a lisping leper from the collection of beggars that frequented the market's edges to guide them through the tunnels.
In the maze of the tunnels the killed a gigantic leech that menaced them and diplomatically passed a group of black clad criminals on the opposite ledge of the tunnel. Urur was left waiting at the pier while the party continued inside. The lower temple was nerve-wrackingly silent and lit by ghostly green flames of torches. There were signs of life, but no one seemed to be around. After Giuditta tripped a scorpion trap, but managed to roll out of the way. It looked like the traps were the only danger. As it proved to be when they found an alchemical laboratory. As an alchemist and wizard Jing Feng-Fu was fascinated by the place. When he could not make out the source of the bluish-green glow coming from inside a human skull on a pedestal he moved it to get a better look and activated the phosphorous pyrotechics that were set there as a trap. The whole room burst into bright glow as the smoking fragments of phosphor spread around. In the cataclysm Jing Feng-Fu, Lerdred, Namuun and Marag were all killed, Giuditta was blinded for life and Mullora's foot had to be amputated. Quick first aid applied by Decimus saved her and many others. The party carried their wounded and dying and retreated from the temple.
They swiftly organized a funeral, spending lavishly on the party, sacrifices to the gods, a mausoleum for Jing and Marag, and payments for priests to pray for Jing Feng-Fu's spirit so it would not rise to avenge. Akram was left to tend to Mullora and Sahua to the spirit of his compatriot from Khitai. Giuditta said no to alms and charity, refusing to join Sulili-Borsa's household as servat or Sahua's temple as a mendicant. She instead decided to move to the sewers to live with the beggars and outcasts in the eternal darkness. During the drunken funeral party the adventurers vowed revenge and were able to recruit reinforcements from the party-goers: Caeso, Ra-Nefru, Meosus, Turric, Meroo, Killoc and Merwyn. Late in the same night the went back to the temple looking for Ereshkigal and blood!
This time the group was not able to surprise the temple. Aware that something was going on, they had posted a hidden guard close to the entrance. While Sulili-Borsa stumbled into a devious pit trap and his rescue cost two good shields the guard shouted out an alarm. Hearing it the party sprung in, encountering and fighting acolytes of the temple. Without Sahua to keep things civilized things turned violent and gory. Some of the party was left back fighting a rear-guard action as other ran after the acolyte spreading the alarm. When the initial combat was over they barely had tim eto set up ambush with bows against the next wave of cultists coming in. Ra-Nefru proved to be an efficient fighter as she picked off three cultists, more than anyone else. When Meosus used the only real spell she knew to summon some berserk barbarians straight from Valhalla and sent them deeper into the temple that bought the party some well-needed time. This was when they heard someone yelling for help around the corner. The prisoners must have been near!
Leaving a few to guard their back the party continued on behind the barbarians, running into the last acolytes standing on this floor (some had ran upstairs chased by the berserkers). Behind them was also Ranuga, the Master Strangler! Striking out with his fighting staff he was knocking down barbarians, henchmen and Ra-Nefru in one blow. This meant that the rest of the henchmen refused to get closer and the more experienced heroes, Sulili-Borsa and Decimus had to put their life on the line. After a furious and close battle Decimus broke his sword on the side of the massive cultist, causing him to later die despite the best healers of the temple doing their best. With the miniboss down and sounds of armor and chanting coming from the upstairs, the party released the prisoners: Ereshkigal, Baqqanum the courtier and Etel-pi-sharnim the scribe. With the prisoners and their wounded the party left the temple.
Barsal-nuna proved to be an honorable man, and along with the rewards for rescuing the other prisoners, the party had struck gold. Finally a job that paid as well as advertised!