Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chapter 2.11 - "Worms of the Wastes and the Stones of the Toad"

Part I Here, Part III Here.

The party spends a long, hot day trudging across the rust flake dunes, circumnavigating the relatively short yet miles-wide and deep canyon that stands between them and their goal.

By the time exhaustion sets in they look to be a half-days journey from the black toad-sphinx, and suggestions of unwholesome details become apparent. The next day the companions take stock of their dwindling water supply and beat the hoof to the toad-sphinx.

Hours later it stands a mile distant, the suggestions of wing-like organs, multiple eyes, and facial feelers become more distant among it's crumbling facade. As they continue their approach a man-height of length and foot-wide dun colored worm comes bursting from the rust ground next to the party, followed by four more of it's fellows. The heavy, club-like ends of the worms bludgeon at the party as they flee, and both Ferlix and Rodan are injured by the worm gauntlet.

At a brisk pace the party closes the distance to the toad-sphinx. The vague suggestions of a legion of arthropod and amphibian fossils mark the grey cliff-face below the companions as they cautiously approach the front of the sphinx, following the crumbling remnants of a trail of hexagonal ceramic tiles decorated with flies.

Standing before a large double door leading into the ancient basalt monument, Sleestakarus shows initiative and swings one of the bronze valves open, revealing a long dim hall and engulfing the party in a cloud of humid, fetid air. The lizardoid is refreshed by the moist air, as it is far more suited to its constitution than the dry desert climate.

The party cautiously, methodically, explore the interior, finding what seems to be an odd shrine of moderate size to toads and strange, sinister toad-idols. They find a sculpture of green metal depicting an open-mouthed toad, with a keyhole on its back and the gleam of precious metals inside its mouth.

Sleestakarus cautiously prods the inside of the toad's mouth with the butt of his trident and it snaps shut, severing the shaft-end.

Exploring further they find a large, presumably deep pit emitting the swampy, humid air and beyond it stands a massive toad idol, resembling the toad-sphinx itself, with four small mottled green-brown gems for eyes. Rodan and Sleestakarus cautiously proceed, hugging the wall and pensively avoiding the vicinity of the pit. Baron Rodan gives the lizardoid a boost up onto the plinth that supports the huge toad idol and Sleestakarus tries prying out one of the gem-eyes with the tines of his trident.

The gem flies out of its socket and lands clattering on the damp stone floor. Suddenly the party collectively holds their breath and gazes about anticipating something but nothing occurs. Without incident Sleestakarus pries out the next two gems, Rodan snatching them up when they land on the floor. However, when removing the final fourth gem it flies out with greater force and arches up tumbling before plunging into the sinister pit.

A faint plop is heard before the party panics and runs out of the toad-sphinx...


  1. I'm lovin this!

    ..ahem, you know...Xarnagan could add some to his Journal one of these days finally... he's been suffering from a beta-carrot-ene deficiency it seems...

    I think that pun just physically hurt me.

  2. Okay Wes, rake in your "free" xp!