Thursday, March 4, 2021

House of Worms, Session 215

The bulk of the House of Worms clan and their companions found themselves in a strange, darkened space. It was premature to call it a room, as there was no indication of any walls, though the characters did somehow feel as if there were a ceiling above them, enclosing them within the area they now occupied. Dim blue illumination could be seen in a few places, some yards distant. In one such area, the blue light cast long shadows of a multi-legged thing moving about, but, try as they might, they were unable to see the source of the shadows. Znayáshu soon suggested that, wherever they were, the characters had been brought here on purpose. a possibility that worried him. He attempted to make use of several spells to gather information about his present locale but was unable to do so, perhaps because of unusual laws that governed it. 

Undaunted, he suggested moving forward in the direction of the shadows. He believed that their source was probably demons and, if so, they were intelligent and thus might know more about this strange place. He further theorized that perhaps they were the Weavers of the Gaps with whom they'd dealt amicably before. As he approached cautiously, followed by his clan mates and companions, the shadows receded, revealing a fairly ordinary looking door, which no one had seen previously. The door opened easily; beyond it was an impossibly bright light that briefly blinded all the characters. When their eyes became acclimated to the light, the characters found themselves on a landing set between multiple white staircases going up, down, and in other directions too – a dizzying sight that appeared to obey no clear pattern.

Rather than be deterred, Keléno and Znayáshu began to ponder the best way to proceed, with Keléno suggesting that they use charcoal to mark their path, lest they become lost. Just as he was about to make use of it, he heard a voice from a landing above say, "I wouldn't do that if I were you." He looked up to see a handsome, youthful man with a calm expression standing on a platform above. He was dressed in old fashioned attire at once familiar and yet odd, vaguely reminiscent of the kinds of garb one might see on a statue of a Bednallján nobleman. "Why not?" Keléno replied. The youth smiled, "Too many people have come through here trusting in their tools rather than their senses. Tools can betray; trust only your senses." More boldly, Znayáshu asked, "Who are you?" The youth said his name was Vyér and declared himself "guide of the white staircase." This meant nothing to anyone present.

Over the course of the next few minutes – though it could have been longer – the characters queried Vyér on all manner of subjects. In most cases, he was evasive and smile and laughed throughout their exchanges. Eventually, the subject of leaving this place and rejoining their companions was broached, to which Vyér replied, "Oh, no. I don't think it'd be wise to send you back to them. You do realize you were brought here on purpose? Brought by the Blue Lord?" This raised some concern, as it suggested that the god Ksárul himself had some hand in their being separated from their comrades. When asked why Ksárul had done this, Vyér smiled again, "I think you know quite well why the Blue Lord did this. You would spoil things by your actions and he cannot allow that."

Back and forth the questions went, with little knowledge gained. Frustrated, Znayáshu approached Vyér. coming nearly face to face with the youth. He barked in his face and threatened him, if he did not speak more plainly about what was going on. At this, Vyér drew himself up and seemed to grow in height, his face contorting into cold anger. "Step back, mortal. You do not know with whom you treat, for I am the Servitor Who Seeks the Countenance of His Lord, the Black Sword of Doom, the Reader of the Incantations of the Dark." Rather than be cowed by this, Znayáshu said, "I thought so. You are Grugánu, cohort of Ksárul, and we would still like answers from you."

Vyér smiled, as if impressed, and spoke more plainly. He explained that the characters were interfering in matters they should not. They were plucked from Dórmoron Plain to prevent their becoming involved further in the affairs of Ksárul's temple. He further told them that they should not close the nexus point between the branches of the Tree of Time or there would be dire consequences for them. When pressed, he would not elaborate. Vyér added that the characters had been duped by the sorcerer Ketém. He was not who or what he claimed he was and that they would be wise to oppose him. Znayáshu quickly guessed that he must be another version of Getúkmetek, a Naqsái sorcerer with whom they'd tangled in the past (and who had turned Znayáshu to stone in their previous encounter). He further told Vyér that, if he wanted them to slay Ketém in exchange for being returned to Dórmoron Plain, they would do so. Vyér agreed and, in an instant, they found themselves outside the wall of fungus surrounding the nexus point through which they journeyed. Beyond the wall were their companions.

By means of both magic and a well-used eye of Krá the Mighty, the characters burst through the wall, only to find the sorcerers, led by Mitsárka hiWashára, in the process of sealing the nexus point, as planned. Ketém was alone, away from the group, which Znayáshu took as a sign to attack. He ordered the characters to bring to bear all their powers to kill him before he did whatever it was that he might be planning. Grujúng, Aíthfo, and others attacked him with swords, to little avail, while Znayáshu, Keléno, and Chiyé used spells and eyes. Ketém returned their attacks, petrifying Znayáshu once again. It was at this point that Keléno was unsure of what to do. Without Znayáshu's certainty, he was no longer convinced that Ketém was a threat and worried that perhaps Vyér had tricked them – he was, after all, an aspect of Grugánu, servant of Lord Ksárul himself. He then prayed to Sárku for guidance, sacrificing multiple magical items to gain the Worm Lord's favor.

Keléno's prayers were answered. A coppery mist descended on Mitsárka and the sorcerers closing the nexus point, protecting them from harm. While this happened, Kirktá found an opening and smacked Ketém solidly with his staff, seemingly killing him. From out of the mist, a skeletal arm extended and touched Znayáshu's petrified body, restoring him to flesh. Not longer afterward, the nexus point was sealed for good. Mitsárka turned to the characters and announced, "It is done. The nexus point is closed and we are no trapped here forever."


  1. Ominous.

    Wonder what it feels like to be petrified and unpetrified repeatedly.

    1. Znayáshu has lost two hit dice permanently as a result, so I epxect it's not a pleasant experience.