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Lost Depths

Initial Brief


Professors Cornelia Chol and Thaddeus Grimm of the Circle of the Enlightened Mind would be particularly grateful for the swift response of experienced heroes willing to undertake a rescue operation in the Wastes. Applicants should report to the Circle without delay.



The party follow Cornelia Chol's directions into the Wastes toward Thaddeus' base camp, whetting their blades on mutant snakes. Thaddeus explains the situation; three scouts, Natasha, Beatrix and Sirius, have been lost in the canyon they were scouting. Following a breech of the camp by dogsbodies being shepherded by deep ones, Sabrina performs a ritual to trace the thread of connection between a locket and Natasha, the leader of the scouts.

Descending down a narrow, crumbling path along the canyon wall, the party encounter a number of strange pebbles which scuttle around on millipede legs and give Sabrina a nasty bite. At the bottom of the canyon, they find Sirius, being accosted by curious critters intent on learning secrets. Sato attempts to placate them while everyone else opts to simply cut through them, learning a number of interesting things such as “Beatrix is trying to kill me” and “there's a paladin behind the wall”. Unfortunately, it soon becomes clear that Sirius isn't in his right mind as he attacks the party, clearly convinced that they are monsters. The party knock him out and return him to the base camp.

With one scout safe, the party return into the canyon. The ground rumbles beneath them and out burst the mole-like dark and young ones, who scatter more of the pebbles in their wake. The fight goes badly. Garrek flees with the incredible speed of the hare and is lost in the twists of the canyon. Sabrina farlinks to him to make sure he isn't lying, bleeding out somewhere. Monty, Marius and Sato are left to flee the moles and pebbles by themselves.

By the time it's over, everyone but Garrek have been bitten by the pebbles. Monty finds himself separated from the party and heads back to base camp. The others manage to meet up and together press on, following the thread of connection. Strangely, the thread seems to come to an end in empty space in a place where they find a group of Marius' friends, the Forest burning and a puzzle only Sato can solve. Garrek, meanwhile sees none of this but can clearly see the dead body of Natasha where Sabrina says the thread ends. He convinces everyone else of the corpse's existence by hitting them with it and the happy visions fade away. The party comes to the conclusion that something is affecting their minds and collectively decide to trust only what Garrek says is true.

Further on, they find they seem to be in some sort of pentagonal tower room with views out the windows of the districts of Rastaban, each with the spires of the Imperial Palace in the distance. In the room is a grand feast, attended by a number of notable people including Grand Magister Isabella, Master Commissioner Alexis Telemova, Jeremiah Stingelhelm, Grandmaster Leymoon Wen, Cornelia Chol and Sabrina's sister, Marissa. Garrek assures them that none of this is real but the party spend some time testing the limits of the illusion, finding that it seems to be a shared hallucination drawn from their collective knowledge and subconscious beliefs.

Having discerned what they can, they proceed onwards. Unfortunately, a small pile of pebbles fall on Garrek from above and he finds himself seeing the same things as the rest of the party: a twisting bush of savage thorns with a person trapped within, hordes of moss poppets, a former friend of Marius who has turned on him and a shroud paladin trying to destroy evidence of a two-headed skeleton. With the arms torn off Marius' imaginary ex-friend, the thorn bush ripped open, the moss poppets slain and the shroud paladin almost certainly defeated and not just hiding somewhere, the party press on.

They find Beatrix being plagued by oversharers. Sabrina isn't sure whether this is actually a connection incursion or if it seems like a connection incursion only because she's expecting it to but they cut through the talkative plants anyway and rescue Beatrix who is also suffering from the hallucinations and explains that she fled this deep into the canyon to escape from Sirius who had killed Natasha and tried to kill her. She accompanies them as they decide to advance down a tunnel where the pebbles had come from.

On the way, they pass through an open area where the sun shines down on an area where they find a broken wheel and a crumbling throne bemoaning their worthlessness and a crooked man from which hangs the body of one of the foresters that had died during the disastrous mission when Marius' was touched by the Forest. Sato and Garrek notice something divine beyond an opening sealed by carefully stacked rocks. Sato begins labouriously removing rocks enough to get a look inside at what seems to be a kneeling figure. Garrek simply passes through the wall into the alcove. He discovers that the figure is an ancient desiccated skeleton clutching in its hands, a torch icon and a rolled up fragment of parchment bearing strange characters. On the wall behind is scratched the message “Visions 26:8”. A pile of unused rocks inside the alcove suggests that the paladin walled themselves up, for reasons unknown. Garrek brings the skeleton back through the wall with him. They take the icon and note but decide to leave the skeleton close to its resting place.

They re-enter the tunnel and progress on into a cavernous room, taken up almost entirely by a great maw in the floor with lashing tentacles and gnashing teeth. Behind them, a rockfall of pebbles blocks their egress. A huge tongue lolls out invitingly from the maw and Garrek jumps straight in down its throat, finding a long, barbed oesophagus and a stomach of burning acid. As he passes out, he farlinks back to Sabrina. The maw rolls out its tongue once more and the party definatly declare, “we're not going to walk into your mouth again!” before Garrek does exactly that.

This time, Garrek hacks at the maw's insides on his way down before farlinking out, which angers it immensely. After a long, bloody fight in which Marius is outed as a forest touched, the maw slumps into its pit, dead. Garrek proceeds to crawl once more down its throat to collect a sample of stomach acid, then farlinks out. He then uses unfettered path to phases everyone through the wall of pebbles. It's at this point that they realise there might be a passage out underneath the maw so Garrek phases back through the wall and dives headfirst through the maw, only to find himself crushed by the weight of rock and flesh below. He glimpses pebble-sized tunnels before losing consciousness and farlinking back. Sato suggests looking at the creature's brain so Garrek phases her through the wall, only to remember too late that he doesn't have enough might to bring her back.

Fortunately, at this point, the pebbles forming the wall scuttle away, flowing past Marius and Sabrina like a river. The party follow the pebbles but are delayed by visions of their own fears. For Garrek, being trapped in sticky tar which prevents him from moving; for Sabrina a crooked man with her friend, Everard Dirk hanging from its branches; for Marius, himself becoming a changeling and for Sato, a vision of her sky burial alone and unremembered. With the support of each other, they manage to push through their fears and proceed on.

The swam of pebbles congregates around a giant boulder-sized pebble. Diplomacy quickly proves ineffective and a fight ensues with Marius being repeatedly flung against the canyon wall, Sabrina healing from a distance, Sato refusing to be bowled over through the power of her icon and Garrek happily sending the boulder ricocheting away. Finally, the party stand triumphant and Sato uses her embrace to attempt to absorb the power of these creatures. She concentrates and envisions the force of the collective psychic multitude of pebbles as a towering being formed of pebbles which the Throne watches her. In a brilliant display of mental fortitude, see draws the pebble psyche to her will and gets the sense that the Throne is impressed.


Gradually, a few pebbles scuttle toward Sato. Then more. And more. Before long, she is surrounded by pebbles. She flexes her new control over them. She commands them to step back and, as one, they shuffle back. She commands them to show Garrek something happy and everyone finds themselves in a new, beautiful place full of novel and wondrous sights. Sato commands “cease” and the vision vanishes, as does the defeated body of the boulder. At Garrek and Marius' request, Sato assures them that she has removed their susceptibility toward the pebbles' hallucinations.

The party report back to Cornelia who doesn't seem too disheartened about the loss of one scout and is particularly grateful for the party's efforts. She isn't interested in the parchment, seeing as it's a cipher rather than linguistics.

Accompanied by Marius and Garrek, Sato takes the icon and the cipher to the Order of the Torch. They are happy to receive the icon and though they can't help decipher the message, they are able to direct the party to a little-read text, considered by some to by dangerously close to error in parts: The Visions of Atreus the Seer. They read the poem related to Vision 26, particularly the eighth line and make some headway in deciphering it but Sato realises she'll need longer to crack the code.

Marius reports back to the Foresters Guild and asks for records about Marissa. (Note: ask Ellie.)

Sato reports to the Shaper's College, telling them about the visions. She also reports to the Order of the Throne while Garrek tell the Order of the Wheel all about his exciting adventure. Both discover that their respective Orders also have dusty books of the Visions of Atreus the Seer. The consensus is that some of the the lines are questionable and notably, many of the visions don't match to any of the standard metaphors of any of the Muses. Some suspect Atreus was either mad or a fraud but since they lived a thousand years ago, it's doubtful anyone knows the truth.



  • +2 Favour
  • Strong Mind Affliction: Susceptible to any hallucinations created by psychotropic pebbles.
  • A sample of the maw's stomach acid.


  • +2 Favour
  • Strong Mind Affliction: Susceptible to any hallucinations created by psychotropic pebbles.

Sato Cross

  • +2 Favour
  • Strong Mind Affliction: Susceptible to any hallucinations created by psychotropic pebbles.
  • Queen of Pebbles: You are the accepted leader of a fairly sizeable number of psychotropic pebbles which will follow your commands to the best of their ability. You can be assumed to always have one or two following you around or on your person unless you specifically send them away. Once per adventure you may call upon greater numbers of pebbles to achieve an impressive feat. They are unlikely to directly aid in combat but can be used for building temporary structures or weighing things down, for example. Hallucinations created outside the canyon will be less powerful (the power scales on the number of pebbles in the vicinity).


  • +2 Favour
  • Strong Mind Affliction: Susceptible to any hallucinations created by psychotropic pebbles.


  • +2 Favour
  • Strong Mind Affliction: Susceptible to any hallucinations created by psychotropic pebbles.


The cipher, held by two of Sato's new subjects. - The message found with the skeleton of an ancient paladin. It's not certain that this is the correct orientation.1)

Vision 26: The Body of Rastaban
Atop the mountain's peak I see,
Proud and true laid before me,
The comely figure of Rastaban.
Dressed in cloth plain yet grand,
A circlet born upon the brow.
In the veins, blood doth flow,
Through the body of Serjet,
Whose mouth is fed by duty,
And whose heart beats to truth.
Glory to Rastaban! Forsooth!

- Excerpt from The Visions of Atreus the Seer.

1) Anyone is welcome to have a go at deciphering this OC but won't know about it IC without good reason.
resources/adventure/lost_depths.txt · Last modified: 2018/08/17 10:21 by iain