Journey to Fate’s doorstep: en route to the master

Half day into their descent toward the Darkened Depths, the party unexpectedly crosses through a strong current. Crazy Oman and his mount are carried away, so is Royce, Nong and Naismith along with their mounts. Mordrock and Lela manage to stay mounted, fighting against the current as they watch their comrades quickly float away. Mordrock also catches a glimpse of several shapes below swimming up toward the excitement. He casts a protective barrier around himself and Lela and prays that will be enough. Moments later sharks circle around them trying to penetrate the barrier to gain access to their next meal.

Nong holds onto Pony, takes out his grappling hook and rope and flings it toward Naismith who manages to catch it in the fast current; he swims toward Nong and hopes together, they can grab Beatrice as she passes by. Royce casts Control Water and is able to push the current upwards behind Mordrock and Lela. Successfully he also manages to catch the sharks in the current’s redirection and sends them upwards away from the party. Together they catch their breadth, wait for Crazy Oman to catch up and descend as soon as possible.

When the first day of travel draws to a close, Royce casts Daern’s Instant Fortress and the party swims inside recognizing there is no solid ground in any direction for them to camp on. Inside they make camp and Royce takes first watch. Besides hearing a massive rumble somewhere far below them in the deep dark, nothing else happens. It is not until early morning does Naismith notice Crazy Oman leave the fortress and swim to the second floor, where he takes out an obsidian statue and begins praying, including slicing his palm and rubbing his blood all over the statue. When he returns to camp, Naismith notices outside the fortress is now filled with sharks hungry for blood. The party takes pot-shots at the sharks from the fortress’s arrow slits eventually scaring the hunters away.

During next day travels, Naismith alerts the others about Crazy Oman’s ‘prayer’; which makes the party further suspicious about their guide’s motives. By late afternoon, the party sees a large land mass coming into view where they agree to make camp. Tonight everyone agrees to sleep in the Ethereal Plane in order to observe Crazy Oman.

During the night, Crazy Oman awakes and moves toward Pony who has been deteriorating in the presence of the Wand of Orcus. The prior evening, Royce had to cast Greater Restoration on Pony to keep him alive. Tonight, Crazy Oman takes out his dagger and drags the blade across Pony’s skin while Crazy Oman smiles and licks his lips; the blade does not cut Pony but glides back and forth across the sea horse’s skin. After a minute, Crazy Oman returns to the second floor to pray.

In the early morning, Royce notices from the Ethereal Plane, the sea horses are freaking out and Daern’s Instant Fortress is shaking! He warns the others and as they return to the Elemental Plane of Water where they witness what feels and sounds like an earthquake. They rush to gather their belongings and mounts and collapse the fortress. Three hundred feet away Nong reappears in the water and sees the ground on which they camped on last night, belong to a great beast moving away from this location. He swims toward the party to warn them and the party does everything in its power to escape safely from the back of the beast.

The third day the party learns from their guide the destination is seven more days of travel into darkness. When they stop for a mid-day meal, Mordrock casts Geas on Crazy Oman commanding him to obey the Drow’s Bane, for the next thirty days. Crazy Oman succumbs to Mordrock’s spell and Nong begins the questioning.

“What is that statue you pray to?” asks Nong.
Crazy Oman obliges, “it is a statue of my master.”
“Who is your master?”
“My master is Yokaggogar.”
The party is puzzled by the name and no one can recall any memory of such a being. Nong hears a familiar voice inside his head and gives into the call. “I know this being Nong,” says the dark voice inside Nong’s head. Nong turns away from the party, grips the wand and responds, “Tell me who this thing is.” Instantly Nong feels the wand suck a piece of his life force away as payment for the information. “Yokaggogar is an ancient star spawn proto-ooze from the Far Realm,” responds the satiated dark voice. Nong turns toward the party and shares this information.

Everyone feels uneasy hearing Nong’s news but realizes they are half-way into the Darkened Depths with no other lead to follow. Royce decides to take a chance on expediting the voyage by casting Wind Walk on the party; except he realizes that only eleven creatures can go.

“Leave your worm behind as we don’t have enough room for my spell to include it,” says Royce.
Crazy Oman replies, “I cannot do that for the worm contains enough blood for the sacrifice to enter the portal.”
“What portal?” exclaims Royce.
“The portal to see my master,” says Crazy Oman.
Royce, Nong, Naismith and Mordrock stare at each other, surprised with how this story continues to unfold.

After a debate, Lela jumps off Red Shirt who has been chosen to stay behind and be set free. Naismith shakes his head in disgust knowing full well the party is giving Red Shirt a death sentence as soon as he is freed to roam the Darkened Depths alone. After Mordrock gives Red Shirt his final meal, Naismith creeps up to the sea horse and slits his throat. Crazy Oman is the first to detect the blood in the water and licks his lips while everyone else is horrified. “I cannot let this poor sea horse succumb to a gruesome death, it is just not right. I did what’s best for him no let’s go!” cries Naismith.

Royce casts Wind Walk and the spell transforms the eleven survivors into gas; the gas is mobile in the water and they are able to descend through the depths at an increased speed. By evening time, they reach the portal saving four days in travel time. They materialize and swim towards a large obsidian stone. Crazy Oman approaches first with his sea worm, takes out his dagger and slices the worm’s throat open. As it convulses toward death, Crazy Oman forces the sea worm’s neck against the rock and rubs the blood all over it while chanting in deep speech. Dark runes begin to glow across the surface transforming the center into a thick, viscous mucous, too dark to see through. “Come…,” says Crazy Oman, “the master is near…,” as he enters the black womb and disappears.

Royce sees Lela crying and grabs her hand, then grabs Sparkle and pulls both into the portal. The others grab their mounts and do the same.