This adventure is NOT part of the Foresite Irregulars storyline, skip to Lost in Sigil to pick up the latest in that chapter.
This is the final post from my run of D&D 5e’s Out of the Abyss at Games of Berkeley.
Our heroes successfully aided the deep gnomes of Blingdenstone to recapture their former seat of government, the House Center and old throne room, by defeating the Pudding King and driving off the few oozes they didn’t destroy outright.
As they recover from the battle, Magda has a vision – it’s from Stool. Normally rapport spores are not supposed to cover this distance, but nothing is “normal” in the Underdark since Demons have started cropping up everywhere.
“We’re leaving the Grove now, headed to Araumycos. It’s very bad, most of my kin have been corrupted by her spores. Hurry to the place I’m showing you now…”
A vision of caves lit by spore-light passes through Magda’s mind. “… and hurry!”
The Drow concentrates a reply: “We will be there, little buddy!”
The Fetid Wedding
After several days travel, they (including a two squads of Svirfneblin with Dorbo and Senni in command) arrive at a cavern that appears to be miles on a side…
Stool and Rumpadump meet them
“Araumycos – The largest and greatest being of our world,” Stool says sadly. “All that you see before you is Araumycos; all this and much more. All is in danger from the corruption that will claim the whole of the world if you do not help us.”
“But we’re late! The unholy ceremony has begun! Behold, just at the edge of sight!”
As the party tries to cross the expanse, they find it is slow going, as Araumycos keeps the earth soft, wet, and loamy.
Kraum: “What are we supposed to do when we get there anyway? She’s got hundreds of allies at her beck and call.”
The party continues, with twisted music and dancing, and LOTS of spores filling the field like a thick psychedelic smoke.
While they are still too far away to act, Zuggtmoy screams out:
“Yes! My betrothed! YES! Let us merge in ecstasy and power!”
Suddenly a <boom> – a shock-wave of power that is centered on her.
Stool: “Oh no! We’re too late!”
A wave of green-spirit fire starts to spread outward.
Stool: “She’s already started to corrupt Araumycos!”
Bucephalus: “Aw, crap. What now?”
From within the colored gasses everywhere, a dark cloud coalesces near the Fungal Queen…
… and forms into a giant monster next to her (crushing dozes of celebrants underneath) – and it attacks!
Buppido: “Juiblex! He’s come to save us! I TOLD you we were on the wrong side!”
Magda: “Why did we bring him along again?”
Also slithering in are the remnants of the 2nd Battle of Blingdenstone – oozes, puddings, jellies and gelatinous cubes, even Glabbagool.
Darvon: “The wave is spreading slower – that may of bought us some time, but for what, I don’t know.”
Going is still slow, but the din of the battle between the demons and their minions is growing.
Stool: “While she’s distracted, we’ve got to break her hold on Araumycos! We must reach its brain, which is in the Gray Dream! Rumpadump and I can get us half the way there, but we’ll need a strong concentration of Araumycos’ spores.”
Eventually, the wave passes our heroes, and instantly Araumycos interprets them as a threat, and binds them all tightly with tight strands of itself.
The Myconid spores make the party start to feel drowsy – at least, they hope that’s what’s behind this strange sensation. Then they feel the ground beneath them shift as something moves – a number of thick, spiky tendrils bursting from the ground.
Stool: “These are the pods. Destroy them.”
And they do.
The creature bursts like an overfull wineskin, releasing a clear ichor and a cloud of dusty spores. The deflating bulk of its body sinks back beneath the shimmering fungal field. As vision starts to swim. and you feel dizzy and faint, your limbs are numb and your legs no longer support you.
They hear Shuushar’s voice and see (blurry) several Koa-Toa approaching them “Do not worry, we will guard your bodies while you are in the Gray Dream.” Darvon: “Is this real? Have the Koa-Toa returned?” Shuushar: “Yes, We have gone through the Open Door brother Darvon. You will not fail us.”
Entering the Gray Dream
You are floating, weightless, adrift. A gray, silvery light spreads around you like the dawn on a cloudy day, illuminating a peculiar realm. All of you are floating in a silvery haze that shimmers with swirls of color. Objects drift past in the distance, but whether they are small stones or rocks the size of mountains, you can’t say for certain. Your moment of reverie is broken by the sound of Stool’s voice in your mind. “We’re here!”
In the distance is a great neuron – made of what looks like a giant root-ball with thick tendril-roots running infinitely off in every direction. They they are translucent and bright bursts of lights pulse outward into the ether.
Stool: “Araumycos’ Brain, or Heart. We don’t have different words for that…”
Chant: “What do we do now? Talk to it? – Um, Hello?”
Magda approaches, and touches the brain attempting to heal it.
Tendrils branch off the branches and ensnare the party, but the attempts to communicate bear some fruit, as the brain turns to expose a dark black “dead” area on the far side. The area is growing as a thin line of green flame spreads..
Darvon: “We must cut out the corruption at all costs!”
But, this activity has been perceived by their foe:
“Who dares?” a voice shouts in your mind. “Who dares disturb the consummation of our lo-ve?” Spores and tendrils erupt from the surface of the brain. Coalescing before your eyes into the image of the Demon Queen of Fungi, her dead eyes glaring with inhuman fury.
She counter-attacks – nearly detaching several of our heroes from the dream…
After a tough battle, they succeed in destroying and/or healing Araumycos’’s brain, which unceremoniously dumps them back into the material world…
Fighting the Faceless Lord
Between the breaking of the bond, and the distraction caused by fighting the group in the Gray Dream, they arrive just in time to see the grotesque display of the Faceless Lord slurping up the defeated Zuggtmoy into the mass or its body – enveloping and dissolving her before turning its attention towards them. The great banquet is to begin!
Stool: “We aren’t finished! We must also defeat Juiblex, the oozes will easily consume all of the deeply wounded Araumycos!”
A horn blows in the distance!
Leading a group of Dwarvish fighters from the flank is Eldeth Feldrun! At the same time, the ground grows firm under everyone’s feet, and the plants actually facilitate movement instead of impairing it.
Lastly, the crazy colored spores are overpowered by a blue mist rising from Araumycos – which protects against poison.
Bucephalus: “He’s giving us a a chance against that beast!”
Kraum: “By the light of Dawnbringer! Charge!”
The Dwarves and newly released Myconids focus on engaging the oozes and makes a safe path for our heroes.
Many dwarf and Myconid lives are bravely sacrificed as they intercept attacks intended for the party.
Araumycos’ gift even allows Magda to mount the demon and strike a powerful blow.
Ultimately, the Faceless Lord is also defeated – now a large, deep puddle of ooze with half-digested Zuggtmoy bits protruding from the surface.
[Victory Group Selfie]
- Araumycos: Hand made by spray painting a fish net with green and violet paint and flocking and applying gutter glue generously and spreading over a black cloth
- Backdrop: Photoshop large print of test build.
- Special Figures
- Juiblex Hand made with foil, tape, thick wire, Model Magic, hot glue, sequins, and paint. Build Photos
- Gray Ooze/Statues/Black Pudding: Home made – it’s just glue stick or green stuff for the statues, a base, and paint.
- Fold-Flat ‘Seamless’ Gelatinous Cubes: Home made, I’ll do a video/post of the technique later.
- Mushrooms from Mines of the Mountain King by Fat Dragon Games (resized/recolored by OldSchoolDM)
If you enjoyed the terrain posts and would like to see more, please consider starting at any of the threads on the home page
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Juiblex says “Bye-ee!”