Those Adventure Path marathoners from the Order of the Amber Die are back again with a report from their play through of Pathfinder Adventure Path #123: The Flooded Cathedral! If you've missed the first two installments, check them out here: Part 1 and Part 2. As usual, there be spoilers! Read the following at your own risk!
By the third volume of an Adventure Path, we have usually acquired a pretty definitive feel for the locale and some of the themes of a particular AP. The Flooded Cathedral became the adventure where we really felt like we were deep in the ruins of Azlant in the most literal sense. Remains of the empire were everywhere, and we got to explore the most awe-inspiring structure yet: a massive cathedral so time-worn that it was now partially lost to the waters. We couldn't stop to gawk too long though, for we were in a race against time to recover dozens of kidnapped colonists from the machinations of their new aboleth master!
To enhance immersion, we decided to focus on the feel of submerged dungeon crawling. Black curtains blocked out light from the room, with illumination provided by lava lamps possessing underwater hues, and a strobe light was used for the parts of the cathedral where the lighting was malfunctioning. Elsewhere on the islands of Azlant, Black Scrolls Games helped us bring the landscape to life with their outdoor map tiles.
- Adventure: Pathfinder Adventure Path #123: The Flooded Cathedral
- Marathon Length: 107 hours, 15 minutes
- Session Hours: 57 hours, 10 minutes
Highlights from "The Flooded Cathedral"
- One of the most unsettling parts of adventuring in ancient Azlant involved encountering former inhabitants of an age gone by. Wraiths known as hollows—spirits whose pride kept them from fleeing Earthfall—inhabited an area of the island where the trees and soil were left still blackened from the cataclysm. They paced us for hours, until the darkness provided by some ruins allowed them the chance to strike, hoping to sap our precious egos.
- The treasures of Azlant are as enticing as its lore, and we couldn't resist braving s a shiver of great white sharks to explore the Hall of the Heroine, which contained a statue of the Azlanti heroine Savith. In our very own sword-in-the-stone moment, only a human had the strength to wrest the sword of Savith from her grasp, and this glowing aberration-bane keen longsword became single greatest factor in our defeat of Onthooth, the aboleth in the final encounter.
- The outer temple grounds contained a breathtaking 100-foot-tall statue of Amaznen that had crashed to the ground long ago. Before our scholars could satiate the pages of their logs, a tough fight began, possessed of wave-by-wave action against ugothol defenders. What increased the complexity was the combination of three lanes of engagement, and that each wave of faceless stalkers was armed differently, including the dreaded mutilators, who hit the hardest. We won it decidedly, by making sure they couldn't break our line: two of us held the left side on the smashed head of the statue, two held the right amongst some crumbling walls, two scampered up onto the statue itself, and the last provided air support in the form of lightning bolts.
- Intensity peaked as high as the volume of Hans Zimmer's "Supermarine" when we faced off against one of the first ulat-kini ever created. To take things up another notch, we should add that we were we far from air, a retinue accompanied it, and this immense creature carried an equally large crossbow of the crab. Our GM shocked us a couple of times by using the reposition combat maneuver to place us in the path of a malfunctioning electrical altar. This win went to Valeros's aquanaut abilities and Ezren's aqueous orb spell.
Author Mikko Kallio gifted us with one of the most interactive and unique dungeon crawling experiences we've ever come across. Not only did a submerged ruin provide its own challenges, but also there were several objectives to be accomplished within the cathedral, and these stood alongside our main goal. Aoinse, the awakened clockwork servant and former cleric of Amaznen, became our friend and guide throughout the delve—she won't be forgotten. True to any Odyssey, the treasures have been equally epic, as it took more than thirty years of playing this game to finally come across an apparatus of the crab!
- Merisiel paid for her curiosity when she approached a perfectly intact table standing alone inside a broken tower. She'll tell you it was the magical haversack resting upon the table that she couldn't resist. Karnax, the mimic with slayer levels, showed his delight in having visitors to the island by surprising the rogue, studying his target, and finishing her in two hits before the party could act.
- While attempting to turn the temple's power generators on, we found ourselves in a fierce encounter with lightning elementals where every square of movement mattered. Unfortunately, our party roster included a locathah with a 10 foot movement, Kyra with a 20 foot movement, and a hobbled clockwork companion in tow. Kyra sacrificed herself to help the rest escape, but not before we lost Oorka the strix as well.
- As we explored a haunted sacristy, Valeros fell victim to a murderous command effect and tried to claim the spoils for himself. It didn't help that the fighter was being played by Erick, who has more blood on his hands from other PCs than anyone in the Order. With a stellar critical hit of 73 points of damage, he added Koloshkora to his list.
Best Quote From Marathon 3
(Following an encounter with chaos beasts, our wizard suffered from a Wisdom score of 4.)
Ezren: Excellent hit Marissa, watch out for the other elemental!
Merisiel: It's Merisiel...
Ezren: Nice throw Melanie, behind you!
Merisiel (dodges): It's Merisiel, old man.
Ezren: Sorry Maria, I won't make that mistake again!
We managed to defeat the aboleth and recover the colonists (mostly) intact. Through diplomacy and action, our network of friends and alliances among the current inhabitants of ancient Azlant now includes: Mordant Spire elves, wyrwoods, locathah, strix, and even some clockwork compatriots. We were able to raise our companions from the dead, and things look good as we prepare to spend what looks like an extended amount of time underwater. Equipped with our newly reconstructed apparatus of the crab, we're ready to set out across the ocean toward the next destination in our odyssey: the underwater city of Talasantri!
For character builds, questions about The Azlant Odyssey, additional content and more, see our thread on the paizo.com messageboards!