The Disruptors

Session 18 February 2023 - live session

While playing on his flute, Farryn creates a fog cloud. “I could use some help here!” he says after he’s done playing. 

He is quite a long way away, and I can’t really distinguish him from the fog cloud to begin with, but the Ulitharid or Extremiton is still near him. 

“What,” I smirk in a low undertone, “need help with hitting the right note and perhaps more practice?”

Mohan makes Anax teleport right next to Farryn, and shouts to him: “We’re getting you out of here!”

“That’s more like it!” I slap Mohan on his shoulder in appreciation and give him bardic inspiration.

Then, Farryn is lifted up by an invisible force and pulled into the fog cloud, and when he disappears from view, I hear a sharp shriek from the flute, and the cloud disappears. 

I can see the whole situation now: the mind flayer that stood next to Farryn is now attacking him with its tentacles. However, the tentacles cannot reach Farryn, luckily. Each second, the distance between Farryn and the Extremiton gets reduced. 

Suddenly, Farryn isn’t floating in the air anymore: he teleported back onto Gronds’ back. On top of that, Anax takes Grond and Farryn back to our safe side of the wall of force that separates us from the mind flayers. 

“Okay guys, let’s get out of here and get to the Gith!” Mohan shouts while healing us all. 

I follow him as he flies off, but wait near the door to open it, and make sure every party member exits the mind flayer base. In the distance, I see the Extremiton watch us leave. “RUN…” I hear. 

The White Mage is running quite fast for someone of his stature, and as he’s passing me, he shouts: “RUN YOU FOOLS!” 

He is followed by Farryn, and the flying Mohan and Anax. Both of them take the non-flying bit of the party 15 foot further away. 

As we land, we all hear: “RUN…” a second time. 

“HERE GUYS!” says Farryn as he takes out a couple of yellow gems. He quickly distributes the gems between all of us. I am wondering why he does this now, because we need to make a run for it, but I don’t ask questions that are not relevant at a specific point in time, so I just put them in my bag as I start running again, back to the Gith base. 

At the base, we know it’s safe. We take a short rest, and before the short cat-nap I take, I talk to Tearulai. The sword would like one of the yellow gems. I give it, and the yellow stone is infused in the hilt. During my bonding time with Tearulai, Patience talks to Yaveklar. I cannot understand any of it, but luckily he returns and gives a nice concise summary: we have an alliance, and the things we find are ours, but they’ll get half the gold we find, and get the land of this level. “I said: that’s fine, we disrupted the mind flayers, also with your help, so I think that’s okay.”

“Hey…” Mohan says. “That’s a nice word, ‘disruptors’, it has a nice ring to it. Let’s call ourselves the DISRUPTORS!” 

The Disruptor logo – drawn by Peter (as Mohan)

We all agree. 

A while later, we stand in the hall and talk some tactics. I wonder why we’re still discussing this since I’ve already talked for a long time with the gith. The manifest mind is inside, but I’m eager to leave. Patience looks at me and doesn’t break his stare, and I hear his voice in my mind saying, “No.” We decide to fly over the blobs that the White Mage created, and Patience calls us over.

Patience calls us together: “Dear gith and Disruptors. This alliance is shortly created, but not less powerful because of its infancy. Our hatred towards the mind flayers has driven us to this alliance, and driven we are. As talked about, we will penetrate the mind flayer stronghold and push through toward their heart. And there we will explode, making sure no mind flayer is left standing. VICTORY!”

Farryn tries to walk in, but there’s a wall of force blocking us. Mohan dispels it, and Patience talks to the gith to ensure they enter the base in an orderly fashion. The dispel magic will last for only a minute, so we need to be quick. I shout, “Go, go, go!”

Once inside, the looting begins, and Mohan takes a head. Mohan and Farryn go to scout, while the rest of us try to open the pods. Unfortunately, one man tries to take a breath from the green liquid and faints, dying due to our reckless actions. We all hear his name and learn that he had a family. The guilt settles in.

Suddenly, we hear the Ulitharid/Extremiton’s voice, letting us know that he knows where we are. He’s not telling the truth; he just wants us to feel bad. We see a mind flayer lock on the door where Mohan and Farryn are, and Mohan tries to open it with the mind flayer head. Farryn attempts to read the lock, but he only gets a headache. Thankfully, he identifies the lock using a diamond and knows how to open it, allowing us to progress.

We move through the door, placing the body of a dead mind flayer between it to prevent it from closing. Mohan, Patience, and Farryn fly while the White Mage and I help the gith follow them. Suddenly, we hear a click, and the water stops flowing away. We look up and see the water rising; the door must’ve been locked. I shout, “Back!” Farryn rushes to the door, and we watch as the water continues to rise. There’s a wall of force blocking us, and Mohan tries to bring it down. He fails twice, and we panic as the water flows through.

We all hurry back to the normal room, and Tearulai assures us that she doesn’t see any other invisible people. However, the water flows through the other door as well, meaning we have to go through it to exit. We help the gith over the pod and reach the door. Mohan tries to dispel the magic again, but it doesn’t work, and Farryn’s attempt fails too. We’re up to our chests in water when suddenly, we’re flushed through the door like a flowing water slide.

As we emerge from the other side, I spit out water and catch my breath.

We’re back at the gith, and Farryn declares that he doesn’t want to go anymore. Mohan creates a flame and warms me while using his sword to dry my fur. He even takes the time to curl my hair, which I appreciate.

Mohan then attempts to reach the Extremiton while Farryn confirms that Mohan can reach the beast. There’s a brief discussion about whether Farryn will betray us, but we conclude that he’s aligned with our cause. He even tells us about a friend of his; Scarecrow, and Mohan raises an eyebrow. Farryn assures us that he hasn’t done anything negative to the group, but Mohan notices he isn’t very fond of birds and tieflings.

Patience joins me at my table. He wastes no time in asking why I’ve come to Undermountain.

“I look for the Shadowdusks. The drow. Rumour has it that they took my grandparents Ben and Ellie.” I reply.

Patience nods understandingly. “I’ll keep my ears and eyes open,” he says.

The conversation takes a turn as I ask about his daughter. “You have a daughter, right?” I inquire.

“My daughter’s name is Elpis. I haven’t seen her in ages,” he responds with a hint of sadness in his voice. “She left me, with her hippy husband. She wanted to leave the war and search for a better place. Yarn is his name.”
“She didn’t want to have contact anymore. We were in a fight. She was pregnant, and she changed her name. It was 20 years ago.”

I’m shocked at the revelation that I may have a grandchild. “BUT SHE WAS PREGNANT! You have a grandkid,” I exclaim.

Patience chuckles lightly. “Yeah. Oh… Yah, maybe I’m a grandpa.”

But my mind drifts back to my contract. “But you have a contract,” I remind him.

“Yes, if the other person on the contract, Zariel, dies, it is a fallen angel. She was the first general of the army before Bell, but her tactics were destructive, she is driven by hate. By her tactics, we won but we lost a lot of men. She betrayed us.”

He looks at me. “Can you help me destroy my contract..?”

“Yes. You scratch my back, I scratch yours.”

We head up into the rope trick, and we go to bed. 

Patience’s words are still ringing in my head as we make our way through the nordic route: “Yesterday doesn’t have to be seen as a loss, but as a victory. The mind flayers are scared, they have lost their land and men. They now only hide and keep their distance, and we won’t settle for that. We’re going to create a new hole in their defenses. Let’s go!” 

We need to keep pushing, to keep creating new holes in the mind flayers’ defenses. As we scout the area, we come across a strange hole in the ground. The gith don’t know what it is, but we approach cautiously. It’s magical, and at the bottom, we find a lifelike statue of what seems to be a dragonborn.

We quickly realize it’s a trap and cast a mage hand to check if it’s triggered. Farryn, however, impatiently asks Patience to go in, and Mohan dispels the magic. Nothing seems to happen, but there’s less magic in the air. Farryn, unable to contain his impatience any longer, flies into the hole. Suddenly, the magic is back, and we sense Patience’s fear.

The rock walls start to crush Farryn, and I can hear the sounds of his bones cracking. The mouth of the hole opens, and Farryn is teleported back to the ledge, safe but injured. “Okay, sorry, not too smart,” he says, and I can’t help but agree.

We need to head south and decide to take the middle route and then the north. Anax leads the way and helps us through the wall of force at the entrance. As we move forward, we come across an inscription on a door, but instead of trying to decipher it, we simply knock. To our surprise, we find a statue with a portal and are warned to stay behind it, not in front.

The white mage once again uses Knock on the other side of the room, and we hear a click as the water begins to rise. Despite the danger, we know we are getting closer. We finally enter the room and use Knock to open the door. However, as soon as we step inside, we find ourselves inside the creature’s space and I immediately call upon the power of bless. I attack the Extremiton of the creature twice with divine smite, causing it to become bloodied. As I look behind it, I notice a door. In our heads, we hear mocking laughter as the creature disappears 500 ft to the south; Mohan can feel it. We were so close. The water continues to rise, but the wall of force remains in place.

In this room, there are so many gears and handles, all in dwarvish. I help close the door with some power. But the controls seem to be unavailable. A throne catches my attention. Farryn and The white mage investigate it. They find out that the throne is used to communicate with the mind flayer colony and it’s connected to the psypods. It controls a simulation of Waterdeep.

Suddenly, the door creaks from the pressure of the water. The white mage jumps on the chair and enters the simulation. Patience suggests he can connect to the white mage. The white mage is now in a matrix of simulations of Waterdeep, but he’s stuck with ghosts. Someone with high intelligence has control here, and I know we have to win.

I cast bless and give a bardic inspiration to the white mage. We have to fight and get control of the simulation before it’s too late.

Inside the White Mages’ brain:

He disappeared. The enormous Illithid (Ulitharid) stepped through some kind of dimension door that I could not follow. Mohan can still sense him, he isn’t far. He is 500 feet south of us. As long as Mohan can keep track of him, we needn’t hurry. He isn’t our greatest problem anymore, it is the water rising. The door is closed, but we know the water on the other side I rising and building pressure. The door won’t hold forever. We need to act. Now. 

Farrýn starts flexing his more attractive side, his brain. I like this side of him, even though he doesn’t always use it. He is impulsive. Young and stubborn. But he has brains and potential. Not in arcana necessarily, but in his inventions (sometimes magically infused, but he misses the arcane finger to really go for building artifacts of great power. Maybe someday we can work together on something like that). Around us we see machinery, but it has been butchered by the mind flayers. This was probably used someday to control the power station on this level and could maybe even turn the water pressure down, but all wires now lead to a chair with some kind of electrical wires going to some kind of headpiece. Makes sense. Those filthy creatures want to control all of this with their minds. I decide to use my magic to identify the headpiece and find out it can be used for 3 different things:

1. Control the facility (what we need!)

2. Keep all their prisoners in some kind of simulation of Waterdeep to keep them… fresh…

3. Contact other mind flayer colonies

Maybe… Maybe I can take control… I see Patience looking at it as well, so I decide to take the risk and put it on quickly. Cross and Grond are holding the door. Farrýn working on mending the machine. Me, I enter the Yawning Portal, standing behind the bar and cleaning it. 

I don’t know who I am (later learning I was in the body of Durnan, barkeeper, and owner of the tavern), but I am human and notice a full tavern before me. I see another Durnan walking toward me from the other side of the room, with black eyes and a smile. “This is my domain… I’ll show you what it is to have the power here!”. I see my hands, my own hands, not human anymore and when I look back up the tavern is empty, except for Durnan and me. It looks like this is going to be a battle of intelligence.

“It’s a long fall,” says Durnan and I suddenly see myself feeling weightless, falling with Waterdeep far beneath me. “This can’t be real,” I say softly, and then repeating myself loudly “THIS CAN’T BE REAL!”. My fall slows down until I come to a complete stop in mid-air and I see Durnan in front of me. I think I understand this game, but it might need some getting used to. “Aren’t you getting hot?” I say as I imagine Durnan in a large pool of lava in the middle of the cave. It doesn’t matter. He seems completely unaffected and laughs at my attempt to hurt him here. How powerful is he?!

“Are you alright?!” I suddenly hear in my head. A familiar voice, this is Patience! Of course, his telepathic abilities! I quickly explain the situation to him through my brain, hoping I am clear enough with my fast thinking. I hope they can help me from the outside, I can use all the help I can get.

I see Durnan pushing the lava with his hands which blows up and pushes my body toward the spiked ceiling. Suddenly I feel blessed, a power of gods… or resolve! This is the power of a paladin glowing through me, Cross! He must have blessed my body! It helped me resist Durnan’s incredible force and stop myself from getting pierced by the spikes. Thank you, Cross!

I say “these might be sharp”, lift my arms up and throw them forward. With this action, all the spikes come from the ceiling towards Durnan who stops them as if he were a powerful wizard with just a finger. My turn to go in defense.

“10” Durnan says and a man appears next to me. I don’t recognize him, but I guess he must be one of the people trapped in this simulation. Trapped in one of the pods. Why the number? Is he counting down? Durnan holds his hand forward as if holding an apple and then closes it as if he quickly squashes it entirely. No apple… But the man next to me is squashed and blood splatters on my cloak and face. It burns. It hurts as if the blood is pure acid and I feel it going through my body. The shock of this hurts deeply, it is reality. He just killed the man. I feel it deep inside.

I have to wake up from the shock! I can’t let him win! Maybe I can save others! Maybe I can save my friends! I still feel blessed and now feel more help from my friends! I feel Farrýn sharing my pain and as I say to Durnan: “You need some more pressure” I feel him guiding me as well. I picture Durnan deep underwater getting crushed by the pressure. But I feel weak as I think of the commoner that was just murdered beside me. I see Durnan laughing at me as I feel the pressure myself. As I feel myself getting crushed, it hurts! I hurt myself with my own vision. “I need more help!” I think toward Patience and I need to focus! 

Durnan laughs at me. LAUGHS AT ME! I WON’T ACCEPT THIS! “It’s hard to breathe here, isn’t it?” he says, making a big mistake. I look at him, feeling more resistance than before. This feels like Mohan’s magic. My face turns into an arrogant smile as I say “Idiot, do you even see me? Water? Against a turtle?! Better watch out for the fishes here!”. A small fish swims towards him, slowly growing and growing until it’s an enormous giant-sized carnivorous whale that takes a big bite from Durnan. I feel the communication with Patience, bless from Cross, The warding bond and guidance from Farrýn, and the resistance from Mohan helping me in this battle. It hurts Durnan. It hurts him badly. I see Durnan turning purple, transforming, and losing his form a little bit. He’s clearly getting weaker. I have to keep this up! 

“This is MY realm!” the purple Durnan says again, taking me to a big void, a shadow realm, cold as the breath of a white dragon I send back at him in return. No effect on each other. He sends me to a desert storm that I put down with the sheer force of my will and my friends’ help. “A desert needs a pyramid!” as I make one appear above him. His mind breaks the pyramid in half as it lands on him. It looks like a stalemate so far, very evenly matched. We have to up our games, and we both notice.

“7”, the Ulitharid says as 3 more people appear beside me; “This is MY realm and I have the power here!”. I feel the shock again, not more lives! This isn’t fair! He squashes them during my moment of hesitation. I feel stupid! How can I let him get to me like this?! I feel their blood burning through me like acid again and it hurts badly. I feel my pain is shared by Farrýn and Grond. How is it going on the other side? Are they keeping the water out?!

I imagine a black hole originating in the purple Durnan’s body, sucking on him from the inside. He pulled the black hole from his body, and threw it in a sun behind me, creating a supernova that engulfed me. I felt it since, but it felt weak this time. A tie again. I had to think of something good. Something big. I got it. A plan that should succeed with the help of my friends.

Nothingness. No connection for this purple man in front of me. Not through his mind and not through his eyes. Complete loneliness. Something no mind flayer ever goes through. Their greatest power and weakness. He looks shocked. I can see the panic in his eyes turning in some blood coming from his nose. His human body turns more into that of the Ulitharid. I see him sitting in a chair with 2 Illithids over a sphere of some kind. His chair is connected to mine. Even weaker. The plan starts working well.

"4". A mind flayer ship comes towards me, shooting a few hostages towards me, one of them looking like a scarecrow. Farrýn said something about a scarecrow. An old party member of his that he lost against the purple aberrations. No. NO. “NO!!” I scream and as I see the Ulitharid trying to squish them…

Nothing happens to them! I won’t let him. WE won’t let him! My friends and me. Because I am just one without them and can’t do it without them. “This is the difference between you and me. I. Have. Friends!”. As I start growing before him, beside me they all show up. Mohan with the blackest of wings, spreading wider than the wings of a roc. Cross looks as fierce as the most dangerous lion, and even his eyes that are usually kind, look determined and are filled with radiant fire. Patience looks as old as ever, but also wise and with completely red eyes showing an enormous amount of magic. Farrýn. The only one that has already faced him before yesterday. Traumatized by him for losing his entire party. Sitting on Grond. Lifting his hammer. As he thrusts his hammer down to the Ulitharid it enlarges more and more and flattens him.

He’s hurt badly, but not finished yet. With a whimpering voice I hear him repeating himself one more time: “This is my realm… My world…”, and I see more than an illusion. I see a vision. A memory of Farrýn with the last moments of his previous party. “You think so much of your ‘so-called’ teammate, but look at how he really is’ the Ulitharid says. I see a changeling woman’s (Daylee) brain being sucked out of her head as Farrýn holds up a fog cloud. He tries to attack them but doesn’t see anything. I see the Scarecrow looking stunned. I see Grond and some kind of beast. I see a gnome druid (Calyx) trying to help, but not being able to do anything. Farrýn is too stubborn to let go of the fog cloud. More mind flayers show up with Orrogs around them. The fog cloud disappears and almost all are down. Calyx is dying, Daylee is dead, and Scarecrow is dazed but waking up. Farrýn runs towards a clearly unsavable Calyx. Calyx tries to turn him away, even taking away his ring. “Save the ones that can be saved” he says. The ring falls on the floor. It is clear who he meant, but Farrýn looks out of it. Farrýn grabs a mirror and teleports away with the body of Calyx, leaving Scarecrow. I see Scarecrow trying to escape in a last-ditch effort, whispering “Seanne” while holding a stuffed bear in his hand…

The Ulitharid doesn’t understand. This doesn’t make me weaker, this makes me stronger. It is clear to me that Farrýn can’t be left alone. It is clear to me we all need each other! He strengthened my… OUR resolve! With everyone’s help an even bigger Scarecrow came up behind our group. Grabbed the Ulitharid between to fingers, lifting him up. As he put part of his mask up, he dropped him in his mouth, swallowing him whole.

I felt it as I regained consciousness. I had control! Control over the connection between the mind flayers that I canceled immediately. I had control over the water pressure that I turned down. Control over de pods and prisoners that I freed. I saw where they were and where the other mind flayers were.

I opened my eyes and was back. My group around me. The…. Disruptors!

OH SHIT! Water is coming through the door… It’s a tiny stream, but we have to get out of here soon.

The white mage emerges from the simulation and exclaims, “I’m the one!” The pressure on the door dissipates, and the people are freed. He’s breaking the connection between the colony and the main one. Patience and Mohan move to stop the mind flayer from destroying a chest, while Farryn heads to scarecrow. I stay close to the white mage.

We discover 1600 platinum and three magical items, of which we give 800 platinum to the gith. Patience communicates that the extremiton is still alive to the white mage, and Mohan flies to us. The white mage and I take a dimension door to the location Mohan indicates: two mind flayers, an extremiton, and two scaladar.

We face off against the creatures, and I cast chain lightning, which hits four of them. However, the scaladar seems to be immune. The extremiton smokes and dies, while the mind flayers look around before perishing as well. The scaladar falls apart too, and we find a golden ring and a black metal staff among the loot. One of the mind flayers had a diamond crystal.

We move to the door with the mind flayer, and I use my strength to break it down, giving myself a headache in the process. I decide to teleport us back to the control room, where we regroup with the gith, people, scarecrow, and the rest of the party. Patience rescues the remaining people from the portal. Two commoners were there.

I send a message to Yaveklar, reporting that the mission was successful. The exremiton and its allies are dead, along with two scorpions in the south. Farryn expresses interest in the black metal staff and its purpose.

I give the ring of Farryn back to him, and he wraps his arms around me, tears streaming down his face. He holds me tightly for four whole minutes, and I feel his body shake with sobs. Eventually, he lets me go, and I hand over the other items to the rest of the party.

But then the staff is given to me, and I know I don’t want it. Patience suggests selling it and takes it from me to investigate, but it’s clear to me that it’s pure evil. I can feel its malevolent energy emanating from it, and I can see the others are wary of it too. I try to put an end to the discussion.

“MASTER WANTS THIS STAFF,” I say, and I feel my muscles tense up. Patience returns the staff, and then I hit the staff a couple of times, and after eight strikes, it shatters into a million pieces. There’s a sudden glow of psionic energy that fills the room, and for a moment, everything is still. Then, the energy dissipates, and I feel a sense of relief wash over me. The staff is destroyed, and I hope that’s the end of it.

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