S09E13 - Big T and the Stone Golem

Three days after leaving Port Nyanzaru, the group meets Skydancer, a friendly and laid-back macaw aarakocra from Kir Sabal.

Skydancer, the macaw aarakocra with a smoldering look.
Skydancer, the macaw aarakocra with a smoldering look.

He and his two soldiers are on a secret mission and politely decline the heroes’s request for help, but he gives them the most accurate directions to the Heart of Ubtao and Kir Sabal that the group has received so far.

The heroes updating their map with Skydancer’s pointers.
The heroes updating their map with Skydancer’s pointers.

The next two days of travel are uneventful. Carnivore asks Chos for help with his mental health problems, and Chos, happy to become his counselor, convinces him that they should tie him up at night to prevent his recurring nocturnal excursions.

The following night Ellie hears rustling noises while standing watch. When she investigates she finds oil stains and crushed leaves: someone spying on the party? Rupert? The next morning the group investigates but finds nothing.

Two nights after that, and after a day of heavy rain, the heroes set up camp on the ruins of an ancient temple next to a statue of Ubtao. Still under heavy rain and with a large part of the ground flooded, the heroes get attacked in the middle of the night by a huge and terrifying zombie tyrannosaurus rex that disgorges zombies. Carnivore recognizes it from city rumors: they call it Big T.

Early during the ensuing combat, Chos scares it away with Turn undead, but a few minutes later, after the party rushes to change from their pajamas into their armors, Big T comes back., The heroes throw all they’ve got at the creature, some from strategically sound positions behind a corner or inside a hollow tree trunk, others standing face-to-face against the abomination.

The heroes fighting Big T.
The heroes fighting Big T.

The heroes’s tactical ability is superior and a few rounds later Big T is permanently put down.

While the heroes recover from the combat, Ellie spots a wandering monk, sitting in deep meditation on a nearby rock. They bring him out of his trance and he reveals his name, Adi, and that he’s a friend of Ram, the wandering monk that teenage Ellie long ago. All but one of Ellie’s velociraptors are mesmerized by Adi’s out-of-this-world magnetic aura and decide to stay with him. Adi also tells Ellie that she needs to reach Fionghan and that he’s further south, not far. A few moments later, while the heroes are distracted by Carnivore and Sophi complaining of throat leeches, Adi and the raptors disappear.

Adi, the wandering sadhu.
Adi, the wandering sadhu.

The heroes go back to sleep while a coughing but proud Carnivore stays up hacking away at the dinosaur’s corpse in search of the best possible trophy.

A couple of days of travel later the heroes reach a thirty-meter-high bridge crossing the river Tiryki. Salida recommends crossing it to skirt the next several miles of jungle heavily infested with undead. In the center of the bridge stands a big statue of a crouched man prepared to pounce. The sides of the bridge are covered with monkey statues and maze-like engravings. Salida recognizes the engravings and tells the group that you’re supposed to trace an unbroken path through them, it’s an island tradition. Ellie and Avilos do just that and get safely across the bridge until the destroyed part. Chos is next, but he inadvertently breaks the path because of the thick moss. The statue of the crouching giant becomes alive.

A courageous level 4 cleric taking on a stone golem by himself.
A courageous level 4 cleric taking on a stone golem by himself.

Combat ensues and, despite everybody’s attempts to throw the stone golem over the bridge, the construct pummels Chos into unconsciousness.

Chos a couple of rounds later (‘Petrified’ = ‘Slowed’).
Chos a couple of rounds later (‘Petrified’ = ‘Slowed’).

The party has barely made a dent into the golem’s life and, while Mao is dragging Chos away from combat, Salida suggests finding another way to cross the bridge. The group unanimously approves, and the episode ends as the heroes start the evasive maneuver.