Monthly Archives April 2014

Too deep, too fast, too soon, no sign of the moon

The room beyond is a luxurious bedroom with coordinated accessories.  On the bed are two panthers that unfold themselves and charge towards us.  They take a liking to Bryan, since he looks (and smells) like a mouse, and start playing with him and Oin.  Oin swings and actually hits with his axe.  A second stroke almost decapitates the panther.  Bryan also hits the second panther, and kills it with two strokes.  Pavel and Titus join in but both miss. After some more vague fencing with the second panther we decide to stop playing with it and put it out of its misery, which Titus does by repeatedly bludgeoning it.

In the room we find two secret doors.  One leads into a study that also opens into the original corridor – on the table we find 3 sketches of elven maidens – one is Rahasia, and Hasan identifies the other two as Marissa and Silver, who were kidnapped by the Rahib from the elven village.  There is also a plan of the village, and a scroll with a word of opening for the secret door in the bedroom.

Armed with this new-found knowledge, we say the word to open the door. There is a click as the lock releases.  We push the door open.  Beyond, a narrow corridor slopes down into the darkness.  We proceed down the corridor, which finally opens out into a vast cavern.  At the far side of the cavern is the ruins of a tower, crushed by the collapse of part of the roof of the cavern. Only the lower storey appears intact.  Ruins of the tower are scattered across the cavern.  Oin mentions that this looks like the abode of a darker evil, and so we beat a hasty retreat, given Akbar’s warning about getting the story from the dragon guard.  The question is how we get through the steel door.  Or maybe we need to check out the kitchen?  We obviously need to clear each level before proceeding lower, and facing something we can’t handle.

We return to the octagonal room and take the last exit.  This opens into a corridor that ends in another octagonal room, with alcoves at the cardinal points (other than the one the corridor enters from).  The three alcoves are barred with gates of heavy iron bars.  The north one says Kesini and the other two say Kasana.  These names match the alcoves that we saw in the dining hall in the first basement (although that only had one Kesini and one Kasana) – maybe these are the other ends of those teleportation points.  Or maybe Kesini means In and Kesana means Out in Siswan.

We check the north door and hear nothing, so open it.  There is a bare 20′ square room beyond, with a rough cut tunnel entering on the far side.  In the centre is a large snake.  We close the door rapidly.  Then we stop and think, and realise that this must be the dragon guard.  Good thing we didn’t charge in and try and kill it.

Hasan talks to the dragon guard, as the sort of almost son-in-law of Akbar.  It answers Hasan, and tells us a story:

Elias was a nice wizard who helped the elves long ago, but was attacked by three evil witches, seeking the Black Opal Eye which would make them invincible, who dropped a mountain on his tower – Grey Mountain.  Elias perished, but trapped the three witches in the tower under the mountain.  The elves built a temple in his memory (which we are in – hence all the statues of an old bloke with a beard).  The dragon guards the route to the tower, but fears that the Rahib has found an alternate route (which we know he has, because we found it).

We ask the dragon about the ring and the medallion.  He tells us another tale:

I fought the Rahib and his panthers in this room and fought him back, although he was sorely wounded in the process.  Akbar found him and healed him, and entrusted him with his black jade ring, which is hidden under a paving slab.

Hasan recovers the ring.  We return to the upper level and find the medallion.  On the way, we are ambushed by the gelatinous cube, which attacks Baik, but fails to paralyse him.  We slice and dice it like jelly at a children’s party.  We continue, having grabbed Schrodinger’s Treasure from it.  We insert the ring into the medallion, and remove it – the writing on the back now just says ‘Rahasia’.  We return to the dragon guard.

The dragon guard tells us more:

The medallion is a pendant of protection, and ‘Rahasia’ is the trigger word, and it will protect us from evil magic in an area around the medallion, but it will only work three times.  Three is the number. Not four.  Five be right out.  Two means that it will work once more.

The dragon allows us to pass, and we proceed down the corridor towards Akbar’s treasure and the tower.  There is a rockslide at the end, which turns out to be a concealed door.  Beyond is the treasure vault, with a steel door in one corner.  There is much treasure in here, including a sword, a snake headed staff, a ring, a vial of potion.  The ring has little carvings of animals on it.  The vial appears to be a healing potion.

We find the other secret door of which the dragon spoke.  The door opens into another narrow tunnel descending into the darkness, although this one seems more travelled for the floor is smoothly worn.  We emerge into the cavern which we have already seen.

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Surprise surprise


After the aimlessness of the previous session, we started with a quick review of our possible options:

  1. Attack the Rahib (who is not Hasan).
  2. Investigate the room behind the curtain.
  3. Descent into the Well of Lost Souls.
  4. Leave and find a more interesting adventure.

The fourth option seemed unpopular with the DM, so we ran through the first three.

We decided first to try subterfuge and disguise, and get Alki and Tanara, who are elves, to check out the room behind the curtain relying on their disguise as Siswa and ability to speak Elvish (or Elven).  We went to that doorway, and they entered.  Beyond was a small, long chamber, with four Siswa sharpening large swords who glared at us but otherwise ignored us.  Apart from this, the room was bare, and uninteresting, so we left.

This left options 1 or 3.  We considered option three, but were concerned that someone would find our captives at some point and raise a hue and cry.  We might then be cut off in the lower level if they found our rope.  So we decided that we needed to bite the arrow and attack the Rahib in the temple.  We decided that we would enter en masse, disguised as Siswa, and get as close as possible before attacking to give him less time to use his spells.  The moment we were in range, or he appeared to be suspicious of him, Tanara would attempt to charm him and Titus would try and blind him with divine light.  If neither of these affected him then the rest would attack with cold steel.

We descended to the lower level using the teleport corridors and opened the door to the temple.  The Rahib was still there, so we advanced in.  As the door opened, it scraped the door and alerted him.  He turned, saw us, and raised his hands.  Before we could cast our spells, there was a flash and a cloud of smoke, and he disappeared.

We advanced into the room and had a look behind the altar.  We quickly discovered a trapdoor in the floor with a pull-ring.  Checking behind the statue, Oin’s stonecraft also found another, more cunningly concealed, trapdoor as well, and a pressure panel on the rear of the statue that opened it.  We descended this trapdoor, expecting that there was less chance the Rahib would be waiting for us in ambush, but after a half turn of a circular staircase it ended in a solid steel door that we were unable to open.

Returning to the temple, we opened the other trapdoor, which also descended via a staircase.  No ambush appeared forthcoming, so we descended into a smaller octagonal room, with doors on the south, east and west walls.  As we entered, a ghostly elven apparition appeared from the south door. Hasan recognised it as Rahasia’s father, Akbar. The ghost spoke to us, saying:

By the Rahib’s hand was I here felled
And since, awaited you to come.
Rahasia’s pain I have dearly felt
But you have come to free her.
Hasan is in the dungeon south
My gold is toward the north.
An ally in the dragon guard
Waits before the gold.
The Rahib is just a pawn
A darker evil lies below.
The dragon guard knows the story
And guards the way below.

We opened the south door, and were faced by four guards guarding a door in the other wall of the small room beyond.  We said that we had been sent by the Rahib to check on the prisoner, but one of the guards said that he was ordered to only allow people past if accompanied by the Rahib himself.  We argued briefly, but fruitlessly, so instead suddenly attacked, surprising them.  The fight was brief, as they didn’t take much punishment, even though we were holding our blows so as not to kill them.  Three were knocked unconscious, and the fourth surrendered, so we took their keys and opened the door beyond.  We found a room of cells, so bound the guards and locked them in a vacant cell.  In other cells we found Hasan, who was grateful to be rescued, and another human sellsword, called Baik Telor, who agreed to join us if we released him.  We questioned the conscious guard, and he told us that to the west was the kitchen and the portal to the dining hall under the courtyard, while to the east was the Rahib’s quarters.

We armed Hasan and Baik with the swords and chainmail of the guards and returned to the octagonal chamber.  We opened the east door and a corridor stretched out, ending in double doors flanked by single doors in each side wall at the far end.  We chose the northern door and opened it, expecting that the Rahib’s quarters would be behind the double doors.  Instead, the door opened into a library with a dark cloaked figure sitting at a table.  Both the Rahib and us were surprised, but we recovered first and charged in, a lucky blow from Hasan ruining the spell that the Rahib was in the process of casting.  Most of the rest of our blows were stopped by his armour though, and he dealt a savage blow to Alki in return with his mace.  We kept up a flurry of blows, and Hasan struck him repeatedly, but he was a tough customer.  Finally, as the Rahib began to back away from the fight, Tanara used the last magic missile in her ring of spells. The damage from those was enough to finally kill him.

We quickly grabbed his mace, and his armour, which was obviously enchanted given the amount of damage he had weathered, and also a large bunch of keys we found on him.  Then we searched the room in detail, but found the books to be of little interest.  In the niche in the north-east corner however, we found a secret door, which we opened…

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We wandered aimlessly around the temple

We left the octagonal room down the corridor deeper into the mountain.  The corridor opened out with three small vaults on each side, and then continued, until we reached a cross-roads.  Far up ahead we though we could see some movement and lights, so we turned right down that featureless corridor.  After a while we glanced behind us and saw that the corridor behind us, up which we had just come, was now blocked by a stone wall.  We stopped and examined it, thinking that a panel might have slide soundlessly behind us, but it seemed to be a seamless part of the corridor.  Mere men might have panicked at this point, but as an elf Tanara was familiar with all forms of magic and glamour, and surmised that we had been teleported as we went down the corridor, and were now somewhere completely different in the mountain.  We drew out a new sheet of parchment and started mapping again.

This corridor led to another crossroads, and the corridor on the right ended in a dead end again.  We continued straight on, and there was a door in the left wall.  We peeked this open, and discovered a vast circular temple, with two other doors and a huge statue to the great old one.  In front of this was a altar with a black-robed figure attending to it.  Fortunately he didn’t observe us, and we shut the door and moved on.  The corridor continued and ended in another cross-roads, with two dead ends, and a corridor continuing to the left.  We proceeded up this corridor, but Bryan’s observant eyes discerned something strange up ahead – a sudden lack of clarity in the view.  We probed and realised that a gelatinous cube was advancing towards us.  We turned and ran back down the corridor, checking occasional to see that it was still following us.  We turned right, and then right again, putting a fair distance between the cube and ourselves.  At this point we came to a pair of doors, one on each side of the corridor.  The doors on the right were probably the ones we had seen in the circular temple, so we cracked open the ones on the left.  We realised that they were guarded on the far side by a warrior with a drawn sword, so we closed it rapidly before he saw us, and continued.  At the far end we found another cross roads, with two more dead ends ahead and to the left, so we turned right and proceeded.  Again, we found a door on the right hand side of the corridor, we appeared to line up with the one we had seen in the temple.  We passed on, and came to another crossroads.  The corridor to the left was a dead end, and the one to the right seemed to be the one we had encountered the gelatinous cube, so we continued straight on.  After a while, we glanced back and saw again that the corridor we had come down was a blank wall – we had been teleported again!

We continued and came to another crossroads – as we were examining the directions, a group of people came running out of the blank wall on the left hand side and cannoned into us.  We parried their feeble attacks and called on them to stop attacking us, which they did.  It turned out that they thought we were Siswa, and are adventurers who had got lost inside the temple and had been attacked repeatedly by Siswa, which is why they had attacked us, as we were in Siswa robes.  They asked us if we would help them escape from the temple with some loot that they had picked up from inside the temple.  We agreed to, in return for some of their loot.

Picking ourselves up, we tried the corridor to the right, starting a new piece of parchment once again, as we again had no idea where we were in the mountain.  After a while, the corridor opened out into a series of three niches on each side, holding a total of six statues.  One of them had a metal necklace and amulet.  We went past and Bryan then went back to remove the amulet, but failed. Tanara went to help him, hoping that an elf might be able to remove it, but was also unable to.  We did see that there was some writing on it and a ring-shaped depression in the amulet, but none of our rings would fit it or do anything.  The writing read:

Stone of Power, Stone of Bright
Giving men their rays of light.
Forces dark will thou make small
Weak’ning men of night’s dark call.
Putting ring into the back
Vengeance give to those in black.

This made us think that this might turn out to be quite important or useful later on.

We continued and entered an octagonal room, with a statue of the great old one in it, and a hole in the floor in front of it.  At this point, we guessed that we might be near the front door again, but didn’t want to lead the other adventurers out so quickly, so turned round and retraced our steps.  Turning right at the crossroads, we found a curtain across a doorway on the left hand side of the corridor, and heard the sounds of elven voices behind it, so passed on.  Coming to another crossroads, we turned right again, and confirmed that we were on the first level.  At this point we showed the other adventurers the front door, and took a sack of loot from us in payment.  They confirmed that they had entered the complex through the outer courtyard and the monastic cells below the courtyard, so we resolved to check them out next.

Inside the temple

Inside the temple

We crossed the courtyard to the corner tower and descended into the depths.  We crept along the corridor, but found only one cell was occupied, and the occupant was too busy chanting and meditating to hear us.  Turning the corner, we saw that there were two pairs of double doors flanking the corridor.  The inner pair, on the right as we came, opened into a dining hall under the centre of the courtyard, with another pair of doors on the far side, and two niches on each of the side walls.  There seemed to be nothing of any interest in here, so we tried the doors on the far side.  These opened easily into a short corridor ending in another pair of double doors guarded by a pair of Siswa with drawn swords.  These were obviously the doors that we had opened from the other side earlier – the level we had been teleported to was only one level below the level we had been on!  The guards looked confused because we were wearing Siswa robes, but two of us were obviously far too short to be Siswa, and the one who spoke was obviously not a male elf.  They decided to attack us, but a word of power from Tanara caused them to both drop into a deep slumber.  We tied and gagged them, and dragged them into one of the unused side corridors on this level.  We questioned one of them, and discovered that the man in the temple was the Rahib, and that they all served him willingly as acolytes.  He also revealed that Rahasia’s father and her beloved Hasan had probably been thrown down the Well of Lost Souls – the hole we had found in the octagonal chamber.

Under the courtyard

Under the courtyard

At this point a combination of dysentery and exhaustion finished the session.


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