Monthly Archives June 2014

Oh, that Levitate spell

We thought about the message for a while and then decided to open the far golden door.   Beyond was a long room with an altar on a dais at the far end.  The decoration left us in no doubt that this was a temple to the element Air.  Behind the altar was a print of a right hand on the wall.  Tanara went up and placed her hand on the print.  A voice asked what the temples were called, and she said ‘the temples of the elements’.  This was obviously the wrong answer for a strong wind blew up and started knocking us around.  We retreated from the temple, and both Tanara and Pavel were feeling very badly wounded and looking for a way out.  The niches at the far end refused to teleport us though, so we were stuck here.

We tried the door to the south, and found a similar room, but decorated as a temple of Fire.  We then tried the north door, and found a temple of Earth.  Obviously the wizard was a fan of disco.  However the north temple also contained a beautiful maiden and a panther, so we quickly shut the door and hoped she hadn’t seen us, for we assumed that she was one of the witches.  Tanara readied the Lightning Bolt spell in her ring, as we dashed for the Air temple again.  This time Oin took the lead, and when the question was asked, stated boldly ‘the temples of Earth, Wind and Fire’.  This was obviously the right answer, as there was a click, and a secret door opened in the wall behind.  We dashed through, and into a circular room.  In the centre was a statue of a dragon’s neck and head, forming a throne, and with a black gem in one eye of the dragon.  Around it were three other dragon neck and head statues, each with a single blue gem in the right eye.  One shone brightly, but the other two only glowed dimly.  Behind these were three alcoves.

We examined the statues, and then tried the alcoves.  Tanara stepped in an vanished, so the others followed.  We found ourselves on a dais at the end of the room with double doors at the far end.  Beyond the double doors, we found ourselves in an octagonal room with two pairs of doors, and a silver arch.  Hanging from the centre was a black gem on a long chain, but still too high for us to reach.  A motto above the arch warned us in an ancient tongue that if we passed, we would join the treasury, which we took to mean that the spell that had caught Bryan was still operational.

We cast around for a while to work out how on earth we could possibly reach the gem, 30 feet above us, until a suggestion from Oin reminded Tanara that she still had a Levitation spell that she had not used.  Once cast, retrieving the gem was easy.  We opened the far doors, and found another room with a dais.  Stepping on the dais returned us to the central niche in the circular dragon room.  The final niche sent us to a similar suite of rooms, but the central room was full of much treasure, which didn’t appear to be illusionary after all.

We returned again to the circular chamber, and realised that we needed to charge up the black opal on the pillar.  We snuck back to the temple of Air, but spotted that the panther was waiting for us there.  Fortunately, Tanara’s Sleep spell was sufficient to dispatch it.  The witch was nowhere to be seen, so we crept onwards into the obelisk room.    The black opal vibrated as we got it close to the obelisk, and we found shallow depression on the top where we placed it.  The glow of the obelisk peaked and then suddenly vanished, and the black opal now glowed.  We removed it and rushed back to the circular room before the witch could intercept us.  Rapidly we placed it in the dragon’s eye.  There was a great noise and flash, and the other three gems shone brightly and shattered, as did the black opal.  The three other dragons crumbled to dust.  Tanara, who had sat on the throne, disappeared.

The other two found the unconscious elven maiden in the temple, and when she was recovered, discovered that she was no longer possessed.  Bryan suddenly returned to flesh in the corridor.  Tanara found herself on the throne in the chamber above with the coffins.  Gradually we reassembled the much sundered party and retrieved all of the wizard’s treasure.  Then we returned to the surface with the grateful elven maidens, to a hero’s welcome in the elven village.

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Fresh parchment, Suffolk!

We cautiously opened the secret trapdoor at the top of the ladder and peered through to see a chamber lit by a blue light from a brazier, with a throne and three coffins.  We rapidly shut the trapdoor again, fearing to wake the witches.  The long shallow stepped corridor rose steadily and ended in another secret door than opened onto the corridor from the main chamber.  We decided to cross and try the other stairs that we had found, but as we entered the main chamber, an ogre leapt onto the pile of rubble and threw some stones at us – Alki was hit.  We fanned out to surround it and leapt forward.  It swung ineffectually and was cut down.  We continued onwards.

The other stairs (behind the secret door in the map room with the painting of the Madonna with the…) led down a series of windy flights until we entered another 30 foot square room with a 10 foot stone cube in the centre.  This one seemed to be lacking the gelatinous cube though.  We easily found the secret door in the cube, but the chamber within was empty.  We checked, and the ladder led into the throne room again.  The long shallow stepped corridor ended up by the main chamber, again.

Oin decided that he wanted to re-visit the room with the red eyes in the corner. His plan was to have Bryan throw a lighted torch into the corner by the eyes, cover his mouth and nose with a damp cloth to protect against the gas and to examine the shelves. The plan was well executed with Bryan accurately lobbing the torch into the corner. However it began to unravel when the gas caught light and a huge flash of flame filled the room singeing his beard and burning exposed flesh! Bryan also took minor damage. Everyone else laughed.

We returned to the prison block to interrogate Merdiz magician again, and get some more rest.  He elaborated on his story of the throne room, so we went to check after we had rested.  We were nervous of what might be in the coffins, but were running out of other options.  The coffins were stone and carved with indecipherable symbols that we were unable to read.  Next to the throne was a lectern with the book on it, and also a quill.  The magician had said that he had received a shock when he had tried to touch it, so we delegated Titus to try, as he was the most Lawful amongst us.  He was able to touch and unclasp the book without issue – it proceeded to speak aloud and recited a poem which revealed something of the location of the witches and the need for a black opal to destroy them for ever:

Come woodland folk and gather near
the tale of the wizard’s keep to hear
Whence, long ago in a younger age
the Black Opal was held by Elyas the mage.

The Opal increased his magical grace
But he kept the stone in an open place.
three witches wishing to heighten their POWER,
rained flame and stone upon his tower

Elyas trapped each witch in a dragons eye.
But without the opal, they did not die
As Elyas raced to retrieve the Stone,
a granite mountain crushed the mage and his home.

the spell ne’er completed the three witches wait
In eternal suspension until by some fate
their souls are released upon innocence sweet
then revenge they will reap upon all that they meet.

The quill quivered in Titus’ hand when he touched it.  We though it would write something of its own accord, and it finally did, in response to repeated promptings.  It seemed that it would answer yes/no questions.  One useful question as to whether the witches were in the vicinity was answered with a no.  However Oin then tried to be clever and outsmart it with a series of complex questions that didn’t actually tell us anything, and it seemed that we could only ask it five questions, so it soon stopped responding and we were left having found out nothing useful.

As a result of normal dwarven stupidity, we were again at a loss, so decided that we would have to risk the blue disk lift.  We returned to that room and summoned the disk with the command ‘Pah’, having first lowered a lantern down the shaft to see that it was deeper than our rope was long.  All 10 of us climbed on the blue disk, ignoring the warning sign about maximum capacity and we said ‘Nwad’ to get it to descend.  It descended rapidly for a great time, and we guessed that we were now far, far underground.  It finally stopped atop a dais in a room that was otherwise  a copy of the one above.

We opened the double doors to see a similar corridor, but longer with 3 niches on either side, and a total of seven statues of ecstatic running adventurers.  We opened the doors at the far end, into a larger room, with double doors on the far side and a silver arch on either side wall.  Bryan recognised the silver arches from his dream.  Beyond the arch on the right wall was a vast chamber piled high with treasure.  We assumed that this was an illusion and trap.  Beyond the arch on the left side was a similar, but empty chamber.  We assumed that this must be the one that contained the opal, as Bryan has seen in his dream.  The room didn’t appear to be trapped, but when Bryan entered, there was a blinding flash and he was turned to metal.  The metal statue then floated out to the corridor and placed itself in a niche.  This explained the other statues, although they had obviously been running towards the treasure.

Blocked from the silver arches, we opened the double doors.  Beyond was a corridor, ending in a door, and with doors on either side.  The door on the right side opened into an opulent bedroom, with women’s clothes and make-up.  The strangest feature was a niche on the far wall, closed off by a barred gate, and a lever (and a ladies feathered hat) on the wall next to it, which we guessed was to open the gate.  The door on the left hand side of the corridor was locked, and we had no means to open it.

We opened the door at the end of the corridor, and entered the room beyond.  It was dominated by a statue of a large, fat man, sitting on the floor, with his open mouth towards the ceiling.  On each of the north, west and south walls was a barred archway.  We quickly linked this to Zoe’s observation that the codes on the labels of each bottle of wine ended in N, W and S.  Pouring some of the wine from the Champagne bottle, which ended in N, into the mouth of the statue caused the north gate to open.  Some of the party entered, while others remained in the central room in case the gate closed and we needed to reopen it.

The room beyond, down the flight of steps, was small with three alcoves, marked 1, 2 and 3.  Oin entered the alcove marked 3 and disappeared.  Tanara followed him, and Pavel followed her.  The others waited in the room.

Oin, Tanara and Pavel found themselves in another small room, this time with four alcoves marked from 1 – 4.  They stepped into alcove 4 this time, following the sequence of numbers in the code at the bottom of the Champagne bottle, for we had noticed that there was no number higher than 4 in the code.  We reached another similar room, and left via alcove 2, into another similar room (we should have marked each room, but were dashing so fast that Tanara hardly had time to not down the sequence of events, let alone mark the rooms.  We left this one via alcove 4, and arrived in a different room, with three alcoves on one side, doors on the other three sides and a stone obelisk in the centre, which sounded like what Bryan had seen in his second dream.  After talking for a while, it suddenly told us that we must answer three questions:

What is your name? – Tanara Silverleaf.

What is your quest? – To find the black opal.

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow Do you know the name of the last creature that you killed? – (long pause as Tanara checks her memory) No.


The obelisk now allowed us to ask three questions.  After some muttered discussion we asked it where the Black Opal Eye was – in the empty domed room, hanging from the ceiling.

Then we asked it how we could return Bryan from his metallic state and it said that he would return to normal when the witches were defeated (no pressure there then).

Finally we asked it how we could defeat the witches, and hit the jackpot, as it started declaiming a long list of information.

Beyond the three temples of the elements,
the Black dragons eye waits for thee
find its secret through nearby magical ways
that have waited for many long years.
Beware the tricks of old Elyas
and return here with the Black Opal Eye, to give it power.
Then, set it in its place and behold
the end of great sadness; the beginning of life
the destruction of evil and the end of strife.


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The ’53? A very good choice, sir.

Refreshed after our drinking bout, and keen to not descend further into the depths, we returned to the room with the wall of red light, but were unable to throw any more light on the problem.  Since we had explored as much of this wing as we could (aside from the cell full of cobwebs), we returned to the central hall and tried the other wing.

The corridor there soon ended in a T junction with a door opposite.  We checked the door and found an imposing corridor beyond, lined with two alcoves on each side.  Each alcove contained a unique platinum statue of a running adventurer with an expression of delight on his or her face.  We found these rather unnerving and it took a while go past them.  At the far end was another door, beyond which a low moaning sound could be heard.

We opened the door and saw a circular room with a high ceiling.  In the centre was a large well, and at the other three cardinal points were stone statues with their mouths open.  Between one pair was written ‘PAH’ and between the other pair was written ‘NWAD’.  We debated these words, and as we repeatedly said ‘PAH’ a blue disc appeared rising up the well.  When we said ‘NWAD’ it disappeared again down the well.  It appeared to be some sort of magical elevator, but once again we had no wish to descend.  It also seemed to descend rather quickly – maybe it is designed for ascending rather than descending.  The moaning appeared to come from the air blowing across the open mouths of the statues.

The corridor on the right of the T-junction bent round to some blocked descending stairs.  Just before them was a door to a recently used kitchen, showing that this wing was actively occupied.

The other branch of the corridor turned, and then branched again.  The new branch had 4 doors on it.  The first led to a room lined with shelves and jars, and with a horrible smell that made us gag.  We could also see little red eyes looking at us from the corner, so we beat a hasty retreat.  The room next to it was also shelved, but empty and bare.  Both doors on the other side of the corridor opened into the same empty room.  The corner of the room had been blasted out though, and we could climb down through the rubble to a stairway.  We ascended the stairs, which ended in a door.  Listening we heard some gutteral arguments, so we burst in.  Five orcs were on the far side, having an argument and we quickly closed to battle.  The battle was short and one sided, although Pavel was seriously wounded and needed to be healed by Zoe’s staff.  We looted the bodies, finding some coins, and also an open stone chest in the corner of the room, which contained more coins, a magical bow (nabbed by Tanara) and three bottle of a different wine – Red Dragon Crush.  Bryan rapidly took a large swig and collapsed again, so we continued exploring.  The door from the room proved to open onto the end of the other branch of the corridor, so it seemed that we had completed this branch of the level as well.

Bryan finally awoke, and said he had had another dream.  This time he had been facing a stone obelisk, which had been asking him a question.  In the dream he knew the answer to the question, but now he was awake he couldn’t remember the question or the answer.

We returned to the central hall and with trepidation opened the doors on the far side.  The mage we had rescued had told us that he had been captured by the witches beyond this door.  Beyond was a huge corridor, lined with alcoves, but empty of statues in this case.  We sent Bryan forward to scout.  The far end of the corridor was blocked by a heavy velvet curtain, but he peeked behind it.  Beyond was a dias, surmounted by a brazier from which came a blue light.  Around it were 3 coffins.  On the far side was a throne.  We beat a hasty retreat, assuming that the coffins belonged to the witches.  We were loath to tamper with the blue lit brazier for fear that it might be part of a spell restraining the witches, but were confident that we had found the throne mentioned in the wizard’s scroll.

Returning to the right side of the level, we resolved to descend the stairs that we had found in the blasted chamber.  They ended in a 30 foot by 30 foot chamber with a 10 foot stone cube in the centre.  As we entered, we were surprised by a gelatinous cube, but were able to fight it off and kill it.  In a niche to the left, we found a ladder ascending.  Oin found a secret door in the central cube, and Bryan found one at the top of the ladder.  Opening Oin’s one, we saw a small room in the cube with a chest on the far side.  Pavel stepped forward to prod the chest with his sword and was almost decapitated by a blade swinging out of the roof.  He survived though and was able to lasso the chest and drag it out without being hit again.  We prised open the chest and found some coins and bottles of a third kind of wine – Champagne de le Stomp.

Bryan, of course, pops the cork and takes a swig. He falls asleep to the sound of Oin muttering ‘du Stomp’, shrugging his shoulders a lot and saying ‘Haw Hee Haw Hee Haw’. On awakening he reports that the champagne was delicious and he dreamt of a large black gem hanging on the end of a chain (not Rahasia’s pendant), a sense of dizziness and an empty room with a silver arch…

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