Wednesday, August 4, 2010


After a night spent in the damp, unpleasant secret room, a decision was made to investigate the two other passages out of the room….one a narrow (5 ft) set of stairs leading down, the other a tunnel leading up (the way Epy had entered with her fellow spy a millennium ago). It was decided to take the stairway down, to see what lay below the secret room….perhaps it was a way to the underground city of the beastmen, or something else entirely.

Traveling single file down the dusty stairway, lit by the continual light torch and continual light stone, the party soon came to a four way passage, with other stairways leading in other directions. Not wanting to get lost, the party continued ahead into a long abandoned room with two doors. Searching carefully, Cadeliane opened one door, which led to an incredible sight: a gigantic (100 x 60 ) temple area, with several unusual features. One by one the party cautiously entered the room, which had an odd set of lizardman footprints leading inside and atop the altar at the south end of the room.

The room was thoroughly searched, which took quite awhile due to it’s great size. Another doorway was found on the north end of the room, along with a staircase to the north that led up. To the south, a giant altar with faded tapestries was at the top of a set of stairs. To the west, four odd archways stood, with a blank wall behind them, and a stone set in front of each with a fist sized circle in the top.

Carefully examining the archways, Alando could just make out several ancient writings, which seemed to point to the archways being gates of some sort to other locations. Two told of transportation to some kind of entrance, one to a temple, and the other to somewhere atop a faraway plateau. Obviously requiring some sort of gems to activate, the gates were harmless and non-functioning for now, until the trigger item (something fitting inside the stone in front) could be found.

Examining the altar area turned up nothing except faded, rotting tapestries, and some lizardman footprints in the dust leading to a secret door in the south wall. Carefully going inside, the group found another large room, this one with a giant stone pedestal in the center, which held a large crystal ball type item. On the walls were painted scenes of reptillions ruling the world, dominated by a golden lizardman with a crown and golden wings ruling over all.

The pedestal and ball was looked at with suspicion, as the lizardman footprints came to a stop right in front. Unable to restrain himself, Alando reached out to touch the glass, and immediately the ball lit up with some sort of eternal light. Experimenting with the item, it looked to be a stationary crystal ball, with the ability to look for anyone and anything the one touching it desired!

Taking turns, several members of the party touched the ball and saw glimpses of things and people important to them. Mongo saw his family, the ones still living, being held in a giant salt mine, while his brother was outside the mine somewhere in the jungle with several other hard eyed warrior types; Sholo glanced inside to look at his tribesmen in the Valley of the Elephant, rebuilding their village and helping House Valaryan harvest the scattered ivory; Tulu saw his brother somewhere in the dungeon, conversing with rat-like beings, he himself now half-rat, half-human in form; Endefal sought the Necromancer Horan, and found him writing something in a large journal in what looked like a spacious and well kept study area; Kal spied upon the dragon of the swamp, seeing the massive frog-like being under the dark and scummy waters of the lake being worshiped by several surviving frogmen, sitting atop a pile of glittering and gleaming treasure; Alando tried to find Ardu, and located him enslaved in some large city dominated by ziggurats, where large, bull headed beings seemed to rule, whipping the slaves into action (and causing Endefal’s blood to boil). Using the crystal ball to look at the cave where they had left the totem pole many days ago, they saw it had been cut down and burned, evidence that the frogmen, lizardmen, or both had found the hideout and exacted some revenge. Epy, sadly, had no visions as she tried to glance within the crystal ball…everyone and everyplace she had ever known was gone in the intervening 1000 years since her capture.

Further searching of the room revealed a door going south, but more interestingly, a secret panel in the east wall covered by a layer of bricks, built from this side. Using stone shape, Kal moved the bricks enough to glance into the room next door…..a large room with glowing violet walls, like those of the mage’s tomb, plus the legs of a large stone statue, very much like the one in the mage’s tomb. The room, however, was NOT the mage’s tomb, despite it’s similarities. Wanting to enter the room and find out more, Endefal first reached inside the room to stone shape the statue’s legs to the floor so it could not attack them…but the spell did nothing but awaken the giant stone golem, which turned with flashing eyes, ready for battle! Atop it’s head gleamed a black iron crown with three large gems set inside, which flashed brightly, blinding Nadal. The golems fist smashed through the wall, slapping Endefal, and the golem then breathed a gout of fire that caught Endefal, Mongo and Cadelaine in its blast!

Kal and Nadal (still blinded), managed to make their way past the monstrosity, while Mongo called upon the power of Sentinel to fly in the air to harass the giant stone golem from above. Blows by Kal and Nadal glanced off it, indicating their weapons had no power, and a Fist of Suffering spell cast by Endefal at the golem had no effect. However, both of Mongo’s swords did, and he struck the golem again and again, cracking the stony surface, taking fire breath after fire breath as his Ring of Fire Resistance protected him from the worst of it. Cadelaine managed to nick the creature with a thrown +2 dagger, and Alando suddenly realized he held a Rod of Smiting, with extra powers vs golems! The priest waded into combat, but he was a scholar unused to combat and only managed to strike one of it’s legs once. Meanwhile, the deadly golem continued striking out with his fists and breathing fire everywhere in front of him. A couple of blows managed to destroy the golelms crown, which stopped the blinding effect of the gems, and soon Nadal could see again and attacked the golem with his +2 magical spear instead of sword…which worked quite well! Endefal assisted as he could, with the spells Prayer and Protection from Enemies ’10 on Mongo.

The battle went on quite awhile, with the party just dodging certain doom on several occasions, the golem’s fists tearing a huge hole in the wall separating the two rooms as it swung and missed at the party members. Everyone but Alando, Mongo, Kal, Nadal and Endefal had by this time retreated to a far corner of the crystal ball room to escape the fists and fire breath of the stone golem. Finally, a flurry of Mongo’s blows cracked the golem’s head in two, and it crumbled into loose rocks as it finally collapsed, destroyed. Endefal and Alando were severely injured by the thing’s blows, and rest was called for. One gem from the crown survived, and Cadelaine took it for the group as it appeared to be worth quite a bit.
The room was quite unusual, it contained a large pool of fresh water (waterskins were refilled, and several cave fish and crustaceans were caught for food when it was determined by Kal that the water was pure and nothing deadly lurked within) that was filled from some underwater spring. Swimmers searched the bottom thoroughly but nothing of interest was found within. A bridge over the water led to a door on the east wall, when opened with Stone Shape it was found to go into the Mage’s tomb area, right behind the stone statue in THAT room. Leaving that golem for now, the party retreated back into the chamber, and made ready to rest that night due to the heavy injuries suffered battling the stone golem. For the first time in days a bath was taken and clothes were washed in the cold fresh water, and a proper meal was created by Endefal using Create Food and Water (since their rations were now down to very little).

From the night before Alando had identified one of the wands and found it a Wand of Secret Door and Trap Detection; this day, he identified another item as a Medallion of ESP (which turned out instead to be a medallion of thought projection, because after donning the jewelry everyone in the room could see what Alando thought of Cadelaine taking a bath in the pure water pool…including the very embarrassed Cadelaine!) Several items still stood to be identified, but Alando realized now he must go carefully as at least one of the eight items taken from the Mage’s tomb was revealed to be cursed, so others might be also. Mongo and Epy seemed to have formed some kind of bond, and they soon paired off together in the far darkness of the chamber as the rest of the party pretended not to notice….

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