Once again, the brave adventurers sallied forth to battle evil. It took a little trial and error to decide the direction of the party, to move forward or to explore yet unexplored areas through areas explored.
The decision made, the group opened the door past the Meat Locker. This room, warded by a modified glyph spell, Hexed all opening the door. This Hex is both a boon and a strange appearance. The purpose to make an adventurer even more foolhardy, being an adventurer, they are often fool hardy enough.
The elven mage, not confused with the eleven mage, transfixed by this glyph multiple times the most susceptible to the spell. Covered in the black essence of the spell, he believed himself all but untouchable. The elven warrior and the yuan-ti bard also afflicted. Our elven warrior was the only one that the spell affected as the caster, Lareth the Beautiful, was the caster and the two battled a short time.
The Hexed door, a hindrance to the party, for none able to open it after the hex triggered and someone bathed in the black light of the spell. The group forwent the door they had turned around and started in another direction. A fresh minted human warrior tried to open the door.
The hex had no effect either due to his non-magical nature or that the hex set off so many times had lost its power; he opened the door. Now greeted by a brick wall, he sensed this was wrong. So wrong he sacrificed his left hand and pushed against the bricks. The bravery of the act saved his hand, nothing ill befell him, his hand slid through the illusionary brick wall. Calling out to the others “It is an illusion” and walked through the false wall into the room beyond.
The group had gone back the way they had before, a warning system triggered, gongs and bells ringing throughout the dank depths of the Gatehouse. Warning all of what was happening. The Kobold Mage, knowing the party would head towards the False Trap laid in wait for an opportunity for fun.
The party had begun exploration when the brave human warrior called out. All but the half-elven warrior, wanting to explore more, returned to the Hexing room and entered the room beyond the Illusionary Wall.
Inside this room they found a pool of water, a statue of the Six-Armed God, and a staircase that led to another door.
A functional statue of the Six-Armed God will accept sacrifices of a weapon and give the boon of a weapon, often magical. Ture worshippers get a bigger boon. There has been talk that some cults sacrifice magic users; wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, even paladins and clerics to get a long blessing from the god.
No one of the party was a worshipper, the thief then tried to climb the statue. The statue standing over 8’ tall, too focused on the lure of the gems, two large ruby’s, scaling the statue impossible. Sliding down the statue as if he was holding onto a greased watermelon at a festival. Upon a second try he succeeded, reached for his prize the right-hand ruby and disappeared.
Only one person in the group noticed this, disbelieving their own eyes, they thought they saw the thief transported away by a cone of some sort. The disappearance happening so fast, the watcher could not focus quickly enough on the goings-on.
The elven wizard and ranger thought well of the thief. They set upon the task to rescue their friend. Not knowing the cause of the disappearance, greed. They came up with a plan. Hoisting the elven mage upon the shoulders of the ranger, the mage tried to examine the ruby that the thief had been examining and touching. These two had no desire for the gem, this did not, however, stop the effect, they too disappeared from sight. No one, at the time noticed, or even mentioned this.
People might wonder what happened to the three? The statue had imprisoned them for the act of greed by the thief. The gems protected by the Six-Armed god from petty theft by a spell that imprisoned the perpetrator inside the gem. They could hear all, see all that occurred in the room they could not communicate out. The thief, concerned he would not communicate, found his mental well being restored when the other two arrived. At least he would not die of madness from being left alone.
The tale continues with the three trying many things to get out when the elven mage recalls he has a ruby is not unlike the one that is imprisoning them. Taking it out, gazing into its depths rewarded or cursed with finding the Spirit of the Dragon inside.
Yes, I need to stop the ramblings of the storyteller to interject that I introduced myself into the storyline. The thief, Yousif, did not know what he had when he first picked me up and I still in the process of familiarizing myself within the confine of the gem could not yet communicate with the outside world. My three slaves, I don’t know what they are calling themselves, have a duty to perform. I will have to decide at the end of the year of their servitude if release means death, which is a release, letting them go on their merry way, or to have them continue in servitude. We all know slaves have no choices. I felt since the three slaves have no way of reading this an cannot react to this knowledge.
Mortals, such as humans, elves, dwarves cannot pronounce my name with their rudimentary speech or language. I have shortened my name to Flametongue. I like the image it suggests. You author may continue.
A deal made, and the three released from the gem. -ahem-
Now the cleric, being of the cult of Poseidon, worshipped in the pool. Stripping naked he jumped into the pool, to enjoy the cool water. Someone noticed the water to have a fresh scent of lemons and limes, to look clear, and have the aura of refreshment. This the cleric found not to be the case.
The pool was a cursed trap. It promoted drowning, the swimmer found unable to get out via normal means. The fact, the pool dragged you under the depths until you downed. Our cleric, not dissuaded by this, kept his head and used Gust of Wind to free himself from the trap. The burst of air, magical, enough to break free of the cursed pool.
It was a good and bad thing that no one drank the water. They would find the pool refreshing, the negative side being, on the first attack by a foe, damage taken? The negative side would appear. All the healed damage would reappear with the detriment of a save vs Con or fall asleep due to the sudden damage taken. A cursed pool.
The elven warrior, human warrior, and the bard investigated the staircase. The staircase trapped when ascending the steps, they would flatten out to a ramp, the climb difficult. There was a hex on the door handle as well which fell upon the bard her yuan-ti heritage of her personality became more pronounced.
The elven warrior, also affected, gifted with a dark crown. In surprise, the recipients felt no ill effects. The elf went to the pile of effects of the cleric who had stripped to enter the pool, picked up his maul. Thought to be that the handle of the maul would act like a crank to recreate the steps. This worked, the door opened, and a path found. A path not taken.
The half-elf had not returned with the party, looking down the passageway across from where the gnolls lair found. The lair looted, the passageway looked enticing. A gong once again sounded, what to do? The question.
The doorway across the room enticed. Going to the door the not so pleasant smell of goblin reeked from beyond the door. Did he open it? Should he? Adventure awaited, he did. The room was the barracks for 6 bugbears. An attempt at a quick retreat was foiled by slow reflexes. Reward when the bugbears were also slow to advance. Using the half-elves weapon, a thrust into the door jamb gave the warrior the needed moments to flee.
He returned to the group. The others finished with their findings followed the half-elf back to the bugbears. They laid a careful trap. The bugbears, perhaps a knowledge of the trap? They did not pursue our party. The trap foiled the group moved forward at a snail pace.
The group returned to the room of the bugbear barracks to find it empty. They moved forward and found a grate on the ceiling. The thought of a trap the first thought, the thief investigated. He could not find one, even with the benefit of a dragon master. This was not safe though.
The Kobold Mage, the bane of the bard, hurled a gem from a necklace of fireballs at the party, giving damage to all. He had been ready, threw, and made his escape. The group knew of him by his madcap laughter.
With the Kobold Mage Menace no longer an issue the party was ready to continue. The sudden appearance of a group of gnoll warriors stopped this, these fierce fighters were a danger. Lareth the Beautiful, the leader of this gatehouse led them. The party not prepared for the bugbear band found earlier by the half-elf. Their appearance at the rear of the party spoke doom.
The party arranged themselves, the cleric, mage, and bard casting spells in quick succession to the bane of the gnolls. Lareth took damage. In the beginning, he was invisible, this did not stop him from the harm of the spells, as they cast at an area, not a person. This was where the hex spells came into play. The elven warrior, the only one struck by Lareth, took additional necromantic damage. The others fared better Lareth could not strike at them. This was fortunate for the elven mage, the number of hexes on him would kill him.
The group did not continue without harm. The human and elven warrior and ranger all hurt. No one remained unscathed and the outcome in jeopardy. The battle’s outcome was never a sure thing, with the death of Lareth by the ranger’s arrow, the beasts grew disenchanted. Their morale broken they fell one by one to the swords of the heroes. The party overcame the defenders of the Gatehouse.
The party healed they make their way back to Wheelboro to sell off loot, heal, and hone their skills for the next adventure. Trouble at the Quarry of Darkness is next on their agenda. They will need to be cunning, careful, and perhaps cruel to overcome whatever fell creature or group that kidnap the miners here. A rescue needed, is the party up for the job? Find out next week!