ADVENTURE 29: Through the Gates of Hell
Telok: Elf cleric of Obad-hai, divine disciple, level 12 CG
Jerry Springwater: Human Fighter-Paladin-Justicar, Level 12 LG
Jestyn: High Elf Wizard, Level 12 NG
Verrof: Earth Genasi Ranger-Foe Hunter, Level 11 LG, ECL 12
ADVENTURE 29: Through the Gates of Hell: Before journeying once more into the dungeon, the characters rested. That night, Jerry had a strange dream, where he batteld Orcus himself. He finally defeated the demon lord, but in the distance he could see another figure–gigantic and tentacled, it was a thin and flailing figure, terrifying to behold, with two heads whose features could not be seen. Later he told his friends of this dream, though divinations revealed little, except for a single fact–that this being was one of great power, shielded from the eyes of the gods. They decided to re-enter Rappan Athuk. This time the PCs teleported back into level six. They explored first the area beyond the stone bridge, encountering a strange red boulder in the middle of the path. They found a hole in its side, and though it took him many tries (and a random encounter), Jeb managed to fish an object out of the hole. It turned out to be a powerful item indeeda ring of three wishes! Jeb was promised one of the wishes for himself, but other than that the item was kept for an emergency. Further south they found a cavern of strange dancing lights, which attacked! The wispy lights could turn invisible at will, and the characters had a hard time fighting them. Telok was hurt when he went to investigate a pit in the center of the room and was pushed into it by an invisible wisp. Some minutes later, the wisps were all slain, and some minor treasure found in the pit with some skeletons. Also in this room they found a drop-off that lead into another river. They decided to explore the other way, heading off to where they had found a pool of water. Here they spied a passage leading down through the pool, and with a water-breathing spell they managed to swim through it. On the other side was a very hot cavern, with a reddish glow visible in the distance. Going on, they found a set of black iron gates, demonic carvings all over them. On the other side was an immense three-headed dog. The dog breathed its fire and then attacked, biting Jerry as the battle began. The others were able to damage it considerably, and the Justicar finally beheaded the hell-hound with his holy sword, killing it. With the guardian dead, the heroes went through the gates, finding a north-south hallway. Avoiding the double doors to the south, they went north. In this passage they were soon teleported to another place. Here, they went north, finding a small triangular room where a few rats dwelled, and then a short hallway that led into a great dog kennel. Here they were attacked by dozens of hell-hounds, smaller relatives of the previous beast. They killed them all, suffering minor injuries. Inside one of the dog kennels the PCs discovered a skull. Many strange circular marks covered the back of it, and speak with dead was useless. Teloks divination revealed that this mans mind had been eaten by something. The heroes deduced that it must be a mind-flayer. South of his kennel area, a series or rooms lead to a hallway, which in turn lead them to a side-passage. This side-room contained another teleporter, which took them to the entrance of a rather odd room. Inside was a pool of minty black water. Several divinations revealed that while drinking it was bad, bathing in it would give them immunity to the psychic attacks of nearby mind-flayers. All of the characters bathed in it before continuing on. Leaving the room, they were teleported again; this time to the place where they had first been teleported. Here, they took a southern passage, exploring an intersection. A north tunnel here led to a seemingly empty room. When searched it revealed a secret door and a keyhole in it. The PCs could not figure out how to open it, so they ignored it for now and went south again. Here, the tunnel led to a series of twisting passages and eventually to a great underground river. At one point they could walk along the rivers shore, but they decided not to follow it and instead headed to a side-passage, finding a blocked iron door. Jerrys falcon could look under it, and it saw a horrible sightthe room beyond was a frightful and alien temple, inhabited by seven pink-fleshed, tentacled humanoids; mind-flayers. Jestyn knocked the door open, and a battle began. Though the flayers were physically weak, they seemed highly resistant to magic, and the fighters were the only ones really doing any damage (at least to the bad-guys. A wall of fire and a flamestrike from the spellcasters hurt the party a little). A mind flayer nearly killed Verrof when it got all four of its tentacles around his skull. Yet he was able to break free, and did not yet die. Soon all of the creatures were slain, and the characters searched the room. Here was a strange pedestal with three images on golden panels. Figuring it was a puzzle, Jestyn began messing with it. A reddish light suddenly shot out of the pedestal and filled much of the room. Telok and Jerry immediately fell unconscious, experiencing frightful dreams of a stagnant pool of brains and a great tentacled mind that sucked their own brains from them. When they finally awoke, their heads hurt and their intellect was drained. Verrof was able to easily get the panels open, getting it right on his first try. (More by luck than skill). Inside was an item soon revealed as a Ring of Wizardry. With unconscious companions in their portable hole, the PCs teleported back to Nenkal, identifying their items and resting.
DM’S COMMENTS: This session was far more productive than the last. (Other than some heated arguing at the start, over matters of strategy and playing style). It seems as though the players are getting closer to their goal in the dungeon. They have penetrated the gates of hell, fought off hellhounds and mind-flayers both, yet still they have glimpsed little of the horrors to be found in Rappan Athuk!