ADVENTURE 34: Imprisoned
Telok: Elf cleric of Obad-hai, divine disciple, level 13 CNIMPRISONED
Jerry Springwater: Human Fighter-Paladin-Justicar, Level 14 LG
Jestyn: High Elf Wizard, Level 13 NG
Verrof: Earth Genasi Ranger-Foe Hunter, Level 12 LG, ECL 13
ADVENTURE 34: Imprisoned: The adventure began as they searched through the gargoyless caves, finding several interesting items, but nothing too extraordinary. Teleporting back to town for a bit, the characters basically rested and socialized, then teleported to the dungeon once more. Here, they headed east, guided by Jerrys directions. They walked through a vast and dark cavern, towering natural columns visible in the distance, like mountains on the horizon. They walked for eight full hours before they reached the river. They encountered several beings: a purple worm (charmed), some goblins (who ran), several gargoyles (controlled by Telok), and a couple trolls, who were actually dealt with diplomatically. Finally, they arrived at the great column and the slow river beside it. They then cast their preparatory spells, including water breathing, and went in. On the bottom, they eventually found a single stone door in the rock. Opening it, they were assailed by a death trap. Luckily they had cast death ward beforehand, or else they would have been slain. Inside they went, and soon the watery tunnel went to the surface, to a dark and dismal passage, the walls covered in painted murals of a brave paladins life, who slowly fell to corruption. At the end was the paladin himselfSir Navarre, clearly undead, ready to slay any who disturbed the rest of his love. He told them to go back and forget this place. When they refused, he attacked. He was a powerful foe, attacking along with a demon ally. The first round he stunned Jerry, who wasnt able to move for the whole battle. He then fought Verrof, hacking at the undead hunter with his immense greatsword. Luckily, Verrof had fortification on his armor, or else he would have been dead many times over. Verrof also did great damage to Navarre, though he did not kill him. The death knight was slain by Jestyn. Jestyn cast a freezing sphere on him. It was reflected by some kind of spell turning. Jestyn, however, had his own spell turning in place, which reflected it back. This time, Navarre, failed to reflect it and it froze him, his solidified corpse falling to the ground. The demon was banished by Telok before it could act.
In the aftermath of the battle, the characters searched the tomb. They discovered a coffin that contained only rot grubs, which got into Jerrys body. They were soon cut out, but only after a painful process. Behind the coffin they found three treasure chests. Two contained treasures, including a large silver and gold harp and a picture of a woman playing that harp. The third chest was trapped with a cloudkill. Inside they found only silver pieces. A false bottom revealed a strange sighta miniature chest, able to fit in the palm of their hands.
This tiny chest had the party puzzled for a while. They could not enlarge it, and it did not seem like it could be manually opened. Eventually they left the area, and a divination back in town revealed that only a greater sort of magic could tell them how to open the chest. Jestyn remembered that he had found such a spell in the gargoyles treasure hordea spell called Legend Lore. He bought the materials for it and cast the spell on the chest, discovering that it had been created by the wizardess Deserach, in order to hide some powerful items. It could only be opened by a certain sequence of notes, played by a great bard. Jestyn wrote down the notes, and decided that he party should look for such a bard. They went to the Hand of Chaos Theater in the docks district, speaking with the theatre director. For a fee, he agreed to host auditions to see if they could get the perfect musician. The first few were average, the next one was horrible, but eventually they found the ideal bard: a human man named Regis, whose purple eyes were just as haunting as his music. He agreed to play the harp for them and open the chest.
The party went back to Navarres room, not wanting to kill innocent bystanders with whatever trap awaited in the chest. Regis played his tune, a song so lovely as to bring all the listeners to tears. The chest expanded to full size and opened. A gem-covered skull rose up from it, staring wickedly at the characters. Battle began. The lower level characters ran at once. None of the PCs arrows could hurt this skull, and Verrofs maces proved to be useless. As Teloks turn came around, he uttered a holy word, which caused a large crack to appear on the undead things skull. Irritated by this, it looked at him and he vanished, imprisoned in a suspended state far away. Then the demilich howled, a horrible and deadly song which would have killed them all if not for their death wards. As it backed up out of range, Jerry managed to injure it a little with his blessed sword, but now it was floating twenty feet in the air and out of reach. It looked down at the characters and it seemed as if Jerry was next to die. Yet Jestyn cast a fly spell on him. Floating up to attack it, the Justicar got a good hit on the lich, smiting evil an striking with all of his might. He slew it in one hit, cleaving the skull in twain. As he did so, the lichs remains were sucked into another plane and there was a great flash of light. When all was done, a single white gem fell to the ground where the skull had floatedthe tear of Muir. The characters were victorious; but barely, only Jerrys heroic efforts saving them all from eternal imprisonment.
Only Telok was gone, they knew not where. Back in town, a holy divination revealed that he was trapped at the center of the world, imprisoned by powerful magic. Only a certain arcane spell would free him. The party debated using a wish from their ring to free the cleric, but many disagreed. Eventually it was put to a vote. Jestyn agreed to forgive Teloks previous sins, as did Jeb. Jerry wanted to side with Telok, wishing to give even him another chance, but he could not do so with good conscience. In the end, the votes were against freeing him. Jerry decided to change his mind, however, deciding to show mercy on Telok. Now they had a dilemma. They asked High Priestess Karsyla what she thought of it allshe was for keeping Telok imprisoned, as he had often be rude to her and the temple. They then spoke to Teloks own high priest, telling him what had happened and recounting all of the clerics previous sins: his limitless greed, his abominable rudeness, his disrespect for all other people, the list of transgressions went on and on, including his neglect of the holy quest. The priesthood decided that since Telok was such a horrible cleric, it would be up to the PCs to decide what to do with him, as long as Teloks quest could still be completed. Thus, it was decided that Telok would remain imprisoned.
DM’S COMMENTS: I was surprised at how well they did in these encounters. It could have easily been a TPK. Navarre was seriously hurt by the fact that the two warriors had fortification, negating his vorpal attacks. (I kept rolling above a 17–Verrof would have died about six times over!). With Deserach it was even closer. If they hadn’t cast Death Ward before the battle, she would probably have killed them all. Jerry’s final hit was only just enough to take her down. If he had done a bit less damage, it could have been the other way around, for he was to be next. With Jerry imprisoned, the party would have almost no hope. She would have imprisoned them all except for possibly Verrof, though he couldn’t hurt her. For a moment near the end of the battle I was thinking about cheating just to see Deserach annihilate the party, but I decided that it wouldn’t be such a nice thing to do. One thing I’m glad was settled is the whole Telok business. Everyone was getting to hate that character, both for his utter rudeness and his munchkinism. He is gone for good. We realized that his player didn’t like playing a cleric much–didn’t like the supportive role. He would rather be up there doing the damage and fighting rather than have to heal everyone all the time. Happily, no feelings were seriously hurt and he decided to make another character, this time a fighter or barbarian. Of course, that means that they’ll have to get an NPC cleric, who will leech a good amount of experience away and will be substantially lower in level.