Telok: Elf cleric of Obad-hai, divine disciple, level 9 CG
Jimwise Welby: Halfling Paladin, Level 9 LG
Jerry Springwater: Human Fighter-Paladin, Level 9 LG
Jestyn: High Elf Wizard, Level 9 NE
Verrof: Earth Genasi Ranger, Level 7 LN
Sithdar Darkblade: Human Rogue-Assassin, Level 9 NE
ADVENTURE 16: The Priests Puzzles: Now in the depths of the secret level, the characters looked over the frog-mens camp. Suddenly, several of them experienced a feeling of being watchedsomebody was scrying on them! Who, they could not tell. So they examined the lair, seeing only a large sinkhole in back of it, and a small demonic altar nearby, which contained a simple stone statue to Tsathogga, demon-god of frogs. Jerry crushed it piously, and the characters left, though not before Telok tossed his staff down the sinkhole, losing it.
Down the south cavern they went, noticing a change, as the walls were covered by a brown mold that the Sithdar and Verrof knew would drain the heat out of them. A few spells from Telok protected them all from this effect, and they went on, seeing the corridor split between left and right sides. First going right, they found one room, which contained only a gigantic mithril plug, ingrained with symbols of warding, apparently blocking off some large pit. The other room was utterly empty, or so it seemed. Sithdar, however, noticed about a dozen glyph traps about the room. The party spent some time destroying these, mostly with the clerics dispel powers, although many of them blew up in his face, nearly killing him several times. Eventually, the party was able to enter the strange room (all except for Jerry, who was blocked out by a magical barrier of some kind. Welby managed to use his will to overpower it, but the human was not so lucky.) They then found out that the far wall was but an illusion. Jimwise Welby pushed open the door that was revealed, gaining easy access to what lay beyond, though the others could not enter. Inside was a small shrine to the god Thyr, and beyond it a simple tomb with some writing in celestial on the side. Not knowing this language, the paladin went back and had Telok cast a spell on him. Soon he discovered that this was the Tomb of Abysthor, and that a worthy follower of the twin gods could discover the old priests secrets, if their sight was true. Thus, Jimwise went back again and had Telok cast True Seeing on him. Upon opening the coffin, he found it empty of any corpse. Inside was a note from Abysthor, instructing the reader to succeed were Abysthor had failed, to recover the earth blood from the depths beyond the plug seal, and to use this blood to gain access to the Black Monolith. A key was found with the note, which fit the seat. After Sithdar analyzed the handwriting of the note, finding that it matched the previous note the church had found some months before, the party opened the seal and found a great hole, more than a hundred feet deep. Down they went, using a wind walk spell. Only Jestyn and Anna Marie remained, deciding to use Feather Fall instead. The others were in for a shock. Halfway down, the magic fizzled, and they fell, splattering on the floor some sixty feet below, though without fatalities. The wizard was wiser, and didnt cast his spell until after the halfway point, thus saving himself and his woman.
In the primordial depths below, the characters discovered a cavern of glistening stones, gems and minerals, a geologists heaven. At the end of a passage here, they found a set of prismatic walls, made entirely of light and color. Jestyn managed to dispel the first wall with a cone of cold, but the second one wasnt so easy. Using resist elements spells, some characters got so far as the fourth wall before giving up and deciding to search for alternate means of getting through there. They found it in a nearby cavern, where awaited a great towering earth elemental, a stone guardian who spoke telepathically to Telok. Very friendly towards a fellow servant of nature, the elemental gave up several gems upon learning of Teloks quest to retrieve a vial of earth-blood for his god, gems which would dispel some of the light barriers. He also spoke with the party, telling them that long ago, Abysthor had been here too, to destroy the black monolith. The guardian told them that the old priest built a maze in the area above, to protect the living rock vials that would hold the earth blood. Supposedly, the black monolith lay beyond the maze, yet could only be reached by ones carrying a vial of the primordial goo, which would disrupt the magic of the mazes teleporter. Thus the heroes decided to go back up and conquer this maze, and were helped up by a Xorn servant of the guardian. Taking now the eastern passage from the seal, the party found themselves in the maze, an irritating set of corridors and turns that frustrated them for hours. Eventually however, they found a larger chamber where a personable Gynosphinx appeared, presenting them with Abysthors riddle challenge. Named Pandora, she took a liking to the good-hearted Jerry, though instantly hated both Jestyn and Sithdar, who she claimed were evil. Three fairly simple riddles were given, and the generous sphinx gave Jerry three chances to answer each one. Happily, he succeeded, with some help from Verrof, or else the party would have starved to death wandering the endless maze. They were given twelve vials of living rock, along with a crystal rod that would unlock the exit teleporter. Eventually, the characters found the teleporter, but were hesitant to go in, thinking that the original exit must exist somewhere. They were dead wrong, and spent more hours wandering the maze before finally deciding to take the teleporter out. Then they went back down to the lower area. Using the gems and a few spells, the party dispelled all of the barriers except the orange one, which they survived jumping through. On the other side they rested, a bit anxious about entering the chamber of earth blood.
DM’S COMMENTS: A nice session, though perhaps a little slow. My group isn’t really used to having to solve puzzles, so this was bit new for them. Jerry and Verrof didn’t have a whole lot to do until the riddles came up, so they were a little bored. Still, this was a productive session as far as story goes, and it looks like the next session will mark the end of the main story. (Although we’ll probably run a game after that for the fight with Gremag, if the PCs survive to see it.)