ME5 / S15 / 28th of Astral, 88 AD (0:3:3/28), 2 in the afternoon
Filling in Part of the Map
Returning to the second torch room, the arrangement of the passages seems unchanged. So the decision is taken to explore the right hand passage, which in this configuration, with a right hand turn, connects to the one corridor that has yet to be seen. That corridor, after a fairly short distance, takes a turn to the right, followed by a quick turn to the right into a narrowed 5 foot wide corridor. Rearranging the mule’s load makes it possible for it to make it through the narrow ways. The narrow corner quickly turns right again, and ends in 10’ with a door.
Though otherwise a standard door, it has a wooden facing with a carved bas relief of a two tiered fountain, highlighted in gold leaf. It is the twin to a similar carving that had been seen earlier that day in the skeleton room. This door is opened into a six sided room, or a rough truncated isosceles triangle with the base 25’ wide (truncated, the untruncated base would have a width of 35’), with the door centered, and the two sides inclined at a 45 degree angle. The side truncated corners are a 5’ wide length perpendicular to the base, while the “top” point’s truncation is 5’ parallel to the base. All the walls are covered in rectilinear labyrinthine carvings Corm, Zan, and Flint enter the room, with both casters detecting magic. Al, Felix, Pigby and the mule (who should get a name at some point) remain outside. The entire room is suffused with a faint aura of conjuration magic, which on further consideration resolves to teleportation magic. The aura is somewhat stronger at the door. Fearing some sort of bad event, Felix allows the door to close and…
The party is split! (A)
Corm, Zan, and Flint have a moment of slight disorientation. The maze like carvings seem to shift to a more curved set of lines, still filling the walls in labyrinthine fashion. But, more important, the door by which they had entered now is no longer to be seen, while three new doors have appeared, in each of the truncated corners. These three doors are now the stronger sources of the magical aura. There is some consternation. After a brief consultation it is decided to leave the room by the door in the left hand corner. Before leaving Zan takes a piece of chalk and inscribes in the floor an arrow pointing towards that left hand door, along with the letter “Z”, arguing that this would say that “Zan went that way”.. They open the door and see a 5’ wide corridor extending for 45’ ending with a 5’ wide turn to the right. They begin to proceed down that corridor, and almost get to the turn.
Al and Felix stand around a minute or so, hearing nothing from within the room, certainly nothing threatening or explosive. They open the door and with some consternation see that the room is now empty! Recalling the detection of teleportation magic, they decide to enter the room (with Pigby and the mule), and let the door close. Again there is a moment of disorientation, the shift in the form of the carvings. Again the door they had entered the room by disappeared, replaced by three doors at the truncated apexes of the triangle. Looking at the floor in front of them they see a much smudged and indistinct chalk drawing: an arrow pointing to the left with a barely legible character: an “N” or “Z” or maybe the numeral “2”. The two decide that they need to attempt pursuit of the rest of the party. They decide to open the left hand door (Al’s lock picking), and see in the distance of a narrow corridor the forms of their companions. They swiftly make their way up the corridor to
The Party Rejoined (A+B)
The entire party now moves to the right hand turn, being that the corridor proceeds about 50’, including a short 10’ set of steps down. The party pauses at the steps, and Felix casts light on a spear, and then casts the spear down the steps. It skitters out of view with no apparent effect. At the end of this corridor is a 10’ wide opening to the right. This opening proceeds only for 15’ before ending in a door. Beyond this is a room with doors on the right and left hand wall. The wall opposite holds two doors, one centered, the other to its left.
Inspecting the room, Flint notices that the area to the right of that centered door includes a stone panel that seems able to move inward when pushed. He finds a cunningly hid key hole, but Al is unable to pick the lock. Corm pushes the panel open. A miasma of greenish gas issues from behind the panel. Most of the party close by feel a momentary stiffening of their limbs, which swiftly passes, but a more permanent paralysis has overtaken two: Zan and Pigby! Behind the panel they find two bags of 500 copper cents (equivalent to 5 gp each), and a soft bag which Felix opens to reveal a beautiful necklace of jade and emeralds.
The Sword of Skulls
Also behind the panel was a glittering long sword, without a sheath. A two faced skull is carved into the end of the pommel. Emerald chips glint in one pair of eye sockets, ruby chips from the other. Felix reaches over and takes the sword. He takes on a strange, distant, expression, and after a brief moment he turns and hands it wordlessly to Corm. Now Corm, at first, takes on the distant expression, but after a while he relaxes into his normal barbarian demeanor. He holds a one sided conversation, apparently addressing the sword, at one point saying “Yes, that is what I do.” Corm is happy with his new weapon, at least for now. He continues to wield it, as a two handed weapon essentially from now on.
Zan and Pigby are still paralyzed. In the meantime Pigby has been treated by Al to some lipstick, while Felix places the jade necklace about the pig’s neck. Felix picks up his porker, while Zan is loaded onto the mule. The party depart the room from the door in the left hand wall. A 5’ wide corridor goes 25’ and turns right. It runs another 100’ or so and makes another turn to the right. Coming up to that corner, they hear a dry rustling sound from just out of sight.
They round the corridor. It is three giant centipedes, roughly 5’ in length. Two are coming down the corridor while one scurries on the ceiling. Corm takes some damage and a dose of poison, before all three are dispatched. The Sword is apparently unimpressed with this sort of opponent. The corridor runs for 130’. While walking along it, Flint notices that there is a very slight, but real slope downward. The corridor turns to the right and goes about 100’, including 10’ of steeply ascending steps. Now the corridor turns left into a very brief continuation to a door. During the trek Felix can feel occasional tremors from Pigby, and Al notices twitches in Zan.
Opening the door shows a 15×15′ room, with additional doors on the right and left walls. In the far right corner the floor is excavated, a hole of roughly 3’ in diameter. From out of the hole swarm a pair of Labrador sized giant ticks. They do not appear to be engorged. They come at Corm as he steps through the door, Felix casts Produce Flame, and a pool of flame, bright as a torch, appears in his cupped hand. One of the ticks bites Corm, though it is unable to attach itself for its ghastly meal. Corm is able to greatly hurt both the ticks, but the kill belongs to Flint (a crossbow shot) for one, and to Felix (a flame ball from his palm) for the other.
After the ticks are dispatched, Felix jumps down through the hole, to find the desiccated corpse of a mule or horse. He casts light on the mule, and says come get him if the mule goes out. He is in a 10’ wide corridor that continues past beneath the right hand wall. Felix follows it, for about 50’, including up 20’ of stairs. He can barely make out that the corridor turns right into a 5’ wide corridor. Felix returns to the party.
They go out the left hand door, which opens onto a 10’ wide stairway that ascends over 30’, then continues on flat for another40’ to a 5’ wide continuation to the left. This runs about 100’ until it reaches a door.
The Will of the Wisp
It opens into a room, 20×20′, with a door centered in each wall. The room is bare finished stone work. A faintly glowing ball of yellow light bobs gently in the air at the middle of the room, the nebulous image of what might be a skull is visible somewhere in its depths. After some time of study, there is a simple conversation: it is a will’o’wisp, which feeds on fear and death. It makes no hostile moves, and eventually says that it can show the party a way out. He proceeds to a door and passes through it. The party follows. to…
… an isoceles triangular room with truncated corners. It is the same size and shape at the room with the curvilinear, labyrinthine carvings, with doors at each of the corners. The party is entering from a door where the long base of the triangle runs perpendicular away from the left side of the door way. Felix casts “Know Direction” and determines that North is back in the direction that they had come from. The carvings have changed in form to be where the maze like forms that fill the walls are made up of jagged lines. They follow the will’o’wisp through the right hand door, which is at the apex of the triangle. This leads to a small right isosceles triangular room, entering through one of the “legs”, with the hypotenuse running on the right, with the only other door centered. Again they follow the glowing globe into…
A large roughly octagonal room with a door directly opposite, and two other doors leaving at the perpendicular sides. They can occasionally hear the sound of water dripping. A form identical to the fountains that had been carved in the two doors is at the center of the room. It does not seem to be running. It has two tiers, the first tier about six feet in diameter, and 3’ or so high. The second tier is a shallow basin about 5’ high and 2’ in diameter, surmounted by a upward pointing tube. The will’o’wisp pays no attention to the fountain, and leaves through the right hand door. Deciding to leave an investigation of the fountain to another time, the party hurries along into a 10’ wide corridor that runs at a 45 degree angle to the left. This corridor only runs for 40’ before ending in a 5’ wide turn to the right. Corm halts in the doorway of the corridor, as at the limit of the light can be seen a large yellow ameboid creature, roughly 10’ in extent and a few feet high. It slithers across the ground, pseudopods grasping ahead of its slow approach.
duh, duh, DUUHHNN…