Campaign of the Month: September 2012
A Manifestation of Chaos
Session 08 Expanded
6th – 8th day of Reaping CY 621
Location: Grandwood Forest – World Map
Map Tab Color: Red
(Scribe’s Note: It appears that at this stage, Craig Pain took on the appellation “pointy-stick man,” in reference to his proficiency with the bow. The true identity of “New Guy,” alas, has not been preserved for us.)
The party came to their senses after defeating the shield guardian. Inside the large room, the pointy-stick man, Craig Pain and Drogan Steele discussed sleeping and resting, while the others waited their decision. There were two doors in the room. Opening the one on the left (left for death) revealed a human cleric of Cuthbert. Oddly, he was gagged and tied up with his possessions only inches from him. Upon loosening his bonds, Master Gilnaeus began questioning him and he seemed to have no real idea about how he came to be there. Onoma Ousia asked a few questions of his faith and then the party decided to take him with them – as there was no reason not to. When there was no decision from the tactical part of the party on resting or not, Master Gilnaeus suggested moving on to at least see what was on the other side of the door.
As the party moved through the next door, a body lay on the ground and the floor of the passage was covered with the dust that only years and decades absent the feet of creatures could remain undisturbed. Drogan Steele moved up to the body. Through unholy magic, the dwarven skeleton rose, took time to remove a dwarven battle-axe from its backpack, and attacked Drogan Steele. In a short battle, positive channeling by Onoma Ousia and a hit by Drogan Steele ended the trivial threat.
Examination of the body by Master Gilnaeus revealed little other than the skeleton had laid here for quite some time. The party then continued down the hallway to a massive stone door. The door had three horizontal lines of inscriptions. The top and bottom lines were runes and the middle line contained the figures of seven different figures all arrayed in various poses, clothing, and weaponry. Master Gilnaeus pulled out a parchment and copied the runes and figures.
The door was opened by Boagrius after pleas from Master Gilnaeus for one of the party members who were receiving a full share to take responsibility to open the door and none would. Boagrius opened the boulder like door to the side and the scream of undead filled the air. In front of the party were
and a cleric who attacked immediately. In the ensuing ruckus, the mages and clerics exhausted their spells and the warriors spent most of their energy. It was decided that the party (after summarily defeating the encounter) step back into the passage, replace the door, and rest.
The watch was set and the party rested. Only during the second watch did Boagrius and pointy-stick man see a myriad of colorful light erupt from under the door. Then, as soon as it appeared, it was gone. Other than that, the rest ended without incident. Boagrius then had to remove the door as no one else would do it – even though Master Gilnaeus continued his plea for a full time member to open the door.
The room where the skeletons and cleric fell led to a hallway which ended in a dead
end. Master Gilnaeus suggested searching thoroughly each nook and cranny for anything out of the ordinary – secret door, lever, etc. Hence, the party found a secret passage which went down some stairs twenty feet and led them to a red door.
“New Guy” in a show of bravado and immaturity (which he masked as a wanderlust for adventure) just watched up and touched the door. Somehow the gods sought pity on him and did not smite him from the heavens. Instead, a voice boomed out with a puzzle question. Master Gilnaeus answered the question and the door opened.
The new room that the party entered had light shining in prismatic colors and there were four corners of the room – each with a prism on a stand which when adjust changed the color of the light that was shot into the center of the room. On the far wall was a red door. The party maneuvered the prisms to shine all red lights into the center. After this, a brief scene played out where a warrior in exotic red armor was in battle with a spear laden woman who fought and eventually stabbed him. The part tried various iterations of colors, attempted to interrupt the display, and even tried calling out various names and key words. Nothing changed the display or opened the door. Master Gilnaeus then used every ounce of his slight, elderly Elven build to push a prism off of its stand. Revealed within was a secret trap door.
Master Gilnaeus pleaded with someone from the group to open the trap door and no one receiving a full share stepped forward. Just as the frustrated wizard was about to apply himself to another physically exhausting task, Boagrius stepped forward and opened the trap door. Suddenly, a poisonous dart shot out from an undisclosed location and hit Boagrius in the eye. Boagrius did not even cry out, but removed the dart from this eye and sucked on the end of the dart. After declaring that it was poisonous but no longer a threat, he opened the trap door completely to reveal a ladder going down thirty feet.
After Master Gilnaeus illuminated the bottom with light, the room looked to be plain and had only a hole midway up on one wall. Drogan Steele went down followed by “New Guy” who fell. Master Gilnaeus used featherfall to bring the rest of the group down safely. After examining the hole, Master Gilnaeus showed the hole with an inscription on one side and a plaque with a hand print on the other.
Master Gilnaeus surmised that this was akin to possibly how stone hands received their hands and suggested Drogan Steele put his hand in to have it enhanced. Sure enough – when Drogan Steele put his hand in, the flesh was removed and a prismatic hand was in its place. After much arguing with “New Guy” Master Gilnaeus said that as a wizard, he was the only one who could lose a hand and not have it affect his capability. As he put his hand in there, the flesh was severed from the bone. Master Gilnaeus was not shocked and in fact smiled with an evil grin as it happened.
The party returned up the ladder to the red door above. Master Gilnaeus made an observation after studying the door that it was made of material from the elemental plane of earth. Master Gilnaeus suggested that when the prismatic hand touched it, the door would probably open. Drogan Steele then reached out and touched the door and it opened.
The next room was filled with pillars and prismatic light and a stained glass image of the red warrior. Multiple schools of magical influence were present. The warrior’s sword was in the ground and the shadow from the stained glass window fell upon the middle of the twenty by twenty room. Master Gilnaeus suggested that everyone search for a secret door. The door was found on one side of the room.
What followed next was a heated discussion between Master Gilnaeus and pointy-stick man about who should open the door. Fed up with the full-share receiving portion of the group for not opening the doors, Master Gilnaeus pressed pointy-stick man to open it, but pointy-stick man was intent on explaining the virtues he could offer being in the rear of the group. After no agreement was reached, Boagrius again opened the door.
The next room was slightly bigger and in a rectangle shape. Pillars ran up the left and right side. A magical darkness and evil foreboding presence oozed from the room.
Claiming to be adventurous (and really just being fool-hardy) the “New Guy” crept into the room. As if from every corner, shrieks of evil pleasure could be heard. In some malicious language, the words, “Lunch” was screamed by a chorus of beings. The “New Guy” was seen writhing and twisting as he seemed to be violently assaulted three times. The third time, he grabbed his heart as it appeared the strength and life force left his broken body.
The party then moved with a purpose and somewhat strategically in the doorway, being careful not to enter more than a few steps into the room. Soon, multiple undead shades were attacking. They were dim and only visible when directly in front (and even then only by a sharp eye). Spells and weapons seemed to only be partially effective against these undead beings. Onoma Ousia began unleashing channel after channel in an effort to damage them. Drogan Steele and Boagrius swapped in and out trying to draw the figures closer. As the battle wore on, Drogan Steele and Boagrius were sapped numerous times of strength to the point that the pointy-stick man was the strongest member in the party. As Master Gilnaeus fired magic missiles and Onoma Ousia utilized bull’s strength and cast sanctuary to be relatively safe. Then, the battle lay in a dead heat when the Shadow Lord appeared and the corpse of “New Guy” rose to attack the party as well.
During the fray, pointy-stick man moved through the combat and was attacked mercilessly by the shadows. Their beat down over the course of twenty-four seconds sapped his strength and he fell to the floor. As the party battled, his corpse roase again as a shadow and attacked. In the end, the remaining members overcame the evil and rested in the red warrior stain-glass room. The positive energy from this room revitalized the sapped strength and wounds of the party. When the party awoke from third watch, Boagrius and Master Gilnaeus were missing without a trace.