|07/17/2002||07/17/1373 DR - 07/20/1373 DR|
Several days before Flamerule 17, 1373 DR, each of the heroes received a summons to an audience with High Lady Alustriel at 10 bells on Flamerule 17. When they arrived (individually), each was escorted to a small waiting room. Eventually, the room contained six people, who proved to be:
After a time, they were escorted into the Lady's presence. She greeted each by name, inquiring as to their families or businesses, before coming to the point of the audience.
"You have all been recommended to me as stalwart adventurers, of the kind of cloth from which heroes are cut. You have performed admirably as part of the militia, or working with the Spellgard, or on other missions and responsibilities. It also seems to me that the six of you have a set of skills that will complement each other, and that you might be able to work together."
"Thus, I am asking you to take on a mission on behalf of Silverymoon and your fellow citizens, and travelers in the Pass. Not far northeast of here in the Nether Mountains is an underground complex called the Haunted Halls. It has been abandoned for many, many years; in fact, the now-legendary Knights of Myth Drannor are said to be the first who cleaned it out. However, despite - or perhaps because - of the fact that no one has taken up permanent residence there, it becomes the lair of anything from wild animals to Zhentarim, and needs to be cleared out periodically."
"Just as a matter of housekeeping, it's about time for another foray into the Halls. I think you can handle it, and I am asking you to take on that responsibility. Are you willing?"
After some questions, she received an affirmative from everyone in the room, and continued.
"Excellent. Yes, one of my people will make sure you have a map of the area, and of, course, access to the Library. While this isn't an urgent matter, there is no need to delay long in taking care of it. Please report back to me when you return."
"One other thing - I said before that I believe that you have the makings of heroes. You should consider whether the group of you fares well together; there are often commissions to be had from me as well as others for those willing to risk themselves for the good of all."
She stands, and the guards motion you out. The audience is over.
The group was escorted to another room, where they could plan their next move. They decided to search the Library for information, then go to their homes or businesses and meet the next morning at the city gates, ready to head out. In the Library, they were able to gain the following information:
On Flamerule 18, 1373 DR, the heroes met
outside the Silverymoon gate and headed out. They traveled for three days
before finding the caves that should be the entrance to the Haunted Halls
on the evening of Flamerule 20, 1373 DR..
|07/24/2002||07/201373 DR - 07/21/1373 DR|
Having found the entrances, and done a cursory look around, the heroes settled down the to left of both entrances for the night. As usual, Dominique set an alarm around the camp, and the group paired up to keep watch. In the course of the night, the second watch heard some noises that quickly stopped. Forewarned, the third watch investigated the noises and determined they were coming from inside the nearest cave entrance.
Yassel, who had crept close to determine this, suggested exploring that cave first. The heroes agreed, and moved in after striking camp.
The cave corridor was musty and foul-smelling, with debris made up of rocks, dead vegetation, and bones of all sorts. Not long after entering, the heroes chose to take the right-hand branch, which led to a larger cave. There they searched - until the search was interrupted by a snarl, and a large, feather-covered bear-like creature charging at Thistle! The creature managed to shrug off most of the spells sent at it, while at the same time fiercely attacking (but not damaging) Thistle. Kartoffl moving in gave it another target, and it slashed at him with great effect as Thistle, Kartoffl, and Yassel continued to hurt it.
After a short but intense battle, the creature lay dead, and Kartoffl badly wounded. Fortunately, the others were unscathed, and healing magic from Charmaine and Kartoffl himself put him to rights. In the meantime, the others pushed the carcass down the hill and away from the complex.
Continued search of this set of caves turned up 75gp and several dead ends.
The heroes then moved to the next entrance, which proved to be one of worked stone, with a set of double wooden doors, runes of some sort decorating them. After suitable precautions, Yassel opened the doors, and the heroes proceeded down a corridor to a room with a pile of weapons and a shield in the center. Examination of the shield revealed a probably magic mouth spell, and of the room, a secret door and an apparent old crossbow trap that collapsed when Thistle shot it. The crossbow was in a continuing corridor, the entrance of which was barred. The heroes did not touch the shield.
Instead they took the corridor behind the secret door to another pair of rooms, one empty and the other with rotted and broken bunks, wooden chests, and a grey lump that proved to be a long-dead goblin with a broken sword.
(Time is approximately 10 bells on Flamerule
21, 1373 DR.)
Moving past the goblin, the corridor dead-ended into a privy. Yassel decided to investigate the area above the privy more thoroughly, and had a human-size spider drop on him! The spider was quickly dispatched, but not before it nibbled at Yassel - fortunately without appearing to have left poison behind.
Returning through the bunkroom, the group headed north and discovered a passage that led back to another secret door in the room with the shield, and beyond that, a red-tapestried room with a dead young woman. She was manacled to a red couch, and had a dagger hilt (wooden, carved as a snarling black panther) protruding from her mouth. Several minutes of investigation later, the group held their breaths as Kartoffl pulled the dagger from her mouth ..... and nothing happened. She was taken outside to be buried, which the heroes did with a solemnity interrupted only by a practical joke played on Kartoffl by Charmaine. The joke and burial concluded, the heroes had a brief lunch and headed back in around 14 bells.
One door off the tapestried room proved to lead to another privy, this one containing a hidden opening where resided 4 vials of magical liquid (possibly healing potions) and a copper coin that acted oddly. Taking both, the heroes continued out the other door - to have Yassel trigger a trap partly downn the hallway and cause a strangely-rigged crossbow to shoot at, and injure, himself and Kartoffl. After the trap was disabled, another secret door was found, and the heroes headed down the corridor found there.
They entered a confusing area of corridors and rooms. Noteworthy were the room with the full backpack and 12' pole, and the nearby hall of statues.
At approximately 17 bells, they are near
the hall of statues, having determined that none were magical, and were
ready to proceed.
|08/14/2002||07/21/1373 DR - 07/21/1373 DR|
Recheckinga suspicious part of the corridor near the room with the pole yielded nothing, and the group checked out the corridor of statues. Nothing of interest appeared for a while, then Yassel and Dominique found a small door set into a pillar on the east side of the corridor. Opening it, they discovered a plain necklace made of chain, with four pyramids of granite hung off it. The niche was otherwise empty. The necklace and pyramids proved to be magical, with illusion magic, when Kartoffl checked them.
In the meantime, Charmaine had been checking behind the statues on the western wall, and discovered that one of the statues twitched a little. She brought that to the attention of the party; Yassel then moved in and poked the statue. The statue responded by bashing him with its mace. Other measures - spells, and Kartoffl's attempt to hit the statue - were unsuccessful, and the group retreated. None of the statues were magical.
Searching more corridors, our intrepid heroes found some empty rooms and dead ends - then an eastward-heading corridor behind a secret door. Walking down that corridor, Tiralee and Kartoffl broke through the corridor floor. Tiralee managed not to fall down the newly-opened hole, knocking over Dominique in the process, but Kartoffl fell like, well, a rock. A few tense minutes were spent in getting a rope down to Kartoffl to haul him up, and the in process, a grey, slime-like creature attacked Kartoffl, ruining some of his clothes and all of his large steel shield. Alas, all that's left of the shield, despite the best efforts of various group members, is a buckler-sized piece of metal, pitted with acid.
Volleys of arrows and crossbow bolts killed the creature, but the heroes chose not to investigate the hall further until they had means for a bridge of some sort. Instead, they headed back west, and investigated the northwest corridors.
After a time, they came to a great hall.
The ceiling was at least 60' tall, and rafters and tattered tapestries
could be seen. The hall once held large tables and benches, and a few chairs.
In awe, they started to move in - when a sound froze them in their tracks
|08/21/2002||07/21/1373 DR - 07/22/1373 DR|
....the rustling from the rafters high above was followed shortly by the sight of small winged creatures - creatures with leathery bat wings and a pointed, stinger-like nose - heading directly toward the heroes. Before they were able to react, each of the creatures attacked a hero and became firmly attached, sucking blood.
Almost immediately, the heroes felt the effects: both wounded, though lightly, and drained, they found it more difficult to fight off the creatures than they expected. Some of the creatures completed their feeding and flew off before the heroes could slay them; others were slain just as or just before completing their ghastly meal.
Finally, the heroes and their summoned ally finished cleaning the nest of creatures, and the celestial eagle lowered the large shield and the spears down from the wall. Kartoffl was encouraged to use the shield in lieu of his now-buckler-sized original. After a brief discussion, the heroes decided that rest was the next order of business, and proceeded back around two corners to secure a room for the evening.
The next morning the heroes worked magic to restore the draining effects of the stirges, and then continued to explore. Yassel moved into a room stealthily, then uncovered a light - and was hit by two javelins seemingly out of bare wall. He moved toward the wall for safety, but as others moved toward him, he was struck by a bolt from the same wall. After a search, he identified two slits in the wall and sat between them. Other heroes kept watch, or cast spells, or sang.
Early in the morning of 07/22/1373 DR, the heroes are in the midst of an odd battle - apparently no opponents, but
Thistle recommended withdrawing from the room and the battle, and the heroes did so. After a brief consultation, they decided to head around and find the entrance to the room with arrow slits; they thought it might be down the zig-zag corridor with the crossbow trap. Proceeding there, and stealthily approaching, the heroes surprised the orcs and managed to kill all eight of them, though not before taking some damage from the orcs' crossbow bolts and greataxes.
The heroes checked out the immediate area, and elected not to search through a rather digusting room that smelled of unwashed orc, decay, and other unpleastantness.
Continuing on, the group found themselves in a throne room, with broken doors and furniture. Dominique and Tirilee were fascinated by a mural, and tried to figure out what it depicted; Charmaine studied the frieze along the wall, Thistle and Kartoffl stood guard, and Yassel searched the throne. Yassel's actions caused him to be probed by a nearby mimic and Thistle to attack it; when it protested, Thistle, Charmaine, Dominique, and Tirilee started talking to it. Over Yassel's objections, they agreed to take the creature out into the woods so that it could eat orcs, and to tell the High Lady that it was providing that service and shouldn't be attacked by others.
The heroes then did more exploring while the creature ate a dead orc; they found a table with a deactivated insanity symbol, and a room with a broken spear with the word "Shimmer" on the haft.
Returning back through the throne room, the heroes picked up the creature, and headed down the hall. Tymora recommended leaving one of the doors alone right then, and so they proceeded down the hall to a set of pristine bronze double doors. Yassel opened the door and stepped in, triggering bolts of blue fire from the bronze statues to either side of the doors on the inside of the room.
Once he recovered enough to think, Yassel
leaped out of the room with Thistle's assistance. The heroes then discussed
what to do next - they are already down quite a few spells, and it's only
mid-morning of 07/22/1373 DR.
|09/04/2002||07/22/1373 DR - 07/26/1373 DR|
Our stalwart heroes headed down the hallway of statues toward the other side of the bronze statue room. However, they had only made it partway when Yassel and Charmaine noticed that the statue which had previously swung at Charmaine wasn't quite in the same position as before. Unfortunately, they noticed this barely in time to call a warning before a fist slammed into Kartoffl's head. A short but intense battle ensued, with Kartoffl taking the hits for the heroes, and the creature finally falling unconscious with wounds from arrows and other weapons. As the creature lay on the floor, its shape began to shift into an attenuated, grey-skinned version of a human - and Yassel decapitated it.
The heroes speculated on what the
creature was, but even their friendly shapeshifter didn't know. So, they
spent some time hauling this and the orc bodies to to privies, then continued
to the room with the bronze statues. There, initial investigations showed
little more than they'd seen before, except for the letters "BEW" carved
over a point-down triangle with crooked line depending from the point.
However, a more careful search of the room revealed a secret door set in the right-hand (northern) wall. Opening that door, the heroes proceeded down a short hall to another door, which Yassel carefully examined. Determining that it wasn't trapped, he opened it and stepped into the room beyond.
He had taken only a few steps in when ........ slimed! A greenish, slimy substance plopped from the ceiling and covered Yassel's head and shoulders. He had the presence of mind to drop his cloak and pack, and others started scraping the slime off. Dominique even used prestidigitation to clean it off! Alas, much damage had already been done, and by the time all the slime was scraped or cleaned off and Yassel and his goods back in the hallway, the halfling was no longer breathing - in fact, didn't have much of a face to breathe with.
At this point, our heroes decided that the best course of action was to take Yassel back to Silverymoon and see what could be done. So they left the Halls, dropped their shapeshifting friend in a congenial place, and started back. On the way, they cast gentle repose to preserve Yassel's body, and cure and restoration spells on themselves to regain their own vitality.
On the evening of the third day of travel, the travel-weary group approached the gates of Silverymoon. They took Yassel's body to the Temple of Tymora, and arranged for it to stay there while they made other arrangements. The old priestess there recommended that they seek assistance at the Hall of the Morninglord, as she could do nothing to raise or resurrect Yassel.
However, the heroes' first stop was the High Lady's palace. They spoke with a steward there, who was able to supply them with a note saying they were on City business when the unfortunate incident occurred. Upon hearing of the young woman they had also found, he asked them to return in the morning to speak with him. From there, the group went to the Hall of the Morninglord and arranged for a ceremony for Yassel, to be conducted at dawn the next morning. Terrence, the priest to whom they spoke, gave them the choice of a raise dead and heal spells for 3000gp, or a resurrection for 10000gp. In the former case, they would need to cast restoration spells themselves to restore Yassel completely.
The heroes conferred, and decided against the resurrection. Terrence agreed to accept payment when they returned from the their task in the Halls, and they left a magical necklace with him as collateral. They would return an hour before dawn with Yassel's body, and Miri, Terrence's acolyte, would meet them.
And so they did. Miri helped them arrange Yassel on a stone slab cushioned with a pallet in a small room. The room had one window, an exquisite stained-glass depiction of a sunrise in rose, red, and yellow glass. Terrence stood at the head of the pallet and Miri at the foot, with the heroes arrayed on the western side, facing the window. Just as dawn broke and the first rays filtered through the window and bathed Yassel's body in a rosy glow, Terrence held up a diamond and started chanting. The light through the diamond added rainbow hues to the rose, washing over Yassel as the chant continued. A long minute later, the body on the pallet stirred, and the chant changed from one of calling and rebirth to one of comfort and healing.
As Terrence completed his chant, Charmaine took up hers, adding Ilmater's blessing. And shortly thereafter, Kartoffel added the drum-beats of Moradin, completing Yassel's restoration to life and vitality.
Terrence and Miri bid the party farewell,
and the heroes spent a while in thankful prayer before departing the Temple
just after dawn on 07/26/1373 DR.
|09/11/2002||07/26/1373 DR - 07/29/1373 DR|
The heroes headed for breakfast and talk, then for the High Palace to speak with the steward. He informed them that the family of the young lady whose remains they found would be grateful if the heroes could bring those remains back to SIlverymoon. Arrangements would be made with the Hall of the Morninglord, and the heros would be paid 300gp for their trouble.
The group agreed, and then went to the Vaults of the Sages to research green slime, grey ooze, and shapechangers. A shopping spree for torches and ten-foot poles followed, and the heroes split, agreeing to meet the next morning and head back to the Halls.
Arriving back at the Halls in the late afternoon of 07/29/1373, the heroes headed for the crevasse. After several attempts, Yassel and Tirilee jumped across and checked two of the doors, each of which led to empty rooms. The rest of the party followed by climbing down ropes to the floor of the rift and more ropes back up, and they opened the door to the final room. Pillars bracketed a small pool in the center of the room, though the room appeared otherwise empty. However, after Yassel kicked a stone into the pool, seams on the pillars split and four creatures, their flesh dripping off them, emerged.
The battle was joined, but the worst soon over as Charmaine herded three of the four into a corner and held them there while others battled the fourth. Then the three were dispatched. No treasure except for an opal-and-gold belt buckle was found.
As it was getting late, the group performed
a quick by thorough investigation of the crevasse itself, then headed to
the row of rooms nearby to settle for the night.
|09/18/2002||07/291373 DR - 08/02/1373 DR|
The night was quiet, and the next morning the heroes headed back for the throne room and the alleged secret door on the dais. Finding it, they proceeded to investigate, eventually finding a room with bookshelves and books - one of the former collapsed on the mummified remains of a man seated at a circular table. The group found books - ledgers, chapbooks, diaries, and a locked tome - and scrolls, one of which was magical. They also found some gear, and, hidden in a boot heel, a sapphire.
The next room proved to be even more interesting. While a search of the bed and table found nothing, the first wardrobe contained a woman! She appeared to be in some sort of stasis, looking almost alive except for the lack of breathing or other movement, and was standing on the floor of the wardrobe with thin copper chains binding her hands to the closet pole.
Much debate ensued, culminating in Thistle, Kartoffl, Yassel, and Charmaine carefully lifting the woman out of the closet after the bar was loosened. Unfortunately, one of the legs slipped, starting a chain reaction that ended with the woman clasped in Thistle's arms - but in the process, one of the copper chains had snapped!
The woman started to come around, and informed the heroes a bit bemusedly that she was Milor, Rivior's consort. She seemed disturbed at the number of years that had passed, and did not remember what had happened to place her in the wardrobe. The heroes were very concerned about the potential threat she posed, and elected to return (again!) to SIlverymoon with her and the remains of the dead young woman.
This they did, interring the mummified body of the man they'd found in the stead of the young woman. Arriving in SIlverymoon late on the afternoon of Eleasis 2, 1373, they took the woman to the Palace and spoke again with the steward. He accepted custody of Milor, and reminded them to take the young woman's body to the Hall of the Morninglord, which they did.
Yassel had spent time appraising the opal-and-gold belt buckle and the sapphire, and recommended selling them and applying that money as well as 200gp of the 300gp they were tp received from the young woman's family to the debt at the Temple. Between the three, they repaid 2000gp of the 3000gp owed.
Next step is more research, and the sale
of the books the heroes brought back.
|09/25/2002||08/03/1373 DR - 08/07/1373 DR|
The next morning, the heroes investigated the sale of the books brought back, the shield, and information about the locked book. They elected not to sell the diaries, since Tirilee mentioned that the translations and transliterations she'd done so far sounded as if there were some interesting possibilities for future exploration. They also elected not to sell the locked book until they could obtain more information about it.
However, the ten ledgers were sold to the Vault of the Sages for 10gp each, and the 3 chapbooks for 2gp each. Kartoffl was informed that the shield could certainly be sold as a magical shield, but that he would get more value by going to Waterdeep and finding a collector. No information was found on the "BEW" picture. And Milor had not remembered much more than the heroes knew. The Spellgard felt that she might eventually, but that the combined effects of the stasis spell and possible trauma, magic, or poison might be inhibiting her memory now. They were, however, able to verify that she appeared to be from Rivior's time, and part of his bad at least, if not his consort.
Dominique took the locked book to her mother, who agreed eventually to cast a knock spell on it. The book opened without incident, and appeared to be blank. Charmaine, however, noticed that some pages were not as "tight" as others, thus appearing to have been used. Further investigation would wait, however. Yassel then took the book to his father, to ask him to make a key for the lock. The elder Burrfoot agreed, for a price.
The next morning, 08/04/1373, the heroes converged outside of the north gate, to find no Tirilee, but a man with a note from the High Lady's Palace. The note was from Tirilee, telling the rest that she needed to depart from them for a while, and would like to return when she could, but in the meantime, the Lady had recommended Ajaman (the bearer of the note) as a companion.
Ajaman and the rest of the group got acquainted on the trip to the Halls. On their arrival, the first order of business was to burn out the green slime, a task that took the rest of the afternoon and evening. In the morning, Yassel awakened the rest of heroes with the noise of clashing weapons, as he removed the shield from the pile of weapons in the first room of the complex, and the pile shifted. Discussion and experimentation occured with the shield, and Charmaine released another bat, before the group left that room for the rest of the complex.
The next step was the hallway to the south of the room with the bronze statues. Down there the heroes found a half-high door leading to a roughed-out storage area with a chest. The chest proved to have some sort of bad air, or gas, which caused Yassel to sleep and others to be less affected. The larger chest proved to contain a smaller one, which in turn contained a gold-and-emerald ring worth 3000gp, and a total of 550gp in two sacks.
Yassel slept for an hour while the party
waited. Just before he awoke, Ajaman cast an illusion of a flat, small
tower surrounded by a deep pit, with Yassel on the tower, so that when
he awoke he would feel as if he were in the wrong place. Yassel believed
the illusion, but did not give in to fear.
After Yassel awoke, but before the group started to explore again, Kartoffl took first Ajaman, then Yassel, aside and had an apparently amicable discussion with each of them.
The heroes decided to see if Tymora felt they were ready for the room they had avoided previously, and Yassel declared she did. So, they headed back up the hall to the "Tymora room". At first it appeared to be nothing more than a bedroom, with a broken bed, but Ajaman spotted a niche behind the bed and magic in the niche. Charmaine also noticed that a piece of floor upon which Yassel was standing shifted as he moved, but Yassel couldn't find anything.
Dominique's unseen servant retrieved the items from the niche - three useless, crumbling books and two vials. One of the vials was marked with the symbol of Lathander, and the heroes theorized that it contained holy water. The second vial was later determined (via tests by Ajaman and Dominique) to contain a potion of spider climb. They also verified that the four vials with healing symbols on them were indeed potions of cure light wounds.
But that was later ..... during the process of pulling the items from the niche, Kartoffl studied the so-called shifting floor, and determined that the shifting was really a thin sheet of stone that covered (and was inset in) part of the floor. Under the stone was another niche with a bag and a skeletal hand ..... which leapt at Yassel as he poked it! In short order there were ten skeletal hands - three attached to Yassel, and seven more scrabbling for purchase on his legs. The hands attached to Yassel nearly choked and clawed the life out of him, and he fell to the floor dying as the rest of the heroes attemped to kill the ones on him and prevent the otheres from reaching anyone. Only Charmaine's timely application of a cure spell prevented Yassel's demise, and eventually all of the crawling skeletal hands were vanquished. Inside the bag in that niche was a wire-and-obsidian necklace.
The heroes then proceeded down the hall to a many-pillared room, and took one of the side corridors. After many empty, dusty rooms, they came to one which reeked of relatively recent death, and found the corpse of an orc and a pile of ashes with a skeletal hand. Then ..... they noticed that there was movement under the orc's robe! As Dominique's unseen servant pulled the robe away, hundreds of grey grubs poured from the body and headed for Yassel and Kartoffl, crawling slimily up there bodies, into their clothes, under their armor, and even in Kartoffl's beard! Oil and alchemist's fire quickly put an end to many of the grubs, but the heroes retreated to a larger room to allow the two victims to strip and rid themselves of the grubs.
There was no apparent harm taken, except for two things - wherever the grubs went, they left a grey, slimy substance that dried and itched.That, Dominique was able to clean off. But she was unable to affect the hair that turned grey in the wake of the grubs, so both Yassel and Kartoffl have grey body hair, and there are grey striations in Kartoffl's beard.
After roasting the grubs, the heroes headed through more dusty corridors, and were about to enter a door, when several faintly heard music. Opening the door, and the secret door at the other end of the room, the music was a touch louder, and this time there were cries of distress as well. The heroes moved forward, Ajaman's snake and then Yassel in the lead, Yassel reconnoitering.
After a brief look into the room at the end of a twisting corridor, Yassel came hurrying back, waving the group to follow him. Once they reached a place of safety, a few rooms and corridors away, he described what he had seen: a 20'x30' room, 2' deep x 3' wide x 3' high cages on the perimeter, stacked two high. In the room were two large orcs, and a .... a.... a creature. The creature was 6' tall and about 250 lbs., with rich brown fur mottled with black over skin with a reddish hue. His pitch-black ram's horns curl about the sides of his head, ending in sharpened points near his glowing eyes. His teeth shine bright white and are sharply pointed, as are the talons at the ends of his fingers. Two small, bright red horns spring from the center of his forehead between the ram's horns. He wears a belt of deerskin from which hangs a bag, and he was playing the pipes.
After this, there was much discussion, and a decision not to tackle him today. Dominique informed the rest that this creature appeared to be fiendish, and was probably immune to poison, and resistant to acid, cold, electricity, and fire. Charmain offered to make people's weapons temporarily magical before the group went to battle, as Dominique also mentioned that some fiendish creatures were unable to be hurt with normal weapons.
And we leave our heroes as it's getting
on to late afternoon, and they discuss tactics and plans .....
|10/09/2002||08/07/1373 DR - 08/08/1373 DR|
Tactics set, and a good night's sleep behind, them, our heroes move into the pillared room and take their positions. The hop is that Ajaman's illusion will draw out the orcs but not the satyr/fiend. Unfortunately, things seem to go wrong from the start - the satyr/fiend holds the orcs on an intangible leash, and they do not investigate the illusion. And, unbeknownst to the rest of the party, Yassel has succumbed to the charm of the satyr's music and is headed for the room in which he waits.
The rest wait anxiously, and then ..... out of nowhere, Yassel drops from the ceiling and attacks one of the orcs! Battle is joined, and the noise and report from Ajaman draw the rest of the heroes in. The next few minutes are chaotic, as Kartoffl also succumbs to the charm of the beast and attacks Ajaman and Charmaine, requiring the party to split its efforts and subdue him as well as battle the satyr/fiend. Fortunately, Ajaman's color spray felled both of the orcs and Yassel, so there was only the satyr/fiend for Thistle to deal with when he moved in. That creature, however, appeared to have spells as well as combat prowess, and used those to advantage to disable or put at a disadvantage several party members.
Eventually, however, Kartoffl shook off
the charm, and despite the darkness in which they fought, the rest of the
group, Thistle leading the way, felled the foul creature.
|10/16/2002||08/08/1373 DR - 08/11/1373 DR|
The heroes released the tressym, most of whom fled the room and the complex. One, however, seemed to take a liking to Dominique, and settled on her shoulder, purring, staying there throughout the day and curling up beside her that night.
The heroes searched the area, finding a magical cloak (abjuration), magical scale mail, a wand (evocation, carved design of flames, candles, and lanterns, illuminate), and a vial of magical liquid (conjuration).
Yassel enlarged the hole at the top of the wall, and explored the hallways beyond, earning the ire of several party members as he returned unseen to them through a secret door.
Their task here done, and with no more arcane or divine spells at their disposal, the heros spent the rest of the day doing the dirty work of taking the bodies outside to burn, destroying the cages, and generally cleaning up. Yassel and Thistle wanted to investigate the other doors in the pillared room, and did indeed open one, before the rest of the party, Ajaman in particular, took them to task for being careless. They eventually agreed to wait until morning for the rest.
That door spoke to them as they opened it: "The way is blocked. You shall not pass." and had only a stone wall behind it.
The next day, the investigation of the rest of the doors began. The first to be opened proved to have a ghostly human female face which spoke to Yassel, telling him in vague terms of what he could find in the next doors. The warnings apparently were not clear enough, however, as Yassel's attempt to disable the trap on the next door resulted in a large stone block landing on him - and the disappearance of all the metal on his body! Once healed, the heroes surmised that the metal may have ended up in the pile of items in the entrance room, and so went there, finding their guess confirmed.
Then, back to the pillared room and on to the next door. This time, a detect magic showed the floor in front of the door as magical, and thus an unseen servant was sent to open the door, revealing small, empty room. However, not content with moving on, as they felt that they must dismantle the traps as well. So, Yassel again advanced to handle the trap - and this time, while watching upward for another stone block, was surprised to find himself falling 40' - as the floor underneath his feet disappeaared and reappeared!! After much discussion and consideration of alternatives, Kartoffl softened the stone near the magical area, and the heroes dug out a hole through which they could lower a rope and pull Yassel up.
Healed once more, Yassel led the heroes to the last place they believe they have to investigate - a set of wet, slimy stairs heading down. This time, as Yassel missed yet another trap, he was saved from a tumble down the stairs by the rope around his waist. Unfortunately, that didn't save him from the attacks of two stirges, who drained his blood and then flew away - only to be caught in Ajaman's color spray and finished by party arrows and bolts.
Thistle then checked out the door, and the heroes prudently decided to spend the rest of this day resting, restore Yassel tomorrow, and rest the rest of that day, and open the door two days from now, on 08/11/1373 DR.
|10/23/2002||08/11/1373 DR - 08/13/1373 DR|
The heroes headed back down the stairs, with Yassel tripping another trap - one which caused spikes to emerge from the door at the bottom of the stairs, but which Yassel managed to avoid. Once there, he examined the barred door carefully and eventually unlocked, unbarred, and opened it.
In the room were three stone sarcophagi, one with the lid ajar, and nothing else. Kartoffl was the first one to move in, heading for the slightly-open sarcophagus on the left. Yassel followed, but turned to the right instead. Almost immediately, a skeleton hiding in the front left corner of the room attacked Kartoffl! While it apparently could be damaged, it did not respond to Kartoffl's admonitions, even though he called on Moradin with zeal.
Yassel tumbled in to flank the skeleton, and Thistle to attack from a third side. As they did, the lids on the other sarcophagi began to move, and a mummy and another skeleton emerged. Charmaine called upon Ilmater to bid them stay back, but they ignored her pleas as well - so she rattled them with a burst of sound. While this appeared to have an effect, it did not destroy them, and the mummy moved to attack Thistle.
Dominque called for a celestial eagle, and between the attacks of the heroes and their companions, the original skeleton seemed to be damaged. But then, the mummy slammed Thistle - and his return blow, thought it struck true, affected the creature not at all. At that point, Thistle called to the rest of the group to "Run!" and suited action to words.
Soon all the heroes were out of the room, and the door had been barred on the eagle and their three foes. The group caught their breath at the top of the stairs, and discussed tactics - only to have the discussion cut short as the creatures pounded on the door and eventually broke it down. Two emerged - the mummy and a skeleton, and spells and fire were prepared and used. The skeleton soon fell to the combined assault, but the mummy continued up the stairs - where the heroes intended to lure it to the room with the electrical trap. The lure was still working when the fires consumed the creature.
The heroes returned to the room with the sarcophagi, and explored a tunnel and room behind a secret door. There they found a chest with coins, gems, and a potion vial.
After some discussion, and not a few sighs
of relief, the heroes checked their map and determined that they had completed
the assigned task of cleaning out the Halls. To ensure this, they spent
the next days walking through the place, checking all out. Finally satisfied,
on the 13th of Eleasis they started to head back to Silverymoon.
|10/30/2002||08/13/1373 DR - 08/17/1373 DR|
On the way back, the heroes noticed signs of orcs, and spend a day tracking them, finding little.
Back in SIlverymoon on 08/16/1373, the heroes report in, then handle some business - selling armor, and so forth. They are notified that the Lady would like to see them at mid-morning on the next day, and present themselves as requested.
During this audience, the Lady Alustriel makes it clear that she is pleased with their work, that she hopes they continue to work together, but that she is not hiring them to work for the City. While she, or other city officials may do so in the future, it is the group's responsibilty to find their own adventure.
In that spirit, as his companions take care of other business, Yassel goes information-hunting ....
© Copyright Maryrita Steinhour, 2002, 2003.