We greeted him and he told us that his name was Beorn and that he had recently been dropped off by a boat on the Lady’s Finger River off of the Dormant Lady Lake with a group of Adventurers that were seeking the famed wizard’s tower of Zingalis. He went on to tell us how his adventuring group had been ambushed by a group of monsters as they slept in their camp and had all been killed a few days before. He was the lone survivor and being a determined and capable Bahkshani warrior, he decided to press on to try and find the tower. He wandered for a few days in the general direction of the supposed location of the structure and eventually stumbled upon the tower and the temple which was a very lucky coincidence since the place was not easy to find. He was even luckier to find a group of adventurers camped out within the shrine to join up with - a single dwarf in these woods probably stood little chance of surviving the trip back to Medea’s Gate through the monster infested woods surrounding the place.
During the previous session, we had found a large sum of gold coins behind an invisible wall on the left end of the room beyond the doors after the fight with the Bone Devils but that was all we found. We surmised that they may have had more loot hidden away somewhere beyond the room in the complex. There was a door on the opposite side of the 10’x10’ niche behind the false wall so we opened it up and walked down a short hallway to another door. We opened this door and went into a 30’x30’ room with a statue in the left corner that appeared to be completely made of amber. There was also a door on the opposite wall and a pile of rubble in the far right corner of the room.
As we approached the amber statue to investigate it, we started discussing the value of amber. As we were discussing this, as is often the case with statues hidden in dungeons underground, it magically sprang to life and attacked the group. A brief melee commenced during which the animated statue was dispatched into a pile of broken amber pieces including severed limbs and appendages from its body. It was now clearly quite worthless so we searched the room and found that there was a hidden compartment below the base where the statue once stood. Within we found several magical elvish arrows and a small sum of valuable gems.
The group opened the door on the opposite side of this room and proceeded through another short hallway with a door on the opposite end. We opened this door and were confronted by an unexpected creature – it appeared to be a dog of some type, like a lab or something, sitting at the opposite end of a narrow but long room. It sat there wagging its tail with its tongue hanging out as if it was happy to see us and wanted our attention. The group was immediately suspicious since we had fought so many devious devils in this labyrinth before, some of which had used their polymorph spell like abilities to change their form. We prepared ourselves for combat in anticipation of the expected fight – weapons were drawn and arrows were knocked. As the “dog” saw that we were girding for combat, it slowly transformed into a giant 12’ tall devilish creature with an insectoid body, multifaceted eyes, and powerful mandibles on a mantis-like head. In its devilish talons it held a huge evil looking spear. The eeriest thing that happened as it polymorphed itself back from a dog to a devil, was that the whole time, its barbed thorny tail continued to wag and its wicked forked tongue still hung out as if it was anticipating some sort of twisted play session.
The group of adventurers were not in a playful mood however, after having suffered from the talons and devilish special abilities of numerous other devils in Zingalis’ lair – we said “here Fido” and let him have it. The elves and Gradwin bombarded the giant ice devil with a powerful barrage of magic missiles while the two fighters and the ranger charged the giant insect looking devil creature to send it back to the icy demi plane within the plane of Hades, Tarteras or Hell from whence it came. Despite its size and power, it could not withstand this fierce onslaught and disappeared in a chilling puff of freezing mist as it was bombarded and hacked to pieces thus returning it to its place of origin. Had the creature been able to act first, the outcome could have been much worse for the group based on past experiences. So we searched the room for loot and found a small sum of gold and copper coins and some gems hidden under a loose stone in a small niche at the far right end of the narrow chamber. It wasn’t much loot for a greater devil of such power, so we continued to search for its main treasure hoard.
We opened the door at the end of the room and proceeded down a hallway that kept going straight but also turned sharply to the right shortly past the door. We went down the right hand branch and after a little ways the hall ended in a door. We opened the door and were greeted by three more of Zingalis’ crazy creations – these chaos spawned creatures were things of madness and horror. They had segmented limbs, some of which had crab like claws in odd places, an oddly shaped head with rows of sharp nasty teeth, eyes appearing on its grotesque contorted body in seemingly random places and all manner of tails, extra limbs and appendages protruding from their nightmarish bodies giving them a very chaotic appearance. The group set aside its initial shock of seeing these abominations of nature and quickly dispatched them in a brief but fierce combat. Such things were never meant to live and we made sure that they didn’t in short order.
As they got towards the end, they felt some sort of magical affect go off but they both made their saves and were not affected by whatever it was. They warned the others to jump over the trapped portion of the floor there and we did so without being affected by the unknown magical affect on the floor. In the room beyond was another fountain with the water coming out of a carven statuesque face on the left hand wall of the small room. Asclepius stuck his pinky in the water and in his head he heard the voice of Zingalis say “chose the language that you wish to learn”. He chose a language (giant) and instantly, he knew how to speak, read and write giant! He told the others what had happened and Gradwin, Taleth and Beorn also put their fingers in the fountain and similarly, learned new languages instantaneously.
Then we turned our attention to the fountain as we searched it and the rest of the room. We found a hidden compartment behind the fountain containing an absurd amount of silver and gold coins – far more than we could carry. Jackpot! Now we had the task of figuring out how to transport our recent finds of wealth from the Bone Devils, the Ice Devil and the Amber Statue out of the labyrinth of Zingalis and back to the safety of Medea’s Gate. All in all though, it was not a bad problem to have.
TO BE CONTINUED…