The group of adventurers decided to explore the one area of the Labyrinth of Zingalis that we hadn’t previously checked out. There was a hallway leading out of the room where we fought the giant dragon headed snake that was as yet unexplored. So we set out to explore that area in the hopes of finding more treasure or perhaps a way into the tower. After about twenty feet, the tunnel ended in a caved in area straight ahead and a door on the left. We opened the door that lead into another longer hallway which then turned to the left. At the corner stood two formless statues that appeared to be made out of clay or some other earthy material. As the group tried to walk past them, they started moving and attacked!
After a brief combat, the creatures melted into a pile of muck on the floor after they were destroyed. They didn’t really put up much of a fight and the GM told us afterwards that they were Muck Golems. We turned left and went down a long hallway with a checkerboard tile pattern on the floor that ended at a doorway. We opened that door and entered a room which was full of steam. As we walked into the room we were attacked and charged by a Nightmare which attempted to push Lucias into a pool of boiling water (a hot tub) on the other side of the room. Lucias managed to move deftly out of the way and avoid being pushed in and the melee commenced. It breathed its devilish fiery choking breath towards the group and some of the characters were covered with and inhaled the noxious vapors and were temporarily blinded but were otherwise able to fight on. After a fierce combat, the group managed to slay the Devil Horse. We found no treasure in the room and only briefly looked at the tub and decided to leave it alone. Since the Nightmare was trying to push us into it we assumed it was trapped or something.
One wall of the room was angled and next to it was a door that led into a short hallway that ended in another door. On the floor of the hallway were a bunch of small river rocks. We opened the second door and it led into another room with an angled wall and semi circular niche on the left side and three Caryatids depicting Eryines in the other corners. There was another door on the same wall as the one we entered the room on, so we opened it and went into what looked to be a looted treasure room. There were empty sacks on the floor and an empty chest as well inside of the small room. We searched it for secret doors and found one in the left rear corner. As we opened it up we heard a mysterious voice say “You have come far. Are you sure you don’t want to leave? Only the bold may pass through this portal”.
So being a group of bold adventurers, we opened the secret door and entered the room of course. In this large room was a round fountain with a small stream course feeding it from the far wall and several semi circular niches on three of the walls. The room was otherwise empty so we searched it and found a secret door in one of the niches. We were curious about the fountain as it appeared to be clear and sparkling clean water so Lucias put a few of his fingers in it to see if it was indeed fresh water. He recoiled in pain as some sort of poison, curse or spell afflicted his hand with a palsy – he couldn’t open the fingers of his right hand! Fortunately, he made his saving throw so apparently it could have been much worse. Brummbar bound the hand with a poultice of herbs to reduce the inflammation and he was forced to use his sword in his left hand and sling his shield on his back for a while. We heard the same eerie voice as before say “You chose poorly and are not worthy of the wizard’s challenge”. We also noticed another one of the wizard eye camera things in one corner following our movements around in the room.
So we turned our attention to the secret door but it would not open using normal means. So Taleth used his chime of opening on it and we heard the sounds of tumblers and locks moving and it opened right up. We heard the voice that we presumed was that of Zingalis say “Curses”. Beyond the door was a long narrow 5’ wide corridor that went for as long as we could see. We entered the tunnel single file and followed it for about sixty feet until it entered into a small room with three more of the Eryines caryatids in it – one on each wall. As we entered the room they started moving and attacked. They appeared to be some sort of animated statues because as we hit them with our weapons, chunks of stone flew off of them and what appeared to be molten steaming rock started pouring out of the wounds. After a brief but savage melee, the group managed to destroy all three statues.
We searched the room and found three arrows pointing to a spot on the wall of the room. There was no secret door there or anything that we could find but when Naas cast detect magic on it, he could see some sort of pulsating area on the wall. The GM described it as pulsating as if it was a heart but he was the only one who could see it and it was some sort of magical effect. We debated this for a little bit and decided that since it was a magical affect, maybe casting one of the spells indicated above the green demon mouths in the Shrine would open this portal and perhaps grant access to the tower. We guessed that the spell might be Dimension Door since it was conceivable that that spell could be powerful enough to open the magical portal if it was indeed a dimensional gate of some sort. Gradwin cast Augury using a ritual and asked his god the question “Will it be good or bad if we cast Dimension Door on this spot of the wall” and the answer that Hecate gave him was “Weal”. We debated this for a bit but decided that since we only one copy of Dimension Door on a scroll and it was above our ability to cast normally (it’s a fourth level spell) and Augury is unreliable, that we would go back to the Shrine to try and determine more info about the secrets contained therein that might give us clues to solving this puzzle.
So we went back to the shrine to investigate some of the spells written on the walls in the catacombs below it. Both Gradwin and Naas went to the room below the temple to Hecate that contained the Magic of the Elder Gods written on the murals and the walls. This was the same room that gave Asclepius nightmares when he copied the creepy familiar spell off of one of the murals in the room. The other mural contained scenes of non-Euclidean geometry and architecture and the grinning green portal opposite the entrance had Arcane Lock written above it in the alien and cruel tongue of the Elder Gods. Naas attempted to learn the Bind Familiar spell (from RoCC) off of the other mural but failed and got a little crazy – he was all twitchy and babbling incoherently about ancient secrets and truths that mortals were never meant to know.
Gradwin attempted to learn the spell on the other mural which he discerned was Spatial Travel a fifth level spell from Realms of Crawling Chaos. He successfully read it and then cast his scribe spell on it to copy it into his spell book but failed and took a certain amount of damage. Then he just sat there as if contemplating something. We waited because we assumed he was working – and we waited, and waited and still he stood there. We decided that something was wrong and removed him from the room. That’s when he started talking to his animated skeleton as if it was talking back to him and carrying on a conversation. He kept saying “I was so close” and things like “only one more phrase”. So with our two mentally disturbed spellcasters in tow, we decided to return to Medea’s Gate since we had been at the tower for almost a week and were starting to run low on food. That’s where we ended the session.
TO BE CONTINUED…