We started off the session facing the secret door in the fountain room of the Labyrinth of Zingalis. Taleth used the Chime of Opening to open the door and we proceeded down the long narrow hallway to the chamber beyond. There we found the remains of the animated statues that were destroyed the session before lying on the ground and the room was pretty much the way we left it. We once again cast the spell detect magic on the wall and it once again revealed the arrows and the pulsating magical force. We debated whether or not we wanted to use our one Dimension Door scroll to cast on the wall here to see if it opened up a door or a gate of some sort.
Lucias had made a realization about the shrine which was relevant to the discussion. He made the observation that there were four inscriptions on the frieze above the walls inside of the Temple to Hecate. There were also four spells inscribed above the green demon mouth sculptures in the four rooms below the shrine. There were also four gates that appeared to have some sort of magical key required to open them, perhaps by casting one of the spells written on the wall of the shrine below the temple. He deduced that maybe if we were to determine which cardinal compass points the litanies in the temple and the spells in the shrine were facing, that either reciting those litanies in the appropriate language (Promethean, Brimbahri or Ellise – a.k.a. Angelic, Demonic or Elven) or casting those spells on the gates or secret doors found at the same compass points in the labyrinth would open them up.
With that crisis averted, the group continued making its way to the shrine and entered through the wizard locked door. Once inside, Naas climbed up the wall over the front door and attempted to learn the secret inscription carved into the stone there. Despite the fact that it was invisible, he was able to slowly feel the carving with his fingers and discern the letters there. Using his thieves’ ability to read languages, he was able to discern that it was written in Promethean and said:
“The wise supplicant will shun the jade demon in the catacombs below. Only those who master the southern key will achieve true enlightenment”.
The stair hall was on an angle and the central room between the four individual shrines had continual darkness cast on it which made it exceedingly difficult for Gradwin the dwarf to determine the cardinal direction of each shrine underground. So we determined that in order to figure this out we would need to somehow turn off the continual darkness affect in the central room. None of the living group members had explored the central sphere and disk that one of our dead comrades had told us about before walking to his death through one of the green demon mouths. So Gradwin decided to explore it for himself. He went to the center of the room in the dark and felt around with his hands looking for the device that was described to him.
The other thing that happened was that a magical inscription appeared on the floor in glowing runic letters and the voice of Zingalis suddenly boomed into the chamber “Congratulations – now you may have your reward”. Gradwin cast read magic to try and read the magical writing but couldn’t make it out. Since that was the only ritual that anyone had for that day for a first level spell, we had to rest overnight to re-learn spells to try again the following day. The next day, two of the arcane casters cast read magic and tried again but failed to read the inscription. Cyrcla finally cast her read magic and was able to make out enough of it to determine that it contained a spell of the deep magics (a 9th level spell of some sort) but couldn’t discern any more than that aside from the partial phrase:
“For the worthy supplicant…”
but the rest was unintelligible.
Gradwin was however, able to now determine the cardinal points of the shrines to help us unlock the magically locked gates and doors in the labyrinth of Zingalis. He determined that the gate that we had previously explored faced West and the appropriate spell in that direction was in fact Dimension Door (we only guessed this spell by a lucky coincidence). He also determined that the Hold Portal/Brimbahri shrine faced north, the Arcane Lock/Elder God/Creepy room shrine faced east, and the Knock/Elisse/Elven shrine faced South. We also had the clue about south being the “path to true enlightenment” so we decided to test our newfound knowledge on that gate.
We left the temple and locked the door behind us with the Wizard Lock and headed to the southern gate. One of the arcane casters cast Knock at the gate and the bars suddenly vaporized and disappeared. The spell casters determined that the bars weren’t real all along and were merely illusions – we could have stepped through them at any time! So we went into the 20’ wide hallway beyond that was very similar to the one in the western entrance. At the end was another one of the wizard eye devices and a large double door with two levers on the left hand wall and one on the right. Gradwin pulled one of the levers down to see if he could open the door with it and was hit with a powerful series of five magic missiles that came from the wizard eye device! He was hurt badly and required some healing magic.
Taleth decided to use the Chime of opening to avoid the traps and the door opened right up but it went up into the wall above, instead of opening in or out like a normal door. There beyond the door was a 20’ wide by 30’ deep room with a hallway branching off to the right at the end and another lever on the left of the recently opened door. As we were observing the room, five Bone Devils that were previously invisible decided to spring their ambush. Unfortunately, we were surprised and to top it off a few of us were still slightly wounded and had learned spells for exploring the shrine rather than for combat. So a savage melee commenced in which the group of adventurers was very hard pressed.
Four of the six devils exploded in a blinding flash of bright white light and the only two that remained were the webbed one and the blinded one which the rest of the group quickly finished off. So with our foes dispatched and a crisis averted, we turned our attention to searching for loot. We found a large amount of gold coins hidden behind an illusory wall in the left rear corner of the room and then fell back to the safety of the shrine. We considered ourselves lucky to have made it out of that scrape against yet more Devils in the labyrinth of Zingalis with our lives. Fortunately though, we now perhaps had the keys to the Castle so to speak.
TO BE CONTINUED…