"What did he mean, 'use the shaft'?" asks Veracity.
"Remember the revenant who floated down into the Jade Spider room,, said 'oops', and floated up again," says Tebryn.
"Ah, perhaps it is a levitation shaft of some sort," says Veracity. "Let me try it out!"
"Wait," says Brianna. "Let me cure up Igor first." She sings and cures him for 20, 26, and 22 points.
"Thanks!" says Igor.
Yol invokes the power of life and death to cure Kress.
The room has an interior door, a pair of double doors on the outer wall of the tower, and a shaft that descends.
Veracity invokes her ring of invisibility. She steps into the shaft and thinks about moving down. She descends at 20 feet per round to the Jade Spider room and steps out. She casts see invisible.
Igor invokes his ring of invisibility. He flies down the shaft. Veracity tells him the deal, steps into the shaft, and floats up. She reports.
Hazen searches the interior door. He finds nothing of interest. Igor opens the door. It opens into a small but comfortable room with purple tapestries that smells of old perfume. Another door opens in the far wall.
Hazen searches the next door and finds nothing. Igor draws his sword while Kress opens it. It leads into another similar room.
Nothing of interest is in either room.
We line up at the double doors. Hazen searches it painstakingly and finds no traps. Igor opens it.
It opens into a long slender hallway. Narrow windows look down on the city. Large double doors of stone decorated with golden spider designs stand at either end.
We march to the opposite end. Hazen comes up and carefully searches the door for traps. "Looks OK to me, boss!"
Igor draws his sword and opens the door.
It opens into a room. It contains two neatly made bunks and a variety of weapons hang from the walls.
"Hey, Yol," says Tebryn, "how about sending Khumarr to scout for us? He is incorporeal and can pass through walls."
"Tebryn, that's an excellent idea," says Yol. "I hadn't thought of that!" She turns to her spectre. "Khumarr, go through that double door, look around, and come back and tell me what lies beyond!"
Khumarr goes through and comes back. "There is a large room. It has fancy furnishings. There are scorches and bloodstains, but no creatures."
"Good boy, Khumarr!" says Yol. "Now go scout through that other door!"
Khumarr goes through and returns. "There is a hallway with stairs and more doors."
"Let's go through these large doors," suggests Tebryn. "Hazen, care to search this door? Carefully?"
"Yeah, yeah," says Hazen. He comes up and studies it carefully. "No traps, boss!" Igor opens the door.
The walls are sheathed in magnificent fluted paneling of ebon and gold. The floors are made of black gold-veined marble. The elegant furnishings are made from exotic surface hardwoods.
Directly opposite are double doors. On this wall are single doors.
"Send out your scout again," says Tebryn.
Khumarr goes through the small door and almost immediately returns. "Much treasure!" he says.
"I'll search carefully," says Hazen. He does so. "Hmm, A magical symbol of some sort."
Tebryn peers up and casts read magic. "Nothing to worry about," he says. "It's just a symbol of death."
Hazen pales, but says, "I know I can disable this."
"I'll sing a song for you," says Brianna. She Inspires Competence in Hazen with a song of the great rogues of yore laughing as they remove fiendishly clever magical traps.
Hazen steps up and with great skill scrapes off the symbol.
"Easy as pie," says Hazen.
"You're not dead, eh?" says Tebryn.
"Am I dead or alive?" asks Hazen.
"Lamentably, he is still alive," says Yol.
Igor opens the door. We see a room with five large chests. Hazen searches them carefully.
480 pp (4,800 gp)
Yol sends Khumarr to scout the next room.
"A room much like this one and a door," reports the spectre.
Hazen searches the double doors and finds nothing. Igor opens it. The next room is very similar to the one we came from. There is another fireplace and a normal door.
"What is through that door," asks Yol of Khumarr. He goes through the door and returns.
"Another of those shafts of light," reports Khumarr.
Hazen searches the door. "It's a door. It's not trapped." Igor searches some more. Igor pulls the door open.
We see a fifteen foot square room with another 10 foot diameter levitation shaft in the middle. There is a door into the center.
"Scout that, Khumarr," says Yol.
"It is the other end of the corridor I told you about," says Khumarr.
Igor searches the door carefully and opens it.
We see a corridor. We file in. We see a set of spiral stairs and another couple of doors.
"Scout through that door, Khumarr," commands Yol.
"It is a very dark room, very fancy. There is a male human in it," reports Khumarr.
"OK," says Igor. "I'll open the door, sword in hand."
"Wait a minute," says Hazen. "Why not talk to him? Maybe he will be an ally."
"OK, I'll stand back, weapon ready," says Veracity.
"Honey, let's try Diplomacy," says Brianna.
"Fine," says Veracity. "I'll go visible and open the door." She does so.
Darkness seems to cling to the door, the walls, and the floor, like something solid or even alive, draping the entire room in shadow. It is sumptuously furnished, tastefully decorated, and comfortably warm. A lush purple carpet covers the cold stone floor. Thick brocades hang on the walls, and other curtains hang around the room, dividing what would otherwise be a large empty room. The furnishings are all in black, purple, or dark blue.
A charming looking man stands before the door. He is tall and gaunt with dark gray skin and eyes. He has long dark hair pulled back in a ponytail. Burgundy clothes, mantle, gold. His overall appearance is stately and formal.
Before Veracity can speak, he smiles, and says "Greetings. My name is Wyrruth, Ambassador of Shade."
"Greetings," says Veracity. "My name is Veracity."
"You seem to be new to the castle," says Wyrruth.
"Indeed I am," says Veracity. "I am on a very special mission. And yourself?"
"Well, as you are new, I must inform you that these are private ambassadorial quarters," says Wyrruth.
"Oh, I am sorry. My mistake," says Veracity.
"No problem," says Wyrruth. "How may I help you?"
"I have a message to deliver to deliver to Irae, and I seem to have taken a long turn," says Veracity. "Can you redirect me?"
"I have rarely seen Irae," says Wyrruth. "I usually have spoken to Khumarr."
"I see," says Veracity. "Is there any message you'd like me to pass on to Irae?"
"Oh, no," says Wyrruth. "My mission is known. I am from the neutral nation of Shade."
"All right," says Veracity. "We'll be off then."
"Very good," says Wyrruth. "Come back any time. But if I may ask, please do knock next time. This is a private ambassadorial suite."
"Very well," says Veracity. "Good bye!" She closes the door.
We move back to the entrance room.
"This guy could be useful!" says Hazen. "I wish I knew more about this Shade place."
"Shade is a land that appeared in the middle of the Anaurochan desert a few years back," says Brianna. "The people are from the Plane of Shadow and have strange and unusual powers."
"We should come back and talk to him later, after we have taken over this place," says Veracity.
"Yes," agrees Brianna. "He could be the ambassador to us then!"
"OK. Back to the Blood Fiend temple and up the stairs, there?" suggests Brianna.
"Yes," agrees Veracity. "Very good idea!"
As we chat, Veracity stiffens. "Trouble coming!" says Veracity.
Brianna moves to the corner and starts to sing.
The double doors to the corridor open.
Yol 25 Hazen 24 Brianna 23 Veracity 21 Kress 10 Khumarr 9 Igor 9 Tebryn 4
Standing in the corridor is a gang of Abyssal Ghouls. There are seven of them. The one that opened the door looks at Kress, nonplussed. "Who are you?" it asks in Abyssal.
"We are on a special mission for Irae," says Veracity. "Stand aside!"
They flatten themselves against the walls and Veracity marches past.
Kress bows to Veracity and follows.
Brianna follows, as does everybody else.
|Copyright © 2005 by Brianna Sollandry <brianna at hambo dot com>||
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
R'lyeh wgah-nagl fhtagn.