Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hall of Enforced Introspection (11/21/2010)

Sorry this post is so late. Need an excuse? I got a million of them. We hosted Thanksgiving, Jacob's wrestling matches started, I worked Black Friday, and my parents stayed with us for three days. Once the dust settled and everything quieted down instead of getting caught up the wife and I went to see the new Harry Potter movie.

All the members were in attendance this week and were eager to further explore the Well of Demons. The meeting with the ghosts of failed expeditions past had provided the group with a lot of information, but there were still a lot of unanswered questions remaining still. The party ended up exploring most of the core of the Well of Demons, finding the following:

A room to the west that contained several statues - and a magical runed circle.

A room to the southwest that contained several vats of different colored liquid - and a magical runed circle.

A room to the southeast that contained two empty cells, a handful of dessicated skeletons chained to the floor, and a set of bars that blocked one entrance to this area - and a magical runed circle.

A room to the east that featured many statues, an altar, and several trails of dried blood that led back out into the entrance to this area - and a magical runed circle.

These rooms all surrounded an inner room that consisted of a large hallway that surrounded an inner sanctum. The inner sanctum contained two altars and a pit that was maybe 15 feet across and very, very deep.

The party knew they had found the four magical circles that they were to place the artifacts in, but there were no artifacts anywhere to be found. There were still several remaining hallways that led away from the core rooms that were yet to be explored - it appeared likely they may lead to something more.

After some deliberation it was decided to go up the hallway that led to the north. The door was unlocked, nothing could be heard on the other side, so the door was opened only to reveal a large thick curtain that hung all the way to the floor from hooks on the ceiling. The curtain was cautiously opened, revealing a large room with several mirror covered pillars in the room. Krstic moved in first, and promptly disappeared. Several other party members moved in, and disappeared as well, including Miave, Renny, and Elster. Akta, Oester, Jenneth, and Bogar covered their eyes and stumbled around the room, using the outside walls as a guide.

The room turned to the left, and eventually the remaining adventures came across a large curtain that seemed to cut off the back portion of the room. They stumbled behind the curtain and immediately found themselves being attacked by two large scimitar wielding skeletons. The two skeletons were able to deliver some damage, but they were soon overcome. Once quiet had resumed the party could see an altar with a mask laying atop of it. Jenneth used his Mage Hand to reach out a grab the mask, and the four party members then began their blind stumble back through the room to the exit.

Meanwhile the missing four party members found themselves in a small room that featured no doors or windows, no features at all, although it did have a partly emaciated and angry gnoll residing in it. With so many friends present the gnoll was soon overcome. The party members then began to look for magic, exits, traps, or anything that might help them escape, all to no avail. So they waited for those outside to rescue them.

With the mask now in tow, those standing safely in the hallway out side the hall of mirrors began to discuss their options. There must be a way to retrieve their lost comrades, but no handles, latches, or loose bricks could be found outside. It was obvious the answer lay inside, so Oester put on the mask to see if that might reveal some secret to him back around the mirrored pillars. He too immediately disappeared. Jenneth had an idea about destroying the closest mirrored pillar, and while she was successful in that regard, she too found that she became one of the missing as well.

With only Akta and Bogar remaining, the conversation went like this:

Bogar: "I think we should go back and look at the altar."

Akta: "No, that's not it."

But with no other options remaining, the two stumbled blindly into and through the room until they were safely behind the curtain. On the altar was a paw print that lay directly below where that mask had been, so Bogar set one of his big mitts directly onto the paw print ...

Unbeknownst to Akta and Bogar was that on the other side of the curtain all six of the missing party members had suddenly reappeared in various locations around the room. Each was standing right next to one of the many pillars in the room, and while some managed to keep their eyes closed, most did not. Some took psychic damage, while some immediately teleported in a different part of the room, and yes, some disappeared completely again.

It took awhile but eventually all the party was returned and was able to successfully exit the room. As the party looked around they saw:

2 Boneshard Skeletons, each wielding a scimitar

A Gnoll Marauder, wearing leather armor, carrying a light shield, and wielding a spear

For having overcome the traps and defeated the monsters therein each member of the party earned 250 XP for the encounter. The adventurers had also found the first of the four artifacts they are looking for, a mask called the Face of Baphomet.. The mask provided dark vision to whoever wore it.

After a five minute rest the party discussed their next option and it was decided they would investigate the door to west outside of the room with the statues.

Score Card: With the completion of this encounter the party had accumulated an additional 64 GP and 0 GP in gems. With the 250 XP earned during this encounter the party had accumulated 8320 XP (10000 needed to reach Level 7). Including this encounter Renny was sitting at 5440 XP (5500 needed to reach Level 5).

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