The heroes had just had a close call in the Iron Cages of Lust. They looked to have the evil succubus Delvahine and her two defenders on the ropes. The defenders - a pair of Shining Child's - both hit the mighty Stike with Scorching Rays and knocked out the big fighter. Reynard had quickly used a Teleport to whisk the heroes away to safety, but the party knew they had missed a good opportunity.
|The Iron Cages of Lust|
The fight was quick and brutal. With the surprise the heroes were able to land several blows before she could respond. Rather than fight she disappeared with a poof. Cheated of their victory the party did finish off the two Shining Child's and two more Stone Giants that Delvahine had likely summoned for additional support.
The party quickly dispersed to inspect the room. Reynard determined that the burning censer on the darkwood table was part of a trap to weaken the will of those who entered – the unusual magic item's power was tied to the magic of this wing of Runeforge, and if taken from this area, it would cease to function until it was returned. The censer's fumes constantly emitted a Mind Fog effect. Further inspection also revealed a Handy Haversack that contained a Tome of Understanding +1, six Potions of Cure Moderate Wounds, a Potion of Remove Disease, and a Potion of Remove Paralysis. Also found were Delvahine's spell books. The combined spell books contained all 1st through 7th level spells from all schools except Necromancy and Transmutation. They also contained two 8th level Enchantment spells: Power Word: Stun and Binding, and two 9th level Enchantment spells: Dominate Monster and Mass Hold Monster
The last chamber to inspect was Delvahine's boudoir, her personal playground, a place where she could satisfy all of her deviancies and desires. Strewn about the chamber were a dozen exotic, bejeweled toys and devices of decidedly erotic natures that Delvahine used in her debauches. The functions of some of these devices were salaciously obvious in some cases, but in others wasn't always clear at first glance. As a collection, they were worth 2,400 GP, but party members knew that not all merchants would publicly admit to an interest in purchasing them. Regardless, they also knew they had found one more Runeforged weapon component.
The plan was still to continue on to the next room, but as always the party was also still aware that the Great White Dragon named Arkrhyst was still somewhere in the halls of Runeforge. Delvahine was now likely roaming the halls as well, and both could appear at any time.
The Shimmering Veils of Pride was a grand cathedral decorated with peacock motifs and massive chandeliers that hung from the ceiling that brightly illuminated the hall with hundreds of continual flames. The entrance to the hall was a brightly lit corridor that was lined with floor-to-ceiling mirrors. The reflections gave the dizzying impression that the corridor opened up to each side and extending infinitely into the distance.
Although most of the mirrors in this hallway are not magic, two mirrors at either end of the junction were mirrors that glowed of magic. Kheo carefully moved forward to inspect the mirrors for traps and manage to set off the trap. The Mirrors of Opposition built into the walls would trigger when any character came between them and turned to face their reflection, the multitude of reflections would further trigger two exact duplicates of the unfortunate viewer to attack him. Two faux Kheo's appeared and the party had to quickly sort out which Kheo was which and put down the two reflections.
The corridor then opened into an immense cathedral of polished ivory flagstones. Mirrored walls rose to a height of nearly a hundred feet, where the vaulted ceiling arched majestically. Four immense chandeliers hung from golden chains and brightly illuminated the entire room. At the center of the cathedral, a three-step dais of polished wood supported a peacock the size of a wyvern, its feathers spread regally behind it. The creature's eyes seemed to hold a great depth of wisdom and intelligence.
With no other creatures or items in the room the focus of the party centered on the majestic peacock. Selinor was able to determine that is indeed give off the glow of magic, but at least for the moment it had offered no response to the intruders in its halls. Kheo was able to climb to the top of the peacock, but found no traps, compartments or secrets along the way. He further attempted to see if he could "pop out" the two mysterious looking eyes of the peacock, but was unable to.
There were plenty of mirrors to choose from, so one was chosen to be smashed. The party picked up a few shards, a required component for making a runeforged weapon, but just as they did a secret door in the back of the hall opened and seven humans poured out. All seven were identical: an immaculately dressed human man with shoulder-length blond hair. They spoke with one sonorous voice in Thassilonian: "The master is in study - he is not to be disturbed. Please keep your screaming to a minimum while you are punished for daring to venture this close to his magnificence."
And we will pick it up from there next time. For tonight’s effort the party earned 12,000 XP, giving them (613,950 + 12,000) 625,950 XP earned so far, with 635,000 XP required to reach Level 15 and 890,000 XP required to reach Level 16.