Friday, February 20, 2015

Day 19: The Pit and the Door

After resting, the party searches the huts and the side rooms and find four more mummified elves. One of them wears a necklace with three beads that emanate warmth (Necklace of Missiles); Eryn takes this. They find two secret rooms as well. One contains a chest sent as a gift by Klif, an ancient dwarven king of the Strifelands, containing various valuables and a warhammer +1, +2 vs undead, which Gnaurm takes. The other room contains a trapped chest that flash-blinds Hinonk when he opens it.

They go back to the stairs and take the west corridor. Eryn walks confidently through a patch of green slime and it begins to consume her. She burns it off with a torch.

The corridor leads to a large two-part workroom. There's an old forge with a chimney over it; as the party searches the room, a giant bloodworm descends through the chimney. It latches on to Taniya and drains a goodly amount of blood before the party manages to kill it. Searching the room reveals a large vat of oil, that the party uses to refill their flasks, and a hidden message etched into the wall: "FORGIVE OUR GREAT ERROR / I WORSHIP CORELLON / LET THE ONE WHO READS THIS KNOW THAT NATHELLAR REPENTED."

Next exploring east of the stairs, the party finds a room with a cave-in caused by a massive tree root. They try for a while to dig it out, but make no significant progress. They give up and explore the south passage.

The south passage has six branching corridors that lead to oubliette pits. Only one of them contains anything: orc bones. Gwindle descends to examine them, but finds nothing of note.

The party goes back to the first floor to try the stairs behind the stuffed stag. They find a cavern with a deep pit in the middle. Winnpernickel casts Light on a stick and they lower it with a rope, revealing the pit to be one hundred feet deep. Gwindle climbs down and finds a cavern full of spongy black dirt and three ochre jellies clinging to the walls. He climbs back up. The party tosses rations down as bait, then shoves one of the stone blocks in the upper cavern down the pit. Then they descend, each party member joining the fight with the jellies as they make it down. Around this time, Hinonk's blindness wears off. The party rests for a while.

The party follows a tunnel out of the lower cavern and reenters the hold, finding boring beetle remains in the room the tunnel leads to. Most of the doors on this level are open. They go north, passing an unmarked slab with hundreds of nickel spikes with Y-shaped heads driven into the wall around it. They find another Gray Elf resting place containing two more bodies. The slab sealing this large diamond-shaped chamber had fallen over and one of the elves is not mummified, but in a state of natural decay. Hinonk loots a glass bead anklet (conferring DEX +1) from the preserved one.

They explore the star-shaped south chamber next, finding two more elves, both perfectly mummified. Taniya loots a silver hairpin from one of them (functions as a Brooch of Shielding) and Hinonk loots a moonstone pendant (Necklace of Adaptation) from the other.

Next they go through the unmarked slab, finding a passage to a cavern that faces a natural stone wall with a door set high up in it, and a carved block in front of it. The block has twelve small depressions on the top and a relief of twelve robed figures standing with their left arms outstretched on the front. Unable to open the door, the party goes back and takes the east passage to a set of ascending spiral stairs.

Upstairs, they are on the other side of the cave-in on the second floor. Here they encounter seven myconids, one of whom holds a staff and sits on a throne made of white fungus and beetle parts. Preparing for a potential fight, Grabathor starts pouring oil on the ground. This alarms the myconid king, who emits a cloud of spores that cause all of the party to hallucinate except for Grabathor, Gnaurm, Hinonk, and Eryn. The rest of the party has a vivid, colorful, synesthesiatic vision in which a happy, thriving myconid colony lives in peace for many years before a red-eyed devil arrives, searching for something, and kills many of them in anger when he cannot retrieve it. Meanwhile, Grabathor throws one of the beads from Eryn's necklace at the myconids, causing an explosion that kills all but the king. After a brief fight, the king is killed, and the party waits for the effect of the spores to wear off. They find nothing of value in this place except for the myconid king's staff, which has an as-yet undiscovered magical function.

Returning to the stone door, Utter and Eryn examine the carvings on the block and theorize that placing the dead elves' left hands in the depressions might unlock the door. Eryn casts Levitate and returns to the upper levels to sever and bring back their hands. It's the dead of night now, and the party decides to rest until morning before continuing.
The party refills all oil flasks and loots 1 silver carpenter's square (100 GPV), 1 silver mallet (120 GPV), 16 golden spikes (65 GPV each), and a magical myconid king's staff of uncertain function.

The party tosses 1 day of rations from the undistributed loot down a hole as ochre jelly bait.
All party members consume 1 day of rations.

Gnaurm loots a Warhammer +1, +2 vs undead.
Eryn uses up 2 torches and loots a Necklace of Missiles (2 3d6, 1 5d6) from one of the mummified elves, but uses up the largest bead in the myconid fight.
Hinonk loots a Anklet of Dexterity +1 from one of the mummified elves.
Taniya drinks the potion of healing from the undistributed loot, uses up 1 oil flask, and loots a Hairpin of Shielding from one of the mummified elves.
Chumsalt uses up 1 bandage.
Gwindle uses up 1 bandage.
Grabathor uses up 2 oil flasks and loses 2 arrows.

Grabathor is awarded 100 XP for a nice callback to the pickpocketing of his tinderbox.
Gwindle is awarded 100 XP for making good ability checks on a harrowing rope climb.
Utter and Eryn are awarded 250 XP each for their insights into the sealed door puzzle.
All party members receive 1,527 XP each.

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