Recap January 17, 2020

The walls of this room are covered with mosaics depicting courtly scenes. The floor is polished marble. Two thrones sit atop a raised dais. At the east end of the room, a red velvet carpet runs from the double doors to the thrones. A skeletal figure sits on each throne. The skeletons are dressed in rotting velvet. One skeleton holds a jeweled mace. Twenty more skeletons stand on guard, ten each along the north and south walls. The skeletons wear rusted armor and carry halberds with rusted blades. Another dozen skeletons, wearing decayed court dress, stand in front of the thrones.

Nameless and Stumbleduck checked out the skeletons on the south wall. They did not see anything strange. Kriv followed them and punched one of the skeletons expecting it to come to life and/or the others to come to life. It did not happen. Instead, the skeleton’s arm was crushed as well as some of its ribs. They continued to look at the skeletons and then went open a door that was on the south wall.

Cerridwen and Kregerath went to look at the throne and the two skeletons sitting on them. They did not find anything. Cerridwen stayed at the thrones while Kregerath moved to the double doors at the end of the red velvet carpet to the east. Grundy went with him. The double doors were not locked and did not have any traps. A long corridor was on the other side. They saw two sets of doors. One was a single door on the east wall. The other was a double door on the north wall right where the corridor elbowed and turned south. They went to the elbow and saw more doors on the east and west walls of the corridor leading south. A set of double doors was at the end of the corridor. They came back and went to the very first door. Kregerath listened, hearing nothing he checked for traps. Finding none, he found that the door was not locked. He opened the door while Grundy watched his back.

This room is obviously a library. Its walls are lined with shelves filled with books and scrolls. There is someone sitting in a leather-covered chair in the center of the room reading a book. Though the individual has the body of a human, his head is that of a corgi dog. Around his neck is a small amber whistle.

Meanwhile Nameless and Stumbleduck opened the door to the south. Kriv, Schmoogle, and Cerridwen all had stayed in the Throne Room.

The walls and ceiling of this room are painted blue. The floor is covered with an azure-colored carpet. The incense of cedar, saffron, and ambergris fills the room. The room contains miscellaneous furniture, all dyed blue. The room appears to be empty. There was a door to the east. Finding nothing but in the Blue Room, they went to the door to the east. Opening the door:

A snow-white carpet covers the floor of this room. The walls and ceiling are ivory colored. You can smell the incense ( jasmine, ginseng and mandrake root. The white-colored furniture in the room is covered with a layer of frost. The temperature in the room is freezing. A giant, white, six-legged lizard stares at you.

The lizard moved forward to attack. Stumbleduck let the others know what was going on. They relayed the message to Kregerath and Grundy who ran back to assist. Nameless and Stumbleduck cast fire spells at the Frost Salamander and then they moved to corners on either side of the door. It did not like the fire spells. It crept forward a little. It seemed to be waiting. Schmoogle rushed forward and used his flame tongue greatsword to do more damage to the lizard. The lizard opened its mouth and exhaled a chill wind in a 60-foot cone getting Schmoogle, Cerridwen and Kriv causing cold damage to them. Cerridwen cast Faerie Fire on the lizard so all attacks were at advantage. Soon the Frost Salamander was defeated. They did not find anything else in the room. There was another door to the east.

Opening that door:

The walls and ceiling of this room are painted green. An emerald-colored carpet covers the floor. The room is empty of furniture. The scent of sandalwood, roses, and musk fills the room. Looking around the room there appeared to be a group of faceless dancers engaged in a solemn, ceremonial-looking dance upside-down on the ceiling. They dance for a while and then the vision of the dancers swiftly resolved into a giant man standing in the center of the room. The giant’s skin is pale green and his hair and long shaggy beard are dark green. He holds a two-handed sword. A normal sword is belted at his waist. He is dressed in leather clothing dyed green.

Schmoogle calls out to him in Giant. Greetings! The Green Man replies in Giant or was in Common, everyone in the group could understand him. The Green Man said, Well met. How can I be of service to you? Schmoogle said we are on a quest to find silver keys in this great house. Do you know where any of these keys are located? The Green Man said No, I do not. But if you are wanting to move to the next room through the door behind me, you will have to cut off my head.

The group was stunned. Was this some kind of trap. They started to circle around the Green Man. The Green Man only smiled. Nameless brought up the hood on his Cloak of Invisibility. That is not fair, laughed the Green Man. You have not heard the terms. You see, you will need to chop off my head using this. He pulled out the large two-handed sword and held it out. Again, the group spoke with each other. Schmoogle was the strongest so he was chosen to take up the greatsword and attempt to cut off the Green Man’s head. The Green Man pulled out the long sword that was at his side and Schmoogle gave him a look. The Green Man said, What, did you not expect me to defend myself? Go ahead now. Cut off my head.

Schmoogle attack and thought it had hit true but the Green Man smiled and said that was a really strong attack. Try again, maybe this time you will hit me! Then he swung his long sword and gave Schmoogle two cuts. Schmoogle attacked several more times but he could not find the exact place. Then he tightened his grip on the greatsword and swung one last time and the Green Man’s head detached from his body.

Schmoogle admired the greatsword and was about to keep it when he heard a voice. That belongs to me. I will need it to challenge others. The Green Man’s head was speaking as if it had not been severed. Come to me my body. He picked up his head and twisted it back on his neck and it reattached. You have done well. You may pass. Several in the group asked if they would need to do the challenge as well. No, he said. You are free to use the door to the east and he stepped in the northeast corner and let them pass.

They opened the next door:

Ebony paint covers the walls and ceiling of this room. A sable carpet covers the floor. The scent of henbane, assafoetida, and hellebore root fill the room. All the furniture in the room is lacquered black. The room appears to be empty.

They searched the room and underneath the edge of the carpet Nameless found a trapdoor. They discussed about whether to take the trapdoor down or to continue looking for silver keys in this section of the house. There was another door to the east and the library with the corgi man in it to check out. So they opened the door to the east.

A blood-red carpet covers the floor. The walls and ceiling have been painted scarlet. The incense of sulpher, benzoin, and euphorbia fills the room. The furniture in the room has been lacquered red. A large man stands in the center of the room. The man has scarlet skin and yellow hair. He wears reddish-gold armor. His shield shines like the sun.

They shouted out a greeting to him and asked if he was a paladin. He replied I am Thermisitis. I am of the Brotherhood of the Sun which would be equivalent to a paladin where you are from. We are sworn to defeat efreeti. I am waiting here to join Cotman and his lupine companions to head into the dungeons below to purge it of the Xoriat influence that infects the place. I also hope to find an efreeti. You never know where they are going to appear. Why are you here?

They explained that they are looking for silver keys. Thermisitis said that he has heard of these keys but Cotman would know more about such things. This is his house. So Cotman is a Gamgee? That is correct. He should know more. They asked him where Cotman could be found. Thermisitis replied He is usually in the library. Do not be alarmed, he does have a head of a corgi. They thanked him for the information and then headed back to the library to talk to Cotman.

Cotman looked up as they entered and welcomed them. Then he asked how he could help them. Nameless was hesitant to reply to him. He said I must ask what your alignment is. We have some issues with people in this house not being truthful with us. Cotman said I understand. I know my family. You may cast a cast to determine my alignment but I am Lawful Good. I have been attempting to show some members of my family the error of their ways. And if I can get one of them to change, then I will have succeeded. For the time being. You see, Thermisitis and my Lupine companions are preparing to venture into the basement dungeon to destroy the Xoriat influence - aberrations, demons, all sorts of evil. I am here in the library doing some reading in preparation. Now, that Flynrich is dead, I am not sure what can be done to stop such evils within the house.

The group asked Cotman about the silver keys and they showed him the “Those Who Would Be Free” scroll. He took it and smiled. I knew it. I just knew my father would have a contingency plan. Nameless said Flynrich is your father? Cotman replied yes he is. I am not surprised by this news. The man does think of everything. The silver keys are needed to open the gate. The gate leads to our ancestral planet, Anadia. The gate is located below in the family dungeon. These names are places found in the country we lived in on Anadia. These items I am not familiar with. It has been a long time since I have been to Anadia. I am not sure I want to return. I was there when I was very young. The trip was boring. All we did was make a boring visit to the rural countryside. Also a warning, magic is forbidden there and I am pretty sure my family left there because of their curiosity and experimentation about magic.

They asked if they could look around the library for information about the gate, the silver keys and anything else. Cotman agreed and said only if you first pay a 5000gp deposit in case you discover any valuables. You must understand, those items do belong to my family. Nameless paid Cotman and they set out to research.

Nameless found several books that were written by Flynrich. In one of them, a scroll dropped out. He picked it up and began to read it. Suddenly he found that his head was now a corgi’s head. Nameless was not amused. He was not sure what to do about it so he just continued to look through the library. Several times Kregerath made comments about scratching Nameless’s ears. Nameless gave him several stern looks and the comments stopped, for a while.

Grundy found several cookbooks that he added to his collection. Both were halfling cookbooks with many excellent recipes. They continued to look and on top of the histories and books on the theory of magic and many other topics they found the following:

Spells scrolls of blight, Evard’s black tentacles, Leomund’s tiny hut, locate object, wall of ice, and wind wall. A spellbook. This compendium is written in red wax and bound in steel plates. 1st level - Alarm, Find Familiar, Grease, Ice Knife, Illusory Script, Ray of Sickness, Sleep 2nd level - Continual Flame, Earthbind, Flaming Sphere, Magic Weapon 3rd level - Erupting Earth, Gaseous Form, Lightning Bolt, Major Image, Vampiric Touch 4th level - Confusion, Phantasmal Killer

They found another “To Those Who Would Be Free” scroll as well. All of the other copies that they had found in the house all disappeared once they had this copy in their possession.

They asked Cotman if he and Thermisitis would come with them to the basement. Cotman said no, that they were not ready. He added I think you all are ready though. I would not want to get in your way and slow you down. They then decide to use the Rod to take a rest. They asked Cotman if he and Thermisitis would like to rest with them. Cotman said yes and summoned Thermisitis. The magic did not work for Thermisitis and Cotman. They were not able to join them. Cotman said that it was okay and that they would be fine.

The group thanked him again.

After the 8 hours of resting, they set out to see what else they could find. They went to the large double doors at the elbow. Opening the door:

The floor of this large room is wood parquet. The acoustics in this room are excellent. In the center of the north wall is a balcony. You notice several musical instruments lying on the balcony. Swinging from a large chandelier in the center of the room is a small, hairy, misshapen figure dressed in the clothing of a court jester. He holds the ends of three long chains. The chains are connected to iron collars around the necks of three white-furred apes who are standing on the floor.

The group moved forward cautiously. Kregerath called out the creature hanging from the chandelier. The man(?) grunted. The group looked for any spell that they could attempt to communicate with. He finally spoke. “Who are you? Why are you in my domain? The Gamgees didn’t send you did they? No, we have had some run-ins with other Gamgees so we are just being cautious. The man climbed down but did not let go of the chain with the white apes. Nameless came forward and said “Do you have any silver keys? We are collecting them to use on a gate that will take us to the Gamgee home planet, we think, well we are not sure. Anyway, we are attempting to find Flynrich.

The man shook his head and looked glassy-eyed for a moment as it racked its brain. It suddenly was lucid and said “Vulthuryol?”

Nameless replied, “How do you know that name?” The little man replied, “I am Mattwise. I have been altered by the curse resulting from the ritual Flynrich was attempting to complete when he was overwhelmed by Nezznar and the death demons. I have been given this territory by the Gamgees in exchange for not hunting them down and harming them for all the nasty things they have said and done to me.”

They talked more about the group’s intention to head into the basement. Mattwise said he would like to go but he needed to stay in the Ballroom. Kregerath asked if the group could take the white apes with them. Mattwise became very possessive of the apes. He brought the chains in close to him and said No. These are mine. I must keep them nearby to remind the Gamgees of what I am now capable of. You see, these were Gamgees who were particularly hateful to me. Over many years I studied and learned and over time I found I had mastered the Polymorph spell and Charm Monster spell. So, that day they came to pester me, harm me I first polymorphed them and then charmed them to be my companions. They now serve Little-Ape! That is what I call myself now. No, they must stay with me. I wish you luck. I know your capabilities. I knew that you would receive my message and come. You can reverse this curse and bring Flynrich back. “

They seemed to understand that they should leave. They went back to the hall and went south and opened the door to the east.

The room holds a single bed and typical bedroom furniture. The room appears to be empty.

They moved on down the hall. they opened the door to the west. They were back in the library with Cotman. They opened the door directly to the east across the western door.

The walls of this room are wood paneled. The floor is covered by a plush carpet. A number of card tables and wooden chairs are scattered around the room. Sitting behind a table in the middle of the room is a matronly woman dressed like a gypsy. On the table in front of her are 10 cards, face down. The cards are arranged in two rows of five cards each. As soon as the door opens, the woman says, “Welcome, come in, come in. The cards know all. The cards see all. Make yourselves comfortable. Who’ll be the first to choose a card? Pick a card, any card.”

(I do not remember what everyone drew and then had happened to them. Please let me know what I left out.)

Kregerath flipped a card over and the image was: A man sits near a tree with a dog at his feet. He plays a lute and sings a song for a woman standing on a nearby balcony. A giant crayfish is slowly crawling up to the balcony toward the woman. High overhead, a crescent moon shines. This card, when chosen, was upside down.

Kregerath went temporarily insane and saw Stumbleduck to be his biggest rival. So, he lashed out at him attacking with his rapier. His aim was not too good and his missed. Stumbleduck retaliated and cast Feeblemind on Kregerath causing psychic damage and dropping his Intelligence and Charisma scores to 1. That spell did not seem to phase Kregerath who attacked again, this time hitting his target. Then, suddenly as it had happened, Kregerath was back to normal wondering why he was attacking his companion.

Cerridwen flipped over a card and the image was: A man with a sword raised high rides a rearing horse. The man wears a plumed hat and a flowing red cape. This card is upside down when chosen.

Suddenly a rapier appeared in her hands. It was a +1 rapier and she instantly was proficient in its use. Cerridwen knew she would do great things with this rapier. She was so confident that if a situation could not be helped with her magic, she would attack using her shiny new rapier.

Schmoogle flipped over a card and the image was: A man in a wide-brimmed hat stands in front of various objects placed at random on a table. The man points a wand in his right hand toward the sky while pointing with his left hand toward the ground.

Schmoogle received a Ring of Spell-storing. The current spells in the ring were silent image, knock, skywrite.

Kriv flipped over a card and the image was: A man holds back a lion using only his bare hands. At the man’s feet lies a club.

Kriv had the Enhance Ability spell cast on him with the bull’s strength version. The target has advantage on Strength checks, and his or her carrying capacity doubles. This will last until he completes a long rest.

No one else flipped a card. The woman asked one last time if anyone wanted to see a card. Kregerath tried to flip another card but he was not able to. The woman then wished them well on their journey and then she disappeared.

They walked down to the end of the hall and opened the double doors.

This room is an antechamber leading outside. You notice that the gray mist still surrounds the castle. Inside the room are six 3’ tall humanoids with pasty gray-green skin, large saucer-shaped eyes and pointed ears.

The odd creatures were running around laughing and pointing and talking nonsense. Perhaps they were dancing…The group was not sure. Kriv decided to join their dance. After awhile the other noticed that Kriv’s face had started to melt on one side. It did not seem to bother Kriv who kept on dancing. They felt they needed to get him out of the room.

Kregerath came into the room and joined the creatures. Suddenly one of his socks had come off his feet and was dancing beside him. His shoe was still on his foot. He said that he wanted his sock back on so the sock was back on his foot but covered his shoe. He looked and the other sock had covered his other shoe. It did not seem to bother the way he walked. He then suddenly became nauseated and vomited up a tiny ooze. As Kregerath walked around the room the tiny ooze followed him. It was gross to the point of being cute. Kregerath didn’t seem to mind as he now had a pet.

The rest of the group wanted to get Kregerath and Kriv out of the foyer. Nameless used his Rope of Climbing to wrap around the two of them. The creatures began to eat the rope. Nameless drew it back and then threw it again. This time the creatures did not eat the rope and they were able to get Kriv and Kregerath out of the room. They then headed for the trapdoor that leads to the Dungeon below the house.