Recap May 15, 2020

Nameless and Mason went shopping to replenish the potions and scrolls they had used going back before their first trip to the Black Temple. They also bought some items for the others including wands (wand of magic missile) that those without ranged weapons could use. They checked their gear and Flynrich reminded them, to bring back anything no matter how insignificant it may seem. They said they would and Flynrich opened his screen portal and they stepped out close to the main entrance. They were concerned that the temple had been repopulated in the time they had been gone (not sure we even established how long you all have been away) but as they entered everything seemed to be in place. They made their way down the stairs from the 1st level to 2nd level near where they fought the ogres and hill giants in the swarm of butterflies that Gilbee had created with the Wand of Wonder. They were not sure which way to go at first but their memory kicked in and they went north into a large room, then west and then south till they saw the secret door that led to another secret door that led into the room with the hatch that had the 333 metal rungs of a ladder leading down into the Undertemple.

At last you are at the bottom of the shaft. There is a low passage leading south, so there isn’t much trouble deciding where to go. You are disturbed to note that your light sources seem very poor now, with only about one-half the illumination that they shed above. It isn’t the air, for even magical illumination of any kind is a shadow of its former self. Those with Darkvision cannot see as well in this darkness as they would in normal darkness. There were more shadows and darkness than they were used to. They tried to cast Light and it was dimmed. Even Nameless’s halo was dimmed but with it and the light spells on a few coins they were able to see enough to move around.

Nameless decided to go west. He was almost immediately attacked by a shadow creature that drained him of his life. He felt like it would paralyzed him if he was not able to avoid it. Two more of these shadow creatures attacked the group. It took longer than they would have liked but they defeated these creatures and after a quick search, they moved west once more.

The entered what turned out to be a hexagonal chamber:

This place has five strange formations in it. Each appears similar to a small tree, its trunk of shiny black near the base but then becoming a shade of color as it grows upwards, until finally branches, twigs, and leaves are of brighter hue. From left to right you see:

opalescent black tree

deep green tree

metallic crimson tree

indigo blue tree

smoky purple tree

Each tree has globular fruit-like growths hanging from its branches. Although the trees themselves vary in color as described, the fruit of each is the same lustrous black.

Nameless went to the opalescent black tree and took the fruit from it. The fruit exploded in his hands causing piercing damage. He moved to the deep green tree and had the same thing happen to him. Schmuugal tried to pick the metallic crimson fruit and it too exploded. Mason and Stumbleduck did some investigation and Mason found that perhaps if a person with the correct profession or class picked the correct fruit, it would not explode. Nameless was not patient and was ready to move on to the east. He was convinced to stay and after a few more errors, they were able to pick the fruit from each strange tree. They each gained an ability score increased based on their class as well as the fruit to take back to Flynrich. They moved east and found a corridor to the south. They went south and as they entered the room they remembered this was the room they had lit the incense and torch cones and then Grundy had blown the horn and it had opened a set lilac stairs down to another chamber. They wanted check out room that Nameless had found when they were fighting the shadows. They went back north and then east:

The poor light allows you to determine little of this place, but you can see gleaming metal to the east. There appear to be suits of armor there, some fallen, others still on their stands. Likewise there are shields of archaic type hung on the walls. Perhaps those are shelves too, with books and other items lined up on them. The light is too poor to tell for sure at any distance.

They cautiously entered the room. It did not take long to realize that what they thought was treasure was not. Despite the first appearance, and the fact that there are many items of the sort which could be of value, the chamber contains nothing of value, no treasure, no magic, nothing worth taking. The books are crumbling and of no interest, the boxes and jars and urns are of cheap wood, brass, or pottery. The armor is of ancient sort, and the metal is soft and easily pierced by hardened steel. The shields are rotting and of no worth. They did find a metal case. It glowed when Nameless cast Detect Magic. He quickly realized that the case was not magical but whatever was in the case. Nameless opened the case and found wand. He identified it as a Wand of Secrets.

They left the east room and went back to the south room. They set up the incense and the torch cones and the blew the horn.

Upon sounding the horn you see the glowing floor brighten and begin to pulse. The dark, translucent purple grows brighter, lighter, transparent. It seems to rise slowly in a column, and around it is a curtain of gray vapors, like-wise rising slowly towards the ceiling of the chamber. The room is growing frigid! Now you see a black pillar rising in the heart of the glowing, 20ft diameter beam of purple. As this black shaft touches the ceiling, the gray vapors thicken and make vision of the whole obscure. They swung the incense burners dissolved the gray mists turning them into an archway. They walked through the archway and down a long set of long “steps” of deep lilac. They see a core of deep black. Something tells them not to touch that deep black.

Finally they reach the end of the lilac “steps”.

You have dared all and descended the spiraling purple steps formed by the strange column of gray smoke, lilac light, and jet black. This swirling, pulsing column of radiation has opened a means of entrance to somewhere far beneath the surface of the earth - or perhaps to some place not of this earth. All of you feel the press of time, a sense of urgency. How long will this strange gate remain open? You all hope not to learn the hard way as you hurry down a seemingly endless flight of “steps” made of the purple radiance. Ten minutes seems more like ten hours, but at last you have come to what must be your final goal, for the stairs of light give way to more mundane ones of black stone. . .

You are now descending steps cut into the sides of a circular chamber only 20ft across - just the diameter of the pillar of radiance you descended through. As you look up, the pillar stretches far above you. So far you have a way of return! You note that the walls, steps, and the floor of this place are of needle-sharp mineral. To touch it will be to inflict many wounds upon the member so doing. To brush against it with your robes will be to risk shredding these protective garments. There is an opening about 12ft wide in the south wall. You see space beyond, and you head for it.

It is even colder now here.

As you enter this hemispherical chamber of some 40 diameter, the name of the place comes unbidden to your minds. It is called the cyst, The Black Cyst. From where you stand near the entrance, your iron torches cast only a faint light to where some form lies near the center of the place. This shape is so black that it is absolutely light-less, and it seems to absorb all the radiance from your torches. As was true in the entry chamber, so too here: all is needle-rock.

In the center of the room there is a stone block. It is about 12ft long, 4ft high, and 6ft wide. On it rests a shape wrapped in black haze. Under the haze is something so black that all light is lost to it. The eyes hurt to look at it, and the gaze avoids doing so.

As you move around this block of needle-rock you notice that an occasional ripple seems to pass through the lightless, haze-swathed form. Is it stirring? You can’t be sure. On the other side of the block you note devices of black metal. Two great metal cressets, each with three arms, stand at the head and foot of the block. There is a step-like block of the same jagged stone set against the main part - perhaps the step is part of it, for you can detect no seam. The smaller piece is 4ft long, 3ft wide, 2ft high. To either side of it are low stands with three cup like extensions. Beyond this, the place is bare and empty.

For some reason they knew that the horn needed to be blown again. But the mouthpiece was so cold it caused damage to the person who blew it (cannot remember who this was)

When the blast sounds, the whole place trembled. When the reverberations cease and the trembling of the Cyst subsides, you are astonished to note that there is now a broad doorway in the south wall where before there was nothing but stone. You step near and peer into the place beyond. There you see a small chamber of about 10ft diameter. There are two large chests of the now-familiar black metal. The glyphs stating Tharizdun’s name are upon each, and they appear seamless. Nothing else is in this circular space.

Nameless goes and checked the chest. He speaks the name of Tharizdun and the two chest open up.

In the one to the left are 60 balls of incense and a piece of black metal, 3ft long, with a triangular end. The other holds 30 torch cones and a like metal bar. These must be used on the small step back in the Cyst room.

By inserting and turning the key bars you have found you have caused the smaller step to move into the block. Beneath is an opening in which three things rest:

1 A long tube of black metal.

2 A small box of the same black metal

3 A bag of metallic, black cloth.

The metal items were freezing cold. The bag of cloth was not. Nameless used the bag to pick up the metal tube and the metal box and then put the black bag into his Bag of Holding. As Nameless is putting the black bag into the Bag of Holding he realized here was another item in the black bag. He looked inside and saw a book bound in black, scaly hide He can tell the pages are all of black and he could see flashes of silver on the pages. Was it writing or glyphs or sigils? They would wait to get back to Flynrich to check out the book, the metal tube and the metal box.

That was when they all noticed the great chain laying on the floor. It lies broken. Looking at it, it seems to be large enough that it could have been wrapped around the Black Cyst.

They thought about teleporting from this room but decided to leave the temple and then use the screen to get back to the Bibliomagicii to give the items they had found to Flynrich. They all secretly hoped that this was the last time they would have to go into the Black Temple.