Recap November 1, 2019

Grundy was guarding the area outside the pool room and noticed a series of small walls that created an area around a set of stairs going down. He had the gut feeling that those stairs were guarded.

They started to head down the stairs and sure enough a group of elite norkers attacked them with magic bolts of stone and stone clubs. They also had witchdoctor who cast defensively spells on the norkers and offensive spells against the group. The norkers were backed up by more gnolls. Even with great numbers the norkers and gnolls were no match for the group. After searching the monsters for any treasure, they headed down the stairs.

Gilbee sent one of his Almiraj (fey rabbit) down the stairs to check things out.

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You move cautiously down the worn steps of dark gray stone. The flight continues straight for some distance. You count over 100 steps before you notice that the walls are again of black rock, polished basalt. Another 20’ or so and you are standing in a large chamber, all of ebon-hued rock, save a great square column of darkest purple in the center of the area.

This appears to be some sort of formal processional way. There are 20’ wide passages leading east and west, another north , the latter having several pillars down the center. This 40’ square chamber is high-vaulted, for the central column mass rises about 40’ to meet the ceiling above in arches of stone. There are two doors giving onto this place, one on either side of the north passageway leading from the chamber. What catches your attention , however, is the purple column. It bears some sort of statue, in a niche, as it is of deepest black.

They thought about first checking out the corridors and doors but Stumbleduck said I think we need to check out this large column of purple with the black statue. He went a little closer to look at it:

This stone figure is about 10’ tall. It is man-shaped and depicted wearing armor of strange design. The plates are fluted , runneled , and winged. The mail showing beneath is triangular. Some form of cape drapes the shoulders, scalloped edges hanging to the figure’s knees . The hands clasp a huge, wavy-edged sword. The helm. like the armor, bears many strange projections and spiky ridges. Oddest of all, its helmet face shows no openings. Stumbleduck could not place anything about the statue but he felt that it was very old. Going clockwise around the purple column he saw the following statues:

On the west face of the pillar is yet another huge statue, 10’ tall, all of deep indigo hue. The form is robed in a many-pleated garment. The girdle depicted is ornately carved with signs and sigals which are unknown to any of you (and even a read magic will not reveal their exact meaning, although the gist is that the deepest secrets of all are known to this one) . A broad cowl covers the head and projects well beyond the face, so that it is hidden ln shadow. Illumination reveal s only blank , blue stone. The arms of the statue are held across the body to meet just below the chest, the folds of robe hiding all, even the hands; but where they must meet projects a st range device, possibly a sceptre with a convoluted end and many filigreed sections.

This statue on the north face of the column is of intense carmine shade, dark but somehow intensely red nonetheless. The apparel depicted is: high boots and hose, doublet-like garment, and gauntlets. All of these items seem foreign in make, familiar but strange. The head is covered by a long hood, drawn tight round the face so as to show only an indefinable oval. An axe-like weapon with shortish handle, tong blade with many angles, and top spike ls set butt upwards before the statue, the gauntleted hands of the 10’ high figure resting easily atop the haft.

On the east face of the square column is another 10’ tall figure; but Instead of black stone, this statue of deep, dark green. The form appears swathed in a flowing gown from feet to neck, but it is obviously male (if human at all) because of its broad chest and shoulders. The long sleeves of the garment cover the hands. A high collar stands from cheek to cheek, and a tight cap covers the head . What is obviously a mask covers the face, for what reason is unknown . The mask, however, is craggy and seamed , imitating an old man perhaps. A staff leans against the right shoulder.

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They were not sure what all of these statues meant. They decided to continue north passed the purple column. The passageway had large stone statues on both sides.

Then the passageway divides to pass east and west of a huge ovoid pillar spanning from floor to ceiling. This column is more than 10’ thick and slightly longer than 20’. In the exact center of its ( east/west) face is a recess. In this alcove is a black statue of a shrouded, man-like figure. Water seeps down the face of the figure, running drop by drop as if they were tears, coursing along the chest to a trough made by the arms. and then into a bowl. The water has left a slight deposit of reddish mineral over the years. The basin is filled, and a steady drip from it falls on the statue’s feet, seeping away to who knows where. At the feet of the figure is another small statue, a spherical shape with many ray-like projections from it. This statue has a hollow place atop It which resembles a small bowl or dish. There are green and black objects in the dish.

They moved cautiously around the pillar and continued north. It was 35ft until they came upon a great pillar of ebony stone, in a diamond or lozenge shape. Its four faces are carved in bold relief, each depicting a male figure of some sort. Those facing southwards are shown robed and cowled. Those to the north in plate mail, with strange helm and great halberd. The wall of the passage on either side of this column is hewn into a “V” shape-as if to allow easy passage past the pillar, or perhaps to accent one edge of it?

They moved around the ebony stone pillar, careful not to touch it. Just as they passed it, one of the stone statues came to life. It stooped over and began to speak, well they thought it was speaking but no one could understand what it was saying. Kriv cast Comprehend Languages and found that it was speaking Primordial.

“You are not in the robes. You cannot move forward. Turn around now.”

Cerridwen remembered going through an old robing room right before finding the large patch of brown mold on the level above. They went back to that room but the clothing was all moldering and nothing of use was found. They went back to the lower level and began to check out doors. They went to the one to the northwest of the purple column with the four different colored statues.

This place is filled with broke n furniture and pieces of wood - limbs, logs, branches, sticks- all in a heap. The whole room is filled with this mess. It seems likely that the place is used to store firewood for the inhabitants above.

They then went to the one to the northeast of the purple column. The hinges and metal of the door show signs of care. Inside is a jumbled mess of kegs, bags, boxes, and so on . All show signs of gnawing, spillage, and general despoiling - rats and who knows what else. It is obvious that there is nothing of value here, but there Is a door in the eastern­most portion of the south wall. The mess on the floor near there shows small, human-like footprints. They did not find anything else.

They were about to check out more doors but Gilbee said “No more doors. My limit is two.” They discussed it for awhile and decided they could open two more. They first to the door to the southwest of the purple column.

The greased hinges of the great door and the heavy bar indicated that there was recent usage of this portal . Upon opening it, you have discovered a largish storage chamber filled with many barrels, crates, boxes, bales. and quite a number of crude weapons as well as some well-made ones. There is evidence of vermin here - gnawing, spillage, droppings- certainly rats. The food and drink stored here is not fit for human consumption, although quite palatable for hu­manoids such as norkers, gnolls and the like. The crude weapons are clubs, morning stars, spears, and the like favored by norkers and ogres. The materials are from raids upon various settlements and caravans. The wea­pons are those taken from patrols. There are only normal items here. although the party may find some of use. There are several short bows, several score arrows, several light crossbows, about 100 bolts for them, a dozen spears and a few scimitars.

They went down the hall and passed the next door and went north and followed the corridor. It twisted around for a bit and then straightened out with corridor leading north and the main corridor leading into a room to the east. They went to the room to the east. This chamber appears to be a burial place. There are many square openings In the walls. Each such niche is some 21h’ square. They honeycomb the surfaces from floor level to the ceiling of the place nearly 20’ above. Most are sealed with ebon-hued bricks, but a few are torn open with bricks, some splintered bones, and bits of wrapping cloth scattered and strewn about. Whether this was the work of grave robbers or ghouls can’t be told from the evidence. There seems to be nothing else in the chamber. They decided not to disturb anything in the room and tracked back to the corridor that led to the north.

10ft to the north was a corridor to the northwest, one to the north leading into a room, and one leading to the east then cutting to the north and leading into another room. Starting with the room found to the east and then to the north and going counter-clock-wise:

The north, east and south walls of this chamber show that square openings were carved into the rock and then closed fast with black bricks and mortar. It Is obviously a burial chamber. The west wall has a faded painting of an inverted, two-stepped pyramid of purple hue. On one side of it is a shrouded black figure, on the other a black, many-rayed sun. Both of the black figures are merely outlined with silvery paint, now gray and lusterless with age. A lone bier stands In the center of the chamber. It is of black stone, and its lid is askew - something has disturbed It, recently from the tracks around it.

This long, rather narrow room shows walls with black-bricked niches where burials have taken place. There are no empty places. Although the floor is relative­ly clear of dust and dirt, it is unlikely that anyone has been here in many decades.

The faint charnel reek which still lingers here proves that the place was used to bury the remains of people - probably servants of the Temple. Sealed niches along the four walls of this parallelogram show where the interments were made. No space is devoid of a sealing wall of black bricks. Six great sarcophagi are lined up In the center of the chamber, three per row. They are a ll of black stone. Some glitter with gold, others platinum. Jewels wink and glisten from sculpted visages atop each, gem “eyes” of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. You can also see at least a dozen rather shapeless statues lining the walls of the place - human­-sized , man-like forms of black stone, but without clearly defined limbs and with featureless heads. A statue twice as large stands at the head of each of the great burial vaults.

They did not disturbed any of the rooms and they did not find any robes so they went back south to the north they had passed earlier.

This area was obviously once used to fell ends, for rusted and rotting instruments of torture litter the floor and stand in crumbling heaps along the walls. The iron maiden is red with oxide and eaten through, the rack a mere pile of rotted wood and meta l rust. The place has not been used for many, many years.

There were more doors. One on the southern wall and three more at the of the corridor that went west.

Starting with the first door on the south wall. This opens to a cell about 8’ square , with rusted chains on the wall. There appears to be nothing of value here. As the first room, except that there are some bones beneath the chains. As the first door, with a couple of normal rats seen scurrying to their holes. This last door opens into a largish cell some 10’ deep and 10’ long, a sort of common pen. There are quite a few bones scattered around on the dirty floor.

They decided to go back to the stone guardian. Gilbee sent a few of his Almiraj to see if they would go past the stone beast. They were all squished. Glibee attempted to misty step past but he was stop parallel with the stone golem and the golem began to attack. With a combination of weapon attacks by Grundy and Schmoogle and magic attacks by Cerridwen, Kriv, Gilbee and Stumbleduck, so the stone guardian was defeated.

They moved on down the passageway and the came to a opening. You are on the verge of a large, natural cavern. From the echoes you hear, it seems likely that it is a place of over 5,000 square feet and at least 40 high . The walls to east and west fade out of sight, but seem to slope gently northwards. The floor where you stand is quite smooth, and It is easy to see that some work was done he re to make it level. There are a couple of broken stones just a few feet from where you stand. The cavern was dark even to those with darkvision. As they attempted to move forward, around 20 boulders flew through the air and hit several of them. 15 ogres, 2 hill giants, a dire wolf and the frost giant that had ran from them on the level above showed themselves scattered around the cavern.

Cerridwen cast Wall of Fire burning a few of the ogres and the dire wolf, Gilbee used his Wand of Wonder to create an area of darkness. Grundy and Schmoogle moved forward to attack the ogres that had been left on their side of the wall of fire. The giants continued to throw boulders at the group. Cerridwen cast Sunburst while Kriv cast Prismatic Spray and that combination took out most of the ogres and the dire wolf. Several of the group ran through the wall of fire before Cerridwen dropped the spell. Grundy and Schmoogle attacked one of the hill giants while they others cast spells at the frost giant. As the last hill giant fell, Grundy ran towards the frost giant just as Gilbee used the Wand of Wonder causing a cloud of 600 oversized butterflies fills a 30‐foot radius centered on the target. The area becomes heavily obscured. The butterflies remain for 10 minutes. Everyone was at disadvantage on their attacks including the frost giant. Soon, the frost giant was defeated and they searched the area and found a large treasure pile to the west. This adjunct to the larger cavern to the east is unremarkable, save for the fact that It has a 5’ wide passage leading roughly westwards from it. A faint breeze blows out from this passage.

They decided to look at the treasure (see email) and to try to catch their breaths.

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