They looked around at the large cavern:
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,OOO square feet and at least 40ft 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 here to make it level. There are a couple of broken stones just a few feet from where you stand.
In the center of the cavern they saw:
The floor has been worked to make it more level - as if traffic through this area was once common. What you took to be a large stalagmite here is actually another of the familiar figures of black stone, this one glazed with mineral deposits from the dripping ceiling of the cavern.
They stayed away from the black stone and decided to go east towards the cave opening they have found when fighting the frost giant.
Stacks of bones lie here. Skulls are piled against the east and west walls, other bones are crisscrossed and interwoven in large heaps. There are human, humanoid, demi-humans bones, as well as bones of many sorts of animals and monsters stacked rather neatly in piles. There are so many bones here that they actually take up almost half of the space in this small portion of the cavern. All of the calcareous white pieces are clean and well-gnawed.
They decided to check out the bones to be sure that nothing was left uncovered. Gilbee had a Darkness spell cast on him and Grundy was attack by some invisible creature as he left the smaller cave area. Everyone had a cloud kill spell cast on them or was it two cloud kill spells that were overlapping. Gilbee dashed out of the poison gas with his mirror images following. Mason was attacked by something invisible as well. It was two creatures, mezzoloths, that had been attacking them. Nameless cast Fire Bolt on both of the creatures. Stumbleduck used Guiding Bolt and Grundy kept his bustersword swinging into the mezzoloth’s bodies. They were wily creatures but were no match for the magic and weapons of the group.
They went back to the west part of the cavern where they had found all of the frost giant’s treasure. They found that they cavern began to get smaller. 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. The passage begins to widen a bit and slants slightly downwards. After several hundred feet of travel you note that the air smells fresh, and has an odor of growing things. A few steps more you round a bend in the passage and step out onto a mountain meadow, a cup like place a hundred yards wide and twice as long. An animal track leads southwards, and before long you are certain that you can be back atop the Temple mountain.
They were about to leave. Gilbee was sure ready to go. Mason said we have not really found what we came to find, why the Black Spider was coming here often. They had the other side of this dungeon to explore so they headed out of the cavern, back into the worked stone area and then went east when they came to the purple stone with the 4 statues. They came to room:
This place appears to be about 30‘ wide and 50‘ long. There are heaps of rubbish and bones thrown into it. The place is evidently used as a garbage room by the inhabitants above. You see a few giant rats scuttle away into tunnels in the wall as your light shines over the nasty-smelling mess.
They were in no mood to look through trash so they left and went on down the corridor. The next room: This 30‘ square chamber was hewn from living rock many ages ago, and it has not seen use for decades from the look of it. There is evidence of fairly recent examination of the place, tracks in the dust and dirt from ogres and larger creatures, possibly giants.
They left that room as well. The next room: This place contains nothing save a few bones - norker from the look of them. It has not been used for generations, and other than a 10’ wide clear spot leading to the bones, there is thick dust everywhere. They left and went to the south and then turned back sort of to the west. They came to an oval shaped room.
The oddly-shaped chamber you see has an oval pool some 30’ across and about 20’ broad. The light glints on its surface; no telling how deep it is or what might lurk within. The floor is about 2’ above the surface of the water, and there is a walkway around it some 12’ or more wide near the entrance, narrowing to but 4’ or so along the back side of the pool. There appears to be no exit from this chamber save the passage you stand in.
Gilbee went into the room to learn all he could about the pool. He started to take notes and make some drawing. Grundy, Stumbleduck and Mason were at the door to the room. Grundy spotted several tentacles slither down from above Gilbee and begin to attack him. He was grappled and poisoned. They group rushed into the oval room to help Gilbee. There were 8 grells floating near the ceiling of the room and they all became more aggressive as more targets entered. Mason cast Spirit Guardians and waded into the room. Grundy ran into the room and attacked the 3 grells that had been focusing on Gilbee. Stumbleduck used Guiding Bolt and Nameless cast Fire Bolt and soon they were all down.
Gilbee and Grundy both were fascinated by the room. Something like this was odd to be in such as place like this Temple. They wanted to know more. They had to know more. They had the need to search the temple from top to bottom to see what else they can learn about this place. Grundy felt drawn back to the Crypt are on the other side of this level. Gilbee agreed but was distracted by the purple column of stone with the four statues. He wanted to draw them as accurately as possible. Grundy did not want to wait so he went on ahead while the others waited for Gilbee. Grundy went on ahead into the Crypts. He came to a room:
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 sarcophagus 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.
Grundy walked over to it to get a better look at what may be inside. Suddenly two spectral hands reached up and began to choke and attack Grundy. Grundy took it all in stride and started to hit back hard. Gilbee was in his head asking if the crypts were okay. Grundy said no. Everyone but Gilbee went to the crypts to check on Grundy after Gilbee told them what he had heard. Gilbee stayed back and finished his drawings. Gilbee was drawn to the dais in the chapel on the level above them. Grundy agreed that they needed to go above but he had a rhyme come into his head:
23 is where you need to be. Can get there from 2, too. He suddenly saw a map of the building with room 23 as the room with the troll nests in them near the stairs leading down from the 1st floor. They rushed to room 23 and then into the lone door in that room that they had left open. They searched around and Mason found a secret door. This rotating wall section is so cleverly made so as to defy detection by visual inspection. A tapping of the exact spot of the secret door will sound slightlydifferentthan therestof thewall (1 in4chanceof noting this slight difference). The door operates by pressing inwards and downwards with the palms held at shoulder height. A 2%’ wide section of the wall will then turn clockwise forcing the individual into the secret room.
They moved through the secret room. On the east wall was a spy hole that looked out onto the stairs area that came down from the 1st floor. Mason looked around some more and found another secret door. Opening it he found himself in a closet containing: 3 strange, hooded robes of deep purple, 2 iron thuribles, and an iron box, all of the iron was unrusted.
Spy hole to corridor and beyond. deep purple, 2 iron thuribles with iron chains, and an iron box, all iron unrusted.
The robes were comfortable to the touch. Nameless, Stumbleduck and Gilbee all put one one. The robes are very long, fully7’ but by use of the black cord belt each has, the hem can be adjusted so as to just sweep the ground. The sleeves are so long as to reach at least 1’ below the hands of even a long-armed man. With each robe is a long, pointed hood whose front and back points reach well down on the wearer’s torso, and whose sides cover the shoulders. The pointed front and back pieces are decorated with inverted, two-tiered black pyramids. Each hood has narrow, slanting eye holes. The pointed top extends a foot or more above the crown of the wearer’s head. The thuribles open by pressing a catch at their equator. The bottom hemisphere has a cup-shaped depression, as if to receive something rounded.
Mason tried to open the iron box. It did not have anyway to get inside it. He had a gut feeling that he needed a password in order to open it. He tried his Chimes of opening first and it worked. Inside are 18 small black globes - incense to fit inside the thuribles. They found another secret door. It opened into a large open space approximately 20’. The place is quite bare and covered with a fine layer of dust. In the south of the room there was a opening of some sort. They wanted to look at it and instead looked around for secret doors. They found one and inside was another closet containing 4 robes like the others they had found. Gilbee mentioned that these robes looked like the ones some of the statues were wearing at the purple stone. Also Also here is a strange iron horn with a handle set on either side of its tube, 4 iron holders, and an iron box. The iron holders have cone shaped depressions in their fluted upper ends. The box was opened by Nameless using his Chimes of Opening. Inside the iron box was 24 cones of dull black material, whose rounded upper ends remind one of ice cream cones more than anything else.
They looked around the room some more and then left to check out the area in the south part of the larger secret room. It was shaft leading down approximately 5’ square. There were heavy bronze rungs on the south wall of the room and on down the shaft. They could only see about 60ft down into the shaft. They saw more rungs each one about 1ft below the one above. They decided to climb down. Stumbleduck decided to count the rungs. By the time they got to the bottom he had counted 333 rungs and estimated they had climbed down 333ft. Some of the rungs were not as stable as others but none of them broke and no one fell.
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, there is something else going on.
Darkvision was limited to half what it normally was. Nameless began to cast Light on some of his coins. But he stopped at 10 seeing that the Light spell would work briefly and them the light would begin to dim once again. 10 coins with Light on them gave off the same amount of light as one coin. Grundy decided to light one of the torches they had just found. It gave off illumination to around 5ft but they decided to keep it lit and to continue exploring.
You have come but 40’ south down the passage. The 10’ wide walls of rough, black volcanic stone widen here where four passages meet. The ceiling, only about 12’ high in the passage, is domed here to a height of about 20’. As you enter this area, there is a strange iron gonging, and then all is silent again, but you all feel something strange. Before you the walls seem to waver and turn purple. A voice of incredible basso-sort speaks out of nowhere:
“LOOK ABOVE YOU TO KNOW YOUR FATE.”
You cannot resist an upward glance The ceiling is of transparent, seemingly infinite purple. Swimming through this universe of violet hue are glowing black runes. In a moment you can understand them: “Those whom I find unfit I place on my left,” say the first set. The next set states: “Those who succeed I place on my right.” Lastly: “The chosen may come before ME!”
The ceiling quickly fades to black, and all is normal - if there is such a thing in this place - once again.
They were not sure which way to go. After a discussion they decided to go forward. They found themselves in an octagonal chamber. This place is over 40‘ across and about as high. The rough igneous rock from which the chamber was hewn is featureless except for inlaid stone symbols on each wall surface save the north where the passage enters. The symbols are the familiar two step pyramid, reversed.
Someone said that they should touch one of the symbols or maybe the wall. Grundy had on a robe and touch the wall. A 10‘ radius circle in the exact center of the chamber floor appeared and began to turn a translucent, faintly glowing purple color. They touched all the walls and many of the symbols but nothing else happened. They lit both the torches and the incense again nothing happened. Grundy asked what if I blew the horn? They group agreed and upon blowing 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! All but Gilbee put on a robe. Gilbee decided to strip off all of his clothes. He began to take cold damage but he never put one of the robes on. Now you see a black pillar rising in the heart of the glowing, 20’ diameter beam of purple. As this black shaft touches the ceiling, the gray vapors thicken and make vision of the whole obscure.
Grundy noticed that the incense cut through the curtain of gray vapors and if he continued to swing the thurible in front of him to cause the smoke to stream outwards, the purple light will seem to fade and an archway become evident. They saw just beyond the archway a set of “steps” of deep lilac. They saw a core of black but knew that it would be a bad idea to touch it or come close to it. They started down the lilac stairs.
You have dared all and descended the spiralling 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 20’ 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. You must be careful! There is an opening about 12’ wide in the south wall. You see space beyond, and you head for it.
It was even colder but still Gilbee did not put on a robe. They continued down the steps.
As you enter this hemispherical chamber of some40 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 lightless, 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 12‘ long, 4‘ high, and 6’ 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 4’ long, 3’ wide, 2’ high. To either side of it are low stands with three cup like extensions. Beyond this, the place is bare and empty.
Grundy noticed that stands will hold three balls of incense each. Lighting all of the incense he put them into the stands.
Gilbee was ready to go. He kept saying they should not be here, they needed to leave. Nameless agreed saying we may be calling back this Chained God that Nezznar mentioned. We should leave, contact Flynrich to find out more about this place and then come back with more knowledge in hand.
The group agreed and they started the climb up and out.
As they were leaving the opening that they had entered on the 1st floor, Nameless, Gilbee and Mason felt a great disturbance, one singular voice crying out in terror and then silenced. Something terrible has happened. Got a bad feeling about this.
And then the feeling was gone.
Nameless got out the screen and called to Flynrich. There was static and other interference that they had never seen before when using the screen. They saw a figure on the other side but it was not Flynrich. It was Mattwise. He started to speak. He sounded weak.
“I am glad to be talking to you. Been trying to get in touch with for weeks. Nezznar attacked with Death Demons. Nezznar is now a lich. Flynrich started a ritual to protect the Bibliomagicii, but… Flynrich was killed in the middle of the ritual. The surviving Death Demons took him away, to a tomb. Flyrich’s tomb. You must find a way to get to him.”
His voice begins to sound further and further away.
He says, I must go now, must see to the apes.
Suddenly the group is sucked into the screen and thrown downwards landing feet first on the ground in front of a large mansion, no it is a castle. Surrounding the castle is a smoky gray mist starting around 30ft from the castle. The front double doors of the castle swing open revealing the main hallway. Inside they see a large foyer and in the middle of the floor of the foyer is a rod a little smaller than 2ft long and beside the rod is a scroll.
As soon as Nameless entered the foyer, his memory was clearer than it had been. He knew this place. It was Castle Gamgee but it was also Flynrich’s domain that he had learned about his magical powers and how best to use them. This was the Bibliomagicii, a portion of Boccob’s Library of Lore. The Library of Lore held a copy of every spell ever created even those that could not longer be cast. Nameless also remembered more of his past. He was an arcane spellcaster as he was now but more along the lines of a wizard. He also recalled a great ceremony where he became a dragonborn, a gift bestowed on him by Bahamut, a gift reserved for Bahamut’s favorites for deeds beyond the ordinary.
They all walked over to the scroll, it reads across the top: To those who would be free.
A way to get to Flynrich. It would not be easy but they all knew that it had to be done and they were more than likely the only ones that could do it.