Chapter 06:

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Session Number: 162
Date: Saturday 9 February 2013
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Ariel Sor12 (Fergus) (kills: 1 multi-legged metal statue)
Calico Drd12 (Yeran) (kills: none)
Lionel Rgr6/Wiz1/ArcA5 (Ash) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal12 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz12 (Densial) (kills: none)
Violet Drd12 (Densial) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBA

in first chamber with remnants of metal statue. ari dispels her gaseous state, but remains invisible. ari well that didn't go so well. ro jumps at the disembodied voice, but nobody sees because she is invisible also. ro no. And I think you're right, ari: I think it's only going to get worse. Even if we do manage to get past these four latest sentinels. lio Make a hole in the door and I will shoot through it until they are all destroyed. ro Do we want that? cal You could go back to the iron wall and yell things over it until one of them says 'Command accepted.' ari I thought it was very interesting language: 'Command accepted.' I wonder if one of us said anything in that minute at dawn… 'Command: Recognise me,' or something like that..? ro The oracle did say to go up there and say your prayers. Maybe there is something verbal that needs to happen. tr, you said a prayer to Moradin the first time, didn't you? tr Yep. ari I wonder what sort of prayers the local people say. ro Violet said that it was all sorts, to all sorts of gods. cal Why don't we yell commands over the wall? lio don't you have a Speak with Stone spell? cal Yes. That would be useful, but I don't want to touch them. ro The metal statue said 'Command received,' whereas these four said 'Command accepted.' I wonder whether there is anything in that? I think our primary goal should be to disable these defences. They received a command when we went into their territory. We could issue them a different command. ari I didn't hear anyone talking to them. that does suggest that the commands they are listening to aren't audible ones. lio wants to look over the gap and see what the statues are doing. tr is willing to ferry people across. tr takes ari over the trapped corridor, down the left branch. ari peeks over the iron wall. statue 10' away, another nearly back where it once was: a step away from the left doorframe. ari let's see if they react to my voice, tr. statues look up, see red in their eyes. ari they don't seem terribly bright, we could just pop them off from here… but we probably don't want to destroy everything here. I'm a little worried that these defences might be here for a good reason. "Command…" pause… ari "New orders" stat "… Understood." (this gap longer than the other gaps) statue in front of iron wall steps forward. ari "Deactivate." statue raises its arm. ari tr, take us back 10 feet. hear a dull, loud thumping sound, like something large and bulky striking something hard. then a whirring sound. ari I think it's doing something to get through that wall and it may not be good to stay around here terribly much longer. Can you take us back to that corner? If we see something, we might just head back to the others. tr does so. after a few seconds tr says um, that wall is starting to glow. can still hear the whirring sound. retreat back. ro what is that noise? ari I think that it's making it's way through tr's lovely iron wall It started to glow while we wee there. ro Ah. Got any more of those walls, tr? tr not today. ari I'm quite interested to see what happens to them if they come down that trapped corridor. ro I cannot imagine that those discs are going to slow them down much. still hear the same thing. ro are we staying or are we leaving? lio they are quite slow; I say we stay and see what happens and run away if we have to. ari I think that's a very good idea! cal so do I, although I wonder what havoc four stone statues might wreak upon the people if they had a mind to follow us out. ari that is actually a bit of a worrying scenario, isn't it? I suspect what they're doing is maintenance: clearing the area. But if they are not, I would feel that we would have to stop them leaving. ro what means do we have to do that? tr more stone walls? cal I'm out. tr and I'm out of iron walls. ari About all I can do is put a cottage in the way. Although I'm pretty they will be able to smash their way through. ari notices that ro is rather seriously hurt. ari cal, could you do something about that? cal casts Vigour on ro, which heals 12 hp over the next 1.2 minutes.

ari what happens if we close the door? ro how does it close? remain closed? ro has a look at it. can see what looks to be the tops of metal rods: two in the floor, two in the ceiling, that engage with foot-deep holes in the wooded doors. They open into the chamber. Close the doors: they move very easily, but do not automatically lock. ari If we close these doors and cast a cottage in front of them… I don't think they will destroy their own place. ro I think that's absolutely right… if they were sentient. If they had to rely upon their own senses, then they would come to the door and probably not bother because it is closed. but if they do try and get through, that tells me that they are being commanded by something else, something that can see what they cannot. ari I think that when their eyes light up red, something else is looking through their eyes. ro could be. she looks at inside of doors, looking for locking mechanism. others see what she is doing and join in. nobody finds anything.

open doors, keep watch. hear a large clanging sound. ro plan: keep doors open, if we see the statues moving down the corridor, we close the doors, get out of the way, and ari casts her cottage in front of the doors. then we wait and see what they do. hear something stomping. see a statue appear at far end, facing and looking right. looks down the trapped corridor and its eyes look at party. statue "backup requested … affirmative. deactivate. confirmed." it then turns towards the group and starts making its way down the corridor. interesting lack of discs. push the doors closed. hear a whirring sound. ari cal, lio, you two close the doors, the rest of us retreat to the corridor, I will create the cottage from the stairs. cal I am liking this plan. done. hear a loud hammering sound repeat rapidly, then it stops and all is quiet. ari opens the cottage door and looks at the back wall: see and hear nothing.

15 minutes pass. sleep here? ari risk getting bottled in. ro I think I am obliged to stay, but not necessarily in this room. I say that one stays below to keep an eye on things, while the others camp upstairs. ari I'm going to stay here, inside my cottage. The beds are so much nicer. ro I don't think that's a great idea. ari oh, worry worry! ro fine, it's your neck. do what you like. ro goes upstairs.

cal experiments with Blinking: he can, but is strangely limited to line of sight. ari settles into cottage. cal stays outside at bottom of stairs with eyes and ears on the cottage. the others get settled in the alcove above.

mid afternoon, ro asks vio to Teleport her back down so she can check with vio. ro cal, keep good watch, get the others out if something happens.

go to oracle's tent. oracle has passed on. vio is still there, as part of the burial ceremonies. she does not want to leave and ro does not ask her to. ro asks her for healing. vio restores ro to full health. ari and ro return.

ari presents the idea that cal could Stone Shape the bricks that cover the portal that got them here. ro is reluctant to do anything permanent to the structure. She will consider it as a last resort, maybe opening up the top face.

cal doesn't want to spend the whole night surrounded by stone. tr relieves him.

let time pass. watch and sleep. wake about an hour before dawn. what to say at dawn? lio most likely pointless. ro tr, I wonder whether it would be worthwhile saying aloud who you are - identifying yourself. ari why is it so important that tr do it? you are almost a cleric of moradin. If anyone is going to have the pull of the gods, it's going to be you, isn't it? ro ari, we are trying to find a place of significance to tr, called Saju. ari this city is called Saju. right. so this pyramid has got something to do with Troll. ro more specifically, tr's family. OK. tr my summer home. ro I think it probably most likely is pointless for anyone else to say anything. ari have you talked to your family about it? tr not recently. ari I get that. Family can be difficult. tr you have no idea.

ro and tr together agree on the following points for tr to say:

  • tr's name
  • The names of his parents and any other ancestry that he knows
  • Blood
  • The names of the other towers
  • Trina
  • tr's purpose of opposing the arachtria

What would opening a backpack do? could Elondel have a few words to Saju? tr agrees that it is an option, but doesn't like it.

elo or abb may know something about Saju's defences. Speak to them? Try the dawn announcement to start with.

just before dawn, ari protects tr, ro and herself with Resist Energy spells, keyed to cold. ro and tr go to top, ari tags along. others stay in lower chamber. tr clears platform of snow with Fiery Bursts. The surface is a plain, tiled stone surface. No runes, symbols or markings. ari casts See Invisible: nothing. tr Detect Magic: nothing.

ro asks ari to go downstairs as dawn approaches. she complies, very tempted to become gaseous and invisible to observe, but obeys. tr stands on platform after winds die down. "My name is Etella Roulae and I desire entrance to this place. I am the son of xxx Roulae and yyy Roulae. This is my blood (nicks thumb with knife). The names of the other towers that are in my domain are Elondel and Abbey and I am their Keeper. I work to oppose the arachtria and rid this plane of their existence."

starts to get cold and windy. other than the reassumption of the status quo, nothing seems to happen. both go downstairs where nothing seems to have changed also. ro ari what do you think about dismissing your dwelling? ari anything else beforehand? no. cal assumes blink dog shape. dismiss cottage. doors as they were. no visible damage. listen: (highest=35) nothing. completely closed. try to open: locked. Stone Tell? Gaseous Form? ro it would be useful to know whether there is a silent, still statue on the other side of the door. ari goes gaseous and invisible, casts Darkvision, then finds a miniscule crack between door and wall to slip through. corridor is unoccupied. goes down corridor. to the right, cal's stone barricade has been smashed. pieces all over the floor on either side. to the left, the metal wall has an irregular shaped hole cut in it and the cut-out plate lies in the corridor. goes to chamber. two statues back either side of the door, which is now closed. goes back, drops gaseous but stays invisible. ari ahem I'm back. corridor is clear and the statues are back where they were. tr's iron wall has had a section cut out of it and the stone wall is smashed.

ro were the discs still in the floor and walls? ari there must have been. shall we open this door? ro yes. I want to see whether tr's speech at the top actually did anything. I have a feeling it didn't.

ari casts Knock on the doors. they swing open. tr creates a normal and a greater Disc, casts Invisibility Sphere and directs everyone to get on. tr and ro on first, greater disc; the three others on the trailing disc. plan to ignore the doors and go towards the stairs. ari casts Darkvision on tr and lio, everyone else has it. ari would prefer to move independently (invisible and gaseous), but cannot figure out a way to do that when she and the others are invisible. she travels on the disc, non-gaseous, shrouded in tr's Invisibility Sphere.

float down the corridor and approach the left chamber. on the way, some people notice that there are no discs in the floor, walls or ceilings. indentations where they have been. cal notices that there are many, many indentations on the inside of the wooden doors but no discs.

stop just before the metal wall. look, listen. nothing. enter. notice (spot 15+) that red lights come on on the two stone statues. can all hear "Anomaly detected" from both statues, both talking over each other. "Awaiting confirmation". "Command … confirmed. Request … accepted." tr moves the discs back into the corridor. he goes back to the chamber. ari whispers "Meet you back here in a bit", casts Gaseous Form and floats back towards the statues. She takes the right hand branch. in right hand corner of branch. statue with red lights in eyes standing in the entranceway. she moves vertically to see if the eyes track her movement. "Second anomaly detected." ari withdraws all the way back. cannot see anyone else, they are all still under the invis sphere. she drops the gaseous state. ari they have some way of detecting us while we are invisible although imperfectly it would seem. it isn't by hearing, because I would have been making no noise whatsoever.

invisibility expires. lio what do you make of the lack of discs in the corridor, and the huge number of holes in the back of the door? tr the doors were open when the discs first started flying; there were none in the doors then. ro I don't recall seeing any damage on the statues, does anyone else? tr all the ones I saw were undamaged. ro do we try again? lio how much stone can you mould? can you make a hole straight through the T-intersection to the stairs? cal the dog nods. hop on discs and go to T-interesection. cal makes a 1'x1' hole horizontally through the wall towards the staircase. it breaks through into space. ro tr, your Discs won't follow, will they? tr no. how are we going? I can go myself for free, or Teleport us all. ari I can make us all gaseous, but that would deplete a lot of my spells. tr I'll take us all. tr casts his spell and begins touching people. before he gets to cal, he Blinks through. tr takes the others. appear 3' above the stairs sans discs and fall down a bit. stop and listen: nothing. tr dismisses the discs that cannot follow.

stairs go down about 40' and continue on. cal goes down half way. nothing untoward happens.

ro asks tr to create a new set of discs. stairs stop, corridor continues about 40' then stops at a set of double doors, immediately below the set above. no holes or discs in the walls, floor or ceiling. move towards the doors. about half way there, lio and cal notice that the left wall feels cold and the right wall feels hot. lio tells the others. ro reaches out towards the cold side but does not touch it. notices there is a thin film of ice over the stone surface. move towards the doors. ro looks at doors. similar but metalwork is much more intricate: interconnected circles. no obvious symbols. tr it looks like parts of it might move and move other parts with it. ro like a mechanical thing? ari Ooh, a puzzle? she casts Knock. parts of the metalwork whirl and click, then the doors swing into a room beyond. ro tr, memorise that will you? tr tries to remember which bits moved in which directions. single stone door opposite. four thin pillars made of a silvery metal support the roof. ceiling 30' high. room has irregular spikes and metallic bits coming out of the floor, walls and ceiling. Sort of look like arachtria legs. not so dense as to make progress on foot difficult. no magic, no evil. cal doesn't like it. drift inside on discs. slam! doors close behind. hear a sound like a sword being drawn from a scabbard. cannot tell where from. ro get ready to knock that door in front of us. ari goes ahead and does it. door swing open into the room. ro how many more of them have you got? ari one. ro we may need more. ari then we're stuffed. ro then we should probably go back. through door cal lio ro see a beam of red lignt going from one side to the other. the corridor extends beyond sight. tr ooh there are lots of them, different heights and angles, all the way down. think that a stone shape through the ceiling might reach the chamber above. it is not 100% covered in metal. no further activity or noise from the room. cal back to human let's leave, it's getting dangerous. ro I agree. I don't want to go ahead and trigger whatever the red lights are going to trigger. we have probably already triggered something.

turn around and head back towards the first door. ari knocks the door. as they swing open, 2 bladelike metal limbs reach down from the lintel and push the door closed with a click and a whir. a piece of metal comes up and the party see a pair of red, glowing eyes.

init

lio 21
cal 18
ari 17
MON xx
tr xx
ro 4

tor1
lio readies his bow, looking for a target. ro tr, get us up! tr cal is on the wrong disc, he'll have to get onto ours! cal waits for ro to move off the disc. nothing else seems to be moving. ari, already invisible, readies a Disintegrate should the creature advance or attack. ro remembers that arachtria do not have red eyes. creature moves down 10' which triggers aro's readied action. Disintegrate ranged touch attack ac10 misses. it drops to the floor, spiderlike, then scuttles forwards. two of its many limbs rise up and it shoots little discs at ro. rfl save for half: ro saves for 11 (mitigated to 8), tr doesn't and takes the full brunt of 23. It then continues moving to ro's side of the first disc and swings at her twice. one hits for 5 dmg mitigated to 2. tr steps off the disc and shoots a jet of acid at the creature. ranged touch hits for some damage (not a lot). cal sees the space on the Greater Disc and jumps on. the creature radiates no magic. cal when you're ready tr, send me up! I will turn into a dog and I can Blink us out. ro aims to provide another target for the creature. she hops off the disc, between the creature and tr. the creature does not look like an arachtria. It looks more like the statue from upstairs, but with eight legs. detect evil no. fullatt ac25 misses ac22 misses ac14 misses.

tor2
lio steps off his disc and shoots. ac27 hits ac28+ hits acmiss, does 28 damage in total, 7 of which is frost damage. ari hops down 2 squares to other side of lio (still invis), casts Disintegrate. ac16 hits but it saves and only takes 5d6=14 dmg. creature moves towards towards lio, it fires discs at ro (they look very much like the discs in the trap above) ac22 misses ro, ac31+ hits cal for 9 dmg. it then moves and two bladed limbs scythe out at lio ac35 hits for 3 ac34 hits for 9 then it moves around the pillar.

This thing has both Spring Attack and Shot on the Run feats. And it can move and full attack!

tr moves into line and shoots more acid. touch ac hits for more damage. disc moves up 20'. cal once I create the exit I'll Blink to the floor and get you out. readies action to Stone Shape the ceiling as soon as he can reach it. ro steps forward and full-attacks. the first is a nat20 (crit confirmed with ac29) for 39 dmg. nearly bloodied. acmiss acmiss. lio shoots. ac22 misses (need 26) achit achit for 26 physical, 7 frost. it looks quite damaged. ari casts Cone of Cold, bracketing the creature only. rfl save for half dc21. 13d6=42 damage. It freezes in place, see cracks appear and pieces of it fall to the ground. see the red lights go out.

pyramid_02.jpg

let's get out of here! which way? cal tries his Stone Shape. tunnel goes 5' but stops and he sees the gleam of metal. ari casts Gaseous Form on herself. None of the others see. ro can you open the door? no answer. ari goes down the corridor with the red beams. ro tr, Rope Trick, now! I'm worried that thing is going to explode. tr casts one. ro guys, get in as quick as you can. everyone else goes in, leaving ari down the tunnel. ro ari are you safe? are you in here? ari hears ro's voice but cannot answer. she goes down the corridor 80' to a door. no opening mechanism. presses into the corner. 5 rounds later the creature explodes. lio detect poison? ro You will need to go down there to do that. cal, can you detect poison? cal Yes. He exits and Detects Poison above the creature. poisonous.

ari takes no damage from the explosion. goes back to the room. cannot see anybody but remembers ro saying Rope Trick. investigates the room. No one can see her. no alcove that the spider came out of. looks for other hidden creatures: hard to tell, the whole room looks covered in them but nothing is moving. ari I should have Disintegrated that thing. It might have stopped it exploding. wanders about for a while. Gaseous Form wears off first, then Invisibility. tr Oi! Do you want to come up or stay down there? ari I figure I'm probably well poisoned by now. Is there any point? ro we have 12 hours of this Rope Trick refuge. We don't know how exactly how long the poison will linger. ari If I come up there I could bring poison with me. ro it is possible. tr looks less amenable to help. cal has one Neutralise Poison spell. he could go down and innoculate ari. tr But you could carry the poison back in here. cal I've already gone down and detected poison. tr Shit! Get out! cal I've been up here for nearly two hours. Chances are if you were going to be poisoned, it's happened by now. lio removes armour then casts Detect Poison on ro. She is poisoned. lio turns to cal. lio You're a dead man. There's no point staying up here now. Let's go down and figure out how to get out of here.

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