Chapter 15: Fate

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Session Number: 215
Date: Sunday 24 August 2014
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Breg Rog3/Clr10 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Calico Drd13 (Yeran) (kills: none)
Lionel Rgr6/Wiz1/ArcA6 (Ash) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal13 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz13 (Densial) (kills: none)
Violet Drd13 (Tammi) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBA

"I think Lionel's right," Breg says. "If we're going to do anything, we've got to get rid of Chalychia first. But I'm just wondering what to with this boy."

"Trina can take him," Troll says. "We need more people out hunting arachtria."

Troll has more Teleports available than Breg, so the decision is made to take the boy to Trina. Rowaine carries the boy and Troll Teleports them to Trina; Calico tags along to hug Trina. The boy is taken into care and the three return.

The party re-enter the crypt. As the last one passes through the door into the circular room, it closes behind them. Breg, Calico, Violet and Troll notice a very slight lateral floor movement.

"Something moved!" Breg says. "I feel like the floor just shifted ever so slightly to the left!" He asks Troll for the key he made and attempts to open the southwest door; it does not accept the key.

"How did we find the three doors last time?" he asks.

"I used Find the Path," replies Violet.

"No, that showed that the exit moved. It was something else." He walks to the door they came in by, unlocks and opens it. Behind, he sees a wall sliding past to the left. He waits, holding the door open. About twenty seconds pass, then he sees an opening slide pass. It is a corridor with paired statues on either side.

"So we're turning," Troll says.

Ten more seconds pass and another exit slides past: a corridor with a door at the other end. One might dash through in reasonable safety, if they timed it right; any more than that would be risky.

Breg checks all the pressure plates in the room. They don't appear any different. In fact, one still has the top silver piece displaced, just like he remembers. He now sees it tremble ever so slightly.

"I could try to jam one of the doors with Stone Shape," Calico offers.

"You wouldn't have time," Troll says. "Not to mention the momentum of this room must be huge."

"If you had to cut anything, it would be quite useful," Breg comments.

+20 on Intimidate checks, if you use this room.

Breg recommends to Calico that he stand on one of the pressure plates that does not release the poison gas. Calico does so, choosing one opposite the door Breg holds open. The rotation slows, stops, and reverses: the wall is now sliding to the right. Calico steps off the pressure plate; nothing further changes. He stands on an adjacent trapped pressure plate. As expected, eight jets of gas erupt from the floor and envelop Calico. He shakes head, his eyes widen, then focus on the open door. He breaks into a run. Breg closes the door and stands before it. Calico pushes him aside and wrestles with the door handle but cannot open it. He sits on the ground, babbling incoherently.

"Is he poisoned?" Violet ponders, ready to leap off her carpet and cast a spell. She catches herself: "He's a druid. Whatever it is, it's not poison. Unless he's not a real druid…" She continues the leap, landing on the floor and transforming into a dire bear.

Calico gets up, brandishes his quarterstaff and charges at Troll, swinging the weapon in a wide, two-handed sweep. Troll steps out of the weapon's arc and casts a spell, winking out of sight. Violet lumbers towards Calico. "Whoa!" he says. "What's going on?" The bear takes no notice. "Your mind is not your own," Breg explains. Violet grabs the human and rolls on top of him. She is careful not to smother him.

"Why am I being sat on?"

"Your mind is gone, you were poisoned from the gas," Breg repeats. Violet's just gonna hold you down in case you lose your mind again."

Troll moves over to Violet and says with an invisible smirk, "I'm gonna kill this dire bear that's sitting on me!" Violet believes the voice to be Calico's. She shifts a little; Calico feels the weight lift off his chest.

"I'm gonna eat this puny human!" says a voice in a low, guttural growl that sounds like it is powered by huge lungs. Calico is positive it's Violet, despite the fact that she has never spoken in bear form before. Violet hears the voice and picks up a slight dwarven accent.

Troll winks into view. "Don't worry guys, it was just me."

Violet keeps Calico pinned for a time, but Calico seems to remain himself. Violet lets him up.

Breg reopens the door. Wall still slides past to the right. Calico and Breg decide experiment with the pressure plates while Lionel holds the door open. When Breg stands on a plate, the wall slows, stops, and moves in the opposite direction. While Breg is still standing on the plate, Calico stands on another. The motion reverses again.

"How long did it keep going round the last time?" Breg asks.

"About an hour," Violet says. "Troll was casting a spell in the centre for about an hour when my Find the Path spell stopped switching doors."

"Was it anything you did, Troll?"

"Dunno. It was an Identify spell. It shouldn't have."

The party wait for a few minutes. The wall keeps sliding past. They wait for something close to an hour when the wall slows and stops at an exit leading back to the cavern entrance.

Breg heads to what he believes to be the northeast door and opens it. It appears to be the expected corridor. Everyone leaves by that route.

"Should we explore the floorless area in this next room?" Breg asks. "There might be other important features of this dungeon that we're missing. Maybe an exit, maybe something we need." Lionel isn't keen but the others see no harm. Breg asks Troll to create a Floating Disc, casts True Seeing on himself and climbs aboard. Troll joins him and directs the Disc over the high wall, leaving the others behind.

Crossing the barrier, Breg sees the illusory floor and the real floor twenty feet beneath it. There are myriad of items arranged in piles and lines: the remains of suits of armour, the odd weapon, a half-destroyed shield. Movement catches his eye: a pile of detritus is moving! He makes out that it is being pushed aside by something very large and cubic, almost transparent.

"There's a creature below," Breg says. "One of those cube things. They're dangerous. I'm not quite sure what it is. It's not a jam cube… Something like that. Troll, could you just pop beneath the floor and go around the circumference? Let's search the walls for any exits."

Troll directs the Disc below the illusory floor and is immediately engulfed in darkness. He climbs back above "floor" level.

"What's wrong?" Breg asks.

"Couldn't see anything."

"Interesting. I could. That suggests to me that it is magical darkness. Do you think you could stay down?"

"Uh, yeah, but I'm not gonna."

"We'll search from above, then."

Troll moves around the room, keeping about ten feet high and ten feet away from the walls as Breg peers below. He sees no exits beneath the illusory floor, but notices two things: the darkness does not completely fill the area, it seems to be centred a little on the eastern side; and there is not one ooze below, but two.

Breg directs Troll to move over what he believes to be the centre of the sphere of darkness. The creatures converge upon their position, wiping the floor clean as they move in small circles. They are transparent with black patches within.

"Those creatures know we're here," Breg whispers. "They're directly below."

"Right now?" Troll asks.


"The floor is twenty feet below the illusion, you said?"



Troll points downward and Fiery Bursts an area 25 feet directly below. The ball of fire blossoms and catches both creatures, burning them.

"Did I get them?"

"Aye, both! Move a bit to your… right and you'll hit them again." He turns his head over his shoulder. "Don't worry, you lot, we're just doin' some fishin'!"

Troll shoots another ten Fiery Bursts downward, taking Breg's direction as the creatures mull about. Most creatures would be reduced to charcoal by such violence. Not these creatures. They are blackened and burned, but by no means destroyed. Troll continues to bombard the creatures. They make no attempt to avoid the fire and after six minutes they eventually dissolve into puddles of goo. The darkness and illusion remain.

Breg asks for a rope to be secured to the top of the wall so he can climb down. Violet obliges and Breg descends beneath the floor. Violet stays on top of the wall to keep an eye on things. She cannot see Breg.

The dwarf checks the remains of the gelatinous creatures; they are still dead. He casts Detect Magic and searches the area, looking for the source of the magical darkness. There is something amidst the oozy remains that radiates strong magic. He retrieves his shovel (yes, he has a shovel) and scrapes away the goo. Beneath, on the stone floor lies a piece of dark crystal. It is tapered, about a foot wide at its widest, tapering to a couple of inches at its point. It is about two feet long. It looks like a shard from a much larger piece of material.

Breg bashes the shard a few times with his shovel.

"What are you doing?" Troll asks, hearing the noise.

"There's some sort of dark crystal down here that I think is the source of the darkness. I thought I'd destroy it. What do you think?"

"Remind me what you said when I wanted to break open that white orb?"

"Something like, 'Who knows what could happen?'"

"Just checking. Come on you lot, we're moving to the other side." He ferries the others to the corridor opposite, then stands at the entrance where he can better see into the room.

Ting. Ting. Ting. Breg's shovel makes zero impression on the crystal. He uses the shovel to pick up the shard and moves it to the room's northwest corner. The darkness moves with him.

"Troll, would you be willing to come down and help me move this thing?"

"Not if I can't see down there."

"Anyone else?"

"I'll come down," Rowaine offers. "I at least have darkvision."

"Will that work?"

"I don't know."

Violet fetches her rope and grappling hook, and sets it up on the corner of the eastern corridor. It is a little unnerving to see the rope disappearing into 'solid' floor. Rowaine takes hold of the rope and climbs down. "I've just made my way through the floor and I can see the real floor below. I can't see you Breg, are you in the middle of the darkness?"

"I am."

"Moradin's beard, what was that?"

"What?" Breg says, anxious.

"The globs of stuff all over the floor. It smells awful. Is that what you were shooting down here?"

"Aye, lassie. Now the thing that's causing the darkness is here with me. I thought we could move it out so everyone can see what's going on down here. There might be useful stuff."

Violet casts Light on a goodberry. "You might be able to use this," she says, and tosses it down. Rowaine says, "I can see it."

"Is it working for you?"

"Yes, but its light is not penetrating the darkness."

"Anybody got any ideas about what we can do about this darkness?" Breg asks.

"Try wrapping it in a cloak," Troll says.

Breg drops his tent over the crystal. The darkness remains.

"That didn't work. Shall I just move it?"

"I reckon we continue and ignore this darkness," Lionel says.

"We could also do that."

"Breg?" Rowaine says.


"There's evil coming from the sound of your voice."

"I'll move away." He moves to the southwest corner. "How about now?"

"It's still there, in that corner in the darkness. It is different from the background evil in this place. Much stronger."
"Troll, do you want to come over here and see if you can destroy this thing?" Breg asks.

"No, but I'll do it from up here."

Breg packs his tent and tells Troll where to situate his Disc so he is directly above the crystal shard. Troll then unleashes salvoes of fire. It does not seem affected by the sudden changes in heat. In fact, as Breg thinks about it, the shard was in the vicinity of several hundred Fiery Bursts previously.

"That's not doin' anythin'," Breg says. "Do you have anything else?"

"I have acid…"

Troll drips acid in the vicinity of the shard. It does not eat away at the crystal, but the floor beneath it bubbles and dissolves.

"You're burying it," Breg comments.

"That works."

Troll continues deepening the hole and the shard sinks into it. Ten minutes later the shard is beneath floor level; the hemisphere of darkness now more resembles an inverted cone. "I can see more of the room!" Rowaine says.

Breg raises his voice. "Troll, if you come down now with a light source, you should be able to see. We can search the walls. This would be an interesting place to hide a secret door. Calico, do you want to come down too?" They both do so.

Calico searches the floor for magical objects and Rowaine does the same for evil while Breg examines the walls for hidden exits. Ten minutes later, Breg is convinced the walls hide nothing. Calico only senses one magic item: the shard in the hole. It radiates strong evocation magic. Troll confirms that magical darkness is an evocation spell, but not of the magnitude that Calico is describing. He also comments that darkness is not inherently evil.

"This crystal could have another piece of the sword in it," Troll says.

"But we can't damage it," says Breg.

"Let's move on."

"Give me a minute," Breg says. He gather some of the detritus on the floor and dumps it on the shard, half-burying it. Then he, Rowaine, Calico and Troll climb back out and the party head east to the Chamber of Blind Agony.

"I believe we were going to investigate the doors," Breg says.

"What about that crystal?" Troll says. "Put the crystal through… Wait, I have a better idea. Put the crystal through the doorway in the spinning room!"

"Great idea! Immovable object meets irresistable force! Either the shard jams the room so it can't spin, or the room smashes the shard. I'm happy either way!"

The party return to the room with the illusory floor and Breg retrieves the shard. He takes it to the circular room enshrouded by a fifty foot sphere of darkness that only he can see through. The others follow behind.

Breg leads the others into the circular room and heads to the south. "Go out the west door," he says. "I'll just leave the shard here." He waits until the others exit, then crosses to the west door, leaving the shard just inside the room. He then leaves, closes the door behind him and meets the others in the cavern to the west. Together, they return to the doorway and Breg opens the door. Everyone is enveloped in magical darkness that only Breg can see through. "It's just the shard," he reassures the others. "The room isn't moving. Maybe it is a time thing."

Breg assists the others through the doorway and around the pressure plates, where they gather in the eastern part, out of the sphere of darkness. Breg positions the shard across the threshold of the western doorway.

"Leave it there, we'll come back," Troll says. "We're going to do it, so just get used to the idea."

"We could always wait until tomorrow," Lionel suggests.

"Or we could try standing on one of the pressure plates," Rowaine suggests. "The spinny ones rather than the trappy ones."

Calico stands on one of the pressure plates that he knows has in the past changed the room's rotation. Everyone senses the room beginning to spin clockwise; Breg is the only one who can confirm the sensation with his eyes. He sees the doorway start to narrow… Everyone hears a loud 'crunch', then the darkness dissipates. In the eastern doorway, wall slides to the left and at floor level lie the shattered remains of half of the dark crystal shard.

"Is there any evil, Rowaine?" Breg asks.

The paladin moves closer and concentrates. "Traces, and they're fading."

"Yes!" Breg exclaims triumphantly. "We destroyed something evil!"

Breg examines the remains. It is all dark, glassy crystal, there doesn't seem to have been anything hidden inside.

The party wait inside the room for an hour, after which the room stops spinning. They return to the Chamber of Blind Agony. The wails, chants and mutterings of the thousands of souls therein echo down the approach corridor. The place where the boy lay chained is vacant.

"What do we do now?" Breg asks.

"Go through a door?" Lionel ventures.

"Maybe that's how you get chained," Breg says. "Maybe we start by poking something in and seeing if we can pull it out again." He steps into the chamber. Again, the hourglass silently turns over and its sand starts to fall. He moves to the first archway on his right, where a blindfolded halfling lies chained, and pokes his shovel into the darkness. The portion inside the darkness disappears, but reappears apparently unharmed when he yanks the shovel back out.

"Calico," Breg asks, "what kind of magic is on these doors? If any?"

"Conjuration magic on the first one, with just a hint of divination," Calico says. "Hang on a minute." He checks the next one along. "The same here."

"I sense no evil from any of them," Rowaine adds.

"I've seen this sort of portal magic before," Calico says. "They are usually constructed by a wizard with a talent for divination. A person passes through the portal, which helps the wizard see the creature's fate, and reinforces it - a bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy. But I have never heard of more than one ever being in the same place, let alone this many."

"I don't understand," Breg says. "What do we do?"

Violet walks over to the third door where the elderly gnome female sits, steps through and disappears. "Marthammor Duin!" Breg utters, and breaks into a run towards the door. He slows, walks through and also disappears.

"Are we following?" Troll asks Rowaine.

"I don't think we have a choice anymore!"


Rowaine and Troll pass through the third portal and disappear. Only Lionel remains. He sighs and steps through the darkened archway. There is a split-second sense of being folded in two, then he materialises in a corridor. The others are there also.

To the left and right are 15 foot long corridors, and an 80 foot long corridor stretches out before them. Behind, a single archway is outlined on the wall, as if there once were a passageway here that is now bricked over. Unlike the one they stepped through, it is not dark.

The state of the hallway is a stark contrast to the others encountered thus far: the walls are worn with age, the stone rough and unfinished. Sludge seeps into the far end of the hallway through a spiderweb of cracks in the stone walls and ceiling, forming puddles in between the uneven tiles on the floor. The place smells faintly of perfume. A large stone statue of a crouching figure with very coarse features stands at the end of the hall, nearly filling the entire corridor. The figure holds a gleaming shard of metal in its hands. Neither Rowaine nor Calico detect anything evil or magical.

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