29th day of Nightal 1489 DR the Year of Warrior Princess
The lift leads the party to an old dusty hallway with stairs leading up and down. Gamora takes out her sword and summons its flames. They make their way downwards towards a door at the bottom of the stairs. Reven breaks from the group and explores the path leading upwards, Xenara follows saying he shouldn’t wander off.
Gamora checks the door for traps and opens the door. Inside the room they see a large elegant bed, a chest, a night table with four goblets and a silver ewer, and several bookcases with ancient tomes. It appears no one has been in this room for ages.
Jean Luc investigates the bookcases. Gamora looks around the room from the doorway. Osrik, Cora, and Vera investigate the chest. Osrik cautiously opens the chest breaking the air seal. Inside the chest, there are seven silk robes, and amethyst ring, and two scrolls in fine casings. While they peer inside, six spectral forms materialize, three of which appear as human male warriors and the other three are snake-like humanoids know as Yuan Ti.
Meanwhile, Reven and Xenara climb the stairs and discover five Cultist corpses, recently killed and slumped over a table in a dark room at the top of the stairs. A foul smell hangs in the air and Reven notices blood dripping from above. He looks to see a troll hanging from the rafters chewing on the corpse of a cultist. Noticing them it drops to the table and roars as it tosses the corpse aside.
Reven, casts Thunderwave at the troll. The troll is hit by a pulse of force and pushed back. He shouts to his sister, “Run!”
Xenara tries to summons a ball of black fire but it veers wildly out of control. The troll strikes wildly at Reven and Xenara. Reven blocks with his shield, but Xenara is cut by the troll’s claws.
Reven strikes the troll with his sword circling around it. He releases another thunderwave.
Xenara shocked shouts at Reven , “What are you doing?!” before she is caught by the blast and thrown down the stairs. Her head bangs on the stairs and she is knocked unconscious as she tumbles down the stairs.
Meanwhile, downstairs, Jean Luc uses Misty Steps to exit the room casting Fire Bolt at one of the Yuan Ti Specters. Vera casts Flame Blade and strikes at the snake-like specter in front of her. It flickers but remains. She pulls out her mace, Lightbringer. The sun ruins on the mace glow a radiant energy in the presence of the undead. She swings at the Yuan Ti specter but avoids the strike.
One of the specters attacks Cora but she dodges its attack but moves into position of another that claws her in the back. She feels cold as her life force is pulled from her chest. She stumbles grabbing her heart saying, “Wait, we come in peace!” Cora seeing Xenara unconscious outside the doorway makes a break outside to stabilize Reven’s sister.
Her and Jean Luc hear the roar from upstairs and Cora rushes upstairs with her bow ready. Jean Luc releases a Flaming Sphere in the room trying to hurt as many specters as he can. The six creatures turn their attention towards Osrik, Gamora, and Vera who inside the chamber.
Jean Luc turns to Xenara and feeds her a healing potion. He asks if she’s okay and she says, “There is a troll upstairs killing my brother. He’s such an idiot.” She pushes herself on her feet barely able to stand and runs back up the steps towards Reven behind Cora.
Gamora in her battle rage cuts down one of the Yuan Ti ghosts and turns her attention to one of the humanoid moving toward Vera and Osrik. She cuts it down with her flaming greatsword but gets burned by Jean Luc’s sphere. Another spector attacks but she dodges the blow and cuts it down as well.
Mags supports Gamora with her Fire bolts while the others finish off the other three specters.
Osrik casts Sprit Guardians which surround the room with swirling radiant energy. It destroys the last of the Yuan Ti specters. He turns to one of the humanoids and he attempts to push it with his shield but it has no effect. He follow up with a blow from his hammer destroying the specter. The last specter engaging Gamora is destroyed by the Spirit Guardian’s energy wave.
Jean Luc turns to the group inside the room and asks, “Who wants to fight a troll?”
“There’s a troll?” Gamora asks.
Mags says, “Better burn that damned thing or it will keep healing!”
“Yes, yes,” Jean Luc says. He grabs Gamora and they vanish. Osrik with his hammer and shield in hand charges up the stairs.
Vera and Mags look at each other awkwardly, “What just happened? Where did they go?”
Mags answers with a shrug, “Let’s check the room out.”
At the top of the stairs Cora sees Reven engaged with the troll. She casts Hunter’s Mark and shoots her bow, but her shots miss.
Reven notices the wounds inflicted on the troll start to heal rapidly. The troll growls and attacks, he blocks two attack but the third furious blow hits its mark. Reven strike it with Talon several times, it is bleeding but undaunted.
Xenara cresting the top of the steps gathers magic in her hands creating a black flame. She releases the spell but it goes wild and misses. She looks on helplessly watching Reven deflect and block the troll’s attacks and counter but missing his mark.
Gamora and Jean Luc appear through a dimensional gateway.
“That is so weird!,” growls Gamora in her battle rage.“I told you, troll!” says Jean Luc, “Isn’t it fascinating?”
Gamora annoyed by the elf mage growls and attacks the troll striking it down with her flaming greatsword. Moments later an out of breath Osrik out of breath only to see the threat is neutralized. He looks around shrugs and silently goes back down the steps.
Cora investigates the bodies of the Cultists and realizes the attack was very recent. She sits and concentrates on her Primeval Awareness. Jean Luc takes this time to picks up coins from the table. Seems the Cultists were gambling prior to their death.
Reven goes to check on Xenara asking if she is okay. She scolds him for using his spells carelessly. He says that magic really isn’t his strong suit. She angry turns her back to him and heads downstairs behind Osrik and Gamora turns to joins her.
Cora senses dragon creatures and humanoids close by and notice some stairs that lead deeper into the tomb. She communicates this to Reven and Jean Luc. They head downstairs to gather the others.
Vera looks over one book which is in Mulhorandi. Appearing beside her is he spirit doppleganger with purple hair. Vera shows the text to her. Mulhorandi? They are arcane texts. This is very complex, I don’t understand it.
Osrik enters the room and tells everyone that everything is clear. He walks over and checks the books as well.I will go before the half-orc returns.
“Okay,” says Vera as she returns the book back on the shelf.
Mags looks inside the chest and empties its contents on the bed. Playing with the ring and looking through the scrolls. Gamora when she returns observes the loot and checks for secret doors. When she moves the bed there is a bang on the ground revealing a very old text.
She calls for Jean Luc who arrives with Cora and Reven. He delicately checks the old warn book recognizing it as Mulhorandi and reads the title, “Trans-Substantiality Across Multi-Potentialities.” He gingerly opens the book and tries to read a bit. Bits he scans show it to be a journal about visions across time, space, and parallel worlds. He can tell the writer was highly intelligent or a complete madman.
Jean Luc looks over at Gamora, who begins stuffing the silver goblets and ewer into her bag of holding. He gives her a disapproving look and then looks at Mags, who tells him the scrolls they found are of energy protection. Cora points out that they should not take things from this place but they decide to take the treasure anyway.
Gamora looks around for water to put in a goblet so she can take a drink. Vera offers some wine from her wineskin and they each take a drink. Osrik takes a moment to heal the party using that time to share the information they have gathered. Once they are done, Osrik, Gamora, and Vera go upstairs to look around.
Cora explores the room one last time before leaving. She discovers a loose rock that when removed has three glowing runes. Cora calls Jean Luc over who puts away the book in his bag of holding. The three runes seem to be names. Cora asks if these could be a spell binding something to this location.
They determine that it may be related to the specters they fought. Cora asks if the individuals can be released. Mags takes a dagger from Cora’s belt and begins scraping one of the runes with the edge. After a moment there is pop and a spark as the arcane rune is destroyed. She hands it back to Cora, “One down two more to go.”
She walks out the room and Reven makes a comment as she leaves. She ignores his comment saying, “Good job, ‘Thunderwave,” as she leaves the room. This brings a chuckle to Xenara who follows Mags upstairs. When Cora finishes scraping off the last run Jean Luc suggests everyone gather upstairs. When they walk out he quickly turns and pulls as many books as he can from the shelves before catching up.
Meanwhile, Gamora, Vera, and Osrik explore the room past the banquet hall to avoid the stench of six corpses and the troll. The hallway opens into a large chamber with a pool of water with the corpse of a Cultist laying at the water’s edge. At wall behind the pool is a raised statue of a meditating individual. The doorway to the left is collapsed in a heap of rubble and they realize this is the doorway which Gamora had attempted to open. To their right are another set of double doors.
Vera notices fang shaped arrows littered around the room trying to make sense of their source.
Gamora lifts the corpse and throws it in the pitch black water against Osrik’s recommendation to leave the water alone. But nothing seems to happen. They notices that the water seems to be rapidly evaporating. Gamora decides to jump in the pool and searches for something. She turns to tell the others that it’s all clear when her mind his assaulted with a multitude of images at once. The images overwhelm her mind and she passes out and falls in the water.
Osrik rushes to pull her out of the water trying to wake her, but she is not responsive. Osrik realizes she is alive but can’t be roused. She appears to be in a coma.
The others join them and Cora rushes to Gamora slapping her in the face, but she doesn’t respond. Osrik covers her with his cloak and tries his best to wake her.
Meanwhile, Vera curious about the water attempts to take a sample before it completely evaporates. As she dips a vial into the water she carefully as to not touch it her eyes focus on the surface of the black pool. The surface of the black water changes to show images, life, death, the universe, beyond. Time and space rip away and her mortal mind is exposed to raw knowledge overwhelming her mind. She focuses her mind trying to withstand the assault but one image becomes very clear to her….
Osrik seeing Vera in the same stupor rushes and tackles the half-elf from the water’s edge. Breaking her line of vision from the pool she regains her senses. She thanks Osrik struggling to keep her composure and footing. The images seem to be fading from her mind. All except one…
Much to everyone’s relief Gamora groans and begins to move. They ask how she feels and she comments that she feels like at some bad mushrooms. Vera offers her some water and asks her if she remembers anything. Gamora says she doesn’t as she hands back the waterskin.
Cora analysises the dagger which killed the cultist, it seems to be carved of a dragon’s tooth. Jean Luc looking over the double doors show that this is a tomb for someone held in very high regard. Several symbols in Mulhorandi and Nethril adorn the doors.
Jean Luc and Osrik open the double doors and a golden chandelier high bursts to life lighting the dark chamber. The light reveals a raised dais with a golden sarcophagus and the entire room is lined with images of men, gods, and other imagery. A booming voice echoes in the room. “You approach Diderius in repose. I know what you seek.”
“What may we learn, kind sir?” asks Jean Luc.
“The one called Varrym is beyond the northern wall. Be prepared, for I shall open the way to peril For others seek him as well.” There is a click and a rumbling as the back wall slides open into a dark hallway.
“Who else is seeking him?” asks Cora.
“I have opened the path you learn these answers only by following it,” says Diderius’s voice. “When your path is closed you will return and I will have the answers when you know the questions. When your path is closed you will find the answers here.”
Reven turns, “I’m sorry, did you say closed or clothed?”
A eerie silence fills the room and the party grows worried something has gone wrong. Diderius’s voice commands, “Go and leave me!”
Gamora bows respectfully and leads the way towards the open path. The landscape changes drastically from an ancient sandstone tomb to the sharp rock formation of a mountain path. The door slides closed sealing leaving only a small outline of a doorway.
They are immediately set upon by archers. Mags curses, “Well that didn’t take long.” She casts her firebolt towards the source of the arrows.
Down the hallway are a flight of stone carved stairs where the party can make out snake-humanoid Yuan Ti some humanoid with heads of a snake, some human with the body of a snake instead of legs. They set upon the party with no mercy.
Garmora enters her battle rage and charges alongside Osrik. They take out the foot soldiers while Cora takes out the archers at the stairs. They press the attack up the stone cut stairs and make their way to stone bridge crossing a deep pit. The party cannot see the bottom but the more perceptive members can hear the sound of grinding stone.
As they move forward the bridge is slick with moisture making it hard to move. Cora fires again striking a few of the Yuan Ti archers on the far side of the bridge. Jean Luc casts Haste on Gamora and she charges forward into the Yuan Ti formation.
Vera summons her thorn whip and pulls one of the Yuan Ti towards her and Gamora cuts him in half as she closes the distance. Uses her greatsword to slide across the floor she spins and cuts down two of the Yuan Ti without halting momentum. Reven casting Jump leaps over the stairs and bridge and lands right into the fray killing one of the Yuan Ti, but loses his balance and falls to his knees. Osrik pushing into the battle strikes on of the Yuan Ti knocking him off the side, he loses his footing and crashes on the side of the steps.
Gamora pushes finishing off the Yuan Ti and empowered by Jean Luc’s Haste charges down the hall finding many other Yuan Ti bodies littered on the ground. She follows them down the hall not realizing how far she’s traveled. She ends at a large room which appears to be a shrine.
Inside she sees a brown skinned dwarf in purple robes surrounded by fiendish creatures fighting a pair of trolls and black Guard Drakes. Leading the attack against the gold dwarf is a familiar four armed troll that Gamora has faced before at the Hunting Lodge. “You were fucking dead,” she yells. Trespin turns his attention to Gamora and his maw curls into a grin.
Osrik stands up and makes his way after Gamora followed by Vera, Xenara, and Mags. Reven waits for Cora to cross as they take up the rear. Reven senses something and for a brief moment he turns to catch the image of a small gnomish creature.
Cora notices a bald headed gray gnome materialize next to her. Cora turns and makes eye contact with him and before she can react the small gnome shoves her off the edge of the bridge. She shouts “Kehndrig!” as she falls into the darkness. The gnome is gone.
Jean Luc tries to casts Feather Fall but it is counter-spelled by an unknown source. Reven leaps off the side of the bridge after Cora. Jean Luc quickly casts fly on him as he falls into the darkness.