House of the Beast: LoF Session XX
Though the party had rested only an hour. A supernatural refreshment filled their bones. Wounds were quickly healed as divine might rekindled in Zahakmed after only a short rest. The stream still bubbled and all as was it was left when they had closed their eyes. Though warded with Alarm, the area was undisturbed and the spell was allowed to fizzle.
As they faced their surrounding yet again they passed between the statues to continue their inspections of the room. The magical stream both came from, and lead to, nowhere. Nothing more than a creation of the Wish spell which enchanted the room. On the ground near where they had entered, however, Katovarh noted an odd area of sand and stone. A garden for contemplation, perhaps, yet inside of its boundaries the monk had spotted a number of sparkly rocks. Grabbing them, he brough them to the Gnome who quickly realized their value. Diamonds and rubies, the garden was filled with wealth. Rushing into the area he looked through the rest himself, though it seemed the most choice gems had already been found. Pocketing the stones, the group made their way toward the only exit available. The short hallway dead ended in an odd room filled with a sole object. In a circle, pillars of stone rose from the floor, curving at their tops to meet, forming some sort of odd cage. Inside, several smaller rings joined at the top in the same manner, leaving a large area in the middle seemingly empty. Walking around the structure, markings in an unfamiliar language run up the outer layer of pillars. As Glarth inspects them, Khatovar is able to read in Terran and announced to the party their meaning.
“By your command, so shall the Pit of Screaming Ghosts be opened”
As he does Glarth runs his fingers along the markings. The stone creaks, and groans. The pillared cages begin to spin independently of one another. Stepping into the circle, the floor begins to pulsate as if waves of liquid stone move beneath his feet. Excited, and on a hunch Glarth steps out of the machine, throws up his arms, and loudly announces “Open, I command you”. The machine continues to groan and slowly move, rock turns, but does not respond. Glarth turns to Khatovar and says “You! You speak the language! Say the thing it says to say in the way it says it!”
As the words ring forth, the machine responds to the command and the pulsating waves of stone begin to turn and swirl and spiral into a stair case. Having solved the riddle of the stone machine and with no other options as to where they might go, pulling out their various sources of light, the adventures descend into the dark.
As stone meets floor the party steps forth into cavern whose contents fill the adventures with awe. Standing on a natural pillar of stone perhaps 30 feet across, before them, on all sides, gold, treasure. Piled high, in all directions, enough gold to build a kingdom. Piles and piles of precious gems and items with value too high to be placed lay around them beneath the structure upon which they stood. Before them, a set of stone steps descend into the shining sea of wealth. As they stand in aw, suspecting foul play, Ce-tan divines that there is magic here, some sort of illusion. Warily they walk to the bottom of the stairs. The very last stair, in Ignan, has a inscription, “So shall you be devoured.”
It is clear that beneath the gold, the staircase descends some ways further and directly to the left, within 5 feet, the tops of a set of pillars, leading across the room and over the gold stands. Eying the gold suspiciously, but driven by an insatiable curiosity, Glarth attempts to interact with the illusion to overcome it. Cautiously, he reaches for a piece of treasure. But not being able to overcome the magic, Glarth does not realize the danger he is in. It SEEMS solid. It’s hot. Burning hot in fact. But this is definitely gold. His companions, however, gasp as a fungal mold known as Green Slime dissolves his fingers and continues up his hand. Responding quickly Zhakmed realizes it’s implication, and calls upon Seranarae’s to destroy the infection. As the illusion is over come, a small sea of stagnant, murky, water stands before them where the gold once lay. Green slime concealed below its dark surface, a death trap for the greedy.
Recognizing the substance for what it is, their next move become apparent. They must cross atop the pillars to safety. The monk, with ease begins to quickly jump from pillar to pillar. To his less nimble companions, however, the 10-15 jumps may as well be a mountain. Both are as equally impassable. Time however is not on their side. As the group begins weighing their options, the wind begins to speak. Having disturbed the pillars three undead Djinn, entities known as Edimuu, form before their eyes. The monk reacts and the party breaks into battle. Quickly, they dispatch one of the weaker foes. However upon death the ghost implodes, sucking the positive energy out of its surroundings, the gnome takes a heavy hit and retreats up the stairs to safety. Oddly, however the battle suddenly stops. The Edimmu float in mid air and Ce-tan begins to speak to them in Auran. The party had hardly noticed while excited about the gems within the first room, but on a far wall, a portrait stood of a strange female god worshiped on the Elemental plane of Fire, Ymeri, and an Efreet dressed in the manner of a Gran Sultan. A genie who Ce-tan, using his magic, had determined would be a good source of emulation for his attire. Little did the party know, however, that the Djinn, had mistaken him for their tormentor. And they were intent on revenge.
Using guile, rather than force, the sorcerer convinces their foes he is capable of releasing them from their undead prison. Commanding the beings to get a safe distance from the party, Ce-tan betrays them and instead launches a fireball, consuming their ghostly forms in fire, they implode, and disappear.
Having dispatched the rest of their quarry. Glarth Hastes the party, allowing the rest of the group to become as nimble as the monk, they all quickly cross the dead lake. The pillars lead to a large set of stone doors. Massive, a foreboding message lay upon the doors “Lo, those who speak not the truths of Rovagug shall be the first to be consumed, by the Waiting Beast.”
As the door swung open, a sand colored room room of granite and pillars stands before them. In the center of which stands a large, brown statue of a Sand Kraken. The beastly image quickly comes to life as the party enters the room. The monk charges, Suerbahn attacks, and the sorcerer blasts it with his magic. The Sand Kraken replies with a flurry of whipping tentacles. It lashes out furiously, but the monk dodges all but one with almost supernatural deftness. Before the creature can even catch its bearings, it is overcome. Lifeless, it collapses to the floor, where Glarth takes with him a piece of a tentacle, known for its restorative properties.
Beyond them, a stone cask stands in the center of a natural stone room. Obsidian lines the ceiling and two hallways dart out to the left and right, but all eyes are on the tomb which stands before them. This, then must be what they are here for. Wasting no time they push open the stone container.
A cacophony of magic unleashes upon opening, Khatovar feels a coldness suddenly force its way into his body, but he fights off the ailment.
As the top clatters against the floor, before them lays a long dead gnoll, perfectly preserved. On his head lay a circlet, a crowning piece to his full set of armor, weapon and curiously, an abnormally large scroll. Sensing for all of the magical items, the party loots the corpse and grabs the scroll. Unfurling it, a large, strange character greets them. Unrecognizable as a character from any known language, the scroll is partially burnt but overwhelming magical energy radiates from it. Khatovar, remember a bit of history from memories of Vardishal realized what they may hold in their hand is a powerful relic, last heard of in the possession of a dragon thousands of years ago. The fabled Scroll of Kakishon, a lost “map” to Nex’s personal retreat of pleasure and luxury.
[insert lava here]