A good deed in an earlier session paid off for this session. A prisoner, with whom they couldn’t communicate, was released from a cell on the Hall of Gods level. They met a bunch of the same humanoids this session. The wizard was very happy to have Comprehend Languages available as a spell and we had a little bit of roleplay with facial expressions and gestures in return. They got a minor spell scroll, some food and information as a reward.
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4th Harvester: The party decides to head upstairs expecting to find another way into the Hall of the Gods and are surprised to find chambers they have not seen behind the secret door at the top of the stairs.
Each of the four walls has an inscription in a different human language – Flan, Suloise, Baklunish and Oeridean. Seldrel casts Comprehend Languages to read them and he and Merxif copy down the inscriptions and translations. One of the next chambers has two small humanoids similar to the dwarf-like one released from the deathlock’s cells. Seldrel understands them and with gestures attempt to respond to their questions. They are lead along a long passage past empty rooms, to a second area with small rooms. Here, ‘Genas’ meets them – one of the ‘Dark Folk’ who speaks common. He informs them that they come from far below the mountain, and a bigger group has a camp a few layers below here. They have been sent up to explore the upper levels and have made partial maps that they share with the group. Seldrel explains the meaning of the writing in the room they entered through. The dark folk haven’t gone much above this position because of the undead they had seen and heard there, and are pleased with the group releasing their companion from the Hall of the “necromancer” (the deathlock). They mention some rooms on this level that they are uneasy about exploring and the group check them out.
One room feels chill and their lights dim. Seldrel detects no magic in the chamber, but Merxif has a bad feeling about entering. Another locked door has a pit trap, that Lanliss easily avoids and disarms. A third room is full of webs, and when they start to burn them a big spider emerges and attacks. They defeat it without anyone being poisoned, and recover some coins and gems from two old corpses. The last area is a long hall with statues in alcoves along its sides. The dark folk think that it is a magical defence, or test to be overcome. After one of their folk was killed they have left it alone. Seldrel notes magical auras all along the passage, and Lanliss detects magical traps. The first two statues have magic mouths – one recites the numbers one to eight and the second mentions magic and a number of defensive combat manoeuvres. Lanliss moves cautiously in, attempting to locate and disarm the magical traps as Seldrel identifies the spells involved. Each alcove past the first triggers an elemental magical effect starting with the equivalent of a 0 level spell and increasing in power. When Lanliss triggers a lightning bolt that knocks him unconscious they pull him out and decide to leave the statues for another time.
After a brief rest and some healing, Genas shows them a large image carved on the wall of a nearby chamber – it shows Fals Hold in better days. Two old fountains are here, neither working. Under some slimy water in one are some silver coins, while a brown ooze rolls out of the other and attaches itself to Hardaz. Resistant to non-magic weapons, it takes some time for them to destroy it. The group decides to head back down to the caves, and Genas gifts them a scroll that he can’t read (Divine: Sound Burst) and two days dwarven trail rations.
Heading roughly north, the group finds a chamber scraped clean of plants. Lanliss notes the shimmer of something at the back of the chamber and calls an alarm as a Gelatinous Cube slides towards them. The owl is paralysed as it flies over to aid Lanliss and the dwarves. The cube tries to engulf both Bacon and Lanliss, but they dodge aside. The group steadily hacks the cube into pieces and some gems are found within it. Bacon notices a secret door at the side of the cavern – behind it are stairs down. West, into a very large cave, there are many fallen rocks and tall plants. They are attacked by a large vine that entangles Seldrel and Merxif. After defeating it, two wormlike creatures with very tough skin defend a rock fall that hides two potions, a scroll and many silver coins. Continuing brings them to the hole into the caves from the level above, and a small stream of water falls into the hole that continues through the floor. Nearby, a small hollow hides the body of a female elf. Merxif thinks that she starved to death a week ago. They think she may have been the source of faint singing heard on the level above about two weeks previous. From her gear they believe her to have been a Druid. South brings them to a cave with piles of dirt. Lanliss cautiously moves forward and an insectoid beast erupts from the ground to attack him. When the rest of the group start to fire missiles, it turns and sprays acid across Hardaz, Merxif and Seldrel. Melee quickly brings it down before it can bite anyone. Moving further south brings a short fight with a lizard. Seldrel tries to count legs, fearing a basilisk. It bites Lanliss who starts to feel odd later (poison) but is not petrified. The next encounter is oddly coloured flowers; pollen puts Hardaz and Winter to sleep. Seldrel and Merxif both use their wands of magic missile to destroy the plant. Merxif cautiously manages to gather some flowers, hoping to utilise the pollen. Bats fly away from their lights, and the group realises they have been all around the caves and are back near the stairs from the Hall of the Gods.
They decide to explore beyond the most recent secret door. At the base of the stairs Lanliss triggers a magical trap. The lightning bolt that fires back along the hall drops both Lanliss and Hardaz, while severely wounding Bacon, who notes a secret door as they pull the others back up the stairs. Merxif heals everyone and they elect to return to the dark folk to rest. Lanliss overcomes the poison from the lizard bite.
5th The group head back into the caves and recover the druid’s body. They take her up to the Hall of the Gods; praying to Ehlonna and Corellon (at their statues) to restore her, but they are not answered. They decide to go back to Falsford and seek news of their friends. At the shrine to Aerdrie Faenya they ask about raising the druid to life, but the cost is unaffordable even as a group. The priestess takes the body. They will hold it for a time in case anyone comes to claim it, or arrange a suitable burial. They purchase a new wand of Cure Light Wounds, as the previous one is almost exhausted. Merxif converts his flowers into a vial of pollen and helps the group encourage someone of Oeridean heritage to contribute some blood in return for a small sum of money. They hope that the vial of blood can be used to activate one of the oeridean deity statues. There is no sign of any of their friends – it is presumed that they have either found some employment as caravan guards or are at Falsridge.
6th The party makes their way back to the Hold and heads down to the Hall of the Gods without incident. Choosing the statue of Celestian (Oeridean deity of stars, space and wanderers) they state his name, place a spear in his hand, and present his holy symbol. The blood poured onto the plinth is absorbed and the statue activated. They receive a wand of Flying, and half of the group are granted elemental protection – most taking the choice of fire resistance. They head down stairs and advance to the secret door Bacon located. Lanliss again triggers the reset lightning trap, but with minimal damage to the group this time. The secret door holds a small room outfitted with alchemical equipment and materials suited to created scrolls and potions. Back in the passage, a second magical trap is found and another secret door. The walls of this room appear to have been covered with religious sigils, that have been damaged and defaced, amid the ashes of burnt furniture. Further along the passage is a spiked pit. The group use their new wand of flying on Hardaz and get him to carry everyone over the pit. A long passage extends northward with a number of doors. Beyond the first is a large room with a pillar in a wide bowl – resembling a fountain. Seldrel detects a moderate magical aura, and when Merxif creates water in the basin it swirls and glows, settling in a highly reflective pool. Seldrel’s examination reveals that the pool can be used for scrying and manages to cast Arcane Eye, something beyond his normal capabilities. He uses the eye created to look around a number of the chambers to the east – sighting a waterfall, pool, a reptilian figure, and some type of ooze.