After exiting the room with the gold trap, we black out mysteriously and awaken to find ourselves hanging by our feet, bound and gagged, spaced around a room that surrounds what appears to be a stage in the center. The stage is low in the center with several levels of seating surrounding the stage – like a theater in the round. At one wall at the top is a creature that appears to be an undead – zombie is the description that comes to mind – holding a book and a quill. I struggle to get free, but find the bindings are too strong for me to break.
The zombie creature proceeds to write something in the book. A couple of our party get free before I am able to get a hand free myself. As we each struggle to get free or render aid to others, a battle ensues with the zombie as Smich and Maldor enter the room, apparently hot on our tail from Barmesa.
I manage to get off several ray of frost spells. Meanwhile, the undead creature summons three hellhounds to battle our party. At one point, the zombie casts a spell that sends vines up to attack all of us and I fall unconscious. Upon awakening, I discover the party has prevailed against the zombie.
With some healing granted by Maldor, we proceed to the next room in this maze of room traps. In this one we find a statue of a man in stone and a stone cockatrice facing each other. Apparently they were locked in battle at one point, but I am unsure as to how both ended up stone. We move on and I have a feeling that we have somehow avoided one of the traps that seem to consume this place.
In the next room we find a statue of a woman with seven arms. Three are stretched above her with hands pointing down. The other four are stretched outward from her sides with palms up. There is an inscription on the base she sits upon that reads, “Lay down your lies or die”. There are also 10 tiles laying on the ground with numbers 1 through 10 in the common language on them.
Smich, the holy fighter, determines that the word “lies” can be made up by using the numbers 7, 1, 3 and 5 and rotating the numbers to appear as letters. We place these in her four hands with upward palms which opens a new door to us.
The next room is a small circular room with no exits. The floor has two lines bisecting it. We explore and unfortunately, the door closes behind us. The floor starts moving upward into a space that appears to go on forever. In the center of the floor, where the lines cross, a glass orb appears with an eyeball inside. At the same time, a round saw blade extends out from the wall, spinning furiously. Apparently controlled by the eyeball, I cast the illusion of a tarp on top of the eyeball to cover it up and prevent it from seeing us. My fellow travelers proceed to bludgeon the glass cover to pieces. After some others do some damage, I cast a fire bolt to destroy the saw blade.
When we arrive at the top of the shaft, we stand before a door. Pinkerton, the gnome illusionist, tells us Whitmore is in the room beyond. Raylin sneaks in and determines there are rows of lifeless men hanging from hooks in the room as far as he can see. As we crowd into the room, we see Whitmore lying on the ground, apparently dead, before a platform on which sits a book. I cast an identify spell and determine the book is magical, containing three uses of the spell speak to the dead.
Pinkerton attends to Whitmore, trying to save him. Meanwhile, we hear a voice from a being we call “The Librarian”. The Librarian informs us that Whitmore was killed for trying to take something that was not his. Meanwhile, Raylin and I engage in a gambit to steal the book on the lectern and replace it with a fake. The Librarian does inform us that the Necrodancer is human, therefore he is fallible. That, he says, is the only clue/knowledge we need to be able to defeat the Necrodancer.
Pinkerton tells us that we have met our end of the bargain made at the weapons cache, so she gives us the items she had stolen. We also find an item on Whitmore, which the group grants to me to hold. It is a deck of many things, a powerful magic item that I have read of in my studies. The items from the Scions, via Pinkerton, include:
- The Nitpicker, a small cantankerous gnome statue that can pick locks. Even though it is his specialty, Raylin takes the Nitpicker.
- The Aegis of Heroic Recapture, a mirrored shield. If my memory serves me properly, the shield remembers all of the creatures fought by the wielder and improves one’s ability to deflect attacks (+1 to AC) in future battles. One can even imagine a battle with a creature to imbue the shield with this capability. Smich is granted this shield.
- The Scrybones of Divinity – this items appears to give the holder the ability to divine a positive or negative response from the gods/nature concerning the nature of the world (ie a y/n question, once per session, to the DM). I eventually end up holding this.
- The Epitaph of Travel is a pouch that contains a file and some chalk. Pinkerton shows us a drawing to make on the ground. She tells us that taking dirt from somewhere we have been and placing it inside the drawing gives us the ability to transport ourselves there instantly. We determine to keep this item and gather samples of soil from this place along with our estate and Barmesa.
- The Compass Kisimet is a compass that spins wildly. Legend is that the one holding the compass will cause it to still itself enough to point the way. What is is pointing to is unclear though. Some say a soul mate. Others say one’s greatest desire. Others say to the place of one’s demise. Jax is given the compass. I assume this has something to do with his walkabout.
In questioning Whitmore, we determine the meeting with the Necrodancer will take place at the highest point on a mountain. He does not share their names, but we determine Whitmore was accompanied by a man and a woman to the Librarian. They read from the book I now possess and then walked into the hall where the Librarian was.
Whitmore also tells us the headmaster of the Hall of Ivy has the party’s hearts.
Whitmore says the Scions are seeking to unleash the language of the Nightmare of Anathema, which they believe will give them power to defeat the gods like the other coteries that have succeeded. The power needed to do that is believe to exist in the deck of many things, but the Scions want to contain the power of the deck and use it for themselves.
We use the Epitaph of Travel to return to Barmesa where we update the Scions and we are each paid 100 pieces of gold.
I am also informed that staff at the University may have info regarding my parents, but at a cost. I need to revisit this.