Key of Destiny: Day 11 and 12
When we last left our heroes.... we ended up telling the tale of these yutzes.
Whifflenut: "LET ME BURN IT! I WANNA BURN THE FOREST!"
Luziann: "You can't. We're continuing on."
Whifflenut: "I leveled! I have a fire spell now! Let me set it on fire!"
Arden: "We can't. The adventure heads this way."
Luziann: "Besides. If we finish this place we'll probably gain another level and have an easier time burning the forest when we come out."
Whifflenut pouts: "I hate this. When this adventure is over, do you think we'll get our original levels back."
Arden: "I dunno. Then again, maybe we'll end up getting more than where we were at. Pete, what level were you?"
Arden: "Wow. I was eighteen or nineteen."
Luziann: "I think I was twenty."
Whifflenut continues to pout: "I was a god."
The others look at her blankly.
Whifflenut: "I was! People worshiped me!"
The others look at her blankly.
Whifflenut pouts and grumbles as they head onward to the temple.
"You soon see a gauntlet of fallen monuments on the plateau of the temple. The plateau iteself is hundreds of feet across, with the temple situated fifty feet away from the path leading up from the valley below. On both sides of the temple two enormous statues have fallen to the ground, creating equially large piles of white rock scattered across the plateau. Before you, the temple-"
Whifflenut: "ARDEN! Do you have to read that brochure?"
Arden: "But it was right there in the plastic stand at the top of the ramp. It might have useful information in it."
Peādārr: "But do you have to read it aloud?"
Arden blinks: "Well... I have to sound the words out when I practice."
Luziann pats his shoulder and says patronizingly: "And you're doing very well. You're getting better every day."
Arden beams and continues reading: "Before you, the temple rises from the ground..."
Luziann: "Peādārr. Put the knife down from your throat."
Peādārr: "Just one cut. Please?"
(After several more paragraphs they finally walk up the temple steps and go inside.)
Peādārr: "What's disturbing is that I don't actually notice something until he mentioned it. It's as if he's covering where my eyes pan."
They enter the small front chamber.
Arden describes some broken statues from the pamphlet: "... but all that remains of them are lower legs of what were once apparently humanoids of some sort, for some time ago they were reduced to rubble."
Peādārr: "Yep. And there they are."
Arden: "A loud shout rises on the air, piercing the calm night with an alarm."
The group jumps as suddenly they see a horde of ogres charge up the stairs behind them, one stopping to smash a statues of Mishakal. After several disturbing moments, the ogres vanish and the temple returns to normal.
Whifflenut turns to Arden: "Could you now say we gain 50 levels?"
Arden: "But it doesn't say that here."
Luziann: "Try it anyway."
Arden shrugs: "And they all gain 50 levels."
Whifflenut: "No! Phrase it that way and the orc might level."
Luziann: "Ogres. There are no orcs in this setting."
Whifflenut: "Orcs, ogres. Same thing."
None the less, they don't level.
Whifflenut: "Stupid pamphlet."
Heading further in, the lighting begins to darken and they reach a flight of stairs heading down.
Luziann looks to Arden: "Read ahead. What's down there?"
Arden: "I don't know. It's dark in here."
Whifflenut: "DON'T SAY THAT! Now I can't see!"
Arden: "It's not pitch black!"
(The group doesn't notice the coo-worble made from the creatures in that Vin Diesel movie.)
Peādārr: "Oh. There's a little light."
Arden: "Come on. Let's head down."
Peādārr: "We don't even know what's down there."
Luziann: "One way to find out." She picks up Whifflenut and throws her down the stairs. After several sounds of collisions, she adds, "Sounds fine. Let's go. Arden, you're first."
Arden glares at her, then heads down.
Whifflenut hits the bottom of the stairs, and suddenly a torch illuminates the wall in front of her. She takes the torch off the wall, and the light suddenly goes out. She waits.
The reaches the bottom of the dark stairs. Peādārr casts a minor light spell, and suddenly Whifflenut jumps at them. "RAR!"
The group jumps back, and Luziann is restrained from killing the kender.
Once the torch is put back onto the wall, it re-illuminates. Arden pulls out the brochure and reads. "You emerge from the stairway facing a wall..."
Luziann: "Can't you just read ahead silently for a bit first?"
Whifflenut: "But I want to know what happens!"
Luziann: "We'll find out, but maybe anything that happens won't happen until he says it aloud. Come on, Arden. Try it."
Arden nods and struggles to read silently.
Whifflenut: "I CAN'T TAKE THIS! Make something happen!"
Arden sighs: "You merge from the stairway facing a wall. As you step off....."
They eventually round the staircase and enter the proper part of the hall. There's a staircase on the far end and three doorways on either side. Only the second doorway on the left has an actual door in it.
Arden: "A young human, Khurish by the looks of him...."
Suddenly another vision occurs. A young human, Khurish by the looks of him, grasps a silver medallion of Paladine and requests from his god he have a holy sword. The sword appears and he strikes at an ogre. The ogre beats the living crap out of the young man and kills him.
The group stairs at where the image vanished.
Whifflenut: "What an idiot."
Arden: "Yeah. He should had prayed for his god to kill the ogre instead."
Luziann: "I don't think the god could had done it."
Whifflenut: "Gods can do anything. I should know. I was one. Either Paladine didn't care, or the priest was just stupid."
Arden nods: "Yeah. Pray for the ogres to be dead. Much better."
Whifflenut at which point goes over to the one door, and with her body slams the thick slab open. "Hrm.... maybe should had checked for traps first."
The room is clear, except for cobwebs (including a web-like hammock), and several swarms of spiders, including two BIG ones.
Whifflenut: "YEA! I GET TO USE MY FIRE SPELL!" She readies her spell, and then is suddenly slammed sideways by the door. Still, she gets the fire spell off, roasting one of the big spiders.
Peādārr tries to slam the door back, initially thinking there was someone behind it. Instead the door strikes back at him, just as one of the swarms of spiders envelop him and Luz.
Fight. Fight. Fight.
Whifflenut kicks the large spiders butts with her Pyre spell. Luziann swings at the door, and does piddle for damage. Arden tries to assist, and trips over his feet. Peādārr ends up getting covered in the spider swarm, and very quickly succumbs to many poisonous bites. Luz on the other hand, takes damage more from the bites.
Eventually Arden and Whifflenut take down the door (mimic... although I doubt any of them figured that out), and Whiff also roasts the swarm of spiders on her by setting herself a blaze.
"Ow... but at least they're gone..... Ow."
Eventually, Peādārr casts a spell preventing the small bugs from biting him, but he has lost so much strength, he is now encumbered by his own body weight. Arden jumps on top of Peādārr and crushes most of the bugs. Luz is also swept clean.
Arden: "Pete? Are you alright?"
Arden: "Can you help heal Luz up?"
Whifflenut searches the room and finds a few spider sacks with stuff in them: including minor healing scrolls. "Hey Peādārr, maybe this will help." She hands a scroll to him.
Arden blinks: "Peādārr? I thought his name was Pete."
Ironically, that was exactly the correct verbal component to the healing spell.
Luziann regains consciousness. She's not fully healed, but much better. "That... was not fun."
Peādārr then uses a lesser restoration to pull himself all the way back up to a whopping 5 strength points.
Whifflenut: "Wow. Raistlin could beat him up at this point. Why aren't you coughing up blood?"
Arden: "At least you can stand."
Luziann: "At least we didn't run away this time."
Peādārr: "Let's just rest here for the night."
Luziann: "Even though we've only been in this building for 15 minutes and it's 10 o'clock in the morning. Makes sense to me."
Whifflenut: "Should we head back up to that spot where it feel safe and all outside?"
Arden: "That or we can find a safe room in here."
Peādārr and Luziann glare at him.
Whifflenut rolls her eyes: "How about this room, right here. The one we cleared."
Arden: "That works too." And Arden continues to read the description of their room from the pamphlet. "Hrmm... I think that was a run-on sentence."
A day passes. Minor healing is enjoyed.
They head out the next morning and go down the next flight of stairs.
"From the stairway, you notice that once more the torch on the wall bursts into llusory blue flames, spilling pale blue light across the-"
Luziann grabs the pamphlet from Arden's hands, tears it up, and scatters the pieces onto the floor.
Peādārr: "Thank you."
Whiff sees an open door to one side and decides to try to be more kenderlike, and jumps in without looking. She sees a half-elven corpse that suddenly bursts open as centipedes pour out of it. She jumps back and uses her flame spell to set them on fire. Peādārr blows them backwards with a wind spell... which unfortunately also puts the fire out.
Whifflenut: "Gee. Thanks."
However, with their spells and a good sweep of a sword blade they are able to kill the swarm without anyone getting hurt.
Luziann looks scared: "No one was injured..... Were we just... competent?"
Peādārr: "Don't worry. It's only a phase."
Whifflenut searches the body and finds a map with several X's marking traps, and one spot with a question mark.
Passing by several rooms they see corpses of 400 year old dead priests, hacked apart by ogre weapons. Eventually they find a very icky 400 year old buttery.
Whifflenut: "Iiiiiiiii wouldn't try eating any of that, Arden."
Arden protests: "I wasn't!"
Wandering around the room, Peādārr reaches one corner where there is an almost intact cabinet. Before reaching it, the floor creaks. Taking out a long staff, he taps the floor several feet in front of him to insure that it is safe.
The tapped part of the floor appears solid.
The part of the floor Peādārr was standing on falls out from under him.
Badly hurt, Peādārr sighs.
Luziann: "Peādārr! Are you alright!? Stay there. I'm coming down."
Whifflenut goes around the whole and opens up the cabinet. There are several massively old bits of food long since petrified and inedible.... and one perfectly fine Twinkee. "Damn. They really do last. Hey Arden! Found something for ya!" She tosses him the Twinkee.
Arden catches it: "Thanks!" And the extra 0.5 oz of weight results in him falling through the floor, just missing Peādārr.
Luziann lowers herself down through the hole.
Whifflenut: "If you don't mind! I'm going to take the stairs!" And she leaves the buttery, finds and old brewery, gets attacked by brown mold, and she sets the room on fire before going downstairs.
The group of three notice the bed chamber they are in is much better preserved that the other rooms. Suddenly they see a priest in black and yellow communicating with an ogre chief via magic. Afterwards he opens a chest magically, gets a knife, and disguises himself as a priest of Mishakal. When the vision ends, they smell a distant fire and the oder of 400 year old burning alcohol. Ew.
Whifflenut passes through one room and enters a hallway, noticing how clear the middle of the floor is. She hears some movement, and then the group behind one of the doors. After talking to them and checking the map (and seeing a faint symbol on the door), it appears the door to the room they are in is trapped.
Luziann sighs: "Then how do we get out?"
Peādārr: "Maybe there's something in the chest."
Luziann: "Arden. Break it open."
His first swing misses and chops a bed post down.
Whifflenut heads down the dark hall a little ways to investigate a sound she heard. Using a light spell, she illuminates the hall and sees a gelatinous cube. "Oh crap." The cube starts moving towards her. "Guys! Stay in the room!"
Whifflenut: "Gelatinous cube!"
Arden smashes the chest top open, and he breaths in massive amount of white powder. He starts choking and hacking. Luz and Peādārr check out the contents of the chest and divee the stuff between them. Arden just tries not to fall unconscious.
Luziann: "You know... if we had actually listened to the incantation the priest guy said, we might not had needed to destroy the chest.
Whifflenut launches a number of spells at the cube, and also uses narrows in the hallway to keep the thing distant. Only upon stretching out to launch an attack does the cube have a chance to strike. However, it fails in its endeavors. MANY spells later, the kender is victorious.
Meanwhile, Luziann discovers there is false bottom on the chest, but she fails to open it. Only after massive amounts of work, and Arden trying to hack away at it while hacking in another manner, they finally find a tome bound in human flesh. It is a prayer book with a commune access to Chemosh. Mucho moneyo if they can sell it later.
Luziann: "But nothing to open the door with."
Whifflenut yells through the door: "Hey Luz! Why don't you just open the door and find out what happens?"
Luziann's sword cuts through the doorway, stopping just short of Whifflenut's nose.
Whifflenut: "Well, that didn't set anything off. Maybe it only goes off if someone is trying to enter the room."
Luz opens the door and walks out. The others follow.
They check several rooms, finally seeing remains of dead ogres.
Whifflenut: "Sheesh. 'Bout time some of the clerics fought back."
They also find evidence that a couple of the clerics were killed by the man they saw in the last vision.
Whifflenut: "In the what?"
Peādārr: "He did have a knife?"
Whifflenut: "Who? What!?!"
Luziann: "We had a vision. You got to fight the cube."
Whifflenut thinks on it. Then nods. "That's fair."
Eventually they reach the question mark on the map.
Luziann examines the wall. "There's a door here. I can just barely make it out."
Whifflenut: "Ok. We'll come back to it later."
Luziann: "What if it's a way to the bottom?"
Whifflenut: "And what if what we're looking for isn't at the bottom?"
Peādārr: "Actually, almost all of the time in places like this, what you're looking for is at the bottom."
Whifflenut: "Yeah. But what if we need something to get further on and that something is in one of the rooms we skip. Or what if we ending up needing to face something, but we're not ready for it because we did do all of the fights and didn't get enough XP."
Luziann: "But we don't get XP for fights. We level by chapter!"
Whifflenut: "Look. I don't want stuff sneaking up on us. Alright?!"
Luz sneers but agrees.
They reach a small changing room partially filled with water, similar to one of the earlier rooms they glanced passed. Whifflenut frowns at the water, and throws a rock at it. Tentacles of the water jump out at her. Luz instinctively yanks Whifflenut back out of reach, and the gray ooze advances.
Peādārr tries to slow it down by casting Sanctuary on himself and standing in the doorway. Unfortunately, the ooze (after failing to attack him) begins to seep around his feet into the hallway. This ooze is hungry.
Arden: "That thing might damage our weapons."
Whifflenut: "Uh, I used almost all of my good spells up fighting the cube. I got only one left."
Luziann: "We need to block the door."
Arden: "With what?"
Luziann: "Something solid!"
Arden turns around and notices the solid door leading to an interior room. "This way!"
Luziann's eyes widen. "ARDEN! No!" She dives for him.
Whifflenut: "Well, I got one spell." (to Peādārr) "That Sanctuary spell protecting ya?"
Peādārr: "Yes. Why?"
Whifflenut: "AoE coming!"
Peādārr (knowing that Area of Effect spells won't be blocked by Sanctuary) yelp: "NO!" And he dives sideways as the minor pyre strike singes the ooze.
Meanwhile, 15 feet down the hall, Arden grabs the doorknob but is yanked back by Luziann.
Luziann: "Do NOT start a second encounter while we're already dealing with this one! You don't know what's in there!"
Peādārr joins them. "What's going on?"
Luziann: "Arden was about to start another encounter."
Arden: "I just wanted for us to get through a solid door into a safe area."
Luziann looks back: "Damn. It's coming."
By this point, Whifflenut was completely out of decent spells and turned to run. Unfortunately, she ran down the other direction, out of view from the others and into a side room.
Peādārr sees the ooze creeping towards them through the hallway. "Where's Whifflenut?"
Arden nervously: "Whiff?!"
Peādārr: "Oh my god. It's dissolved her. She's dead."
Luziann hears a choir of angels. "HAAAAAALLELUJAH!!!"
Arden is pissed. "That's it." Risking his sword he charges forward and swings at the ooze. They are lucky. With mild damage done to their weapons, the ooze is killed.
Over that same moments in time, Whifflenut peeked out of the room into the hallway to see the ooze moving away in the opposite direction. Across the hall from her was another solid door, one in much better repair than any she had noticed up to this point. She remembered Arden mentioning something about the doors a moment ago, but she was partially distracted.
She hears her name called in the direction of the others, and figures they are calling for her to open the door. "Alright. Alright," she mutters, after pausing for a moment when she distantly hears the angels singing the line "HAAAAAALLELUJAH!!!" for a half second. Shaking her head, she opens the door.
The library inside is not in as good condition as the door was. Many tables had been destroyed. However, the one thing that catches Whifflenut's attention is the Khurish woman sitting at one of the tables facing her. She sets one of the books to the side as she looks up at the kender.
"Well, it seems as if I am not the only one whose curiosity has been piqued by the temple's reappearance. Welcome, fellow explorer. I am Anasana."
Elan: "Dun dun DUN!"
Strange... with the exception of the spiders and mimic door encounter, they actually seemed like a decent action group with a fun bit of drama tossed in. Oh well. As Peādārr said, it can't last. Tune in next time for what will no doubt be proof of that.