Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Stonehell: The Temple-Prison of Ka-Nefer

Session 58 was played on 1/16, and introduces my own sublevel to the dungeon... one that will have some far reaching consequences going forward.

Eiric, wizard 6 (Kat)
- men at arms (Koltic, Pargax)
- linkmen (Lomax)
- Neon (dog)
A-A-Ron, Thief 6 (Henchman)
Daryll, Cleric 6 (Henchman)
Orpheus, Human Fighter 5 (Henchman)
Karl, Dwarf 6 (Julia)
- Hobart (dog)
- men at arms (Bollox, GoMat)
Lex the Cheeseman, Fighter 3
Brie, wizard 2 (Apprentice to Eiric)
Borumar, ½ Orc Thief 5 (Josh)

After resting and recovering in the Kobold Korners, Trustee Sniv comes to the party's room to announce that his workers have completed their task. The way is now open into the new section of the dungeon!

The party quickly gears up, and heads down to the Reptile House, with the kobold work chief and 2 assistants. Piles of rubble fill the pillared hall. Passing through the path between the piles, the party heads into the shored up passageway that almost immediately comes to a set of stairs dropping down into the dark.

Switching back and forth, following the stairs down, the passage opens into a large chamber. Without a railing, the stairs emerge from the ceiling, curving along the wall, but shattered before reaching the ground 15' below. 3 of the 4 rune covered pillars supporting the ceiling are intact, The 4th is cracked and broken on the floor. Between the pillars, in the center of the room is a massive sarcophagus. Eiric has the kobods weave one of their ropes into a rope ladder, dropping a few coins into their claws for their effort. The kobolds attach the ladder to the bottom step, and the party climbs down. Sitting on the edge of the stairs, the kobolds watch.

A-A-Ron investigates the room all around, working his way toward the sarcophagus. The runes on the pillars, and the writing on the sarcophagus are a mystery to him. Darryl the Dark knows the runes are magical wards against the Blacksun, an ancient deity of undeath. The sarcophagus is covered in the story of the dead within, Ka-Nefer, and warnings to any that would disturb his restless death.

Shifting the lid of the sarcophagus takes Orpheus, Karl, and 2 more hirelings, but they do, and a highly decorated coffin is revealed within. Darryl uses some charcoal to scribe some of the same runes from the pillars onto the coffin, and garlic and stakes are handed out to everyone. The lid is pushed off. Karl uses his pick to destroy the foot of the sarcophagus, and they drag the coffin out, looping it with rope to keep it closed. There is definitely something within, but they aren't ready to dare opening it yet.

Under the coffin was a small round hole, barely as wide as a dwarf. Ribs are set into the wall like a ladder. A-A-Ron drops a torch down, and it falls about 50', sputtering once it hits the stone floor. Bollux and Koltek play rock-paper-blades to see who would go down first. Bollux loses, gets a rope tied around his waist, and starts the climb down. He describes the room that opens up below him as he climbs. 4 large animal headed statues, and a pile of bones... Nothing too threatening... A-A-Ron starts to follow.

Once he sets foot on the floor, and picks up the torch, the bone pile rattles, and then pulls itself up into a 4 armed monster! Bollux wants to bolt, but Eiric tells him to stay there! Grabbing another coil of rope, they stick the grappling hook through Darryl's belt, and drop him down. A-A-Ron manages to avoid getting hit by the falling cleric, who gets yanked hard about half way down. Pointing his finger threateningly at the bone monster, he summons his divine power and... nothing happens. A-A-Ron sends a screaming arrow into the monster's skull. Bollus flails at the creature with his sword, but doesn't even chip a bone. He leaps back and tries to scale the ladder, but the best grabs his leg. It rips him from the ladder, and uses it's other 3 arms to tear him apart. A-A-Ron shoots it again in the skull, now shattered, and then keeps climbing down. Darryl grabs the ladder, and Karl drops into the hole going down. Darryl see's the dwarf coming and climbs down as well.

A-A-Ron dodges and weaves around most of the arms, but gets slammed against the wall. He stabs back with his sword, bones splintering against his 3rd critical hit. Karl, about 10' above the fight, leaps down onto the beast, Hammer of the Honey Badger first, and crashes through it. Bones scatter all over the floor. Looking on silently, the 4 tall animal headed statues do nothing.

After the rest of the party makes it down, including the dogs (Neon long suffering, Hobart goofy) they examine the only door out of the room. Massive, bronze, and completely covered in pictograms. Over this are black runes seemingly burned into the metal, a divine lock to keep something in. Karl shrugs, and tries to push open the door. Black lightning sends him reeling away from the door. Darryl summons his own gods power, and turns the door's magic. The black runes fizzle away under the sustained turning.

A-A-Ron notices that the pillared corridor before them is trapped, Specifically, blades in the pillars, but he can't find a trigger. Karl, sure the pillars are decorative, smashes the first, revealing the blade mechanism, and then smashes that. As he does, beetles begin to come out of the far end of the corridor wall, and chitter loudly as they swarm toward Karl. As he sprays them with Power Thirst the now flaming bugs form onto a skeletal humanoid shape and attack. Orpheus jumps in, and both Karl and Orpheus take some hits before the bugs drop and disperse. The whole party then engages in several minutes of bug stomping.

Karl resumes smashing the pillars until the last set, when Eiric wants to test the mechanism. Karl tells Scar to stick his finger between the pillars. Scar breaks down, falling to the floor, and crying in terror. Karl then turns to GoMat, who reluctantly agrees. Nothing happens. They try using Bollux's mostly intact body, but again, nothing happens. Karl offers the gold and silver arm band he wears, to GoMat if he walks through it. He does, and once past the pillars, the flagstone shifts under his feet, triggering the trap, but as no one was standing near the pillars, the blades scythe out harmlessly. A-A-Ron disables the pressure plate, while Darryl marks up the hallway with the runes he copies from the pillars.

Ahead of them, a large empty room dominated by a glossy black sun covering most of the north wall, and ceiling. Black rays shoot along the walls, and between them, figures carved into the wall cower from it.

Gains: None
Kills: 2 Scarab Defenders, 1 Bone Golem
Losses: Bollux

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