Into the Pyramid

Darkbad
Not quite as bad as scarytown.

After their extended rest, the party moved to explore the other area of this floor that they had yet seen. Following the other set of double doors, they came to another, more ornate set of doors, decorated with motifs of crypts and undead.

After the usual door checks, Dore bursts open the door to reveal…. darkness. Lighting torches and swords and spells, they proceed into the room. Those with better vision picked out large rats in the burial niche’s along the walls, but the rats did not move to attack them.

While moving towards a set of doors along a nearby wall, Karter can stand the presence of the rats no longer (due to his encounter with them in the room full of bones) and lashes out at them! The rat falls easily, but the violence attracts the attention of the rest of the rats, as well as the Wraith waiting on the far side of the room! The party forms up and easily dispatches the rats. The wraith pops out and surprises Rothmir, but is quickly set upon by the rest of the party. During the course of the battle, the nearby doors, left partially open, emit the sound of 3 coffin lids being shoved off. 3 Wights join the battle shortly after. A series of deadly strikes cut down the wretched creatures before they have much chance to act however, as the party overpowers them quickly and then finishes off the Wraith.

During all of this, Fy had moved around to guard against encroachment from the other door, seemingly got bored, and started sifting through the burial niches for loot, and found herself a new holy symbol among the discarded bones of a long dead cleric.

The party searched the room and found several other magical items among the various burial niches.

The southern door, which Fy had previously checked, now lies as the way forward. Deeper into the darkness.

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Catching up
Because I'm busy

Ok, it’s been a while since I was able to update this Adventure log, so I’ll make a quick summary post of the last few sessions to keep from falling too far behind.

The party, after defeating the trap room, fought a running battle in a maze of souls against some Skeletons and Ghosts. They defeated them, but the maze was taxing on their resources.

After the maze, the party entered a room with a (non-functional) portal, a large black stone of Shadow energy, and a large curtain around an enchanted castle statue. They were set upon by Dark One’s who frequently shrouded them in darkness. As they engaged the Dark One’s, a shadowy figure flitted around the outskirts of the combat, throwing spells into the midst of the party and attempting to assail them from afar. The party managed to defeat all the Dark One’s, and upon confronting the shadowy figure, saw him to appear to be a shadowy version of Karavakos! After several heroic efforts were expended, the Shadow was defeated, burned to a crisp by Thraxon and his flaming bastard sword.

After defeating the shadow, and determining that he was not one of the 3 beings that they needed to defeat (but instead a shadow copy, created by some process, of the original) the party decided to take this opportunity to take an extended rest. At the end of that rest, they spent some time divying out spoils and transfering and enhancing magic items that they’ve found. Mindantis used that time to learn Disenchant Magic item from Sha’ar.

Another branch of hallway remains unexplored on this floor, and the party is now fully rested and ready to take it on.

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Up to a dark path
Oh, that was a trap room

During an agreed to break to prepair before going to the next level of the pyramid Thorvar takes the opportunity to go locate and return with the head of Gharash Vren. While they waited for Thorvar’s return, Mindantis and Fy and Sha’ar took this time to exchange some rituals between their ritual books.

The party went up the stairs to find a hallway extending to the left and right, and another stairway ahead leading up to a locked stone door. The party split up and investigated each hall, which ended in double doors on both ends after turning. Neither side discovered anything about the doors. Tryn and Thraxon ascertained that their door was safe, so they gathered the group and took the northern path.

Beyond the door was another hallway and another set of doors. The party stealthed up to the door, Ryun’Leh doing so across the ceiling. While inspecting the door, Thraxon noticed that there was something off about the southern wall. After closer examination, the wall proved to be an illusion. Upon breaching the wall and passing through it, those in the party attuned to the arcane arts noticed a large magical disruption occur in the room beyond the doors to the east. Upon inspecting the room, they determined that there must have been some kind of magical trap or ritual in the room that they broke by passing through the illusory wall.

[500 EXP per character]

While inspecting the room, Fy found several (4 largeish) books that were empty and put them into her backpack. A smaller book that she had discarded was picked up by Sha’ar, who noticed a slight magical effect on it. Mindantis expertly examined the book, determining that a ritual had been used to hide information within the pages of the book, but none of them had a ritual to use to discern this currently, though said ritual is not beyond their power to learn. Mindantis also discovered a scroll of Linked Portal.

The rest of the party inspects the door on the other side of the fake wall. They hear wailing, moaning, and the clattering of bones.

Tryn unlocks the door easily, and they open the door into a ghastly room. The walls are made of a black stone with ghostly souls trapped within and Karter is able to determine that being too close to the walls will cause damage.

Before they could get too far into the room, a Skeleton with 4 arms and a scimitar in each rounded a corner nearby!

[End session]

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A Dragon's Deal
Shiny.....

[Continued from last session]
The Dragon is lounging coiled around a pillar of ice next to it’s hoard in the back of the room.

Sha’ar Gvishi uses his telepathy to ensure the party’s safe approach and intentions of peace. The Dragon agrees, and the party approaches, with Sha’ar and Dore in the lead, as they are the defacto communicators for this situation. After some discussion and negotiation, Sha’ar gives the Dragon one of the large sapphires that they found recently, in exchange for information. The Dragon is pleased by the gem, and agrees to give them information (rather than eating them).

While the Dragon does not have much information on Karavakos himself, Sha’ar does manage to convince him. After some more negotiations and bartering more of their gems away, the Dragon gives them several more items, including a mysterious Amethyst that the dragon says contains a similar energy to the one that had previously been discovered by the party on a hidden statue.

The party departs peacefully and the dragon works on arranging it’s new acquisitions on it’s horde.

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A chill passage
It's not icy on the walls!

Setting out after resting in the shanty hut, the party moves on to the last unexplored region of the area. Just beyond the previously discovered staircase that lead up is a set of double doors.

The doors are heavy with frost and condensation. With some effort, Dore gets them open, and the room beyond’s floor is completely covered in sheer Ice! Ryun’Leh uses his recently mastered wall running ability to traverse the walls and ceiling to scout out each of the doors of the room and get a general idea of what’s inside. Sha’ar Gvishi uses his telepathy to ping the locations that Ryun scouted to get a more exact fix on what was inside.

While attempting to sneak in, the guards in the first room were alerted by some unfortunately timed falls on the ice. They burst out of their quarters and alerted the rest of their group. Thraxon attempted to reason with them in elvish, but they were fiercely protective of their ‘master’ and would suffer no intruders upon his domain.

Despite the early setbacks, the party was able to quickly route the generally unprepaired group of winter Fey. The Fey leader, a Blizzardspeaker and caster of cold based magic, proved slightly more elusive than her companions, but not quite enough to evade her fate. Their foe’s soundly defeated, the party carefully made their way around the chambers.

[5 Minute rest, EXP, loot]

After a brief rest, the party moved on to the next chamber. As they went forward, the chamber’s ceiling got higher and the air colder. They eventually got to a larger set of double doors and opened them, revealing the coiled figure of an Adult White Dragon across the chamber!

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The second fall of Karavakos
Two down one to go

[Resume encounter from previous session]

The Abomination Karavakos is surrounded and pummeled by the party.

Sha’ar unleashes a mental assault on the abomination’s shattered mind that weakens it’s defenses enough to let the other party members land several powerful strikes that otherwise might have missed.

The Vortex draws several party members into itself, while the abomination attempts to force the foes surrounding him into the vortex and away from him.

Karter unleashes a devastating area effect the leaves the abomination open to Tryn ‘s precision strikes at it’s tender or vulnerable spots.

Crushing blow after crushing blow rain down upon the Abomination until finally, Thraxon delivers the killing blow, barely missing vital areas, but still delivering enough punishment to bring the abomination down!

With the abomination dead, the Vortex dissipates, and a sickly green orb of energy rises out of it’s corpse, hovers for a moment, then vanishes up into the ceiling above. Ryun’Leh narrowly missed tagging it with a fist before it vanished.

With the threat gone, the party begins to search the room. They find not much of value on the abomination, having long since shredded most of it’s humanoid clothing, save a belt which somehow remained intact. [belt is given to Ryun’Leh and his belt is given to Dore] While searching the rest of the room, Thraxon finds a small shrine to some Far Realm creature with 4 eyes and many tentacles. The pupil of each eye contains an exquisitely cut sapphire, worth 1000gp each. In addition, there are some small offerings left around it in various states of disrepair. The only remaining functional pieces are some footwear and a pair of goggles, both of which prove to be magical. Ryun’Leh nabs the shoes, while Tryn is given the googles, to aid in finding and disarming traps. Dore comes by and manages to find something that they missed, a mysterious and powerful Gem, able to replenish the powers of anyone who had already exerted a fair amount of effort that day.

[600 exp for each character. Level up to 10, 8 hour rest]

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Enter the Shardmind
STEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVE!

[Encounter continues from last session]

Continuing where we left off, the party is fighting both monsters and the room itself. The walls formed barrier doors at 3 points, 2 of which are now broken down after repeated attacks. As soon as the second door goes down, a surprised Destrachan is quickly beaten down after it makes one last desperate sonic blast.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the room, Ryun’Leh and Thorvar are hacking/punching away at the weeping wound in the wall. Upon breaking through, they discover a large throbbing sack hung from the ceiling. They proceeded to do what comes naturally, punch it until it breaks. Tryn got the final blow that pierced the sack and revealed the now dying large tentacled brain within. With the brain dead, the flesh of the room started to rapidly dissipate.

[400xp for each PC, 5 Minute rest]

Karter recalls during the post battle rest, that the being that contacted him telepathically mentioned that he needed them to find an item, a piece of his body, somewhere in this room.

The party spreads out to search all the rooms of this warped chamber. The pyramid’s magic already seems to be discarding the warped and fleshy walls and reasserting it’s own architecture. Within the decaying walls, bones and equipment of previous victims of this chamber start to emerge. Thorvar using his keen dungeoneering skills, discerns that there is something larger lodged in the middle of the largest section of wall still remaining, and with two swings of his twin axes, cleaves a ‘clean’ hole in the wall, revealing a chest!

[Get loot items in addtion to the items belonging to Sha’ar who’s shard is also discovered, and picked up by Mindantis]

Sha’ar, speaking telepathically through Mindantis, thanks the party for locating his missing shard, and tells them to come back to the chamber containing the abomination. Upon entering the Vortex chamber, Dore steps forward with the shard, and upon getting close enough to the edge of the vortex, Sha’ar is able to reform his body! After giving his thanks and some brief info on the abomination, Sha’ar and the rest of the party get into position around the vortex, ready to attack.

Karter, attempting to discern if the 4 statues positioned around the vortex have any effect on it, pushes over a statue. It crumbles to the ground, and the Vortex is uneffected. Karter discerns no change in the vortex, and decides to try his magical senses. With some concentration and a bit of bardic knowledge, he not only determines that the Vortex is powered by something in the center of the vortex, but also to safely traverse the vortex itself by carefully moving through it’s chaotic energies. With that knowledge in hand, he charges through!

The rest of the party, seeing this bold action, begins to join him, charging in at the abomination in the center of the room. Not as helpless as he seems, the abomination lashes out with it’s tentacles at all around him.

The vortex, reacting to the sudden disturbance of several armored natural (and fey) creatures running through it, churns and blasts those close to it with brilliant prismatic rays!

Seizing on the temporary disorientation of the vortex’s onslaught, the abomination unleashes a mental assault on all around him, dazing those effected by the dizzying madness projected onto them.

The rest of the party (save Mindantis, who is wary of moving through the Vortex without discerning it’s methods and patterns) charges in to combat the abomination. The abomination aims a coiled tentacle tip at Karter, and emits a Prismatic Ray! It seems the beast has either learned some powerful magic, or is manipulating the powers that the vortex imprisoning him to his will.

[End session]

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Punch the buildings down
You rolled what for your Dungeoneering check?

(5 Minute rest after Gorgon encounter)
(440 EXP is gained by each character)

Mindantis offered to calm down Rothmir and speak with him about the kingdom he remembers in order to better fill out the history of that long forgotten state, while the rest of the group tackled the gate in front of them.

After Karter deduced the purpose of the 3 gates they had to pass through to be a kind of test for initiates of some sort, the party faced another solid iron door with no discernible method to open it. As they approached the gate, it boomed out a message, telling them that only the blind and deaf would pass. Karter Dore and Ryun’Leh all covered their eyes and ears and walked through the gate. As they approached, the rest of the party saw the snakes on the columns surrounding the door appear to animate, poised to strike at them. Thorvar correctly deduced that this was an illusion. They waited, and Karter Dore and Ryun’Leh passed through the gate unaffected. The rest of the party then covered their eyes and ears and did the same. Karter, using his arcane senses, deduced that the party had now fulfilled the second of the three challenges to open the final larger doors to the South.

Retracing their steps back through the gorgon’s room and the hall of demon faces (which still were relatively friendly with them), the party moved on into their one unopened door in this area. It lead to a few hallways, as well as a stairway leading up. The party decided to move forward to the third gate, and were greeted with what appeared to be the large toothy maw of a generic devil. After some speculation about whether this too was an illusion, Karter, ever the bold follower of Avandra, sized the moment and walked into the doorway. The remaining party members witnessed what appeared to be Karter being rendered to bits by the chomping bits of the devil. However, upon some inspection, they decided it was probably an illusion. After a few more party members went through, and the exact same thing appeared to happen to them, it was determined that this was an illusion, and everyone else walked through, to find Karter and the others smiling on the other side.

The final gate solved, the main door was now open. There were two path’s open to the party, and after Dore investigated the weird seemingly alive hallway, they decided to go… anywhere else. Anywhere ended up leading them to a ramshackle church in a large chamber at the other end of the hallway.

The building, which turned out to be a church of sorts, had some strange chants coming from it in rough Primordial. Chants of allegiance to some Far Realm entity called the Keeper of the Way. Fy wasn’t quite sneaky enough in moving up to the side of the building, and smacked into Thorvar. This alerted those inside to the presence of outsiders and they began to get up to see what the noise was. Before they could fully rouse themselves, Dore, Thorvar, and Ryun’Leh burst through the wall! (which Thorvar discerned could be burst through without much effort) Thorvar ended up pushing the wall on top of one of the Foulspawn on the other side, surprising it enough to get a quick hit in with his offhand axe. The leader of this congregation of wretched and mutating humans was a Foulspawn Seer, who, using his demented form of telepathy, was able to sense the party, and was ready enough launch a sphere of twisted energies at Dore. Karter and Dore teamed up to disrupt and dispatch most of the congregation, while Ryun’Leh darted from foe to, dishing out punshing kicks and jabs. After the Seer teleported through the thin walls of the church, Thraxon pursued him by bursting through the wall and taking a swipe at him. But that last hit was too much, and the church collapsed in on itself, hurting and knocking everyone inside down under a pile of lose rubble. The party was far too strong for the Foulspawn to handle, barely putting up much resistance and never managing to turn the tide against them. Thraxon and Thorvar teamed up to finish off the last of them with a deadly pincer strike from both sides.

Upon searching the remains of the buildings and foes, the party found… nothing of much value at all. These were truly destitute individuals, with seemingly no possessions or materials concerns. Mindantis and Karter were able to find no magic at work in the area, but were nearly overwhelmed by the strong Far Realm presence coming from the room to the south of them…

(5 Minute rest is assumed)
(404 EXP is gained by each character)

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Gorgons and the Ogres that love them
Alternate title: STONED

Upon entering the chamber to the south from the Demon mouth room, you encountered a Gorgon, and her Blinded Ogre bodyguard, amid the statued remains of the gorgon’s previous victims.

After some spectacular maneuvers from Ryun’Leh the Gorgon was forced out of hiding, and began unleashing her devastating petrification gaze. Her Ogre bodyguard tried in vain to swat away the unwanted attention, smashing one of the statues in the process but was unable to do much to shake the focus from the Gorgon.

Dore, suffering badly from the petrification effect, managed to break its hold long enough to unleash a devastating series of attacks upon the Gorgon, nearly felling it, before succumbing and being fully encased in stone!

Ryun’Leh flipped clean over the Ogre, but missed with what otherwise would have been a devastating attack, and smashed an adjacent statue instead.

Things were looking grim, but the remaining party members were able to down the gorgon, and Mindantis stepped through the ether and dispelled the petrification from Dore before it could fully turn her to stone.

Dore, a bit confused having not known the passage of time while petrified, took a swing at Ryun’Leh, who happened to be standing where the Gorgon had fallen previously. After a final effort, expending himself completely to make an extra swing at Dore, he was taken down.

Ryun’Leh, recalling some specific lore about Gorgons, used the blood of the fallen gorgon to reanimate the two smashed statues (with gruesome results) and the party was able to recover some items and treasure from the remains. They then revived the remaining intact statue, that of a Tiefling in Plate armor carrying a greatsword.

Bewildered and shaken after having been petrified for so long, he was shocked to be suddenly surrounded by strangers and in a different position then he last remembered. After some convincing that he was not in any danger by Fy and Karter he revealed that his name is Rothmir and he was originally from an ancient kingdom, one that predated the Empire of Nerath (which fell over a century ago). The revelation as to roughly how much time has passed in the outside world was shattering to him and it took several moments for him to recover the ability to even speak.

The party now turns to face the second gate, which appears currently to be a featureless iron door, with no discernible means to open it, with columns in the shape of snakes coiled around them.

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Every end is a new beginning
A new GM has appeared. Also a catman monk.

When we last left our heroes, they had defeated a harpy and fought some gargoyles to a standstill (stone actually) as they ascended the stairs to the second level of the Pyramid. Leaving the gargoyles to do their thing in the pit between the trapped stairs, they ventured onward, a bit hastily into the next area.

At the top of the staircase, there was a hallway lined with grotesque demon head’s that appeared to be stone. Upon nearing them, they animated, biting at everything around them, and several abberant beastmen attacked the party. Some used the wall heads to teleport behind the players, while some caused melee attacks to reflect off onto others. The players came out on top, exhausted and spent, ready to rest for whatever passes for night.

GM Transition point

Suddenly a gargoyle from the previous room burst forth from the closed doors! Before any of them could respond, Ryun’Leh destroyed the gargoyle from behind in dramatic fashion. Reintroducing himself to the party (and meeting Karter and Thorvar for the first time) he explained that he had made it back to his mountain monastery, reequipped himself and headed back out into the world to locate the party again. He tracked them into the forest, and found himself stuck in the Pyramid as the party was. It was a rather simple matter to find his way to them, as they had killed everything on the way.

(The party gained 730 exp for this and the previous encounter at this point)

As they settle down to rest for an extended period, Mindantis resizes the Darkleaf Armor +2 for Tryn’s small frame.

(Extended rest for all but Setra and partial for Mindantis)

During the rest, each of the party’s arcane practitioners become aware of an arcane disturbance to the southwest of their current position.

Karter’s bardic training prevented this effect from disturbing his sleep much aside from awaking with a very odd feeling.

Mindantis had a fitful trance, haunted by bizarre images and feeling the curse placed upon him by his brother’s infernal pact flare up and grip him tighter. With some help from Fy, he attempted to ward himself against further encroachment of the curse’s effect. They were partially successful but it takes a measure of concentration and mental energy to maintain the ward. Thus, his combat abilities are diminished, and he is no longer able to prepare his spells each day. (Daily powers do not renew)

Setra, who’s control of the arcane energies she wields is tempered by a dark pact with infernal beings, was losing control. As the rest progressed, she was more and more overwhelmed by the distorting effect and eventually lost control of her powers entirely. Her infernal pact was warped and twisted so that rather than draw arcane energies from the infernal realms, it was drawing the infernal realm and it’s power into her body itself.

When Karter went to check on her after they had all finished their rest, he noticed the first sign of trouble. Setra’s eyes had gone red, as if made of polished ruby, burning from within with an internal fire. She rose as if pulled by puppet strings and spoke with the voice of the infernal realm that was poring into her. Karter was able to determine that something had gone wrong with her pact, and with Mindantis’ help, managed to push the energies overwhelming her body and mind deep deep inside her head, to the point where she could regain full use of her body and speak normally again. This process had stripped her of all but the faintest hint of her arcane abilities, and left her dazed, exhausted, and scared.

Not wanting to bring Setra into combat, Thorvar ‘offered’ to stay behind and guard (and monitor) her. The rest of the party moved to investigate the hidden door they had found in the room they had slept in. It lead to an unassuming chamber with a gate at the far end, a hooded figure in stone relief on either side of the gate. Upon reaching the gate, the doors in it opened on their own. As each member of the party moved through the gate, they heard a whispered thought in their head telling them that another member of the party had been cursed. Eventually, it was determined that the gate would only curse those that revealed this secret information, but also curse the one who was claimed to be cursed. After being cursed himself, Mindantis went through the gate, and did not say (or do, or look at) anything, especially not to Karter (who he had been told was cursed). After some time had elapsed, they determined the Nature of the curse, and that they had to pass some kind of test for the other two doors in the room on the other side of the gate before the final door would open and allow them to proceed further.

Upon returning to the room they had left Setra and Thorvar in, they discovered Thorvar looking confused and struggling to hold Setra down as she writhed and clutched at her head. A check of the barriers they had placed in her mind revealed a cascade failure was occurring and would soon expand outward from her body. The group hastily departed the room, and soon heard the noise of the breach event occurring. They returned to the room to find a perfectly spherical piece of the room missing. Beds, walls, floor and ceiling all removed from this plane by the planar inversion that had enveloped and consumed the space where Setra had been. No signs of her remained within this plane of existence.

Karter said a quick Prayer to Avandra for Setra’s fate, and the group moved on to attempt to figure out the mystery of the remaining two gates.

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