Monday, March 14, 2011

Temple o' the Toad pt 4

The Party had some odd events befall...

A pit in a natural cavern appeared to be a well of some sort. Four equidistant metal rings were secured to the floor along the rim of the 10' diam shaft. From these, a set of four slimy metal chains dangled into dark water 50' below, and a quick Levitating Recon by Borune revealed nothing else. The party debated hauling up one or all of these, separately or simultaneously, and decided to drag on one of the chains, bringing up a metal bucket of blackish water. I was surprised when they left it at that, and went to explore the stairs to lvl III! They didn't even examine or dump out the bucket! It was unremarkable, but that only meant that one of the remaining three buckets was the one which held "a (very) Minor Random Magic, Tech, or useful Mundane Item", which I decided I'd determine on the fly, sunken to the bottom of the bucket... and so they passed on the only piece of unguarded treasure in the place!

A stone table in the center of a large, seemingly empty domed chamber was lit by a feeble "spotlight" from above. This pedestal was inscribed with a Glyph of the Unseen Object, which caused all to Save upon viewing, so that only Borune was able to perceive that their were items of possible interest arranged upon it. As I like surprises, these were also determined when they entered; a Crystal Flask w/stopper (Endless Water), a "faceted metallic egg" (Tech Grenade, "irritant" - like mace), and a shiny aluminum canister (of Scoobies). This proved enough to entice the party to send the unwounded fighters in to examine the table, while the others remained tightly packed in the hallway outside. A few Chupacabra scuttled forth from narrow side tunnels, and were soon dispatched, and then the Duodon* extended its snaky necks through two of the rat-holes, and attacked with two of its most powerful Spells, a Fireball for the majority of the party huddled "safely" in the hall outside, and a Lightning Bolt for Tarkas, who had shown himself to be a powerhouse against the Chupes. Total confusion ensued... were more giant snakes coming out of all the side tunnels, where were spells coming from, should we retreat down the hall and up the ladder, what about the loot on the table (maybe its not even real!), ...and on the following rnd... the Duodon heads, now exposed, revealed that they were the source of the spells by casting Web to block off all retreat, then Magic Missiles to disrupt spell casting. As the fighters took cover behind the table and fired ranged weapons, Rose managed a Silence Spell, which effectively robbed the Duodon of its spells, and so it withdrew its heads into the secret vault which was its lair, but the secret entrance was discovered, and the party either wisely pressed what little advantage they had, or foolishly charged onward despite injuries... anyway, they pursued and slaughtered the beast, which couldn't seem to score any decent damage or catch a break with any of its remaining spells. Such are the dice. The Party discovered a pile of bones and debris which also held assorted coins and jewelry, and also a personal Energy Field Generator harness, the power pack readout revealing 14 charges remaining (determined to be a Displacer emitter, acting as the Cloak)

Also in the Duodon's secret vault was a statue of Hastur, squatting and contemplating his palms. After a few rnds, a sphere of faint grayish radiance appeared in its lap, the party became inexplicably FREAKED OUT by this, snatched up everything, and made their way back upstairs. OK, I'll admit there was a nasty Glyph on the statue which would have affected any approaching it, and the party was depleted, but the radiance was obscuring a Gnartian Artifact, a very powerful legacy of the Elder Races. Once again, I hadn't determined exactly what is was, but it was an Artifact! All they had to do was grab it and pull it out of the radiance! (If they had, I had a scary earth-tremor planned, which would crack the ceiling and dislodge some debris, but not collapse the place) There were NO MORE Wandering Monsters left in the place! This was THE PRIZE from the entire dungeon! I dunno. The "radiance" may appear again, if they go back, or maybe not! Oh, and just so ya know, although powerful, a Gnartian Artifact is not of the caliber of an AD&D Artifact, and often has a limited # of uses, and this particular one was Cursed to summon an angry Byakhee to carry the bearer off when used. I'm not running a "give away"!

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