The Stone-Hearted

42 Oontrom, Pass of 3820 - The Scorched Earth

Gem Hunt

As the door slowly slid open and we entered the wizard’s domain, a booming voice appeared from nowhere, and everywhere. The voice welcomed us and challenged us to beat the labyrinth in order to become apprenticed or die.

Ha, do these wizard’s actually listen to themselves? His hubris, when we spill it out on the cold stones, will taste all the sweeter.

We were immediately set upon by a ghostly wraith, who, before we could even react had incapacitated our king. The apparition managed to drain some of us of our very essence before we could dissipate it’s energy and continue. It was decided that Brodria and Jornum would watch over Dragor’s unconscious form until we returned.

An obsidian cube waited at the end of the corridor with strange runes written on each side. As I leaned against the stone wall contemplating it, it occurred to me to touch the box and suddenly the symbols made sense to me. “OPEN ME.”

Within, a riddle, involving colours and positions. Pocketing the clue we pressed on. A corridor of blue and white tiles stood before us. Aeric discovered, by stepping on one, that the blue tiles were hinged and opened into the pit below and would have fell if not for Orlof’s quick hand. He did note, as he dangled, a copper door in the pit 20ft below.

More carefully we descended to enter the door. Within was the stuff of nightmares. Hundreds of bones, of all sorts of creatures, stood out from the walls and sickeningly swayed to some unfeeling breeze. I still don’t know how they talked me into crawling through that hell-tube.

Following our instincts we hopped through a room adorned with the symbols of the gods. Maybe we were lucky but we exited the room unscathed.

Aeric noticed a pressure plate at the next intersection and almost everyone managed to jump over it easily but unfortunately I stumbled and fell, setting off a trap before we were beckoned by the cries of a damsel in distress.

A statue of a water nymph pleading with us for a splash of water. Eager to flex their heroic, manly, muscles in-front of this skinny damsel, Orlof and Aeric fell over each other in their eagerness to oblige her and were rewarded with a fiery explosion and lesson in caution along with a shining green emerald.

Busy reprimanding me for my previous stumble, seemingly forgetting his more recent foolishness, Aeric stepped on another pressure plate causing the floor to fall out below us and send us sliding deeper into the dungeon. I guess exiting is a problem we’ll worry about later.

At the next intersection, Aeric boldy stepped onto the trap, challenging it to smite him as it promptly dumped litres of acid on his head. I think perhaps some acid may have slid into his ear and affected his brain.

Faced with 3 options, we chose a door and were faced with a puzzle. After a minor setback, we solved it and were rewarded with a beautiful blue sapphire.

Another door, another trial. This time a hallway ending in spikes. Luckily the pressure plate was spotted and the diamond prize retrieved without anyone being pierced by them.

The next chamber held a flint guardian on a stone bridge above a room of molten wax. Dumathoin’s knowledge granted me the idea of softening the bridge under the golem, sending him chest deep in the stone and clay and stuck, unable to attack us.

The passage beyond held 2 more doors. The one on the left, yeilded another chance for Aeric to spring a trap, which he promptly did, receiving another gemstone for his trouble. The one on the right held a gargoyle who, after much searching, opened into a passage beyond.

Before we entered the passage, however, the previously defeated wraith returned to feed on our souls again. We cannot afford to encounter it much further without falling to his deathly embrace.



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