The inevitable recap: having just killed the dastardly Zod, slaver, con man, murder, and bouncer of checks, and his evil cronies, the party has just camped for the night in the abandoned village that was his evil lair. (Clearly this is why he was defeated so handily: not a proper evil lair.)
Thessa catches Cyr’s eye, silenting reminding her of their conversation about planting the stolen elven stuff.
Cyr definitely looks like she remembers.
Saluki - “Now that everyone isn’t dying of poison, can we loot the houses and inevitably be poisoned by the traps protecting the treasure? I’m bored.”
Phaedra - “Here’s a thought - let the rogues and/or anyone with skills with traps go first.” She pauses. “Wait, does anyone have those skills?”
Logan just shakes his head and starts smoking his cigar.
Cyr- “Yeah, I know a little bit about trapfinding.” She doesn’t seem thrilled to admit this.
“Yudh had done a bit of lock picking, and both he and I have played around with disabling mechanisms, so you don’t have to take it on alone.” Arjun volunteers.
You can’t tell if Cyr is relieved by this or not, but she says, “Ok, good, then.” She, still looking a bit anemic, starts packing her gear (leaving her thieves’ tools out, naturally) and getting ready to do rogue stuff.
Yudhistir stands up and speaks “Um. I.. want to thank you all for traveling with us. If we’d been alone, we’d have died, trying to fight that bastard. So… Since our task is done, we’d like to help you with … whatever it is that you need done. Paying off debts, maybe.” He shakes his wings out. “Anyway. I’m going to search the other buildings.” He starts toward the door.
Cyr stares at him as he leaves, having never heard Yudh do anything but gripe. She finishes packing her stuff and heads outside as well.
Arjun grins. “Good to see you in a better mood, brother.” He mutters “Maybe he’ll actually start being cheerful again.” He stands and stretches. “Alright, who wants to take what building?’
Phaedra - “Not be rude, but… he’s ever been cheerful?”
Arjun rubs the back of his neck “Yeah. The whole … exile until you have an adventure thing kind of twisted him up. Serious, responsible people, what can you do?” He shrugs.
Thessa curls up in a corner and looks thoughtful. She quietly sings competence on the rouges, and anyone else nearby who needs it.
Phaedra - “Huh, i wouldn’t have thought such a thing of him.”
Saluki is already out the door, peering over Cyr’s shoulder annoyingly. It doesn’t take long before he gets bored and goes to search another house.
In the pleasant morning sunlight, anyone outside can hear the sound of running water coming from the well. (Which you discovered last time but the DM thought you could use the reminder.)
Logan watching the exchange, “I am not much for searching or removing traps.”
Arjun “Do you want to explore the well, then?”
Logan shrugs, “someone going to help with that, would not want to get torn away. Willing to get lowered on a rope...or lower someone else on a rope.”
Arjun: “That’s fair. You hold the rope, and I’ll explore the well.”
Logan, “I got you. Do we have anyone that is really good at tying knots?”
Arjun: “I can” He ties the rope into a decent climbing harness, hands Logan the other end, and climbs carefully into the well.
Logan takes a hold of the rope and gets into position to stop Arjun’s descent if necessary, “Just yell stop when you want me to not let you go any farther.”
Arjun: “Will do!”
It takes Yudhisthir about an hour to do a thorough once over of the southernmost building, but he. finds absolutely nothing.
After a similar amount of time, Cyr reports that she’s found nothing in the northernmost building either.
Phaedra selects another house and does a thorough search. After an hour, she finds nothing!
Yudh moves to the last southeastern building and searches it as thoroughly as before. He also gets nothing whatsoever.
Saluki also finds nothing after searching a house thoroughly for an hour.
Cyr heads over to the farthest building to the west and starts searching it as well.
Saluki moves on to the house behind the one he was in, and Phaedra, seeing that all the houses are taken, floats up above the level of the rooves, to see if there are any other houses or structures.
Logan and Arjun take their sweet time getting ready to climb down the well. (it takes them two hours, for whatever reason.) Anyway, Arjun climbs down about 30 feet, and finds that the well opens up quite suddenly, such that he is dangling in midair, about 20 feet above a fast-moving underground river. Just a branch of the large river just outside of town, but still.
Saluki, who has now moved over to watch, says “Who’s up for underground river rafting?”
Arjun revolves a couple times to get a good look, and then calls up from the well “Alright, Logan, pull me up.”
Logan starts to pull Arjun up. Arjun is able to get handholds on the wall and climb back up.
Arjun pulls himself over the edge of the well and collapses on the ground. “Remind me to take off my armor before I try that again.”
Logan moves to help remove the harness from Arjun, “You mean you need Armor?”
Arjun laughs “Not all of us can be monks.” He stands and coils up the rope. “I think that Phaedra would have more luck finding things down there.”
Phaedra hears her name and comes floating over. “Someone called?”
Arjun waves to her floating form “Not really, I was just saying that you’d have an easier time exploring down there.” He describes the bottom of the well: the river, and the 20 feet of clear space above its surface.
Cyr walks over from house searching. “I haven’t found shit in my two houses. Did we search them all?”
Phaedra - “I think so.”
Thessa wanders out after having a catnap, and looks down the well. “Water,” she says, wrinkling her nose. “Gross.”
Yudh “Has anyone been on the building Zod was sitting at?”
Cyr- “Yeah, that was the first one I looked at. Nothing.”
Phaedra - “I’ll head down, see if there’s anything interesting.” She floats down into the well, and starts moving upstream.
The roof rapidly lowers as Phaedra moves upstream, until she’s getting her boots wet, even while trying to curl up into a ball. After maybe 75 feet she sees what looks like a pair of tunnels, or rather one tunnel that cuts across the underground stream. The stone looks like it’s worked, not natural, in those hallways.
“Hmm,” says Phaedra. She decides to turn around and explore the other direction, trying to estimate how far those tunnels are away from the well.
The roof does the same thing to the south, and the channel narrows as well (making the river branch deeper and faster flowing). She sees another set of worked tunnels, and can even make out the tops of rotten wooden pilings along the edges of the tunnel. She gets the impression that the worked tunnels are still beneath the village.
She heads back to the well and emerges. “There seem to be tunnels in both direction that cross the river that were worked by someone. It still seems to be below the village, though, so I expect there are other entrances.”
Cyr- “So same question again. Did we search all the houses?”
Yudhisthir “There’s nothing in those two.” He points to the ones he searched.
Cyr also identifies the two she searched.
Saluki points to one that Cyr searched and the one behind it.
Phaedra says “I search the third one in that row.”
Arjun “So… it’s just that one then.” He points to the building due west of the well. “Alright.” He leads whatever portion of the group that follows into the final building.
It also looks pretty decrepit.
Arjun suggests that everyone take a different corner, and the group searches this building as carefully as the others.
After only a few minutes of poking around, Cyr says, “Oh. Here’s a trapdoor.”
Arjun “Nice work! Check it for traps?”
Cyr- “Yeah. Everyone back up and get out of the house, you never know what the trap will do.”
Exeunt, stage right.
Cyr takes a minute, and then says, “No traps….and I don’t even see a lock. Sooo……” a pause. “Okay, there’s a shaft with a ladder in it.” <Cue Legend of Zelda secret door finding jingle>
Saluki - “So… rafting time?”
Thessa shudders. “Ewwwwww.”
Arjun: “Hopefully not.”
Yudhisthir: “I’ll scout.” He re-enters the building and starts climbing down the ladder.
After 50 dreadfully boring feet of climbing, Yudhisthir finds himself at one end of a narrow hallway (like 5’ wide). It is dark and quiet. He can hear the sound of running water echoing in the distance. It is, tragically, too dark for his wimpy elven low-light vision to be useful.
Yudh calls up the ladder “Anyone have a torch?”
Cyr relays this to everyone else. “Anyone have a torch? It’s super dark down there.”
Saluki - “The dashing Dervish to the rescue!” He pulls out an everburning torch and drops it down the hole.
Divining what Saluki is doing, Yudh takes one step down the hallway. The everburning torch goes “smap” onto the floor behind him.
Yudh gingerly picks it up. Waves his hand through the flame. Doesn’t feel any heat. “... Thanks” He heads down the corridor.
Cyr, seeing the light disappear down the hallway- “Uhh, you want we should join you in case there’s a giant tentacled monstrosity hiding in the darkness down there? Or, I dunno, another trap?”
Yudh sounds distracted “Hm? Oh, yes. It’s narrow down here though.” He proceeds with caution, torch in one hand and kukri in the other.
Cyr quickly climbs down the shaft as well.
Fortunately for Yudh, there are neither traps (at least that he springs) or giant tentacled monstrosities down the hallway, which turns out to be only about 20’ long before a four-way intersection. To the left, it appears to open up into a decent sized room, the defining feature of which is a large (20 x 20 foot) pool of water in the middle. It looks more like water collected in a low spot than anything else.
When she makes it to the bottom, Cyr pulls out her short sword, which...doesn’t glow. But is sharp.
Saluki decides to follow his torch. He pulls out a scimitar and wills it to glow when he reachs the bottom, and steps aside in case anyone else is coming down.
Yudh peers carefully round the corner to the south. The hallway extends 40’ or so to the south and then curves out of sight.
Arjun, up at the top of the ladder, motions Logan down and suggests that Thessa and Phaedra bring up the rear.
Thessa curses a lot, but it’s very quiet and in cat language so no one understands her. But she follows because what the hell else is she going to do?
Cyr scoots forward and goes to explore a little way straight across the hall.
Logan joins where Arjun suggests and puts out his cigar.
After everyone else, Phaedra slowly floats down, once again glad she doesn’t have to climb ladders.
Arjun queries Kuracisto as he proceeds down the hall.
Kuracisto is ready for your inquiry, and gives you the impression that he doesn’t find anything unusual.
Yudh stalks down the south corridor and looks around the bend. He can clearly hear water down the hall, and gets the impression the hallway continues past it, and eventually opens up into a room.
Saluki moves around the large rock to see the other side.
Cyr moves back to the four-way intersection.
Arjun turns north and draws Kuracisto, just to see if he glows like Saluki’ sword. It does, giving of light like the spell. The two swords illuminate most of a large room. There is the pool, which is dark and still, as well as several alcoves, which look like unfinished hallways. Kuracisto points out to Arjun that there are large iron bars in the ceiling, apparently as reinforcement. Arjun gets the impression that the houses on the surface are just above some of those alcoves.
At the north end of the room is a hallway with a closed door about 20’ down it, and in the northeast corner, a large, partly open stone door that opens outward (ie, into the room you’re in), reinforced with bands of iron. It also has a lock on the side opening into the room you’re in.
Arjun skirts the pool of water and has a look through the door.
The room is an octagon. On the far side (on the east side of the room), in an alcove, he sees a statue of a man in heavy robes, holding a scythe. On the floor, he can see what appear to be a pair of skeletons, completely crushed down nearly to dust.
Arjun mutters “Charming.” Arjun can’t think of anything knowledge arcana related about the statue.
He backs out and calls to Thessa “Thessa, I need someone knowledgeable.”
Thessa creeps forward. Her eyes are a bit dilated and her fur is fluffed but she seems calm otherwise.
Kuracisto doesn’t give any impressions of anything.
Cyr, also skirting the pool o’ water, goes and pokes around in alcoves.
Arjun points into the room “What do you make of all that?”
Thessa can clearly see that the statue is one of Nerull, the god of death. She tells Arjun.
Arjun hums. “How likely is it for the statue to animate itself and kill anyone that steps in the room?”
Thessa’s pretty twitchy, but she answers. “Not likely? But I can’t be sure. This place is messing with my head.”
Arjun gives her a sympathetic look. “Sorry about that. Hold the door open, would you?” He enters the room and starts searching it.
Elsewhere Yudhisthir goes down the hallway toward the water noise.
Logan moves just behind Yudhisthir.
About 20 feet after the corner, Yudh finds that there is no more floor, and the stone give way sharply to the river. He can see that there are rotten wooden pilings sunk into the water on both sides of it, but no trace (anymore) of the footbridge that likely used to be here.
Yudh mutters “That’s unfortunate.” He looks around trying to decide if he has enough room to fly across.
The walls of the hallway continue across the underground river; there’s just a gap in the wall on each side to let the river through.
He backtracks and approaches Phaedra. “Scuse me. There’s a gap in the floor back there that I can’t fly across. Would you mind helping?” His tone isn’t nearly as abrupt as it has been, even if his words are.
Phaedra - “Sure! Lead the way, I wasn’t quite paying attention to which direction you went off to.”
Yudh nods and turns back to the corridor, beckoning with his weapon. Phaedra floats after him, and floats over the river once she reaches it.
Phaedra can see sunlight shining into the water to the left by now, so this is the second of the tunnels she saw while floating around earlier.
The room Phaedra finds is empty, except for a large pile of rock (obviously caved in from the ceiling) that would severely inconvenience someone attempting to climb, fight or run over it. There is a hallway to the east, though.
“I suppose I should see if there’s anything interesting in the rocks….” she floats over to it.
Phaedra sees that there is some dirt mixed in with the rocks, but that’s it. ‘Ah well.” She heads down the hallway.
The hallway splits. In front of her is a dead end, and to her left is a short hallway (20’ long), with what appears to be a stone portcullis (closed, and thus literally barring your way) in the middle. There is a wooden door 10’ past the portcullis.
Phaedra looks around for a mechanism for the portcullis. She doesn’t see one anywhere.
Phaedra - “Well, I’m certainly not lifting it.” She floats back to Yudh and Logan.
Phaedra - ‘Dead end, collapsed wall, and a portcullis that I couldn’t find a way to lift. The hallway headed to the left, so it’s possible one of the other routes leads to the other side of it.”
Yudh nods “... Thanks.” He returns to the main room in search of Arjun.
Yudhithir sees the glow of Arjun’s sword coming from a side room, so he walks over, avoiding the puddle in the middle of the room.
He edges around Thessa and enters the room, stopping on the threshold when he sees the statue. “What are you doing?”
Arjun raises his eyebrows at Yudh. “Searching the shrine of a death god.” The “duh” is implied in his tone.
Yudh makes a disgusted noise in his throat. “Well, get out of there. Phaedra’s found a door down the other hall.”
Arjun shrugs and ambles toward the door.
Saluki sees only a closed door about 20’ down the hallway. “There’s also this door, it’s closer.”
Everyone piles back into the indoor pool area. Thessa is still trying to remember things about the statue. It made her nervous.
Arjun “Let’s have a look at the closer door first.”
There is, as promised, a door in the hallway, blocking any progress to the north.
Arjun looks at it. “Cyr?”
Cyr- “I was wondering if you were just going to do all that stuff yourself.” She approaches the door, takes a few minutes to do some rogue stuff, and….discovers that the doors is unlocked. She opens it, and takes a couple steps past.
Thessa remembers stuff about Nerull, such as: he’s not very nice. Since he is the god of death, and not a benign god of death (ie, death happens, it’s part of life) but more a promoter and advocate of death, and things dying, his cults tend to be hidden, secretive, and stabby. Violating his temples are just as bad as violating any other temples or killing his priests and openly displaying their holy symbols for years on end: the occasional vendetta-bound assassin tracking you across the continent. NBD.
Saluki follows Cyr.
Yudhithir also follows, and slips past her to scout as soon as the corridor widens.
The four alcoves are just prison cells, containing nothing (apparently) more than rotting straw and cloth. There is also a hallway between the two cells on the right, ending in a pair of decrepit looking doors.
Saluki - “Ugh, let’s go back to the death statue, that sounded fun.” He glances down the hallway first, though.
The doors loom back at him, silent. Decrepit. Begging to be opened.
Yudh edges close to them and pushed on one edge, testing if this one is unlatched too.
The door swings open at barely a touch. Beyond is a large room, and at the far end an altar. Just opening the door makes Saluki’s and Yudh’s skin crawl.
Saluki - “Oooooh this place looks fun too.” He pulls out his other sword and starts walking down the aisle.
The row of pillars leads directly to an altar made of hewn basalt, with grooves cut into it.
Saluki looks around the edges for any latches or anything interesting.
On the left side of the altar, Saluki finds a mithral dagger with a triangular blade hanging from a hook, and on the right, a golden bowl.
Yudhithir and Arjun follow saluki into the room, splitting off to each side to check the other side of the colonnades,
Arjun’s skin crawls as well, the instant he walks in the room. He looks around carefluu, but finds nothing. Kuracisto senses nothing.
Cyr stands in the back. “This is nice. Homey.”
“At least I can’t hear the water as much,” Thessa adds. She does another knowledge check of her brain to make sure the dagger and bowl aren’t cursed.
Saluki considers for a moment, then decides to grab the dagger and bowl and stuff them in his bag. He puts them in the side pocket that is empty. Then he kicks the altar to see if it moves.
The altar does not move. “Ow,” Saluki says.
Saluki - “Other than the sacrificial dagger and the blood bowl, I don’t see anything interesting. What about you guys?”
Yudh totally sees Saluki picking up the sacrificial implements from the evil altar to the god of death.
Yudh “Did you seriously just take the evil death god’s sacrificial stuff?”
Saluki - “Duh, it was made of gold and mithral. Could be magical.”
Yudh shakes his head and searches the altar for secret passages. “Nobody’s going to buy those unless you melt them down first.”
Thessa catches glimpses of the items Saluki picks up, and she can tell from here they are definitely sacrificial items, ie, stab with one and catch blood with the other. They’re also very clearly items associated with Nerull’s cult, and so, although fairly valuable, would immediately attract the attention of both Nerull worshippers, who would likely start cross-continent vendettas at you, and the followers of most good deities, none of whom would be pleased (to say the least) that the items hadn’t been destroyed upon discovery.
“Can we melt them down now?” Thessa asks. “No one who finds those on us will be happy. At all.”
Saluki - “Eh, let’s see if they make the statue that’s totally going to attack us like me first. After all, no one not a worshipper would be stupid enough to steal them.” He grins.
Thessa looks torn, but as a chaotic neutral character she can’t really argue with the “hold my beer” vibe of it all.
Yudh and Arjun exchange a glance across the chamber. Arjun ventures “I suppose if we’re going to desecrate the place, we may as well be thorough…”
Cyr shrugs. “I dunno, it might be worth a try.”
Saluki says, “See, everyone thinks it’s a good idea.” He saunters back to the entrance of the room.
Yudh finds nothing behind the altar.
The brothers vacate the room and report their find to the rest of the group.
Phaedra puts her head in her hands when she hears that Saluki took the stuff. “Well, if you’re going all the way, be sure to have them not in your extradimensional pocket while you go into the room.”
Arjun: “Actually, before we do that, we should have a look at the other door.”
Yudh “We’ll have to find a way to get all of us across the gap in the floor.”
Saluki - “Knew I should have invested in that 10’ ladder.”
The group heads down the oher corridor, and soon enough everyone has a good look at the underground river.
Yudh mutters “Too bad we don’t have a wizard. Spider climb would make this easy.”
Cyr blurts- “Yeah, I haven’t had a chance to do up my spell book yet. Er….” she looks a bit embarrassed that she said anything.
Yudh looks at her “You’ve got an unusually wide array of skill.”
Arjun hums “Well, it’s not like we have anywhere to be very soon.”
Cyr- “Well, I would need to get a copy of the spell, too.”
And so the party climbs back up the shaft and considers their options!