After having defeated the were-raven mage Moezra and his gruesome demon the slayers crept cautiously up the stone steps which rose from the ground floor and its black oubliettes to an archway flickering with flame-light.
Vorwulf: “This is a wizard’s lair so watch it.”
Bers: “No duh!”
The room at the top of the steps was small with an angular northwest wall in which was a large cleft revealing the latrine. The room was torch-lit and windowless with a door-less archway to the east and a solid bronze door with an image of a roaring demon over the entire door-face in the south wall. The south door did appear to be locked and all could see the evil glow of the rune engraved on the demon-image’s forehead. Vorwulf peeked through the archway into what appeared to be a sitting room from which a narrow band of sunlight beamed in through the arrow slit in the north wall. There was a black iron door in the south wall bearing the image of a twisting serpent, also apparently locked, an unlit golden candelabrum on either side. A table of an unidentifiable exotic wood squatted in the dark northwest corner on which sat an astrolabe and a small wood box, a finely carved bone pipe sitting atop that. Vorwulf took the pipe and checked the box in which he found contained fine smoking herbs. There was also an unlabeled vial of yellow powder which the shaman identified as yellow lotus pollen and he took that. There was also a stuffed leather chair in the niche next to the arrow slit. They proceeded to an archway in the east wall from which a spicy scent was wafting.
Bunches of all kinds of spices were hanging from the ceiling rafters and the angled northeast wall was lined with shelves filled with bottles of spices, a 1lb. sack of salt, 3 bottles of wine, 1 jar of honey and 10 lbs. of salt fish. On a small square table in the north corner sat a wheel of cheese, a knife, fork, spoon and a stack of 4 wood cups, 4 wood bowls and 4 wood plates. On the floor beneath it sat a 10 lb. sack of nuts. In the southwest corner next to the door in the south wall was bronze-wood barrel with a loose cover. The door was a solid looking wood door which could only be opened from the other side. The shaman occupied himself in collecting as many spices he could carry while Bers contemplated the door. Vorwulf lifted the lid of the barrel and found a plate of roasted chicken, a loaf of freshly baked bread and steaming squash & potatoes along with a full jack of fine wine. He replaced the cover and Kyr tried it out but failed to pull anything else out of it. The shaman performed clairvoyance on the bronze demon-door and the black iron door. He found that the bronze door if touched would emit the effects of the Fear spell if touched by any other than Moezra. The black iron door would emit a cone of poison gas filling the entire chamber if touched by any other than Moezra. He returned to the larder with his new revelations just as Bers decided to try the wood door. Bers tried to kick down the wood door but failed. Grom (the shaman) cast Bull’s Strength on her but it still took another 3 tries to bash the door down.
They found themselves in what appeared to be a magical laboratory. Alchemist’s glassware covered the long worn table in the southwest. There was a large wooden chest in the northwest and northeast corners on both sides of their entrance both were locked. Grom found 3 bottles of acid, 1 bottle of powered diamond, 1 polished copper mirror and an alchemical manual on the table. Vorwulf took a crowbar to the northwest chest. Inside he found 1 bottle labeled ‘mummy powder’, a book of what appeared to be potion formulae, 4 dragon-scales (identified as shadow dragon scales) and 8 bottles of various color pigments.
Vorwulf looking wide-eyed: “Crap. I screwed up. I should’ve checked that chest for traps first.”
Bers after receiving the crowbar from Vorwulf checked the other chest for traps before she pried it open. She found multiple scrolls of paper, a book of Westland dragon-lore (that got snatched up quick), 3 large semi-precious crystals, 1 potion labeled ‘Stone to Flesh’ and 1 piece of obsidian and 1 onyx. They checked the small narrow room through the east archway which was lit by an arrow slit and found a couple of crates and shelves on both sides of the arch. On the shelves was an alchemist’s kit, a bottle of powdered onyx, various tools and writing implements. In the crates were jars of various herbs, dried insects and preserved bits of animals such as lizard tails and batwings. They then proceeded through the archway in the laboratory’s west wall.
They came into an octagonal chamber with dark wood paneled walls and dome ceiling painted with the image of the night sky with a full silver moon. The only light manifest in the chamber came from the painted moon filling the chamber with what seemed to be true moonlight. A stuffed leather chair sat against the angled northwest wall, a polished jet table inlaid with mother of pearl sat at the center of the room. A locked cabinet was against the southeast wall and a tapestry hung over the southwest angled wall which bore the image of a murder of crows. Vorwulf checked behind the tapestry for a hidden compartment but found nothing. Grom snatched up the crowbar from Bers and went to smash open the locked cabinet. The others ran back through the east archway ‘just in case’.
The shaman wrenched open the cabinet doors rolling a Natural 20 for the pry check also inhaling the blast of fine brown dust which hit him in the face at the same time. He definitely felt the effects of a powerful toxin but only the secondary effects imparting a -4 to all Will saves and CHA based checks (unfortunately all of his magic is based on his CHA). Bers gave him a Purification potion which negated the poison. Within the cabinet he found 3 rings (made of titanium, gold and bronze respectively), a leather pouch containing 50 silver pieces, an ironwood scepter with copper embossing, a scroll with the spell Wood to Weapon on it, a crystal ball, a ruby wand, a bronze wood wand, a bottle of Oil of Preserve Corpse, and 2 potions (Ghost Form and Celerity). After they finished looting the cabinet Vorwulf lit a gold oil lamp that he had picked up and they continued through the west archway into a dark chamber where the only light was a thin blade of white daylight slicing in from a westerly arrow slit from between a pair of round columns.
The room was mostly bare save for the suit of full plate of obvious Ivoran make standing in the northeast corner next to the archway they had entered. It bore a shield painted red with the black silhouette of a raven and a heavy mace in the other hand.
Cris (Vorwulf’s Player): “Is it moving at all? No. Hmm.”
To the north was the backside of the bronze demon-door and to the south was a solid oak door with black iron hardware upon which was a glowing rune. They were stymied as none of them were willing to even get near the door; Vorwulf was still keeping a careful watch over the armor. Grom performed his Clairvoyance spell and envisioned the mage Moezra opening and walking through the door which repeated and zoomed in to his hand touching the door. After he told them his vision they figured out that they could open the doors using Moezra’s head which was being carried as a trophy by Vorwulf. They touched the head to the door and were able to open it without a problem. They continued south into the room the door communicated with all the while Vorwulf keep glancing back at the armor.
They entered into another triangular chamber, the south wall being diagonal. The room was lit with a warm light emanated by a pair of quartz fire-gems set in the torch sconces. There was a chest of drawers of polished redwood against the diagonal wall. A table with a matching wood chair was in the northeast corner upon which sat a ceramic basin, a wood cup, a clay jug filled with water, a bar of soap, a rag and a small bottle of perfume. Vorwulf snatched up the soap and perfume.
Bers: “Damn, I should’ve done that.”
Kyr and Grom went through the chest of drawers finding about 20 articles of high quality clothing and a pair of red silk slippers each with a single large opal on them. After ransacking that room they moved through the archway in the east wall into the were-raven’s bed chamber. The room is lit by a narrow slash of weak sun coming through the arrow slit in the south wall falling upon the superior quality carpet on the floor and glinting from the four censers hanging from the ceiling filled with mild aromatic resins as evidenced by their noses. The other light in the room, a strange deep-blue glow, was provided by a fire-sapphire sitting on the stool by the bed which was in the southwest corner of the room. There was an unlocked chest in the northeast corner and a cabinet in the northwest corner of the room. Bers and Grom pushed Kyr towards the chest and told her to check it for traps. Vorwulf rifled the four-poster bed and found several handfuls of small loops of braided hair tied with scraps of clothing under the mattress. The shaman busied himself rolling up the carpet and stuffing it into his bag of holding. Kyr opened the chest and found a suit of silk bedclothes, 1 set of high quality bed linens, and 1 bottle of yellow lotus pollen containing at least 3 doses which was given to the shaman. Bers gathered up and took the bed linens.
Kyr: “What’re gonna do with those!? You don’t sleep in a bed!”
Bers: “Not out here but I like to sleep in style.”
Vorwulf then checked the unlocked cabinet within he found 1 gold oil lamp, a bottle of lamp oil (an hour’s worth), steel & flint, straw matches, an empty clay pitcher, a wood cup, 1 bottle of whiskey and 1 silver goblet studded with aquamarines. After taking the whiskey and giving the goblet to Kyr, the others each have their own ‘fancy’ goblets, he turned his attention to the black iron door in the east wall. He recognized it as the door with the glowing white rune he had seen from the other side when he was looking for a way down after slaying the were-raven mage Moezra. To avoid any trouble he used his Powder of Knock. The door opened of its own accord after the powder was tossed over it.
Vorwulf found himself in a familiar place after the group surmounted the stone spiral staircase. They had entered the room where he had faced off with the mage.
To Be Continued…