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 Balls Deep

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Number of posts : 761
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Balls Deep   Tue 12 Apr - 17:32:12

Balls Deep

We took time out to rest after our traumatic experience with the gas, leaving Andilwei whose sonambulic requirements are of course minimal, on watch. Some would say this would be asking for an untrustworthy type to slide off on a glory hunt of his own but we knew him better than that.

So whilst we slept, the elf stood wary guard over his comrades, determined that their safety should be preserved at any cost. Well. That covers the first half hour any way.

The rest of the time he spent glory hunting, searching the kitchen and beyond where he found another chamber sealed off, with the voice of dwarven guards drifting from beyond. But we only discovered all this later. Fortunately his irresponsibility went unpunished, I say fortunately because it was just as likely that we would have suffered through his rashness, not just him.*

*Speaking of which, Snorri seemed to develop a major rash problem later, but this was probably a coincidence

Refreshed, we rose oblivious that the sea elf had been rolling the proverbial dice, and returned to check out the spore trapped corridor. At its end we located a dwarf temple, containing a stepped dias topped with an obsidian slab that Snorri assured us was a place where dwarf kings would have rested in state before their final entombment. Two thrones also stood in the room and four gargoyle statues crouched at each corner of the block, protectors of the departed lord.

Peculiar dwarf runes were everywhere, plus tapestries and orc skeletons, mute testament to the fact that this room was not unprotected. We could see a couple of exits from the room, but checked the door on the approach corridor first.

This proved to be a busy little ante chamber. It contained a casket filled with incense; a pair of ornamental silver axes that increased our party arsenal’s status from ‘almost completely harmless apart from the dwarf’ to ‘pathetically under equipped;’ a shiny new high priest’s robe in a backpack; some candlesticks and a great many inscrutable runes, many of which were around a heavy iron framed mirror.

Some fruitless examination of the mirror and its runes failed to reveal even the most modest portion of fruit and the only other item found was a staff. Snorri identified the paraphernalia as associated with religious rituals, in particular those for high born dwarven burials. Whilst we suspected that the runes in these two rooms were related to the warning inscriptions talking about the way to disarm temple traps, we were baffled.

Back then to the temple, and having learned all we could from outside, we very reasonably decided that the gargoyle guardians would only become active if the dais was threatened. Sadly this was not a very reasonable place.

A hissing noise started as soon as our scout gingerly placed a foot in the room and we withdrew in a quiet, efficient, organised manner, that in no way resembled mounting panic. An ominous rumbling grew in the finest Raiders of the Lost Ark tradition and we hurried to the prison chamber.

Getz had decided that the large area would enable us to concentrate our limited offensive abilities against any pursuing foe as it/they emerged from the corridor. Something big was approaching. We fanned out, the doomstones and the dark elf’s magic our only defence, plus of course a deranged mutant with a hammer and a bad attitude.*

*This analogy now particularly apt given the dwarves startling new haircut. He’ll be drinking milk and calling everyone fool in no time

So pretty much reliant on chaos in its various forms for protection, we were pretty much balls deep* in this one. Bursting in, eight gargoyle statues or possibly, some form of earth elemental creatures. And boy did they move fast. They were on us before you could say: ‘What the hell are we doing here and what good are doomstones to us anyway?’

*Not to be confused with the well known dwarf fortress

Happily, it turned out they were not all that powerful, and the skirmish did not take long. The gargoyles had a habit of disappearing when struck and duly did so, especially when Syrilliac’s air elemental conjured by her stone began kicking ass. I have to report a slightly disconcerting experience during the affair: Helpfully picking up the fallen dark elf I nearly lost a few digits to frostbite. Frigid bitch!

Remarkably, we were uninjured, just slightly freaked out, and again we headed back up the stairs. This time we kept on climbing, choosing the spiral staircase that rose from the end of the corridor opposite the temple. Near the top, we discovered a loose flagstone which contained yet another map and some gold.

This sent us back tracking, as it seemed to show a secret sub level near the store room where we had rested up. Search as we might, we could not find the two secret doors shown and eventually concluded that the map was a cruel ruse of some kind, probably left by a cartographer with the ability of the missing Mr Smith.

Doubling back yet again we found nothing but emptiness at the top of the spiral stairs with sounds of dwarf guards beyond, so Getz decided to back track and approach the temple from the opposite direction. Our map seemed to indicate that returning through the gaol again and up the ladder where the dark elf had cast her very amusing noise spells would put us in the right area.

Amazingly, it did: Another robing room complete with staves, runes and of course robes. But where is the cleansing room? How do we activate the runes to ensure safe passage, and will this take us to the fourth doomstone before the dwarves find it instead?

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