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 A Magic Users Tale part 3

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Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: A Magic Users Tale part 3   Fri 1 Jun - 13:39:58

Our next discovery was a key one: Beyond a secret corridor from the living quarters of the temple priest: The final member of the first party. He was frozen, suspended in time within a pentagram, apparently controlled by a console where sat another of the strange crystals. Removing it, released the man – Devro, from his suspended animation. He stated that he had been pursuing the temple priest into the pentagram which was a teleport device: Somehow it had been a trap. He was surprised to learn that he had been there for days, even weeks. We all eyed the teleport nervously with a clear case of ‘after you’ syndrome affecting all of us. We decided to check elsewhere first and back-tracking we were ambushed by ghouls in the last chamber, overcoming them thanks to Gordon’s turning ability.

We checked an unmapped stairway finding more traps and illusions, but there seemed little left to discover. We decided to return to destroy the powerful sentinel zombie that had given us such trouble near the entrance. We split up, intending to divide its fire and outflank it. Unfortunately, the plan fell down, as my group, which intended to attack from the rear, found that the door giving us the flanking opportunity opened into unoccupied barracks. We searched them whilst the main fighter force killed the zombie, aided by the apparent enthralling power of the crystals as far as the undead of the complex are concerned.

Around this point we missed Devro, who had apparently slipped away, no one could quite recall when it had happened, but he certainly had gone before we split up to surround the zombie. We found in a hidden study a letter that appeared to suggest that the first party had been betrayed by one of its members, seemingly a spy from the start. Inevitably Devro was the favourite nomination for the role of the traitor. Whilst no one said anything, I’m sure there were some sidelong glances between people after that as suspicion wormed its way into all our minds. The zombie’s treasure was quite rich and more than made up for the serious wounds Zionestes had received helping to dispose of him. The elf did particularly well, a bow and armour There was also a detailed map of a complex of tombs- more of that later too.

Returning to the living quarters near the temple itself again we tried out the teleport crystal in several different combinations, discovering that the whole dungeon was riddled with terminals, all of which we had spectacularly failed to discover en route. We also discovered that one setting took us out of the place altogether; seemingly to the place shown on the map we had discovered. Attempting to enter there we had a skirmish with some animated armour that caused some serious damage to some of us, and we retreated back to rest up in the ghoul room. Fortunate indeed was this decision, as the elf during his boring watch duty discovered a secret panel in the ceiling. This lead to the richest treasure of the whole place: Potions, scrolls, money, gems. Jackpot!

Greatly cheered and somewhat laden down now with all our treasures, we returned to our traditional method of trap detection through triggering in the new tomb complex. This was a blade barrier that promised whirling destruction to anyone it touched: It teleported around the great corridor, apparently at random and warded half a dozen exits. Searching the rooms off the corridor, dodging the dervish of death, we got separated and ending up in several overlapping engagements – fire beetles, zombies, skeletons, a small demon, I took a back seat letting the fighters handle what they do best. Well what’s a puny one spell wonder to do?

Despite perhaps unwisely fighting on several fronts at once we got through it. Once we had subdued this section of the dungeon we were faced with other problems: Apart from needing to rest again, we were now out of food, heavily laden with our plunder and the teleport had apparently failed. The ranger went hunting whilst spellcasters rested. Others perhaps unwisely did some further scouting, resulting in a clash between the monk, halfling and a mimic pretending to be a backpack. The ranger returned eventually with a deer and also a new addition, another ranger named Thomas. Our rest was further disturbed by some orcs, probably attracted by the smell of venison. We also had a scare when a snake nearly got Gordon. The newcomer confirmed the map’s claim that we were in the wilderness that had once been the kingdom of Koss, hundreds of miles from our previous location. We stashed a lot of our money in various concealed places and moved on.

Dagnar had tried to scout further past the mimic using a spider climb spell that he cajoled me into using on him. We went the other way after all that down into a slime coated room, the halfling boldly in the vanguard. He paid for his bravery as he was dropped on by some sort of giant slug. Others rushing forward were attacked too. When the thing was eventually torn off him, the halfling hurried up the exit stairs out of harms way. No. They collapsed under him as he reached he top, leaving him stranded. Dagnar climbed up to meet him and began to pull others up starting with the cleric, he had only just started when shadows attacked, taking advantage of our divided force yet again. I contributed my usual magic missile at this point as did the elf, and Gordon boosted Draegon up to finish the fight with the shadows before adding his prayers to boost our combatants.

Finally with the struggle ended, we all climbed up, and Zionestes cast detect magic suggesting something of interest down a corridor to our right. There were also animal tracks of some sort leading out of the place…
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