With their tentative ally, the apprentice mage Morakh, in tow, the party entered the dungeon beneath Inverness. Their first challenge was a bead curtain, which Vy quickly recognized as being imbued with teleportation magic and being woven of several beads of force. Not something to tamper with. Vy was able to temporarily suspend the magic of the curtain, allowing her companions time enough to slip thru, though both Omnom and Morakh triggered beads of force which shook them and Vy to the bones.
Finding themselves in a magically darkened room, the party used their sunglobes/sunrods to see, discovering a pedestal holding a single journal page which read: “Behind the greatest events are the hands of mages, for woe or weal. It is by the mage’s hand that his or her heart is known, and within the mage’s heart lays the key to understanding the Art… Yet one of my apprentices has consulted the Dark Grimoire, learning the secret history of our Art. Such knowledge comes with a price…”
Carric gave the NPC Morakh a sidelong glance, but the party the pressed on. They came to a creepy deadend with five lifelike human indentations in the stone; there appeared to be some mechanical apparatus that pivoted the indentations into a secret chamber. No one really wanted to try it out, so they retreated a ways and Raphael tried another door…that led him into a series of teleport trap chambers that also summoned hell hounds. Though Raphael was quick to puzzle his way out, albeit a bit scathed, the hell hounds proved to be a challenging fight for the party, particularly due to the fact that they were invisible to everyone except Raphael. Was it a special trait of the hellhound? Or some sort of magic spell? Also, Kirito had astoundingly poor luck facing the Hellhounds, his secondary sword alternately lodging in the floor, imbedding in Omnom’s shield, or flying from his grasp at several points. Had he been cursed by the dragon treasure? Or were the dice gods not with him?
Faced with the option of entering thru a different tower or trying out the creepy human indentation cubicles, the party went with the cubicles. They found themselves on a giant multi-colored chessboard. After Kirito got pummeled by a blast of thundering force, they became much more circumspect in how they approached the room. In a flash of insight, Omnom realized they had to move as the chess pieces according to their entry square. Who knew dwarves were such consummate chess players! Reaching the statue at the far side of the room, Omnom reached around and manipulated its moveable hands to both grasp it’s staff, causing a secret cubbyhole to open in the statue’s heart. Within was a strangely shaped mithral key.
A mithral key! Or a tuning fork and insidious sex toy? Our brave heroes will found out next time…