Summary LV: The Stone Soules Deal a Blow to the Forces of Evil... and Make Out Like Bandits
Stone Soules 1, Tram/DS/Evil Baddies 0.
This was the big one folks! We accomplished all our objectives! First I'll
create the short summary followed by a longer one for those hungry for detail.
For those who are eager for quick and not detailed:
THE STONE SOULES SHORT SUMMARY
Find the Path failed utterly (tiny chance of success). So we went with the
contingency plan of looking up with Protection from Possession. Raven
looked up and read something like: to the left are the unfit, to the right
the fit, to the center the chosen. That was a very rough translation-- but
it's fortunately academic now. Ask Sean for details.
Those I find unfit I place to my left.
Those I find fit, I place to my right.
The chosen may proceed forward.
While still under Prot. from Poss. Raven tried a dull purple fruit (picked
it off with his sword). He swelled to huge size and was indestructible for
a brief moment, then returned to normal (made System Shock at 1/2 chance),
or almost. Raven had gained a point of Constitution permanently! (and 6 hp
to boot!). We now suspect that when Ceydric recovers from the mental damage
he will gain a point of wisdom.
This next stuff was in several attempts:
Next we touched the seven walls with four people. The center of the room
became purple. We blew the horn (type 5 abjuration) and it made a horrible
wailing noise, but a pillar of initally purple and later black rose up out
of the center until it touched the ceiling. A stairwell of purple stairs
appeared around it. The stairs were surrounded by a gray swirly circle
thing which turned out to be an EVEN COLDER wall of force. The wall opened
for us when certain incense was lit and a religious pattern was followed
(Rangorn and thus I was out of the room for this detail, so sorry about
being unclear). The problem was that we had a limited number of sticks to
burn. Ceydric and Raven went down (with some other members) as they were
the ones who passed the "test" of the fruit and were the "chosen" in our
opinion. They went down the stairs for an indeterminate period of time
(stairs became black as they went down). The found a room below with a huge
slab (about 12 feet long) and a 4 foot high box with two upside down pyramid
insignias on it. The box was leaning against the 12 foot long slab. Above
the slab was an indistinct blackness. Ceydric looked in and quickly
determined that we had found the Dark Servant.
Ceydric and Raven had gained knowledge (mysteriously) of the name of the
place and the Dark Servant. Having passed everything else we were
confounded-- we tried to open the box as Ceydric fervently insisted the gems
would be very close to the DS. But nothing would open it.
In the meantime Rangorn and Mordrick found the dwarven heirloom axe--
(spectacular die rolls by Rangorn) in less than 15 minutes. We looked in
the altar room for any pyramid shaped key or something. Eli and Deirdre
cast spells on the runes on the top of the Temple and the belt of the
statue-- the runes were curses against everyone who brought light, goodness,
knowledge, etc. The belt told nothing relevant.
There was only enough incense left for one more go, so we went with bold and
stupid. Rangorn, Raven, Deirdre and Star went down the stairs the last
time. We tried -Knock- spelling the box, but it reflected the -Knock- back
at Deirdre. We then had a big argument about whether to speak the name of
the DS or blow the horn as a last resort. Speaking the name had little
effect but to make it stir slightly. We stopped. Another huge argument
ensued. Deirdre eventually decided to try chanting the name repeatedly.
Alas, Deirdre was annihilated and became Temple building material (by the
way all 3rd and 4th level clerical spells vanished when Alegra descended the
stairs-- and Eli started forgetting spells-- so they didn't go along again).
We had little choice but to try the horn, though Rangorn thought it would be
to our demise. The blowing of the horn opened a secret door, but knocked
everyone off their feet.
In tragic irony, only Rangorn failed his save and ripped open his robe. In
the intense cold he was finished in moments. Raven and Star pressed on
through the secret door and found a pyramid-shaped key and more incense--
subtle (sarcasm). He inserted it into the box and it opened revealing a bag
and a box. He took both and Rangorn's body and they raced up the stairs
just before time ran out on the incense. But he brought the extra out so
there was plenty of time to retrieve other things. Fortunately the deadly
poison trap (40 needles-- would have stunk) on the box was accidentally
tripped by the bag bumping over the side. We opened the box and discovered...
THE 333 GEMS!!!!!!!!!! Around three gross was a quick estimate. THEY'RE
The bag held...
THE BOOK!!!!! The one the sage wanted to knock out Tellah!
We split into two groups-- one to hustle the gems back at high speed
(Warwick, Tristan, Mordrick, Alegra, Ludo, Eli, and the late Rangorn's body)
and the other to stay and deal with the shocktroopers. The group hustling
the gems survived intact after a nasty encounter with a nutso priest (just
showed up and started hurling spells at us on the first night). We killed
him and found a type 3 dagger, type 2 ring, and type 1 invisible item
(conjuration) which we guess was his holy symbol since none was visible on
him. Eli thinks it was a priest of Kord.
The party back at the Temple fended off the questions of a Realmish monk who
showed up, and then Realmish soldiers-- and returned the two Realmish
prisoners in good condition to the monk. The Realm eventually decided that
we were forgiven for Groorg's troops betrayal (50 of them turned and killed
many Realmish soldiers).
Rangorn was raised successfully and the gems were teleported back via
Menstat and are being held by Gring. Our arrival at the dwarven valley was
kept secret and our official "arrival" will be when the party heads back
together. Finally, the party (except Rangorn who will be fine when they
next see him at the dwarves') regrouped and informed the Realmish that we
would be leaving. We did.
Out of character: despite Rangorn's temporary death, I was thrilled to be a
part of the most successful adventure in Stone Soules' History!
And that was the hideously nerve-racking but disgustingly successful
conclusion to the epic quest.
I forgot to mention that while the other party remained at the temple, they
destroyed the horn and incense and threw the remains into the cold. The
place is pretty well sealed and the Dark Servant will remain at rest for
P.S. I'll get the full details out tomorrow. Getting late and all that.
Next week will be a few fun details... YES!!!!!!!!!!
To answer some Warwick's questions: the horn is necessary to open the
stairwell down to the DS, and was left down in the stairwell and shut in.
So unless another one is created (from scratch) it is inaccessible. All the
robes were easily destroyed (most unintentionally) as was the incense
(burned). The DS is inaccessible, but it is still possible with a battery
of -Aid- spells to reach the tree and quickly pick it (though a system shock
roll at 1/2 penalty is required). Feel free- I wouldn't do it...
Menstat was contacted on Tristan's sixth scrying attempt and Tristan held up
the sign Warwick had prepared (in the dwarven vale by this time). In the
meantime Rangorn was raised. The next evening, Warwick surprised the crud
out of the suddenly appearing Menstat, who talked to everyone for a few
minutes. We handed him the gems to give to Gring and a message for (how do
you spell it) Aura-Maxis that we had found the sage's book to theoretically
There is still a decent quantity of treasure in four chests hidden in our
secret cache in the nearby valley. I believe we have decided to take it
with us. We are about to depart the valley but have not yet done so.
Warwick is still with us, by the way (the whole group returned and is
reunited, excepting the recovering Rangorn). We have done little IDing of
items through even Detect Magic thus far-- most of it will be resolved in
Cromwell, I believe.
Moving at 12" the reduced party managed to cover the distance from the
Temple to the dwarves in 5 days, so at the expected 6" it should be
considerably longer, and weather may be a problem as it is late in the year
(but not disastrously slow).
One other note: excepting the travel time with the gems, the point from
where we left off last week to the recovery of the gems took only a small
amount over a single spell shift (evening of the same day).
Our official "arrival" back at the dwarven valley will be our next arrival,
hopefully to great fanfare.
One final note: If there were any doubts about Mordrick, leave them behind.
The first guard that saw us approach the dwarven settlement laid his sword
down honorably in front of Mordrick.