The party explored west from the room with the large zombies and discovered mining tunnels after Dez picked the lock of the entrance door. The tunnel split south and north. The party explored the southern fork first. In order to ensure that no one got lost in the apparently complex mining tunnels, the party used rope. Ryder and Dez followed the tunnels as far as they could south west (heading up), west (staying level), and northwest (heading down) within the length of the security rope. The tunnels had some bones. The air in the northwest (heading down) branch was very bad. The northern fork headed north and then west for only about 30 feet, where it dead ended with a pile of bones. Ka went forward alone to this corpse and endured the bad air (taking 2 points of choking damage), but recovered a pick of obviously fine craftsmanship.
The party headed east back through the zombie room and then north from where the party fought the mimic earlier. That tunnel lead to a large room with a broken alter. Belramos expressed uneasiness about this place. Threll happened to spot a secret door on the north wall near the western end of the room. Dez, again, used her rogue skills to open the secret door. The party found robes hanging on the walls and two chests. The chests were trapped and locked, but Dez was able to open them safely. The party spent time laying out the contents for Belramos to detect if they were magic. There were four amulets with an evil aura and a magic ring that the party took with them.
The party returned to the alter room and then headed north up the stairs near the eastern end of the north wall. The party proceeded through the door (standard marching order). A Wight that was behind the door attacked Ryder and drained some of her life-force (drained one level) before the party had a chance to react. Belramos reacted very quickly and used his clerical ability to turn the undead creature. Ryder made a successful attack of opportunity (because the Wight began to flee) and successful melee attack (having beaten the Wight’s initiative). Threll’s arrows finished off the Wight in short order.
As the party searched and discovered another medallion with an evil aura on the remains of the Wight. Another, larger Wight approached from the east. Amazones quickly moved forward while performing a full defense (effective touch armor class of 23) in order to give the party more time to defeat the Wight with missile weapons. Magic Missiles, arrows, bolts flew as the Wight hit Amazones (a natural 20, followed by an 18 which would have been a critical hit had she not been fighting defensively) and drained some of her life force (loss of one level). Ryder held her initiative and attacked with her Spearaxe after the Wight attacked Amazones. The party quickly defeated this larger Wight and found a sixth evil amulet.
The tunnel, where the larger Wight approached from, lead to a large room with 11 pools. Searching and Belramos’s detect magic spell yielded this information: #1 clear liquid with strong magic, #2 green liquid, nonmagical, acid had a key at the bottom, Threll tried to used an evil amulet to fish the key out but the chain was eaten through, several arrows were lost fishing out both the amulet and the key, #3 brown liquid, nonmagical, #4 clear liquid, nonmagical, #5 clear liquid, strong magic, #6 reddish liquid, weak magic, #7 not liquid, but contained coins, party had to keep an eye on Dez to keep her from messing with this one, #8 bluish liquid, nonmagical, #9 empty, discovered (through searching, dwarven and successful engineering knowledge checks by Ryder and Brell) that it opened revealing a deep hole that went straight down farther than the continual light lanterns could reveal (guessing maybe 50 to 150 feet), #10 clear liquid, nonmagical with fish in it, and #11 clear liquid with moderate magic. The party decided to postpone a descent down through pool #9. The party conjectured that this could lead to the same depth that they saw from Zerraptus’s cave.
The party headed back to the alter room and tried to head east through the door. They experienced difficulty in getting it open. Dez’s open locks skill and Ka’s strength failed. Threll put on one of the medallions and was able to open the door. The cautiously entered the room by having Amazones and Dez scout ahead. They found a mud-splattered Obelisk that made Belramos feel uncomfortable. Brell used a shatter spell that damaged the alter and caused a 20-pound chunk to splinter off. Ka struck the alter with the pick that he found earlier (rolled a natural 20) which broke off another 20-pound chunk. Brell used magic (Bull’s Strength and True Strike) to enhance his melee attack while striking the Obelisk with the pick. Brell struck a tremendous blow (modified attack roll of 40). The Obelisk fell dislodging much of the mud that was covering the runes which were so powerful that their perusal compromised Brell’s mental state (mild insanity, no save).
The party quickly headed to New Dwarf City to recover after feeding the Owlbear. Ryder and Amazones with the help of clerical magic (Bear’s Endurance and Guidance) were able to recover from Wights’ energy drain attacks (level loss turned out to be only temporary due to successful fortitude saves by each). Clerical magic (the party paid to have a cleric cast Remove Curse) also restored Brell.
The party spent 625 gold to discover the properties of five magic items: Amulet of Magic Missile Absorption (can 84 hit points of damage) which Belramos now wears, Ring of Magic Absorption that Brell wears and cast Magic Missile on to set the spell that the ring will absorb, Ring of Protection +1 that Dez is wearing (her armor class is now 20), Ryder’s Black Dwarven Plate is currently +1 but will improve one more point every five levels of experience, and a Wand of Empowerment that Brell wields as the wand enhances 1st through 3rd level spells to deal half again more damage. The dwarves in New Dwarf City recognized the pick that Ka discovered in the mines; it has the magical property of excavating at a tremendous rate.
After Belramos cast Bull’s Strength on Amazones, she destroyed the six evil amulets with her bear hands. (Her hands are considered magic weapons due to the 4th level Monk feat Ki Strike.)
Dez earned enough experience to achieve 4th level!
[Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of the intrepid adventurers’ story…]