Using the purple keys found in previous episodes, the party opened the six doors (Purple stone doors, each nine feet wide and 21 feet tall. Each door is at least a foot thick, with leering demon visages in bronze around the border of each great portal.) around Laxtana’s chamber.
Beyond each door was a corridor (Walls of white marble, polished and dust-free. A thick black carpet runs 40 feet from the entry to an ebony door gleaming with silver hinges, studs and door-knocker. The arches ceiling is black marble with bands of scarlet and a dim purple glow gives the entire passageway a eerie light). Each corridor had a different trap that the party was able to avoid or safely set off. Close inspection of the inner door revealed that it was sealed, and as the outer doors were opened, the seal receded. When all six outer doors were opened, the seal on the inner door was broken.
The party chose to open the sixth inner door. As the party readied to open the inner door, Belramos cast a Magical Circle of Protection Against Evil, Brell cast Flame Arrow on some arrows for Threll, some bolts for himself and Ka, and some sling stones for Dez and Amazones, and Amazones cast her Mage Armor and Shield Spells.
The sixth door was opened and the party found themselves on one of six balconies, in a 40-foot spherical room. The room was a variety of colors & had sketches carved into the round walls. The party immediately noticed a girl lying on a stone slap at the bottom of the sphere.
She sat up and they spoke with the occupant/prisoner who claimed to be “Natalia.” She thanked her rescuers and said she had been trapped hear so long ago she doesn’t know how long it had been. She had been trapped by priests of Ythog Nthlei as a sacrifice and just wanted to get out.
When the party lowered a rope for Natalia to climb out, she was unable to proceed due to Belramos’s Circle of Protection. Brell and Threll decided to go around to another balcony to be in a better position. However, Threll had gone outside Belramos’s Circle of Protection, and Threll began to do Laxtana’s will. He started to lower a rope for her to climb out, and Brell attempted to prevent it.
Ryder sensed trouble and decided to start to run back through the hallways to help Brell. Amazones jumped down using her Safe Fall ability and engaged Laxtana in melee, but missed. Laxtana quickly stepped away from Amazones and cast a Magic Missile at Brell. The Magic Missile spell was absorbed by Brell’s Ring of Absorption, much to Laxtana’s dismay. Dez tumbled down to engage Laxtana with her rapier and Long Tooth scoring 4 points of damage. Belramos had the presence of mind to cast an individual Protection from Evil on Ka.
At this point Threll pushed Brell over the edge of the balcony and he fell/slid down the wall (for 3 points of damage). Ka jumped down from the original balcony doing a Leap Attack to strike Laxtana for 21 points of damage. Brell got to his feet and readied a Magic Missile to attempt to interrupt Laxtana’s next spell.
Ryder realized that it would take too long to get around to the other balcony, and came running back to Belramos. Amazones used her action to perform a distracting maneuver to assist Ka in landing his melee attacks. Laxtana drew and released a Sword of Dancing which attacked Amazones. Amazones was able to move quicker than the sword and was not hit by it. Also, since Laxtana was desperate, she tried to cast a Fireball. Brell’s Magic Missile raced toward Laxtana but she had protection and the spell was absorbed or dissipated. However, both Dez and Ka got an opportunity strike doing enough damage to cause Laxtana’s Fireball spell to fizzle too. Dez then swung at Laxtana but did not score any damage. Belramos descended the rope to Laxtana’s chamber. Threll, still under Laxtana’s influence, shot three arrows into Ka’s back, one of them scoring a critical hit (by the way, this was Threll’s first critical hit ever with an arrow) doing a total of 54 points of damage. Ka realized that Laxtana had to be defeated quickly and used his Power Attack ability. He scored two hits with his magical Greataxe of Sharpness doing a total of 60 points of damage, which was enough to bring her down.
Laxtana and her Dancing Sword turned to gaseous vapor and started floating toward the balcony in order to escape. Threll was disoriented from having just been released from Laxtana’s spell, so Brell cast a Gust of Wind spell to prevent Laxtana from escaping, which gave Threll enough time to recover and close the door. Ryderm arriving back at the sixth door, heard the party members inside shouting to “Close the door!”, which he did, trapping Laxtana inside the chamber, along with most of the party. Brell used a Fireball spell to try to destroy Laxtana in her gaseous form, but the spell did not have any apparent effect.
The party searched chamber while Belramos refreshed his Magic Circle against Evil. Prying back the stone slab, the party found a small chamber with jewelry in it. Dez searched more intently and found another secret compartment underneath where Laxtana had been sleeping. Belramos Consecrated Laxtana’s sleeping area with the hope of preventing her from later regaining her potency. Using Belramos’s Magic Circle against Evil to keep Laxtana’s gaseous form at bay, the party took the loot and left the chamber and started to reseal the six doors. The traps had reset and Dez and Amazones were both surprised and hit by the gas trap. Fortunately, both of them made their saving throws, and the party proceeded more cautiously, and resealed all of the doors and removed all of the keys.
Belramos healed Ka and Brell before the party ascended the 900 stairs. The party checked on the spawning pools and discovered two humanoids, probably Neanderthals, in the spawning pools that looked like they were being changed into Formorian Giants. Belramos Consecrated this site as well. As the party met with Throd they noted that the Neanderthals’ number had indeed been reduced by two more. Hopefully, they will not lose any more of their brethren to the spawning pools.
The party returned to the dwarven town, sold a bunch of loot, and identified a few of their newly found magic items. Ryder took the +1 Heavy Steel Shield (net +3 AC) and Belramos took the Staff of Healing. Everyone decided it was best to hang onto six iron-bound tomes they found (One of which is magical and is used to summon demons). The party has more than over 1500 gold in hand, plus 21,000 gold in coins, as well as some gems and magic items stored in the bank in New Dwarf City. The party is considering buying a few magic items, a few scrolls, and rings of protection. And finally the party needs to decide where to go next (maybe the books will give some clues).