Things get strange(r) in our next chapter of Rappan Athuk, where not all is as it seems. Nioveskirian, the stonelord paladin, tells their tale. (-GM)
18th day of Lamashan, 4717 AR
So there we were in this mazy hall talking to a floating skull. As floating skulls go, this one was rather helpful. It mentioned this ancient evil that was in this dungeon before Orcus arrived. Once the skull had finished debriefing us, we decided to explore the area. Shia didn’t detect any secret doors, so we went out of a regular door.
Who designs a dungeon with such weird hallways? There isn’t any point in having such a weird angle to these rooms except to show off how bad you are with a protractor. I’ve been in a lot of underground pathways, and in terms of structural efficiency, this place was one of the worst.
There was this door that opened into a small room with a gold coin in the center. Arvnevurr sensed that the coin wasn’t connected to anything under the floor, but there was this very thin string that connected the coin to something in the wall, presumably a trap. I would have just walked around it and moved on, but the others had to disable the trap just so they could get their gold coin.
After some more weird hallways, Arvnevurr burrowed up and said that he saw 12 ghouls in the next room. There was also this mini-room within that had a ladder which led down to some sort of tomb thing. Arvnevurr stayed in the room just in case the entombed skeleton decided to become undead.
I opened the door and rushed in to fight the ghouls. I shouldn’t have bothered; they all went for Valestar’s horse, Orion. I felt like I was trying to reach a celebrity surrounded by a horde of fans. Yes, horses have more meat on them than humanoids, but couldn’t at least one of them have realized that they should probably be attacking the greater threat, Valestar, and to a lesser extent, me?
That’s the thing about being defensive: I do all the work; you get all the satisfaction.
When the fight was over, we looted the room and found some items of high magical potency. It was exciting at first, but then the magic people revealed that all they did was turn pink unicorns into purple unicorns or something. For all intents and purposes, the items were useless.
We backtracked into this other room with a chest in it. Arvnevurr sensed a pit trap below the chest, so he stuck his arm out of the wall and moved it to the side. The chest was empty, but we weren’t going to leave a pit unturned. There could be secret doors in there. Arvnevurr decided to trigger the trap and fall right through the floor at the bottom, taking no damage.
It turned out that the pit was filled with water, and there was a black skeleton in it. There were no secret doors, so Arvnevurr burrowed away as fast as possible. Unfortunately, the skeleton managed to drain him before he could fully escape. Arvnevurr returned after about ten minutes.
After some more exploring through this labyrinthine mess, we came to what looked like a torture chamber. Occupying the room were a bunch of orcs. At last, we got to kill something that wasn’t already dead. We were in the slaying process when a vrock demon appeared, and things started to get interesting.
The orcs turned into jackal-headed things, but we dispatched them anyway. I was just about to go for the vrock when Valestar shoved me aside and OP-shot it repeatedly. It was hard to get a hit in myself until he disappeared.
It was a relief not having Valestar there, and I managed to hit the vrock a few times, but this relief was short-lived. The others were hitting it a lot harder than I was. The vrock kept trying to bull rush me, but we dwarves are stout, so it kept failing. After a while, I managed to cut off one of its fingers. When I did that, the vrock blipped into Shia for a second. Perhaps the vrock was actually one of us. I took the safe option and kept attacking. I didn’t care if I killed Shia.
Suddenly, I found myself in a different height. I looked down at my hands and saw that they were vrock claws. The others, and myself, looked ready to attack me. Apparently I had turned into the vrock. Well, I wasn’t going to attack my fellow adventure people. I took a defensive position and waited it out.
No one ever managed to hit me, not even me. After some time, “I” turned into a rakshasa, who turned me into a rock. The rakshasa must have been using illusions to make us look like enemies so we would attack each other. I felt rocky hands grab me and pull me under the floor. Arvnevurr must have carried me to safety. Maybe more stuff happened in that battle, but I wouldn’t know because I’m still a rock. Hopefully someone will morph me back soon.
BlungyBooce, vanaran pistolero gunslinger 8
Death from Even Farther Away, tiefling slayer 7 / magus 1 / arcane archer 1
Lone Wolf, human samurai 8
Monkey, vanara zen-archer monk 9
Nioveskirian, dwarven stonelord paladin 8
Thoren, dwarven witch 7
Valestar Ekhart, aasimar paladin 10
Shia Labeouf, merman bard 8