The party grappled with a set of riddles in a network of caves surrounding a perplexing fountain in Rappan Athuk. Nioveskirian tells their story. (-GM)
15th day of Arodus, 4718 AR
As we continued down the hallway, I noticed that the passageway seemed to be getting narrower. To my great surprise I discovered that this was because the passageway was getting narrower. The corridor opened into a fairly large room, with several carvings of demons and two inscriptions in an old version of our common tongue. They were too archaic for me to decipher, but Shia used his magical helm to translate.
The one on the left wall said, “The face of the demon leads one to eternal strife.”
The one on the right wall said, “The elements conflict, and the path of water drowns the fires of hell.”
It seemed the walls were too cryptic to be of any use, so we examined the floor instead. At first glance, it seemed to be covered in sand, but a second revealed that is was actually quicksand. Our burrowing buddies found that there was liquid underneath. Most of it was fast-burning oil but there was a bottom layer that contained a few feet of water. More burrowing found a dirt passageway that eventually led to air. We unanimously agreed to burn it all.
As the oil caught fire, plumes of smoke invaded the room, and the rest fled to avoid suffocation. But I was a brave soul, so I dived into the boiling grease to find the air cavern. Burned and out of breath, I made it to the cave, healed myself, and waited with Arv for the less brave souls to catch up. Once we were rejoined, we began to explore this new cavernous area.
It was a large cavern, with 3 monkey statues on the edge of a chasm with a pit of crocodiles on the bottom. One of No Name’s elementals tried to fly over the chasm, but then discovered he couldn’t fly and got chomped.
We climbed/jumped mundanely over the pit, and then found a chamber with a bunch of red sand. In the chamber we found a secret door leading to a second lever. No Name went to the other lever, and we initiated yet another trial of trial and error.
We fiddled with the levers for a while, but all we got was a weird bottle appearing at the fountain. Sand after sand was poured into the fountain, and eventually our summoner teleported back to us looking very scorched. It appeared that an efreeti was now on the loose. As he entered the chamber, he was one-shotted before he could say, “What fool mortal dares to intrude upon my realm.”
We tried the levers with yet another combination of sand, and this time a djinni came out. He said he could either serve us for a year or grant us three wishes. DSFIFA was, once again, overly excited.
“Oh my god.” he exclaimed loudly. “This is so cool. This is so awesome. Oh my god!” Repetition was always his strong point.
Putting the noise coming out of DSFIFA’s mouth aside, we deliberated over what to do with this offer. You never get what you actually want in wishes, so I wanted him to serve us for a year. The others were plagued with greed, so they wanted the wishes. Eventually we decided to have him give the value of the chaos diamond we couldn’t sell anywhere else. After much thought on any loopholes that might exist in our wording, we wished for, “This gem to turn into its value in gold, ten feet in front of us.”
The gem became 2,000 pounds of gold, instead of the more than 7,000 pounds it was worth. We were very confused until the djinni clarified: “In political economy and especially Marxian economics, exchange value refers to one of four major attributes of a commodity, i.e., an item or service produced for, and sold on the market.” Once again, the commies had swindled us.
We went back to the capital to cash in and by stuff with our gold, then went back to the dungeon. The only place left to explore was the maze, so in we went. This was going to be a long day.
Arthritic Slaver, half-orc fighter 9
BlungyBooce, vanaran pistolero gunslinger 10
Death from Somewhere Irrelevantly Far Away, tiefling slayer 10
The Hero of No Name, aasimar summoner 11
Nioveskirian, dwarven stonelord paladin 10
Shia Labeouf, merfolk bard 10
Valestar Ekhart, aasimar paladin 12