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Rappan Athuk #94: Below Hell

01 Mar

The party refers back to the Oracle’s Clue and seeks the 3rd Temple of Orcus in this week’s writeup.

(-GM)

17th day of Rova, 4721 AR

Susurrus recalled the puzzle and some legend about a prince named Simon…

Beyond the halls where hounds of flame once slept; Are the prisons where the slaves are kept. To be tortured there and then killed after. In the greatest temple to please the Master;
The most confounding entrance is not very far. And that is where lies the army of Tsar.

When the skull oracle recited the long poem about what was left in Rappan Athuk, this was the line that caught my attention the most. “The greatest temple to please the master” sounded like the final temple we needed to purify to get the Lens of Clarity. This stanza also mentioned a place with hell hounds. That seemed like a good place to start, but unfortunately Susurrus had misplaced the map of the level. Our only option was to make a whole new map. We teleported to the level, and those who were present last time quickly remembered that there were traps scattered around the level that teleported you randomly. We carefully maneuvered our way around the level, keeping our eyes peeled for anything that could be a giant Orcus temple.

After wandering around for some time, we came to a room with a giant black door. Inside the room were a few weak monsters that died quicker than you could say “Wow these guys are probably going to die relatively quickly because they don’t seem very powerful and we are pretty strong and we have almost a full party so yeah these guys are definitely dead.” In the back of the room, three gold panels were laid out on a dais. Susurrus reminded us that this was an old puzzle we never had solved. He mentioned that when you touch a panel there is a blinding red light and you go to sleep. Naturally we decided to go touch the panels. After much fiddling and sleep, we finally figured out that if you touched them in a certain order, a little compartment opens. Much to our disappointment, the loot inside the drawer that emerged was not particularly expensive or unique.

I was still quite eager to find the temple though, so I urged the party on with enthusiasm. A little more exploring warranted us with a blank wall with a magical keyhole in it. Susurrus identified the keyhole as a magical spell and it could only be opened by the exact key that was designed for it. Everybody dug around in their packs and tried all the keys they could find, but to no avail. After twenty minutes of testing things, we came to the conclusion that the key must be located nearby.

After a couple of twists and turns down a hallway, we came to a room with four pillars in a diamond shape. The one closest to the door seemed normal but all the other three had mouths protruding out of them. The one on the left said, “Give of your life.” The one in the back said, “Give of your heart.” And the one on the right said, “Give of your mind.” Then the mouths were replaced by three glowing white circles. Bright Yilling decided that he was going to take one for the team on this one. One by one, he placed his right hand in each of the circles. Nothing happened. He then tried doing it with his left hand. This time there was a reaction from each pillar. One of them made him feel physically weaker, one of them made him feel less intelligent, and one made him feel less experienced. After he had touched all three, the fourth pillar opened up and revealed a key. This was it! This was the key we needed!

With no regard for Bright Yilling, the party rushed back to the keyhole to see if this key would fit. Much to our relief, it did. A door opened and we filed downwards. I heard some noises bellow and recognized them as trolls. I hurried ahead and finished them off quickly. I went invisible and swiftly moved forward down a hallway. I looked to my left and saw a huge statue of orcus surrounded by priests. There was a scout closer to me and I tried to dispose of it quietly but before it died it was able to warn the priests. I heard the sounds of a summoning and ran back to fetch the party.

By the time we were all prepared and ready to fight, a Balor Demon flanked by another tough looking demon were by the statue. I fired off whatever shots I could, and Susurrus cast the big spell that had the tentacle things that attacked them (Jatembe’s Ire –Ed.). Much to our surprise, the four-armed demon that stood opposite the balor grabbed his hand and they vanished only to appear behind the party. The four-armed demon cast a spell that caused violent winds to blow away all the smoke that was pouring out of the Ever-Smoking Bottle we had opened. This change in tactics was not what we had expected at all, but like true heroes, we recovered quickly. A prismatic spray and a stormbolts removed 2 priests that had teleported with them. I was able to stagger the four-armed thing with a few cold iron arrows. The balor demon moved with incredible swiftness for his size and grappled Deckard Cain. Now I know this is quite the cliffhanger but I really need to go kick some ass. There is no time for journal writing.

Need to talk? Got something to say?
Well that’s too bad, I’m irrelevantly far away!

Signing off,
DFSIFA

=========================

Bright Yilling, fetchling barbarian 15 / antipaladin 2
Deckard Cain, aasimar oracle 17
Death from Somewhere Irrelevantly Far Away, tiefling slayer 18
Susurrus of the Wind, sylph wizard 16
Shia Labeouf, merfolk bard 16
Valestar Ekhart, aasimar paladin 19

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