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Sprocket’s Journal

Nightal 2, 1373 DR, Ruins containing Tome of Azuth

Maiyr turned back to Nosila and dumped a healing potion down her throat. Before much more could be resolved about “who was evil and for what reason,” a strange, ghostly form appeared— Roscoe! It seems the afterlife is not keeping him quiet; he didn’t stop prattling on for quite some time, going on about all his new abilities as a ghost. We finally took a look at where we were. Apparently we are on some island in the Lake of Steam (or an equally stinky body of water). There is a crater full of trees in the middle of our island, and we are in the middle of that. The trees are, in turn, surrounded by lake. The tunnel we are in at the moment has an easy-to-navigate exit on one end, and a sheer drop on the other. We decided to use the former for any possible excursions. In the distance, we heard the roar of a large cat followed by a cut-off scream, so we knew we weren’t entirely alone.

Roscoe, bored for the moment with us mere mortals who needed to rest, decided to “fly” around the island to see what all was out there. He found big spiders, a goblin totem or statue, and a large green dragon. Then he came back to see us, and showed us his “scary face.” I nearly passed out from the sight. Maiyr and Nosila felt too weak to move and carry weapons after that bit of entertainment, so we decided to stay put till everyone felt they could travel again. That “rest” turned out to take about ten days.

The first day or so, Roscoe tried to help us by possessing wild game and forcing the creatures to come back to be cooked. He also apparently bugged a manticore for a while, and found a goblin village. He attempted to bring back a goblin for us to interrogate, but bumped into a large green troll on the way to our camp; we ended up fighting that and nearly losing Nosila while the goblin broke free and ran home. After that, Roscoe was gone for nearly ten days himself— having apparently found something that could kill a ghost, at least temporarily. I didn’t stray too far while my larger companions recovered; but looked for portals away from this place as often as I could. I didn’t find any in the immediate vicinity of our camp.

Just as we decided we were healthy enough to venture out, perhaps to make a boat to leave the island, Roscoe reappeared. He pointed out a dead half-orc with black-fletched arrows protruding from it a ways from our camp; something he’d meant to tell us a week ago but forgot. We found a few coins on the corpse, plus some rope, torches, and a map of the general area. There were keep ruins labeled with the symbol of Azuth and the location of a secret door— and a warning of beholders. Sounded interesting to us! We headed in the direction indicated on the map.

Eventually, we found a very life-like statue of a wizard holding his staff out in front of him. I could not detect any magic from the statue. We also found poo. Widget says it’s beholder poo, but I’m not sure if he is really able to tell or not. We also discovered the ruins and some stairs leading down, and went to investigate.

We found ourselves in a room littered with splintered wooden crates and bones, including one skull with four holes bored in it (perhaps from a mind flayer?). There was an open well in the room, and Maiyr and I both had the thought simultaneously to cover it up in case of beholders— to them, a well would be a hallway between levels.

We continued on quickly, knowing that our search was for a particular well-concealed door. Maiyr found one, and was able to open it, just narrowly escaping from a pit trap that opened up underneath him. Nosila and I were able to jump across to him, and we continued on till we found a room with a door at one end— that had suits of armor standing on either side of the door. Roscoe floated down and checked them out and asked us to dispatch them as he looked through the closed door. He saw a room containing a “ball of eyes,” statues in alcoves, a door at the opposite end and a hole in the ceiling. We “killed” the inanimate suits of armor for him as the door splintered from a ray attack from the lesser beholder in the room. Roscoe said he’d lead the creature out of that room so we could attack it as it passed between us. Then he went into the room, where he was apparently “killed” again. I leaned into the room and shot a magic missile at what turned out to be a gauth (a smaller six-eye-stalked type of beholder), while my remaining friends attempted to hack it apart— it floated up through the ceiling from us though. We waited underneath the opening, but it never reappeared, so we continued on through the only other door in the room.

A few winding corridors later, Maiyr found another secret door, apparently the one on the map, as we found the symbol of Azuth carved on the floor right before reaching it. Opening the door, we saw a blue glow, then the source of the glow— a pedestal, surrounded by runes, with an open book perched on top. The pedestal was flanked by two 3’-high columns, each with a crystal containing a swirling red mist crowning it. The room also contained chests of treasure, armor and fine weapons. As we got closer to the warding circle (for that is what I was able to identify it as), the light from the runes would get brighter.

Suddenly, the swirling mists cracked their crystals and were released! I realized, as a spell was literally wiped from my memory, that these were nishruu, creatures from another plane that feed on magic. Apparently the other treasure in the room was magical in nature, for as one stayed with us, the other immediately went to feed from them….

Posted by Kristin on April 9, 2005, 16:56 | Sprocket’s Journal