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A Dark and Stormy Dungeon

Sanura’s Journal

Murtul 3, 1374, Temple of Sharess, Waterdeep

We followed, each at our own pace, the yelling Shou until we came upon him in the entranceway to that gold and marble throne room. There were at least a dozen goblins there intending to do him harm. He shouted at us to run to the back of the room and through a door— he had a plan. Kanelyth and I went back immediately, while Flic, for reasons that were never clear to me, stayed in the hallway. Eleioni, of course, could only walk at a ooze’s pace, and would not be arriving for some time (though we could hear his full plate armor clanking methodically through the hall as he “raced” to catch up).

So, the hawk woman and I were in this little room off from where the throne sat, and I could hear something going on, but we had shut the door, preventing us from seeing anything interesting. I got her to open the door (hawk women are apparently ticklish) just a crack, as there was light out there but not in our hiding spot. Just enough light fell on us that I was able to make out a word on the rod I’d just found— “Arathog.” I have no idea what it means, but saying it aloud didn’t seem to do anything. So, I pointed it through the opening to the throne room and repeated “Arathog.”

It started to rain. It only rained for a few seconds, but it was definitely rain. How useful this rod would be back in Mulhorand! Unfortunately, it rained on us, rather than my intended target, so I concentrated and carefully “aimed” the rod again: Arathog.

Pretty colors began to swirl around the throne room. Kanelyth must have been bored too, as I felt her reach over me to touch the rod and murmur “Arathog” herself. More pretty colors! It was clearly making the goblins worried, so I added one more word to the incantation: Arathog.

The middle of the throne room was filled with a huge impenetrable darkness! We had to work to keep from laughing as the goblins began to scream in terror. I began to make what I thought would be ghostly sounds, warning the goblins of impending doom if they did not flee immediately. Of course, being in total magical darkness, they all ran in different directions. One ran right for Kanelyth and I, but one more “Arathog!” and its armor turned invisible— and stayed hanging in midair long after the goblin who’d been wearing it was long gone.

I could hear clanking still a few hundred feet from where we stood, as Eleioni tried to arrive during some of the goblin encounter, and Flic was out in the hall casting on the few goblins that had already fled. There was a second globe of darkness where the throne was, and soon a soggy ninja stumbled out of it, clearly damaged—turns out the throne “bit” him and he’d been poisoned. Kanelyth took our last remaining healing potion to him as I went to see what Flic was up to (there was another globe of darkness in the passageway— pretty sure that one wasn’t mine). I aimed at the doorway, planning to hit the next goblin that came or went through— but Eleioni arrived at the scene (finally), and I “Arathog’d” him. He turned completely purple! I explained as quickly as I could that the rod (I was guessing that this was a famed “Rod of Wonder” that I’d actually read about) had made a goblin’s armor go entirely ethereal— Eleioni wished to see if we could removed his cursed duck armor that way. So, I tried it again. In addition to making pretty colors and rain, it can also cast lightning bolts! He leaned quickly to the side as one just clipped him. I did not wish to kill him outright, so I was going to refrain from any more attempts, but Kanelyth came back over and Arathog’d him two more times—once causing him to grow leaves (also purple) and then in turn blinding him and causing butterflies to appear. Thankfully the blindness (and butterflies) wore off.

Other than what sounds were caused by the rod, and a few spasms from Shoshiro as he worked the poison out of his system, we noticed suddenly that it was otherwise quiet in the passage; all the goblins were gone. But where was Flic? We got our answer moments later, when the darkness spell in the hallway ended— he was right there, beside one of those stone statues we’d been pulling over the day before. Except now he was one— apparently the victim of a trapped statue he had pulled over by himself. He hadn’t even turned to stone in a very interesting position, but at least he was easy enough to drag along. We decided it was time to go back to the Yawning Portal and end our part in the contest. Luckily, we’d never really gone more than a few dozen yards from the entrance, so dragging Statue Flic and marching Purple Leafy Duck Eleioni there was not too difficult.

It turned out that we weren’t the first group out of the contest (which was not yet over). We quickly headed off to the local Temple of Sharess, hoping to be able to have our half-drow turned back to flesh, and possibly fix Eleioni as well. Unfortunately, it was going to cost over 40,000 gold, and we had about 200 on us (most of the valuable stuff had been on Flic when he was petrified, and we couldn’t pry it off). As Fate would have it, a man called Quentin Morden of the “Merchant’s Consortium” had followed us to the temple, intrigued at our, well, survival. He offered to pay for all the healing and curse removing if we’d agree to escort him north to a meet with a Northern Uthgardt tribe. Now, I couldn’t really agree on behalf of the statue, but then, we had been in the contest originally to gain such a position and only 10,000 gold pieces, so it seemed like a good deal! Only Shoshiro seemed hesitant, but then, I’ve never been able to understand what exactly his goals are.

I played with a few of the temple cats while the uncursing was done, as I didn’t need any healing myself, and then we met with Mr. Quentin again to go over details. Flic was very upset that we didn’t leave him in statue form! He’s very pretty when he’s angry. He stormed off in one direction to get some of our finds identified (I followed him with the unidentified boots we’d purchased from the wererat), while Eleioni wandered off with the enchanted sword and had it identified elsewhere (and then tried to sell it— thankfully he didn’t manage and we were able to make an even trade for it for another weapon). Flic went someplace that didn’t allow cats in or something, but luckily came back out before I got too bored. The boots were useful to the ninja, the wand wasn’t worth keeping (so we sold it) and the ring Flic wore provides some protection (though not, apparently, against turning to stone). I think there is something wrong with him still— in spite of him propositioning me several times while in that awful dungeon, he now is quite catty, which, while appealing, makes it difficult to progress in any meaningful fashion. It must be a characteristic of his drow half. Quite maddening!

Posted by Kristin on June 13, 2006, 20:30 | Sanura’s Journal