We have improved our skills, and consider the best ways to use them. We are also currently exploring the side-room in the crypt. This appears to be the treasure chamber. There’s gold all over the floor.
Martini checks over the altar. It’s not trapped, exactly, it’s just magically linked to something in the ceiling. Something is monitoring the altar – possibly from a room above us?
Martini: “Hay Marshall, check out the book!”
The book is a +5 tome of Leadership and Influence. We start by taking the money on the floor. They are protected by spike in the floor. We retrieve 70,000 GP and Martini disables the traps. Martini walks across the ceiling… and finds a secret door up there. It’s right over the entrance.
Martini tries to open the lock, but it’s not effective here. We start checking the doors around the sides of the room, checking them for traps and disabling them. We start with the left front. Martini goes around disabling traps. Martini has also claimed the Word of Chaos trap. Then she opens the locks. We find a Helm of Brilliance, which is pretty awesome.
6200 Platinum in the second room. Room 3 has a 10x10 flying carpet. The final room has 3 pearls of power, for levels 7, 8, and 9. Martini: “Azrael would love this.” A knife flies past her head. We hand a pearl of power (7th) to Martini.
We arrange ourselves, and then Martini takes the book.
A panel swings down out of the ceiling, and this thing pads down the ramp to try to kill us. It’s a Famine Spirit. Ruin steps up behind it and attacks, cutting it up a bit; Martini also attacks, casting Disintegrate, but the thing resists and takes some damage. This thing is this huge pile of heaps of flab and flesh, and doesn’t seem much affected by this. Marshall tries to implode it… and succeeds.
It implodes, and then explodes. We are covered in destroyed undead flesh. Martini screams. Ruin wipes his face down and just says, completely deadpan, “Ew.” Marshall nods. “You’re welcome.”
We head up the ramp and look into the room overhead. Ruin takes the lead on this one. It smells… bad. It’s like a bilge that this famine spirit was living in. He finds a couple of its spawn, which Ruin summarily dispatches. At the back of the room is this pile of books, and also a lever. Ruin steals the books, then kicks the lever and throws himself out of the room before the ramp can swing completely closed.
The books are magical; apparently the thing had taken them. There’s a manual for a flesh golem, a manual for a greater stone golem, and a +3 manual of gainful exercise.
We head out into the main hallway, where we fought the fiery possessing spirits. We turn right, and continue into the vault. Martini checks the door for traps, even though it was battered open. It’s not trapped.
Martini shoves through it. Inside is a larger room, with a walled-off inner sanctum inside, blocked with a portcullis. There’s another altar, and behind it is a painting of a boy in noble clothes. He’s sitting in front of a castle… and Martini recognizes it as Castle Orlock from back in Fanaxia. Which means the boy is probably the original Vecna Orlock. His soul was missing back when we sought him in Fanaxia.
There were hellfire golems and some other things in here, but they were destroyed. Inside the inner sanctum, Ruin sees a tiara. There’s a place for a heart-shaped gem in the front of the tiara, but the gem has been removed and the tiara tossed aside. This gem must have been the heart of Vecna.
A bit of searching reveals a winch that will open the portcullis. We do so, and retrieve the tiara. Martini thinks it’s pretty, and wants to put it on Tavros. Tavros will hate that.
Martini moves ahead and stabs King Luc. Ruin is helping Marshall along, and so he’s hanging back. Ruin takes advantage of the opportunity to rescue Mithrandril. Martini and Ruin use a combination of Invisibility and Dimension Door to exit to the courtyard, and from there we use the teleport stone to return to Caristhium.
Martini modifies Ruin’s memory (and Marshall’s) so neither of them remembers that we ever encountered King Luc. Luc is dead; so far as we know, he has always been dead.
So… in addition to freeing the mages and retaking Caristhium, the High Marshal Giles has taken Renfort and declared himself king of that area. Elvish revolutionaries have taken more towns, and Lamont’s Solari are tracking down the remaining cells of the druids – so they’re diminished in power. We spend a bit of time talking over our next moves...
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