The crawlspace opened into a rather boring hallway. Around the corner, however, awaited a swirling green gas at the foot of a set of stairs. A door taunted the adventurers, especially Abraxus, who was eager to brave the mysterious toxin and bash in that door. Dak and Gorstag discerned that the gas was indeed some sort of magical toxin, but could not detect any hint concerning its effects. Dak also noticed a mysterious secret door located just past the crawlspace. Sunny attempted to pick it open, but was repelled by a mysterious force field. Dak immediately went to work on dispelling the ward. With that done, Sunny popped the door open and revealed some more drab hallway. Thorir, Dak and Sunny decided to follow the alternative route, while Gorstag and Abraxus stayed focused on that damn gassy door.
Abraxus managed to loosen the door a bit and avoid the effects of the gas, and Gorstag gave aid via mage hand. Eventually, however, Abraxus could no longer withstand the toxin. The gas simply made him terrified of the door, and caused him to flee at full speed away. Abraxus, ever the hardy dragonborn, shook off the effect and went right back in to take out that door. He really hated that door for some reason. Perhaps some part of him sensed what awaited…but that’s a story for a bit later. Anyway, Abraxus smashed the door to bits, got spooked again, and recovered just as quickly. He and Gorstag watched the gas dissipate, and discovered a stairwell filled with cobwebs. Just as they were about to explore what lay behind those cobwebs, they heard signs of battle. The others got into trouble.
Thorir opened a door to what appeared to be a laboratory. Three vats stood in the center of the room, while dried and rotted alchemical equipment lie abandoned and scattered throughout the room. Thorir approached the middle vat and dropped some calamari into it. He watched it sink to the bottom, out of sight. Sunny approached the third one and also dropped in some calamari. However, the “liquid” inside turned out to be acidic oozes which she awoke from hibernation! The oozes poured out into the room and attacked! What followed was a long, arduous battle. Thorir spent the entire time between two oozes while the third chased Sunny and Dak. Sunny nearly died, but was saved by Dak. Dak almost died, too, but Abraxus and Gorstag showed up to help eventually and Abraxus healed Dak with the power of prayer (to the goddess of death, ironically). Abraxus claimed the final killing blow (much to the annoyance of a cocky Thorir), and the battle was ended.
A brief search of the room revealed two keys in the vats. The ooze vat had one, as well as the one into which Thorir tossed calamari. Dak peeked into the latter and noticed that the calamari had dissolved. Apparently the liquid in this one was some straight up comic book style acid. Sunny took a javelin and fished the key out, and the party noticed that the keys were actually two halves of one key. “These keys and those…,” Dak quoted. Gorstag noticed, with his vast knowledge of religious rites and practices, that the laboratory contained all the materials to create a lich. With keenest eyesight, Dak spotted the secret door which led out, and the party continued.
Around another bend awaited a 30 feet-long, 10 feet-deep pit of spikes. Clearly unable to leap over it, the party climbed down. Sunny and Gorstag impatiently leaped and teleported to the other side, respectively. Abraxus kept creeping carefully around spikes to the other side. When he came to the last five feet, the spikes shot into the air (and his legs/testicles) and then evaporated, only to reform in their original spot. The pain rooted Abraxus to the spot, and prevented him from moving for a minute. Then Thorir had a brilliant idea. He decided to wait on one end of the pit, while Abraxus finished his climb, and they would stretch a rope between them. Dak could then shimmy across the gap. Dak agreed, and the rope bridge was set up. Dak, however, being the least athletic githzerai ever, couldn’t quite make it to the other side. He fell in, injured himself by falling on the spikes, walked right into the shooting spike trap, and climbed up the wall. He was really unhappy. Thorir added insult to injury by casually leaping the pit and scrambling up the wall with ease.
Beyond the pit awaited naught but more hallway, or at least that’s what it appeared to be. Dak kept having flashbacks to the Elemental Vent, and rightly so, considering that he was nearly cooked. However, the only thing this hallway was hiding was yet another secret door to a room which looked as if a hurricane had blown through. Destroyed furniture and other rubble littered the floor. The only things left intact were some green tapestries which displayed oceanic scenery. A door stood at the far end of the room, but a quick arcana check revealed that the door hid a spear trap, which Gorstag set off via mage hand. The spear shot the opposite wall and revealed a crawlspace. Dak noticed some platinum and gems among the rubble, and began wandering around the room picking it up. Then the room began to shake.
Dak managed to keep his footing for most of it, but eventually bumped into a tapestry. The tapestry came to life and saddled up next to Dak to eat him. Sunny launched shurikens, and Gorstag shot some flames at it. When the flames made contact, the green slime curdled into brown mold, and immediately a chill filled the air. Dak took a chill, but retreated through the crawlspace, followed by Abraxus, Thorir, and Sunny. Gorstag shot the remaining tapestries, and turned them all into mold. However, the room shook him right into a patch of the cold, brown muck, and sucked the warmth from his body. Gorstag escaped an icy doom and entered the crawlspace.
The crawlspace opened into another hallway. I swear, the architect of this place really loved hallways. The place resembles a starting minecraft home. There’s nothing but hallways, hidden doors, random pits to quick deaths, a few odd rooms here and there, and some silly portals with swirling multi-tonal mist built into walls. Anyway, this particular hallway branched off at a central crossroads. In the center of the intersection, Dak spotted a pit trap, which Sunny jimmied shut. Abraxus traveled north and failed to notice anything particularly interesting about the door at the end. Gorstag slowly crept south, and discovered that the door at that end only hid a spear trap. Dak, Thorir, and Sunny joined Abraxus and discovered the door to be false. Then Thorir noticed that the false door hid a secret door built into the wall! “If you find the false, you find the true,” Dak echoed.
After realizing that they were progressing deeper into the Tomb, the party decided to backtrack to the goddamned gas door. To counteract the huge pit trap, they stole all of the doors they could find and lugged them to the trap. They tried to build a bridge, but that pugnacious part of the pit with the shooting spikes wasn’t having any of that. It shot the door to pieces. Fortunately, Gorstag teleported to the other side with the doors, and built the bridge starting from the other side. The last five feet were left open, so the party had to jump across. Dak managed to pull that off without a problem, and everyone else automatically succeeded. Poor Dak. He made up for it, though, by grabbing the tables from the laboratory and using them to build high enough to avoid setting off the trap. He would never have to leap over/climb/interact with in any way, shape, or form that pit of spikes ever again.
The party returned to that damn door and Gorstag cleared the cobwebs with spouts of flame. At the foot of the stairs lay a mace, inlaid with silver, which turned out to be a +3 Disrupting Mace. The reason I mention the specifics will soon become clear. Upon a golden, Egyptian style couch lay a skeletal figure. When the party looked within its chamber, it arose and spoke, “Who dares disturb the rest of Acererak? It is your death you have found!” At this point the whole party was very confused. They couldn’t possibly have found Acererak’s resting place so soon… Regardless of what this thing was, it had to die. The skeletal figure shot a ray of shadow which burst into a cloud, dealing some seriously heavy damage to the party. Then the creature’s crown burst forth and further injured two of the party. They soon realized that this foe needed to be dealt with swiftly.
Everyone brought out the big guns. Sunny doused her weapons in poison and shot shurikens at the creature and its crown. Dak followed up with some sweet moves, including a floating eye which intensified damage. Gorstag hit him with an arrow made of acid, and then detonated a fireball in the room. Thorir tried to follow that awesomeness up with some sweet charging action, but missed twice. Abraxus followed suit, and grabbed the mace en route. The creature, which turned out to just be a lich construct (that was the purpose of the lab), fired lightning out of its eyes, and Thorir and Abraxus used the opportunity to strike it while the construct was busy aiming. After another series of shots from Dak and Sunny, and a missed use of Gorstag’s fire scythe, the crown popped off the construct’s head and rolled away. Thorir finally landed a good hit, but the true moment of glory came next. Abraxus, using all his might, swung that glowing mace and smashed the construct right in the kisser. He harnessed the purity of the mace and dealt what can only be described as a fuckton of damage. Sunny sent a shuriken flying to finish the job, and the construct dissolved into dust.
The party looted the room, finding a fancy jade coffer filled with healing potions, a leather bag filled with awesomesauce ritual scrolls, and the crown. Soon after the construct died, though, the room began to shake and crumble. Quickly, the party grabbed the golden couch and hauled ass out of there. Relishing their success, the party decided they earned some rest. They used the magic circle scroll to guard them while they rested, and gently drifted off into sleep. However, the magical ritual could not save them from the nightmares.
How much longer can our heroes stave off death in the dreaded Tomb? Will they continue to defy the odds and find success around every corner, or will one choice go horribly wrong and lead to someone’s demise? Will Dak ever come to terms with the fact that green men can’t jump? Find out next time!