Session 24: Traps in the Place of the Unicorn

The group decided to try the southern door first, which was surrounded by an autumn mosaic, because it was the straightest path from the stairs.

Julious opened the door, and a bright light emanated from the 40 foot square room beyond. Halfway into the room was a large set of stairs leading to the recessed area. It was flanked by large brass braziers emanating continual flames. Beyond the stairs, a 20 foot wide rear section pushed out 10 feet and was lined with an arch of bricks that appeared to be made from silver. They also noticed gold runes inlaid around the recessed area on the walls and floor.

Around the room were several mosaics, all showing scenes of the sun and moon and what appeared to be a portal leading to a lush land.

In front of the portal arch were several skeletal bodies dressed in various forms of armor. As the group entered the room, the skeletons rose to meet them, with six of them drawing bows and another four skeletons hoisting axes and swords.

Julious immediately closed the door.

The group prepared for combat and Lee opened the door. Six arrows immediately flew at him, only one finding its mark and penetrating his armor. Everyone entered the room, weapons drawn.

Turenim held Lightbringer aloft, commanding, "In the name of the Morninglord, begone!" Immediately all six of the skeleton archers, and one of the swords bearing skeletons, crumbled into heaps of bone and metal.

Atilius hit one of the skeletons wielding a battle axe with a firebolt, and Moula broke its skeletal legs with two whacks from her staff and finished it with a kick, knocking its skull off.

Pippin chopped into another skeleton with his scimitar, and Moula finished it off with a kick.

Lee cut down the last skeleton with two mighty swings from Talon.

Examining the room, they found the mosaics showed how the portal operated during the cycles of full moons. Atilius determined that it was two and a half tendays before the next full moon. Recognizing that the portal must be inherently magical, he pulled out his spellbook and cast, detect magic, which revealed that the magic he expected to find was absent.

Pippin noticed that one of the skeleton piles seemed exceptionally large. Inspecting it he found a pair of gold bricks. He tried to pocket them, but almost dropped them, only catching them just before they hit the stone. "Hey guys, look what I found! I'm going to inspect the rest of the skeletons as well." He found an additional 100 copper pieces, 100 silver pieces, and 60 gold pieces, as well as a pair of gold bracelets, all of which he gave to Moula.

The group decided to open the opposite door.

Julious opened the door, revealing a 10 foot long hall that opened to a room measuring 20 feet deep by 40 feet wide, and containing a 10 foot square bump-out on the opposite side of the room that contained a large statue of the god Silvanus.

In the center of the room was a 15 foot high column of fire, roughly 5 feet in diameter. It whirled around in a circle and had apparently pushed all the sand in the room to the corners. They all felt the fire's warmth rush over them.

As they entered the room, the fire took form and became an elemental while the sand in the room swirled together and formed a stone elemental. Both elementals moved to attack.

Julious called for everyone to move back as he stepped forward and cast thunderwave. The blast pushed the fire elemental back. The earth elemental was not moved, but cracks began to form all over it.

Turenim cast spiritual weapon, and cast bless on Moula, Albrecht, Pippin, and himself.

The fire elemental lashed out and burned Julious, the earth elemental slammed Julious into the wall, and Julious fell to a second swipe of flames. Turenim revived Julious with cure wounds.

The earth elemental smashed both of it rocks fists into Julious, dropping the druid a second time.

Atilius hit the fire elemental with a lightning bolt, sending electricity flaring through its flame, and then with a ray of frost, which hissed with minimal effect. Lee landed three mighty strikes on the flaming mass with Talon, causing it to finally flicker away.

Albrecht jabbed his rapier into the earth elemental. Pippin cast booming blade and stuck it with his shortswords, but they had little impact. Atilius cast magic missile on it. Turenim hit it with his spiritual weapon. Moula found her staff had little effect on it, and abandoned it, kicking it instead. After a steady barrage, one of her kicks was the final strike that brought it crashing to the ground.

Turenim used his healer's kits to bandage everyone's wounds, reviving Julious.

Julious investigated the statue of Silvanus, and noticed a skeleton lying behind it with scroll of some sort in its skeletal hand. They also found a bag with 200 danters on the skeleton carries.

Atilius looked at the scroll and recognized that it had two lightning bolt spells on it.

Here the group closed the door and decided to rest for the night.

The next morning they decided to explore the other two rooms, starting with the door to the east. Julious opened the door and they saw a 30 foot long hall leading to a T-intersection. Dim lights flickered from both sides. As they approached the intersection, Julious noticed that a large section of the hall, about twenty feet long, had slightly less sand than the rest of the rooms and halls.

Facing them at the center of the intersection was a compass rose inset into the wall. The intersection split into two 10 foot halls that extended another 20 feet to the north and south. They could see torchlight coming from under the threshold of the doors at the end of hall.

Assuming that this room contained traps referred to in the elven runes, they group was reluctant to open any doors and proceeded to investigate the length hallway.

The compass seemed like it could turn, and that the north arrow could be positioned to face either of the doors at the end of the corridor. Inspecting the compass rose, Turenim noticed small wires extending from the rear axle of the compass rose into small holes in the wall. The way the compass wheel was inset into the wall made it impossible to reach the wires with bare fingers.

Julious continued to inspect the floor and walls where he noticed less sand, and eventually discovered what appeared to be a vertical scratch on one of the walls.

They turned the compass and found it to turn very easily as many times as they wanted. Pointing the compass at either door did not result in any noticeable changes. Turenim noticed that the wires did not seem to move when the wheel was turned.

Pippin used his thieves' tools to reach the wires behind the wheel and found them to be very taught.

Albrecht listened at the two doors, but did not hear anything.

Turenim inspected the doors and found similar wires extending from the door hinges to small holes in the ceiling. These wires were also taught. They plucked at the wires from the one of the doors and found that it did not cause the wire from the other door or the wires behind the wheel to vibrate.

Turenim noticed that the entire twenty foot section of wall over the less sandy floor seemed as if it had been slightly ground down. Inspecting the ceiling he found gaps indicating that the twenty foot section of ceiling could be a trap that would fall and crush anyone underneath it and trap anyone further in the hallway.

Eventually the group decided to wait in the stairwell room while Atilius used an unseen servant to manipulate things in the hallway. Atilius commanded it to cut the wires behind the wheel with a dagger. It appeared that the dagger could not reach the wires behind the wheel, so they tried again with Pippin's thieves' tool. It returned when the wires were cut, and nothing else happened. Then he commanded it to cut the wires on the doors and it returned when it was done, and nothing else happened. Then he commanded it to open one of the doors, and "BOOM!!!" came the crash of a ten foot wide section of ceiling as it fell, completely blocking the hallway.

Relieved that they had avoided the trap, but curious what lay beyond the two doors, they decided to explore the last remaining door. Julious attempted to open the door, but found that it was locked. Pippin was able to use his thieves' tools to successfully open the lock.

Julious opened the door and found a short corridor that opened into a 30 foot square room. The floor was covered with a thin layer of sand like the stairwell room. On the ceiling was another mosaic, this one inlaid of a unicorn skull flanked by images of longswords and spears. The other three walls in the room each contained a large stone statue of a the front half of a unicorn sticking out of the wall, as if the rear section were behind the wall.

Julious noticed that there were small piles of sand under the mouths of the unicorn statues. As they began investigating the room sand started to shoot from the mouths of unicorn statues, and SLAM!! went a slab of stone as it fell from the ceiling and blocked the exit. This stone was not as deep or high as the stone that fell in the room across the hall, and left a five inch gap directly below the ceiling.

Julious took out his bedroll and tied it around a unicorn statue head, jamming as much as he could inside the mouth. It reduced the sand flow to a trickle. He shared the idea and the other unicorn mouths were similarly blocked.

Two of the bedrolls eventually fell off and sand began to flood the chamber again, until they were able to re-secure them.

Realizing that time was of the essence, they considered the best way to move the large stone slab.

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