Thornkeep (Druid's Head)

Lobbi’s Musings #10

Plottings, Puppets, Prisons, 'Prentices and Pirouetting Pebbles

Things have started to go wrong for us.
A ghostly image of the half-orc appears, carrying an unconscious female elf. He turns and looks back towards the door, is hit by something, and they both fade away.
Jimbob starts acting strange, talking to himself and banging his head against the wall. The quasit also starts welling up, saying his mistress is alive. He says she has told him how we can find our way out via the teleports.
Not wishing to leave an enemy behind, we go to fight the mist creature in the arena. Hob rushes in, etc., and after a hard fight the creature dissipates.
Hob refuses beforehand to take my bet of 10 pieces of gold that he will not go rushing in. perhaps he is beginning to suspect something about his cursed spear?
In the room beyond are nine statues, regally dressed in robes. Reeda believes the labels state they represent nobles but I cannot read this language. The statue at the far end holds a large master-worked long-sword with its other hand upraised as if to receive an offering. Two other statues radiate magic, and the quasit says they are guardians to protect this shrine from damage. I fly over and try putting the stone sword in the statue’s open hand but nothing happens apart from the magic statues’ heads turning to watch me. I cannot take the glass sword from the statue’s grip.
We return back to the room Hob looked in to briefly. There are faded frescoes of skeletons in armour. A further corridor leads on with five faded frescoes and another door. We are presented with another haunting of old, starved and haggard goblins that could be future version of us. They are trying to tell us something but we are too assaulted by the visions to remember what. Something about destroying or not destroying the “time lock” will trap us down here? The next door reveals 5 niches along a corridor, 3 high and 2 low. The high ones each contain a human skull. Reeda detects strong Necromancy magic coming from the alcoves behind the skulls. Reeda uses magic to open the door at the end of this corridor. I start to sneak down the corridor but stop at the first skull and say “hello” to it. To my surprise I’m answered by a human male in the next room who moves into view from around a workbench. He seems quite friendly and tells me it is safe to go past the skulls as long as I am not here to attack him.
The male appears to be one of the apprentices who is turning himself into an undead to stay alive. Perhaps he will succeed in attaining this blessing of Urgathoa. He has two creatures with him – an eye with wings and a 6’ tall zombie-like humanoid figure made of mis-matched body parts stuck back together. He has the bald human, lightning scarred, we saw in the hauntings dead on his operating table. The apprentice believes we can escape by breaking the “time lock”. He wants us to do this. I inform him I would have to speak to my leader but we would be back. He seems quite surprised he has been here for years, let alone the thousands of years the quasit has hinted at.
Hob has a further haunting of the bald human being killed by a spell and being dragged off, presumably by the apprentice I have just seen.
We decide to rest and ponder what to do next. Jimbob is still muttering to himself. I have to ration myself or develop a taste for goblin if we really are trapped down here.
Reeda decides to follow the quasit and we go through the yellow teleport. It leads to an area with a yellow mosaic floor, down another yellow corridor (where we can hear bells from somewhere) and into a ransacked bedroom containing a seemingly dead human female on the bed and a male human dressed in robes at a desk. There is also another room nearby containing the “time lock” that appears to be stones floating in a room
They offer us a bargain – help with escaping if we bring them two items called “ioun stones” and two bodies to inhabit, preferably elves as they are immortal. It seems the key to escaping this area is having an ioun stone and exiting through the mist. The female apprentice worked this out when the thief of the party who came in later escaped with hers. It also appears these stones can hold the spirit of a mage – the female apprentice somehow managed to manipulate Jimbob into buy two in town and bring them down with him. She can possess his body using the stone as a conduit. They also want us to engage the undead apprentice’s servant whilst they destroy him as he wishes to destroy the time lock.
I can no longer trust Jimbob or his actions as he is being controlled by this female. This is further confirmed when he passes one of the two stones to me. I understand only Jimbob’s is being used as a conduit so the one he has given to me is safe to use to escape if required, but surely this is completely against his nature?
The two apprentices cannot physically leave these halls as they will crumble to dust but they can escape using the ioun stones and two possessed creatures. Luckily they do not seem to want to possess goblins in the long-term.
Reeda agrees to help them slay the undead apprentice so we draw him out of his chambers and ambush him.
I’m sure these other two will not let us live – we are the only creatures that will know the location of their unconscious bodies that cannot be removed one they escape via possession. I can’t discuss this with anyone as Jimbob is already partly possessed or controlled and I cannot guarantee the others are unaffected. It seems the best ploy is to help destroy the undead apprentice and them immediately destroy the time lock whilst the other apprentices are still busy, but I cannot mention this to any of the others.
We set up the ambush and all goes according to the plan. I fly away during the fight back to the time lock chamber and await contact from Gremlins, who I have left behind, to react with sadness when the undead apprentice is defeated. As soon as I get the signal I lob the fire elemental gem into the time lock chamber and follow it up with a bomb. Disaster. The elemental disappears and the bomb does no damage. In desperation I also try acid but again the time lock proves itself indestructible. I close the door and await the party’s return with the two remaining apprentices. Appears I may have missed out on the loot for nothing…

Comments

As I recall the bet was for 100Gp, and I was unable to accept due to a shortage of funds. It would be dishonourable for a Cavalier to enter a wager which he could not support – no matter how slim the chance of losing!

Lobbi’s Musings #10
transpersonal

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