Thornkeep (Druid's Head)

Lobbi's Musings #17
Bodies, Boredom & Betrayal

After long discussions of what’s feasible and possible, Reeda says I can try out my new potion and animate Sphinxy. We spend ages – at least a day – whilst I create a small opening for the sloughed flesh to fall out, leaving the skin on. Sphinxy walks a bit strange and is a bit baggy, so we use some of the scaffolding and some sand to pack out the body and tighten the skin. Seems I’m a natural at this taxidermy thing- who knew? Perhaps I’ll try carpentry next – I have secret plans to build a workshop inside Sphinxy so Gremlins can sit there and make me goodies whilst we travel. Sphinxy’s wings no longer seem to allow it to fly, but we can all fit on or in it with ease and it runs faster than we do.
I also take some time to look at the ioun control spindles. They are worth about 20,000gp each! We keep one spare and take one each to either sell or use to command the rooms.
At the branch from the water corridor, we find a locked door. Digging out the silvered iron key that I found on Hob’s body (Mmmm, he should be nice and ripe by now), we find a room full of cogs and a water-powered wheel with a pool at the bottom. The Witch starts doom-saying again, so we all ignore her whilst nodding politely. We find a lever we cannot move. Air vents lead off but their entrance narrows too much to follow. Using scaffolding out of the money room, we start throwing poles into the gears until we get them to stop. The water level starts rising at it seems it is no longer being pumped out. Not knowing how far up the dungeon the water will reach, and being bored with this room, we go back to speak to the scribes as we have run out of places to explore down here.
They and the magi have gone, taking all their valuables and our books! We appear to have been betrayed by our mage colleagues.
Reeda wants to head back to town to see if the scribes made it back so we head out the tunnel to the woods under a Protection from Missiles spell and being sneaksy. We find the two dead scholars just outside the entrance, looted apart from their clothes. Each has a pattern of 3 new-looking daggers carefully placed on their chest. May be some kind of warning. It may be they were possessed by the magi and have escaped into the bodies of some of these assassins.
We decide to head to town.

TO BE CONTINUED

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Lobbi's Musings #16
Sex, Sleep, Slain Slinky, Sea and Sphinx

Having enjoyed a night in a thing called a “bed”, we retire to the floor underneath to sleep. All four of us feel refreshed and ready to go. Sorta glad there are now two females to “spread the load” and these bed things certainly make it more comfortable. There’s even a huge tin oval cooking pot left in the room that would be perfect for broiling Hob in – too big to carry away, though. After a big breakfast, we sneak back to the rainbow door and return to the Kingdom of Zog.
It seems Reeda is allowing Goblina to come with us and learn our secrets. Just what we need, another pessimistic Doomsayer.
The bridge guardian snaky-thing has still not learnt the correct answer to his question so we again kill him and his weird detachable snaky legs. One day he will acknowledge the Power of Zog!
We return to the illusion rooms and decide to try the newly-found door from the Jungle Room, as we pause to consider the fate of Hob in this very room and how bravely he died protecting us. Well, we tried to remember where we’d left his body to cure, anyway. Must be feeling peckish.
I fly through the door with bats and we are back in the Chasm Room on the stack that the snake-legged female is on. We pile in and, despite being hit by a Magic Missile, we despatch her. Disappointingly no loot here. Slinky did forget about the reduced gravity and sailed over the stack, plummeting into the chasm below.
Jimbob, Reeda and I each put on a crown spindle and see if we can make the room appear as a cube. We succeed leading to 3 confused-looking flying gorillas. However this may have been a bad plan as there really is a 100’ drop from the scaffolding platform we are standing on! Bombs and combat ensue, during which Slinky is slain. We claim their loot: 3 mw falchions and 9 mw javelins for Large size creatures, and stop to pick up the Large m/w earthbreaker dropped by the escaping giant. The spindle here is attached to the ceiling, hidden as part of the moon.
I got to try my new Potion Reusing spell to re-use a Lesser Restoration potion for Reeda. Must remember to filter it before drinking it again.
On to the Ocean Room and the water tunnel. Using a re-usable Acute Senses potion, Jimbob finds the spindle for this room in a large anemone. Mage Hand retrieves it and we are in another 100’ tall chamber filled to 40-50’ depth with murky water and a scaffold tower. The underwater tunnel is still here.
The saltwater creatures slowly die in the dirty fresh water and bob to the surface. We rest in the laboratory further on until Slinky can return. I am able to use my remaining potion re-users to harden three of the party’s weapons.
During our discussion, we make various insights and discoveries and can now do more things than we used to.
Advancing on the Sphinx Room, I use my pre-planned Silence scroll purchase and we sneak forward as a group. Reeda stabs the sphinx and kills it with one blow.
I suggest my plan of skinning it for its pelt and then animating it as a skeleton to guard Zog’s kingdom as it appears others are becoming aware and jealous of Zog’s riches.

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Lobbi's Musings #15
Dire Boars, Dire Warnings

We decide now is a good time to return to the outside world as we will get more gold each from the loot with only three of us left. On that note it appears that Hob was holding out on us, as concealed about his body I find a set of masterworked thieves’ tools, a masterworked dagger, an hourglass filled with sapphire dust, some magic Boots of Friendly Terrain, and a silvered iron key. We forego the Hobroast and leave him to hang.
We check in on the scribes who are still busy scribing. Must try not to forget about them again.
We head up the tunnel leading to the forest to be met by someone claiming to be a “tacks collector”. I admit to having some pins (for my wigs) but no tacks. Seems he works for the person who wanted the mithral rifle that was on the shopping list we found. He had to buy it back from the person we sold it to and wants us to pay the difference! Naturally Reeda orders the attack, quickly summoning a dire boar that leaves the annoying human gored unconscious or dead on the ground. Unfortunately his concealed friends let fly with arrows from where they are hidden in the undergrowth. Reeda drops to the floor from multiple arrow wounds as Jimbob runs back inside the cave. I order Bats to pick up Jimbob and fly into the cave whilst Gremlins and I heal him.
We decide to rest at the inner end of the corridor and I leave Gremlins to keep watch further up. Sort of hoping they will follow us and get caught beyond the mist with the evil magi. As nothing happens, we go invisible out of the Rainbow Door at night and sneak back into town.
Jimbob senses he is being followed, and looking round he spots a vaguely familiar goblin following us. She is Goblina from our tribe who has come to deliver us “dire warnings”. Never good news from back home, is it? She warns us to “Beware the Wielder of the Sword Named Zog”. Well, we already knew Reeda was dangerous. Seems we pick up a different member of our tribe whenever we return. Wonder who else is in town? Apparently the Chief is getting restless over our progress.
Reeda offers to put us up at the Thirsty Ogre overnight as we wait for the town to wake up. Perhaps this is to distract us from the portents being proclaimed by Goblina? Pints of strong beer all round and food (served, at a table, in bowls!) before its all off to bed in Room 4. Bats claims the wardrobe to hang in. In the morning I try to return Hob’s armour under guarantee as it obviously failed to work and we sell the rest of the gear.
I head off to Ye Olde Potion Shoppe to stock up on ones what I want, and can reach, as well as picking up a new Handy Haversack as mine’s full, and swapping some of the wands I’ve been carrying for some magic beads.
Not sure what the others are getting up to whilst I make my purchases…

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Lobbi's Musings #14
I Still Don’t Like This Level

At the other side of the water tunnel we encounter yet another desert. Freaky place. Two draconic humanoids in mithral field plate armour with masterworked halberds are tough but are eventually defeated.
Using magic, Reeda spots a glow in a sand dune. Digging down, he finds a spindle of Ioun Stones shaped like a crown. All the crystals are clear. Seems they are a theme of the creator of this place. Reeda puts the crown on and the whole room changes into a throne room with goblins celebrating Zog outside and dancing goblin girls (appearing as Jimbob suggests them). Reeda seems to be the Chief. Hob is upset by this and snatches the crown off Reeda. With Hob putting it on, we are back amongst the Blood Moon Clan as Hob gives the crown to Chief Gut Splicer. I think Reeda will make Hob pay for that before long. Seems the Hob is completely loyal to the Chief after all. Reeda snatches the crown off the Chief using magic.
Reeda believes this effect is some sort of Mirage Arcana spell created by the spindle that obeys the wishes of the wearer. Reeda puts the crown in his bag.
Bored with this now plain room, we head down the carved 10’ deep stairs at the far end. It leads to a non-illusory cavern with humanoid hands as a form of chain curtain. Cool. Beyond is the stone-columned cavern with a raised dais. Beyond the dais are statues of black stone of scholarly men but with snake legs. Chained on the dais by hooks tight into the wall is a creature with a lion’s head. It appears to have been tortured and is in pain. We learn it is a creature called a sphinx; it was trapped by the mage who built this place, speaks Azlanti, and wants to be freed. It offers to bring us its treasure if we free it.
As we approach to kill/eat it, it lets loose a horrendous terrifying roar. We all run, back to the stairs out of this area.
We all avoid mentioning the sphinx. Returning slowly we discuss that there may be an Ioun Stone spindle in every room controlling the illusion. We decide to test this on the first Desert Room. Sifting the sand, a long boring job, we find a second spindle after Jimbob manages to see through the illusion. Jimbob tries it on and creates dozens of dancing goblin gobbling girls. At his request we leave the room for half an hour. We shut the door behind us. As they are illusions, must remember to watch where I’m treading when we next enter.
We quickly get bored waiting for Jimbob and decide to look in the Jungle Room. We cannot see past the dense undergrowth. Most of us are able to penetrate the veil, and see a tree that has grown up through a crown spindle, the two 6-legged large-frilled lizards, and a climbing frame that the 4-armed gorilla is swinging from.
Reeda shoots at the gorilla and it charges us. It is mauled by Slasher, but Slasher is soon dissipated by the ferocious beast. Hob steps in but the gorilla grabs and rips into him with all four arms and literally tears Hob to Pieces! We retreat back towards the stairs as I continue to bomb the creature. Reeda then casts a wall of stone across the corridor, blocking it completely and preventing the fearsome beast getting any closer. We are safe, but Hob is dead and Jimbob is in for a nasty surprise when he emerges from his time with the dancing girls!
Eventually we hear claws slashing at the wall (that Reeda now advises us is permanent) and spot the familiar snout of Slinky breaking through. Cautiously we look into the jungle room but can only see the rustling undergrowth. I start throwing alchemist’s fire at the real tree and eventually it catches and burns. Reeda uses magic to retrieve the spindle and the illusion disappears. We can clearly see the badly wounded ape and the two lizards, looking very confused. Seizing the chance, I throw another bomb at it and it collapses. We attack the lizards. Slinky bites one of the lizards and starts retching, possibly due to the taste of Hob that the lizard had been chewing on. Reeda attacks and runs off. Jimbob has already left. The remaining lizard chases after and attacks Reeda who goes invisible. The lizard tastes the air with its tongue and starts tracking Reeda. Another bomb and the last lizard dies.
I prepare Hob, taking off his mithral breastplate, his ioun stone, and his amulet of natural armour.
Looks like we’re eating a Hobroast tonight as Hog has wandered off up the stairs in the thick of the fight. I knew Reeda would get his revenge for the crown fight but I’m impressed with how quickly and thoroughly.

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Lobbi's Musings #13
I Don't Like This Level

We go back to the Jungle Room and look in. Reeda tells us that most is illusion but there are some real creatures in there, including a six-legged lizard. I offer to make a chemical that will kill the plants in the room, but unless I can create illusory weedkiller I don’t think it will affect the illusions though. We decide to pursue the fleeing giants instead of dealing with this headache.
We go through the Desert Room to the far exit which appears as a long cave. On flying though, however, I suddenly appear in the Cliff Room. Again there are illusions everywhere and some living creatures.
I’m beginning to dislike this place, especially when Bats nearly hits the roof (literally!) when we suddenly seem to have much less weight than usual. This entrance leads to a cliff ledge with another ledge across on the other side, with a 100’ deep chasm between them.
There is an nest of flying 4-armed monkeys armed with weapons (including javelins) on the other cliff face, a group of kobold/raptor-like creatures feasting below, and a humanoid female with snake legs on a free-standing stack further in. We realise the kobold/raptors are eating one of the giants who ran from us as we can see a hammer lying on the floor nearby.
After lining up on the cliff edge, Hog starts throwing rocks at the lizard things and, being an expert at lobbing, I join in. With one precise throw, Hog hits a staggered lizard right between the eyes. All six turn to eye us and start running up the side of the cliff towards us! Despite a few volleys of missile fire from us as they climb we are soon in melee with all six as they breach the top. They are eventually defeated but we take many wounds and I use over half my bombs to finish them. Hog is truly inspiring, yelling encouragement as he slices many-a lizard to pieces with his longsword.
The flying monkeys have gone down to scavenge the carcass of the giant the lizards were eating.
I fly on and find a door at the end of the ledge we are on hidden under an illusion. For once Reeda does not order us to kill the other occupants straight away.
This leads to the Ocean Room, a stack looking over a sea as far as the eye can see. There are steps winding down the outcrop to the choppy waters below.
We take the stairs and they continue down to a tunnel under the water, running near a coral reef. The walls are wet and you can push through them. Reeda tells us the effect is similar to a Pass Water spell, whatever that is.
We can see large sea horses and a sea anemone outside the tunnel. There is soon a branch off of the tunnel going left. We are all on guard.

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Lobbi's Musings #12
Healing, Helmets, Holodecks and Hatred

Standing over Hob’s unconscious body, I look to Reeda as to whether to heal Hob as I’m not sure if the spear has yet been devoured by the bag and am worried he may still be under its influence. On Reeda’s assent I approach Hob. As hog does not attack I heal Hob and he picks up his sword for the first time in days. Looks like he’s back. Not sure if he is convinced he was under a curse but he seems to have developed an aversion to spears. And being hit on the head by helmets.
After several more suggested complex communication methods we decide the best option is for the helmet to nod for yes or shake for no. Having been alone for a long time with no companionship it is a bit rusty and dented, so I offer the services of my armour-smith’s kit. After a few minutes of enthusiastic oiling, scouring, tapping and buffing, the helmet is shiny and pleased, a happy ending for my polishing skills. I decide to call it Buffy, a name which it seems to like. Buffy continues to follow me. It appears it was created by the same person who created at least this part of the Kingdom of Zog. It is some sort of guardian/protector. Its creator is not down here and it does not know how to find them.
Bored, I go down the corridor and listen at the first door. I can hear sounds of chirping and rustling so decide to carry on to the other door. Not hearing anything, I open the door. It reveals a red desert as far as I can see. Looking back I can still see the corridor. I know we are far below ground. Confused I shut the door and return to the others.
Obviously intrigued Reeda open the first door and this reveals some sort of rain forest or jungle.
I fly up on bats to scout the desert room but discover that it is only a 50’ x 50’ x 50’ room with an illusory horizon and sky. There appears to be an exit at the far side. I can see two large red ants near the centre. I throw down some Halfling for them but tentacles come out of the ground and grab it instead!
I return to the entry door and shoot at an ant with a crossbow. They draw spears from the ground and go into cover – hadn’t realised they were sentient and used weapons!
Also appearing on a raised area are a 4-limbed humanoid giant and some sort of large troglodyte with an immense hammer. Crowded room this. Perhaps it is where homeless wandering monsters rest when not strolling around Zog’s Kingdom?
Reeda summons two earth elementals who perform a stomping dance where the tentacles came up. They are soon engulfed in five tentacles. We win this fight.
Reeda then tells us to attack the ants. One throws a spear at me and hits Bats. Hob charges in on Hog but they somehow avoid him. It appears they are using poison. The ants eventually succumb to our military prowess and advanced tactics, but Hog and Hob are looking at bit wobbly.
Without a pause Reeda then orders us to attack the giant and troglodyte. I open fire with a bomb but one charge and a mighty blow from the troglodyte’s hammer renders Slinky unconscious so Jimbob runs away – out the door, along the corridor and up the stairs. I wonder if we will see him again? Meanwhile Slasher, Reeda and Hob rush off and attack the 4-armed giant. The troglodyte runs back to his comrade’s side so Reeda and Slasher also run, leaving Hob facing the enemy on his own. Hob charges away.
Flying, I continue to bomb the two giants until they retreat via the far door. We claim a moral victory and rest on the stairs to heal up.
Returning to the desert room it appears the giants have not returned. Looting, the ants have three masterworked javelins each. Pulling up the tentacled creature reveals no loot.
It seems each level of Zog’s Kingdom is getting progressively difficult. Surely we must be near the end of this vast complex? I have already learnt to do more things than I believed possible, and have obtained some incredibly powerful magical items.

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Lobbi’s Musings #11
A Bargain Struck, a Curse Removed

I close the door on the time lock room and head back to see the others. Hopefully they won’t notice my attempt to destroy it. We decide it’s time to loot the necromancer’s chamber.
It appears the strong magic from behind the skulls in the hallway is coming from a Darkskull. It’s a radius effect and best carried by a highly-mobile flying creature so strap it to Bats.
His workroom contained various scrolls in Azlanti about magic. They appear rare and worth a possible 10,00gp if we could remove them from the time lock or copy them. We also loot a tiger pelt worth 1,200gp.
The items taken from the necromancer’s body were: a set of Bracers AC +2, a +2 Breastplate, a Belt of Giant Strength +2, a +1 medium longspear made of fire-forged steel, a Robe of Bones, a Ring of Protection +1, an Amulet of Natural Armour +1, and a Headband of Intellect +2. Most of this is distributed amongst the party.
We barter with the remaining two apprentices into giving us 7,000gp to buy five more Ioun Stones. Jimbob and I set out to buy them as well as hire two scribes to copy the scrolls we have found. We bargain that they can then use the two scribes with the Ioun Stones to escape. What they do next is up to them provided the scribes firstly return to town safe and well and mention what wonderful employers we are.
Jimbob and I return to Thornkeep and go to the bookbinders. For 100gp we hire 2 human scribes with 30 blank books to come with us to copy the scrolls for 15 days. That should be enough to run off three copies to sell. We plan for Reeda to dictate some into Common as well, or sell a master copy to the bookbinder to sell his own copies. We tell them to bring some light for the journey.
Next we head off to the mercantile area to buy Ioun Stones. We buy three cheap ones, replace Jimbob’s, and then look along the shelves for ones to purchase. After selecting ours we pocket the remaining money.
As we will be there for a couple of weeks, we stock up on food and drink to take back.
We head back to the others, taking a winding and misleading route through the forest to confuse the scribe (or we got lost several times).
We set the scribes to their task and get bored, so we return to the only other place to continue our exploration apart from the broken teleport (that is broken due to the active time lock) – the long stairway down. They lead own about 200’ to a small room. As we enter we hear the faint sound of a large bell giving of one deep toll and lights slowly start to come to life. This reveals a faint chalk pentacle on the floor that seems to have been used by someone or something to teleport out from here.
A rusting steel helmet rises into the air and starts following me. Hob suggests we ask it questions and get it to hit the wall once for yes and twice for no.
Deciding it would be more fun, I ask it to hit Hob in the head once for yes and twice for no.
Jimbob and I suddenly have loads of questions to ask it.
Hob starts getting annoyed and swings at Jimbob with his spear. Slinky objects and pounces on Hob. The rest of us stand back cheering them on. Luckily, possibly under the influence of the spear, Hob does not ask Hog to step in.
Slinky makes short work of Hob and leaves him unconscious and bleeding. Taking this opportunity, I quickly heal Hob to stop him dying but leave him out of it. I then slowly pull a Bag of Devouring over the spear until it is completely inside and pull it shut. As they were found in the same place, I wonder if the Bag or Devouring is the stomach of the same creature whose leg made up the spear. Oh well, who cares.
Hopefully Hob is now free of its influence and I can stop writing “Hob rushes in” all the time.

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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…

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Lobbi’s Musings #9
Trapped in the Apprentices’ Quarters

We wait around for ages for Hog to leave her coma as we cannot move her. Her temperament is much improved whilst she is unconscious. Not the smell, though.
Luckily, I’m able to return to my nearby lab and make some more fun things. I think the fumes are getting to me again as my recollection of the rest of the day are a bit hazy.
Slasher went through the unexplored mist and was damaged by freezing cold. Taking preparations, Jimbob and I hid in our respective magic haversacks and got our pets to carry us over the mist.
In the room beyond were three coloured faces with magical tongues and hand-sized impressions. They were blue, red and yellow in colour.
Phantoms appeared – a bald human, an elf, a female elf and a half-orc warrior. They looked like a party of adventures, came in through the mist, explored, and dissipate as they drifted towards the stairs.
Further into the room was a triangular table with three chairs, and 3 coloured doors beyond them.
Jimbob put his hand on the yellow magic tongue and his palm was marked with a magical rune. He opened the yellow door and revealed a room with two stable 5’ pillars of smoke, yellow and green.
We all suddenly got a deep sense of foreboding. Being goblins we all looked around but no-one said anything. Never admit to weakness is an early and terminal lesson for young gobs.
Reeda tried the red tongue and was also marked. He went through the red door and a stone column in the shape of a female animated and attacked. Hob rushed in to attack as Reeda ran away Good turn of speed.
I opened the uncoloured door nearest the mist. It revealed a big chamber with a dozen statues and a sunken floor. Possibly some sort of arena. Three lots of yellow mist seemed held back by glass, but a figure formed I left, shutting the door behind me. There was a door in the far wall.
We all heard a noise like a roar coming from a massive creature somewhere far away.
I’m confused by my new magic haversack and threw fire at it instead of acid. The animated statue was taken down by Slasher but its stone master-worked medium sized longsword remained.
Behind her was a door with steps down. It led to a small corridor with suspended scrolls on one side and a glass window on the other looking back into the room whose door I had recently opened and closed. The corridor also led to steps back up to another door.
The seven scrolls were: Tongues x 2, Summon Monster IV x 3, Summon Monster III, and Wall of Stone.
Hob tried the blue tongue but snatched his hand away before he was marked. He opened the blue door and sparks flew out at him. He looked around but shut the door without telling us what was beyond.
We returned to the door beyond the scrolls. It lead to a gallery of raised platforms and framed paintings, all with strong Summoning magic. It also a table covered with a book and lit candles. A quasit was hiding under the table.
A first, we decided not to attack it straight away! I hesitated as quasits are sometimes given to the favoured of Urgathoa. It seemed friendlier after we feed it some cured halfling liver. He told us his mistress is “here but not here”. She was one of three apprentices who tried to overthrow their master. He defeated them, sealed them in here, and left.
A party of four were also trapped and died down here, probably the four phantoms we saw earlier.
It appeared we were also trapped.
The book on the table was full of moving picture of creatures; it appears to be a “trophy book” by one of the apprentices. They seemed aware of us.
The quasit told us that his mistress’s rooms are the yellow areas. The two pillars of smoke are some sort of teleportation device, the green one of which is now broken but the yellow leads to another room down here.
A further door let to a chamber with a bed, desk and table. Many bell glass jars covered miniaturised creatures, five of which Reeda recognised as extinct and worth 1,500gp each. He could not tell us which other ones might be teetering on the brink, though – might have been worth a safari.

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A Quasit's Tale
The mad chatterings of a long lost Familiar

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Many eons ago the Arch Mage, Nhur Athemon was drawn to these forests. Here he built a vast subterranean fortress to practice and fine tune his Dark Arts. In time he took on 3 Apprentices, my mistress, the Enchantress Vuzhon (Yellow Sigil), Daegros the Conjourer (Red Sigil) and Togarin the Defiler (Blue Sigil).

Nhur Athemon was a cruel and jealous master, and over the years taught less and less to his power hungry apprentices. They soon hatched a plot to overthrow their master, taking all his gained knowledge for themselves.

However things did not go well for the 3 apprentices and Nhur Athemon was ready for them. After a brief but spectacular eldritch battle, the 3 apprentices fled to the relative safety of their own quarters amongst Nhur Athemon’s complex.

Knowing that his apprentices would only grow more powerful over time, but unable to finish them off, Nhur Athemon decided to lock them into their quarters for eternity. He used mighty magics to place a magic seal across the only enterance.

And here they stayed, desperately trying to find a way of escape. Years turned into decades, decades turned into centuries, centuries into millenia. But recently I have felt my mistress has gone, but she still is here

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