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The Tomb

PostPosted: May 2nd, 2015, 7:27 pm
by Inzema
((This will be my chronicling of my solo run through the 3.5 version of The Tomb of Horrors with a party as written in Qarosimae's Journal and here for your reading pleasure.))

((WARNING: This thread will likely contain spoilers for the puzzles in the Tomb Of Horrors D&D scenario. You have been warned.))

8AE, 6/13

Inzema has come across a legend he has grown interested in. In the depths of a nearby world, one where we have some allies and not many further connections, he has heard tales of a place called "The Tomb of Horrors." He wants me to assist him in an expedition through this tomb. The legend concerning the tomb is that somewhere there lays a hill. Beneath this hill there rests a tomb full of unspeakable horror, traps, and monsters all waiting to tear apart those that are foolish enough to delve its depths. In addition to all the defenses lies the tomb's creator, a creature known as a demilich. Inzema says that the legend says only the most well equipped, intelligent, and lucky of adventurers could even hope to defeat this dungeon.

"Fine! When do we start?" I asked sarcastically. Inzema is immune to sarcasm. Inzema let me know he would assemble our further two members and we would begin thereafter.

I suppose I will have to brush up on my Abyssal to properly convey my ire when he returns, not that I expect him to understand or take no for an answer.

Re: The Tomb

PostPosted: May 2nd, 2015, 7:27 pm
by Inzema
8AE, 6/19

We have set out to the Tomb. Inzema managed to convince Bones and Trollface to join us. What he promised, I shall never know.

Bones seems to be ever the dying elf, his white hair brittle and his pale eyes sunken. It is part of the curse of Pharasma that granted him these powers, though I cannot tell if he worships her or curses her back for the cost of his health and sanity.

Perhaps both. Between last we worked together and now he has abandoned his armor, claiming that his powers now protect him as well as any man-made armor. He still carries his shield, however, and his blade. It must not protect him that much.

Trollface, properly Gozek, is a half-orc of immense hardiness that Inzema pulled out of a slave arena somewhere in the devil-lands. I can see where he gets the moniker. Trollface is capable of withstanding an immense amount of punishment and dealing it right back to his attackers. On the rare occasions I have seen him outside of his armor, I have found that the areas where tattoos and scars do not cover are so rare beneath his neckline that it is a practice in patience and perception to even find them.

We are making camp tonight on the hill that Inzema claims to be above the Tomb itself. I questioned his knowledge, and he did as he is wont to, smiled and didn't explain. I flew reconnaissance and determined that, as he claimed, the hilltop we were setting camp on did indeed, to the imaginative eye, resemble a skull. Foreboding.

Re: The Tomb

PostPosted: May 2nd, 2015, 9:34 pm
by Inzema
8AE, 6/20

Morning came, and after an unfulfilling meal of jerky, hardtack, and water, we began searching the cliffside for entrances to the Tomb. Of the four of us, Inzema was the only one that did not find one. Each of the rest of us found one separate from the other's discoveries.

Inzema decided by roll of the dice which we should excavate first. The left-most. After an hour and a half of digging, we had our entrance, though we left marks by the other two in case this one is a dead end.

Our first tunnel was a trap. Five feet in the door and Inzema had already spotted a trap, which disabling it caused him to spot a second. Once traps were disabled, Inzema noted that the doors at the end of the hall were fake.

The second tunnel we chose, by dice again, was the right-most. "This one has to be the right one, it's the right one!" Imbecile. Another hour and a half of digging, a break for lunch, and we had our second attempt into the Tomb. A cobwebbed hallway with oaken doors of an entirely different style to the first awaited us.

Gozek and Bones noticed something wrong with the ceiling. Inzema assured them it was fine, but to be safe, we backed to the end of the tunnel to allow Inzema a second, more thorough search. Instead of searching, he guaranteed us again it was fine and to prove it, opened the door.

The ceiling collapsed.

How the rogue managed to avoid being crushed with nowhere to go, I will never quite understand, but he did. Gozek had to pay Bones a gold, the bet being that Inzema would die.

Which led us to the third and final tunnel. The middle one.

The final tunnel led to a colorful hallway filled with art and brightly colored stones, showing no signs of fading with age despite the age of the tomb. One image displayed cattle grazing near a copse filled with wolves, nearby slaves of varying species carried out tasks, another a library filled with books, another a torture chamber, another still a wizard's laboratory.

The mosaic featured a message.
"Acererak congratulates you on your powers of observation. So make of this whatever you wish, for you will be mine in the end no matter what!
Go back to the tormentor or through the arch, and the second great hall you'll discover.
Shun green if you can, but night's good color is for those of great valor.
If shades of red stand for blood the wise will not need sacrifice aught but a loop of magical metal - you're well along your march.
Two pits along the way will be found to lead to a fortuitous fall, so check the wall.
These keys and those are most important of all, and beware of trembling hands and what will maul.
If you find the false you find the true and into the columned hall you'll come, and there the throne that's key and keyed.
The iron men of visage grim do more than meets the viewer's eye.
You've left and left and found my Tomb and now your soul will die."

In the laboratory picture was a chest. Inzema disabled the trap in front, then spotted a needle sticking out of the button on the chest. Opening the chest revealed nothing but a lever inside which did nothing. Beside the torture chamber picture was another trap. Four more traps dotted the hall, each disabled in turn. At the end of the hall was a split in the red stones. One split lead to a green devil face. Its maw radiated powerful magic. The other split ran to an arch filled with mist, also radiating powerful magic, but not evil like the maw. Bones and I agree that this is the arch referred to in the clues left by the demilich, and that the torture chamber mosaic may be the tormentor also referred to. When Inzema started inspecting the arch, stones lit. One orange, one blue, one yellow. Inzema almost walked in to the mists, but stopped short, rolled his dice, then backed away, apparently not liking the results.

We have decided to call it a day, camp outside, and resume our exploration in the morning.

Re: The Tomb

PostPosted: May 4th, 2015, 10:02 pm
by Inzema
8AE, 6/21

After returning to the Tomb this morning I cast a divination to find secret doorways. The magic found one behind the door in the torture chamber painting. Behind the painting was a door, and behind the door, a short hallway with another door. We opened the door at the end and discovered a four armed gargoyle which immediately attacked it. Gozek was able to absorb a full attack from the creature, but the fight became a matter of simple execution when Bones caused the creature to panic and flee, and even that was not simple with arrows flying from the ceiling at random targets. It attempted to flee deeper into the tomb, and met its end at the end of a series of doors that led to nowhere. We returned to the gargoyle's lair, where we searched for an actual way deeper in. Inzema noted a hidden door in the first door that the gargoyle had opened to flee through and abandoned, and like each other chamber in this section, it had a trap that fired arrows, so Inzema disabled that trap and we moved on through, Inzema finding the door, and I opening them. It took too long for Inzema to disable them in his opinion, so we simply rushed through as fast as we could.

This brought us to a hallway filled with paintings holding spheres of varying colors. Several detected as illusions, so we decided to start with those. The first, a gold sphere held by a naga, was an illusion that hid a crawlspace. Inzema climbed into it and crawled through while the rest of us waited. He declared it safe and we went through. The crawl space led to a room with a statue of a three armed gargoyle. We expected another fight, but this one turned out to actually be a statue instead of a gargoyle. Inzema found the fourth arm lying nearby and started waving it around while the rest of us examined the statue. I determined that the indentations that I found on the hands were of an appropriate size for large gemstones. None of us had brought any, but Inzema produced a collar that he had apparently taken from the corpse of the gargoyle we had slain. The gems were a perfect fit and numbered ten. Inzema also produced a note which he claimed to have found in a secret compartment in the collar. It looked like runic gibberish, but under the proper spell, read "Look low and high for gold, to hear a tale untold. The archway at the end, and on your way you'll wend. A."

I took three of the gems and placed them in the palm indentations of the statue. It crushed them, dumped the dust on the floor, then waited. Inzema shrugged that one off and called me an idiot, so I placed a second set of three with the same results. Inzema started calling me all sorts of things that will remain unrepeated, so I asked Gozek to restrain him. Gozek did so and I placed three more gems into the statue. Crunch, drop, reset. Inzema started changing the languages, and even Bones started to smile. I held the last gem up, showing it to Inzema. "This is what you get for not sharing." I placed the last gem into one of the indentations, the statue crushed it, and to our surprise, it spoke.

"Your sacrifice was not in vain. Look to the fourth to find your gain." I recovered the fourth arm, which dropped something invisible when I picked it up. Bones picked up the invisible item, rubbed it on his shirt, and showed a rather large diamond. He declared it a gem of true seeing. I turned to Inzema, had Gozek release him, and smiled. "Looks like your thievery from the party has rewarded us." "Stuff it!"

With the gem in hand, we had Bones do a scan of the room. He revealed and marked two doors behind spheres, two more crawlspaces, and determined that a misty arch that was at the end of the hall did not indicate any further passageway beyond it, but like the first, we did not enter to determine if it would teleport us. Inzema determined that the first revealed door was trapped and disabled it and it turned out to be nothing BUT a trap. The second door he opened. It turns out that it was also trapped, and we were all standing by to potentially enter it. Spears flew from the door, which Inzema assured me that this would have happened if the first door had been opened without disabling the trap. I managed to avoid all but one, Inzema took two, Gozek took two, and Bones took one. The spears didn't even seem to injure Gozek, or if they did, the wounds closed before I could tell. Inzema applied to each of us a charge from a wand he carried that healed slowly over time.

This left us with two tunnels and the arch. We ruled out the arch due to being uncertain how it might react to us. The tunnels were more predictable, so Inzema decided to pick the tunnel by roll of the dice. Inzema crawled into the right tunnel and called out that he had found a secret door within. We followed him in and once through the tunnel, found ourselves in a room with three chests. The first was gold, the second silver, the third oak. Inzema was already in the process of determining if they were trapped and did not find any traps on them. Two of the chests, the gold and oak, detected as magic. I was against opening the chests, but Inzema opened the gold one anyways. A dozen vipers appeared, all of them attacking Inzema. They couldn't catch him and we made quick work of them, but I still yelled at Inzema for his idiocy. He responded by opening the silver chest. Nothing happened, so he opened the silver box, disabled a trap within, and pulled out a crystal box which contained a ring within. Bones determined the ring was a Ring of Protection, an equivalent which all but Bones was already wearing and Bones did not want it.

Inzema decided that it would be better to not open the third chest and instead searched the room. He found a plug in the floor that led to another crawlspace. Inzema explored the space and said that it led to a dead end at one way and the bottom of what was clearly a pit trap on the other. Inzema said that he was able to get the pit trap to open, which let him out into the first hallway. We now have a way into the deeper areas of the Tomb without having to brave the arrow halls. We took this as a sign to camp outside for the night and resume in the morning.