Abs & Axes - [Redacted] and the [Redacted] of [Redacted], Part Three

August 16-17th, 214 UE, The abandoned village of Ferrelton, The Plains

As the party stood over the severed head of Major Torts contemplating their next move Siolas (standing in the back of the party) heard a sound from the old library/alchemical lab room where they had fought the barricaded wizard. Nocking an arrow he went to take a look into the room at which point the torch in the wall sconce went dark.

Failing to respond to questions from the party after that everyone went back to check the room and found it was undisturbed from the state it had been in before, but Siolas was gone. After a thorough search of the room didn't turn up any doors, traps or signs of Siolas having disturbed anything in the room since they had last been in it Edgar, Mouse and Lord Seth decided their only real option was to carry on.

Deciding to investigate the secret door which had unlocked by the trap that had killed Major Torts (and hoping to find a way around what they were concerned might be a repeatedly trapped hallway) they found a pair of rooms occupied by a zombified dog (chained to a wall), a zombie human male in what remained of fine red and white robes, and a zombie human female chained to a wall wearing the remains of a red dress. All were dispatched with careful headshots, but unfortunately the path was a dead end.

Unable to use the wooden plank "key" in any of the keyslots besides the one to open the secret room, the party decided to take the table from the library and shove it down the sloped floor where Major Torts had met his end. The ploy worked as the series of spring-loaded spinning saws became jammed in the wood, allowing the party to slip past to the next landing.

Again, the key didn't work in the two slots at the next landing which was decorated with more dragon head carvings. Mouse was able to discern that there was another trap ahead and disabled it. As the party moved down the second ramped section of hallway the ceiling clicked and shifted as if it was some sort of trap door meant to spill its contents onto people underneath, but failed to open.

Able to retrieve the contents of Major Torts's belt pouches the party was able to recover the money acquired from the previous fights they had encountered on the trip. Lord Seth liberated Major Torts of his breastplate and the three were able to examine his massive faintly-glowing greatsword (not like that, pervs!) and determine it was of Arad manufacture (where Major Torts was clearly not from).

On the next dragon-sculpture adorned landing it was obvious that there was another trap ahead, but Mouse was unable to discern how its mechanism worked. After some party brainstorming Lord Seth retrieved a barrel from the rooms where they zombies had been and the party rolled it down the final sloped section of the hallway. The floor triggered a mechanism to fling the barrel forward as a series of spears extended from the floor and ceiling, clearly intended to skewer the hapless victim, but the weight of the barrel smashed them clearing the path for the party.

In the room at the bottom (well lit by a previously fired errant crossbow bolt belonging to Edgar) the party found more dragon head sculptures in the corners, two ornamental displays of armor standing in alcoves (luckilly, just wooden display stands, not anything sinister), and in the center a large stone dais holding the idol they were looking for.

(Idol image)

After taking a closer look at the dragon head sculptures Mouse realized that they had some sort of hidden opening in the back of their mouths leading back into the walls. Concerned that they may be facing another trap and wanting to beat a hasty retreat the party spread out back along the path to the stairs that had brought them down here, Edgar grabbing the idol and charging back towards the entrance. As the idol was removed from the dais there was a sound of liquid running through pipes and the dragon head sculptures throughout the complex began vomiting forth lamp oil. The sound of flint against steel (on a large scale) could be heard echoing from somewhere.

Mouse and Edgar charged for the door with Seth bringing up the rear. As Mouse and Edgar made their way up the steps they heard Lord Seth begin to speak but his voice was cut off mid-sentence as the last remaining torch below snuffed out. As the two remaining party members cleared the top of the stairs a blast of flame and choking smoke came spewing out of the spiral stairway behind them.

As they stopped to contemplate the idol and catch their breath, Edgar and Mouse noticed the sound of arcane words being spoken from nearby and were engulfed in a mass of gooey webs. Confronted by a well-dressed aging wizard a second stranger appeared. Younger and dressed in a leather jerkin with a wide brimmed hat, he brandished a crossbow at the party and told them that if they handed over the idol he'd allow them to live even though they had killed three of his friends. Mouse demanded to know why the men wanted the idol to which the younger of the two replied, "It belongs in a museum." The older man began to chant and gesture again and an unnatural sleep overtook Edgar and Mouse.

When they awoke amid the decaying remains of the web spell it was obvious that a path had been chopped through it to where Edgar had been restrained, the idol was missing. A mass of kobolds (all elderly, infirm, women and children) brandished improvised weapons at the pair telling them they could camp outside the keep's walls but that this was "Kobold City" and they were not welcome here. It became clear that Jean Daninois and his father had used a "Returner", a magic item from the United Portal Service to teleport to somewhere else. Having left their horses and cart behind (and some camping gear). Edgar and Mouse set back out for the Crossroads with the various horses and carts from the Daninois group and Berellenoq and Torts hoping to sell them when they returned.

Upon their return in the Crossroads Edgar and Mouse found what seemed like an incredibly unlikely sight. There, in the Sword and Board Inn, Siolas and Lord Seth sitting at a table together. Siolas nursing a very large black eye and with a split lip. Lord Seth looking a bit ill and warning everyone else to not purchase the kabobs from the inn any more.