The Acts of The Lords of Rannick, LV

Before you all left last night, I should have asked where you wanted to go next, because these maps and encounters are all quite different and take a bit of set up. For that reason, I’ll tell you that what you find out in the last room here, at the end of the entry will have no real bearing on that decision. There isn’t much plot shunting information in the Vault of Greed: interesting, yes. Useful in the future, possibly. But there is nothing in there that will change your mind about where to go next. I’m reasonably certain of this.

If you can confer and decide before next Thursday, that would be awesome. Envy, Lust and Greed wings have been explored. Okay, onto the night’s proceedings.

Does anyone know how you set script to the minor key in HTML?

Morphic Mist to the Ordikon’s Pool

We left those souls brave enough to venture into the Vault of Greed standing looking at the bank of green fog that filled the corridor ahead of them.

When we returned, they weren’t sure they should be so brave. Obviously Halvard was; you don’t get cautious clerics of Gorum, they’re pretty driven to put themselves in harm’s way. But Dagfinn thought they should maybe go back and get more people.

Slightly more people arrived in the form of Kerplak, who had been waiting outside, but found himself strangely drawn to the hallway behind the giant statue of Karzoug. Arriving near the false door, the gnome was pleasantly surprised by the opulence of the place, specifically that so much of the opulence could be easily pried off the walls.

Meanwhile, Halvard was implacable about continuing on, so they prepared to go on. He cast Light on the twisted silver rune that Kerplak had pried from the wall and threw it down the hallway into the mist. The light briefly illuminated motes of silver in the mist, then faded into the distance as the silver clattered down the hallway.

Halvard entered the mist first and promptly disappeared from view. Dagfinn and Kerplak followed, both walking cautiously through the dense mist and eventually emerging from the other side. On the other side, the hallway ended in a largish marble room, with ivory and silver inlaid tiling covering the floor. In the center of the room a massive silver bowl supported an ice sculpture of a whale, crystal clear water gushing from its blowhole.

As they approached, a handful of water mephits sprung out of the water and hurled acidic arrows at them, sputtering high pitched curses and telling them to stay away. Dagfinn killed one with his Flame Tongue, turning the little elemental to steam, while Kerplak splashed another against the back wall with a hail of well placed bolts.

At this, the mephits surrendered, whining and crying wetly. They had, they insisted, something important to the fleshies – and held aloft a large goldfish. Working on a theory, Kerplak emptied his jar of pickled eyeballs (plundered from Jorgenfist’s kitchen) into the fountain (to the delight of the mephits) and placed the goldfish and some fountain water in the jar. He and Dagfinn then ran the jar and fish out to Albedon to have Dispel Magic cast on it. Since Albedon wasn’t doing anything else, he agreed and after lifting the goldfish out of the jar, returned Halvard to his natural form.

Then they all walked back into the mist, then Kerplak collected the Halvard fish again and repeated this process until Halvard could make his save. At which point Dagfinn failed his save… Don, standing on the safe island between the entrance’s distance-skewing effect and the morphic mist must have watched as the three stomped into the mist, only for Kerplak to sprint back a few seconds later with a goldfish in a jar and then the whole sequence repeat over and over.

Eventually everyone made their saves and all four found themselves interrogating the mephits. The mephits relayed that the opening to the Elemental Plane of Water had been placed here a long time ago by the transmuters, but the transmuters were dicks to the mephits who were attracted to the portal. In particular, they told the party of a “mean silvery man” who came by every once in a while and chased them away or changed them into something other than their current form. The mephits had a lot of fun doing impressions of the silvery man who they insisted was a total jerk.

Pressing on down one of two hallways, they found another room with a fountain (this one modelled on Karzoug) in which brightly coloured goldfish swam, then came to a series of three doors. Checking them for traps they found none and when Kerplak entered he found what looked like a small workshop. It had workbenches and storage bins full of a wide array of objects, but no tools or the normal kind of things you’d find in a workshop. As he walked in, Kerplak spotted a length of bamboo which reminded of him of the barrel of his grenade launcher, and as he thought about it, it became the barrel of a grenade launcher and lifted gently from the bench as other items changed into launcher components and self-assembled before his eyes. His enormous shining eyes.

Everyone else was wary of this to some degree or another. Through testing (Dagfinn wanted to do it) they discovered that it only worked for Kerplak, but that Kerplak could quickly turn a bunch of random objects into items that he imagined. Dagfinn requested a Paedrabot, and Kerplak quickly made one for him, albeit to his own weird standards. He assembled a complicated mechanical dragon with a little steam engine that vented through its nose. He tried making it walk out of the room, but as soon as it reached the threshold it fell apart into the random objects that had gone into making it.

Oh, god, is this a Holodeck episode?

They did a bunch more experiments before finding out that Kerplak had to be in the room with the objects to affect any kind of change, but that the objects would remain while he was gone. They also used the rooms to build traps, which was quite clever.

After fannying around with that for a while, they proceeded into another fountain room, where they found a few more goldfish swimming. Beyond this lay some double doors. They checked for traps and then entered.

This room was a library/workshop, but one that was in use. Standing at a workbench, peering over books stood a richly dressed man, seemingly made out of mithril. (In the official setting, they still call it Mithral. That’s stupid. We all know what the hell it is and where it came from.)

The man looked up when they entered, Don moving forward without his weapon, to show the friendly intentions of his group… which was somewhat undercut by Kerplak shooting the shining metal man as soon as he could draw a bead on him. Fight was on.

“INCORRECT PERSONNEL IN LABORATORY AREA. INCORRECT PERSONNEL IN LABORATORY AREA. ERADICATE, ERADICATE!” he blared, metallic eyes widening. He opened strongly, with a quickened Mirror Image and then a Disintegrate. The thin green ray shot from his finger (the many fingers now) and turned Don to dust where he stood. Blasted are the peacemakers.

Zzort

As Halvard rushed in and Fus Ro Dah’d the Transmuter, Dagfinn cast Haste on everyone. To counter, the now deafened transmuter attempted to dispel the Haste, but could not. Dagfinn’s spell held. As they pressed him into a corner, whittling away his Mirror Images ¬†he Cone of Colded everyone and then began attempting to defensively cast. Somewhat surprisingly, he was almost as bad at defensive casting as Halvard was at smiting. Almost.

But while the transmuter was attempting to turn Halvard into something terrible, one of Kerplak’s acid-tipped arrows found his weak spot… actually, everyone’s weak spot… his heart. Shot through the heart, Kerplak’s to blame, gnomes give parleys a bad name. The bolt stuck fast, the acid eating away at his heart and liquid mithril squirting out of his chest and soaking his robe. Dagfinn followed that up with a vicious stroke of his Flame Tongue that caused more bleed damage.

Realising perhaps that turning lead into healing potions would have been a better use of his time, the mithril man, (critcially wounded at his core, not particularly wounded anywhere else) managed to get off a Dimension Door spell and disappeared, leaving 6 points of Con all over the floor.

Ewww.

The survivors, still hasted began a search for him, albeit three completely different searches, as though none of them have ever seen a horror movie before. They quickly ascertained that the metal man had not escaped to any area that they had already passed and so must be through the doors that led away from the workshop in which they encountered him.

Leaving Don’s ashes (and magic items) where they lay, they opened the double doors onto a jade tiled room full of golden statues, each statue posed in some aggressive combat stance. Halvard expected the statues to attack, but they didn’t… yet. So they ignored them in their urgency to get to the metal man and pressed on.

They found him in the final room of the complex, mithril pooled around his fallen form and splattered around where he had bled out. He lay beside a large pool, which seemed to be the only feature of this room. The murky waters writhed and bubbled and gouts of flame and bursts of lightning discharged across its surface, accompanied by strange and eerie sounds.

So they looted the metal guy and that’s where we left them.

Actually, we left them discussing whether Don could or would be brought back. The person who can bring people back when their body has been destroyed was, regrettably, Don. Seeing that there was nothing they could do, they did nothing. Fortunately, Dagfinn still has those Masterwork panpipes, right? So he can probably mark the occasion appropriately.

Don Brook, 4657-4708. He died as he lived, turning into stuff.

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