[24 Kythorn 1372 continued]
In a mysterious underground complex on the far side of Terrigo Multivar's mirror-portal, the adventurers continue their explorations. Dolcetto enlists Daisy's help in manipulating one of the panels in the secret room, and hooks descend from the ceiling to draw up the razor wire trap. Dolcetto says she has done as much as she can to render the area safe, and that the party should proceed onward. She says that if the party finds any treasure, it should be split evenly. Gelkar looks somewhat suspicious at Dolcetto taking the lead.
The adventurers move to the door that caused Dolcetto's summoned monkey to fall to its death. With the pit trap disabled, some trial and error is all it takes to figure out that the four handles of the door have to be rotated in a specific way to open it. From the doorway, the adventurers see a room decorated with numerous display cases along the back wall. Intricate shelves and padded pillows hold a variety of equipment that gleam with polish. Daisy notices a quartet of wooden animal carvings and dashes forward, only to realize she's rushed into yet another trap!
The display cases somehow merge into a single monstrous creature, whose flesh seems to be made out of the wood, glass, and fabric of the cases! A long tendril uncoils from the creature and wraps itself around Daisy, and she finds herself completely unable to free herself. Fargrim charges into help Daisy, and finds himself stuck as well, as the creature's flesh is covered with some type of gluey adhesive. Gelkar tries to help out, but his shovel sticks to the creature. As Fargrim and Daisy are slowly crushed by the creature's tendrils, Dolcetto summons a monstrous centipede to aid in the fight and covers the area with a shadowy gloom. Working together, Daisy and Fargrim smash the creature into the back wall repeatedly to weaken it. Gelkar suddenly grows enraged as every muscle in his body seems to bulge, and he frees his shovel with a powerful pull and then slams it into the creature twice until it stops moving! Fargrim finishes it off with his greataxe. Afterwards, Myst says she thinks the creature was some type of aberration known as a mimic. The adventurers quickly divide the numerous items that were thrown off the fake display cases, including several high-quality sets of tools, musical instruments, jewellery, and more.
The party then proceeds to the other side corridor and attempts to open the door at the far end. The means to unlock it are quickly discovered. Inside, the adventurers see a room lined with luxurious dark wood and filled with elaborate displays of gleaming metal weapons. Many are quite exquisite and some are strange and exotic, but all look impeccably maintained. Gelkar attempts to step into the room, but is suddenly attacked by a bastard sword which levitates into the air and swings at him! The half-orc retreats and slams the door shut. While the other adventurers discuss what to do next, Daisy slips one of her chalk drawings under the door in a bid to communicate with whatever is on the other side. Much to everyone's surprise, she hears whispers in a foreign tongue in response. Seconds later, the drawing is slid back with a strange runic symbol carved into it. With the aid of a spell, Gelkar is able to read the symbol and says that it means "Danger--Must Protect." Myst casts another powerful spell so that he can converse with the creature directly and relate what it says to the others. Whatever is on the other side of the door says it was trapped there by the "master" and that it cannot leave. Instead, it is compelled to defend the room from all intruders. It says it has never heard of the amulet the adventurers are seeking.
Daisy continues trying to befriend the being from the other side of the door, talking and drawing pictures for the being she calls "I". Dolcetto says the group should enter and break whatever enchantment compels the creature to stay by defeating it in combat, but Daisy is far from convinced. The decision is made to leave it where it is, at least for now.
The adventurers turn their attention to the last remaining closed doorway. Here, a large set of metal doors is divided with a diagonal slash. On a panel nearby are a grid of strange symbols that can obviously be pressed inwards. The adventurers examine the panel closely and, reasoning that almost everything else in this complex has involved a pattern of four, decide to press the only type of symbol that appears four times. The door slides open without incident, only to reveal, a little further on, another door and panel. The new panel has different symbols. Dolcetto, acting on a hunch, presses a combination of symbols only to be weakened by a ray of mystical energy that lances out from the wall. Myst, however, studying the panel carefully, realizes that if the two matched pair of symbols are pressed at the same time, the door will open. A third door and panel beckons. The adventurers notice that four of the symbols do not follow the pattern of the others, and press them to open the door. A fourth, and final door remains. Dolcetto tries a combination that fails, and suddenly the area in front of the doorway is filled with dozens of writhing black tentacles! The scholar barely escapes with her life. After the tentacles have faded from existence, Gelkar decides to try another combination--but this fails as well, and Gelkar finds himself being crushed by the tentacles! In desperation, he activates a magical spool of rope from his belt which flies out and wraps itself around a nearby handle in the wall. Pulling with all their strength, the other adventurers manage to tug Gelkar out of harm's way--alive, but badly hurt.
The adventurers seem to have met their match in the fourth and final door. Meanwhile, Myst carefully watches as a purple cloud of smoke seems to grow in a particular area of the hub chamber. The wizard knows that this represents an area where the walls between dimensions are thin, and that something is watching them from the other side . . .
Director's Commentary (July 21, 2017)
The animated display case was, of course, that classic D&D monster, the mimic. It worked surprisingly well--some times the oldies really are the goodies!
I'm sure the scenario writer never expected someone to start up a conversation with the invisible stalker, so that was a fun moment. Daisy was good at making friends wherever she went.
Some of the door-puzzles were pretty hard, and I wasn't sure if the players would be able to figure them out. But there were a lot of smart people in the room, and I gave them small hints based upon Intelligence ability rolls.