Previously, we left off after a ferocious battle against a batch of fearsome fiends.
Joakim brought roast beast. We feasted and then sat down, once again, to the Tomb of Diderius and the search for Varram. After a much needed long rest, the group pushed ahead. Soon, they made their way past the great divination pool and into the deep crypt. A deep voice filled the chamber, “You approach Diderius in repose. I know what you seek. Yuan-Ti have taken the one called Varram behind their portal in the northern wall. Be prepared, for I shall open the way to your peril!”…
Without a moment’s hesitation, Valeriya shouted, “wait!.”
The voice responded, “very well. Return when you are ready and I shall open the portal!”
Our heroes made their preparations. They drew their weapons, knocked arrows, and readied their actions. “OK, let’s go.”
With a breath of warm humid air, a heavy door swung aside to reveal a secret stone passage.
Arrows from the shadows ahead hammered into the party, striking armor and shield. Serpent men defended the passage ahead with everything they had. Our party fired back. This was the beginning of a great battle that raged on for several hours through the chamber ahead, down some stairs beyond and ultimately across a high span of mossy, slippery stone. In the distance sounded the winding of some great mechanism of war.
The plan was to fight from the near side and try to whither the numbers of the enemy. A few of the scaly foe tarried on the span to draw our heroes forward. Suddenly, overcome with a lust for battle, or perhaps merely impatient to close with the scaled opponent, Garr ran out and onto the slippery span. Almost without pause he slipped and nearly fell into the darkness below if he hadn’t caught himself in the hanging algae and moss.
Others quickly came to his aid. Missiles and spells flew back and forth across the span of stone for a while until numbers of foe within sight diminished. Our group decided to rope together and creep across. About half way across, the result of the great winding became evident. Some sort of crossbow machine of launching many bolts unwound itself and hurled a great volley of bolts into our heroes, who, though some were injured, pressed on with grim determination. Terredon’s Flaming Sphere led the way.
On the far side of the span a stairway ascended into a fortified junction of the dripping hallway. The enemy had built there a kind of wall in front of their crossbow contraption. For a long time the battle waged up and down that staircase, the enemy was falling but more, stronger, and yet stranger serpent men appeared to man their contraption and hold the intersection.
Round by round, however, our heroes took their toll. Valeriya and Brokk hacked down one side of the barrier. Himo climbed over. Soon, the battle moved past what remained of the contraption – a flaming wreckage. The passages beyond opened options and our party was quickly separated and strung out – but still more dangerous serpent creatures appeared, some with deadly aim.
One of the passages led to a deep set chamber where Garr and Terredon lingered at the doorway. A hissing lisping shout rang out, “Invaders! What do you sssseek?”
“We seek the dwarf, Varram…. Wearer of the Purple….,” shouted Valeriya.
Tense negotiations ensued. There was disagreement within the party as to whether to press on against the foe, wether and what to trade for the dwarf’s life and how best to ensure a safe departure. Finally, hostages were held and the beaten and poisoned body of Varram was exchanged in return for the withdrawal of our heroes back across the span and back into the Crypt of Diderius. Varram, his bloodied and torn purple robes, and his dragon-toothed dagger, are at your disposal. There was debate about putting Varram in The Mirror, but there was concern as to his casting ability. He’s been kept out, tied and beaten to ensure his cooperation.
Everyone made their way from the deep crypt back toward the surface, stopping to cleanse the large chamber filled with dangerous undead. Tan Meng called upon the Guardian Spirit of Chauntea, Valeriya offered her blessings, and everyone offered what violence they could contribute. The spirits were vanquished. Also, the ghostly guardian of Diderius’ library, Ilda, was freed from her eternal shelving duties. The missing volume of her wrongful accusation, Transubstantiality and Potentialities, was recovered from the chamber of ghouls and returned. As the volume was finally shelved, Ilda sighed with final satisfaction and faded from existence.
Varram is a great trophy. What does he know? Where is the White Crown? Are the giants still outside?
What do you do now?