The portal dropped us off in a flash of light into a darkened chamber. Perhaps forty feet by forty feet, but the far wall was missing after a five foot “step”, leading to another forty by forty which had its right wall missing after a five foot “step” up again. The ceilings were eighty feet up. Such a waste of space in this tower. Not a nicely furnished room to be found. No laboratory. No library. No Museum. No kitchen. No luxurious bed chamber. Heck, not even a guard barracks.
Wasting no time, and not trusting the silence and darkness, I indicated that I would scout ahead to see what was around the corner. As I took a quick glance at the floor and ceiling, I could see scrape marks. “This room is trapped,” I told the others quietly and decided that the moth I had just recently been would be useful again. Allowing my shape to slide into the other I took flight to the corner on silent wings.
Around the corner, there was another forty by forty chamber, but this one had a small alcove with what looked to be doors in it. Standing in front of it was a Sarshan creation. Obviously dead, held together with foul magics, it was literally assembled from spare body parts. It looked like Sarshan chose the largest he could find. The man-shaped thing stood nearly ten feet tall. Its pieces stitched together but somehow all of a piece. Magical runes tattooed on its skin presumably helped hold it all together. Then there was a click behind me. I silently cursed whoever it was who had moved from the safety of the portal, even as the walls began grinding inward with an abrupt jerk and grinding. Then they stopped.
Looking back, I could see Damakos had been the fool. Astounding. That damn sword talking in his head has been influencing him to more and more reckless behavior, but knowingly just walking onto a trapped floor was ridiculous. But it didn’t seem to matter, for no sooner had he taken a few steps, than up out of the floor phased two ghostly forms. One was mere feet away from me! It screamed, and a visible wave of sound bust forth, flinging everyone about. I myself rode the shock wave twenty feet into the next chamber! The pounding was so intense, I couldn’t organize my thoughts for a moment and I could only watch as the construct began walking across the chamber towards the rest of the group. An insignificant moth fluttering in the dark high in the air was no worthy of note. It never even glanced in my direction.
With its first step upon my level, the ceiling began to slowly drop. I was not worried, there was plenty of time and plenty of room. The construct moved to a position next to the Gil and smashed him with both fists. It then began a frenzied stomping and charging about, flailing and smashing everything near it flat. The Gil, Brokenglass, and Yamis all were pounded down. The thing wound down to a stop, arms raised to smash Damakos as well, stood a moment, then resumed motion at a normal pace.
Yamis began prayers, and caused a spinning wall of blades to form in the air flashing like they were in the sun, hacking at the construct and one of the ghostly creatures. Damakos attacked, then reappeared near the screamer and attacked again with a crackle of thunder and lightning. Brokenglass got to his feet and sent his bird in my direction then placed a colorful glowing ball inside the wall of blades. Myself, I dropped to the floor and exchanged my shape. Ducking behind the corner, I sprang back out with the crossbow. The bolt passed right through the phantom standing next to Yamis and though it was a phantom, some part of it seemed to stream out along the path of the bolt. Not completely effective, but not a waste of time either.
The Screamer made a motion to attack Damakos, then was drawn to the colorful orb. Snicker Snack! The other was drawn as well, Slice and Dice! The construct just stood there stupidly and continued swinging. The walls which had been moving earlier had ground to a halt with a grinding and clacking sound. Terrible construction. Looking behind the wall that had pushed out, I could see the mechanism. Pathetic. It didn’t have sufficient leverage, the walls were no lubricated properly, and the push rods were flexing like a drawn bow as they struggled against the friction. Gears were jumping teeth, and the belts were slipping. The ceiling on the other hand was making steady progress – most likely because it was working with gravity. Seriously though, just how scary is a trap when you can stroll out from between the crushing walls, wait for them to crush inward a bit, and take refuge in the trap mechanism itself? Obviously designed and installed by a total amateur.
The Gil Ga’Dek stood and layed into the construct, Brokenglass teleported to where his bird had been, Yamis blasted the undead with radiant magic of some kind, Damakos made sure they stayed in the wall. The phantoms tried to get out, but between Damkos, Yamis, and Little Masters colorful ball, they kept finding themselves in the middle of it all and soon expired, leaving only the construct. It did not last long with all of us pounding upon it, though the wounds it dealt before literally flying apart at the seams into a heap of putrescent parts were significant to those it hit.
My part was simply another crossbow shot at the construct before it fell apart. I then turned my attention to the floor of the final chamber. Trapped. More walls which would come in to crush but with a magical component to the trigger that exempted the guardian. Damakos didn’t care and walked across to the alcove containing the doors. With a horrible screaching and grinding, another set of walls began their torturous way toward each other. We’d have plenty of time.
“These are not doors.” he declared. “They are facades. The alcove itself is yet another portal. If we enter, we go somewhere.”
“I need to heal” said Yamis. Brokenglass nodded energetically and the Gil Ga’Dek surveyed his own bruised form checking for cracked ribs. Damakos gestured to the walls and ceiling. I gestured to the yawning open spaces behind the walls, and pointed out that the floor had nice hollow spots beneath somewhat cleverly concealed pannels where we could wait for the trap to eventually complete its cycle.
Shrugging, we gathered round and when the time came walked out of the way of the traps. Now we’re gathered round the alcove preparing to go through. I will assume the form of the moth again and ride upon the Gils shoulder. When we get to where we are going, I’ll be ready for flight and the enemy will hopefully not take note of a mere moth. Now off to finish storming the castle!