The Company of Odd Fellows
The party rose the next day, and after having a meal and checking on the prisoners in the cells, made their way down the stairs they found behind the secret door. It became obvious as they were descending that this area was even older than the dungeon level they were leaving. Andy scouted a bit ahead, and entered a large open area at the base of the passageway.
A glowing orb in the ceiling illuminates a room some thirty feet high. This room is a scene of destruction and mayhem. What seems to be the badly damaged statue of a great two-legged lizard with a massive head full of teeth is standing amid the ruins of two large piles of bent and twisted machinery – gears, chassis, cutting heads, and other parts not so easily identified. Scattered across the floor are many stone fragments of various sizes, the largest the size of a melon; they appear to be the same sort of stone as the statue.
In the west wall is an ornately decorated, brass faced door covered in cobwebs and dust, about four feet wide and eight feet high. The walls of this room are built of yellow sandstone blocks.
In the north wall is a door made of heavy oaken planks reinforced by iron banding. Along the east wall hang a half dozen or so ragged strips of paper perhaps two feet wide and five feet long.
As the party gazed at the destruction in the room, as soon as they passed the threshold from the passageway into the room, the stone creature came to life! It turned at them and charged, roaring as it bit into Domino, picking him up and throwing him to the side.The roar seemed to slow Kain and Bark, making them take twice as long to get into position to attack. Luckily Needles was too far back to be affected and took a shot at the stone dinosaur, his arrow hitting it and causing the dinosaur to explode, showering the party with stone and dust..
The party rushed to the aid of a very dazed and beat up Domino. After checking his wounds Bark decided that Domino was in serious need of some healing and used his druid magic on him before helping the cleric to his feet. An inspection of the room found that the parts on the floor were the remains of two mechanical men similar to Argent and they must have died in battle with the creature Needles just slew. The strips of paper on closer inspection were found to be banners of some sort but in a language nobody could read.
The door immediately to the west was locked and Andy inspected the door before earnestly working at picking the lock. It took her longer than normal to pick it but soon she heard the satisfying click of the tumbler and the door popped open. But nobody was prepared for what happened next as beetles by the thousands began to pour out of the door crack and into the room, Andy couldn’t leap back in time and was covered in beetles in minutes, the party grabbed her and pulled her away from the door. Luckily it didn’t seem like the beetles were dangerous to them, except to continue to pour out of the door and scatter either beneath the north door or back up the stairs they just came down. The party backed against the east wall, afraid to move until finally in what seemed like an eternity, they stopped coming from the door, although the room was still covered in beetles. They slowly approached the door again, the beetles making a crunching noise under their feet as they moved.
29. Mummy’s Chamber:
The room is painted on all four walls with scenes from what seems to be the life of an evil woman. Many evil deeds are depicted, of which the west wall is the worst. The woman is depicted as a general, leading a victorious army; the defeated are being sold as slaves, and the buyers are horrible anthropomorphized bats from deep underground. These creatures are like men with furred bodies and the heads of bats, and they are depicted as blind, with scars where their eyes were, as if each had had its eyes plucked out. Once taken below ground, the slaves are devoured alive by the bat-creatures. The whole scene is sickening and disturbing.
A sarcophagus against the west wall opened, revealing a mummy which pointed at the party screaming ‘Free me from the curse dogs!!!’ in an unsettling woman’s voice. The party backed out of the small room as the creature rushed at them. Domino warned the party to be careful of her touch as they spread out. As the mummy lurched into the room Needles fired at it with his bow. The fire from his arrow causing the mummy to cry out in pain. Kain struck out with his katana, the mummy’s wrap seeming to resist the blade. Clarabelle seeing how Needle’s fire caused the mummy some distress, kept her sword sheathed and cast her Fire Bolt at the approaching creature. Once again it cried out in pain and focused its rage on Clarabelle, lurching forward and attacking her, giving her a glancing blow. Andy and Domino circled around her both striking out with their magical weapons and bringing the mummy low. There was a strong pulse of magic as she died and then all the beetles, alive and dead disappeared from the room. A loud voice rang out in rage, the party not sure they were hearing it in the room, or their own head..
“You have freed Zul-Rukha from her eternal torment! Her debt to those she killed far from being repaid!! I would have you mortals pay me for taking that away, but I will take that payment from those you have caged above, a slave is but a slow death for most anyways..”
Shaking their head to clear the ringing, they went back into the mummy’s room, but found nothing but the sarcophagus, which they found had holes just large enough for a beetle to escape from, or enter into.
They made their way back to the large room and the door heading north. Andy inspected it and couldn’t find anything, although the door seemed to be unlocked. The party opened the door and entered into the large room beyond.
This L-shaped corridor provides central access to the other main rooms. The ceiling is about
twenty feet high. Ahead of you is a dais set in the corner, and upon the dais is a glinting crystalline statue of a lizardman. The statue wears a feathered headdress and is armed with a spear and a stone-headed club; its arms are raised as if calling upon powers from above, toothy maw wide open as if screaming. To your right down the corridor you can just see another such dais with an identical statue; the corridor turns left at that point.
Andy inspected the statue ahead of them but could find nothing interesting about it. The party moved inside the room and had to decide what to do, go through the doors to the north our south, or follow the corridor as it turned north ahead. Looking at the door to the north..
The doors to this room are carved with stylistic representations of dragons writhing around the blade of a sword wrapped in flames.
The party knew that Slurra was looking for a sword in the Lizardman temple and the statues of Lizardmen made them think that the sword might be behind this door. After giving the door the once over, Andy retreated and let her more heavily armored friends enter first.
The center of this room is dominated by a lifelike statue of a great lizard, surrounded by similarly lifelike statues of lizardmen in defensive poses.
About the same time that Needles noticed that the Lizard was actually breathing, Clarabelle yelled out "’Ware the creature!, Thats not ordinary lizard, its a basilisk, do not meet its gaze!’
Andy moved to the corner of the room while Kain charged the creatures, eyes averted. Even looking away he was able to land a mighty blow with his Katana while channeling his Ki. Andy’s shot went wide, Domino moved forward to assist Kain while Needles also distanced himself from the party to get an open shot, his arrow whizzing by Kain and striking the Basilisk. The basilisk struck out at Kain in pain but was unable to land a blow. Bark moved into the center of the room, looking for an opportunity to help out while Clarabelle let loose a magic missile at the creature. Both her missiles struck true and the creature roared out in pain before dying. At this point it became obvious that the lifelike statues of lizardmen were actually lizardmen struck down by the basilisk’s gaze.
The walls of this room were painted with murals,but the humid environment has caused the paint to decay; little can be seen of the original subject matter.
The doors that open into the hallway are carved on both sides with stylistic representations of
dragons writhing around the blade of a sword wrapped in flames.
The huge bronze doors set in the diagonal wall are decorated with bas reliefs of lizardmen and
other lizard-creatures glaring at interlopers. Ancient dead roots have grown under the frame, working their way in from the outside.
The party tried the door to the northwest but it was stuck solid and they speculated that this may have been the original entrance to the temple thousands of years ago when it was first built. The door going to the east appeared to go back into the L shaped corridor that they came from to the south. To be sure they decided to go through that door and back to the corridor. Doing so caused all 3 of the crystal statues to come to life, and soon they were beset on from all sides. One of the creatures attacked Andy while the other fell upon Domino. Luckily the surprise was not enough to leave the party open and none of their attacks got through.
The battle commenced in earnest and soon Andy was struck by a Crystal fist, knocking her backwards. She replied in kind by taking a chuck of crystal off its left side. The third Crystal Statue entered the battle and went after Bark striking him twice with its fists. Clarabelle went after the newest statue to enter the fray and struck it with her longsword. Needles struck his opponent furiously with his axes, shattering the statue into thousands of shards. Andy and Kain made short work of the statue attacking Domino, only leaving one statue remaining. Needles grabbed his bow and took a shot at the statue, trusting his skill to shoot into where his friends were fighting, and his skill proved true, striking the statue and leaving it wobbling. Andy stuck her shortsword through it, finishing it off.
Once the battle was done, Andy’s sharp eye noticed something in the remains of one of the statues and pulled out a nicely sized diamond. A quick check and another 2 were found. They figured each of the diamonds was worth about 500 gp. Andy tucked them away while Domino returned an earlier favor and healed Bark from the wounds he suffered at the hands of the crystal statues.
The Corridor had 3 sets of doors they had yet to check, a double-door heading south, another double-door heading east and another smaller door further north also heading east.
A decision was made to go with the closest door to them, the double-door heading east.
These wooden doors to this room are carved with a flower-bordered depiction of lizardmen in a swamp, fighting each other.
The door was checked and Andy said she was lucky not to get a splinter from how dry and cracked this door was. But not hearing anything the party opened the door and entered.
33. Bone Golem:
You see a the skeleton of a extremely large lizardman hunched in the middle of a dais on the far side of the room. It sits facing the doorway, hands on its knees; its empty eye sockets seem to be glaring at you. Claws from bears and similar creatures are hung on a thong across its chest. The skull of a giant lion rests atop its bony pate like a helmet. The smell of swamp plants and mud wafts to your noses, and this causes you to notice that the floor, walls, and ceiling seem to be damp.
As soon as the party passed the threshold of the room, the skeleton creature rose up from the dais. Needles launched an unsuccessful arrow attack but Clarabelle’s last magic missile spell struck the creature twice. Andy’s arrow struck it but the arrow did no damage, just fell useless to the floor. Bark sensing this creature was trouble, pulled forth flame from his hands and hurled it at the creature but the toss went wide. The creature moved fast and soon closed with Clarabelle, its flint hand axes a blur of movement but only striking Clarabelle a glancing blow. Kain channeled his Ki into his first strike and his Katana rang as it sliced into the bone creature. Another arrow by Needles followed striking the creature in the head with a burst of flame. Andy struck the creature with her short sword this time and had much better luck as the creature fell to the ground and didn’t get back up.
There was a door to the south but the party wanted to go back to the corridor and check the smaller door to the north also going east.
The closed doors to this room are decorated withcarvings of drums set amid a motif of bamboo and swamp plants. They are crafted from lustrous teak hinged by black-lacquered iron hinges with a heavy iron handle set in each.
Andy inspected the door and even though it was unlocked noticed the intricate way the door opened. Each latch pulled a rod from the floor, releasing the door to open.
35. Metal Lizard Room:
You see a room decorated like a swamp island, with a dark earthen mound festooned with wetland plants and bushes. A bright light shines. from a yellow globe suspended from the ceiling, which is about thirty feet high. A group of thatch huts with rawhide door flaps is centered on the mound. Sitting on stools carved from solid sections from tree-trunks are three statues of lizardmen with hide drums held between their splayed legs. The slight burbling of water can be heard.
Behind the huts you see a statue of a huge lizard-like creature with an elephantine body and a long neck and tail. It appears to be made of black iron.
As soon as the party entered the room, the lizardman statues began pounding on their drums and the large lizard-like creature behind them came to life! The sound of the thudding of the door behind them told them they were in trouble. They party knew that defeating this creature might be beyond them so they told Andy to get to work trying to get the door back open while the rest of them did their best to distract it. Needles got of the first strike, hitting the creature in the head. Domino decided to use his bless spell on the party, increasing their odds of hitting the creature. The creature lumbered forward and spewed poisonous gas cloud at the two front members, Domino and Kain. Kain was immune but unfortunately Domino wasn’t, and even though he didn’t die immediately, the poison did begin affecting him. Kain stepped forward and using the last of his ki energy, struck the iron creature another fearsome blow. Andy was having trouble opening the door so Clarabelle cast her last spell of the day, the knock spell she still had prepared. The door clicked audibly as it was released. Needles immediately backed out of the room. Domino sensing that he may not have alot of time left, called upon Chordax to further bless his mace and moved forward towards the lizard, hoping to keep it occupied while the others escaped from the room. He was unable to press the attack and missed the creature. The creature struck back and dealt Domino a deadly blow, striking down and killing the cleric. The rest of the party escaped the room while Kain fought a fighting retreat, knowing he would allow the creature one more attack before he could get out of the room. Lucky for him the creature did not hit him and he was able to move past the doorway, where immediately the drumming ceased and the iron creature retreated. The party was devastated by the loss of their cleric and friend Domino. they knew they weren’t going to leave him in that room. That is when Clarabelle had an idea. She noticed that the creature seemed to be keyed to the drumming. The door was still being propped open so Needles slipped in to where he could take a shot at one of the statues but still slip out before the iron lizard to close to his location. Once.. Twice.. Three times Needles snuck in and all 3 times is aim was true, destroying a statue and true to Clarabelle’s word, as soon as the third creature was struck down, the iron lizard no longer attacked. Warily the party re-entered the room but found that their friend Domino was beyond all healing.
They decided now would be a good time to backtrack up the cells where they left Slurra. So with Clarabelle and Kain carrying Domino, they moved through the rooms and back up the stairs. They were shocked to find that Slurra and the two other lizardman were dead, not just dead but eaten down to the bone. It was then that they remembered the words in their head after killing the mummy. Slurra had paid the ultimate price for dealing with slavers.
They covered their friend reverently before Bark used his last heal on Kain and they rested for the night.