Jodo Kast's Barrowmaze (spoilers!)


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Jodo Kast

First Post
Session 8 (Redux, Rashomon style)

What follows is another write-up of Session 8, from the perspective of Xandar's player, Ken.

Traveling Journal of Xandar of the Woods:

After spending several days hunting and communing in the forest with my god, I returned to meet my traveling companions in the Inn. We traveled back down into the catacombs of the world below where only the undead walk. For some reason, the party felt more prepared with a bunch of dogs along the way. Though they were war dogs, it did not feel quite appropriate to bring them into the underworld. Not to mention these dogs were expensive; no matter as it was not my gold expended on them.

Whilst we were headed back into a section of the tombs that had already been explored, and with many in the party noisily walking down the stone halls with their collective heads up their asses, we were surprised by a small party of four mongrel men. They were babbling something in broken common about “the master”. Had we been better prepared they would not have so easily gained the advantage upon us. Even with my hearing and vision I was at a disadvantage with all the clanking armor and talking.

The mongrel men jumped the mage, or charlatan in disguise as I am still not sure of his ‘powers’ at this point, as well as the cleric and two blocking our way at the front of the pack. Briefly dispatching these beasts, we continued on; though still too noisy to my taste. At the time we were not aware that Guyvar, whose brother I never did meet, was injured during the fight but said nothing when the cleric came around to heal. The cleric ended up healing himself and the mage.

We finally made it to a large room and I slide to the right to check out the room while I shifted to the last door we needed to check. The large obelisk was still standing tall in this large room, with ancient runes chiseled into it. Meucci, the rogue, and I checked the door, though he was more thorough than I due to his profession. Having cleared the door, I maneuvered through the opening and quickly shifted to the right of the entryway. Meucci followed and moved left of the entryway.

The other members of the party soon followed and wasted no time in finally putting a ten foot pole to use in the hands of Gump, who by my indication was nothing more than a walking meat sack anyway. Gump did manage to find a large pit trap by poking around with the pole, which made his stock increase ever so slightly in my book, though he is a goodly fellow and bears no ill will towards anyone. As this appeared to be a simple matter of exploration at this time, I began to check the long hall which I had entered off the main room. Meucci did the same thing in the hall he was in, and soon others from the party began to follow suit. Just as we were knee deep into broken bones and icky crypt stuff, something must have been triggered since multiple skeletons began animating as if ordered to rise by a necromancer of old.

The party was at once overwhelmed and I felt somewhat responsible for at least that bit as I was more greedy than cautious at the time. Thyle, the alleged mage, and Remy and Gump started wildly throwing oil around the room in an attempt to cut off the bulk of the skeletons from attacking us. The cleric actually ‘turned’ about ten of the skeletons, also rising his stock in my opinion polls. At this point, the rogue yelled out something about the demise of Guyvar and something about relieving him of his worldly possessions after the scuffle.

Whilst the mage and others were frantically trying to get enough oil down and lit, one of the war dogs went down. A truly beautiful creature, it lay dying amidst strands of oil, coughing up its last breath as I came around the corner to gaze on the tenuous hold of the room. Someone managed to set the oil afire, and it lit up a portion of the room. This held about half of the skeletons at bay whilst we dispatched the rest. Wanting to waste no time, in case we decided as a group to make a quick run for the world above, most of us set about quickly searching the two alcoves that were just cleared – one where poor Guyvar needlessly lay in a pool of his own blood.

The fighting resumed as the flames died and another war dog went down quickly. We quickly dispatched the remaining skeletons and then searched the remainder of the alcoves. We found many coins and a few items. Meucci and Gump too the remaining war dogs into the lone tunnel. As soon as they had gone out of sight, they reappeared; only they were running. The dogs and Gump ran so fast they made it to the end of the hallway and out onto the other side of the room where to obelisk was. Meucci ran screaming like a little gnomish child and climbed his way to the top of the adjoining corridor.

They had brought with them a hand axe of unusual composition; the likes of which I momentarily noted I wanted to examine at a later time. We waited a few minutes to see what the matter was but nothing followed from the corridor. We were able to calm Meucci down and talk him down from the ceiling. He wouldn’t say much, just breathed heavily. We decided perhaps it was best to return to the land of the living above and headed back to the obelisk room. No sooner had we entered through the doorway, we heard a strange voice in the darkness issue commands to drop our weapons and treasure and back away.

It was at this time the mage gained something of his manhood as well as status in my eyes. He came through with a sleep spell, indicating to me that he indeed did know how to use magic. He was successful at catching these thugs off guard and sent them all to the land of the sandman. We retrieved their weapons and then the cleric, why I am still trying to understand, decided it was time to murder these men. They were all asleep, unarmed and defenseless. It was quite out of character for a cleric, at least to my knowledge of the trade.

He did leave one poor wretched soul alive to wake and question. They were merciless upon this poor man, knocking him around and treating him worse than a slave through their incessant questioning. Having discovered this was a small non-connected tomb robber group that jumped us, we tied him up and took him with us. I did not even find out his name. As we were headed to the surface, the cleric again came up with a dastardly proposal – murder this poor soul.

I was against this idea from the very start. To kill another in combat was on thing, but to murder a helpless defenseless wretched human was way over the line. I protested to the cleric and the party as well. My protests fell on deaf ears and as suddenly as the conversation had begun, it ended with the cleric’s mace falling deftly upon the head of the poor unsuspecting wretched soul. It was at this point I deemed a commune in the woods with my god necessary once we returned to the surface to work out my feelings of anger and helplessness for this human.

When we returned to the surface, the various items that we recovered were discovered to be magical of some sort. I kept the axe and discovered it had a bit of magical properties to it. I left my companions in the Inn to celebrate their murdering and luck at remaining alive. Once I entered the woods, I began communing with my god; searching for answers. I asked him for aid in my quest. Not sure why at this point I was even entering the underworld of the tombs, I vowed to have a better understanding of what I was doing – in connection with these humans. It is still difficult, this inner turmoil inside me; the elven blood fighting with the human side.
 

Jodo Kast

First Post
Session 9 (Life Is Like A Shadowy Alcove...)

Friday Night Irregulars
Session 09 (4.11.2014)
As told by Thyle (Eric)

Day 38
We took three days to rest and recover from our last expedition into the Barrowmaze. The wealth and riches we have recovered are more than I ever expected, and I consider myself quite fortunate to have happened across such a trove within the boundaries of the city. But the risk of death is always great, and I wonder often if my next voyage will be my last, as Guyvar’s was but three days past.

Our activities under the city seem to go unnoticed. And with our recruiting of henchmen having now been eclipsed by an appetite for war dogs, the number of speaking witnesses to our activities has been diminished. This is certainly to our advantage, as I still recall our unfortunate encounter and robbery in the city, predicated by the unwanted attentions of the Scarab. As I write this I think of Gump and I, and how nearly we perished in some nameless alley that morning. And now after our last adventure, I wonder if it would have been better for Gump had he died that day.

As usual, we assembled in the Fang in early morning prior to our departure. I noticed a new body amongst the hirelings, but as he appeared to be afflicted with some condition I decided it best to keep some distance from him. War dogs, mutes, imbeciles, and lepers make for fine companions when treated well, and their wretched station seems to compel them to return to our service. But, life is not fair and fortune favors the bold, so once again we descended under the sewers with those ignorant, brave or desperate enough to accompany us.

We are always greeted by silence as we enter, although somehow the silence seemed greater than usual. I do not know how this is possible. Perhaps this is the working of some resident evil priests in league with the necromancer we dispatched. The silence adds to the intangible, but ever present, air of dread highlighting the most disturbing aspect of this place – the feeling that we are willingly walking to our deaths. The Barrowmaze is much like a great crypt, excepting that the occupants want to add visitors to their cast of companions. As I looked over our less than silent entourage of men and beasts, I could feel the hungry eyes of our hosts upon us. I hope the morale of our hireling’s holds, as my powers against the undead are limited and I have little interest in wielding a sword.

After descending the hidden stairs under the sarcophagus, we turned north to continue our exploration, and then to the west where we had encountered the Mongrelmen. As we approached an ajar door to the south, we heard a strange humming and buzzing sound fromwithin. Meucci crept forward to investigate, and decided to close the door. The noise stopped, which never bodes well. We assembled a small group to investigate, and sprung the door ready to face the unknown. Shining a light into the darkness showed a pair of large flies seemingly waiting on of a pair of strangely preserved bodies. The flies rose to attack, and after a heated encounter the fighters were able to slay them, although Meucci and Sacco were injured in the encounter. With the flies dead, we began to search a number of burial niches in the room for treasure. I am uncertain of who caused it, but during the search someone disturbed a nest of rats which quickly flooded the room! Fortunately, my powers against the living are real, so I was able to incapacitate the lot of them with a whispered spell. Gump fell as well, not from injury, but because he is apparently equal in strength to a giant rat. Magic holds few prejudices, and has no mercy for the weak. It is the way of wizardry.

As my companions slew the sleeping rats, I slapped Gump back to consciousness. Would I have let him sleep, perhaps things would be different. We completed our search of the room, netting a wealth of coin, a potion and large ruby. A tidy profit for a non-fatal encounter. We turned our attentions back to the hallway. Mere steps away from the ‘jar of flies’ we observed slightly different stonework to the south, as if a wall had been hastily erected to block passage to the south. The dwarf believed it to be an easy task to dismantle the wall with a sledge, but the noise that causes will almost certainly attract unwanted attention. The priest had a brilliant solution by casting a spell of silence on a sling bullet, thereby allowing the dwarf to hammer away unheard. It is possible the priest is clever enough to be a mage. A short time later, the wall fell, and we were able to travel ahead. Ahead we saw a new group of burial alcoves, hopefully laying undisturbed and unsearched. The fresh wall before was somewhat concerning, as it was probably set in place to keep something inside. Given the dangers in the Barrowmaze, that did not bode well, but upon reflection I should have realized that the dead would not wall in the dead, but something foreign.

We sent Gump a bit ahead to poke and prod the floor to look for pits, and it was fortunate that we did. A stout cloth, perhaps of canvas, fell into the floor revealing a concealed pit. Oddly on the bottom of the pit, a mere ten feet away, the cloth was nowhere to be seen. I believe Meucci dropped some debris into the pit, which disappeared, leaving the bottom seemingly undisturbed. I suspect some sort of illusion was in play to conceal the true depth and end of the pit, so we chose to leave it be.

Gump continued forward prodding for traps. He paused for a moment by an alcove, and turned as if to say something, when some gray blur struck him with fury. He was propelled across the passage and impacted the wall with a sickening crunch. At that moment, I knew he had perished. I hoped Remy did not realize this yet, as I needed him to hold fast while Itried to fathom what was ahead. Something shapeless was moving, so instead of sending more men to their deaths, we set the dogs on it. I believe our archers also moved forward to engage, but I am not certain as the swiftness of Gump’s death stunned me. Through some combination of arms and hounds the thing was dispatched. It is at this point that some madness must have descended on the party. I did not recognize it at the time, but it is the only logical explanation for the strange behaviors of my companions in the hours to come. I suspect the Dwarf was afflicted first. Before I could approach Gump’s body, the Dwarf has set fire to it, and due to the cache of oil he carried, everything about it. The Dwarf is fortunate he did not add himself to the pyre. I watched him burn, and looking to my side, so did Remy. I was not to lose two loyal henchmen in one day, whether to foe or fear, so I whispered to Remy that we would come back to retrieve the poor devil’s remains
after it had burned out. This seemed to reassure him somewhat, but he has seen so much death that I am concerned that he will break. Loyal henchmen are very hard to come by. The rest of the party seemed unswayed by Gump’s death, and began to search the alcoves. We did not find much other than a small jade idol, but one of my companions, perhaps Meucci, detected a secret door in one of the alcoves.

To ensure we were not beset from the entrance while we explored the secret passage, the Dwarf stood guard near the wall he had toppled. The passageway led to more burial chambers, fortunately unguarded, so we were able to search them in peace and quiet. This was not the case for our companions, as they were attacked a wandering group of skeletons whilst we searched, and the silence spell muted calls for assistance. No matter in the end, as we later learned the skeletons fell to the group.

Amongst the alcoves we found the remains of two figures that must have been of some renown given their location. One was obviously a warrior, and gear was clearly of value, being a suit of plate, a battle axe and an ensigiled shield. But it was not the fighter’s arms that gave me pause, but the black robed body tightly grasping a tome to his chest. I moved forward and gasped, as I was able to see more details of the book. It was bound in red velvet with forged steel fittings, and perhaps tied closed with some creature’s skin. Certainly this was a spellbook, always a rich find! I tucked it away with my possessions, eagerly anticipating its reading when we returned.

We regrouped and continued to the north, discovering two more freshly mortared alcoves, although one had been burst out and lay exposed. Something strong perhaps had escaped? The second attracted the Dwarf’s notice, and again the madness I previously witnessed spread. With a crazed look on his face, the Dwarf affixed the burnt sledge head to his helm, and beckoned Xandar and another to use his head as a hammer!The first blow nearly brained the Dwarf, but he beckoned them to continue. The second blow was more solid, and his head pierced the wall, with his body stopped from continuing by his shoulders. It is at this time that the muffled screams started, and the Dwarf began to kick his legs, apparently in panic. With a last heave, those holding the Dwarf pushed him through the wall, which was fortunate as he was battling a zombie with only his headgear! The zombie was dispatched, and once again the madness seemed to subside. Could this creature be more powerful than it appeared and compelled them to release it? I have seen stranger things than this, so I must remain on guard to similar odd behaviors. And even after near death at the hands of that creature, the Dwarf’s trials were not complete. Searching the next alcove almost killed him by grub infestation, and only quick application of fire saved his life. I wonder if something compelled him to plunge his arm into the vermin?

With our party still strong, we continued exploring to the north. We soon came upon a columned with a collapsing ceiling, seemingly caused by water. We cautiously entered, and were beginning to search when an enormous snake appeared from the shadows. It struck our afflicted hireling, and slew him in an instant. I never knew his name. The remaining fighters engaged the snake with the help of some hounds, and I motioned Remy to stand at my side to guard the doorways should we be attacked while the others were engaging the snake. The snake was slain, and a quick search of the room yielded no treasure. A room to the south was also barren excepting debris from a collapsed ceiling similar to the columned room. The Dwarf climbed up into the ceiling to find the source of the water, and found access to a network of old sewers. The levels above and below this place are legion. No wonder we are beset by threats from all directions. At some point we may need to further investigate these sewers.

We continued a hallway to the west when we were attacked by a group of stirges. We have encountered these before, and they can be dangerous creatures. The beasts impaled both Leeroy and Remy before slaying them, and I could tell that Remy was near death. I implored the priest to heal Remy as I had vowed to not let him die in vain on this expedition, and the priest granted my request. Although I do not understand his god or faith, the support he provides the party is valued. I suspect he would loot my corpse before it was cold, but as long as I breathe I think he will remain civil. We searched the area around the stirges, and found a bit of coin, some jewelry and a silver dagger, a fine trove from foul creatures.

The party was wishing to continue, but as our magic was depleted and some of our fighters injured, I strongly advised that we did not want to overstay our welcome. The Barrowmaze is unforgiving, and I do not wish to become a permanent inhabitant. As we returned to the entrance we encountered a small band of skeletons which we quickly dispatched. We are fortunate that we did not encounter a stronger foe.

As we neared the exit, I asked the party to hold whilst Remy and I collected Gump's remains. The fire had burned out, and all that was left was a pile of scorched bones. I collected these into a spare burlap sack as Remy stood guard, after which we rejoined the party. Loyal hirelings are hard to find, and as always Gump was exactly where I expected him to be. I would like to reward his loyalty in some manner, but this time he is beyond my help as my skills in necromancy are lacking. At least I know we will not encounter him again in the Barrowmaze. We exited without further encounters. It is odd how the sounds of the sewers can be comforting, but compared to the Barrowmaze, anything but screams is a welcome change.

Before our next expedition, I will examine the spell book, and determine if any magic items are amongst the treasure we recovered. If I am fortunate, the spell book will contain the Identify spell so jealously guarded by those who know it. If not, we have sufficient wealth to pay for the service. Although I have not attempted to read it yet, the spellbook looks to have quite a number of spells in it, perhaps a half-dozen or more. With every find as this, my power grows. I look forward to the day when I have enough strength to collect an overdue debt from the Scarab and his minions.

Remy and I drank ale in Gump’s honor, and after they offered bread I could not help but order a wheel of strong cheese to go with it. I hope Remy’s nerve doesn’t break, as I see his skill with his sword is increasing with every expedition we complete. I worked to convince him that the Barrowmaze is not the end-all, but the best way to gain the strength we need to secure our future. Whether or not he believes me I do not know. But he took the 25 gold coins I gave him as a bonus without a complaint. And the outstanding thing about Remy is I did not have to ask him not to tell the other henchmen!
 

Inez Hull

First Post
Wonderful.!

I'm curious about how you've adapted the Dungeon to be under a city, I'm assuming the surface barrows which enter the maze have been replaced by sewers? Are there still the individual barrows that don't connect to the maze. It sounds from the last post that the dungeon isn't common knowledge in the city, how did the players find out?
 

Jodo Kast

First Post
I'm curious about how you've adapted the Dungeon to be under a city, I'm assuming the surface barrows which enter the maze have been replaced by sewers? Are there still the individual barrows that don't connect to the maze. It sounds from the last post that the dungeon isn't common knowledge in the city, how did the players find out?

Beneath Grael lie voids created by quarrying limestone, sewers (active and abandoned), cellars, vaults, crypts, ancient aqueducts, and so forth. I've replaced the "surface" barrow mounds from BMI and BMII with family crypts and the like beneath the city. Some have entrances into the ancient catacombs proper (the Barrowmaze), corresponding to the mound entrances in BMI/BMII. For example, in session 3, the party found the secret staircase beneath a sarcophagus located in Barrow Mound #11 in BMI, and have been using that as their main entry into the catacombs ever since. Ever since finding it, the players have largely ignored the other crypts and ventured straight down into the catacombs below. I might have to plant a treasure map with some of the "surface" locations from BMII on it to revive their interest in this section. In fact, I'll do that prior to my next session! I'm glad you asked the question.

The ancient catacombs are relatively common knowledge, if the stuff of legend and bedtime stories to frighten children. Not many are foolish enough to seek them out, as they are known to be infested with the waking dead. On rare occasions, inhabitants of these catacombs find their way into the upper tunnels, and have killed or terrified city workers and engineers. More seldom still will an undead wanderer make its way to the surface, igniting horror in the streets. It is believed that disturbing the tombs angers the dead and causes them to seek the surface. For this reason, the Potentate has ordered the catacombs off limits. Even the predominant thieves guild obeys this particular decree. However, adventurers and tomb robbers do plumb the depths of the catacombs in search of fortune, and there is a thriving black market in plundered grave goods.
 
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Jodo Kast

First Post
Session 10 (Oh crap, poison!)

Friday Night Irregulars
Session 10 (4.25.2014)
As told by Meucci (Robert)

Some have been on edge since the new appearance in the sky, faint yet brightening each day. Pointing upwards, the hireling Sacco inquires, "What is that, master? Is it a new star? What does it mean?"

There is a puzzled silence as all look skyward at this fuzzy twin‐tailed phenomena, all but one. Thyle is engrossed in his newest acquisition. Slamming closed the dusty goblin‐hide tome, he breaks the silence. In a strange erudite language he explains, “Dis Astor… or, Bad Star, in the common tongue. Some believe it to be a bringer of ill fate.”

Sacco gulps, “Dis Astor… D‐d‐disaster!?”

“Indeed Sacco,” Thyle proclaims, “Indeed.”

Before entering town the ranger calls a meeting in his forested place of solitude, a place he believes to be secure and spy‐free. “I have called this meeting tonight to discuss the recent disturbing happenings and rumors regarding our security in town,” Xandar begins. “It seems we have had beady‐eyed spies in the form of small vermin frequent our inn, and I have felt their prying eyes upon us as we move about town.” Meucci rudely butts in, “Also, our inn keep Muncaster hasn’t been paying his fees to the gang that ‘protects’ his place of business, The Black Truncheon. In fact, I think they actually burned down the stables and blamed it on poor Gump, RIP. And, actually, The Black Truncheon has increased their numbers in the Yellow Fang as Muncaster has been openly spending large sums of gold in lieu of paying his fees to them. I think something needs to be done soon or we find a different place to reside.”

Thyle begins a thought before being suddenly distracted, “Yes, this is all interest… umm, by the way, has anybody seen Doc Dino?” The party looks around shrugging; Doc Dino seems to be MIA. Taking this as a priority the group returns to town to begin an investigation, which leads them to find that Doc Dino was last seen leaving the old abandoned church in good spirits. Upon further investigation the party finds an old friendly Cleric inside that admits to having spoken with Doc Dino and possibly made some sort of bargain. Suspicious, the group inspects the secret door leading to the dungeon underneath (hinged sarcophagus) only to find it propped open in a very familiar manner. As the group discusses entering this dungeon the Cleric, Pardue, expresses interest in our adventure and in our search for Doc Dino. Pardue admits to being quite inexperienced and shows interest in learning, so requires only a half‐cut of the normal per‐person share. Complete with their newest recruits, Pardue the old Cleric and Ward the dirty pirate, the brave band of heroes enter the underneath.

Just inside, three shambling zombies are quickly dispatched. Pardue is impressed. Allowing the newest member (the fighter pirate) to lead the group he comes upon a door. “Arrrgh!!! Ye be stuck Mateys!” Several members put shoulder to door ‐‐ about to give up Sacco and Remy give it one last try and fling the door open! Down the corridor the group comes upon an oddly‐shaped chamber whose entrance seems to be guarded by two giant motionless quartz statues. In the back of the room a faintly glowing gauntlet on a dais can be seen. Behind is a mural of a mighty battle scene complete with some sort of blast coming from a warrior’s gauntlet and shattering a foe. Durnik volunteers to search around the statues for traps but upon approaching seems to activate them, he jumps back! With a mighty clang each weapon, polearm and sword, both just miss the dwarf. Thyle's eyes grow wild and he begins hurling alchemist fire potions into the room, “Fire Fire Burn Burn,” he chants. The potions seem to explode in a bigger and brighter fashion than normal. Thinking quickly the dwarf switches to his sledgehammer, steps forward, and attacks one of the statues, chipping off an impressive chunk of quartz.

“Companions charge!” comes a voice from the back of the party. Ward charges into the room followed by Sacco. “Arrrgh!!!” Ward shouts ferociously. Sacco runs through the threshold momentarily looking behind him with a look of pride and satisfaction for being so brave when “Thwack!” The giant quartz blade of the statue’s sword splits his skull from cranium to jawbone. Meucci shouts for his wardogs to attack but they all seem to hesitate and stay back from the rocky aberrations. The group finishes off the statues without further loss. Not having participated in the battle the group looks around for Pardue. “Pardue! No!” shouts Durnik. Pardue is entranced by the gleam of the gauntlet and has begun walking towards it reaching out. He is forcibly stopped so that the rogues can properly search for traps around this pedestal.

Durnik approaches as Meucci picks up some skipping stones to test for pit traps. Meucci throws the first stone and hits the floor just in front of the dwarf, this floor drops away, the dwarf with it! After safely removing the dwarf from the pit trap both rogues approach the pedestal. Having sufficiently searched for traps both thieves deem the pedestal safe, however, they both back away cautiously as if not trusting their own skill. The Cleric once again approaches. For a moment Remy shows interest in volunteering to grab the gauntlet but Thyle quickly hushes him, “No Remy, you stay back here with me, you are too valuable to me.” Pardue grabs the gauntlet. With a satisfied smile he begins to say something when “Swoosh” a blade lurches out from the pedestal horizontally slicing from right to left. Pardue doesn’t stand a chance as he is sliced across the stomach, entrails spilling forth. He is about to heal himself when he says, “Oh crap, poison! Ahhh….” Pardue slumps onto the floor never to move again.

The group grabs the elbow length iron plated glove from Pardue’s lifeless grasp and begins discussing what should be done with the cleric’s body. “We don’t want the city to reclaim the abandoned temple if taxes are not paid,” one voice says. “What shall be done?” After deliberations the group decides to hide the body and pay the taxes and debts themselves in order to take over the temple. Meucci searches the pockets of the fallen cleric and finds a note stating that his debt is a mere 25gp, 5gp of which has been paid, and is being charged an interest rate of 100% per week. The wizard has a clever idea, which the group follows. The cleric’s body, weapons and all, are tossed into the bottomless pit that was discovered on a previous expedition [Session 9].

Before leaving, the group searches a bit further only to find a room with 40 alcoves. In this room there is a chalk drawing on the floor, of which Thyle makes a sketching. Also found in the room is a Ruby Ring, Topaz Gem, 64 pp and a mechanical lever. After much debate the ranger pushes the lever but nothing seems to happen. Further down the hallway, with Ward and Durnik in front, the party suddenly becomes cut off by a large heavy portcullis. The two in front are cut off from the rest of the party. Those trapped in back can merely watch as a door in front of their two companions opens and a black mist pours toward them. They begin frantically slashing at the mist. Thyle, thinking quickly, runs back to the lever and pulls it which lifts the portcullis! In the ensuing battle the mist creature is slain. Freaked out, the party flees back to the surface as quickly as possible.
 
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