Freshly rested, the party decided to return to the level below, after first exploring a few minor connections on their current level they’d not yet taken. In one room they encountered a small, devilish-looking chap who answered a few minor questions. But, as he seemed of little interest, the party left him in peace and moved on, only further discovering a room with a floor strangely scarred as if by acid. The Dagger of Othrandir revealed nothing in the way of magical writing; there was a brief discussion of using the Candle of Past Shadows, but the party decided it would not be efficacious at this place. So, down they went via the northern stairs.
Below, they took a door that led to 20′ of stairs going up, a looping hallways back the direction they’d come, 20′ more feet of stairs up, and a door that led them – back to the room they’d started in. It was rather odd, but a quick experiment verified it was the same room. Jimmy now recommended a search of the corridor with the anomalous stairs, and the party soon did find a secret door. However, beyond was a room with chests that had long been plundered. Not daunted,a more thorough search of plundered chests revealed a wand hidden in a narrow, false bottom.
Further on to the south, they entered an empty room. Upon departing, though, they found the outside area completely changed. Fearing teleportation, they stepped back into the room and reemerged where they’d started. Lune advised strongly against trying the room again, lest they become lost and lose their line of retreat to the stairs. Nearby, they came to a strange sight, a figure that appeared to be a weird amalgamation of platypus lower torso, a fish for the middle, and a human-like head without eyes, ears, or mouth. The mouth was full of sharp teeth. It was making strange moaning noises, but did not respond to any stimulus. The party decided a dispel magic might be useful, but Perudo did not have it memorized, so the party decided to rest for a few hours so he could pray for it. Initially their sentry, Jimmy, noted some noise of light footsteps beyond the door; he did not open it for fear of disturbing Perudo’s rest and prayer, and the noise eventually ceased. Perudo’s praying done, the spell was cast and the figure turned into a rather dazed elf. He was Tirithorn, he said, and he was not sure how he’d gotten into this state. After a brief discussion, he agreed to join the party, as they told them of their task (and great need of a wizard, which the elf happened to be). The door to the room was opened and now the Candle of Past Shadows was burned for 15 minutes, but they only noted their own shadows playing back in time.
The party now continued south, then west, discovering a room with probable Lemures (bypassed) and a corridor that needed with a great archway shaped like a devil’s mouth. A green shimmer filled the mouth but no on in the party was willing to try it, so they continued on, eventually passing into an octagonal room with eight doors. Each was marked with a rune in an unknown tongue, as was the floor. A quick check of the dagger of Othrandir detected magic writing below the floor, and a secret door was found containing an iron box (a final check with the dagger revealed a magical glyph of warding, which the party bypassed by looping a rope around the box and pulling it for the hole, which caused a fiery explosion that hurt nobody. Within the box was a small stoppered container with wax flakes, an amulet with a red crystal, and a book that, when opened, revealed a long list of names and signatures, some quite old and some quite recent – it was apparently used to record membership in some obscure organization.
They now tried the doors clockwise with first an empty room. But, when Jimmy stepped into it, he seemed to disappear, though to him everyone else vanished. The others soon followed him into the room and they were reunited, but all felt slightly odd. Upon exiting, they noticed that the smell and smoke for the recent explosion had completely vanished. They realized that there was some sort of time anomaly in the room, probably with time very much slowed. They had no idea how long in “real time” they’d been in the room.
The next door led to a set of stairs going down a goodly distance, which they did not take. Two other doors led to empty rooms, one led to a passage no the north and east, and one led to an empty room with a door beyond. The last led to a room with a door beyond occupied by a hulking barbarian warrior of savage appearance, replete with gaudy jewelry, shrunken heads on his belt, savage tattoos and piercings, and the like. He demanded to know who the party was and what business they had with his Mistress. He also arrogantly demanded they present him with a gift if they wished him to announce them. The party said little too him, and he got clearly angry at being disturbed, and the party left.
They now went west and ran into a giant spider in a passage, which they quickly slew. they also found a door beyond which they determined a group of Lemures was dwelling. Jimmy had an idea. Flinging open the door, he called them out and got them to chase him in their shambling way. He led them back to the octagonal room and then threw open the door to the room with the barbarian, hoping they would fight one another. As the door was opened, Tirithorn took the opportunity to try to cast charm person at the barbarian. But the savage had superb reflexes and threw an axe at the elf, striking him and disrupting the spell, shouting something about how the elf’s sorceries were “feeble and bereft of power”. That was enough for Tirithorn, who fled with the rest of the party east and clear of the mess. Sadly, the Lemures ignored the barbarian and continued to chase the party. So, Tirithorn cast web to block their approach and the party fled the scene of the mess.
– Experience: carried over