On closer inspection, the fog in the passage leading into the hill seems to be an “Obscuring Mist”. It tastes a little chaotic, if that makes sense. Beyond is was a room with three priestesses of the hag goddess – remember those cultists who gave us some trouble early on? There is a fight, and they are laying about with some sort of Confusion effect. I damn near kill Ovthen.
We deal with the priestesses. There are two doors. Oh, and I might mention: there seems to be a Guards and Wards effect on the place. Webs, disorientation. A real pain. Very important we don’t become separated.
Beyond one door is a statue of a barbarian – no doubt the one who is al prophecies to return and scour the world clean of decent, civilised people. Beyond that, a room with four identical exits. Damn. With the magic on this place, you know that it spins around to disorient you.
Beyond the other door is an odd room – four differently sized boulders and four depressions in the floor. Ah – a puzzle. Do people really put those sort of things in dungeons, as in the books? It appears so. But why?
The boulders are too heavy for me to help with, so go back to the corpses and commence to cast Create Treasure Map. The map is quite odd. Rather than being filled with detail, it simply shows the chamber we are in, and instead of an “X marks the spot”, there is a circle drawn around a whole chunk of the map to the northwest. Then I understand – this place is not a temple of the Hag Goddess. These priestesses were here to raid it, and new only the rough location of something significant.
The boys trigger a trap in the boulder room, and several of us are caught in it. They then decide to put the boulders in in reverse order, and that seems to fix the problem.
Rainor and I think Klael go into the next room. It There is some sort of wheel on the ground, which they turn. Immediately the whole room becomes icy cold and conjured ice walls them in. They keep turning the wheel. I try to deal with the wall with a Scorching Ray, but it just burns a hole through and hits Klael (shooting a lot of own-goals today). Ovthen tries to bash through the ice from outside – I drop a Resist Energy on him. Eventually he gets through, and I leap through the hole he made as the room seals it up again.
Inside I first of all give Klael a Resist Energy by way of apology. After a moment, I need one for myself – it is cold in here. They keep turning the wheel. It clicks to a final notch and they hold it in place, and as they do the cold lessens somewhat. I jam the wheel in place. We discuss unjamming it – maybe it needs to be wound up and unwound, but Rainor disagrees and keeps holding the wheel. After a few more moments the conjured ice dissolves away and the next door opens. Seems Rainor was right.
The next room is simply a large chamber with an animated statue. We have Enlarged Jope, and the statue beckons him. They fight. My magic does nothing, and after a couple of wasted attempts at casting Displacement, I just sit back and watch.
Watching, I understand. For heaven’s sake! This whole place was built by barbarians and the rooms are a series of hairy male challenges. Strength, endurance. I suppose the other rooms test you for ability to drink mead, or stupidity.
Still – it rather works in our favour. The hag-goddess priestesses would never have gotten through. If anything, this whole place might very well have been built specifically to keep them in particular out. In fact, this place might very well have been built to admit someone just like his thickheaded lordship through to whatever treasure the priestesses were after.
In other words, we are not necessarily in enemy territory here.
Gods! This barbarian destined to return and conquer the lands … you know how these prophecies work: they are worded so vaguely that whoever happens to fulfil them becomes “the chosen one”. Can it be that Jope himself could be (or become) the prophesied conqueror? It all fits rather neatly, I fear. Lets face it: that’s exactly what he is doing. I wager that beyond this next door lies a sword in a stone, or some sort of ancient barbarian crown or some such.
Then again, perhaps the current ruler of Pitax is “The One”. You know how these prophecies work. Whoever wins becomes retroactively legitimised. I might keep this to myself for now.
Jope defeats the construct. Not far beyond is, well, no doubt something.