Rokka, Arvos, and I find ourselves standing at the doors outside the giant obsidian construct. Our goal: to find an artifact (an obsidian eye) and destroy it. Looking at the door, we can see that it has two holes; roughly at eye-height, roughly eye-spaced, and roughly eye-shaped. So, yeah. Ghirgaz puts his face to it, and the door warps around his head! It’s only for a moment though, and the doors open. Ghirgaz seems fine.
We enter what appears to be an ornate dining room, with a long table that has an ornate black statue of a woman holding a black orb at each end. Rokka sits first, mid-table, and Ghirgaz and I join him, but at the ends of the table. Rokka pours himself a water and drinks, I ring a bell, and just nothing happens. Interesting note: the food out is seafood, and seems unspoiled.
We decide to move on, and open a door that leads to the kitchen. The far end of the room is curtained off, and the curtain has six dashed lines and one solid line. As we exit the dining room, I could swear the statue’s head turns to follow us. Creepy. Inside this kitchen though is an odd device with four controlled flames coming out of the top – some sort of controlled fire device for cooking? I find a few knives to use as extra weapons – all obsidian. And odd – the initially feel malleable for a quick moment, then harden.
We pull back the curtain, revealing a larger room with a fountain of sorts at the center. There’s a purple orb, from which water is somehow flowing to the fountain below. The walls have murals, one of note has three monks washing their eyes in the fountain, and next to it are three towels. And as we look closer, we can see that the monks in mural are actually the three of us. Odd. One by one we take a chance and wash our eyes – it stings for a moment (psychic damage), but soon everything seems clearer, sharper. (+2 to perception). When we look again, the figures are not us, but eyeless monks.
The end of this room has the same curtain pattern, and behind it, a dead-end. Or what appears to be – we’re able to detect the outline of a door, and open it, revealing a long hallway with six undulating beams of different colors. Ghirgaz carefully walks down the hall, avoiding the modulating beams. Rokka tests what happens when the beam is broken with a wet wash cloth (soaked in the fountain): seemingly nothing. So, he jumps in the water, and just walks through the first (red) beam. It does actually hurt him (I guess washcloths can’t take psychic damage or something), but we learn something: he saw red colors shift on a door at the end of the hallway. Maybe if we cover all at once, the door will open?
We head back to the dining room, and scoop up all the mashed potatoes we can muster. One by one, I throw mashed potatoes on the light sources, and we advance down the hallway. Each time, the corresponding colors shift and swirl on the door until finally we reach the end, and the door opens.
Rather, revealing nothingness. The doorway is impossibly black. Ghirgaz steps in, and disappears. I reach in for him, keeping my feet on this side of the doorway, but nothing. On a gut feeling, I put on a blindfold and walk through. I hear Ghigaz below me – far below me. How? Apparently not wearing the blindfold makes the floor insubstantial, and he fell to a spiked floor below. And he tells us that straight ahead, there’s a door with a blue unearthly light peaking out from the edges. First, we need to get him up. We decide to leave a coil of 50ft rope on the floor, walk back out the door, and remove our blindfolds. This apparently works, as we can feel a heavy tension on the rope soon after, and help Ghirgaz climb back up. We put the blindfolds back on, and follow Ghirgaz across the long, dark room. He opens the door, and we feel a strong heat.
*Roll for Initiative*
We’re fighting this whirlwind of heat blind, and we shortly make it through the door, not without getting a bit singed. Well, except for Rokka – pretty hard to singe a Fire Genasi. No longer blindfolded, we can actually fight what appears to be a blue Fire Dancers Swarm. We’ve done a lot of damage to it, and decide to make the easy/smart call to finish this fight: we close the door on it. After all, it didn’t seem like it could make it through at full strength…
This room is not only thankfully filled with light, but is devoid of enemies … so far. There are four crates though, only one of which chirps like crickets. The other three have miscellaneous supplies and rations, so we decide to eat a bit and take a short rest. After a bit, we hear the shattering of glass on the other side of the other door in this room.
I open the door to another dark room. Not magically dark, though. Nearby is a giant scorpion in a glass cage. Black, with a red stripe. It turns to me, and strikes the glass with the stinger, leaving a black, inky blot on the glass … and a few cracks? I close the door quickly, grab a bag from one of the open crates, and open the chirping crate. It’s filled with very large crickets, and I scoop as many as I can into the bag. I go first back into the room, and the caged scorpion strikes the galls again, increasing the number and length of the cracks.
*THUMP! Roll for Initiative*
I guess I now know why we heard braking glass earlier – a giant scorpion has just dropped from the ceiling. I toss the crickets to a corner away from the direction I’m going, and encourage the other two to follow, quickly. We all make it through relatively unscathed (the good ole’ bag o’ giant crickets diversion helped), and close the door behind us. There’s a large statue at one end of this hallway, and a set of double-doors next to us. The scorpions are thrashing the door we just went through, so decide to go through the double doors and hide from them. At least if we have to fight them now, we’ll be able to see them better.
They make it through that door, and we wait quietly and rest while they investigate. They seem to have lost our scent, and there’s easy prey in that dark room, so they leave us be. We warily continue down the hallway, and as we approach the large statue, its eyes light up and waves at us, congratulating us on making it this far. We squeeze by, go through a door at the end of the hallway, and bar it behind us.
It’s a library – filled with nothing of real use as all the books appear to be in an odd, ancient language. Ghirgaz does find an odd mirror though, and keeps it. We do find an altar with unlit candles though, and Rokka lights them. A set of double-doors are revealed, and eye on a long stalk extends, looks at us, and retreats back into/through the door.
We, of course, open the doors and follow/investigate. They open to a hallway heading to the left, then right, then right again – it must wrap around a room. We head down the hallway, Ghirgaz ahead of Rokka and I. At the end is a doorway, and apparently a trapped floor, as Ghirgaz falls into a pit. Again. As Rokka are about to turn the corner and help Ghirgaz, we’re each suddenly somehow surrounded by these swirling clouds of hundreds of … eyeballs? Gross, sure, but thematically appropriate for this odd place.
My eyes … my eyes are trying to join the swarm! Have you ever tried really hard to keep your eyes closed? I’m not talking about trying to resist peeking at a gift, but keeping your eyes closed for the sake of keeping them. I don’t recommend it, it’s extremely unpleasant.
Apparently (thankfully) Ghirgaz is out of the pit, because he thunderclaps, drawing the eyes swirling around me towards him. I’m not out of the clear though – because as I see him start to get enveloped, I get enveloped by the one that was swarming Rokka. Rokka’s unsure what to do, especially since his eyes are now in the swarm surrounding me! We tell him to throw a fireball to a spot between our yelling voices, and he does.
You see (too soon, Leo?), with Ghirgaz and I being a 6th level monk and a 7th level rogue respectively, we both have Evasion. The swirling eye clouds? Nope. Neither of us take damage, while they are all but obliterated. I’m thinking we should call this move/tactic Friendly Fire(ball)™ for future use. Well anyways, I teleport 10 out of the remains of my swarm over to Ghirgaz, and of course it follows. Rokka finishes it off with the same tactic, using Burning Hands. *phew*
I push open the (hopefully final) door, and gasp. There’s a depiction of a huge eye in the floor, fashioned from precious metals and gems. The walls provide a 360 degree view of Athus. And in the middle, on a pedestal, is a smoky crystal orb with tiny obsidian flakes. In my head (and the others, I assume) I hear a voice to ask any question, and it will reply with a truthful answer.
My question: Where can I find Sovra? It replies that he is the Prince of Fire, and I will find him with the Fire Cultists, reigning over them.
Ghirgaz’s question: How can we destroy you? It replies with fire.
I’m not sure I heard Rokka’s Q and A, as I was a bit preoccupied with the first two answers, but next thing I know, Rokka fireballs the eye.
There’s a large blast of heat, and the walls drop. We find ourselves back on the arid desert of Athus, obsidian whipping around us at a furious pace, until the nothing remains but the hot sun above us.
Slowly but surely, we make our trek back to the rest of our party.
Session Date: 05/25/17, Prior Journal XP: 400, Session XP: 2,666, Total XP: 34,452
Title Source: Goatwhore – Invocation to the Obsidian Moon