After a short trip east, the group came upon a lonely village that seemed to have fallen on bad times. A small amount of negotiation later, Cliona and Jeoffrey found that a decent number of the villagers had disappeared in a nearby cave. Since Liu Shan had asked them to help along the way, the group decided to investigate the cave, expecting to find a large creature or monster. However, what they found was quite different: a glowing purple crystal floating a few inches above a stone altar. When they touched it, the group was magically transported into a strange new dungeon.
Almost as soon as they materialized, the group heard a deep, growling voice say “Oops,” as a nearby door sealed shut with no visible way to open it. With only one other path, the group progressed forward into the relatively dark hallways. After only a few turns, the group found themselves in a hallway with statues lining both sides. A few steps later, Wigelsbach discovered a trap on the floor. This caused the group to begin to take it easier, but it did not stop Alderath from stepping on one, activating a number of the statues. Battle ensued, but the group had little difficulty dispatching the statues, leading them to be even more careful for the rest of the hallway.
A quick (yet profitable) side path later, the group found a huge crystal formation that seemed to be “growing” purple crystals. After some discussion, the group decided to take the crystals with them. Four crystals seemed to be “mature” and were added to the inventory. Afterwards, the group found themselves in a pit room with powerful gusts of wind blowing back and forth across the pathways. On each of the platforms connecting the narrow passageways were traps of varying types: acid, lightning, spike, and poison. Navigating the wind using strength and rope (along with a clever ritual by Cliona to bypass one section entirely), the group found a place to input a crystal and unlocked a door further ahead.
Another trap was triggered in the next hallway blocking the progress further north. However, another crystal lock was found and unlocked another passageway. The only hallway left was littered with an enormous number of traps. The party learned of these because Alderath managed to hit every single one in the passageway. The rooms that branched off from this hallway seemed to be cells, and a room at the end of the hallway granted the group another lock, which opened all of the cells and allowed them to find another treasure chest.
The next room branched to both the left and the right. A bit of scurrying could be heard in the room to the right, so the group decided to investigate. Once inside, they found a large number of webs and small spiders. After progressing forward, they found a huge spider at the back of the room. With little warning, the large spider attacked, along with a number of smaller spiders and tiny spider swarms. Again, the group fought and dispatched the smaller spiders, causing the large spider to scream in agony and loss. Cliona understood the language it was speaking and entered a negotiation. After some time, she got the spider’s name and told her that they would come back for her before leaving.
After a rest, the group entered the room that had broken off to the left and were immediately assaulted by a huge column of flame coming down the long hallway. The group jumped to the north for cover and walked down the new hallway. They came to a door that had a riddle engraved on it. The riddle hinted at four keys that would go in four keyholes. A pair of voices – one male, one female – could be heard arguing in the distance. These voices had been heard in several places throughout the dungeon, but the source could not be determined exactly.
The group moved south and found the entrance to another room. Once inside, they found a pool of red liquid in the middle and four altars each with a crystal on them – red, blue, brown, and green. Another riddle was found, which caused Jeoffrey a bit of confusion. In the meantime, Alderath decided to “test” each crystal by humping it fiercely. The red one burned him and he stuck to the blue one, but the brown one vibrated severely, so the group was pretty sure he still enjoyed himself. After a bit, the group solved the riddle and opened a previously sealed chamber. Inside, they found a burial tomb for a very old creature and their followers along with another key.
By this time, the fire in the hallway had subsided to the point that it was only firing intermittent balls of fire. From this second doorway, they could tell that the fire was coming from a large statue at the end of the hallway. The group jumped out into the hallway, only to find that the gargoyle statues were coming to life and attacking. Again, the group fought and dispatched the enemies with only minor problems.
Once they had turned off the statue, the group found the throne room of the dungeon. In this room were a large number of smaller rooms that broke off on each side. In the middle of the room was a large mechanical structure that seemed to be housing a huge automaton. Before the group could move forward, a sneeze was heard and Viki and Miku fell from the ceiling. While Miku landed on her butt, Viki landed in Dexlexius’s arms. Another sneeze, and she was gone, along with the bard.
Though confused, Miku stood and joined the group precisely as the huge automaton activated and charged the group. With the new cleric’s help, the group dispatched the automaton within only a few rounds. To their horror, the machine at the back began to build a second automaton. Before it could finish, however, a large number of spiders appeared and wrapped the machine in a huge web, causing it to jam and cease to function. The large spider came into the room and thanked Cliona again for sparing her and her children.
From this point, the dungeon itself seemed to have shut off. However, it was seeming to heat up. The group ran quickly to the previous door and figured out the riddle, placing the keys into the locks and opening the door. To their surprise, a dwarf and a razorclaw shifter appeared in front of them while Viki sneezed back into existence behind them. Long story short – and it was a LONG story – the vain dwarf Torbera had a hand mirror that Viki needed to allow the group to teleport away from the dungeon. After MUCH deliberation, the group obtained the mirror and vanished.