Saturday, January 16, 2016

Far Isles Session #20 - Statues, Statues Everywhere

Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 3)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 2), with familiar Hermes, and henchman Xavier (Swashbuckler 1)
Chaff (Vivimancer 3), with familiar Dirty Bird, riding hound Stinky Dog, and henchman Mumbles (Specialist/Thief 1)
Torak (Cleric 1)
Beuford Bumbletoes (Halfling 1)

The party breezed through the kitchen, rustling through the pots and pans but found nothing. They did notice the statues in the room behind them had stopped moving once they'd left the space. Passing from the kitchen through a door in the east wall, they entered a room crowded with large blocks of stone in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes. Various woodworking tools also lay about, and a large block and tackle hung overhead.  After satisfying themselves there was nothing of interest to be seen, the party headed through a door in the south, thereby making their way all around the lower level of the tower. This room was notable for the inch of stone dust covering the floor, and at the centre, a pair of unfinished statues. They depicted a pair of classical warriors, one male and one female. As the group entered the room, the male statue turned and spoke: "Oh do come in. I've been waiting so long for someone to come and free me. Could you do that please?" The statue gestured to his feet, which were just barely still attached to the block from which he's been carved. The female, meanwhile, simply turned and gazed unemotionally at the party. She would require much more work to free, being still unfinished from about mid-calf down. Under questioning, the statue (whom Abdul el Abdul dubbed "Clarence") could give little information, just that he had been carved by "The Master" long ago. Abdul el Abdul decided to risk freeing him, went into the previous room for some tools, and hammered Clarence free. The statue jumped down and pledged his service to his rescuer. The party decided to not bother with the female at this point, as it would take too much time to free her, and they were uncertain as to her demeanor.

With level one explored, the party headed up the sarcastic stairs to the next floor. After briefly checking out a couple of rooms that seemed to be servant or guard quarters, Abdul el Abdul  had Clarence beat down the next door, out of which floated gentle flute music. Glancing in, the party spied a small table with two chairs. On the table were a pair of wine bottles and a pair of very plain goblets. Standing around it were four statues. These were wondrously detailed, and depicted a female elf, dwarf, and human, while the fourth was some type of fairy or elfin creature. When the party entered the room, the four started to dance around the table.  Abdul el Abdul boldly strode over to a chair, dodging dancers along the way, then sat and poured himself a cup of wine. The plain cup transformed to now show the carved likeness of the dancers. And it got mouthy, mocking Abdul in an increasingly sarcastic and nagging way. He resisted the urge to smash the cup and tried to extract useful information from it, but to no avail. Chaff, seeing that Abdul did not fall over dead from the wine, not so boldly followed him in and sat down for a drink. His cup had the same less than ideal personality. Regardless, these seemed to fit the criteria for interesting magical items as requested by Nalco, so the pair of cups were wrapped in a sack and carried away. Along with the wine, of course.  The last room on this level was a wizardly storage closet, with a multitude of shelves and hundreds of clay jars containing various dusts, powders and liquids. Abdul el Abdul found a jar of glowing paste, which he used to put warpaint on the increasingly depressed Clarence. Kwinsea grabbed an unopened jar to save for a latter surprise, and Torak found a nice jug full of liquid that reminded him of his great god Brall; it smelled of death and half rotten fish.

The stairs leading up to the third level were animated like the lower stairs, but these were depressed more than insulting. Little could be learned from them before the party reached the top. At least this floor was a different layout. They emerged into a north south corridor, and several east-west passages branched off. And moving past them, up and down the hall, were more statues of various forms and styles. They were all very highly detailed, At Kwinseas request, Abdul el Abdul tried to stop one so she could use the crystal heart and gain another henchman. The fighter thus discovered that the statues were all suspended on a series of near invisible wires and pulleys that moved them around the tower. He cut one down for Kwinsea, who inserted the crystal heart and named the new stony henchwoman, Velma.

Moving on, the first room they entered was covered wall to wall in mirrors. In the centre was a stone slab to which was chained an emaciated female figure. The  figure kept it's head turned away form the door, but spoke pleadingly "Please, release me. Have mercy and let me go". Looking now, they cold see it was a medusa, and very much in poor physical condition. The party questioned her, and found she had been captured by the master of the tower many years ago. He used her to turn people to stone in order to add lifelike statues to his collection. As she pleaded to be released, the party withdrew to discuss what they should do. Abdul el Abdul wanted to leave her there, arguing releasing a medusa would be lunacy. Torak, however, wanted to let her go. In the end, the majority agreed with Abdul el Abdul, and the keening monster was left chained in  the room.

Throwing open the next door revealed a room empty but for a pair of animated statues; a vampire apparently sucking the blood from the neck of an elf maiden. They paid no notice to the party until Abdul el Abdul had Clarence go over and poke at them. At which point the pair separated and sprang to attack poor abused Clarence. Kwinsea sent Velma in to help, and most of the rest of the party crowded in the room to fling missile weapons (except Beuford and Xavier who choose to stay out of trouble). The battle rapidly went downhill for the party, and after a number of mighty blows, both Clarence and Velma lay smashed on the floor. This forced the party to retreat from the room, Abdul el Abdul taking several heavy blows as he tried unsuccessfully to retrieve the crystal heart from Velma's remains. Now out of the room, the party thought it might be best to give the room a pass, although Kwinsea really wanted to recover the crystal heart. However, as they talked, the two hostile statues tried opening the door to continue their assault. Beuford and Abdul el Abdul grabbed the door and held it shut. Chaff lit his pistol match-cord and blasted a hole in the door. He then stuck his wand of paralyzation  through the hole and released a charge. One statue seemed to go down, and Kwinsea then finished off the last by blindly shooting her prismatic ray gem through the hole.
Recovering the crystal heart, the party pushed on to check out the rest of the tower. They found rooms filled with animated (but uncommunicative) dwarven statues, another vampire/elf maid pair, and a room with a pair of emaciated and ragged caged cockatrices. Abdul el Abdul was tempted to find a way carry off a caged cockatrice (the magical bird being prominent on his family coat or arms), but the logistics of the operation deterred the party. They did however, take a throw-covered picture or mirror they found in one room. They were very careful to tie the cover on, as the room also contained three very lifelike statues with frightened looks. It seemed logical that the picture/mirror had turned them to stone.

Having explored all of this last floor, the party was perplexed and annoyed that they had found no sign of the wizard's private chambers. They decided to head back down to the first level and search for secret doors. On the way, Kwinsea politely questioned the sarcastic stairs regarding "The Master" and where he would spend his time. It wasn't an easy conversation, but it seemed his private chambers were accessible from somewhere on the main level.  That lead their thoughts to the room in which they'd found Clarence, with the thick layer of stone dust on the floor. Perhaps there was a hidden trapdoor? So back they went and started searching. Abdul el Abdul pushed the  animated statute of the female warrior aside to check for a trap door below, but was rewarded with nothing but a blank look from the stony amazonian. Torak, sweeping aside the dust however, did find that which they sought; a trap door in the floor ...


Mouthy magical goblets (2)
Bottle of Wine

2 Living Statues

Clarence and Velma, the erstwhile animated statue henchpersons

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