Rodrigo (Swashbuckler 3)
Corvus (Fighter 2)
Kwinsea (Aquamancer 4), with familiar Hermes and henchman Jaz (Elf 1)
Abdul el Abdul (Fighter 5)
Chaff (Vivimancer 5), familiar PrettyBird, riding dog PuppyWhuppy & henchman"No 7" (Halfling 2)
The party expended a significant amount of brain power trying to puzzle their way through the secret of the rotating platforms. They came up with several options to try:
- Swing the animated statue down to the lowest platform to see if that surface stayed steady when you avoided stepping on the upper surfaces. The statue hit the platform and flipped off the edge, going in the drink until No.7 lowered a rope and everyone hauled it back up (only to have it go inanimate once again after all that work);
- Chaff summoned the ebony fly so he could get at the door without stepping on the upper platforms, on the assumption the spinning motion activated the lock on the door. Alas, this didn't work;
- Kwinsea used her water breathing to search below the surface of the piranha-plagued pool for another door, exit, or some other clue. This required something to distract the piranhas, so Abdul el Abdul and Corvus went back to the dead gorilla-centaurs and hacked off a few pieces to throw in the water and draw the fishes attention. That only worked so well, and the aquamancer did get rather bitten. She also didn't see anything of interest below the water.
In the end, they decided to tempt fate and turn the wheels. Corvus, being the biggest brute of the lot, was volunteered for this step. The first wheel was very hard to turn, and it was a few minutes before it turned all the way. A little testing with rope and grappling hook showed the second platform was now steady. So down went Corvus, turning the next wheel, and then finally to the lowest platform and turning the final wheel. When the rest of the party saw that Corvus was done (and was being shredded by piranha leaping out of the water), they rushed down posthaste. Opening the door, they found a tunnel, which led to a shaft and ladder going down. Above was a stone ceiling, and below was water. Just above the waters edge, however, was another door.
Down the ladder, and with Abdul el Abdul in the lead, into the door, the party advanced. Inside were three large stone blocks, each sitting atop a metal grate over a 20' deep pit. The room was also bone-dry, unlike the damp series of chambers they'd had to traverse thus far. After poking around for a bit, the party noted a couple of other key points. First, the ceiling above was polished like a mirror. It, however, did not reflect the simultaneous scene below it, but rather reflected what happens a few moments later in time i.e. it could be used to see the result of a action before it was taken. The other interesting point was the blocks were not so massive after-all, but seemed to float as light as a feather on the grates. The party proceeded to push the three blocks to the left, revealing behind each a small niche. In one lay a collection of gems, in the other a trio of silk hachimaki inscribed with writing in the language of Madaro-Shanti which Kwinsea was able to roughly translate as 'water', 'dead', 'heal'. A search for secret doors or compartments in the alcoves and in the dry pits revealed nothing more. Meanwhile, Abdul el Abdul has donned the hachimaki inscribed "heal", upon which the writing fading by half as he simultaneously had some health restored.
Not convinced everything of value or interest had been found, the party decided to search in the water below the shaft. After first checking for piranhas, Kwinsea dove in and swam below. She passed down a short shaft, then across a water filled chamber, and a short distance up another shaft. The shaft continued above, but there was no obvious way to climb. Going back to report, the party decided to leave her in the shaft and go back to the surface to re-set the well an see where the water carried the aquamancer. What she found is the first shaft was filled with water (temporally blocked by a stone slab when they accessed the dry room) and ended at the top in a round 'bulb' with a weird stone torus on the ceiling. Several passages branched off this shaft, presumably leading to the series of chambers in the well.
While interesting, this exploration didn't reveal any further treasure or chambers, so the party headed back to the gatehouse to rest for the night and check on Awg-Wahmn. Next morning they headed for the palace, passing through the massive gate into an equally massive ruined hall. Along the north wall was a series of pillars, carved in the form of men and woman. Along the south wall a series of openings could be seem. On both sides rose three, room length and foot tall steps. Further on in the chamber was a pit in the floor, and a clay statue of a besital, naked half man/half monkey. Kwinsea immediately whipped out the crystal heart to animate the thing. Which was good, since just as Rodrigo was approaching the southern openings to check what was on the other side, a screaming mass of monkeys came pouring out and fell on the party. These did not look quite alive, and after a close fight involving sword, spell, monkey statue and laser pistol, they were definitely now not alive. Rooting through the bodies the party found nothing, an for a lark Chaff tired the "death" hachimaki on one of the bodies. The monkey immediately healed of it's wounds and leapt to life, throwing itself at Chaff's feet.
Before dealing with his new monkey henchman, Chaff had No. 7 lowered on a rope down into the pit. Once safely below the halfling was joined by Abdul el Abdul. The two found themselves in a chamber covered in bones, a mix of human and animal. They rooted through them for a moment, but didn't have much time as another screaming hoard of death-monkeys came pouring out of an opening in the north wall. The halfling and fighter luckily made it to the rope and were hauled up before too much damage was done, as Kwinsea held back the monkeys with a tidal force. They were eventually finished off by a mix of spells and missiles, leaving the party to decide what to do next ...
5 Citrine (5 x 50gp)
3 Turquoise (3 x 20gp)
2 Blue Quartz (2 x 10gp)
3 magical silk hachimaki ('water', 'dead', 'heal')
25 Ghoul Monkeys