The Compass Rose

Flaurmont 20 (continued)

Tamoachan (Part 2)

After recovering from the battle against the gibbering mouther, the double doors to the west seemed to be the only method of progress. As had been noted earlier, the corridor branched off to the left, though the entire corridor hadn’t seen passage in many, many years.

Moving ahead, the corridor terminated in a small room, in the far corner of which rested a pile of coins and other valuables. A trap was suspected, and the group decided to move back towards the branching corridor and follow that instead.

The corridor turned twice and opened up onto a downward staircase. More stairs leading even further into the earth. The group descended quickly, not bothering to look for the trap that was waiting for them near the bottom.

As they approached the bottom of the stairs, a panel slid open straight ahead at the base of the stairs, revealing a stone dragon with steam pouring from its nose. Almost immediately a flash of steam burst forth, sending a wave of scalding water wafting up the stairwell. The panel slid back into place a short while later.

The group moved ahead, following the corridor until it ended in a huge coppery-bronze door. Atop the door was a copper plaque showing a two-headed snake. The door was pushed open, revealing a huge ruined chamber, with large piles of stone and a number of statues littering the area. Screeching monkeys could be heard overhead, and late evening light could be seen streaming in from around the howling beasts as they started to pelt the party with small rocks.

As Mal moved into the room, he noticed a body pinned beneath some of the rubble, and he moved to investigate it. To his horror, a ghostly Olmecan apparition arose from the corpse and moved to attack. As it struck Sahrthin, its form merged with Sahrthin as Sahrthin fell under its corrupt control. Restraining Sahrthin proved to be a challenge, but even in doing so, the spirit seemed to not wish to release its prisoner. Only by knocking Sahrthin out could it be evicted, and once it was, it was easily destroyed by the combined efforts of the remaining party members.

While deciding whether it would be best to rest here or to return back upstairs to rest, Bargathungar and Sahrthin decided to go back upstairs to check out the left-behind loot and look around… triggering the trap again along the way. But at least now they had figured out exactly what had triggered it, and by pointing out the exact step, it would be easy to avoid it in the future.

Coming back to the dead-end chamber with the pile of coins and loot, Sahrthin noted that there was a hidden door on the opposite side of the room from the pile, and both he and Barga spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to open it up, which they eventually did. The small room on the other side had a corridor leading off to a mirror at the end of it, and when looking in the mirror, both Barga and Sahrthin noted that their appearance was similar, except for the fact that all of their equipment had been replaced with Olmecan equivalents.

There was another double door next to the mirror, but they opted to go back to get the rest of the party, only to realize that the secret door had closed behind them, leaving no way of escaping from this area.

A while later the rest of the party became concerned that Barga and Sahrthin had disappeared. They moved back towards the last place where they said they were going to go. As they arrived, though, they noticed that both Barga and Sahrthin ’s bodies were dead, sitting in the corner where the pile of loot had once been. Before they could investigate though, they heard the pounding and shouting of Barga and Sahrthin on the other side of the door, which they were able to open up.

After forcing the door to remain open, the group moved past the mirror and into the room beyond the double door. That room contained a single mask affixed to a hook on the wall and a step pyramid straight ahead.

Moving into the room, the door closed behind them, sealing Sahrthin, Barga, Carric, and Mal in the chamber. A voice, perhaps in their heads, announced that they had been poisoned and that the sole cure to the poison rest in the container sealed at the top of the pyramid. All they needed to do was get it. A wave of weakness and lethargy swept across the party, and would continue to do so for the next few minutes.

The challenge was confusing, but it required each of the four people present to come up one of the four staircases, but there was only one staircase that could be used by each person. And the north one was particularly difficult.

The second stage required one of the four to do something specific, as did the third. Both of which frustrated everyone, thus underscoring the anti-puzzle focus of the campaign…

As they got the potion, it was discovered to be a single dose of a special Olmecan healing potion. The weakness and illness they had been feeling was gone, and, in fact, it was difficult remembering exactly what had happened since they entered the room.

That didn’t stop Barga from pissing all over the floor as he left the room, which prompted an attack from an invisible flying snake-like creature. Barga slammed the door and the group went on its way.

Moving back towards the stairs down, Sahrthin noticed a secret door that had previously gone unnoticed. After a moment of deliberation, the group decided to venture through the doorway and see what was beyond.

A corridor that had seen even less travel than the others opened up into a large chamber with a large pool and four mirrors, each of which had a particular color. Investigating the black mirror, an Olmecan “spirit” (or something) appeared in the mirror and said “Command me”, which only Mal could understand. Various attempts were made to communicate with the spirit, all of which were met with failure.

Next Week: Tamoachan (Part 3)

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