The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde

Session 5: Strange Beasts and Unusual Devices

After dealing with the giant rats, Aesir and Jenny decided to spend some time moving the treasure from the hiding place to the clearing where the driver would meet them in a few hours. The rest of the party agreed to press on and the plan was to meet up once the wagon driver had left for Sumberton.

The party crossed a small wooden bridge which led to a short, steep staircase. Amastacia stealthily ascended the staircase and discovered a room with 4 mirrors on the wall (each with softly glowing frames), and a large pit on one side. The rest of the party joined her and, on looking into the pit, noticed a large creature, that appeared to be built of stone, carrying a huge two bladed stone sword.

Room_with_Sigils_and_stone_construct.jpg

This creature was walking slowly around the room, avoiding several glowing sigils that were inscribed on the floor. Although it noticed the party, it ignored them and carried on its slow walk around the room. Rick realised that the sigils were some sort of magical gates for summonsing or teleporting.

Turning their attention to the mirrors, they noticed that all of the mirrors were old and somewhat damaged. Two of the mirrors didn’t reflect at all. However, one mirror, instead of reflecting, seemed to show a room beyond, with piles of broken armour on the floor and a large (dog sized) metallic beetle crouched in the middle of the room. The other mirror flickered occasionally, and showed three different scenes – one of a beautiful dark haired woman approaching the mirror, another of a giant toad like creature opening up its huge maw and a third of a cloaked, hooded man, features obscured, approaching the mirror and gesturing (angrily?) at it. These scenes repeated in an endless loop. Gundahar tried to mend one of the broken mirrors, but even once the glass cracks had been mended, the mirror didn’t operate. The mirrors were firmly fixed to the walls and it didn’t appear possible to remove them without damaging them further.

Amastacia then descended into the pit (there was a ladder nearby) and engaged the creature in a brief conversation. The creature spoke in a deep booming voice and warned Amastacia that she should leave the pit. She established that it wouldn’t object to her crossing the room as long as she avoided the sigils on the floor. The rest of the party followed swiftly and climbed a ladder on the other side, where they were confronted by another strange creature. This one looked like a large dog, but covered in giant porcupine like quills:

Quilled_creature.jpg

Although it ran at them aggressively, it seemed to be constrained by a labyrinth-like glowing pattern on the floor. By splitting up, the party managed to distract the creature down different labyrinth paths and they bypassed it without needing to engage in combat.

At the end of the hall with the labyrinth, there was a landing/mezzanine level where three goblins appeared and began hurling javelins at the party. Because the goblins were completely incapable of using javelins effectively, the party was able to kill all the goblins through a combination of arrows, flaming bolts and melee combat. They searched the landing (which was clearly a barracks room), and discovered four locked chests. Amastacia managed to open two of these and discovered some gold coins as well as a pair of earrings (which she pocketed for herself). Taman clubbed at one chest with his wood axe, butchering the chest in the process, until eventually it burst apart in a heap of splinters. There were some goblin clothes and (more puzzlingly) a shattered ivory figurine. No one could work out why a goblin would carefully lock away an obviously worthless destroyed figurine. Gundahar applied his smithing tools to the last chest and managed to beak open the lock – revealing a very fine porcelain plate.

Although the landing had a set of now-familiar copper clad doors, the party left these and descended the stairs on the other side. Here they found a room with a large wooden table in the middle and a set of strange implements hanging from the wall. The implements included hammers, forceps, scalpels, daggers. All of them were blood soaked and seemed to be constantly oozing blood, which ran down the wall and seeped into a drain in the floor. Taman experimented with using one of the daggers on a goblin corpse, but it didn’t appear to be anything other than a very finely made dagger (apart from the fact that it continually oozed blood). The table was piled with about 100 shortbow arrows but, under these, it was clear that the table was soaked in (old, dried) blood.

Passing through this room, the party then came across the barred, double doors that were on the other side of the room that they had seen earlier (it was the room adjoining the jail/storeroom). The walls on either side were lit with braziers (possibly magic light, because it didn’t seem as if anyone was maintaining them). Gundahar examined the room for traps, but couldn’t detect anything. However, as soon as he stepped into the room, a large scythe-like blade pendulum’ed down from the grooves in the ceiling, swung across the room and (narrowly missing him) disappeared back into the ceiling. Not seeing any real value in crossing this room (because they knew what was on the other side) the party returned to the goblin barracks room on the landing to tackle the double doors. From their maps, they could see that they were not far from the room where they had met the hobgoblins and dark creeper – so they decided it may be more prudent to wait for Aesir and Jenny to return before pressing onwards.

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