What the party found found below the ruins of Brigg’s Tor was not a forgotten eladrin cellar but a much older structure, it’s architecture that of lost Arkhosia, the dragonborn empire that flourished during the Second Age of Man, at the height of the Dawn War. The stairway led down to large chamber, it’s entrance blocked by a deep pit with an enchanted stone disk at it’s center. With some trial and error it was discovered that the disk acted as a gatekeeper to the chamber beyond, wobbling dangerously if more than one person crossed it at once and dropping away completely if more attempted it. The reason for the obstacle became clear as the first over the pit were immediately attacked by a pair of mechanical dragonborn. Fortunately the first over were Kat and Lahfawnduh, and with Vorlakk and Tim quickly joining them (barely avoiding a fall in to the pit), quick work was made of the guardians.
Past the constructs a narrow passage led to a large circular chamber centered on a deep spiked pit with a strange device floating at it’s center: two rings of stone floating around a fist-sized gemstone. The walls of the chamber were covered in a wraparound bas relief:
It was soon found that approaching the pit in the center caused enchanted tiles to rise from it’s depths and form a walkway to the device at it’s center. Braving the walkway Lahfawnduh found the two rings were inscribed with symbols:
The party spent some time examining the rings and comparing the symbols with those incorporated into the reliefs on the walls. Nala was able to identify the symbols on the inner ring as the numbers 1 through 8 written in iokharic runes, while Jeton and Tim announced that the four figures at the forefront of the dragonborn army were great heroes of the age: Ashok the brassy scaled greatsword wielder, Damodar with sword and shield, Negasi with greataxe and Vamana the mage. Lahfawnduh was able to determine that the rings were magically linked to each other, the gem in the center, and the walls of the room itself. Matching a symbol with a number and grasping the gem would trigger some change in the room, though what that might be she could not say. After much discussion and a brief consultation with Jeton’s ancestral spirits, it was decided to secure Lahfawnduh with a pair of ropes held by the group on either side of the pit while she set the rings to match the “1” rune with the lightning symbol.
On grasping the gem, a loud rumbling filled the room an an iron wall slammed into place over the only door. Moments later the entire wall began to rotate around the room, making three full circuits before slowing again and coming to rest in a new position. The iron hatch slid aside to reveal a new room decorated with it’s own mural and a pair of double doors:
The room beyond gave the group pause. A narrow alcove opened out into a wider room lined with smaller alcoves, with a matching space on the far side sporting another pair of double doors. The floor of the main room was split into triangular tiles, and a hatch could be seen mounted in the wall near the far doors, an obvious keyhole on it’s surface. Above the far alcove was another relief continuing the scene from the previous room:
As soon as the first person made to step into the room it’s purpose became clear as dozens of long blades began slicing up from the gaps in the tiled floor, crisscrossing the room with deadly speed. It was clear someone would need to brave the slashing blades to reach the hatch on the far side, which no doubt concealed the means to disable the trap. Close examination revealed a pattern to the blades that would allow someone nimble enough to duck between them with a brief pause in the center of the room and then reach the panel without being struck. Unfortunately Lahfawnduh was not nimble enough, and barely avoided being bloodied when one of the blades creased her armor just before reaching the safe spot in the center of the room. Which turned out to not be so safe after all as the tiles erupted upwards and the trap mechanisms were revealed to be independent constructs, large spider like machines that balanced on four bladed limbs while lashing out with the remaining two, which proceeded to surround the drow and do their best to slay her. The ensuing fight was short but brutal, but in the end the machines were destroyed and Lahfawnduh’s wounds tended to. Beyond the double doors was a smaller room dominated by a final mural and a small chest:
The chest held no traps, and within was found a sizeable cache:
- Atop the coins, a pair of heavy steel parry gauntlents with oversized guard plates that extend from the cuffs over the backs of the hands.
(This has all been added to the party loot list)
Next week: Are there more puzzles to solve in this ancient dungeon?