Tomb of Annihilation

#49. Tomb of the Nine Gods, part 1

Day 70 (91st Day of the Death Curse). Sheets of rain fell over the Forbidden City, causing the flooded river's banks to swell. While their Red Wizard "allies" cast several rituals, the party shared a heroes' feast and inspiring last words before entrusting Vecna's artifacts to their former companions – the Hand of Vecna to Salleek and the Eye of Vecna to E'kama. After finishing their rituals, Zagmira of the Red Wizards warned the party that yuan-ti had positioned themselves at the Tomb's entrance. Breaking camp, the four companions marched forth along with Artus Cimber, Dragonbait, the mage Lomar Dral, the warrior Kanush, and the Red Wizard cohort. 

Yuan-ti, Frost Giants, and River Mist, Oh My! Outside the Tomb's entrance overlooked by gargoyles and an imposing obelisk, the party parlayed with a group of yuan-ti led by the recently un-petrified Sekolok who held River Mist captive in manacles. The yuan-ti's terms were that the party would return Ras Nsi's spellbook and prove their commitment to honoring their deal with Ras Nsi by betraying their Red Wizard "allies", and in exchange the yuan-ti would release River Mist and join them in fighting the Red Wizards. While they deliberated, the party felt rumbling from the west followed by the wail of winter wolves and horns of frost giants seeking the Ring of Winter from Artus Cimber. There would be no deal. A furious multi-sided battle ensued, and River Mist tore away from Sekolok's manacles, limping as far as her wounded left leg would carry her.

False Entrance & Red Wizard Betrayal. During the fighting, Zagmira told the party to enter the Tomb, claiming that the Red Wizards would hold off the yuan-ti and frost giants. SCOMETT and YARGLE sought to gain entry using the puzzle cubes, but were soon engaged by Sekolok and Názegeth. However, the Red Wizards' betrayal came faster than the party expected, with Thazma casting a delayed blast fireball at YARGLE's feet, Yamoch casting Evard's black tentacles in the hallway of Trickster God statuettes that KOKO and ZANE were exploring, and then Zagmira sealing them all in with a wall of force. SCOMETT placed eight of the puzzle cubes (excepting Unkh's) into the entry door, and thereupon poisonous and acidic gas poured out from the grinning skull reliefs; a stone block also began to descend from the entryway, but was stopped by the wall of force. ZANE managed to dimension door out with KOKO, launching a terrible assault on the Red Wizards which ultimately caused them to teleport away in retreat and which triggered the delayed blast fireball before it grow to its full destructive capacity. ZANE and KOKO also managed to slay the frost giant leader Drufi and drive off the remaining frost giants. Badly wounded, YARGLE and SCOMETT finished off the yuan-ti and YARGLE tunneled under the wall of force using mold earth. They had survived Acererak's false entrance. 

Once reunited with the party, River Mist revealed she'd seen the actual entrance and furthermore offered them a potion of greater healing which she stole off Sekolok; the party gave this to Artus. Upon Nazegeth's corpse they recovered a robe of serpents and another dagger of the snake god*. Upon Drufi's corpse they recovered a shard of the ise rune.

Exploring the hallway with Trickster God statuettes, the party found a secret door that slid open on stone runners when a handle was pulled in the mouth of a skull relief. Within was an eye pendant that seemed to be pulled by magic toward the actual entrance. 

(Level 1) True Entrance. SCOMETT approached first, readily placing the nine puzzle cubes in their correct positions, causing the stone door to rise up and the puzzle cubes to vanish, revealing a passage leading within. A long seam ran the course of the passageway's floor, and another stone door at the far side with a lever built into its center and a skull graven at its lintel. SCOMETT carefully climbed along the wall and midway down the passage, the skull's jaw opened and a skeletal hand holding an hourglass-style timer emerged from within, rotating so that sand started to trickle into its lower globe. Nervously pulling the lever, SCOMETT watched as the seam on the floor opened revealing a 20-ft drop into black-tipped spikes. (didn't someone fall in? can't remember…) SCOMETT heeded YARGLE's advice to let the timer run out and not pull the lever; thereupon, the second stone door sunk into the floor and the way into the Tomb was opened. Beyond, was a hallway with obvious pressure plates and dart holes in the walls. SCOMETT carefullg climbed the walls, plugging each dart hole with a pebble, KOKO hopped across, and then the rest of the party made a shield wall and crossed the pressure plates with brute force, the pebbled darts clattering off their shields. Ahead was an ominous carved devil's face with utter blackness in its mouth, to the left was a crystal window the size of a door (seeming to lead to a tomb beyond), and to the right was a grand staircase.

(Level 1) Grand Staircase & Acererak's Four Warnings. At the top of the grand staircase, SCOMETT saw a strange dwarf with pale skin and a green devil headdress ran into a door one level below. The staircase covered four levels, descending roughly 100 feet before ending in a room with four large four-armed gargoyle statues and a pit. Four brass plaques were set into the walls, which SCOMETT sent his archaeopteryx Maka to examine…

(Level 1) Moa's Tomb & Skeleton Key.

(Level 1) Wind Tunnel & Wongo's Tomb.

(Level 1) Magnetic Attraction & Magic Fountain.

(Level 1) Obo'laka's Tomb.

(Level 1) Explosion Averted & Trapped Chest.

(Level 1) Underground Waterfall with Mimic.

Descending deeper. Returning to the Grand Staircase, the party descended down to the lower levels in search of more skeleton keys…


aaronrainbowhawk aaronrainbowhawk