S09E07 – A Tricky Wooden Door

Mar 16, 2024  – 

The session starts with a flashback. Sophi is at the orphanage hospital she grew up in. Today is the nurses-day-out and Sophi is taking care of this hospital wing. She’s now tending to a call from Maksim, the older racist brother of Helethon, who is severely ill and undergoing an elvish treatment. Sophi has heard rumors that Maksim abused her mom and that she might be his daughter. She doesn’t want to take any chances, and she pours a powerful poison into the cup of tea that she has prepared for him. Sophi reasons that even if he didn’t rape her mom, he is awful and he probably has done awful things. She takes his verbal abuse one last time as she gives him the poisoned cup of tea, and leaves after wishing him good night. The next day Sophi learns that the potion worked. Her mom is avenged.

Back to the present, our heroes are fighting against seven alligators at the entrance of the jungle temple. The first few rounds are challenging but, eventually, the heroes take the upper hand. Chos, Saefa, and Carnivore all get bitten by alligators multiple times, and in the case of Carnivore, almost killed. Sophi, inspired perhaps by the flash-back, gives the finishing blow to three alligators. After all the reptiles are dealt with, everyone, including Salida, has contributed to the battle and also had fun jumping between alligator corpses

The heroes about to finish the last alligator.
The heroes about to finish the last alligator.

The group then takes a short rest at the entrance to the temple, literally in front of the door, because before the combat they had activated the trap in the next room, and the entrance was blocked by a huge slab of stone. Five minutes later, though, the slab reverts to its original position revealing two dozen zombies, skeletons, and ghouls that have come into the room through the side door that the group opened earlier. Saefa throws a burning torch at one of the zombies hoping to trigger a massive chain reaction because the room is full of poisonous gas which could be flammable. The torch hits the zombie, setting him on fire, and then falls to the ground. The stench is painful but not flammable. While the group is starting to realize that a plan b would have been helpful, the angry torched zombie turns in Saefa’s direction, gives one step, and triggers the pressure plate trap causing the stone slab to fall into place one more time. The heroes agree it isn’t wise to try to take a rest in front of the dungeon’s entrance, so they go on top of it: they climb the stone pillars, and take a short break overlooking the jungle’s canopy. During the break, they hear splashing sounds. Sophi spots a ghoul approaching the temple and shoots it with her bow attracting his attention. While the rest of the group, next to her, observe the event with curiosity, Sophi desperately tries to take the insatiable creature out but it climbs to the rooftop before that happens. Chos decides to intervene, casts toll the dead on it, and kills it by throwing it over the edge of the rooftop.

After the short rest, the heroes enter the dungeon one more time, they cross the poison room holding their breaths, and without triggering the traps, they cross the bridge over the chasm, and they reach the wooden door at the end. 

Avilos and Sophi experiment with the door, Sophi with a dagger, Avilos with his head, and realize the portal trap is active again. Sophi attaches her 50ft rope to one of the two statues next to the door and throws the rest through the portal so that the rope is hanging outside the temple. Avilos peeks one more time and confirms that the rope is there. A minute later while still deciding what to do next with the door, the portal vibrates lightly and the rope gets cut. Avilos swallows while caressing his neck, and then carves a mark on the door frame.

The group decides to, carefully, open the door. On the other side, they see a large rectangular chamber with two rows of pillars and an altar with a floating sphere with swirling shadows around it. On one of the nearest pillars, there is a strange creature made of wood, metal, and leather, with spider-like legs and blade arms. The creature casts shatter at them which triggers the not-known-until-now Tiny Timmy’s sunburst protective spell. Between the two spells, Sophi, Chos, and Avilos drop unconscious. Ellie and Saefa freak out but have enough composure to close the wooden door, stabilize the three of them, and, along with Carnivore, pull them to the temple’s entrance and out of reach from the creature which seems to be constrained to the chamber they found it in.

The heroes set up camp on the rooftop and, after a while, everybody is conscious again. However during that time, the consequences of Salida’s contact with the blue mist become visible: she’s forgotten who she and everybody else is, has no idea where they are, and freaks out. The group tries to calm her and then they all go to bed. That night, Ellie and Sophi notice movements in Carnivore’s tent. Sophi peeks inside, notices two bodies moving rhythmically, and says nothing.

The next morning, it becomes clear that Carnivore had slept with Salida, after telling her that they were together before she was hit with amnesia. On realizing this, Salida tries to kill him, but Chos contains her. Most of the rest of the group is pissed off at Carnivore, but they shelf the issue for later: first they want to clear the dungeon to finish their mission.

The heroes ready to open the wooden door.
The heroes ready to open the wooden door.

The heroes enter the dungeon once again, but this time they crawl over the bridge, and they find the mark on the door that Avilos had left the night before. The session ends with the group in position and Sophi using mage hand to open the door’s handle.