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Tairn » 1533.2.20 - Below Caertan - The Great Hall of King Cormon

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1533.2.20 - Below Caertan - The Great Hall of King Cormon

Play date: 9/1/09 

As everyone’s eyes adjust to the gloom below, the invisibility spell fades. The room is immense - over one hundred feet long and nearly half as wide. Two low daises, one atop the other, dominate one end of the room with a long table on the lower with 8 seated statues with dragon heads staring into the hall. The dais above holds a smaller table and the figures of a King and Queen sit at it. The King wears a crown with twelve points. The hall is filled with sturdy oak tables and chairs. The air is dry, and some debris from above surrounds a smashed table. A set of double doors at the other end of the room led to a seventy foot entryway with a dead hill giant in the middle of it sporting a number of arrow shafts. As the doors were opened, pearlescent spheres at the top of columns in the main chamber began to glow dimly giving shadowy illumination within that room. Varende moved cautiously forward and eventually discovered the giant’s body was depressing a pressure plate. He couldn’t come up with a way to further disarm the plate without first moving the giant. He moved around the giant to the far end to another set of double doors. Banic easily opened one of the doors while Malperder grunted, stuck with the harder-to-open door again. Two charges of a coat of arms were revealed with half of a verse in ancient words similar to Tairn. The simple words were easy enough to make out. Malperder tried harded and the second door opened to reveal two more charges and more words. Beyond the doors was packed earth and stones that dribbled through the open doors. The coat of arms would have looked like this viewed from outside the closed doors:

All Hail!
King Cormon the Wise

cormonarms.bmp 

After much speculation, the doors were closed again as far as the fallen debris would allow, and Varende went by himself again to the far end of the Great Hall to examine the statues seen there. He passed by the eight dragon headed statues and examined the two statues of the King and Queen. He searched them thoroughly but found nothing. He looked at one dragon headed statue and discovered the eyes were small rubies. He returned to the group to report his findings. He searched the entryway thoroughly for secret doors finding none. He then started a quick search of the walls of the Great Hall while the dwarves and Kordis examined the dragonhead statues.  The first three statues were that of gold, red and brass dragons, each with ruby eyes. The next two statues had small emeralds for eyes and were of blue and copper dragons. The next two were of black and bronze dragons with sapphire eyes and the final dragon was of a green dragon with citrine eyes. Someone laments Keddick’s absence. Kordis remarks that the blue dragons are at home in Claris and breath a line electricity. The red, blue, black and green dragons are considered evil. The remaining chromastic dragons are considered good. Having met a red dragon with the exception of Serk, all agree to the evil nature of that draconic race. Meanwhile, Varende has made his way up to the top of the second dais behind the King and Queen and discovers the faintest seam of a secret door. He searches more thoroughly and finds the mechanism to open it. He investigates the head of a dragon statue searching for traps and Banic remarks that all of the eyes of the dragonheads are magical. Varende uses a wand and determines they have a faint enchantment on them. There is much discussion on whether to loot the eyes, but in the end they are left for now. Varende opens the secret door to reveal a wide corridor leading to a descending stair. It is not lit. Banic, concerned about traps, urges Varende on with everyone following 15 feet behind in a single line. Varende descends the steep stair and near the bottom hears a voice muttering

“I must guard the Crown! It must not fall into the wrong hands. No, no. Guard it. Guard it well. Set the traps. Lock the locks. Only the worthy will find it. Yes, yes. Only the worthy!”

He descends further to see the stair ends with a curving wall twenty five feet away. The floor is packed dirt but bears many footprints that are obviously larger than human. He moves cautiously to his right. The chamber seems to be round and as he peers past the stairs entering the chamber, he sees a semi-transparent figure pacing in front of a canted door of dark wood. The ghostly apparition repeats the phrase heard earlier periodically. The bodies of three humanoids lie around it. The apparition wears a simple robe tied with a rope and is tonsured. He wrings his hands as he paces and mutters. Varende reports to the others and Banic, Malperder, and Jack approach. Banic hails the ghost and it locks gazes with the favored of Moradin. The ghost moans eerily and the two dwarves and Jack panic and race for safety up the stairs leaving shields and weapons behind. Varende has closed the secret door and they search fruitlessly for the mechanism to open it until their panic subsides. Varende quietly collects their weapons and armor and retreats up the stairs. Everyone moves back down. Banic decides to destroy the moaning ghost. He hits it with a spell as Kordis throws a ball of force. The fall of force passes through the ghost to slam into the wall. The ghost moans again and Kordis, Malperder, and Serk  run for the secret door but again fail to escape. The ghost turns on Banic and its flesh falls away as Jack moves up. Its horrific appearance saps the vitality from the servant of Moradin, but Jack is unaffected. Varende moves around the other side of the stair and fires arrows, but they fail to harm the apparition. Banic casts more spells and eventually the ghost vanishes. Sheepishly, Malperder, twice-panicked, returns with Serk and Kordis. The door is examined and the bodies of the orcs searched. The orcs carry nothing of value, but in appearance are similar to those that stormed Caertan. Their bodies seem to have only been dead a day or two at most. The door is made of a dark wood with flecks of silver within it. A heavy wooden bar of the same materiel bars the door. Malperder pushes it out of the way and heaves the door open. Canted as it is, he holds it as others enter the stair beyond. He lets it close behind him. The group treks down the stairs to a large landing with another set of double doors.

The doors open on to a long hall that thirty feet wide.  Nine foot high statues line either side of the hall placed every sixty feet. Each statue holds a halberd and wears the arms of King Cormon on its chest. Varende searches one finding nothing. Thirty feet from the entrance are a pair of sconces on the walls dancing with fire and another thirty feet beyond that, another set. Varende moves forward cautiously watching for traps. Suddenly three large fires appear. Varende tumbles backwards and the fires move swiftly forward. They are attacked and they respond in kind. They slam into people and burn them, but are dispatched relatively easily. Further down the hall, Varende can just make out a large body can be seen lying in a pool of water some one hundred feet away.

The group moves forward cautiously. Ten feet past the next set of statues, two huge lumps of earth rise from the floor and block the passage. Everyone springs into action attacking them. They knock both Serk and Varende so hard that they are sent sprawling as they fly fifteen feet through the air. Kordis throughs several fire spells to help destroy them. With a bit more difficulty, the party dispatches the two mounds of earth and they sink back into the stone leaving nothing behind.

Fifteen feet beyond the next pair of statues, a pool crosses the entire width of the corridor for thirty feet. A hill giant lays face down in the pool mostly submerged.

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