ALERT: May Contain Spoilers for the Adventure: “Against the Cult of the Reptile God”
We arrived at the VIP quarters without incident, and while I mixed up something to eat from the late guards’ supplies, Mikael cast Detect Magic on the jewelry we’d acquired from the harpy.
He pronounced a gold necklace to be magical, so Ezekiel looked over it. He has done a lot of traveling and studying, after all.
As he looked it over, he started cackling and whooping.
“I think,” he said. “I think this is a ‘Necklace of Adaptation’ – meaning it’ll ‘adapt’ your breathing to any environment: vacuum, gas, water, whatever!”
So we gave it to Lancell to wear, at least for as long as we’re in the dungeon, since he’s our front line heavy hitter.
While the wounded rested, the rest of us raided the pantry and storeroom that had supplied the guards and attendants of E.D. We found some oil to help us immolate the snake eggs, plus some casks of beer that looked better quality. One of them had “Fire Amber” stamped on the side.
On our second excursion downstairs, we portaged the boat from Explictika’s lair to the second subterranean lake down there. Or, maybe I should say Lancell portaged the boat.
As he was lowering it into the water, Mikael stumbled and bumped against the wall, brushing away enough mud that a door was just visible.
Lancell forced it open, and we discovered a closet beyond that held nothing but…a little boat.
He didn’t, but you could tell Lancell really wanted to say some un-Paladin things.
The passage was wide enough for us to take both boats, so we paddled out. It led to a dead end and a tiny mud patch, where two chests stood on a platform.
Raven hopped out and checked them for traps, and told us he was pretty sure they were clean.
Well, I wasn’t so sure – I could have sworn I saw a funny-looking hair on one of them – so I checked them, too, but couldn’t find anything.
After that, everybody made me just go ahead and open the chests – with the keys we looted off the Evil Cleric.
What do you know – the first chest had a needle trap under the lid!! But it was disabled by the key, so it didn’t actually go off.
And the other chest was fine.
Note to self: Elwyn can’t find traps.
The chests contained a load of platinum, gold, and electrum – plus a bracelet and some gems. So we loaded it all up and paddled back to the main passage.
There were still one or two tunnels we hadn’t explored yet. The first of these was very narrow – I’m surprised Lancell and Ezekiel even shouldered their way in there.
It kind of spiraled its way to the center where – apparently – there was another chest on a platform. I couldn’t see it, since I was back a turn or two.
Raven took the keys forward to check it for traps, and open it if he could. I heard them saying that none of the keys would fit, and Raven offered to pick the lock.
I’m not sure exactly what happened next, but Lancell and Ezekiel suddenly shoved their way back toward us as mud and dirt flaked down from the ceiling.
Raven gave a yelp as he was partially buried, but he escaped the main support beam and dragged himself out of the debris.
“Well, that was a trap,” he said.
So we abandoned that chest and squeezed back out into the main passageway.
One other little chore to mop up: we had to burn the snake eggs. We poured our looted oil over every inch of the room, and then – as we all stood well back – Lancell lobbed a torch through the door.
Foom! I could feel the heat from where I stood! At least those little beasties won’t grow up to be vicious, Ezekiel-biting menaces.
The last room to investigate held something very strange indeed. All the way up and down that corridor, one could hear a creaking and trickling sound. When we looked inside the room, we saw a large wheel-contraption and buckets on ropes. The buckets swung down, plunged into a pool of water that covered much of the floor, and were carried up through a hole in the ceiling.
Operating the contraption? Five zombies. Apparently flood management is a cinch when you have zombie-slaves.
They ignored us completely…Even when Ezekiel dusted a couple of them with his magic stuffed sheep, the others kept working like little automatons.
He turned the rest into dust, and the wheel creaked into silence. The sound of running water, however, went on – louder in the sudden isolation.
We returned to the VIP quarters to spend the night. The water will start to reclaim this cavern, but not before we’re ready to leave (we think).
It’s been a long day, and Mikael wants to pray for Animal Friendship, to try befriending the little bipedal lizard-beast below.
I wonder what he would feed it if he caught it, but I guess we’ll worry about that if it comes to it.
Nori rejoined us a while ago, and is hanging on the wall by his chair while he pets her. Would she be jealous of another animal companion?
At least as long as we’re killing monsters, we have plenty of snacks for her. I wonder if she can be house-trained, as in taught to not eat people we like.
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