Loose Ends – Chapter Seventeen

4th Day of the Claw of Winter: (February):

Torleth Mindulspeer’ Lair:

Our Heroes now confront Torleth Mindulspeer at his shop in Gillian’s Hill called “Torleth’s Treasures”.

Mirafir: “He hath blinked Away.”

Mirafir screeches:

Mirafir: “He mutht be within sixty feet of uth!”

Thora, who had been the first to emerge through the Mirror’s portal, immediately and desperately lunged at Torleth Mindulspeer with her Footman’s Mace; but struck only thin air- though tinged with notes of sandalwood, aged leather and subtle back notes of tobacco – it was still, agonizingly, thin.

Even as the Wizard uttered his cry, the Dwarf maid barrelled her way through the now open, but previously Wizard locked doorway. Instinctively she knew that the next seconds were precious beyond measure if they hoped to engage with this powerful agent of Talos; before he escaped or gathered his wits and turned the tables upon our Daggerfordian heroes.

Instinctively also, because the ‘Silence’ spell cast upon her shield was still active, thus rendering Mirafir’s lisped squeal, redundant.

Ahead lay a corridor of perhaps 30’ feet or so, with a wooden door at the end….but the Maiden of Mace elected to vault to her left, where a staircase fell away into darkness. Landing safely, she could see no sign of Torleth Mindulspeer, making out the outline of a doorway countless steps below.

At ground level, the corridor turns to the left and runs 30’ feet to another wooden door where Frimly has moved to and stands, ear cocked, listening to the distinctive sounds of normal life beyond.

Torleth's Treasures
Torleth’s Treasures

Sigune, having opened the first door to reveal a bric-a-brac filled store room now moves past the Thief to investigate the short corridor beyond. Sword held high she hurls open another doorway finding, to her obvious dismay a repository for all things brown and yellow!

Sigune: “Vy alvays it iss me zat discovers ze stinking scheize haus, by Holy St Cuthbert’s pantaloons!”

Frimly carefully opens the door in front of him and steps through in to the shop itself and is stood slightly awkwardly as several faces turn around to stare at this interloper.

Frimly: “‘Ahem!’ Erm did Torleth Mindulspeer just leave? I seem to have misplaced him!”

Frimly announces

Young Lady: “‘No, no deary, not this way he didn’t. He went through that door.”

Pointing at the doorway through which Frimly had just emerged.

Young Lady: “Just a couple of minutes ago….very careless of you to lose him….hehehehe!”

As the laughter rings in the Thief’s ears as he backs out into the corridor, shaking his head.

All eyes look down the long, straight unlit stairways and in an instant five pairs of legs follow eyes and begin the descent at perilous speed.

Thora notes that the stone stairway appears to be gouged out by Magic’s similar to that seen at the Ancient Crypt used by his Bandits; only that more attention has been taken here to improve the quality.

That Sigune may traverse the stairway more quickly, Mirafir casts an ‘Infravision’ spell upon her, whereupon dark becomes light and the duration of which will last the full length of a winter’s night.

Sigune: “Mein got, vy did ve not zink of zis bevore!?”

Frimly and Galan lead the way down the long stairway 360’ feet downwards – by Galan’s estimate, some 3. Door 60’, before they reach a heavy wooden door at the bottom.

Frimly: “Reckon this has been wizards locked by Torleth Mindulspeer, chaps.”

Declares Frimly as he carefully examines the door mechanism.

Thora: “Lemme through!”

Still puffing from the descent, Thora puts her mighty hewed shoulder to the door but cannot gain enough purchase to burst it from its frame. She slowly turns to the Wizard, eyes still ablaze from her fruitless exertion and beckons him to take her place.

With gesturing and murmurs the deed is soon done and Mirafir’s ‘Knock’ spell unlocks the door held by Torleth Mindulspeer Spell.

NPC - Torleth Mindulspeer
NPC – Torleth Mindulspeer

A short 30’ foot corridor lies ahead. The lit torches a reminder that Torleth is human. The corridor then turns to the left and runs 60’ feet but with the addition of ten alcoves each with a fully armoured and armed stone warrior statue.

The smell of damp assails their nostrils. Perhaps an underground river runs nearby.

Before they continue, Galan first searches for tracks…but finds none that may be recent – so did Torleth indeed pass this way or did he somehow ‘Teleport’ past this point?

While Mirafir casts ‘Detect Magic’ he discovers that everything radiates an aura; from statues to walls and floor. Further arcane detection reveals that this is the effect of a ‘Guards and Wards’ spell, a high level conjuration designed to confuse and misguide unwanted adventurers through a myriad of illusory cul-de-sacs.

Mirafir: “This special and powerful Spell is primarily used to defend the Wizard’s stronghold. All corridors become misty; visibility is reduced to 10 feet, all doors are ‘Wizard Locked’, stairs are filled with webs from top to bottom and regrow within one turn if destroyed. Then where there are choices in direction–such as a cross or side passage a minor confusion, the whole area radiates magic, meaning use of the ‘Detect Magic’ Spell becomes impossible for those of less than the caster’s level and difficult for others and one door per level of experience of the wizard is covered by an illusion to appear as if it were a plain wall. Finally, the wizard can place one of the following additional magical effects, ‘Dancing Lights’ in 4 corridors, a ‘Magic Mouth’ in 2 places, a ‘Stinking Cloud’ in 2 places, a ‘Gust of Wind’ in one corridor or room or a ‘Suggestion’ Spell in 1 place.”

Fearing attack by the statues, Mirafir walks down corridor with ‘Invisibility’ cast upon him. Nothing untoward happens.

He returns to his comrades and casts a ‘Non-Detection’ ward upon Sigune – as she is, with her legendary intellect, the easiest to ‘Scry’ upon.

As the adventurers move along the corridor, in a state of high alert, all statues seem to turn their heads! But do not attack. Comes.

They turn the next corner to find two large doors stood side by side. Again these are ‘Wizard Locked’ and again the mighty Dwarf puts her shoulder to one but cannot make headway, the twin door however finally splinters apart after several hefty charges.

Spell - Wizard Locked Door
Spell – Wizard Locked Door

Beyond lies a corridor that stretches beyond their sight as no sconces are lit here.

Knowing that the dimension of the ‘Guards and Wards’ spell is 400’ feet and that they are now near midway of that the decision is made to cast locate object on a symbol of Talos! As not enough is known of Torleth Mindulspeer to locate an actual item of his. Rather cunning really!

Fearing the misguiding nature of the ‘Guards and Wards’ Spell, Frimly ties a rope to the first door and Sigune holds it while walking down towards the end of the corridor. She eventually reaches two more ‘Wizard Locked’ doors.

Again Thora’s might is called upon and again a thunderous crack and crashing indicate that she has bypassed yet another of Torleth Mindulspeer’s impediments.

Mirafir re-focuses on his ‘Locate Object’ Spell which is still indicating a North-Westerly direction.

The opening ahead is thick with an almost impenetrable mist (are Mirafir’s Cards now foretelling the journey ahead!?)

Frimly then reties the rope to this next door and again Sigune is attached and begins to stumble along what appears to be a corridor. On the westerly side she finds a stairway, similarly a stairway descends to the east. Further along a large 20’ feet wide stairway heads downwards into the unknown, though this stairway is swathed in tell-tale conjured ‘Web’. On the East side of the corridor appear to be more stairways descending and covered by the ‘Web’ Spell.

Spell - Web
Spell – Web

As Sigune and Thora continue their exploration the narrowly avoid walking straight into a ‘Stinking Cloud’, holding their breaths in the nick of time and avoiding the toxic poisonous effects.

Galan follows them and makes use of his ‘Necklace of Adaptation’ which allows him to repel the effects of poisons when activated.

The trio find an oversized portcullis greeting them. Galan and Thora set their backs to the task of lifting it, but to their consternation they barely raise them above few inches.

So Frimly, braving the poisonous effects joins Sigune to attempt the same task and, straining, quivering and trembling under the effort, they slowly send the portcullis upwards. Their compatriots quickly pass through.

Beyond the cloying tendrils of mists and foul cloud lays a lit chamber some 90’ feet long and near 60’ feet wide. Its high roof stretches up some 60’ but seems to defy gravity in that it lacks any conventional vaulting

As Mirafir passes into the hall his state of ‘Invisibility’ is somehow neutralized as are the other Magical Spells that he had running become negated.

PC - Mirafir Roven - Invisible
PC – Mirafir Roven – Invisible

Such a potent ‘Dispel Magic’ spell has been cast that even potion must save against its power!

Two openings are set on either side of the chamber and near the centre of the room are sat many children, all of which look uncannily like Torleth’s young helper, Tom Katze. That are sat around staring at something that can’t be seen on the floor and each holds a blade in their hands.

The distracted children pay the adventurers no heed.

At the utmost height of the ceiling the uncanny sight of bilious, rolling clouds that are turning from light grey to a stormy blackness accompanied by low rumbles of thunder.

Frimly peers into the nearest open portal and sees several sarcophagi set within, what lies within the larger Western chamber remains unclear.

In one room are sarcophagi on East 30’x30′ foot, another on West are larger but is not clear.

Sensing imminent danger, Mirafir casts ‘Mirror Image’ upon himself whereupon seven replicas of our purple gowned Mage appear.

Mirafir Roven - Mirror Image
Mirafir Roven – Mirror Image

Almost instantly and without mercy a ‘Lightning Bolt’ emanates from out of the darkness and strikes one of the Tom Katze copies, killing him instantly. But the ‘Lightning Bolt’ does not stop there or continue is a Straight line! It flashes around the vast chamber striking each of our heroes with slowly diminishing fury.

No one is spared the effect of this ‘Chain Lightning Bolt’ a bolt for each level of the caster and Mirafir counted no less than 13!!! Still smoking and numbed by the strikes our heroes sprint for the North Western most door…in the hope that Wizard meat lies beyond.

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