Photo credit to Hollywood Metal.
Shadows danced on the crumbling walls from the shimmering light that emitted from Corbin’s staff. It mingled and danced with the fire that encompassed Crysx’s great ax to create a mesmerizing medley of light. The air was cruelly cold, the puffs of warm breath spilling from their mouths every five seconds reminded them of that.
“This room looks like it’s going to collapse any second, we have to move,” said Lisbeth, as she patted dust from her leg.
She was right, the room was in an abysmal state, it was making them nervous. One by one, they squeezed through the slanted opening that appeared to be a door at one time. It lead to a cylindrical hallway, the walls completely covered by ornate carving. It seemed to depict some sort of story, though age hadn’t been kind to its upkeep. The sound of the party’s footsteps echoed off of the stone in the hall, though it wasn’t very wide. The footing was uncomfortable, the floor wasn’t flat. The shape of the hallway was elliptical, an odd design that they’d never seen before.
Walking along cautiously, they notice the hallway coils deeper and deeper into the ground. Eventually, they had reached a section of wall that was in better condition than the others for some reason. The imagery caught Corbin’s eye…
It depicted a large creature, the lower half and head a serpent but with the torso of a man. The creature held a staff above its head, rays of light carved in all directions from the tip of it. Various other creatures of vast variety were strewn about the image, seemingly in pain or despair. Corbin noticed something about the top of the staff, it seemed like it wasn’t just carved like the rest of the image. He scraped at it as it was seemed to be caked dirt. He continued to scrape at it to reveal a ruby, roughly the size of his fist. It was hard for Corbin to bring his attune hist senses to tell if ti was inherently magical, but he had decided he wanted it. Scraping and prying at the gem, he eventually plucked it from the wall and threw it in his satchel.
They eventually found an end to this accursedly long hallway. It was a dead one, but to the left and the right there were doorways, though with no doors. To the right, a vast blackness at the light from their implements struggled to combat. To the left, a seemingly smaller room with something lurking in the shadows on the far wall. Saving the unknown for later, they ventured left.
A rather bare room lay before them, on the far wall the statue of a nine foot tall, four armed gargoyle. It stood with its arms outstretched as if to embrace the players, but the menacing face that the carver gave it said otherwise. The upper right arm was broken off and on the ground in front of it, almost seemingly placed there, though not recently by any stretch. There were inscriptions on the arms at a closer glance:
“Power can be found in unlikely places”
“Power sometimes blinds the mighty”
“The mighty sometimes wield no power”
image credit to Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: Tomb of Horrors
The fourth arm seemingly didn’t have any inscriptions. After pondering a bit, the group decided it would be best to come back. Time to try the other room. It opened up into a vast room lined with many pillars. Cautiously walking into the room, the lights from their implements struggled to choke back the shadows. Every now and again, there seemed to be something that shifted around just outside of sight. They could hear it, they could feel that they were being watched. Near the left wall, there was a very faint orange glow that they deemed appropriate to investigate. They found a group of charred skeletons surrounding a small, orange gem. The skeletons were clearly once paladins from the Order of the Stars, though the armor and weapons themselves was heavily damaged. In a pinch, the extra arms could prove useful.
Amazed and intrigued, Corbin walks up to it and picks it up.
“Wish magic…” He mutters, eyes the size of dinner plates. Lisbeth and Crysx quickly stand on either side of him to gawk at the bauble. It’s a few moments of eerie silence until a bolt of electricity slams the wall in front of them followed by a feral scream. Whirling around they saw a serpentine creature, though it had a head somewhat similar to a human. It lunged in to attack.
Back from behind them, they hear screams and laughter to find that the skulls of the fallen have been animated by some sort of magic. The Naga’s cry rings through the hall, piercing the silence like a hot knife.
In the end, the party slayed the sparkscale naga. Long before dealing with the skulls too. Once their master had fallen, they returned to the state they were found in. There was no telling how long that Naga had been trapped down here, but one thing was for certain: the gem emanates a powerful enough magic to keep it satiated for an amazing amount of time.
And so the plot thickens…
Stay Metal \m/