Date: Tarsakh( late winter), the18th, DR 489. Returning to restore Varis to the living , Argen, Kor, Jacs, and Vindaal, entered the catacombs of the ruined Abby of Tymora, leaving young Brendle( the parties animal/camp helper) to guard the parties mounts outside( fearing possible attack from a hunting Ettin, traps were set and Brendle took up a watch, set-up in a tree top lookout).
When the group reached the spot were Varis was petrified by the breath of the Gorgon, his body was missing, a quick search revealed no tracks that would suggest his very heavy statute form had been moved; goblin and gnome sized tracks were seen, but few details could be made out on the ruins cobbled courtyard.
Using his enchanted rope, Jacs led the way down the ruined stairway into the Abby catacombs.The group climbed down into the 40’ dungeon entrance without incident. Before getting too deep into danger, Vindaal said prayers of blessing to help his companions survive the oncoming trials. Sneaking up to the the area formerly used by the recently defeated chimera, the party surprised a pair of resting trolls, sitting under piles of befouled hay, fish bones and a half consumed chimera carcass, making the scene quite pungent! Argen charged quickly, using his newly attuned flame-tongue longsword to devastating effect. Kor quickly fire-balled one of the trolls, sending flaming hay, troll flesh, and dust everywhere. The trolls were quickly defeated without serious injury. A goblin was spotted during the fray, beyond a portcullis, yelling to alert the dungeons other guardians( sounds of another portcullis opening and horses pulling something were soon heard). more concerned with getting through the barrier, Jacs failed to search for traps while unlocking a portcullis ( he was struck with a poison needle, his embarrassment was worse than the effect of the poison). Jacs got the portcullis unlocked and the group moved on. The party finds a torture chamber,and watery cistern/ shaft leading downward to unknown depths. The torture chamber revealed some of Varis’ clothing? A torture table showed recent signs of blood. Was the elvish ranger back in the form of flesh? A fully stocked storeroom of foodstuffs and building materials was soon found as well. Further into the converted catacombs, a barn of sorts was discovered. The barn held a number of pigs, chickens and a milk goat. A few beds, a table and flaming hearth revealed the area to be well used by goblins( obviously henchlings to whomever controls the dungeon). Also discovered in the barn was an area that must have held a few ponies and small cart( now gone) with an exit leading to another portcullis and a cleverly applied illusion to make the exit appear as hillside to those searching for an entrance. The party( especially the practically minded Kor) began to suspect that the Gnome Grin Greasegear( who disappeared during the fight with the Gorgon), lead them to this deathtrap on purpose.
Moving on, the party entered a magically trapped chamber with a statue of a priestess of Tymora. Not sensing the magical nature of the obstacle, All took some measure of flame damage as jets of magic flame burst forth from each corner ( Argen suffering the least for having a brooch of the fire moth, giving him fire resistance). Kor figured out/disabled the trap by placing a watery globe in the statues hand.
The party entered the shrine chamber of Tymora. Four mithril armored, helmed horrors asked the party for the password( Laguritz Lives!), when not given the lead construct warrior dropped a cone of poisonous incense into a flaming brazier. With the highest initiative Kor sends a fireball into the constructs doing serious damage. Argen Jacs, and Vindaal entered the chamber to fight the constructs with melee weapons. During the fight with the construct warriors Argen was poisoned by the poison incense( which he pretty much ignored, focusing on the battle in a burgeoning rage). Argen and Jacs did a great deal of damage while Vindaal aided with bless and healing spells. During the fight the group moved out of the room to avoid the poisonous fumes. During the fight the Dungeon’s master, a Beholder-like Spectator, used the cistern shaft from below to sneak up behind the party. Jacs keen sense for danger prevailed and spotted the flanking, floating beast. Jacs severely wounded the creature with lightning fast rapier work, then resisted the pseudo-beholder’s ray of paralysis. Alerted by Jacs, Kor resisted the creatures ray of confusion, returning with a magical attack by blasting the beast with a sphere of sonic damage; the spell popping the beast like a grape!
Despite the poison and effective armor of the constructs, Argen and Vindaal were able to finish the guardians off. After the constructs were destroyed, the party searched the shrine area. Varis was found lowered into a deep cavern, inside a man-cage. Varis was in poor condition, but was soon healed and freed.
With Varis recovering, Jacs fulfilled his promise to the priestess of Tymora( Adara), and read a scroll of consecration inside the shrine( Also pouring holy water into the shrine statues pool). The shrine, catacombs, and its surroundings changed in aura and atmosphere almost immediately ( even slightly healing the group); the goddess of luck is always pleased by those who dare to take chances in her name( perhaps this roguish half-fey merits closer attention?).
Near where Varis was found, the party also found a caged fairy dragon named Snags, who took an immediate liking to Jacs, his candy, and his tobacco! The little beast begin to clear away some of the mystery of the dungeon. Snags related that the ruined Abby and it’s catacombs were converted to a treasure vault by a legendary( and rumored to be dead) Beholder named Laguritz “lord of the 9th eye”. It seems that the Beholder’s minions in this dungeon were lead by the now dead Spectator ( who’s name was Lagurot). Lagurot, in league with evil gnome, Grin Greasegear, lured many a poor adventurer to be petrified by the Gorgon’s breath. Using illusion to distract the beast, Grin would loot the petrified victims of their magic items, sometimes using a custom wand to turn the victims back to flesh( to feed the Chimera, or to be sold into slavery to underdark allies!). Varis would have surely fetched a high price! Snags told the party that two shafts( the cistern and man-cage pit), lead deep underground were Lagurot has a construct laboratory( originally built by his master Laguritz). Also in the depths, a treasure vault holds valuable maps and tomes of knowledge( most notably a priceless tome of construct construction!). Snags further explained that near the lab, dark dwarf( Duergar) smiths turn mithril oar into material for Lagurot’s helmed horror constructs. Lagurot often traded surface items( acquired by Greasegear) to trade for underdark oar and Duergar labor( especially in converting the catacombs to a viable dungeon). Snags didn’t know how many constructs Lagurot has made, but thinks not many( most he saw were being traded to underdark Duergar merchants; once, even to a tentacle faced mind flayer!). In Snag’s two years as a prisoner he learned much of their schemes and treachery and suffered greatly from a lack of treasure( candy, tobacco, cookies… the good stuff!).
The group then smashed up the mithril covered armor remains of the helmed horrors( using Kor and Jacs bags of holding to carry the heavy loot); Kor’s keen mind for money recognized the metal to be worth thousands. Nursing wounds, and poison covered gear, the group decided to rest inside the earlier discovered barn and barracks area. Looted slabs of bacon, onions and potatoes from the storage room were fried up for a well earned feast. Armor, clothing and gear was wearily cleaned. Argen exited the dungeon through the exit portcullis to fetch young Brendle, and the parties mounts to shelter inside the dungeon barn. Brendle related that he had encountered little trouble( except for a soggy cloak), but Vindaal’s wolf must have run off to hunt in the rainy, scrub-land hills.The knowing cleric had faith his feral friend would return. With a watchful eye, the group took a greatly needed rest.