Juselen 12th 1014 YE
As the rest of the party slept, Oberron stayed awake pouring through the stone tomes in the library. He gleaned some valuable information from the tomes he read. He explained to the party the books talk about how the dwarves in this vault had been secretly recovering the Banes from all across the Known World. This may have been the reason they were massacred. Oberron also noted that there were instructions for operating the machinery in the grand shaft so they could get to the lower levels.
The party pushed deeper into the vault and discovered a magical pool filed with what looked like gems. They were not; Oberron reached into the pool and touched one of the gems. The gems seemed to actually be portals to other realms. The soul of a dead alien sorcerer came out of the portal and slammed into Oberron. Oberron suffered no ill effects, in fact he benefited greatly as a number of his attributes improved.
Avery and Garrick tried to see what would happen if they tried. Garrick triggered a hostile response as the beings on the other side of the portal zapped the party with a taser like weapon. Avery pulled out a rose that was being eaten by a caterpillar. When he knocked off the caterpillar and killed it, his hand grew to twice its size.
The heroes checked two of the side chambers and Oberron has a surprise encounter with a nest of pit vipers. Luckily Lozen was able to use Charm Animal to make the vipers go away,
Leaving the pool room they headed deeper. They entered the next chamber and so discovered a terrible creature that continually changed form. A battle ensued as the creature attacked them. It would spit acid one round and then attack with steel pseudopods the next. The creature’s body transformed itself round to round, from flesh-like skin to being covered in scales, then bark, then back to flesh. The parties weapons were unpredictably ineffective as what hurt it one round, did not do so the next. After several rounds of fighting they managed to slay the beast.
Garrick examined the dead beast and made some speculations as to what manner of creature it was. He believed it must have come through one of the portal in the pool. The world it came from must have been one of pure chaos and it was a creature without true form. When the creature arrived here it was trapped in a world where matter and form was rigid.
Leave that chamber they came to a room that seemed a dead end except for a 2 foot wide hole in the floor. Oberron using his boots of spider climbing walked down in to the hole. It opened up in a large open cavern. Oberron was not alone. A slimy Oil Slug called the cavern home and soon began to spray oil at Oberron and igniting it. A battle ensued, Lozen used charm animal to persuade the creature to go elsewhere and leave them alone.
Oberron noted that while the cavern looked like a natural cavern it was not. The cavern had been carefully been hand crafted to look that way. There was a tunnel that led north out of the cavern, the way seemed clear. The party followed the tunnel until it opened out one to a stone bridge spanning a massive underground chasm. The heroes had entered the Underdark, a vast system of caverns, canyons and chasms that lay hidden beneath the surface of the world.
But it is not a silent environment. It is not a tomb. Somewhere, maybe below, maybe far away with the evidence merely being echoed across vast distances by tunnels is the sound of crashing water, an underground rocky river. A waterfall somewhere, perhaps?
And it is teeming with life. Hordes of bats, both normal and giant, flit this way and that. Strange blind subterranean creatures emit audible sonar waves. Other fantastic animals communicate with each other over miles of distance, creating what appears to be a harmonious chorus not unlike whale songs one moment, and horrid cacophony the next. Shriekers of numerous types react to all these, and more, as they are approached. Cave crickets of considerable size click and chirp. The sounds of life here are infinite in variety. All of this, save perhaps the occasional bat, is out of sight of the party’s lantern light.
As the party crossed the bridge, the sense of isolation and helplessness became acute. The torches and lantern only illuminated so far. For most of the journey across the chasm, the party was not be able to see the beginning of the bridge, the end of the bridge, nor the ceiling, nor the floor, nor anything but their comrades and the short stretch of bridge currently illuminated. They were in a void.
As they approached the end of the bridge, the sounds of wings approach could be heard. Before the party could prepare, a winged serpent swooped out of the darkness and blasted them with a cone of sound. A couple of the heroes were stunned and suffered from vertigo. The party attempted to locate the creature as it swooped in and out of their torch light. Lozen solved this problem by casting Faire Fire, illuminating the creature. After several minutes, they were able to injury the creature badly enough that it flew away to look for safer prey. It did not get far as a large purple worm popped out of a hole and ate it.
The party crossed the bride and found themselves on a landing. An open archway led them to a chamber which contained a large golden bronze double door that was barred. Carved into metal door was ancient dwarf runes and fitted on the door are twelve small rubies. The bar on the door was unusual and of advanced composition.
Flanking the doors, in the corners, are two huge (7 foot) statues of thick, surly dwarf warriors carrying war hammers. Before the statues on the ground were offering bowls. The bowls were empty.
It had been a long day and many of the heroes were injured. The decision to rest was debated……………………