Do not press

Session 14 August 2021 - offline

We are thinking about a plan to access the south room on the second floor. Otto is still keeping watch at the door, so we can’t enter through there. Peythur wants to scout the second floor like a spider and climbs out of the window to the second floor below. We wait for a while… Valentine uses message to talk to Peythur and asks what he sees – she then shares that information with the rest of us. Peythur sees a gigantic panel with a pentagram in the middle, five buttons, and three handles. The buttons have a meaning: roof, mist, lockdown, music, and ‘do not press’. The handles control the light, temperature, and the courtyard. After Peythur has returned, we decide to first take a seat in the dining room and eat something before we try to get in the room.

Well-fed, we make our way back to Otto and the room. Valentine uses her suggestion to convince him to let us into the room. “Only if you don’t touch anything, you may enter.” he says. As we see the panel, Valentine immediately wants to press the ‘do not press’-button. We all tell her ‘no’. However, Valentine is determined to press it, and Otto walks away to take cover. Peythur, Farryn, Grond, and I do the same. Valentine presses the button and the room is filled with lightning! She almost dies, but Peythur has some goodberries in his pocket that help her get back on her feet. I think it was a reckless action, and she shouldn’t have done it in the first place – karma’s a bitch. Ottos’ attitude changes in a split second: he wants us to leave this room NOW. We ask what we can still find in this castle and on this floor. He replies that there is an old library that contains the archive of all wizards in Undermountain. There is also a portal here, imbued with Hallasters’ dark magic. It is very dangerous, he tells us.

We choose to go to the library first, it is very old indeed and most of the books are crumbling apart, but we find Hallasters’ record – and it is still readable: ‘ruler of Undermountain, very dangerous, currently in Undermountain’. We also find an entry that is about ME! It says: ‘Enola Yarn, lots of potential, currently in Undermountain on her way to the Wizard Academy’. What strikes me is that it seems that external parties have influenced me without my knowledge to make sure I got to Undermountain. That’s odd. We read some other records, one about a Lich Ezzat that moves against Hallisters’ powers.

After the library, we get in a fight where Peythur and Valentine get knocked out, and I almost die, but luckily we have enough potions of healing to get us back up. I try to catch up with Farryn who wants to open a door. He heard some kind of snoring behind it and thinks it is Maddgoth sleeping in there. Farryn enters and through the opening in the door, I can see a book-filled room with a tapestry on the wall depicting Maddgoth. Valentine and I hide when Farryn makes some noise to try and wake up the sleeping person on the bed. Nothing happens. Grond lifts the blanket and we only see pillows. Then, the wands attached to the walls break loose and start attacking us. As I’m still bloodied, I try to stay away from the fight but help by casting magic missiles. We succeed in killing the six wands. We investigate the room some more and decide it is a good place to rest. Valentine and I claim the bed in the corner and we go to sleep.

The next morning, we find the room with the portal Otto told us about. We activate the portal by producing a flame near it, and we see a plane without any nature on the other side of the portal. We decide not to go through: it seems very ominous. To keep Farryn happy – he has been a little bit cranky lately – we take a detour to the archives to find out more about the Wizard Academy. Along the way, we enter a room with a portrait of Hallaster and Farryn finds a ship in a bottle. We all feel the magic inside it, and Farryn decides to keep it. With my knock-spell, we open another door with a booming sound. We see a big music hall and we hear a muffled voice say: “Hello? Is someone there?! Can someone help me? I’m stuck!” A man is stuck in a bass. We can see his face behind the snares. “Can you help me? I’m a wizard and Hallaster locked me up inside this bass, I’m Zartem by the way.” Farryn sprints back to the archives to check the status of this wizard. When he comes back, he snorts and says Zartem is deceased. I try to detect the thoughts of this man. I hear: “I think he doesn’t believe me… I need to think of something else!”

Valentine asks: “Why are you locked up here?”

“I am imprisoned by Maddgoth.” Hold on. What? He first told us he was locked up by Hallaster. What is this man trying to do? I hear his thoughts still: he was forced to crawl into this bass and imprison himself. He thinks Maddgoth and Hallaster work together. 

“How long have you been stuck in this bass?” asks Valentine.

“For years!”

“How are you still alive then?”

“This is how it works in Undermountain…” I can hear him thinking that he has indeed been stuck for years. I try to read his deeper thoughts: I hear he is very worried about Maddgoth removing his control gem. So. This is NOT a wizard and not a human. Only a creature has a control gem, and one that I know of is a Slaad. We cannot trust this creature. 

“What do we get if we free you?”

“A wand for one of your spellcasters.”

We walk out the door to discuss. I immediately tell them that this is not a human, but most likely a Slaad which is not to be trusted. We decide to go back and try to convince the Slaad to tell us where the wand is, in exchange for getting him out. Amazingly, he agrees to tell us the location first: it is in the Basilisk near the entrance to level eight of Undermountain. We exit the room and close the door behind us. We investigate a couple of rooms on our way to the Basilisk, but we have already decided not to go back for the Slaad. The last room on the second floor holds a Mind Flayer. Farryn walked in first and then fooled Valentine to do the same – she is very frightened at first, but then discovers it is a puppet. Farryn laughs his ass off. There are no more puppets in the room, but it is filled with costumes; some are covered in blood, some torn up, but it looks like a walk-in closet. I search for some clothes in my favorite color: blue and find wizards’ robes.

We find the Basilisk and the entrance to level eight. Peythur grabs the giant statue and drops it in front of us. It breaks and we investigate the rock. Not long after, we find a wand of conduction. Then, we hear some rumbling and voices: probably the Giants, but we don’t want any trouble. Peythur grabs Farryn and Grond, and Valentine and I ride Enola2 downstairs. We end up in a swamp.

We pass a Yuan-Ti temple. We know we need to be vigilant, Yuan-Ti are not that friendly most of the time. Farryn and I stay behind Valentine and Peythur scout the area up ahead. A short while later, I see a giant fireball scorch the area. As we approach the temple and all enemies already lie dead on the ground. I don’t want to attack the creatures inside, but Farryn opens the door already. We enter the temple, but the creatures inside readied and attack immediately. There are two Yuan-Ti abominations and a Bullywug that seems particularly buffed. Farryn is knocked out in one blow by the Bullywug. Valentine yells: “RUN!!” I throw one fireball and run after her. One abomination is killed shortly after, but the Bullywug succeeds in evading most of our attacks. The Bullywug corners me and is ready to attack as Peythur hits and kills him in front of me. After another fireball Farryn kills the Abomination that is still left.

Yuan-Ti abomination

With everything in the room left for dead, we approach the altar. There are statues of snakes on it, just like the snakes on the building itself. Peythur notices that one of the snakes’ eyes can be pressed. The wand of secrets also points to a place on the altar. I press the button curiously. A snake tail extends from the altar and a small drawer opens. I take a red candle from the drawer: a candle of Invocation. If you have the same alignment as the candle you can light it and cast first-level spells without losing energy. I don’t know the alignment, but I know only clerics or druids can use it. We ask Peythur to have a look at it. Inside the empty temple, we take a short rest.

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