The hand of the king

Session 13 June 2021

The portal is gone. Valentine and I are still on the one side, and Smoke, Farryn, and Aiden are on the side where we just defeated the spiders and driders. I don’t know what to do: we cannot open the portal because Farryn has the key, and I’m not sure Farryn can open the portal because sometimes, the portals switch entrances and exits. I start to panic and overthink all possible outcomes of this conundrum. Luckily, Farryn opens the portal a couple of seconds later, and I sigh in relief.

I tell the party about my attempt to read the driders’ mind during the fight to locate it, and instead heard some voice I can relate to a Mind Flayer. I tell the party NOT to go back to explore the area behind the portal, and to continue our quest for the ‘hand of the king’ to open the treasure room. The party agrees and we explore further to find it. We enter a hall with two Helmed Horrors at the end guarding a door. The Horrors are made for a purpose, in this case, I can feel they will protect the door with their lives. We are quite exhausted and choose to investigate another door to avoid the Horrors. Apparently, the hallway we find behind the door is familiar to the party and we turn back. Farryn starts the fight with the Helmed Horrors by throwing a valve towards them. Valentine casts her Eldridge Blast, but it doesn’t hurt the enemy. I can see they are immune to force damage and try to remember that in future attacks. Aiden calls his humonculous Nim. It is a firebird of some sort and I am really interested in the magic it possesses, but have to pay attention to the fight: the Helmed Horrors fly towards Aiden and me and hit me twice and really hard. I panic and use misty step to get away and cast magic missile. However, it doesn’t do sh*t!! I knew that, but in my state of panic, I didn’t think twice before I reacted. Aiden heals me and when the Helmed Horrors are defeated, we open the door and see a shrine. There are white marble walls with four statues. We see something shiny and pick it up. I identify it as a mouthpiece of a tuba. How odd that we find such a thing here.

Helmed Horror

Valentine is bored: she is drawing mustaches on the God-like dwarven statues, and Farryn and Aiden run after her to clean the statues. It goes on for a while until the two men urged her to stop. We walk back to the portal and investigate the other area on the other side of that room. It feels like a royal, king-like room. All is broken in this room – it is a f*cking mess. A tomb is forced open with brute force. I did not know that the Duergarr were so disrespectful of the dead – even if they’re dwarves. The tomb has an inscription on it: ‘here lies our king, his spirits are with the gods’.

We investigate, but Valentine and I are really looking for a secret door. We find one and enter the tomb of the king. There is no doubt that this is the place where we will find the hand of the king. We see a black marble tomb with golden chandeliers on all corners. Crystal panels with axes hang on the walls. Valentine grabs one of the chandeliers, and we hear a voice: ‘You dishonor our beloved King, may his tomb become yours as well!’ All axes jump from the walls and swarm around Valentine. The rest of the party found the secret door as well, and as we all try to attack the axes, Valentine casts a wall of fire, causing all axes to fall down – reduced to dust. When the dust and fire vanish, Valentine stands smirking in the middle of the room. She takes all chandeliers with her – as there are now no axes to attack her anymore, and we push open the tomb. A skeleton in black robes lies immovable in the coffin. We also spot a tiny skeleton of an animal at his shoulder, Aiden says it is a mole. What if the mole is the ‘hand of the king’? We come up with a plan: we take the right hand of the king, and the mole with us to open the black door.

We travel some more and finally find our way back to the hall with the black door. The Duergarr are still busy here to find out how to open the door. We try all possible things: press the hand to the wall, the mole, the moles’ hand, our mage hand with the imprint of the bones, but nothing opens the door – but it activates the spectral hand that appears to protect the door. We even rest between attempts because the spectral hand causes us to care for our wounds.

Then suddenly, Valentine grabs me by the arm and casts dimension door to get to the treasure room. She pulls me with her and steps through the door. I’m not sure if it will work, but I think this is a genius idea.

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