Session 31 July 2022

Okay. Back at the dungeon. What are we going to do next? We’re standing in front of a door and are investigating whether we can enter safely. As Valentine casts ghostly gaze, I hand over the rod of rulership to Farryn.
‘Oh! There are 4 hobgoblins at the other side.’ says Valentine.
Luckily, we have a pact with the hobgoblins at this level, so they won’t attack us. We walk through the door and some crash into the stairs with an ‘Autsj’.

We enter a room with three hallways connected to it, and minecarts at the center near one of the hallways.
‘Welcome to the Obstacle Course. Place your magical items and weapons into the carts please.’ we hear a voice say.
‘Uhhm, let’s not hand them over…’ says Valentine hesitatingly.
Calyx immediately spots a trapdoor hidden near the mine carts. As we walk around the room, we see four statues of Hallaster.
Which way should we go? I start to think of what others told us about this level. I remember there are three ways here: avoid the Obstacle Course, enter the Obstacle Course, or exit the level. In the background, Farryn and Valentine are testing the mine carts.
‘You can put your own items in, and you are the only one that can get them out.’ informs Farryn.
I’m still lost in thoughts: if I try to avoid the death tyrant that hates wizards, would it know which path I took?
The party decides to take part in the Obstacle Course and try to get past the trapdoor.
Valentine and I cannot jump over the trapdoor, so Calyx helps by transforming into a giant spider. I climb the spider and ride it to the other side and descend. When Valentine and I thank Calyx, he climbs up the ceiling and scouts the area. A couple of times, he returns from a dead end, and Farryn decides to help.
When he turns a corner, we all hear Hallasters’ voice echo through the hallway: ‘TELEPORTED!’
Farryn and Grond are gone. Dammit! We need to stay together!
‘He’s trying to separate us!’ yells Valentine. I grab her hand and hold her tight. Calyx tries to find Farryn but he walks a bit too far, and with ‘TELEPORTED’, he vanishes as well.

I hold Valentines’ hand even more tightly, and we explore another passage to find the gnomes. We pass a statue, avoid it, and find a larger space. Constantly, anxiously searching for traps, we see three doors. We don’t see any traps but hear female and male voices on the other side of the door. We listen closely: they’re waiting for someone to report back to them. We’re not going into that room and making way for the door in the north.
We don’t hear anything, so we open the door: the only thing we see are bedrolls – looks like they are used.
We walk to the southern door, and hear: ‘TELEPORTED!’. I feel my sister’s hand slip out of mine and see her vanish.

Then, I see lava. A lot of lava, but also: Farryn, Grond, and Calyx! They are wounded and look very bad – Calyx is in the middle of his healing ritual. Grond isn’t moving at all: he’s petrified.
‘What’s going on?!’ I ask as I approach.
‘Don’t touch the door!’
I stay away from it and sit with them.
As Calyx finishes his healing ritual, he helps Grond with a greater restoration.
I look around and see a huge bridge crossing over the lava below. It is opaque, and if Calyx tries to stand on it, it disappears. I have no idea what kind of magic this can be. Farryn tries his sextant of displacement to get to the other side, that works! We see Farryn wave on the other side and enter some sort of cave. We look down into the lava and see half a dozen lava children in the depths.
‘Hey, Enola… should I try to find Valentine?’ asks Calyx.
‘Well, I feel something… something familiar – like Valentine is scrying me.’
I allow her to see what I see, and as quickly as it started, the feeling ends. Next to me, I see Valentine appear. I know her trick: she uses the scrying spell to see where her target is and then uses dimension door to get there. Mip is sitting on her shoulder and flies off to find Ropi, Calyxs’ familiar.

During Mips’ search, we take a short rest until Farryn gestures to come over. He is still on the other side of the bridge. Calyx wants to try something: he thinks that if you strip yourself of all magic, you’re allowed to walk the opaque bridge. He starts to undress and steps on the bridge – it doesn’t disappear.
‘Hey, guys! Look! If you get rid of your clothes and all magical items, you can cross the bridge!’ he walks a bit back and forth and then steps off to get dressed again.
‘I’ll ask Farryn what else is there on the other side…’ says Valentine, preparing a message.
Apparently, Farryn found 250 platinum pieces and is coming back soon.

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