The battle of the Stone Golems

Session 3 September 2023

With the obsidian ball in his possession, Farryn hands it to Urm momentarily. “Oh, shiny,” Urm exclaims as he takes hold of it. Farryn quickly snatches the ball back, while Xenji uses prestidigitation to clean it. Farryn then begins the process of identifying the ball, hoping to unveil its secrets.

As we regroup and contemplate our next move, the white mage announces that he has discovered the entrance to the next floor. With newfound determination, we chart our course. I decide to explore the southern reaches, my invisibility ensuring me to travel safely.

I take to the air, investigating the stalactites hanging from the cave’s ceiling. As I near the manifest mind, my invisibility wanes, revealing my presence. The white mage, observing through the manifest mind, is taken aback by my sudden appearance.

Continuing our exploration, we enter another cavern, where an arcane symbol catches my eye—an arc with an arrow within it. I decide to test its nature and shoot an arrow at the symbol. To my surprise, the arrow bounces off. Curiosity piqued, I fly above the gargantuan ooze, inspecting the direction the arrow indicated. Afterward, I return to the party.

We consider the possibilities, and I propose the idea of shooting an arrow through the portal. Following my suggestion, I aim an arrow through the portal, and it opens to reveal a different cavern, distinct from our own.

Farryn approaches us on Grond, his familiar mount, and recognizes the area through the portal as level 17—a rocky plateau. Without hesitation, Farryn steps through the portal, and our concern for his safety is palpable. We hastily remind him to be cautious.

“Wow,” I marvel to Xenji, “those disruptors are so cool!”
“We said: we wouldn’t do these things ALONE.” says the white mage in exasperation, and he follows Farryn, leaving Xenji and me alone.

After a brief absence, the white mage returns from the portal. “Let’s go after him,” he declares. Without hesitation, I take flight and follow Farryn through the mysterious portal.

Faced with a choice of paths, I express my desire to go right, following the manifest mind’s direction. The white mage, communicating through the mind flayer’s memories, informs us that the right hall is littered with the remains of mind flayers and scorpions. As we proceed, we find ourselves in a cavern with a prominent ridge. Farryn comments on the white mage’s abrupt departure earlier, expressing his discomfort at being left behind—a sentiment I can empathize with.

Xenji steps in to mediate, recognizing the underlying tension between Farryn and the white mage. He takes out pens and papers, suggesting we put some things in writing. Farryn agrees but proposes we tackle it tomorrow. I concur; there is too much to see and explore to dwell on potential conflicts at the moment.

The white mage reveals that he carries a will with him at all times. “Oh no, of course we wouldn’t touch your body soon after you died.” Farryn says sarcastically. We eventually decide to return to level 19, and Farryn kindly offers me a ride on Grond, his trusty mount. With a swift motion, he propels me onto Grond’s back, and we make our way towards the portal. As I shoot an arrow through the portal, we follow it through.

With Urm cheering us on, we make our way to the next level, our curiosity driving us forward. As we descend, the white mage inquires about a map of level 20, which Farryn provides. Farryn, Grond, and I investigate the stalactites once more, our exploration spirits undiminished.

Urm, however, informs us that he cannot venture any deeper. Some rule restricts him from going further down. We share our goodbyes and words of encouragement. Urm says: “Home is where the mud is.”

Upon reaching level 20, we are met with a sprawling expanse of caverns, with connecting hallways leading to the center of the level, marked as “runestones” on the map. The white mage suggests investigating the runestones and myconids first, emphasizing caution regarding the mushrooms and the importance of avoiding any fires.

Despite our initial inclination to visit the myconids, we decide to prioritize research, focusing initially on the base’s information. Farryn shares knowledge about the phylactery and the lich, Ezat, expressing his opposition to Hallaster. The white mage’s sudden emphasis on research, while we are already on the level, raises some eyebrows – mostly those of Farryn,, but we ultimately agree to take a short rest before proceeding further.

Urm expresses his annoyance, emphasizing that the important information is downstairs. Xenji, however, asserts the need for a brief respite, to which Urm begrudgingly agrees. “I got all the time in the world, you know.”

During our brief respite, Farryn takes the opportunity to investigate the obsidian ball, and I observe with keen interest. Farryn’s knowledgeable assessment reveals that it is a bead of force, a fascinating and potentially powerful object.

After our rest, we make our way to level 20, and as we descend further, we notice a transformation in the ooze from brown to blue stones, an intriguing phenomenon. The descent takes some time, but when we reach a more level point, a sinister hissing sound fills the air.

In the middle of our group, I spot a rune on the ground that has been triggered. It begins as a blue symbol but quickly shifts to a deep purple hue. Suddenly, a skeleton materializes before us, emitting maniacal laughter. Strange blue-purple lines erupt from the rune, striking me directly. I’m sent tumbling from Grond’s back, gasping for breath as the impact knocks the wind out of me.

Grond, too, is affected by the arcane energy. Xenji rushes to my side, and without hesitation, he carries me into Farryn’s rope trick, providing safety and respite from the chaotic situation. Xenji offers a prayer to Lathander, seeking a new beginning on this perilous level.

With a cautious mindset, we proceed through the labyrinthine corridors of level 20. Farryn, skilled at spotting traps, takes the lead, and I assist him, searching for any signs of danger. Farryn’s keen eyes spot areas where those glyphs were previously active, but they now lie dormant, no longer posing a threat.

As we turn a corner, the echoing sound of stone grinding against stone reaches our ears, accompanied by an eerie and unintelligible laugh. The manifest mind, acting as our scout, relays information from the white mage: two stone golems are locked in combat, relentlessly battering each other.

These golems appear to be engaged in a destructive battle, each attempting to break the other’s structure. However, when the manifest mind draws their attention, one of the golems turns its aggression toward our astral companion, while the other splinters into a cascade of stone shards.

Navigating the complex network of passages, we encounter a central area featuring a forge and an anvil. Our party discusses the next course of action, ultimately deciding to prioritize our mission to locate the myconids before pursuing the lich. However, our attention is drawn back to the stone golem situation.

The victor of the golem duel consumes a blue stone from its fallen counterpart, visibly growing stronger. The white mage speculates that the stone golem gains power by absorbing the essence of other golems.

Farryn, always practical, suggests, “Isn’t it easier to defeat the golem rather than searching for the lich right away? By doing so, we might also rid ourselves of this curse.”

With our plan set, we prepare for the upcoming battle. I distribute the remaining goodberries, ensuring each of us has a share. Xenji and the white mage activate their invisibility spells, while I stay invisible as well, remaining in the shadows to avoid detection.

Stone Golem

The battle with the stone golem unfolds with a series of swift and coordinated attacks. Farryn hurls his hammer at the creature, with the first blow finding its mark and the second ricocheting back into his grasp. I take careful aim with my bow, firing two shots at the golem. The first strikes true, while the second, guided by my Hunter’s Mark, lands as a critical hit. My arrows chip away at the golem’s stony form, eventually causing the extra stone it had absorbed to break free.

Xenji, positioned closest to the stone golem, stands his ground as the creature turns its attention to him. The golem’s massive fists come crashing down, but Xenji’s shield, infused with divine light, wards off the blows. However, a relentless assault from the golem leaves him momentarily stunned, his body battered by the powerful strikes.

I continue to attack the golem with arrows, though one goes astray and lodges in the wall behind it. Grond charges valiantly, but the immense force of the golem incapacitates the noble beast.

Farryn takes advantage of the distraction, expertly striking the golem’s legs and causing it to crash to the ground. It is awesome to behold. With a final blow, he smashes the creature to pieces. As the dust settles, Farryn searches for and retrieves four runestone shards from the remains.

We ponder the potential of these magical stones. Their properties remain uncertain, but Farryn wisely places them in our bag of holding for later study and experimentation.

Meanwhile, I investigate the source of a radiant blue light that emanates from within a cavern. Its brilliance and intensity captivate me; the radiant spire of blue light stands before me like a mystical beacon, and I can’t help but exclaim, “Holy smokes!” 

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