3 min read

EoD 026 Into the Ironwolf's Hidden Vault

Finally, the party hit upon a clever plan.
EoD 026 Into the Ironwolf's Hidden Vault

Sylanna and Varis examined the cunningly hidden trapdoor. Quickly, they determined it was not trapped. However, it was tightly set into the surrounding floor, and neither of the two rogues could open it. It fell to aged Shawn to finally force the door up and open.

A burst of dust and stale air greeted the grey-haired warrior. Below the trapdoor lay an incredibly narrow set of dust-wreathed stars spiralling downwards within the very wall of the donjon! Excitedly, the two rogues stealthily crept down the stairs—followed by the far less stealthy, bulky dragonborn warrior Jalt. The stairs spiralled ever downwards. Soon, the heroes were again under the keep itself! Eventually, perhaps 20 or 30 feet below ground, the spiral staircase opened out into a wider corridor.

A door, surmounted by a hideous carven demon face and flanked by two obviously magical flaming torches, pierced the far door. Discussions ensued as most of the party sensed a trap. A careful search ensued that revealed several concerning features—a portcullis was hidden in the ceiling just above the end of the stairs, and a pressure plate lurked just in front of the door. Further cautious investigation revealed a small switch and another faint glimmer of magical flame at the rear of the demon’s throat. Stor used detect magic to determine that two enchantments lurked in the demon’s maw. More discussion ensued.

Finally, the party hit upon a clever plan. Varis carefully placed his crowbar in the demon’s mouth, and everyone retreated onto the stairs. Then, Varis used his magic powers to thrust the crowbar against the switch. Fire burst forth from the demon’s mouth, filling half the corridor—missing everyone—and the portcullis above the stairs shivered as it tried to descend. Luckily, however, Jalt had hammered no less than eight iron spikes into its mechanism. Half fell out, but the remaining four held the portcullis in place. It was lucky the iron spikes held, for as Jalt advanced into the corridor, a sinuous creature of living flame appeared. It attacked the paladin—who was luckily resistant to fire—setting him aflame. The creature also attacked Varis, but the rogue’s swiftly summoned magical protections kept him safe from harm. While the creature was swift and deadly, the party’s numbers told, and although actually reaching the keening fire creature proved difficult due to the crush of heroes on the stairs, it was eventually slain.

The group surged into the room. As Syllana patted out Jalt’s smouldering gear, Varis rushed forward, picked the lock on the door at the end of the hallway, and threw it open. A treasure vault lay beyond. Unfortunately, it was not undefended—a huge ten-foot-long snake skeleton topped with an oversized human skull undulated and writhed in front of the door. Such was its hypnotic grace that Stor, Jalt and Varis were all entranced—and rendered defenceless—by its sinuous movements.

As the thing slithered forward, Helmi and Polumya rushed to help their companions snap out of the terrible, stunning effect. With their help, Jalt quickly threw off the effect, as did Varis eventually, but Stor seemed deeply entranced. As he stood in front of the door like a slack-jawed idiot, the giant snake worried at him terribly. While the half-orc’s armour protected him to a certain extent, he was soon at death’s door—his blood spraying all over the skeletal abomination, the walls and the ceiling. Only the group’s healing kept the half-orc on his feet who by this time had regained control of his faculties. Meanwhile, ranged attacks from Syllana and Shawn—along with Helmia’s conjuration of a moonbeam—began to tell on the creature’s unnatural vitality…

This post is a session summary from my weekly 5e D&D Edgelands of Darkness campaign set in the Duchy of Ashlar.

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