Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess

Part Five - Chapter Four: Genies, Traps and Golems

It was late in the afternoon on the 15th day of Planting, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon defeated the chaotic faction in the dungeons of the Power Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk, including the yuan-ti leaders of the faction. Following the battle against the yuan-ti, the band searched their bodies and then entered the lair of the abomination.

Inside the small cave stood a reptilian altar upon which rested a clay pot containing six leathery eggs. Just in front of the altar, wet sand led down into a pool of water. Placed around the altar were various pieces of treasure including a large scimitar sheath of ivory inset with emeralds and rubies. Some of the treasure was coated with a contact poison, but Brom noted it and washed the poison off before stashing the treasure, including the yuan-ti eggs, into the band’s portable hole.

With the chaotic faction now eradicated, the band decided it was time for them to rest, and so they turned back. On the way back to the dungeons of the War Tower, the band grabbed the body of the gnome that had been killed in a cave-in on the seventh level. Back in their quarters below the War Tower, Tadwin cast a spell to protect them from being scryed upon and the band rested overnight.

The next morning, that of the 16th day of Planting, Tadwin mended Corvyn’s broken sword and Diamond cast a speak with the dead spell on the body of the gnome. From this, they learned that the gnome had heard a voice coming from within the nearby stone and, out of curiosity, decided to dig towards it. They also found out that the gnome had come from the nearby gnome warren of Grossettgrottell, so they assigned their henchmen the task of returning the body to his family there. For the remainder of the day, the band simply rested and made further preparations for their return to the dungeons of the Power Tower, while Tadwin continued to protect them from scrying. By the end of the day, the life energy that had been drained from Tadwin during the battle against the yuan-ti, had returned to him and he was fully recovered.

On the following day, Moonday, the 17th day of Planting, after spending an hour consuming a hero’s feast, the band made their way through the secret tunnel, back into the dungeons of the Power Tower. As before, Brom stayed behind on the fourth level, while Zeke teleported the rest of the band to the first level where all the spellcasters were able to double their spells at the magical meeting table.

From there, they went to one of the statues and asked it about the springs that the band had discovered on the sixth level. The statue told them that drinking from one of the springs would grant them a permanent gift but that drinking from a second spring would remove that gift as well as any chance to gain another gift. The spellcasters then said a prayer to the statue and it granted them each a very powerful spell. Corvyn decided to say a prayer as well, for no reason in particular, and much to his surprise, he too was granted a spell!

From the statue of Boccob, the four members of the band made their way downstairs to the altar of Boccob, where they had their weapons blessed, including Brom’s two best daggers. Then Zeke teleported everyone to where Brom had been left waiting. At this point, Diamond cast an augury spell and determined it would not be worthwhile to investigate a caved in passageway on the fourth level. So the band followed a set of spiral stairs leading down from the battle chamber on the fourth level, which the band had not yet fully explored. These stairs ended in a short hallway on the fifth level that looked exactly like one they seen before on the fourth level, with a single door and three teleportation alcoves at the opposite end.

Looking inside the door, they followed another short hallway, which again opened up into a familiar looking library. As in the library on the fourth floor, a cozy fire burst to life in the fireplace, a book floated off a shelf along the far wall, and a chair slid back mysteriously next to a desk. But, whereas the library on the fourth floor contained a cumbersome set of minor arcane spells and a travel-guide to the Flanaess, this library contained an index of creatures and their various names they’d been given throughout the races of human, elf, dwarf, gnome and halfling kind. Also, the floating book was entitled, “52nd year, 5th month, Day of observable social behavior among the three philosophies of evil-kind, Initiated by Zagig Yragerne of the Ring of Five”. The last entry was dated the 22nd day of Coldeven, 30 days prior and the day before the band began their assault on the 3rd level of the dungeon.

This book, as the title suggests, was a log of observations on the three evil factions up until the Company of the Green Dragon began interfering with the wizard’s experiments. The desk also contained a small book which had these phrases hastily written in it: “Zagig commands you, rotate, don’t rotate, twist,” and, “aren’t they beautiful?” After making note of all the things in the library, the band moved on.

At this point, Tadwin wanted to test a theory about the teleportation alcoves. So, he stepped into one, thinking it would take him to the same location that the alcove on the fourth level had. Instead, it took him to the meenlock’s laboratory on the 5th level. Realizing this teleportation chamber was attuned to different, unknown locations, Tadwin used a dimension door spell to return to his companions at the 5th level alcoves. From there, the band went back upstairs and then back down to the 7th level of the chaotic section where the dead gnome had been found.

After clearing away the rubble around the gnome’s tunnel, Brom used the longtooth dagger to continue digging in the same direction. After half an hour of digging, aided by his band mates who continued to clear away the rubble, Brom finally emerged in an oddly shaped chamber where stood a small pyramid of packed earth about twenty feet wide and twelve feet high. Neither the cavern nor the pyramid had any visible entrances. Tadwin followed Brom into the cavern and, with his ability to see invisible objects, noticed an invisible cloud of gas emerge from the pyramid and hover in the air above them as if observing them. Suspecting the cloud of gas to be sentient, Tadwin addressed the cloud asking who it was. The cloud of gas then became visible and solidified into a genie-like being.

He introduced himself as Raji and asked Tadwin and Brom why they had intruded upon his lair. Tadwin spoke to the genie, which he recognized to be a genie from the elemental plane of earth, known as a dao, and introduced Brom and himself from the Company of the Green Dragon, saying they were merely exploring the dungeons. When Tadwin asked Raji what his purpose was, the dao told him he had made a deal with Zagig long ago but was very evasive about any further details. Tadwin then offered to likewise make a deal with him. The dao mentioned that he would consider providing some information about the dungeons in exchange for any large gems they might have. But Brom suggested they return to make a deal with Raji when they had some questions to be answered. So the two of them left the dao in peace.

From there, the band then made their way to the springs on level six. They had to use more of their elixirs of diminution in order to get through the narrow passageway. Once there, each member of the band except Tadwin, who had already done so, took a drink from one of the springs and thus were granted a gift such as the ability to never need sleep again.

When the band was done with this, they returned to the fourth level of the dungeon and entered the neutral section where they descended again to the sixth level and the chamber where they had acquired several slaying arrows in a trap. Moving past this area, the band continued on to the set of spiral stairs that went back up to the fifth level, and the long passageway there where the band had previously turned back because they realized it was leading them away from the neutral faction, which at that time they still had not yet defeated. Now, with all three factions defeated, the band picked up where they had left off here, this being the only reasonably easily accessible passageway into whatever remained of the dungeons of the Power Tower. Hopefully it would lead them to the two remaining wizards.

After some one hundred eighty feet or so, the passageway came to an apparent dead end. But while searching for secret doors, Corvyn discovered that a wall to his right was only an illusion and he almost fell into a pit on the other side of it. Upon closer inspection, the pit was about thirty feet deep, but off to one side of it lay another passageway. Brom realized he could easily create a much safer opening leading to the passageway with his magical gloves and did so. But before the band stepped through, Tadwin discovered another illusionary wall on the opposite side of the original passageway.

Beyond this illusionary wall was a chamber which included, among other things, two flesh golems that now attacked. The band defeated the two flesh golems relatively easily, after which they discovered the contents of the room which consisted of most of the components needed to build a flesh golem, a stone golem and an iron golem, including the necessary spells on scrolls and the various construction manuals. There was also an unanimated stone golem laying upon a large block of iron. The band put everything but the stone golem and the block of iron into the portable hole and moved on through the hole in the wall created by Brom. This wide passageway came to a strange looking T-intersection after about twenty-five feet or so.

Here, a set of double doors was set into a wall that curved gradually out of sight to the right and to the left into passageways that were only about a foot wide. All along the curved walls were iron spikes set in a very orderly pattern. Finding no traps and the doors unlocked, the band opened the doors which sung inwards only partially. Beyond the doors lay a large circular chamber about sixty feet in diameter. At the center stood a large red pillar with flames carved upon it. A band of red stone three feet wide encircled the pillar at the floor, while the remainder of the floor was pink marble. The walls were lined with thick iron stakes that gleamed with moisture, including the inside surface of the doors, which explained why they only opened partially.

As soon as the band entered the chamber, the doors slammed shut behind them and the chamber began to slowly rotate, all except the pillar and the area of red stone. Gradually, the spinning room picked up speed. Tadwin then recalled the phrases he had recently read in the book that they found in the library and shouted out, “Zagig commands you, don’t rotate.” Almost immediately, the spinning room began to slow down until it came to a stop. The band was then able to exit the chamber. But sensing there was more to it, Tadwin was determined to solve the puzzle. So the band entered the chamber again. It took a few tries, and each time he was wrong, the spinning chamber threatened to launch the band into the stake-covered walls. But eventually, Tadwin used the phrase, “Zagig commands you, rotate”, at which point, the chamber merely rotated one hundred eighty degrees and came to a stop. When the band opened the doors this time, they were now facing a new passageway.

The band followed this wide passageway, which turned right after about forty feet and then came to another chamber about fifty feet further on. In this chamber stood what appeared to be three flesh golems, two stone golems and an iron golem. As soon as the band entered the chamber, most but not all of the golems came to life and moved to attack. But Tadwin, again remembering the book of phrases, called out, “Aren’t they beautiful,” hoping to get lucky. Much to everyone’s surprise, the golems suddenly stopped and stood motionless. Tadwin then tried to command the golems but they would not follow any of his orders. Realizing that they would probably need some other kind of command word to take control of the golems, the band left them alone in the hopes that they could use them later on.

To one side of the chamber was another set of double doors. So the band passed through these and entered another wide passageway. After about sixty feet, however, this passageway narrowed, became cylindrical, and was made up of silver bands of metal running lengthwise for more than sixty feet. Not liking the looks of it, Tadwin cast an arcane eye spell and sent it up ahead. With the arcane eye, Tadwin explored the area beyond but was not able to go very far before running into a door and a chamber with no apparent exit. So Tadwin sent the eye back behind the group and up into the curved passageways surrounding the rotating chamber. There, he was able to confirm what he had previously suspected – that the chamber was being rotated by golems – iron golems to be precise. Perhaps at some point, the band thought, they could also assume control of these golems as well.

When the arcane eye spell ran out of its usefulness, Zeke cast a dimension door spell and took everyone to the far side of the strange, cylindrical, metallic passageway, where the band was able to continue its explorations.

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