Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess

Part Five - Chapter Three: The Final Demise of the Chaotic Faction

It was about midday on the 15th day of Planting, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon began their assault on the spriggan in the lower levels of the chaotic faction in the dungeons of the Power Tower, in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. After gathering up any items of value among the first group of spriggan and their two ettin allies, the band proceeded down a passageway that led to the southeast. They soon came to a shrine where stood a statue of the recently deceased wizard Usissemeel, which they toppled over and broke. Across the passageway from there, they found a storage room loaded with things to make fire.

Further on down, the passageway turned to the right while a door appeared to the left. Brom examined the door first and opened it to find a room with several spriggan in it and some kind of strange device. Realizing the device was actually a flame throwing machine, Brom dodged to the side just in time as a jet of flame suddenly shot out through the doorway and down the passageway, fortunately missing everyone. Brom then ducked into the room to attack as Tadwin stepped up to the door and launched a spell that caused the flame throwing machine to explode in a ball of fire that engulfed the entire room. As was often the case in such situations, Brom was able to take cover and suffered no ill effects from the fire.

At about this same time, four more spriggan moved in from the passageway to the right, while two more came up from the rear, effectively coming at the band from all sides. Using a combination of sneak attacks in their smaller forms and straight out fighting in their giant-sized forms, the spriggan used whatever tactics and advantages they could come up with. But, despite this, it was not enough to seriously put the band in danger as the band was able to fend off these attacks and counter attack with no great difficulty. One of the spriggan in the room temporarily surrendered to Tadwin, but then attacked again when the band turned their attention elsewhere. When the battle was over, ten more spriggan lay dead on the ground.

After healing up any injuries from the battle, the band continued exploring and discovered a secret door which led to a no longer used treasure room. Further on they came to the apparent quarters of the two ettins where the band found a large pile of copper coins hidden under one of the beds. From there, the band followed a passageway around a couple of bends to another storage room filled with other supplies. On the opposite side of this storage room the band found a set of stairs leading to the next level.

Not wanting to leave anything behind them, the band doubled back to check for anything they might have missed. Unsure of where the spriggan that attacked from the rear earlier had come from, and realizing they had not yet found the room where the arrow slit was, they searched the room where the first battle with the spriggan had taken place and discovered a secret door. Beyond it was a smaller room where four spriggan were still hiding. These spriggan tried to take the band by surprise, but again the band fought them off and killed them.

Finally, the band examined the area where the spriggan had tried to lure them into with a bell. This time, Brom discovered a pit trap that he had missed the first time. But because the trap was operated manually from a nearby room and not from a trigger in the trapped room, Brom could not disarm it. Still, if no one was in the nearby room, the trap could not go off, so the band ignored it and took a closer look at a collapsed passageway that lay beyond the trapped room. Here, they discovered the remains of a gnome that apparently died in the collapse. The body had a few magic items on it including a longtooth dagger, which the band eventually realized could be used to dig through stone. The band also found a tunnel that the gnome had apparently been digging with the dagger before the ceiling caved in on him. Making a mental note to come back and further investigate the body of the gnome and his tunnel, the band decided to move on.

After descending the stairs to the 7th level of the dungeon, the band paused on the stairs while Brom scouted ahead invisibly. Just to the right of the stairs was a portcullis behind which were imprisoned six trolls. In front of the iron bars was a wench that could be used to operate the portcullis. On the far side of the room, a passageway led off in one direction and a stairwell ascended in another direction. Brom chose to investigate the passageway first.

The passageway led to a room with a single door on the far wall and two female spriggan guarding it. Brom and Corvyn quickly killed the two spriggan and then headed up the stairs where they killed two more female spriggan. These last two spriggan appeared be guarding a small room that was entirely lined with metal walls. A thorough examination of the area revealed a secret door in an alcove there but it appeared to be a one-way secret door that could not be opened from their side. So the band returned to the room with the single door.

Beyond the door lay a series of passageways, doors and small rooms, some of which were guarded by more female spriggan. Each time the band encountered the spriggan they easily dispatched them and continued on. At one point however, a short flight of steps led up to a storage room containing barrels of water, wine, ale, mead and beer. To the side of this room, was a very sturdy set of double doors. Brom had difficulty picking the locks here and was only able to do so with the assistance of some magic.

Upon opening these doors, the band discovered a long chamber supported by eight ornate columns carved into the likenesses of giant-sized, female warriors holding swords. Beyond the columns, the chamber continued on into a narrower room at the far end of which was a fountain with an ivory statue of a young woman constantly bathed in liquid. When the band got about halfway into the chamber, the columns suddenly sprang to life and began to attack. Tadwin quickly threw up a wall of force so that the band had to deal with only four of them at once. Then the band took them down one at a time, mostly with weapons. These columns, known as caryatid columns, were much larger and tougher than they typically are, and every time they were struck with weapons, they threatened to cause damage to the weapons. Eventually, the band destroyed the first four, at which point Tadwin dismissed the wall of force and the band then destroyed the remaining four.

Once the columns were defeated, the band examined the fountain and found that it contained a liquid that could restore youth. Fortunately, none of the band members tested the liquid before discovering its properties, as they were all still very youthful as it was and any reduction in age could literally turn them into children. Finding nothing else of interest in this chamber, the band resumed their explorations of the spriggan lair.

Soon, they came upon a dining hall where the band killed four more spriggan. Shortly afterwards, the band found the bed chamber of the spriggan where they killed the final seven female spriggan, one of which was wielding a fairly powerful magic longsword. In a nearby passageway, the band then came upon three alcoves, each of which had a mosaic along its back wall. These mosaics depicted one of three creatures: a rakshasa, a beholder and a large snake-like creature with humanoid arms – a yuan-ti abomination. Clearly, these represented the leaders of each of the factions. The rakshasa and the beholder, as the band soon discovered, was protected by what appeared to be walls of force, probably to keep them safe from vandalism by the members of the chaotic faction. But the mosaic of the yuan-ti actually covered a secret door, which the band was able to locate.

Beyond the secret door was a large cavern where the entire floor was made up of rough rocks and sticks. Six three-foot high rocks with flat tops were set up in a horseshoe pattern facing a passageway that was partially blocked by several very large boulders. Near the entrance to the passage was a gong and two statues that looked like humans except they had scales and a snake’s tail instead of legs. Crawling among the sticks and rocks on the floor were several venomous snakes.

Brom flew over to the statues invisibly as usual, and attempted to push one of the statues over. The statue, however, turned out to be an actual yuan-ti half-breed merely pretending to be a statue and because Brom’s attempt to knock the statue over was therefore an attack on the yuan-ti, Brom became visible. Both of the yuan-ti statues then attacked Brom, taking him by surprise, and wounding him so severely that he was forced to make a sudden retreat.

A battle then broke out as Zeke threw a fireball into the room, killing about half of the snakes. Corvyn and Tadwin, each of whom wore rings of freedom of movement and were therefore unhindered by the rough terrain, moved into the cavern, while the others chose to stay back. Early on in the battle, the band discovered that the yuan-ti were immune to fire, probably the result of a protection spell, and to make matters worse, the yuan-ti leader, the large, so-called abomination, soon entered the cavern through the back passageway and joined in the battle. One of the abomination’s first actions was to cast a confusion spell, to which Zeke fell victim, although it was not immediately apparent to his companions.

Zeke then spent the remainder of the battle, either doing nothing, or attacking the venomous snakes which had begun attacking him. Meanwhile, Tadwin was struck by an enervation spell from the abomination and was subsequently drained of life force. After Diamond spent some time healing Brom, the two of them became more involved in the battle. Eventually the band took down the half-breeds, while the abomination chose to continue casting spells at the band with limited results rather enter into melee. Soon after the half-breeds fell, so too did the abomination.

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