Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess

Part Five - Chapter Six: The Wizards' Ambush

It was in the afternoon on the 17th day of Planting, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon began exploring a cavern in the 6th level of the dungeon of the Power Tower, in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk, where the band had found a stone chair carved in the shape of a winged biped. Having only minutes before battled eight very large gargoyles, the band then detected magic emanating from one of the hands on the chair, and Brom was in the process of digging it out with his magical gloves, when six of the stone statues came to life and moved to attack. As they had done with the eight gargoyles, the band battled and defeated the stone guardians, though they proved to be tougher than even the gargoyles.

After the band healed up any injuries, Zeke noticed that the magical emanation was coming from one of the holes in the hand of the chair where it appeared to be designed for fingers to be inserted. So Zeke took a chance and sat down in the chair, placing the fingers of his right hand into the holes. Moments later, a figure emerged through the only portion of wall in the cave where there had been no stone statues. Brom and Tadwin immediately recognized the figure as that of the dao Raji. But Raji, having appeared directly in front of the seated Zeke, whom he had not met before, did not at first recognize them, and instead bowed down as though he had done so many times before. The earth genie then glanced up and, realizing the man seated in the chair was not who he was expecting, looked around and spotted Brom and Tadwin. His expression quickly turned from one of bewilderment to one of restrained anger as he spoke out, saying, “Once again you have intruded upon an area where you are not welcome. The first time I was amenable and willing to hear you out. This time however, you have stumbled into an area where I’m afraid I cannot be so forgiving. Therefore, you must pay the price!” The dao then looked as if he was about to attack. But before he could, Zeke took on an air of authority and commanded him to stop. Begrudgingly, the dao did as commanded and it soon became clear to Zeke that there must be a ring of dao summoning within one of the finger holes in the chair and that, with that ring, he could force Raji to serve him.

Zeke took the opportunity then to question Raji and learned a few things that could very well be helpful. Concerning that chamber, the band discovered that the “moat” surrounding the stone chair was actually a portal to the elemental plane of earth and that Raji had been bound by Zagig to guard this chamber from intrusion. Raji also told the band what remained on this level of the dungeon and how to get there. And, supposedly as a sign of good faith, Raji told them about a room in the mist maze that might be worth investigating.

Having acquired this information, Zeke allowed the dao to leave, and Brom removed the ring of dao summoning from the chair using his magical gloves. Now aware of how to finish exploring this level, which presumably would allow them to continue on to the next, and being anxious to move on, the band then began making their way back through the mist maze. Following Raji’s directions, Brom scouted ahead by taking advantage of his spider climb potion, which was still active, and was then able to give the band a precise location to dimension door to and thus avoid any traps. Once in the right area, the band found a secret door and entered a room where they found a large crystal sphere resting on an iron stand. Upon breaking this sphere, they released three glowing sphere-shaped creatures that turned out to be fairly weak gingwatzim which were easily killed. Also inside the sphere was a ring of wishes that still had one wish remaining in it. A short while later, the band had finally made it back to the room where they had encountered the first mountain giant. There was one set of unexplored stairs there leading down to a door which Brom investigated. But it turned out to be a trap that did little harm and only delayed the band a bit.

Just a short distance from there, the band arrived at the teleportal where they had first entered the area. According to Raji, they would now be able to use it to move on to the final area of this level of the dungeon. This time, Brom led the way and as soon as he was teleported he found himself in a magically silenced alcove with one hallway leading off. He followed this hallway around a corner, while his companions teleported in behind him, and after about ten feet he was suddenly struck with wracking pains. Turning back to face his companions, he was able to warn Tadwin, who was the only one who could see him while he was invisible. The pain that Brom felt soon passed, so while his companions waited in the silenced area, Brom scouted ahead.

After another forty feet or so, the passageway opened up into a large square chamber where stood three familiar looking iron golems and a stone golem. A short way into the room, Brom discovered that the floor was an illusion, and after some probing, found that the real floor was about three feet below and made of sand. How the golems were able to stand on top of the illusory floor he could not determine, but he began to move around the perimeter of the room to get into a better position. Meanwhile, the rest of the band began moving up and as they left the silenced area of the passageway, just like Brom, they too were struck with wracking pains, all except Tadwin for some reason. Some of them suspected that Tadwin was not harmed because a forbiddance spell had been placed in the area, and Tadwin was immune to the pain due to his evil nature. If this theory was correct, it would mean that no form of extra-dimensional travel would work in this area.

Suddenly, two powerful-looking, not to mention unusually muscular and athletic, wizards appeared on the far side of the room, each of them surrounded by mirror images. One of them hit Brom with a glitterdust spell, rendering him visible, but both of them were casting quickened spells in addition to their normal spells. They struck hard and fast, and Corvyn, being at the front of the group of four, received the worst of it. One of the wizards cast a meteor swarm spell which caused a great deal of harm to the band. Only Tadwin was immune to it, for some unknown reason, and combined with the other attacks on him, it was enough to kill Corvyn. To make matters worse, the fire from the meteor swarm actually strengthened the iron golems, but left the stone golem unharmed. Brom used his last pinch of dust of disappearance to make himself invisible again and moved close to one of the wizards, while Diamond pulled out the rod of resurrection to bring Corvyn back to life. Tadwin cast a spell turning spell on himself, and Zeke cast a silence spell in the area of one of the wizards. But while one wizard held back in an apparent effort to counter any attack from Brom, the other wizard continued casting damage spells, unaffected by the silence spell he was in. Brom hesitated on making any attack on the wizards, despite his improved invisibility, fearing it would only expose him. Meanwhile, one of the golems moved forward to attack, revealing the fact that it had to climb down from a pillar that it was standing on, which created the illusion that it was standing on an illusory floor. Tadwin cast a black tentacles spell, in the area of the silence spell, but the wizard there appeared to be unaffected by it as well.

Just when it looked as if everything was going against the band, something unexpectedly good happened. The staff that Zeke had recently found suddenly sprang from his hand and flew up in the air as if with purpose. Moments later, two huge earth elementals appeared and began defending the band and attacking the golems, as if they had been summoned and commanded by the staff.

Unfortunately, soon afterwards, the apparently more powerful of the two wizards then struck the band with a cone of cold spell that devastated the band. Of the four that it hit, only Tadwin was left standing while the others were knocked unconscious. Tadwin was forced to throw up more than one wall of force, while Brom, who had recently retreated back, did what he could to revive Zeke. The band at this point began debating on whether or not to retreat and the flying staff used another one of its previously unknown powers to move the unconscious body of Diamond out of harm’s way through what was apparently a nearby illusory wall. Meanwhile, the wizards used disintegrate spells to remove the walls of force, which Tadwin and Zeke continued to replace. At some point during all of this, the recently recovered Corvyn, who could not use his ring of vampiric regeneration against the golems, found himself in a dire situation once more, and due in part perhaps to a couple of lucky swings on the part of an iron golem, was killed for the second time in the same battle less than two minutes apart! This time, the rod of resurrection could not be used to bring Corvyn back to life. So, Zeke summoned Raji again and ordered him to cast a limited wish spell and raise him from the dead. He did as commanded and immediately disappeared. But Corvyn was just barely alive and in need of immediate healing in order to stay alive and regain consciousness.

Eventually, however, the wizards finally decided to stop wasting spells on taking down the walls of force, or perhaps they simply ran out of disintegrate spells. This allowed the band to take the time to fully recover and better prepare themselves to battle the wizards. It was at this time that true seeing spells were cast on Brom and Corvyn, and only then did they discover that the wizards they had been fighting were only projected images of the real wizards who were actually standing behind an illusory wall on the far side of the room. This explained why the wizards were not affected by some of the spells cast at them. There were other illusory walls revealed around the band as well.

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