Passing through the purple portal, the party found themselves in an underground tunnel. They cautiously began to travel down the hallway to a door, opened the door, passed through it, went up a flight of stairs came to another door and continued to navigate the tunnels and stairs. (see attached image “5 caverns visual aid.jpg”).
As the traveling continued, everyone began feeling tired. And after an insight check, Praxis got the feeling that the group was somehow going through the same places again and again. Shan Val used his arcana to detect a powerful glamor on the tunnels that magically misdirected, transported you to random places, and tried to put you to sleep. Thus began a very difficult skill challenge where each round everyone had to make an endurance check to keep from falling asleep as they attempted to escape the warded caverns. Invariably someone would succumb and collapse into sleep. Dorian’s heal checks and Redbeard “slap ’em silly” technique would be employed to wake them up while the others who did not succumb to the sleep attempted to navigate the passageways. Arcana was used to suppress the glamor. Insight was used to escape the mind clouding magic. Dungeoneering was used to keep track of where the party had been and how the construction of the tunnels interacted with the dweomers upon them. Some lesser skills were used to provide bonuses on the very difficult high DC primary checks. Diplomacy was used to focus everyone’s efforts. History was used to recall information about similar traps and how they were avoided. Thievery was used as a mundane means of marking doors and passageways to help identify them and see where things were recurring.
Complete success to escape the warded caverns was 12 successes before 3 failures. Also if everyone failed their endurance checks and fell asleep, it was effectively a loss of the challenge as well. Although the arcana checks were pretty easy, they were limited to 4 successes along with dungeoneering and insight. So the challenge was hard. A good balance had to be reached and in some cases if too many failed their endurance checks and fell asleep, the party would take a round just getting everyone awake and not moving forward. At one point all but 1 character had fallen asleep and there were 2 accumulated failures before the final success was won. It certainly came down to the wire. But eventually the party finally made it though and reached the next purple portal and passed through it.
On the other side of the purple portal they found themselves in a maze of stone tunnels with the unnerving presence of many inanimate but life like statues scattered throughout. (see attached image “6 – The Maze Map.jpg”). As the party warily moved through the maze, they were suddenly attacked by 2 medusa archers up on a wooden platform 15 feet off the ground with a ladder running up to it. Quill felt the bite of two arrows and could feel their poison coursing through his body. But he shook it off and sprinted towards the medusa. A pit opened up beneath him and he tumbled down towards the spikes 20 feet below.
Any other man would have been doomed, but Quill made good use of his new grandmaster training that he received from the elves that were freed from the Crown of Shadows. Quill used Davros Elden’s Aerial Step to float gently down to the bottom of the pit, take no damage from the fall, and always land on his feet. He then used a combination of moves to fly and teleport up to the top of the platform and pound the medusas and knock them off the platform and into the pit. In an awesome turn of advantageous terrain for the enemies into disadvantageous terrain, Quill turned the tables on them knocking them into their own pit. It was pretty awesome. One of them tumbled in but the other managed to grab the edge of the platform and hold on. The next round it was able to try to use its gaze attack to turn him to stone, but Quill made his saving throw and knocked it down into the pit for good measure.
Everyone’s high fives and joy about Quill’s awesome maneuver was short lived, however, as three oblivion wraiths phased out of the walls and floors to surround Dorian and attack. Praxis saved Dorian by using his power that let them switch places. Dorian was safely out of harm’s way but Praxis was in trouble. The oblivion wraith’s Nihil Strike attacks ignored his armor and instead attacked reflex and devastated him with necrotic damage. Praxis fought back but the wraiths were regenerating and insubstantial. The other really tough thing about them was their Nihil aura which prevented those within 2 squares of them to take necrotic damage and be unable to spend any healing surges unit the state of their next turn. Sir Praxis was able to use radiant attacks on the Oblivion Wraiths to prevent them from regenerating but their insubstantial natures allowed for half damage from all attacks. It might be hard to see in the picture but Praxis went down and is currently in big trouble bleeding to death at the feet of the Oblivion wraiths.
That is where we stopped. Although the medusa were effectively neutralized by Quill’s awesome maneuvering, the Oblivion Wraiths remain a big obstacle and Praxis is in very serious danger.