Session #123 – The Price of Opening the Vault is One Paladin

On the morning of 5/6, four the companions felt they needed rest, Jerker especially as the curse weighed down upon him still. Florida, Roddy and Zad remained with him in the mine while the others returned to the vault where they contemplated draining the shaft of burning water by bucket. They tied two ropes to the bucket and fetched it full to the surface. Saul drew upon his background as a former alchemist and was convinced the liquid was in fact a weak acid. Eugene began the work of hauling up full buckets, but after only a few trips, the bucket fell apart, useless.

Turning their attention to the shaft with the gas trap, Tienarth attached the chain to his belt and instructed Jerker to hold the other end. The weary fighter was happy to help in some way despite his increasing fatigue. Next, the old elf cast a flying spell and started down the shaft. The surging wind drew him down the shaft at uncontrolled speed. Aided by his magical belt, Jerker yanked Tienarth to an abrupt stop. With flight useless, Jerker slowly lowered Tienarth instead.

Staying some distance above the end of the shaft, Tienarth first cast a knock spell, then produced his magical rope and caused it to wrap around the handle of the door. He was able to pull at the door which easily swung open. No traps triggered and they now had access to a room beyond the door.

Ollie Explores

Ollie, the dwarf, offered to descend and swing into the room. His dwarven eyes were keen to notice an archway filled with a different kind of rock. He also spotted four keyholes similar to the those at the surface. They lowered down a pickaxe to Ollie who began bashing at the stone filling the archway. After about an hour of work, the door at the bottom of the shaft swung shut and locked.

For the moment, Ollie was trapped, but only as long as it took for Tienarth to memorize spells again. The dwarf made the best of his time by completely demolishing the stone clogging the archway. Beyond it, he found a larger room with three steel doors, each locked. He also found three slots in the floor into which all the fierce wind was plunging. He placed a slab of stone broken from the archway over the slots, cutting off the intense sucking. With the wind stopped, he lit his blanket on fire in order to cook one of the worms he brought from the mine.

Everyone else left Ollie down in the vault and went back to the mine to rest.

Treasure Extracted

On the 7th, Tienarth descended again to unlock the door. Ollie jammed a spike between the door and the frame to prevent it from closing. The door swung on an internal hinge which made it hard to break open when closed, but created a convenient gap when open.

Tienarth, Saul and Eugene all climbed down the chain to the vault. The elf used another knock spell to open the first of the three doors. Saul pulled the door open. Inside were loose coins as well as bags and chests. Tienarth strolled into the small room and instantly began giggling. He seemed wholly disconnected from reality, wandering and talking to himself. Eugene made a lasso from his rope which he used to capture Tienarth. The elf fell down, catatonic. The dragged him out and he gained his senses once again.

Fearing effects of the room, they devised a way to extract the treasure without entering. Tienarth made use of his magical rope once again to affix to chests and bags which were simply pulled out. The loose coins took considerably longer, but by the end of the day, they had taken all the coins out of the room and then up the shaft and to the mine for counting.

Resting for the day, they began counting coins and arguing about how to divide the treasure. Ollie declared he would be happy to have the platinum coins to himself. A twinkle of greed sparkled in his eyes. This proposal was completely unacceptable to Tienarth. He explained that the treasure would be given out in proportion to time spent recovering it, and he pointed out that Ollie had only arrived the day before. The point main sense to Saul, who said as much.

Next, Ollie argued for an equal shares between the four of them, to which Tienarth again refused, perhaps becoming more irritated with the dwarf who demanded, “what kind of elven madness is this?” Tienarth label the dwarf a communist and lucky to get anything for such minor effort. His logical arguments exhausted, Ollie resorted to calling the elf a slavemaster like the elves of old. At this point, the argument became too heated to continue. No resolution was found and they each rested uneasily through the night.

Opening Door Number Two

The next day (5/8), Tienarth planned to fetch Ferris in order to deal better with any traps. He left the rest of them in Doukreg as he transformed into a Roc and flew back to St. Orlan. The flight required only six hours. The campers at the homestead froze in stunned silence as the terrible bird settled in to the field. From his beak, he dropped a note, written in Tienarth’s hand, explaining to Ferris that the bird was in fact the old elf. The note instructed Ferris to bring along plenty of rations and prepare to fly back to Doukreg.

Presently they were aloft again, zooming over the swamps north of St. Orlan, then over the mountains to Doukreg. Fortunately, no true Roc confronted them.

Meanwhile, Ollie poked around in the vault, peering through the keyholes. When Tienarth returned, he recounted how one of the rooms contained gems and jewelry. The other room contained many items encased in glowing spheres. When Tienarth had transformed back into his ordinary shape, he used his crystal ball to gaze into the treasure rooms and view the items in greater detail. He also applied magical healing to Ferris who was still ailing from the fight with orcs a few days before.

Eugene is Smashed

The next day, they returned to attempt looting the rest of the vault. Ferris easily unlocked the second door and opened it. On shelves they say 300 gems, 100 pieces of jewelry and two other remarkable items. The first was a platinum sceptre set with emeralds. The other was a platinum and gold necklace set with diamonds.

Eugene announced his willingness to fetch the treasure, but first knelt to pray. He detected no evil in the chamber. Tienarth found that all of the walls were glowing with magic, but none of the items were such. The young paladin cautiously fetched handfuls of jewels from the shelf as the other stay well away from door. He left the two amazing pieces for last, such that only the sceptre and necklace remained.

As he lifted the sceptre from the shelf, a magical trap triggered. The stone of the room collapsed upon him, crushing and killing him instantly. The other rushed back around the corner to see only rubble.

End Notes

  • Treasure
    • 2,206 pp
    • 12,340 gp
    • 20,562 sp
    • 11,589 ep
    • 25,309 cp
    • 100 pieces of jewelry worth 19,560 gp
    • 300 gems worth 26,000 gp
  • Combat: none
  • Characters
    • Eugene (deceased)
    • Ollie
    • Saul
    • Tienarth
  • Days: 4, ending 5/9

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