Time to Dice

25: Don't blink

  • During her watch, Rana hears a terrifying scream in the distance, but cannot determine its origin. Soon after, she feels the ground shiver slightly and hears the grinding of stone. She wakes up Verrin, and they hear the sound of stone running along stone once more. Since nothing happens afterwards, Rana goes to sleep. Only noticed by Verrin, the temperature in the grand hall drops to the point where he can see his own breath. As the halfling decides to explore the room adjacent to the guards quarter, he promptly stirs a group of five shadows which have taken the likeness of each party member. It only takes a brief struggle to vanquish them.
  • After finishing their rest, the party continues to inspect the remaining rooms. Beyond the room the shadows came from, they find a library. Books randomly pulled from the shelves are filled with the scribbling of someone gone mad, talking about “eyes of fire”. Behind the library lies a rather peculiar room with only the statue of a maiden that holds a small bowl. The statue’s eyes are blindfolded and a light brown liquid flows from underneath straight into the bowl. Rana examines it and comes to the result that it is not a poison or disease-ridden, and that it tastes sweet. This prompts Verrin to drink from the liquid. As a result, he grows a second head. But after going for a second round hoping this would make the new head vanish – he falls to the ground lifeless and, in fact, dead. It appears that all the bones in his body have turned gelatinous. After some hesitation, Lilli casts a resurrection spell, and with the support of the party, the halfling can be brought back to life.
  • Further explorations reveal a room full of life-like wax statues that only begin to move once the party turns its back towards them to leave. Everyone agrees to retreat, and they barricade the door of the kitchen, hoping this will hold off the eerie statues.
  • On the upper floor, the party finds a row of empty bedrooms, but eventually also comes upon a torture chamber, where a group of elves seemingly starved to death in tiny metal cages, and skeletons is all that remains. One person, however, is in a less decayed state and the area around its eye sockets has been scratched at heavily. The fact that all of the victims died of starvation and/or dehydration strikes the party as odd due to the altered state of time on the Astral Plane – the party members themselves have not yet felt hungry, thirsty or truly tired.
  • The last room on the upper floor turns out to be a throne room, the grandeur of which has been defiled by stacks of skulls positioned around the throne itself and the hall’s pillars. Seeing how there is a small gap between the pillars and the stone floor and thinking back to the sound of shifting stone, the party concludes that either the floor or the pillars can be moved. On the ceiling, there is a circular pattern carved into the stone, about seven feet in diameter, and there are indentations right underneath on the floor. In the far corner of the throne room lies the body of a men who is dressed similar to Talareg and who apparently was poisoned. On the wall behind the throne is a panel with three small levers.
    Wishing to uncover the secret of this room, the party encourages Verrin to pull one of the levers. A moment later, some of the skulls become alive as they sprout a set of legs and immediately begin to attack Tempus Alea. These creatures are quite fast and continuously attempt and succeed in latching onto the face of some of the party members. The group fends off the skull spiders, and a group of large frogs summoned by Keena proves to be especially helpful in this encounter.
  • After the fight, another lever is pulled. At first, nothing happens, but then the temperature begins to fall…



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