026. Down, Down Down Below

The next morning, early, they gather in the King’s Throne Room, and the King shows them the hidden passage that appeared when the party neared the castle.  Inside is a narrow vertical channel with an iron ladder leading down into the darkness.  He gives Juxmonochrome and Barlo Potions of Darkvision which will last 2 weeks.  He also gifrst Tully with a Key Hammer.  He says it is an 8 day journey if they book it, and it’s a 10 day round trip from Parthen to Westgate, so if the plan is to succeed, they must not delay.

Descending down the ladder for over an hour, they emerge in an ancient dwarven tomb. The floors have eroded away in places, many of the rooms are covered in spider webs, and many of the doors are covered in spikes with weird symbols and levers.  They learn via trial and error that the doors will impale the person who uses the levers incorrectly.

Moving cautiously, they find their way down to a lower level without much trouble.  The further down they descend, the further back into history they go.  They also find 4 altars to the 4 gods, asking for offerings of water, fire, earth and air.  Giving the wrong offering resulted in a fight with an elemental.  The party found the right offerings without too much difficulty.

Even further down, they found stone faces in the floor, offering an answer to a single question.  They ask one face, “which way to Parthen,” and the face responded, “follow the glow of the green mushrooms.”

 

They find a room with a large keyhole in the floor, and a stone face on the northern wall. In an adjacent room they find a chest with the Hammer of Ekrak.  They take the hammer and in the previous room, Tully decides to insert his key hammer into the floor.  

A mechanism begins to activate.

The face on the wall awakens, and the wall begins to move…

The face is flanked with a crystal on each side.  The party starts taking pot-shots at the crystals and learn that one crystal casts Magic Missile on them, and the other casts Cure Serious Wounds on the wall.  However, Toggaf put a lightning bolt to good use and made the fight short.

The door behind them opens, and hot wet air hits them in the face … for the first time in 1000 years, someone from the surface will descend into the Underdark.