Entry 4 - Beats Horrible Challenge

The city awoke the next day, surprisingly calm. Apparently Sorob’s stint in the graveyard failed to awaken any of the city’s dead. Perhaps it only works on the recently deceased? While I am still convinced the amulet is the source of our troubles, Sorob is as unwilling as ever to part with the thing. Knowing the source of our troubles has not been solved, what do we do?

Well, Percival decided to get a drink at the whorehouse. I could not say I was surprised, but, for once, his love of diseased women (men?) and ale brought us good luck. No sooner had he ordered a pint but the doors burst open and a man swaggered into the tavern shouting, “Drinks are on me!” It turns out this “Manly Steve” had just returned from trouncing bugbears and raiding their treasure stash. Percival, diplomatic as always, although I suspect hurt from Manly Steve rejecting his advances, decided to make it rain on Steve… multiple times.

After Percival was shown the door, we found out that Steve was part of the “Grand Circle” – an elite club of adventurers with their headquarters on the Eastern Ocean. Only the greatest adventurers get invited to join; Steve boasted he took down a black dragon single handedly. Needless to say, we were intrigued.

Sensing our interest, I believe the man likes attention, Steve gave us a box with the words “sing to me” carved in it as well as a depiction of a bar scene. Apparently Steve was unable to open the thing, and was more than willing to pass the frustration onto some other group. For the next several hours, we tried singing individually, getting the bar to sing, going to the Golden Wares for information, and finally returning to the bar.

I think the drink had gotten to Steve, because when Percival walked back into the Dirty Skirts, rather than toss him out, Steve asked Percival to identify a dagger with Goblinoid written on it. When Steve found out it was non-magical, he gave it to Percival. Hoping this may be some clue, we went to the local scroll shop, the Magic Squirrel. The shopkeep knew Goblin, but Percival, rather than showing the dagger to him, purchased a scroll, took the time to learn a new spell, just to read “Beats Magical Dagger.” Maybe Goblin’s have a funny sense of humor? I suspect they are just dumb.

Well, apparently this triggered an idea in Percival and Diago’s heads. After several failed attempts, Diago succeeded at singing a strange sounding song to the box. It opened to reveal a… blank piece of parchment. We took it outside to ponder it in the bright light. Nothing came to us, but, amazingly, after about an hour a map was revealed directing us to the mountain ranges to the west of Gofeld! There was also writing on the map, reading:

One Sword
Two Blessings
Three Winds
Four Seas
Fallen From The Sky
Water For The Shrine
Treasure For Man
Break The Mountain

Finally, something to once again take us away from this city!

I led the group for two days through the pouring rain to a large stepped pyramid in the middle of the woods in the shadow of the mountains. We entered through the door at the base to find ourselves in darkness. After lighting up the interior, we saw a maze of stepped platforms leading to a door on a far wall – nothing was below the platforms but darkness. Diago fearlessly lept to the first platform… and fell into the darkness after missing the second. Amazingly unharmed and un-phased, he ran from behind us to try again. And again. And again. And… again. Hours passed as I tired to convince Diago if we only wait one day, I could prepare a spell to make his life easier.

Fatigue must have gotten the best of him. The next morning, I cast my spell and Diago quickly made it to the far side, creating a path for all of us to follow. We suspected we may have completed “Fallen from the Sky.”

The next room contained a pedestal that opened a door when Sorob placed one of Diago’s swords on it. “Own Sword” down.

The statue of a man in a tunic and pants delayed us for awhile as we made various offerings to it. It was not until we inadvertently cast two spells on the statute that the way opened. While we thought it was Water for the Shrine or Treasure for the Man, it turned out to be “Two Blessings.”

Our next challenge we solved quickly, as three of us blew on the pile of sand in the middle of the floor. “Three winds.”

The next room showed how quickly my comrades are willing to devolve into barbarians. After messing with the bowl of water on the pedestal in the middle of the room, the four men decided to pee in it. What is with them and urine? Well, this counted as “Four Seas.”

We moved through the door to find a room with a pile of coins; a pile quickly snatched up by Percival and Oedinn. After putting the gold back, we tried adding to it to no avail. Eventually Percival decided to throw a coin into the air where, upon hitting the ceiling, it turned into water. We did this with the rest of the gold and a door opened. “Water for the Shrine.”

The door opened into a room with nothing but a big wall. Sorob showed that muscle has its use, chipping a large enough hole in the wall after hours of chopping. “Break the Mountain” we did.

The last room contained a plaque that read “The End.” What the hell? We just spent days making our way through this blasted pyramid to find nothing? Well, as we sat and pondered what our next move would be, the wall disappeared to reveal tables overflowing with treasure. The last lesson, like one of the first, must have been “Patience.”


BBHoap Darkember

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