Island of the Giants part II
Intrigued by the stairs leading down from the Roc ledge, the party descend to explore what may lie below. The steps wind down and along for some distance and it takes over an hour of cautious travel to arrive at a dead end. Of course, the adventurers recognise the location of a secret door immediately and set about discovering its location and mechanism of opening for, as the dwarves point out, this is almost certainly a passage to what was once a look out point.
Within minutes the secret door is open and the adventurers stare into a large room occupied by a coffin in the centre. However, what once occupied the coffin is now floating around the room. A ghostly, knight: a wight guardian whose very presence causes Pick and Denig to quiver in fear. Dagaard, Fulton and Aerandir push past the quaking dwarf and leave equally fearful stone man at the back to engage the undead paladin.
The first blow from the wight breaks Dagaard’s ribs, but he fights on with might blows from his war hammer. Fulton attacks from the side seeking to split the ghostly knight’s attack or gain additional advantage. His cutlass thrusts bite home with little apparent effect. Meanwhile, Aerandir releases arrows into the melee skilfully avoiding hitting his allies. With one mighty blow that shatters the last war hammer, Dagaard dispatches the undead creature.
Finally, freed of their fear Pick and Denig enter the crypt as Dagaard loots the remains of the wight replacing his war hammer with a high steel two handed sword. There are five doors to explore from and choosing one at random the party set out to explore with Denig at point. Soon they discover a magical herbarium and a locked door. While, Fulton and Pick attend to the the lock on the door, Denig spends sometime looking through the plants and foraging for herbs.
The locked door leads into a study, which upon entering fills the ears of the adventurers with whispers of dispair and of imprisonment. Fulton searches the papers on the desk and discovers some rune papers. He determines that two summon what is calls Umaiar and the third Denig determines is for controlling them, but he is unable to use the spell.
At the back of the study is another door which after assessment turns out to be magically locked. Fulton attempts to release the magical lock but internalises his spell and becomes deaf and blind. The party eventually retreat the herbarium to eat, assess Fulton’s condition and recover.
From the herbarium, the party decide to explore more of the underground complex before returning to the magic door. They discover a room full of stuffed chimeras of impossible animals. Unable to determine if these are real or manufactured they press on exploring doorways off the room that they feel do not lead back to rooms they have come from.
The room beyond one of the doors contains a winged statue with an iron bowl. The bowl contains a mix of coins. On one wall between two doors is a glass window behind which sits a pan balance with a slot for coins above. A third door leads on to a hall of portraits in which chanting can be heard. The party decide to investigate the pan balance and its coins. Fulton uses his assessment abilities to determine weights of coins but in the end overbalances the pan agains the coins that have fallen on the over pan. The room fills with a mildewy dust but the adventurers suffer no ill effects. Tired and frustrated they decide to return to the ledge and eat some roast Roc chick leg with spices provided by Aerandir followed by resting until the next day.
Slightly chilled from sleeping on the hard rock the heroes return to the magical door. This time Fulton’s release of the magical lock is successful. Beyond the door, they see a golden-haired figure dressed in a thin shift slumped on the floor inside what appears to be a magical circle. Her beauty is apparent even as she looks up with tear-streaked cheeks and pleads with them to break the circle and release her. However, no sound comes through the circle and the elf-maiden’s words are lost. After much debate the are undecided about releasing her. Aerandir’s past experiences lead him to mistrust anything that appears fair. The dwarves are not overly impressed, unlike Fulton and Denig who feel such a fair maiden should be released.
Attempting to communicate that they will return later the adventurers decide to try some of the unexplored doors. They start with a door leading off the crypt. Unusually, Pick decides to take point and carefully checking for traps goes down the corridor. His ineptitude, (a common theme in his adventuring career), costs him his life as he is slammed into the ceiling by a floor block rapidly rising into the ceiling. Denig immediately implores Cloch to keep Pick’s soul from departing; but unable to release the block to heal Pick’s injuries the party instead mourn his passing and the lack of loot available from his body. Dagaard explains that as a dwarf he would have wanted to be interred underground and not, as Denig thinks, be cremated; it appears that this is the closest he will get to a full dwarven burial.
The balance of opinion now being more balanced, the unhappy band return to the magic circle and release the beautiful elf maiden trapped inside. She thanks the heroes in Quenya and so it is left to Aerandir to translate for the rest. Her name is Vanwa and she was imprisoned by an evil sorcerer within a magical circle until she agreed to marry him. The years have passed and her loneliness as multiplied with each one. She is most grateful to the heroes for releasing her from her prison.