In order to continue, AHAA had to climb the book shelf to reach a door perched on top. After filing through one by one, they came upon the stone statue of an angel with the wings folded around its body. Damar was the first through the door and thereby the first to step up to the statue. He was dazed by a wave of psychic energy, as was Edric, who stepped up after him. It wasn’t until Mialee observed the energy coming from a symbol of Oghma the statue was holding, that Edric was able to use his tools to disable it (after shaking off the effects).
The rest of the party wisely avoided the statue, but were attacked by more Eaters of Knowledge soon after. A robed Tiefling that followed the Eaters, sparked Vyrellis’ memory and she yelled out, “There he is, a splinter of Karavakos’ life force! Each of them are named, this one calls itself Arat, destroy him and find his key!”
AHAA carried the fight into the next room around four ten foot high pillars covered with a painted dome. Meanwhile, Arat fled behind a set of evil curtains that wrapped around Grimm but missed Tiny as he managed to slip by and go toe to toe with the Tiefling. Their duel moved back into the dome room just as Mialee and Edric were closing in on Arat’s flank (after dealing with another set of evil curtains). The last of the Eaters were put to the sword, and as for Arat, he was cornered and crushed under the full force of AHAA’s firepower.
LOOT – Sandals of Precise Stepping -> Edric Adamantium Key Treasure Chest Loot – a bunch of money and gems that I didn’t write down
The underside of the dome was painted to look like a starry night sky, draconic runes, similar to that on Arat’s adamantium key, glowed on the floor beneath it. Mialee completed a ritual to comprehend language and they were faced with these two cryptic sentences:
Runes under Dome: “The key of knowledge shines beneath a ring of holy stars.” (stars under dome were not painted in a ring)
Adamantium Key: “First in hardness, not in place.”
They were sure they had stumbled onto a riddle, but didn’t have enough pieces yet to solve it. So, the group decided to head out and finish exploring the rest of the first floor of the Pyramid.
AHAA waded back through the flooded room and took the stairs South this time. Edric took point and stealthed up ahead… straight into two crossbow bolts! They had unwittingly run headlong into a makeshift barricade manned by human outlaws wielding bows and halberds (who heard AHAA splashing through the water). The party brute forced its way over the barricade until one of the archers fell back through a narrow hallway to a set of levers that operated a trap. When pulled, it would teleport anyone caught in the hallway to a closed room filled top to bottom with flame nozzles (catching, Mialee, Grimm, Tiny and Edric one by one). After escaping the flame room, Tiny bull rushed across the narrow hallway, knocked down the door, and took out the human controlling the trap.
LOOT – Pouch containing odd dice with images on it (can be rolled once an encounter for a random effect) -> Tiny
Down the hallway from the barricade, AHAA barged into a small chapel with a woman kneeling at an altar. Her name was Danna, and she told the party she had been locked in the chapel by the Dragonborn Gharash Vren. Everytime she tries to leave, two demons appear at the door and stop her. Danna pleaded with AHAA to help her escape. While this was going on, Vyrellis whispered to Damar, “It’s here, I can feel it…” (referring to a piece of her life force).
When Edric attempted to open the door, two Hellguards appeared. After banishing them, Edric tried once more, but two more appeared. Their solution was to grab a pew from the chapel and smash it against the magically warded door like a battering ram. After repeated attempts the wards weakened, but the bench was no longer effective. Confident, the bard rolled out his tools and got to work with Damar to attempt to drop the ward. Everytime they made a mistake though, two more Hellguards would appear. Meanwhile, Tiny, after thoroughly searching the chapel, found a notch in the wall that opened a small alcove with a chest inside.
When they had failed to dispel the ward one too many times, two more Hellguards appeared and Danna polymorphed into a Succubus, “You IDIOTS, you could have freed me!” She attacked everyone inside the room, dominating poor Grimm, who then unwittingly turned his hammer against his party. To make matters worse, she charmed Tiny into to taking hits for her if he was near. It was chaos inside the room but Edric and Damar held it together long enough for Mialee to drop the ward from the other side of the door. When the wizard ran in, the Succubus sighed in relief, flew out of the door past her, and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
Frustrated with letting another one slip through their fingers, AHAA turned its attention to the treasure chest, which Edric popped open. It contained another shard of Vyrellis’ life force, in the form of a large Garnet gemstone and a Belt of Blood. Vyrellis told the party that the she recognized the Succubus as the same one that made the deal with Karavakos in the first place, ultimately entombing him within the Pyramid.
LOOT – Garnet -> Damar Belt of Blood -> Grimm
Past some chanting statues, AHAA pushed forward, determined as ever to defeat the Pyramid. As they entered the next room, they surprised four thugs who had been sitting around playing dice…