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Many Alternate Doors, No Exits in Sight (MADNES) 58: Won't You Please Sign In?


My creature buffs are . . . countered by your destruction.  Shit . . .
Not every invention pans out . . .

Welcome back. When last we met the Cupcakes had . . . aggressively acquired a lich's phylactery. And normally they would have been quite happy to smash the thing and be done with it. But that would have pissed off the very high level lich, who probably had more.


On top of that, data was pointing to the idea that the lich just wanted to unlive and let live. And, as it turns out, the Cupcakes embrace a live and let live philosophy of life. So now they had to return said phylactery.


Fortunately they had been given very specific instructions regarding that very task. Which boiled down to: put it on the windowsill or doorstep of the Lich's mausoleum. That building being very easily discerned, as it was the only one rising into the sky. Made it something of a landmark, really.


The trip there was inconsequential. Once they'd deposited the phylactery on the sill, the door opened and an unseen servant retrieved it. Then the main door opened, and a robed, masked woman shuffled out. She offered lodging for the night, something the group desperately needed.


{Players' Note: Ding!}


All but Frank accepted the invitation to lounge in a lich's living room. (or would that be an unliving room?) Instead he scaled the building to sleep on top. Inside they found a well stocked kitchen, and plenty of furniture to lay about on. After checking for mimics (which was fast becoming a tradition with them) the group went to sleep. Without even setting a guard.


Fortunately for them, it appeared that the Lich was a good host, leaving them be. After they'd rested, Thor went to the roof to check on Frank. The Lich greeted the others, and offered Hazel an artifact that he said would render the heart inert. All he asked was that she return it when the deed was done. (Good thing Frank wasn't there)


Thor found Frank sound asleep, despite the specter of a goblin crouched over him. As Thor watched it extended a finger and poked Frank. By that point Thor had seen enough, and moved towards it menacingly. The figment immediately fled the scene.


Whether to the curious spirit's movement or Thor's, Frank woke up then, casting the Bloodrager the evil eye. Before Thor could explain the rest of the group joined them. Again, explanations were forestalled as one of the two white towers cracked in half, mostly perpendicular to the ground. As they turned to look, one side slid off of the other before the entire tower collapsed.


A moment later the Lich's Nightwalker friend appeared. The mask he wore was cracked. He explained that he'd taken care of one of the towers, and that the other was up to them. When they asked about the damage to his facial accoutrement he simply stated that he'd gotten distracted for a second.


Once they agreed to tackle the remaining tower he stated he'd return the princess. Upon indignant questioning he admitted that he'd brought her there to secure their help, that she was safe, and that she'd be returned momentarily. Then he vanished.


Once the group overcame their outrage, they realized they really had no choice but to continue on. Hazel relented in her punishment of the unrepentant Frank and allowed him to ride on her broom. Since he was over her earlier attempts to sick a quartet of Gargoyles -and it made a better conveyance for flyby-shootings than being hoisted by the armpits- he accepted. This arrangement, of course, left Steve back in the position of Thor's meat shield. So everybody was happy, I guess . . .


The flight to the tower was quick and uneventful. The tower itself looked much like the first tower they'd encountered, sans the imps that had been perched all along its height. There were no guards present; even the undead seemed to avoid it. So they landed in front of the entrance and used it.


They found a hall that emptied into a large reception area. A large, very empty reception area. All it contained was a pedestal with a check-in book in the center of the room. No furnishings. No tapestries. And no stairs up to the next level.


Frank pulled out his lens of true sight and did a 180 around the room. The lens revealed exactly what one would expect from such a room: couches, chairs, hanging adornments, a chandelier, and even a staircase wrapped around the perimeter of the room.


Pulling the lens from his eyes, Frank realized that the staircase was in fact glamoured to look see through. Like glass that you have to look at at just the right angle to see. He alerted the others to its presence and started up.


Meanwhile, Hazel had been examining the check-in book. After brief consideration (her usual amount: about 5 femto-seconds) she picked up the pen and inscribed the following: Hazel, the white witch

Thor, the semi-god of hammers

Steve, this world's ass

Frank, the perforator


That task finished, they headed upstairs. The next floor was as empty as the first had appeared, save for another nearly invisible stair, and about a platoon of crystalized dwarves all arranged like pieces on a chessboard.


Seeing nothing of note, Frank called the all clear and started up the next set of stairs at the opposite end of the room. He was most of the way up when a Huge Lamia Matriarch uncurled on the ceiling. She'd missed the gunslinger's stealthy gait, but it would have been hard for her to miss Thor.


As she wound her way down to the group her scales and skin rippled in a rainbow of colors. While Frank reversed his direction and lined up a shot, Hazel announced 'I can do that too!' and immediately started making her robe shimmer in matching colors.


The Lamia paused after a second. Instead of attacking, she stated that no one had ever had that response to her presence. Instead of attempting to eat them, she called each of them by the names Hazel had written down one floor below. She explained how she'd been locked in this room for eons. She explained that she'd warned the dwarves not to eat the food, but they had anyways. When asked 'what food' she'd explained that food appeared every now and then; food that she could eat but that they'd better not.


They explained their goal, a goal she seemed perfectly content with. She did ask if they could help her escape first. And, to Frank's horror the rest of the Cupcakes agreed to try. But, no matter what they tried, a field of force sprung into place whenever the Lamia attempted to leave the level.


Eventually, the three tired of banging their heads (and fists, and hammers) against that particular wall and started up the stairs. The Lamia wished them luck and warned them about the prismatic golems on the next level. When asked she informed them that she'd created golems out of prismatic energy for whomever had trapped her here. With that, they left.


{Player's Note: I'm fairly certain the DM had intended this to be a fight, and improvised the rest when Beth reacted in her usual level of insanity.}


They decided to send Frank on ahead as scout. On the next level he found the Golems; four of them. They were sitting in recesses along the long sides of a 120 by 180ft room. As he looked at them, a plan started to hatch inside his brain.


{Player's Note: Now, when one hears that something is sculpted from a particular material, one tends to assume it shares some of the attributes of that material. For instance, if you sculp something from clay, you expect it to be soft and a bit crumbly. Steel: Hard and strong. I don't know about you, but when someone tells me (or my character) that something is made of prismatic energy, I automatically assume it will have the properties of a prismatic wall. So we reasoned. And so we reasoned our characters would reason . . .}


He went back to the others and unveiled this plan to the others. It basically consisted of him dodging to make the constructs attack each other. Hazel suggested that they just leave them alone; she could simply dimension door them by. Frank, Steve and Thor were very much against that. If the tower collapsed, they'd have four moving prismatic walls that some innocent could stumble upon.


They did take Hazel up on the dimension door though. So three of them teleported to the other side of the room while Frank attempted to dance with the golems. Early experimentation showed that they could simply have walked through the center of the room without incident. Apparently, these golems had been designed to guard much smaller spaces; they wouldn't even key on anyone more than 30ft away.


Eventually, Frank did get two of them on him. It took a while, as they had only a 10ft move speed. But he did it. And it was at that point that the other flaw in his plan unveiled itself. The golems were large, with a ten foot range. He somehow had to get them close enough that their strikes could hit each other, which was much harder than it should have been.


He took several hits attempting it. After the first hit he realized that these golems were nothing like what he'd expected prismatic golems to be. Apparently they were made from rainbows and lollipops because, not only did their hits not bring with them the effects of a prismatic wall, but they didn't even hit that hard.


After seeing Frank take his first hit, the rest of the group charged in; probably more from boredom than any fear for his safety. The battle was a long grueling affair. The golems made up for their lack of offense with an incredible amount of hit points. But eventually they all disintegrated at the Cupcake's feet.



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