Turns out the pech, a sorceress named Eriniell, had sort of lost it. It screamed that if you touched the ground then HE could control your mind. Confused and wary, the party all took to the air with magical means of flight, with the pech providing floating disks to people who had only a short means of flight. In its mad ravings, the party was able to pick up that the earth elemental fey had been under the control of the “Vault Keeper” for hundreds of years trying to “free” him, though apparently it failed. Also it went a little nutty. Though she raved at times, she was surprisingly helpful in explaining a bit of the layout of the floor, warning the PCs of a “cold place” and the “powerful stone” in the Vault Keeper’s lair.
While they extracted what information they could, the party moved on, floating disks under their feet, to the small room in the south where they had heard “scientists” were staying. As they entered the room, they found a shockingly expansive set of alchemy equipment and a trio of strange, tentacled, multi-eyed…. things. They all drank a potion the moment the party entered the room and took to slapping them with their spiked tentacles. Though they were quite punishing to melee attackers, Quesh proved that having need of sleep is probably the worst thing that can happen to you in this dungeon and dropped all three of them before they could become too big a threat.
With the… things dead, the party looked over the equipment in the room, discovering a few medical journals and pedestals full of what Remnus found to be called “Master Shards”. A quick look through the journal revealed them to give the bearer the ability to Earth Glide once through the Emerald Spire itself. While this gave the party the ability to go deeper, it did not, however, give them the ability to see or breathe while traveling through the stone.
Not wanting to risk things if they didn’t have to, Remnus touched a stone wall to prepare to excavate it. Unfortunately, as he prepared to use magic, Eriniell flipped out that he had touched the stone and quickly moved to kill him for fear of being mind controlled. Although the sorceress’ invisible stalkers were annoying, they were slain easily and Eriniell herself was subdued quite handily, but not before forcibly dragging all the air out of Remnus’ lungs and nearly killing him. Though tempted to kill her for the slight, he contented himself with rubbing her face in the dirt and storming off with the rest of the party as they prepared to use Master Shards on the spire’s roots.
Invidia, always the first to bust down the doors, traveled through the spire’s roots and came upon a large, supernaturally cold lake with six vicious looking, four-armed amphibian creatures in it. She sighed in boredom and proceeded to dodge every attack they threw at her while the rest of the party piled into the room. Avarita got to show off why weak-willed creatures tend to do poorly around her and caught the majority of the creatures in an illusory web, plaguing them with nauseating visions of spiders and sticky webbing. Most of them were caught fast and were helpless against the magic and the few that weren’t were cut down by Chaaz and Invidia before they could land any significant blows.
With the creatures dead and the party avoiding the frigid lake, Avarita spied yet another secret door. Immediately, she and Chaaz went through the door, spying a strange, statue room with a glowing green child made of light pacing around a large crystal. …Strange. The cavern continued onward for them and Avarita gloved the secret door… to come face to face with a strange, elemental rock-bug.. thing. He greeted her coldly and introduced himself as the “Vault Keeper” and suggested that he and the party talk. Wary, the party obliged and piled into the room to chat. The Vault Keeper had little patience for questions though and demanded answers as to what the surface knew of him, what the party was doing in the spire itself, and what creatures might make good minions. Unfortunately the party’s tendency to be evasive and questioning whittled the creature’s patience down quickly and he decided that he could just as easily get the answers he needed by enslaving the party and asking them when they don’t have free-will anymore.
We’ll see how that works out for him next week.