The Jeweled Throne

Travel to Valyk's Isle

While hanging out in a tavern in Bakshaan, Ilmiora, the adventurers are approached by Lanthin. He tells them that his employer, Thravose, would like to hire them for a job in exchange for gold. Our heroes are told to be at the villa of Thravose in two hours.
When the party arrives at the villa, they are met at the front gate by Lanthin and eight guards and escorted in. Once inside, Thravose invites them to sit and pours them all wine. He then propositions them to quest for the Crystal of Daerdaerdarth in exchange for gold. The Crystal is buried with some poor chap (he doesn’t say who) on a small island near Sorcerer’s Isle. It will look like a large ruby and may glow. The tomb may be guarded and the trip will be treacherous. However, the party will be rewarded handsomely upon their return. The party accepts the proposition and agree to board a galley that night to begin the trip.
The party spends roughly twelve days on a Tarkesh war galley captained by Lank of Pan Tang. The voyage itself was rather uneventful but the party did learn that they were not the first to attempt this quest. There was a prior attempt by a party of six men (including a Pan Tangian wizard) about three months ago. One of the crew members later tells the party that on the morning of the second day after the expedition arrived on the island, a longboat was seen floating close to the galley. After hooking the longboat and pulling it in, a man was found unconscious inside. Once revived, the man was found to be raving mad and shouting constantly about demons.
Once near the island, the party boards a longboat and rows to shore. Lank tells them he needs to sail for some supplies and will be back in about a week to pick up them up.
When the party makes it to shore, they discover another longboat nearby. The boat is large enough for twelve people but is empty except for eight oars and two coils of rope. The beach is bordered by woods.
As they are walking across the beach, they are attacked by arrows from the woods. The party manages to make it into the woods and find four men. Melee ensues and all four men are killed.

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Into Valyk's Tomb

The party moved on toward the ruins spotted in the woods. On the way they were ambushed by a party of six men. While melee ensued, one of the men stepped back, sniffed something from a pouch and began to go into a trance. His concentration was quickly broken by a member of the party. After this, the man was able to bring forth two gnomes (Earth Elemental) from the ground to help him fight.
During the melee, the party noticed that the wizard had three silver rings on his hands. After the wizard was killed in melee, Skrowel managed to cut off his fingers and retrieve the rings. Once he had possession of the rings, Skrowel was able to command the elementals to disperse. The party managed to kill all six of the men during the melee.
Once they reached the ruins, the adventurers discovered that they were once four towers. However, all 4 were shorn off at varying heights and contained no upper floors anymore. There was rubble strewn about and doors either ripped off or completely gone.
In the east tower was found two silver coins and a gold ring. In the south tower was found seven bronze coins and a silver coin. In the west tower they found four bronze coins and in the north tower was found a silver ring, two bronze coins and a tiny gold pill box set with a jewel.
The party also found trap doors in the floor of both the north and west towers. Upon opening them, each contained stone steps going into the ground. A horrible stench was emitted from each door as well. The party decided to enter the steps in the west tower.
The steps went deep into the heart of the island. As the party descended, the stench got worse and the air got cooler. The steps came out into a short corridor that ended in a door. The door appeared to be unlocked but somewhat hard to open.
Upon entering, the party discovered a large room (about 60 × 75 feet) with alcoves full of dead bodies. The entire room reeked of decay and caused one of the characters (the beggar?) to vomit. To the right of the party was a door made of a smooth, shiny red material. There was no knob or other foreseeable way to open the door but there is a hand carved and jutting out from the door. Above the hand on the door is an inscription in a language that none of the characters recognize.
To the left of the party was another door that looks to be normal. As they near the center of the room, six creatures come rushing in from the door without the hand. These creatures are under four feet tall and have tails about half as long as their bodies. They are covered in short fur and their heads contain a vertical mouth with short fangs. Eyes are set to either side of the mouth. Black horns protrude from their scalp and shoulders. They wear dyed-red animal hide vests and carry crude, stone weapons.
After a long battle the party is victorious. However, with victory comes sorrow as Shylock was killed. After mourning (for a few minutes or so at most), the party proceeded to loot Shylock’s corpse…and the adventure continues next time.

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The Crystal at Last

After the loss of Shylock the Thorough within Valyk’s Tomb, the remaining party members decided to exit, make camp, and rest. Once back on the surface, they stumbled across three other people sitting around a campfire. This small party consisted of Fionn Zhang, Janikor, and Joel the Barbarian. Our adventurers asked these three to join the expedition to locate the Crystal of Daerdaerdarth. After everyone rested, the party re-entered Valyk’s Tomb.
Once back down into the stench-filled tomb, the party was able to make a better search of the entry room. Aside from a few rusty weapons, a book of plant lore was found. The adventurers then decided to check out the red door with a carved hand jutting out.
One of our new adventurers, Fionn Zhang was able to read the inscription on the door above the hand. It said “Speak Friend and Enter” and was written in Low Melnibonean. Janikor stood in front of the hand and spoke the Melnibonean word for “friend”. A trap door promptly opened beneath her feet and she fell into a pit measuring 10 feet deep. She took minor damage.
After helping Janikor out of the pit using a rope, one of the party members decided to grasp the hand and push the door. It wasn’t locked and opened easily.
As the adventurers stepped into the next room, a large humanoid creature stood up from a throne at the far north and told them they could go no further. The creature was a dull yellow in color and had tusks protruding from his mouth in both up and down directions. He reeked of stale urine and as the party advanced on the demon guardian, he attempted to attack with his claws. Arrows were shot in his direction and appeared to be blown off course and away from him. In the end, the party was able to defeat the demon without any damage to themselves. This was definitely an unexpected feat.
After this battle, the party moved on to the next hallway. They came upon a four way intersection and decided to go north. The passage ended in a small, empty room. They then doubled back and took the east passage.
The east passage ended in a door which the party opened (it too was unlocked). Once inside, they were shocked to find a large dragon in an enormous room with walls covered in incandescent moss. As the party began battling the monster, Fionn laughed as he saw them stabbing at air and running for cover. He yelled for them to come to their senses and the dragon suddenly disappeared. The rest of the party then realized that they had been in an empty room the entire time. Across from them was another door.
The door revealed yet another passageway that went east a short distance and then curved to the south. As they stealthily walked down the passage, it opened up into a small room. On the other side of the room was another passage that continued south.
From that passage emerged four oozing humanoids. These creatures appeared as extremely obese, bald humans whose skin was continually melting like a candle. As they walked they left footprints of melted flesh and carried the stench of rotting corpses. Our adventurers were able to fend these creatures off but with a lot more effort than they had ever exerted with their opponents in the past. Once all the creatures were dead, the party entered the south passage.
The passage ended in yet another door which, in High Melnibonean, said “Here Lies Earl Valyk.” Once inside, the party could see a raised altar with the body of a long dead noble upon it. In his left hand he held a pulsating crystal and in his right he clutched a book. At the base of the altar was painted an eight pointed star.
As the party entered, a door to their left opened and stumbling out came four more oozing humanoid creatures. Again the adventurers exerted a lot of effort but were victorious in the end. There was one casualty however. Our beloved beggar, Tusk, met his match in the ooze men and was killed within Valyk’s burial chamber. May he rest in peace.
Once all the ooze men were dead, the party discovered various useful items and of course took the pulsating Crystal of Daerdaerdarth to return to Thravose. The book is an enigma as it was written in a language unknown to any of our adventurers. Perhaps Thravose or another person back in town will know what it is.

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The Voyage Home

On the way out of Valyk’s Tomb, the party decided to check out the one room they hadn’t entered yet just to see what was in there. As they walked in, they noticed a closed door across the room. After the usual listening at the door and hearing nothing, one of the adventurers grabbed the knob to open it. Everyone became a bit disoriented as the room changed before their eyes. The party had been teleported into another room.
As soon as the party was in the new room, they could see a pair of giant worms with gaping maws. Lucky for them, the worms were slow. Unlucky for Janikor the blood of each worm consisted of a liquid resembling mustard in one and ketchup in the other. As the fight raged on, Janikor became engulfed in buckets of her feared condiments. I’m sure she is hoping we do not come across any more giant condiment worms.
After the fight with the worms, the party entered a long hall leading out of the room. At the end of the hall was a door. Once opened, the party could see a small 5′ × 5′ room with a face carved into the opposite wall. The face immediately spewed four fireballs at the party. A few people were able to dodge the fireballs but those who couldn’t suffered burns and charred skin.
The hallway turned at this point and as the party continued, they noticed large slithery tracks in the dust. Janikor immediately worried about more giant condiment worms but was able to compose herself and walk on. The hallway made another turn and the party could see the tracks heading into an archway to the left. As they approached, a giant worm with the head of a woman came at them. After a short battle, the worm-woman was sliced in half and the party was able to move on.
Down the hall was yet another turn with holes in the ceiling and floor that lined up. After throwing something past the holes and seeing nothing happen, our heroes decided to venture further. At the end of the hall was a large room. In the middle of the room was a dais with a large throne. Upon the throne sat a large humanoid demon holding a huge mace in one hand and a huge sword in the other. As the party entered the room, the demon stood up, said, “I’ve been waiting for you. My name is Flawn. Prepare to die!” The party then heard the sound of a portcullis dropping in the hallway as Flawn attacked.
Flawn was not as easy to kill as the demon encountered early on in the tomb. However, with a bit of effort, the party was able to defeat him. They then found a loose stone in one wall that triggered a secret door. On the other side of the door was a staircase leading up. The party traveled up the stairs to find a lever that triggered another secret door. After entering this new room, they recognized it as the room across from the teleportation room in the main tomb. They were then able to finish leaving the tomb and came back out onto the island.
At the beach, the party could see Captain Lank’s boat waiting for them so they got into their trusty longboat and rowed out. Lank was surprised to see them but gave our heroes a warm meal and a nice dry bed for the trip back.
After reaching Bakshaan, the party went immediately to the villa of Thravose to deliver the Crystal of Daerdaerdarth and collect their reward. Thravose was definitely surprised to see them but happily gave them their payment in exchange for the crystal.
One of the adventurers asked Thravose if there were any books he might be looking for. His interest was definitely piqued as he asked if they had found any books. When told no, he replied that he had a client, Valdruna, who may be interested in any books they find.
So off we go to town to locate Valdruna and/or ask around about books…

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