Part 26: Session 18.5: Why’d She Keep the Damn Thing?
Session 18.5: Why’d She Keep the Damn Thing?
You pass by a floor-to-ceiling mirror on the wall. There seems to be something off with your reflection in it.
Is it a special mirror? Like, evil reflections or teleportation or anything?
I touch it.
I don’t think that’s a good idea.
Belle cannot move. A blind panic grows inside you, and the urge to move grows overpowering. By and by, your mind is clouding. It takes a long time for the panic and confusion to give way to merciful darkness.
What?! Did I—did you just kill me?
No, you’re just unconscious and unreachable at the moment. If the rest of you can finish the quest, Belle will pop back out of the mirror.
Great. God damn it.
So does that mean I’m party leader now?
We have a party leader?
I thought we did. That’s why I’ve been doing a lot of the talking and moving.
So now I can do all that stuff?
All you ever do is ask questions. I’d rather put Hal’s character in the front, to be honest, especially if there are more traps like that one.
You mean traps that don’t allow for any counter rolls?
I think I’m cool with Hal up front.
“Ya sissies need a lesson from a real dwarf!” Nah, I’m cool with taking the lead. So what’s with the door across from the mirror?
When a lock picking attempt fails the first time, this option pops up. Usually clicking ok a couple times makes it work, but some locks just can’t be picked no matter how many times you try.
Oh, just stop rolling and let me use Foramen.
Seeing this, on the other hand, is much more rare.
Damn. Well, if that failed, then the lock probably can’t be opened.
I bet you’re just saying that because you suck as much as I do.
Have it your way, but we should really try looking somewhere else.
So what’s up the ladder?
You cautiously climb up the ladder. In the north wall, you discover several small holes and take a look through them. With some amazement, you find yourself looking out into the former guild headquarters. On further investigation, you notice some seams in the wall which suggest a secret door. However, the way to open it will have to remain a mystery, as it appears to require the feylamia’s mystic powers.
That was quite a look you took, Alex.
No kidding. So this is how she knew where it was before?
Not exactly. You’re actually looking into the current guild headquarters, inside the abandoned watchtower.
But you said it was the old headquarters.
It is. They moved back.
That was pretty quick, since they were still in the watchtower when we left, right?
No! I mean, yes, but…ok, look, they started out in the abandoned watchtower, then they moved into the new sewers where you found them, and then they moved back after you made them realize the location wasn’t secure. The reason Mandara had you guys find the new headquarters was to make the guild move back to where she could use her secret entrance again. And that’s why the trademaster complained that she seemed everywhere these days.
Sorry, wasn’t paying attention. So what do we have to do?
Mandara is a manipulative bitch and we don’t have to feel bad about killing her.
Sometimes I wonder why I even bother.
Hey, I was listening.
Aside from all the bookshelves, there is also a chair and a brazier giving off heat in the corner.
I want to search the chair.
What, really? Fine, roll for it.
You don’t have to be a dick about it.
I kind of think I do.
So how about the bookshelves?
We should drop them into the brazier. Get a decent fire going.
Don’t you dare! Don’t you remember how much the last batch was worth?
Yeah, but I just figured it’d be funny. And it was. Go ahead and search or whatever.
The shelves are filled to bursting with parchment scrolls. When vVhorpax pulls one out, a whole bunch of them come tumbling down on his head.
I’ll replace them carefully, then grab one to read.
With a shriek, you jump up when you feel the chair moving beneath you and two invisible arms enfolding you.
What? Did I sit on someone invisible?
A soft giggle comes from nowhere, and a door seemingly opens and closes itself.
That’d be a yes. So why is the feylamia teasing us?
Maybe it doesn’t think we can kill it.
I suppose not, stuck underground like this. So is the chair safe now?
Yes, but your character was so startled by the invisible vampire that he fell into the shelves, almost knocking them down. The floor is now covered with scrolls.
I think I’ll help look.
Alright. While you’re helping collect the scrolls, a bound tome tumbles down from one of the shelves right on top of your left big toe. Looking at it, you see “DIARY” is set in large letters on the front of the book.
You also see some miasthmaticum and a recipe for a sleeping potion.
It doesn’t really matter. So, I printed off a separate copy of the diary section. Does anyone want to take a look?
That is a damn lot of pages you’ve got there. Do we really need to read all that?
It’s got hints for how to kill the vampire.
I’ll take a look.
I see you got some new dice.
Hell yeah! Blue and gold, just like the Force. These’ll be lucky dice, I just know it.
How could they be lucky? Dice are just dice, after all.
You only say that because you borrow Bob’s dice. Trust me, when you get a hold of a lucky die, you must never, ever let it go. Until it runs out of luck, I mean. That’s when you pawn them off and get a new set.
Can I borrow yours, then?
Hell no! Besides, it’ll only be lucky for me; the colors would be all off for whatever your job is. Say, what is your job?
Yeah, that, whatever that is. Blue and gold are totally off for that.
Alright guys, I think I’ve got this figured out.
So what do we have to break?
Well, if I’m reading this right, we’re currently in a magician’s old hideaway, and he had a few run-ins with our feylamia. The mirrors are actually teleporters, but it doesn’t say why Suzie passed out. We should also be on the lookout for some silver weapons, a cloak that lets the wearer be invisible and also see invisibility, and a lamp that can cast moonlight. The lantern should probably kill the vampire if we can find it.
Then let’s find it.
The next room you visit looks like a workplace of some sort. There’s another mirror here, too.
I think it faces the same room the last one did. I wonder if we can get in there from a door somewhere?
While he’s figuring that out, I search the room.
By all means.
There’s a small key, some old candy, an empty book, and three pieces of antihypnoticum.
Remember the stuff we found way back in the cemetery that helps against hypnotic stares?
That’s right; didn’t we have more of that stuff lying around?
Yeah, but I had it.
This room has a chest, a wardrobe, a third mirror, and a velvet-lined coffin.
Must be where the vampire sleeps.
What’s in the chest?
A silver armband and a silver ring.
I’ll take the armband since I’m in front. William, you should probably hold onto the ring.
It might keep the vampire off of you.
Why would the vampire go after me?
You’re an elf, William.
What? Oh, oh yeah.
Anything in the wardrobe?
The wardrobe is filled with various bulging dresses of diverse colors. The feylamia is a woman of exquisite taste, it seems, or at least of exquisite dress sense.
Damn, and no fancy pants to be had, I’ll bet.
This is a map of the southern section of the lair. The blue circle is where Belle has been trapped by the mirror, with the office to the left and the coffin room to the north. The ladder is at the end of the passage that goes farthest left on the minimap.
This is a bathroom. You can see a large wooden tub, several buckets of fresh water and a round hole in the floor covered with two wooden planks. Small jars of oils and salves rest on a small shelf.
Any worth taking?
Only local scents, sadly. Nothing exotic enough to take.
So what’s in here?
It seems to just be a storage room. There is a chest and a wooden locker, but nothing else.
And inside them?
Among other things, you spot what can only be the moon lantern. Sadly, the crystal that powered it seems to be missing.
We’ll take it anyway. I wouldn’t be surprised if the moon rock were still around here somewhere.
There are some other things, too, but first—Hal, roll for Danger Sense.
Ah! Here we go, guys.
What? Hey! How come she gets the magic cloak?
You took her Charisma armband. Fair’s fair, after all.
Yeah, but that was just a Charisma booster! This is a goddamn invisibility cloak! One of us should totally have it.
You know what? While you were arguing, some shit went down. When you look at the wall, you notice two more shadows than the ones cast by the party. One of the shadows, probably Lea, bends down, and a dagger with a silver blade levitates from the ground and abruptly flies across the room. The second shadow backs away and disappears down the hallway. The first shadow remains still for a while. The dagger disappears. A bottle containing what you have already identified as “Doctor Tronde Trombson’s Potion of Miraculous Recuperation” disappears as well. After that, this shadow, too, fades away in the diffused light of the corridor.
So Lea and the feylamia are gone now?
Yes, they’re gone.
And they took the best piece of loot in the whole dungeon with them! After ‘em!
Hang on, what about the locker?
…Fine, we stop for loot, then we go after ‘em!
So what’s good about a golden shield and a silver helmet?
They have the same stats as normal, but they have special magic auras that let any class use them.
I can take the helmet, then.
That’s right, I never did pick up a shield. Well, if none of you guys in the back row want it, I’ll use it.
So what do we do now? It looks like we’ve explored everywhere except past the door we couldn’t unlock and the mirrors that do horrible things to us.
Maybe we could give the mirrors another go. We might have found something that makes them work.
Fair enough, I suppose, but we should give you everything significant we found, just in case. That would include the key, the antihypnoticum, the moon lantern, the diary…oh, and you should give him the Fiat Lux amulet, Alex.
The what amulet?
The one with the light spell. That way he can see without my wand.
Cool. I touch the mirror in the coffin room.
A feeling of nausea attacks Kurzmann, and for a moment, he feels as if the floor has dropped out from under his feet. But right away, the sensation passes, and he is back on secure ground.
Can the rest of us—
Let me just save some time by saying that it was the sliver armband Kurzmann was wearing that let him go through unharmed. None of the rest of you can follow him.
Eat the green ball, just in case.
Sounds like a plan.
Not much to see. Is there a chest in the room?
Yes, actually, and the key you have will fit, too.
What’s the green type do again?
It’s another Charisma armband.
Could I have it? I think I’ve got the second highest Charisma behind William.
You’re not there!
“You’re getting drunk!”
“Are there any girls there?”
Stop it! You know what? You don’t even get the chance to go back.
And as soon as you put it in,
I’ve tried feeding everyone antihypnoticum, but it never takes. Basically, you only need one dose for the person who goes through the mirror and the rest are there for the hell of it.
A dark shadow appears for a second in the mirror on the northern wall. You think you can recognize Mandara. A pair of bright, glowing eyes appear in front of your face, and they try in vain to draw you into their spell. When the feylamia sees she can’t mesmerize you, she attacks.
I attack right back!
Hang on, we’re all unconscious now. Shouldn’t you be doing this with Hal alone?
Good point. Come on, Hal, let’s do this in the kitchen.
Damn it, we had to make Hal do this part. Now we’ll never know what happens!
Right then. Roll for dodge, since you didn’t get your weapon out in time.
Why wouldn’t I have it out? Oh, fine, fine, I’ll roll. *Roll* Damn, that doesn’t look too good.
Actually, it fits in quite well. So, Kurzmann sees the attack coming and tries to dodge, but a hard blow hits your shoulder and makes you stumble back against the southern mirror…which immediately swallows you…
Cold sweat appears on your brow when, all of a sudden, you see Mandara in the mirrors!
Does not! “Tha dwarven race be made o’ sturdier stoff than that, lad!” Besides, necrophobia’s only 3.
Fine, whatever. Mandara herself is still likely invisible, by the way.
So the vampire is visible in mirrors but invisible in life? Weird. Well, I don’t want to trust the mirrors, so I’ll just whirl my arms around and see if she’s in striking distance.
Your hands don’t touch anything, so the invisible elf doesn’t seem to be in the immediate vicinity.
I’ll move to the other side of the room, then. See if I run into anything.
Every now and then, you catch a glimpse of Mandara’s mirror image, but there’s no sign of her in person. Suddenly, an arm encircles your neck from behind, and you feel yourself being strangled. In one of the mirrors, you can see yourself with Mandara’s hands upon you.
Damn! I’m going to try and break her grip.
Sorry, supernatural strength and all that. Bright points of light are dancing in front of your eyes, and you have trouble registering events, but then a muffled scream reaches your ears, the pressure on your throat is gone, and someone pulls you aside. You stare at Lea.
“Ach, lass, tha’ cloak is nae for yeou!”
…It takes a while for the burning pain of her slapping your face to register. A short distance away, Xebbert…the rat-catcher jumps madly across the room, holding something glittering in his right hand.
That new icon means “use object.”
What does? Oh right, the lantern!
You can also see the effect antihypnoticum has on your stats. Aside from Strength, all those changes are from eating the green ball.
Yeah, I use the lantern on her reflection. After all, light works both ways, right?
Apparently, Kurzmann the dwarf is now a female warrior. Go figure. Oh, and if you’re wondering, I went through this part without rescuing Xebbert or letting Eleana be present when we find the lantern (which keeps her from running off, though you still don’t get that cloak), and you can actually win without them. It does make things more boring, though, since nothing happens except you using the light. On the other hand, wearing the silver bracelet, eating the green ball, and having the moon lantern are all requirements to getting through alive.
Sweet! Hey guys, I just got me a new level!
Should we be hearing this?
Sure, everyone’s awake now. Add a few points to your health. Oh, I should add that the room you just left was the one you couldn't get into earlier. Had to block it off so it could be used for the final showdown.
So what happened?
The vamp tried to get me, but she couldn’t, and then she shoved me into a hall of mirrors. The old-but-not chick showed up to help, along with the metal rat-catcher, then I killed the thing with a beam of light that turned her into glass which then shattered. Oh, then all the mirrors broke. I think Kurzmann’s got a few hundred years of bad luck now (hope it doesn’t transfer to my new dice…)
Told you we wouldn’t know what really happened.
By the way, why do you keep saying everything looks “dark?” I’ve got the light amulet with me.
Did you ever activate it?
Lemmie go gather the party so we can venture forth. By the way, can I still travel through the mirrors?
Well, yes and no. Without the feylamia, the mirrors don’t work as teleporters, but you can move them aside now. You find Belle between one pair of them, and she’s awake now.
So can we get that cloak or not?
Look, it’s just too powerful!
I know, that’s why I want it!
I’m not even supposed to let you see the cloak unless Eleana is there to grab it, and she definitely wouldn’t give it up for anything. Now, it’s getting late, and we should probably get going.
Stupid awesome broken stuff not being my awesome broken stuff…