The Envoys of Spark- A D&D Chronicle- Part XVI

Roleplaying table top games make for great stories! The Envoys of Spark is a Dungeons and Dragons campaign created by Elyse T. Join hilarious and entertaining player characters on their voyage in an unknown world, as they try to accomplish an enigmatic mission.
The Envoys of Spark Chronicles are published every Monday! Check back for new adventures!

Check Out Part I of The Envoys of Spark

Check Out Part XV of The Envoys of Spark

Beneath the Ruins

The Envoys looked down the mysterious stairwell, leading down into a strange crypt. The widow, met at The Singing Anchovie, peered down from behind them.

Human-like faces the height of Kohmai were sculpted into the walls, seeming to observe onlookers. Walking down the stairs was unpleasant, something obscure and ominous watched them, it came from these large faces, and from the walls themselves.

Medea used her Mage Light, while Virgil lit a lantern, illuminating a long hallway glittering with coloured tiles. On the walls were exquisite mosaics that seemed to display a long funeral march; men and women of all ages wept behind a woman in red, who held her head back, mouth open, with long silver strands emerging from her throat. In front of her was a cortege carrying a black coffin. The backgrounds displayed ripe, unplucked fruit, and the mature vegetation of late summer.

The floor was made of marble, carved in it was a beautiful winding path of red mosaic, which disappeared from view down the hall. Regor inspected the floor carefully, and found that hidden pits, leading very deep down, awaited those who dared to not walk on the red mosaic path.

To one side of the room, Medea inspected a very familiar symbol, drawn into the wall. It was the crossed spiral, that they had previously seen where Spark’s etchings were near. She touched the wall with her palm holding the Etching of Truth, and the symbol glowed. The wall slid open, revealing a dark lonely passage. On the right wall, a message appeared in purple light:

“Here we put to rest, out of the hands of all mortals, the dark Etching created by Spark. None among us possesses the strength of heart this power requires, we leave the dead, to hear the dead. Prince of the Underworld, protect us from what we do not understand.”

 

Opened Wide

Meanwhile, Beatrice, Kohmai and Virgil were exploring the end of the hallway, further down. A section of the red tile path led into a mist-filled stone archway. Three large stones were embedded in the arch. Each had a different hue—yellow on the lower left, bluish at the top of the arch, and orange on the lower right.

At the very end of the hallway, a large sculpted face with a wide-open mouth, stared at the newcomers with pitch black eyes. Upon a closer look, it seemed that the mouth led to some sort of tunnel, a slope going upwards.

Beatrice, being a Hobbit and much smaller than the others, tied a rope around her waist and gave the end to Kohmai. Using her agility, she ran up the slope, to a small alcove where she could catch her breath. She found on this small ledge a decaying skeleton, that seemed to have died of a dangerous fall.

She signaled to her companions below that she was alright, and continued climbing up. Crawling through a tunnel, she ended up near an opening headed downwards; she found herself looking down at a small, empty room with no doors. Holding on to the ledge on the ceiling, she lowered herself down and put a single foot on the questionable room’s floor. The floor lowered, leaving nothing but air under her feet as it balanced on a pivot at the center of the room. Too much weight on either side of this tipsy-turvy floor would upset the counterbalance, and send anyone sliding below. Beatrice managed to peer down as she desperately heaved herself back up, and saw old metal spikes, rotten with old dried blood, hungrily waiting for victims.

 

Portal

Beatrice headed back through the tunnel and slid down to where the other Envoys waited. Regor was looking at the mysterious archway, and attempted to push the crystals in order from right to left, yellow, blue, orange. The mist lifted, but the magical aura surrounding the strange archway remained.

Medea, having forgotten the secret passage from before, was very eager to run through the archway. She stepped through, and instantly disappeared.

Virgil and Beatrice, not wanting to be left behind, jumped through as well. Kohmai and Regor were a bit more skeptical. They looked through the hallway carefully, and came upon the passage and glowing message that Medea had uncovered. They found a door, unlocked and unobstructed, at the end of a narrow hallway. Kohmai opened it a crack and peered inside. A gargoyle, a grotesque stone hybrid of lizard and mammal, starred at the door. Its large legs were prepared to pounce at a prey, and its sharp claws were drawn.

“Nope” agreed Kohmai and Regor, closing the door gently. They promptly headed back to the archway, and stepped through, taking the timid and mostly silent widow with them.

 

Husband and Wife

The heroes were (thankfully) all teleported to the same location, somewhere deeper in the crypt.

The floor of this long, wide hall was inlaid with tiles, and the walls and ceiling were painted with figures of colourfully dressed people and strange signs and glyphs. Humans and humanlike creatures held painted spheres, each a different color from the next.

Touching some of the spheres proved interesting; some led to small compartments with useful items hidden in the walls, while others triggered deadly and barely dodged spear traps out of the walls.

Two doors were discovered, closed, and a hallway leading east.

Kohmai lifted the heavy northern door open and the Envoys snuck inside. In a small room with a ceiling as high as the light of their torches could perceive, another gargoyle awaited visitors. This one, however, was bent down in supplication, and seemed to have a broken arm. Approaching seemed to activate the ancient statue, and the adventurers decided to carefully back away.

The other door opened to a small tomb, where “Husband” and “Wife” were marked on tombstones. The widow could not help but take a moment here to weep. A candle, unlit for centuries, rested between them. Virgil used his Fire Hands to light the wick, which triggered a reaction back in the room of spheres.

Upon returning to the room of spheres, the heroes found yet another misty portal completely south. Three coloured stones were embedded in the arch- green, garnet and yellow, and they had become lit.

 

Curse of Many Doors

While Medea fiddled with this portal, Beatrice was curious about the hallway headed east. She picked lock and opened the door without problems, which prompted the rest of the group to follow her. Ahead were a collection of endless small rooms; every time the heroes managed to open a passage, secret or not, they found themselves inside another tiny room and another opening to figure out. After crossing a total of seven small rooms that circled back to the west, the Envoys found a dark corner, where a gargoyle quieted awaited.

“Oh no,” said Kohmai, “we’ve gone back to the start. This is the room that Regor and I already found.”

The companions had no choice but to battle the gargoyle, effectively breaking it into pieces. One of the pieces, an arm, might be useful elsewhere.

 

Bells and Blessings

The Envoys gathered back where the broken gargoyle bowed, and very politely offered it the severed arm.

The stone creature reacted positively to the gift; it claimed it and held it to it’s stump, as the stolen member merged to it’s body. The gargoyle, in thanks, did not attack the heroes and instead flew to the unknown heights of the ceiling, leaving behind a small collar with a bell attached to it. Medea shook the bell a few times, and was disappointed when nothing happened.

Back in the room of spheres, the group observed as Regor’s higher intelligence for machinery was put to good use near the misty portal. He attempted a sequence with the coloured lights, and was very lucky. The mist dissipated, and this portal, just like the last, seemed to have been cleared to function without triggering any unwanted results.

Stepping through, the heroes were appreciatively not teleported to an unknown location, but instead, given the Blessing of Whisper, a small protection against future dangers.

Just as they expressed gratitude for this small buff, a  secret door magically slid open.

_____

Source: Inspired from the famous Tomb of Horrors, an adventure module written by Gary Gygax for Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). First Published in 1978, ISBN 0-935696-12-1

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About Elyse T. 37 Articles
I am Elyse, authorized and professional bizarre person, at your service. As an avid reader, weird stuff lover, alternative gamer, costume freak, and geeky crafter, I love to bring attention to amazing nerdy things that get often overlooked. I founded Humdrum Auguries, a jewelry shop where I sell my fantasy-themed pieces.