The Troll Hall Chronicles

Season 2, episode 2-07: In the Halls of Madness

In which our adventurers get their first taste of the spicy picante of the Far Realm

Our adventurers, having departed the lair of the dragon Frostdeath with the third of the three Soul shards of Vyrellis, engaged in some reconnaissance of the rest of the Pyramid of Shadows in which they remained imprisoned. Ultimately, they all ventured down the unexplored hallways of the second level of the pyramid. The doors all looked subtly distorted in space and time which, as Vicendak knew, was indicative of the influence of the Far Realm. They chose one, which led them to a chamber filled with stone statues, and two strange characters: a medusa named Jehara and an aged, blind ogre named Maulspike. They revealed they were guarding the gates beyond for the worshipers of the Far Realm who lived beyond. They were certain that these could help the pair escape from the Pyramid finally – “You can always go to the Far Realm,” mused Maulspike.

In an appeal of epic eloquence, knight of the Raven Queen Sir Valis Frost described to them the pinhole in reality they’d found below in the Verdant Ruin which he was sure could be enlarged to admit the entry of the two. Convinced and ecstatic, they departed.

From there the party confronted the Three Gates of Agony. After solving the riddle of the first gate, the Gate of Ignorance, the party immediately tried to force the final exit without solving the riddles of the other two gates. In this attempt the half-orc rogue Fin’Gould destroyed his own shield; subsequently the adventurers improvised a battering ram out of one of the statues in the room – that of a male tiefling in plate armor with a greatsword – the head of which they demolished against the invulnerable door. When blood began seeping from the statue’s shattered neck, they finally realized that all the statues were people that the medusa Jehara had pertified.

Somewhat freaked out, they abandoned their attempts at force and instead focused on successfully solving the riddles of the two remaining gates to pass on to the Sundered Temple, wherein the githzerai psion Kane Karrath detected the presence of his ancient enemy the mind flayer Xzathral. Without a word, Karrath charged down a hallway, with his curious companions following closely after. In the chamber beyond, they all became trapped in a horrifying fleshy cavern that looked like the inside of a creature’s tortured viscera. Sticky, acidic ooze covered the floor, seeping from a puckered orifice in one of the pulsating walls. The cavern was rife with horrible, impossible monsters and crazed, torture-wracked foulspawn who carried madness about them like a cloud of plague flies.

The battle was intense. The half-orc rogue Fin’Gould – after actually uttering the battle plan, “My first objective is to stab that anus” – stood in long single combat with one of the foulspawn, during which he was so bewildered by its infectious madness that he repeatedly and severely wounded himself, and was struck down. His companions prevailed against the monsters however, and Vicendak bravely delved through the puckered orifice in the wall and emerged into a chamber to find what appeared to be a mind flayer that had been wracked and ruined by powerful supernatural forces from beyond: it had only a vague approximation of its original form, and now appeared to have become a pulsing, beating, weeping gland of some sort that was secreting the acidic ooze that was filling the chambers beyond. Vicendak destroyed the monstrosity.

Before the characters had a moment to savor their victory and their survival, the succubus Danneh appeared on the scene and dragged off the still prostrate form of the near-dead Fin’Gould. Moments later, realizing he had been taken, our adventurers set off without rest or respite in hot pursuit of their captured comrade.

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