The group rested up back in Eastbrook after their harrowing ordeal in the Temple of Bhaal. They resupplied with weapons and healing salves and tromped back to Quasqueton. Callam, still recovering from grievous wounds, stayed behind.
The party made their way through the entrance hall and past the magic mouths and into the hexagon chamber with the circular staircase leading up. They decided to investigate the door to the north.
Beyond they discovered a pillared throne room. At the far end was a short dais upon which rested two thrones and Golar could make out a desiccated body slumped in each chair. Cautiously the group made their way along the left wall towards the thrones. As they approached them, the cadavers jumped up off the thrones and attacked, revealing themselves to be ghouls. Brother Cadfael tried to turn them but was unsuccessful and when Orien shot arrows at them, they bounced off an invisible barrier in front of the thrones. " Damn some kind of shield spell is set upon the creatures". Myra's magic missile similarly failed to hit the creatures.
The group continued to surround and battle the nasty creatures and luckily no one fell to their paralysing grasp. Once finished with, the party removed the undead from the thrones and began searching about them for any thing hidden. A thorough search revealed a catch on the underside of one of the chairs and another on the other chair as well. When the catches were released, a secret door opened up in the wall behind each of the thrones in the corners of the room. Golar also discovered a secret panel behind each throne which slid up to reveal a silver stylized half helm.
Brother Cadfael donned the helm hoping it was better than the one he had on then proceeded to check out the secret door behind the left chair. No sooner had he though about this action, when he disappeared and reappeared next to the secret door. "Amazing, a helmet or blinking of some sort". "Thad, come over here and check out what is beyond this secret door". Thad who had donned the other helm heard Cadfaels thoughts in his head before he spoke them, " I can hear you in my helmet" . "Truly awesome, twin helmets of blinking and telepathy" Cadfael replied gleefully.
The party spent some time cackling about all the uses of using the helmets in combat to blink around opponents and convey messages in secret. Everyone seemed happy by the find. The secret door to the left went off around a corridor into the darkness, but the one to the right, opened up into very ornate yet strangely shaped bed chambers with wood paneled walls and tapestries hanging in the corners and a large oak bed with the letter R carved into its frame. The tapestries depicted scenes involving Rogahn and Zelligar at various tasks ( defeating enemy armies) and one depicted Rogahn astride a steed with his attractive mistress Melissa upon his lap. The group moved into the room and began searching. They found a large banner on one wall with Victory stitched into it, below which rested a fine lance and mace and a trophy of a rearing horse dedicated to Rogahn.
In another corner of the room the elf found a secret door behind one of the wood panels and in another corner a secret door was found behind a tapestry and secret panel. The group decided to open this door and it revealed a short dead end hallway. After a search of the back wall by the dwarf, another secret door catch was found and pushed.
Beyond this door a more tastefully decorated bedchamber containing a large oak curtained bed, nightstand, and table and another door on the opposite wall. On another wall was a smashed mirror in a frame and on against the wall was a smashed babies crib. How strange. It occurred to some of the group that none of the items in either bedchamber were affected by the ravages of age or vermin. Everything seemed to be in pristine condition as though the occupants had departed just yesterday.
Cadfael and Golar made his way over to the door and searched beyond and discovered more hallways. As they turned back to the bed and pulled away the concealing curtains, they were shocked to find a dark haired maiden with porcelain skin sleeping soundly under the covers. Myra and Orien approached cautiously, and tested the body to see if it was sleeping or dead. " Its cold to the touch and no breath can I detect" Myra reported. "Some kind of sleep spell" Orien added. From the various paintings, tapestries and statues they had encountered, the group knew this was the fair maiden Melissa, Rogahns lover.
As Cadfael approached the sleeping woman, she reared up, and screeched at him, her eyes wide with hate and her mouth revealing two sharp teeth... a vampire. " Get out of here", the woman commanded " servants are not allowed in my chambers unless I call upon you". Shocked by the creature before them and quite aware of its nature and power, the party slowly retreated. " Begn your pardon miss, we will disturb you no more", offered Myra.
As the group departed through the secret door, the vampire Melissa called out to Myra, her demeanour completely changed " Maiden, have you seen the child? I assume the wet nurse has him. Please find him for me. Oh and find Rogahn and tell him I wish to dine with him this morning. You are dismissed". Myra, confused by this, agreed to the vampires wishes, curtsied and left hurriedly out the secret door. Wide eyed with terror, the group shut both the secret doors to the bedchamber and headed for the other secret door the found " We shan't be going back in there any time soon" Golar trembled.
Beyond this secret door they found a short hallway to a T junction. Golar searched ahead and found another corridor off to the right with a door to the north. The group decided to go this way. They readied themselves before the door and opened it up to reveal a very large room filled with....Pools!!!!
Yes they had finally found the room of pools, a large room containing 14 pools containing various elements the floor of colored mosaic patterns of golden brown, white and black. But no sooner did they take this all in, when a mass of small creatures came out of the darkness upon them. " These are the same strange little creatures we encountered once before, they are resistant to our sleep magic" Orien offered up. Cadfael tried to use his helmet to convey to Thad to "blink" to the front of the party behind the creatures, but Thad heard nothing. When they tried to use the helmets to blink, they had no effect. "Damn, they worked in the throne room, why are they useless when we need them" cursed Cadfael.
Immediatly the party set in to do battle with the little monsters, Cadfael, Golar and Mutlik taking on the front ranks while Orien and Myra did their best to use missile weapons and flaming oil from afar. As the creatures were slain, their bodies began to dissolve into a goo on the floor. It wasn't long before the little things were all slain, and the gooey bodies of the strange creatures melting into the floor.
The party cautiously moved into the room, moving along the left wall and dropping torches along the way to light the huge chamber. At the far end of the room they found a pool that contained a softly glowing goo and as they passed it, one of the creatures began to form from it and crawled out of the pool toward the party. A few arrows from Orien's bow quickly killed the monster and it fell back into the vat from which it was created. " I should stay watch here with my bow and see if any more form" Orien offered.
In a far corner of the room of pools Golar discovered a secret door very well hidden. A torch bracket on the wall lifted to open a door into another bed chamber. This simple room contained a bed, some chairs, a battered table and desk with a single locked drawer. On the wall was a painting of Zelligar and Rogahn with some words at the bottom in elvish."To wise Marevak, worthy advisor and counselor, from a grateful Zelligar and Rogahn", read Orien. The painting was signed by the artist Tuflor.
Myra tried to use a dagger to jimmy the lock of the desk and accidentally set off a gas trap. The room immediately began to fill with burning gas that made caused them to flee the room.
While they waited, the party decided to examine the pools. Myra dipping a rope end into each pool to determine their effects and taste testing others then filling empty flasks with their contents. This proved helpful when their tests revealed the acid pool and green slime pool, but didn't help much when the red wine filled pool revealed a liquid that was so potent that a small taste rendered Myra completely intoxicated. Staggering, she tried to continue her task, but Orien and Cadfael assisted in bringing her over to a wall to rest and they continued the investigation on their own.
One contained boiling water, another a clear pool of water with fish that when approached caused a watery elemental to lash out at Orien. Still others contained liquids of varying colors and one was empty and cracked.
During this time, the group was surprised by a rival adventuring group, an elf, a magic user and two fighting men. The magic user shouted out " This is our room, we claimed rights to it first", and began to cast a sleep spell at the party. Unfortunately the party won initiative and Orien countered with his own sleep spell. This took out all but the elf, who continued to defend himself as the group beat him unconscious.
There was some discussion as to what to do with them and they were tied up and lined against the wall and questioned. The Magic user was one Ralt Gaither, the elf ( still unconcous) was Fencig, the two man at arms were called Yor and Glom. " I am a great and powerful wizard, I demand you release me, or unspeakable harm will come to you, for I am Ralt Gaither and I..." the party gagged the spell caster.
They then offered the two half whit men at arms a better deal of leaving the company of the wizard and adventuring with them to which they agreed, since their present employer was rather stingy with the coin.
The party continued to explore the pools, gathering samples of this one and that and in particular several samples of the sparkly liquid which was the goal of the quest as given to Myra by the Wizard of ID in Threshold. Once the exploration of the pools was complete, the group attempted to enter the bedchambers once again, but discovered the gas was still strong in the room and prevented safe entry. Not wishing to dally any longer in the dungeon, the group departed the room of pools and Quasqueton for Eastbrook once more with their quest item in hand and two more hired muscle for the group.
It was a good day all around.