This is the last part of the group's quest, to get a cup of Midnight Water from the 2nd holy water fountain found only in the basement level of the church of Loki. It's a standard basement, fairly large and winding, with the normal expectations of beds, bunks, and locales to be found.
However, once the group triggers the quest by taking of the fountain, the entire place shuffles and twists - and is filled with the gonzo stuff that was big in the 70's and 80's.
If they succeed, great. If they fail...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA. Not so great.
Write up follows:
What followed from here was a convoluted back and forth with various members of the Church of Loki who seemed to be aware of the party and kept putting up roadblocks to prevent the group from exploring beyond the main doorways, as well as illusions to disguise and impede the group from making further progress. There was a fake #11 who came from #10 attempting to show that the group had made up a story, there was a tray of cookies wielding priest who wandered around and “left” a door open trying to entice Connal to come forward, there was even a privacy screened area near the confessional and a different person invited in to talk to the group while we all listened to the various deals and options given for the group to try and get admission to the “ever locked door” that would lead down to the 2nd level.
We were given two main deals: a few members try out for the Church of Sif and their fighter’s guild the Grim Gauntlets where through the power of Loki, bad luck will follow and the practice weapons will become “real” at time of impact – and therefore wound some of the Sifian members (no deaths) and make the guild lose face and valued members. The second possible deal was to go down the street to the church of Thor and steal one of the holy beer casks, rolling it out of the temple and down the road back here to the Loki temple all the while having the Thorian priests hammer at the party (most likely literally!) in an attempt to stop the theft.
We were torn, especially since the group had a hard time knowing that of the people going to apply to the Grim Gauntlets (which we were told would be Connal, Einar, and Negan) were going to knowingly hurt the people they were sparring with that they couldn’t agree at that time. And pissing off the Temple of Thor just seemed stupid in general. So we asked for some time to talk about it and were told we had 45 minutes to discuss the matter before it was shelved for today and we can try to appeal to the Lokian temple tomorrow.
So we left Central Quarter and made our way to the first shitty workman’s bar we came to in Undercliff and talked fast and furious about our options. The Thor thing was out. The Sif thing…that was a hard sell, but the group decided that they would warn the Sifian Guild first and if they were ok with it, they’d do that one.
We went to the Grim Gauntlets and managed to get a fast tracked meeting with a mid-level member named Optio Strugi. We explained what was going on, what we were finding ourselves in the middle of, and what would happen in a few days when the group went to apply to the Grim Gauntlets and the power of Loki would make people get hurt.
Strugi informed us that the Temples of Sif and Loki have been at odds for generations and this is nothing new. If it would allow us to GET Midnight Water and then fulfill the quest, it would be seen as a knock against Loki’s temple and their vaunted “no one gets our midnight water” shtick. To help even the score, we were each given a defensive and offensive charm that when pulled, would become a full sized weapon, shield, or armor to be used while navigating the lower levels of the Loki Temple.
We ran back to the Loki Temple with a few minutes to spare and met with #10. We all agreed to the terms and then the door was opened and we were allowed to step through @ 1:57, 42 minutes after we had been given the deal.
The steps were sharp stone, showing little if any wear, and spiraled down into the darkness. We went 1 full revolution before seeing a glow from below and eventually the stairs emerged into the private High Priest Temple for Loki. There were 13 plush chairs set up in two rows of 6 and a final chair next to a 9’ depiction of Loki himself. The room was warm reds and blacks, the floor carpeted. There was a single door near the steps, two side corridors halfway across the room heading south, and a final opening to another room closest to the statue where we could hear water falling and see the telltale wavering glow of water reflected light.
Before heading into the next room to see the fountain, we wanted to make sure there wasn’t a problem waiting for us here. So we checked out the chamber carefully, noting the seats were comfortable and the tapestries and frescoes were tasteful and clean. We then went to the first corridor and looked down. Two doors, one at the end, the other on the adjoining wall.
After making sure they were not locked or trapped, we looked them over and opened the 1st one. It held mops and buckets, brushes and other cleaning material. So Darius went to check out a mop and then all simple and calm like, went off to the entrance of the temple area down here and started to clean the floor of all the footprints we made. He didn’t see anything wrong with what he was doing and no amount of cajoling or convincing would have him put the mop down. We watched and waited, and in 7 minutes when he had obscured our scuff marks and dirt he seemed to come down from his compulsion and was looking at the mop in horror.
We put it back in the closet and shut the door. The other door opened to another closet, this one with cleansers and rags and sprays and bleach. Not wanting to be trapped cleaning the place, we let the door close and moved on.
The next corridor went south, turned a few times, and then went into a candle lit long corridor. We heard what sounded like hammered dulcimer music of a popular bar tune, but much lighter and less complex. And walking down only made us uncomfortable so we turned back to the main hall and looked over the statue. Yep, it was Loki…and we all were waiting for it to come to life. But that didn’t happen.
So with careful steps, we entered the next room – the fountain itself bubbling there with a silvered dipped sitting on the edge. There were 2 other ways out of the chamber from here, both of them went south and a short trip down each showed it ended up in some maze of passages in either direction.
So we looked at the fountain and debated on what to do. Eventually we decided to fill both flasks and cap them closed. During this time, we were getting heebie-jeebies about the statue and the party decided to make some offerings to the trickster god. Not money, he wasn’t interested, just stuff that was interesting and possibly valuable. Each offering went away with a waver of smoke and we all one, by one, felt better and blessed.
The last dipperful of Midnight Water did not come out of the dipper though; no amount of pouring made it drop away. So the group took a sip and it was delicious, refreshing, and rejuvenating. One by one, we found ourselves healed and refreshed, our spells returned, and then Loki’s voice said something about, “it wouldn’t be sporting if I didn’t give you a fair chance”.
The passage back to the temple was blocked and we heard the wailing and barking of dogs down one of the corridors getting louder and louder. So we ran down the 2nd passage and charged along. We made snap decisions, left, right, straight as we were given choices until the baying of the dogs grew faint and we ended up at a room that had 8 mirrors on the walls. There was a doorway on the west wall the door closed.
Many of us had pulled the charms, equipping ourselves with weapons and armor as provided by the temple of Sif, so we felt prepared as we checked the chamber out. We didn’t trust the mirrors so Negan lifted the heavy steel and glass mirrors up and off the hooks, taking them into the hall and leaning them there. First one, then a second. Meanwhile, Darius was checking out one of the mirrors and when he got close enough to touch it, his hand went through…and emerged across the room from another mirror!
He forced himself along and stepped out the other side. Very weird. But when he looked at the mirrors, he had no reflection! So he went back to the “egress” mirror and touched it…and was PULLED violently through until he came out the other side again. Seeing it was safe, he did the mirror trick one more time, using a different pair. While this was going on we then looked over the door, opened it, and a spring loaded spear trap arced down and across before snapping back up into the ceiling.
The party spent a few minutes with tools and a desire to take the spear (8’ long, iron and sharp!!) but there was a main cottar pin to deal with and failure to dismantle it correctly would result in someone getting terrible hurt. So we twisted and yanked…and the trap let fly and the bent leaf springs released after the cottar pin was pulled free, and the spear harpooned across the room and punched through one of the mirrors before hitting the wall!
We went there to yank it free but it was in there tight. So Negan, Einar, and Darius went there to pull the spear out – but Darius was too close to the mirror and was holding a spear already in it – so was sucked forward, propelling the two friends ahead of him and they all emerged out of a different mirror. Because of the broken hole, Darius came out with a corresponding mass of hurting scratches and wounds in his midsection as well.
We healed up and the two other friends stepped through a different mirror before we all gathered by the open door. The corridor meandered south and we followed along, but as we went, we heard that strange off putting dulcimer music faintly as we approached a door at the hall’s end. We all looked around and shook our head. Nope, not going.
We backtracked back to the mirror room, and then back to the hall until we came to the next (or previous!) turn off that went south. However, we did note there were half a dozen snarling dog statues here that we didn’t see before. But we also did not hear the dog’s barking that we did earlier.
We went south 10’ to a door and opened it. It showed a lounge, a few low couches, a divan, a pool table, and bar with some drinks on it, a dart board with some throwing knifes stuck in the surface. A real guy’s hang out place. There were also two other doors out of here, one on the west and one on the east wall.
When entering the room though, there was a sense of calm and just feeling good. The couches were soft, the alcohol crisp, and the pool table beckoned. And when a man is feeling that good, he starts sporting some…pointed wood. At this point Connal noticed that a section of the west wall in the hall before the room was irregular and some pushing revealed a concealed doorway. The passage went a short distance and then turned to the south. But on the floor was a 4’ wide painted face of Loki smiling. Trap, just screamed trap.
As the party was getting roped into entering the lounge area and “chilling” with their new found good favors and happy thoughts, Connal went down to the corner and saw a door there. According to all laws of space and physics, the door should have an adjoining door in the Lounge area. So he carefully approached the door, pulled the handle…and a blast of gale force wind hurled him backwards where he hit the opposite and wall and fell forward…just as the floor opened up and he plummeted down. His monastic skills prevented him from taking fatal damage. So he climbed out and we were all looking in (or actually in) the Lounge deciding on maybe heading to the west door while Darius started taking the 8 pool balls off the table.