Write up follows:
Negan sat himself on the couch in the lounge, relaxing his 8’+ frame on the upholstered cushions. Connal went over to the bar to peruse the drinks both on top and the bottles on the other side. Avulstein made it his business to check out the poker table, flipping over the deck of cards there. Darius made his way to the dart board, plucking the 3 throwing knives out of the board, noting their balance and construction. Einar sat on the padded chair near Negan, feeling smooth and contented.
Everyone was just feeling good, not in any rush to do anything or go anywhere. Darius tested the dart/knives – happy with his skill and content on his aim. As for Connal, he was sure that the bottles on top were whiskey and bourbon, and the space behind the bar had other top-shelf liquors there. Avulstein laid out a hand of solitaire for himself, surprised to find the Joker card come up; the face of it painted to look like a leering Loki.
When he was done, he found himself wanting to keep the deck of cards. It was through some serious force of will that he managed to place them back on the table…but not before he walked away with the Joker in his paw/hand. That was weird. So he put it back on the deck, took it with his other hand, and walked away. With the Joker again.
Connal, who had been sniffing the brandy, indicated with glass that Avulstein should be careful taking things here since Loki and his actions/wants might cause problem. He did this while putting the snifter back on the bar and taking it with his other hand and walking away. With the Brandy. That really should be drunk. Connal had to force himself not to drink the brandy and wandered around the room holding it, while Avulstein still held onto the Joker card.
Darius tried to help Connal drop the snifter to no avail, and even when he tried to dump it in the cold fireplace; he couldn’t force himself to do it. But when the fighter made to smash the glass out of Connal’s hand, the monk unexpectedly leaned back and tossed the contents of the glass down his throat! We were like, what the hell? And then Connal paused, smiled, and was commenting that he was ok when he starting coughing. A lot. He was turning red and hunched over, hacking and spitting, throat closing up. Avulstein referred the poison as something called the “Choker or Strangler” poison and Negan who wanted to help, couldn’t get off the couch he was so relaxed!
So Darius dragged Connal’s weakening form to the Half-Ogre who called out to Odin to help Delay the Poison that affecting our friend…and he was able to breathe once again! But the poison was still in his system. There was the thought of vomiting it out and while Connal was hunched over the flagstones of the hearth, fingers in his throat, Avulstein turned and tried to squeeze his musk glands that wolverines have. He was marginally successful as the stink of his musk, similar to a skunk’s, billowed behind him, but it was also accompanied with fleck of wet shit and farts that splattered all over the monk.
It succeeded in helping Connal to vomit. And he did, choking and heaving again and again in the fireplace until nothing else came out and he was just sickened and feeling ill from the after affects.
Avulstein meanwhile managed to figure out how to get rid of the Joker by having Darius take it from him willingly. And now Darius was stuck with the card and tried a few ways to get rid of it, including attempting to shove it under the door to the west out of the lounge but eventually dealt enough hands of poker that he naturally gave the card away.
We didn’t want to go out the east door since the strange muzak was playing there, instead going to the west doorway. Satisfied it was not trapped, we opened it, showing a corridor that ran north and south, each ending at a door – but the north door was a little nicer with better wood and a brass turning knob.
Only Darius and Avulstein went into the candlelit hall, everyone else waited behind in the lounge. We checked out the north door as it was more interesting and decided to open it – however the hinges were on our side and we could see a wire loop and mark on the hinge as if it was trapped at one point. So borrowing a chisel, Darius popped the hinges off the door and without turning the knob, slid it out of the lamb and moved it aside. The room beyond was very nice, some guest looking bedroom. Just over the frame was a metal box with a number of small holes in the bottom. Right now, an inactive trap.
There was a feeling of resistance at the doorway and we backed away from it. Instead we went to the southern door and did the same trick with the hinges opening the door and looking in. There was a door on the right and a corridor that went off into the maze to the left. We talked about the north doorway and Avulstein let us know there were some runes scribed on the frame of the door, latent now, but there.
We decided to turn the brass door knob of the removed doorway and the guest room rustled and the resistance faded away. Candles lit, the bed pulled down, the pillow fluffed, the scent of potpourri filled the air. A female voice invited Darius to come in and rest, she’d make him feel great. Ok…really nice guest room with a possible happy ending? No one wanted to actually go in, although we were tempted.
From here we were going to go down the south door and Connal came into the test it out when he noticed the wall on the other side of the wall from the lounge had a secret door there. It took some hard pushing but the wall rotated at the center, showing a corridor that went 10’ and ended at two more revolving doors, one on the north and one on the south. According to Darius’ mapping – each room beyond the revolving walls was maybe 10’x10’. At first we were going to open it, but then cooler heads prevailed and we realized that we had a job – get the Midnight Water out of the Temple.
So we replaced the north door to the bedroom with the door originally on the south – just the screw with the Temple. And then we all managed to drag Negan off the couch and out of the Lounge, making our way south to the door and hall beyond. Avulstein went first…and a crossbow bolt slammed out just over the wolverine’s head!
What the hell?
Trap right in the hall, but no one trusted it not to go off again, so they took the other door that was still in the hall and off its hinges and walked forward with it…WHAM! Another crossbow bolt fired! We all ran through the hall, the doorway held in front of the wall where the crossbow bolts were firing out of, until we had 5 of the bolts sticking through the door.
Beyond here there were two passages and we decided to take the northern one, it went a short distance, turned south, and emerged at a “T” hallway. But when Avulstein stepped through, he saw nothing behind him except for a stone wall! The group could see and hear him, but he couldn’t see or hear them.
To the left the passages continued and to the right, it ended at what seemed to be a heavy crossbow bolted in place with a huge hopper and pointing through a small hole in the wall. The group all reconnected, some going back down the hall to the choice and taking the other passage, others just stepping through the one way wall. Everyone wanted to check out the heavy repeating crossbow. By everyone, I mean Negan. Like he wanted it. Now.
Using what tools we had on us the half-ogre stripped the bolts one at a time from the frame and the floor while the group manhandled and pulled the heavy crossbow eventually free after almost a half hour of hard work. The entire thing weighed some 45 lbs and we real unwieldy, but Negan fell in love with it and a check of the hopper showed 60 or 70 quarrels piled on the top.
From here we pressed on until the winding passages showed us through another one way wall. There were 3 doors in this “T” shaped hall – the west one most likely led back to the lounge and the two east ones, one on the north and one on the south went further into the compound. The south one had that pounding rhythmic dulcimer muzak coming through it and the group although thought about, did not want to open the door. Instead they took some time heating up wax from some candles and stuffing it into their ears to deaden the noise before going to check out the north door.
It opened to reveal an alcove area that lead to a white carpeted section of the temple, going both north and south. Darius offered to go first and explore the area but when he stepped out of the alcove and onto the carpet to go north, there was a “FWOOSH” noise from the south and a 5’ flaming sphere raced down the corridor, the fighter leaping back barely in time and getting singed for his efforts. The carpet had a scored burn mark running down it to the wall where the sphere had smashed and exploded…but as we watched, the carpet shed its charring, the fibers regrew, and the entire thing reknit itself and in a few minutes, was normal and whole again.
We decided to try and rip up the carpet. With the 8’ metal spear and lots of muscle, we managed to tear the carpet up along the edge in the alcove and tear enough of it upright that we could see runes and glyphs all along the floor. We wanted to roll up the carpet and push it ahead of us, but were unable to do so. So instead we used a knife, tore the carpet and it split…but then reknit! So Darius positioned himself near the center and when we slit and ripped again, he pulled the two pieces apart.
Sadly the carpet twisted in his hands and tried to engulf the fighter, wrapping around his body from the waist up, the fighter twisted and struggling to avoid being smothered. He poked with the knife but couldn’t free himself and the group was grabbing Darius and trying to pull him out while the carpet seemed to be eating him. Swords and knives slashed and cut, separating the entire piece free from main carpet and we were able to drag Darius out.
He was covered from hair to waist in ½” white fibers as the carpet had been trying to grow INTO the fighter. It had gotten on his face, chest, clothes, hair, inside his mouth, and he was on his hands and knees coughing up fibers for a few minutes. Darius was reeling and staggering, but managed to keep himself upright.
We thought about going back to the door where the muzak was coming from but Connal could feel the door flexing and straining from the pulse of the muzak, and we didn’t want to risk it since it just seemed really stupid. This led us back to the carpeted hall – and for that, we decided to pop some doors of hinges. We took the one here leading to the carpeted area, and then took the door off the lounge and then the next door at the other end of the lounge. When Darius went to take the 4th door off, he noted when he opened it that there were 5 Rottweiler dog statues on the other side of the door, so he closed it quietly, informed the group of what he saw, and they all agreed, they had enough doors for now.
At this point Connal started to cough and choke again as the delay poison effects were wearing off. Negan once more called to Odin to delay the poisonous effects for now and Connal was able to breathe easier for the time being. As for the 3 doors, We flopped them down on the carpet in the hall, first north, stepped on the door to the end, took the next door and let that fall and flop down, walked on that one to the end, and then did it a third time. Darius who had been doing this was able to let us know the north corridor turned east and went some distance before looping back after a brief turn south.
We then gathered all the doors up, still avoiding the carpet, and looked down the south corridor the same way by building a bridge on the carpet. This passage went south, turned to the east and ended a short distance at two doors, one on the south, the other on the east wall. There was an area where there was no carpet about 3’ from the corner. We discussed it and voted on taking the south passage. So one by one we made our way along until we arrived at the two doors.
The south one smelled like sulfur and the group flat out voted not to open it. So it was then the east door. We didn’t want to open it and instead hoped to once more pop the hinges off – but the hinges refused to budge and all we did was dull the chisel for our efforts. The door was stuck and we relied on Negan and the crowbar to force the lock and allow us through. So we carefully opened the door and revealed a corridor that went south 20’ and ended with a door on the east wall.
The party all filed in and we closed the door to the carpeted area behind us. Far enough from the muzak now, we removed the wax from our ears and gave the south door a check. No traps. So Avulstein drew himself up and the group was all lined up behind him down the hall, and the wolverine opened the door. A pit trap opened a few ranks back and Negan dropped 30’ down, his 45# repeating crossbow taking the brunt of the fall and breaking after he landed. He was pissed.
We dropped a rope down to help him back up while Avulstein noted the door opened to a 5’ long room that ended at another door. Negan then heard rasping sounds and spears were thrusting out of the wall and floor in many crisscrossing places. Holding onto the damaged crossbow and urging his friends to lift him, he was hoisted slowly slowly while trying to avoid getting skewered. He was cut in the thigh, on the shoulder, in the ribs – coupled with the damage he had taken from the fall the priest of Odin was growing weaker and weaker.
Near the top another spear caught him in the chest and pierced a lung and Negan slumped over and died – he turned to smoke and wisped away – the same way the Loki sacrifices did – while the crossbow fell almost 30’ AGAIN – this time busting for good. Negan – dead? Gone? No one was sure. We made a bridge out of the doors to cover the pit and Avulstein opened the next door – and ANOTHER pit opened back in the hall – this time the party was ready and no one fell. We used a 2nd door to span the pit and the group all crossed and followed Darius down the passage.
The Fighter passed through a section of the corridor that once again looked like stone behind him – the group could see and hear him – he couldn’t them. But before him the passage turned to the left AND went straight for 30’ and turned to the left as well. The difference was the 5 Rottweiler dog statues blocking the longer corridor.
Connal stuck his head through and was passing information back and forth for both separated groups. The decision after Darius checked his map was that the longer corridor and through the dogs was the way to go. But we wanted to check out the other corridor just in case and there were 5 nasty looking statues. So Darius took a step down the closer passage going north – and was portalled 30’ down immediately to the end. He walked back towards us and just before he crossed the “T” – was portalled back again. Ok – so this time he took a run down back to us and JUMPED – and was portalled again – this time his momentum had him smashing into the wall 30’ down and hurting his nose.
He agreed that he’d find another way back and to wait a second. So Darius went down to the west a short distance and the passage ended at a small smoking niche, a 7’ statue of Loki here and a door on the west wall which Darius believed would go back to the carpeted area. But sitting here on the nice chair with a pipe – was a figure that looked JUST like Loki! He was grinning, engaged Darius in a few short sentences, and then flat out tried to stab him with his spear.
Darius was struck and staggered back and then launched himself at the avatar of Loki, grabbling with him and knocking his spear out of his grasp. Loki was cursing up a storm and one of the dogs came to life down the hall and started to run to Loki. Connal and Avulstein stepped in front of it to stop it and Loki and Darius was struggling back and forth, smashing into the door, chair, and walls. Loki was cursing and calling for the “fucking dog!” and a second one came to life and tried to get past, managing to slip by at the last moment.
Connal, Avulstein, and Einar took out their aggressions on the one dog and as soon as it went down they made the call to run for the exit now and take the longer corridor, running past the statues and hoping to get out before they lost the Midnight Water. Meanwhile Darius was having a terrible time fighting the Loki avatar so when they managed to separate, he bent down, took the avatar’s spear, and stabbed Loki through the chest with it!
The snarling dog finally arrived and Darius was holding off the very wounded Loki and the animal, his back had the carpeted hallway and no way out. He managed to step on the carpet, a flaming sphere was heard and was racing along, and it spilled into the room burning everyone in the way except the fighter who had killed Loki with his own spear. The avatar seemed pleased as he turned to smoke and wisped away.
But Darius had only a few hit points and the Rottweiler was closing in. So he forced it near the statue to Loki and said, “Loki, accept this dog as a sacrifice!” when it didn’t work he grew pissed and snarled out, “Come on! I kicked your ass!” – and the sacrifice was accepted and the dog disappeared.
As for the 3 friends, they were running but the dog statues were snarling and barking behind them. The group poured on the speed and came to the corridor they had mapped out early on and burst into the lower temple! From there they ran for the stairs and hit the door at the top at full speed, bursting it open and emerging in the main temple.
Darius ran down the carpeted corridor, knowing what was coming, and when the sphere was in front of him, he pole vaulted over it and ran at full tilt back to the door that had been locked and blasted through it. He then crossed the pits and ran through the two small rooms and back to where he had made the poor choice and gone north early. Now, there were no dog statues but his friends had gone, so Darius poured on the speed and went down the furthest corridor.
He came upon a dog statue and drawing his knife he charged past, lungs heaving and coughing as the dog statue came to life and started to give chase.
Upstairs, the three friends noted there were three priests of Loki and someone praying at the temple. So they said “fuck it” split up, and ran down all three different passages out, Einar shadowing Avulstein and ready to give help. The priests tried to stop us knives out, but the group was pissed. We hit them like a hammer, Avulstein tearing into one of them and Einar raging as he leapt over a section of pews and body slammed one of the priests back over another pew and onto the floor.
“Go Go Go!” We broke free of the melees and ran for the exit which as soon as Avulstein crossed the threshold with the Midnight Water, there was a flickering at the Temple of Loki, the lights went dark and then light, and all the priests fell over knocked out a few seconds – no longer giving us chase.
Darius dodged two more dog statues and ran on as they came to life but as he hit the lower temple and was running for the steps, the lights flickered and the barking stopped. He ran up at full tilt, hit the main temple where it looked like a mess had happened here and 4 people were picking themselves up and looking around bewildered. Darius ran for the exit and emerged outside exhausted and coughing on fibers – but free of the Temple of Loki.
His friends were here – and so was Negan! He was in one of the bird cage pens outside the temple, naked and tired. We opened it up and dragged ourselves around the corner and away from the main road while took note that we had escaped the Temple and managed to get the Midnight Water as expected.