Nepenthe

Player Characters
  • Jay, age 36 - Melchior, Level 3 Human Thief
    • Caspar, Level 3 Human Magic-user
    • Balthazar, Level 3 Human Fighter
This entry is part 3 of 6 in LL1Ω - Tomb of Horrors

Achilles and Ajax Playing Draughts

Outside, Caspar and Melchior had passed the time with a game of dice. Just before noon, they stopped to eat. It was now time for Melchior to enter the Tomb.

It bothered me that I had forgot the initial sequence of stones for the arch. My thief needed to start with some clues.

The thief cautiously walked down the hall, avoiding the marked pit traps. From beginning to end, he carefully examined the mosaic pattern on the floor.

LL: Acererak congratulates you on your powers of observation. So make of this whatever you wish, for you will be mine in the end no matter what!
Jay: I think the rest of his message will remind me of stuff I’m forgetting.

Sue read the rest of Acererak’s clues, while I jotted down what I thought was important.

Jay: The loop of magical metal is the ring I need. I know the two fortuitous falls are two passages at the bottom of pits. I just can’t remember which ones. There is one in this hall, right?
LL: You tell me. Is your thief actually looking in a specific pit?
Jay: Guh. Where did you learn to DM?

A section of the floor dropped away. Melchior peered down inside the triggered pit trap nearest the Green Devil Face. He pulled out a coil of rope and tied one end to the horn of the Green Devil Face, while being cautious of getting near its mouth.

LL: 20 or so feet from horn to the edge of the pit, the pit is 10 feet deep, so that leaves you with just under 20 feet of slack.
Jay: Melchior has two coils by the way, but now I’m thinking I should have brought more.

With one coil of rope remaining, the thief made his way through passage at the bottom of the pit. He eventually came to a trapdoor in the floor.

Melchior dropped a torch down into the room. He then slammed a dagger into the jamb of the trapdoor and tied his last rope around it. After making sure it was secure, he descended into a 10 by 10 foot chamber with three iron levers.

Even with the dagger in the jamb, the trapdoor above him closed leaving less than 40 feet of rope dangling from the ceiling.

Jay: I guess it’s secure now. Tell me about the levers again.
LL:
The iron levers look like they can be moved horizontally and vertically.
Jay: Vertically too? I don’t remember that either. This doesn’t seem right. The only thing I can remember is pushing them all up.

Swallowing his fear, Melchior bit his lip and pushed all three levers up. The trapdoor in the ceiling he had entered from opened back up.

Jay: This is probably stupid . . . I push them all down. Wait! I’m such an idiot. I tie the end of the rope around my waist. I can’t believe I didn’t do that the first time.

Immediately after pushing the levers down, the thief fell straight down as the floor opened up beneath his feet. He jerked to a halt, the rope around his waist stopped his fatal descent, while his torch fluttered and flickered farther away into blackness below.

Jay: Oh, screw this. I’m pulling myself back up. I’ll swing back and forth until I can reach the levers and flip them all up and climb out of here.
LL: Let’s see. That will take . . .

Sue was figuring something out and I could not tell what, nor could I remember anything about this lever room. I was drawing blanks all over the place.

LL: Based on the time it takes you to perform all those actions, you’d be above the floor level before it slams shut. It automatically closes in one turn. With that out of the way, let’s see how good your thief is at climbing and if that dagger still holds once the trapdoor is back open.

She was thinking of everything. Damn.

Dice rolls were made.

Melchior wiped the sweat off his brow. His muscles ached. He wanted to leave, but he had not found any treasure yet.

He finally made it out; he untied his rope from the horn on the Green Devil Face. 

Yellow, blue, orange.

Torch aloft, he made his way through the misty arch and then headed for the chapel.

Jay: Damn!
LL: Sorry. The map indicates a secret passage, but you can’t seem to find it.
Jay: I’m switching to Casper.
LL: I’ll keep track of torches burned on the thief, unless you want him to wait in darkness.

I did not want to waste any torches. I decided my thief could just sit tight without any light until Caspar showed up. There are no wandering monsters in the Tomb of Horrors.


The Delvers Podcast B-side