Tomb of Horrors #2

Here are those clues again, guys.

Mosaic clue:

Go back to the tormentor or through the arch,
and the second great hall you’ll discover.
Shun green if you can, but night’s good color
is for those of great valor.
If shades of red stand for blood the wise
will not need sacrifice aught but a loop of
magical metal - you’re well along your march.
Two pits along the way will be found to lead
to a fortuitous fall, so check the wall.
These keys and those are most important of all,
and beware of trembling hands and what will maul.
If you find the false you find the true
and into the columned hall you’ll come,
and there the throne that’s key and keyed.
The iron men of visage grim do more than
meets the viewer’s eye.
You’ve left and left and found my Tomb
and now your soul will die.

Gargoyle Necklace clue:

Look low and high for gold, to hear a tale untold. The archway at
the end, and on your way you’ll wend.

And now, the recap.

Things heated up in the second foray into the tomb of horrors.  As I may have mentioned, I sent a high level cleric NPC with the party to help them with their healing needs.  He's a complete coward, and will only follow the PCs into the tomb if there's great need.  He'll never participate in a battle.

In the time that passed since the first entry into the tomb, this cleric healed up the party, and they were ready to rock again.  They ran into the tomb and through the series of secret doors, emerging into the second long hall (with murals of humanoids holding spheres).  Then they realized that the secret door leading in was one-way.  Uh-oh.

Ryld (the Thief) realized that his only means of surviving would be to work with the rest of the group and use his thief skills in their favor.  For now.  He checked the northern door for traps and found none.  Rak (Fighter) opened the door and made his saving throw, narrowly missing the spear trap.  Ryld then checked the southern door for traps.  Finding none, he opened the door and got speared.

They checked out the room, and remembered the "night's good color" hint in the mosaic clue.  Keryth (the Wizard) checked the black sphere painting and found that it was an illusory wall, and everyone piled into the crawlway.

Usul (Paladin) found the secret door at the end on the first try, and they poured into the evil chapel.  Ryld checked for traps on all of the pews, and they loaded up on silver, gold, electrum, and oh-crap-gas-trap-run-right-now.  They made it out of the chapel before it filled with gas, and went back in after the gas had dissipated.

They looked at the arch warily, then looked at the gate with the slot.  They tried putting one of each kind of coin into the slot to no avail.  Keryth drew a badger from his bag of tricks, and sent it through the arch.  It came out fighting mad, but didn't put up much of a fight.  Then Usul boldly marched through the archway (the third misty arch they've passed, the second they've actually looked at, and the first that anyone has tried walking through).  Usul remained a paladin, but his sex and alignment were reversed.  She emerged, threw her holy symbol on the ground and stomped on it.  Xewt the Charity Cleric cast remove curse, Usul walked back through the arch (only once!) and the party's male palidin was back to normal.  He came out and picked up his holy symbol again.

Rak sat in the chair, but nothing happened.  Keryth examined the altar, being careful not to touch it.  Impatient with everyone's ginger behavior, Oktober (Fighter/Mage) grumbled and belligerently touched the altar, which sent a lightning bolt blasting outward from the altar.  Only Ryld was in its path, and after making his save vs. spell, he only took 20 points of damage.  That's a lot for 2e, though.  His player, Travis, started talking and just about said "I'm bloodied", but caught himself and remembered that there's no such status in 2e.

The altar turned an angry blue-red (so, purple I guess?) and throbbed with evil fury, so Usul promptly whacked it with his sword.  This made the altar explode in a 60' radius, because Acererak is a dick.  The Tomb claimed its first victims.  Ryld, Oktober and Keryth were reduced to smouldering ruin on the chapel floor.

Luckily for them, the blast didn't kill the charity cleric.  It was a close thing, though.  He had about 3 hp left.  But the party spent a good long time in the chapel healing up and raising the dead, and soon were on their way again.

They figured out the meaning of the letter "O" traced above the slot, and Rak put his ring of fire resistance into the slot.  The door opened.  Once again, I rolled a 4 on a d6 when Rak fell into the first pit trap.  The second and third were found by the PCs when they decided to be careful, and they actually remembered the "fortuitous fall" section of the clue.  They found the secret door to the south, and actually found the one immediately after that because Keryth noticed it as they walked by.

They explored some of the hallways but didn't open doors, and instead went to the Mummy room.  (It's actually kind of funny, the route they've chosen to take.  My OCD would drive me crazy leaving so many doors unopened and hallways unexplored.  See below.)  Usul took his rope and dipped it into the first vat, and nothing happened.  He did the same with the second vat.  When he reached the third vat, the ochre jelly attacked, but it was a seriously weak monster compared to the level of the PCs, so they dispatched it with ease.  They found half of the key in the bottom of the vat.  Usul then found a container and ladled out the contents of the second vat, carefully enough to not get burned by the flesh eating acid that it contained.  They were able to find the second half of the key, snapped 'em together, and decided to call it a night.

This is the map that they've revealed so far:

I think they're starting to get a little agitated with the tomb experience, and that's probably what Gygax intended.  We'll see how much farther they can make it, when next we meet.

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