In the Arms of a Roper

The Xaniqos walk towards the stairs at the end of the hallway. Phaedra has checked it out earlier, and found out that it leads down to a complex of natural caves. She listens carefully and then signals the others that she will investigate downstairs.

A mausoleum with layers of graves stretches out before her, covered with yellow mold. Suddenly tentacles wrap around her, drawing her towards a beast near the wall, and she feels that her strength is being drained. She is grappled, but not for long! She mumbles something, and with a blinding flash of light, she becomes invisible. The creature is dazzled and the scout manages to escape like a true artist.

In the distance, Lilith sees a stalagmite with one big eye, several long tentacles and a big mouth filled with stone teeth. The wizard can only tell her that the stalagmite is magically enhanced, he thinks it’s a sentient being. With a few gestures, Jharrath calls down a hail of stones on the stalagmite, also hitting Phaedra in the process. Lilith casts a mass shield of faith, aiding her siblings. The roper -for that is what they figure it out to be- sends out ten feet long tentacles towards the Xaniqos, grabbing Jharrath and pulling him towards the beak. The wizard is mangled by the grinding stones, and not a second later, Alvra shares his fate. Lilith’s shield of faith keeps her safe for now.

151110 Roper

Phaedra takes a step back and loses her invisibility, swinging her spiked chain. She hits the roper hard, but is not able to penetrate its skin of stone. While Jharrath activates his dimensional stride boots to get out of the creature’s grasp, reappearing on the stairs, Alvra takes his sword and sticks its magic point into the roper’s eye. Now that it doesn’t like at all. The creature strengthens its hold on the fighter, and Alvra feels his strength diminish. The cleric tries to blind it with a spell, but doesn’t succeed. The roper counterattacks and wraps a tentacle around Lilith’s waist. She’s being pulled forward ten feet, but is still in possession of her powers. The cleric is about to attack with a spell, but again is pulled towards the beast. The maw closes, crunching on the drow’s armor. Lilith hits the beast with her flail, adding fire damage to her attack. She scores a full hit, and the roper is severely hurt and flutters its tentacles.

While Alvra keeps slashing at the living stalagmite, he manages to severe the strand, but a new one appears! His sister plays hide and seek with the beast, though Phaedra is able to escape each time the roper catches her. The wizard creates seven mirror images and launches an earth elemental to help. Immediately, three strands stretch out to grab Jharrath, but all it encounters are fake images. The intense battle rages back and forth, and finally, with a mighty swing of his sword, Alvra kills the beast. Its eye closes forever and it slowly topples forward.

Lilith restores Alvra’s strength with a spell, and heals her sister, so Phaedra is able to scout ahead. She discovers another room with a large statue in the middle. She listens carefully, but hears nothing out of the ordinary Underdark sounds. The statue depicts a large alien-looking beast with big eyes and insect-like mandibles. It looks like an umberhulk. Jharrath can detect no magic coming from the statue, but there is a sort of glyph on the floor, leading towards the umberhulk. The cleric recognizes the deity as Jergal, Guardian of the Tombs. When the elemental walks forward onto the glyph, then even touches the statue… nothing happens. Lilith follows suit, and she passes safely into the next corridor. She sees more graves, but none of the mold they encountered earlier. Her siblings follow her, Phaedra once again taking the lead.
Four huge statues tower over the drow towards the ceiling, with a big image of a spider in their middle. Each statue has a variation of symbols of spider and/or harp, and in front of each figure is a brazier. There’s another riddle waiting for them:

151110spider

The Xaniqos think they can solve it, but for that they seem to need a fire. Phaedra realizes she has a club in her backpack. She takes it out and puts it on the ground. Jharrath sets fire to the first brazier in front of the statue with open arms and no spider to the immediate right of the doorway with one of his spells, then takes up the club and uses it to light the one in front of the statue standing with the music instrument and no spider to the immediate left of the doorway. Number three is the statue standing with open arms and spider to the far right of the doorway, and last but not least is the statue standing with harp and spider (to the far left of the doorway). When all braziers burn, the spiderweb unravels, revealing a large space; the doorway has opened up into a portal…

151111 PortalOpen

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