This day found our party debating if they should begin Father Halford’s quest (session XIII) or return to the Tower of Zenopus. It was decided that the Priest of Mithra’s request can wait another day and the tunnels beneath the tower won, especially after talking with the old blind man Onyx (yes, I finally remembered his name!). Onyx, if you recall, was the previous inhabitant of the old Tower (session I) until his Stygian pupil, Zenopus, betrayed and blinded him, stole his magic and claimed the tower for herself.
So our brave adventurers once again delved beneath the ruined tower.
Retracing their steps to the room where the Giant Spider had killed Slick Vinny (also session XIII) (after which, Father Halford brought him back to life) they found a strange door, different from the others and made of iron. Tibag the Cutpurse made quick work of the locks on the door and opened it. Beyond was a large vaulted chamber with a large blasphemous toad-like statue with jeweled eyes and holding a bowl sitting on a pedestal. Not to miss an opportunity for a thrilling ride, Skwanky Furrytoe, the halfling charges up to the statue and leaps into the bowl as the others cautiously enter the temple. Upon landing in the bowl, the arms of the statue lower and the mouth opens revealing an object within. While the others keep their distance and stand guard, Tibag climbs the statue and finds an odd Mace studded with rotted human teeth in the jaw of the idol. After pilfering the jeweled eyes, Tibag rejoins his companions and they continue their exploration of the tunnels.
Tying up loose ends to their map, the party comes across the large cavern where they had captured Srgt. Morak and where their former companion Arvin Armore fell (session V). They also notice that the dead pirate bodies that were left along the shore of the underground body of water had been dragged beneath the surf.
Continuing through the cavern they come across a cave opening leading to a smaller cavern with a shallow river running through it. As Geedleesmote the dwarf enters the chamber, a Giant Crab rises from the sand and attacks the party who makes quick work of it with a flask of oil and a torch tossed by Gnarly and Wolfheir. Crab legs for everyone!
Continuing their exploration they find a large man-made chamber, empty save for a sundial and a large mask attached to the wall. Below the mask was an inscription which read: “I’ll answer a question, one, no more. I cannot speak ‘til it be four”. After some thought, Tibag triggers the mask to speak by holding his torch to the sundial and casting the shadow on the number IV. The Mask speaks and will answer one question from the party. After much debate it was decided to ask how best to slay Zenopus (assuming that she is alive). The mask replies that Zenopus can only be destroyed by the light of the sun or a wooden stake through the heart. Ahh! So Zenopus has become a vampire!
Deeper into the tunnels they find a chamber with a trap door and stairs leading down to a deeper level. Descending these they find natural tunnels that they follow, thinking that they are nearing the resting place of Zenopus. After some twists and turns they find a large cavern overgrown with mushrooms and phosphorous fungi with a rift in the center. Tibag descends down a rope only to find a channel of running water.
More explorations take them into a small cave where they are attacked by Cave Eels.
Finally they find another cave off a narrow tunnel with the remains of gnawed human bones and a trail of old dried blood.