Lost Lore 35: The Real Golems of Skyrir
Having been sent in first by himself into the Safe of Knowledge inside the Tomb of Oriminhet, Ospher exited the Meld into Stone spell I cast on him just as soon as I began preparing to ritual cast the second one onto Lorgen. He exited into a dark room that immediate burst into light with sconces and braziers about the place that re-lit themselves in the presence of life, and immediately took in every wall and multiple shelves filled with recesses for scrolls, parchments and ancient books that were mostly intact, a few here and there crumbled to dust. A tiny stone altar in front of him with a book laying open upon it slowly started to levitate and moved towards him, stopping about 10 feet away, thinking it must be some sort of helpful construct, he approached it, seeing more of the strange Skyriran writing translate to his eyes and then the room filled with a voice, seemingly emanating from the book itself.
"Welcome seeker. Speak with thy blood and I can assist."Ospher pricked the tip of a finger on a dagger and dripped it towards the book where it caught in mid-air, hovering for a moment and then flew to be absorbed by the book's pages. The then rippled a bit and then it spoke again.
"This is unclean blood."Pages began to leave the book and scrolls from the shelves started flying off from nearby, starting to form a swirling rage filled tornado of pages and scrolls with words and symbols rising off pages and dangling in mid-air. Some of the feuille from the whirling storm du papier cut across at him, but bouncing off his passive shield from another of his protective magical equipment. It then flicked through a number of pages and stopped at one, channeling a Lightning Bolt directly into him, though he was able to deflect some of the damage with his Gloves of Spell Snaring, he still was fried by the sheer volume of magical power from the book. Ospher said that he figured this thing must not have an intellect of its own, but is interpreting whatever orders were given to it from before, another golem. Thinking quickly, Ospher cast Animate Objects to bring more of the books from the shelves to life, but to defend him as 10 small books flew off the shelves, surrounding him as he flipped a desk to hide behind in case of more intense magic. Half of Ospher's books went to cross deckle edges with the golem, a few of them shredding small parts of the whirling mass, while the other half floating around Ospher obscuring him from sight of the golem. Ospher decided to utilize the Phantom Caress to keep the main book closed, in the idea that this would prevent it from casting more spells at him and to his elation, he kept it closed while it lashed it with the swirling papers being much less effective at slicing up his his book defenders. Realizing his advantage between the magical item and his spell, he then dispatched more of his defending books to cause harm to the core book and they made quick work of it, he heard the rattling of the book's struggle slowly start to die down and the storm of sharp paper came to stop, papers slowly floating down in the stale air. Ospher directed his animated books to cease their assault, with the Book Golem's pages loose, binding ripped up and still. It was at this point he used a Message cantrip to tell me that there was a security, but he's ok; I didn't stop the ritual casting with this news. Ospher said he then went to examine the remains of the golem, and he noticed that it seemed to be crumbling and that it had 7 pages worth of spells within it yet, so he set about trying to stabilize the creature from... dying? Stopping that from happening rather adroitly, he saw that it still held the spells Acid, Warding Wind, Minute Meteor, Lightning Bolt, Psychic Lance, and Slow, Burning Hands, Bigby's Hand, and Blade of Disaster. After cataloguing that, he held onto the ...comatose(?) golem and started doing some of his best work, reading in a library. It was a massive library, mostly of very old scrolls, but some books as well, quite a few of them were crumbling, whatever preservative magic having been present here in the past having given up, but the lion's share was still in tact. He started looking through some of the books and lost track of time reading until my spell finished and Lorgen came through after him. After a brief talk, Lorgen set to work on the door while Ospher started tending his wounds. His hand was sure and in wiping away some of the runes, he then disabled some of the conventional poison traps in the floor, he was satisfied with his work and used the door's control mechanisms to then begin opening it.
"Hey! I take offense to that."
"Looks like you've got it handled in here. Traps?"We reunited within at this point and decided that attempting to get the golem working for us would be worth the time so that we could glean what knowledge was stored here and judiciously use our time. Charity was confident she could at least unwind the programming to attack us, but didn't know what would happen until we attempted to use it regarding it's proficiency for violence. Charity set to work with the knowledge she had from the golem manual but confessed to not having finished reading the entirity. Janka's Bardic Inspiration and a Guidance helped her complete the task and the book slowly pulled itself back together from a few scraps and then took back to the air and then asked again "what knowledge do you seek," curious as to the nature of the fountain, I directed him to ask about that. It confirmed the question, then asked again for a drop of pure blood, Charity offered hers up and the book said it considered her pure.
"Yeah, their security was rather disagreeable with me."
"I don't see any bodies?"
"Oh, just this." Ospher holds up the tattered book golem
"Uhh, it's just a book?"
"Now, but it had a nasty disposition when it was awake."
"What do we do? Do we tie up the book Do we ask it questions?"The book said the fountain contains the formula for the Perfect Resurrection sought by the followers of Zarkhaddos, the fountain's power is to produce from a given formula and will continue create from that until its magical power is extinguished. The book also confirmed this supposition and that many of his greatest treasures were secreted away to here and locked away where he would no longer be able to find them. The book then asked if we were her children, an early indication that something was going wrong within its magical brain. We then asked if the formula for the perfect resurrection was on the shelves, and it said that the formula was now only within the golem itself, which is why it must confirm purity.
"Don't drink weird stuff."
"No. We're not some ragtag band of hobo adventurers that eat 'magical' beans given to us that were purchased from a blue man that lives in an onion."
"Are there any more questions we need to ask this book before..." Adjenna pantomimes her fist twisting on the other palmWe asked it about any other traps on the way to Oriminhet, and it replied about the statue golems and poison spikes and darts, but also cut itself off when talking about the relic chamber. We then asked about the relic chamber, and it said five of his treasures are in the relic chambers, locked away from where he would be able to use them. The book answered our next question about the statue golems, saying it didn't know how to disable them/put them to sleep. It was getting progressively strange in its replies so we stopped trying to get anything from it. We grabbed around one third of her library into the Bags of Holding we had with us, and could tell that the control point was clearly below us. Bianca sent her flying homunculus to explore the downstairs and relayed what it saw to us, going down the stairs and said there were no lights but it could see due to magical eyes it was imbued with. It reported back a lot of skeletons in rows, a golden barge, two big metal statues right next to the entrance, in-tact. Leaving the Library, Ospher and Lorgen reset the magical and mundane traps and headed back into the main hall, with just one room left to go into, in theory the relic chamber.
"Are you... gonna break it's neck?"
"No, I'm gonna lock the cover, this thing is getting off-kilter."
"You can borrow the homunculus too, I'm not super attached to it and I don't think it has feelings." to the homunculus "Do you have feelings?"Facing this door, I began to ritually cast Meld into Stone again, while Ospher opted to polymorph himself into a maggot and wriggled himself through the crack in the door and go in ahead. The room, he said, was too dark to perceive anything, he could sense a slight rumble from an object near the center of the room, and he found some crumbled masonry to crawl behind and then transform back into his halfling self. He placed his Goggles of Night on while concealed there and looked about and immediately noticed another Stone Golem in the center of the room, motionless and pristine, and it was keeping watch over a room filled with chests full of riches, precious stones, bits of art and 6 sealed chests. He didn't note anything written on the golem or about the room, and then cast Detect Magic in order to determine if the grotesque amount of money strewn about was real or not, with it revealing that the locked chests and the 'statue' were the only magical things about. The magic in the boxes varied, the feeling of divinity to one, abjuration magic to another, fire/thunder and explosions, healing/restoration another, and the final one a sinking feeling, falling to decay and nothingness. Unsure of what else to do, he decided to try and see what he could do to the golem and edging up to it he got within 30 feet or so of the guardian and it immediately moved to pick up it's stone sword and started moving towards him. Thinking it worth the chance at least, Ospher cast Catapult on the Butcher's Chain to attempt to restrain the thing from pasting him, but he timed it poorly and the golem stepped right over the chain, sending it clattering to the far end of the room behind it. It closed the distance and swung the gigantic stone blade at him, catching him in the shoulder and sending him sprawling and with surprising alacrity, swinging again and coming up short of hitting him again and slamming the floor.
there is no reply
"Yeah I think we're good."
"You do not bear the symbol, you do not carry the blood. You must die here."My ritual completed at this point and hearing that boom just before it ended changed my mind as to whom to send through, Ospher was likely in a predicament and I'd no sooner send Lorgen to die than myself to see what we could manage together. Ospher moved to evade the large construct and running beneath its body to behind me, I now had its full attention and it got a blow in under my shield, cracking a rib as it connected fully into my armor. I maneuvered around the thing to take some cover while attacking from behind the oversized treasure chests in the room and stabbed true into the thing, feeling the Immortality Malady rattling a bit as I drew it back and breaking off some sizable chunks of it while and cast a Spiritual Weapon at attack the monster as well, but its hide was a bit tougher for the less concentrated magic of the divinely-manifest dagger and I couldn't damage it much. Ospher attempted to take cover again elsewhere but the Golem seemed to have a preternatural awareness of his movements within the room, and swung about its hips to perfectly connect with Ospher as he tried to run elsewhere in the room and launched him with a kick to the far end of the room by the chain he flung earlier. He then cast a new Catapult on the chain, wrapping up the monstrous golem temporarily, he hoped, but then watched in dismay as the spot where the golem originally stood guarding the room was a tile that sank into the ground and then clicked into position and a noxious gas started filling the room. While Ospher would be fine from his Ventilating Lungs, I would have to concoct another reason to not discuss why I would not succumb to the gas until later. The Golem snapped the chain and then approached me to ready an attack but I connected a couple goods hits on it and my Spiritual Weapon's strike knocked it off balance enough for it's heavy blows to fail to connect with me behind one of the large plinths holding the chests Ospher examined earlier. It's heavy form starting to crack and crumble in key places the two of us had struck it left it unable to make the proper calculations on how to adjust it's successive attempted attacks at me behind the plinth, though the heaviness of the blows were taking their toll on the plinth itself, jarring the chest near my shoulder loose and it tumbled over me unexpectedly, though it remained locked after bruising my neck and arm. Ospher then cast Haste on me, giving me the alacrity to land multiple blows with the Immortality Malady and as I struck my Spiritual Weapon finally connected another great blow upon the thing. In spite of the extra speed, the golem landed a blow full on my shield, knocking me back several feet and nearly sending me to my knees as the greenish poison pervaded the entire room and began to cloud my sight of the thing. Ospher connected with another Ray of Frost on the golem, slowing it down as the rime crawled out over much its torso where he connected with it and my final strike into it's midsection split the creation in two as the top part slid off the broken stone and slammed into the ground, shortly followed by the freestanding legs. Sitting down to catch my breath, amid the concentrating poison, Ospher attempted to disable the trap on the floor but couldn't in the slippery poison so he and I sat down to rest and tend our wounds in the poisoned fog. We told everyone still outside that we survived but the room was full of poisonous gas and that entering now would be very dangerous.
"If only I was granted power by amassing lucre."After taking our rest, Ospher stopped additional poison from being pumped into the room by disabling the trap, but the room wasn't venting the air very quickly. He then used a Stone Shape to open a vent hole to the large room beneath that let the heavy gas escape the room and as that slowly vented it down, and then I set about disabling the door trap as I observed Lorgen perform in the library room. We opened the doors after this and explained what we had encountered within, to everyone's great relief. Looking over the chests, none of them appeared to be trapped, but Janka's expertise revealed that each lock would require essentially a casting of Animate Dead in order to open due to the warped bone materials used to seal them.
"Yeah I don't know what god you chose to worship, but maybe in this situation another would be better?"
"Mammon, do not forsake me!"
"Don't touch those, there's magic on them."At Ospher's request, Janka cast her spells and we looked at the boxes in turn. The first box had a soft velvety cloth with an amulet of some kind laid upon it, the stone was jet and black and polished impeccably, and slightly translucent, it was set in a simple golden housing with a symbol etched into the stone itself, a symbol to The Traveler, an Amulet of the Devout of the strongest make dedicated to his dark designs. In the next box, a simple book, plain looking and unassuming and containing information about the anatomy of all kind of different lifeforms, races in Tairos and theories of how to improve their functionality, a Manual of Health. The largest box, the one that toppled over me earlier, contained a large breastplate, made of some black lacquered materials with various runes and symbols carved into it, including those of The Traveler again, allowing casting from the armor each of the following once a day: Mage Armor, Shield, Blade Ward, Protection from Energy, Cure Wounds, recharging at midnight. The next box contained four glass spheres, one white, brown, red, and blue. Objects we've never seen or heard of before, Ospher having heard of them once in an ancient text, called Devastation Orbs, they were elemental bombs made with concentrated magical power that could bring ruinous wishes to reality. The final box contained that feeling of darkness Ospher sensed before, and within a scroll case and a tiny decorative box. The scroll case contained a spell we'd never heard before but was self-described as The Judgement of God, able to summon comet from the heavens to crash something larger than the abbey itself into the chosen target. The ornate wooden vessel was Identified by Bianca as just a box that keeps whatever is within protected, and as she took hold of it to cast that, it seemed to improve her health and gave her a godly blessing. We resolved to keep these things out of people's hands and put them all into a bag, at which point Bianca was reluctant to hand it back over, due to it's dark influence, undoubtedly.
"I'm a magic person!"
"You can disengage magical traps?"
"The progenitor of these items is guilty of many crimes."We could sense very well that directly beneath us would be the golden barge that Loame's homunculus spotted, as well as the control point for the entire tomb. Resolving to not ruin the iron golems before the Brans could arrive, Charity's Voyager Staff would be able to use Passwall in order to get us through the floor and down into the great room to look over the place and hopefully put ourselves in an advantageous place. The first thing we saw was the massive barge, covered in pristine gold and sigils that were similar to other ones we'd seen, proclaiming glory of old Skyrir, and atop the barge we could see a sarcophagus, a faintly burning brazier, and in front of the barge, faint green flickers from rows upon rows upon rows of soldiers. All dressed in armor and holding blades and pikes and shields...
"Should these things be destroyed?"
All of Zarkhaddos' horrible treasures are ours!
Be ye warned of our words!