Part II: Gnomes at War
Chapter 6: The Gnomish Academy of Magic
Garon Dramor (Connor) Half-Drow Cleric
Tarathial Nightstalker (Trevor S.) Wood Elf Ranger
Kratos Nightblade (Trevor M.) Half-Elf Rogue
Zethor Fireblade (Jared) Human Fighter/Earth Shugenja
Well, we last left off when they had just come into sight of the Gnomish Academy of Magic. Instead of seeing a castle, they saw a castle encased in a huge cube of ice. For a second the characters were shocked, but then kept going towards it, making plans of how to get in and praying to their respective deities to melt the ice, which didn’t work. Suddenly, a storm kicked up. A lightning bolt shot the airship’s mast and they crashed upon the surface of the ice cube. Tarathial, Kratos, Garon, and Zethor were thrown off at the last second, saving their lives, as the airship skidded across the cube and then plummeted off of the ice, falling hundreds of feet to the bottom of the rocky valley. Kratos found a hole leading into the ice, so they all went down into the castle. They found a small room with a single door leading out, as well as a spiral staircase, which they had come down. Huddled in a corner were two bodies, ice thickly encrusted over their corpses. While they were studying the room, a bugbear zombie stepped out from the shadows and attacked them. This was the most extensive battle of the night, taking almost two hours. Most of it though was us joking and messing around, so we didn’t get much of the battle done with soon. They finished it off eventually, and then they looked around the room. Tarathial took a book from the arms of one of the corpses, “Ethain’s Guide to Conjurations”, to give to Gimble, who still hadn’t been seen since the crash, along with Grimjow. Then, Tarathial noticed a secret door. They opened it, went through a hallway about 20 feet long, and came to another door. Tarathial listened through it, hearing whispered voices, sounding like gnomes. They readied their weapons just in case, and opened the door. There were two gnomes in the room, one with long dark blue robes on and the other wearing tight leather armor and twin short swords. They asked the characters what they were doing there. Tarathial answered by saying “we are trying to find Ramble Coldraven.” The blue-robed gnome stepped up and said, “I am Ramble Coldraven!” Immediately, Garon aimed his sword at the gnome, but Tarathial held up his hand.
”We have to find out why he attacked us” They intimidated Ramble. “OK I will tell you! Remember the hole Gimble fell into? Well it wasn’t really a hole. It was actually a teleportation spell done by a powerful wizard I am acquainted with. He then put a Scrying device on your friend. I was hoping he would lead me to the location of his airship, but he didn’t, so I had t try a different strategy. I sent the drow after you, with orders to kill anyone with Gimble, but to capture him alive. I assume you have foiled them, by your presence here. I have been too busy holding off the attacks here to continue my plans.” Then the warrior gnome spoke up “I am Drim Dreadeye, a guard here, I guess we can use all the help we can get, so if you are up to it, will you help us in our struggle?” The players said yes, so he continued. “I guess I should tell you what happened here then. A few weeks ago, a female drow sorcerer came up from the lower levels of the dungeon with zombies and goblins. They killed everyone in the Academy, except for us. Later, a human sorcerer and his creatures, including a Yeth hound and some Darkmantles, joined in the fight. There is also an evil triton controlling the lower levels. We have all been fighting for control of an artifact. The Tapestry of Midnight. It is a powerful artifact, but it is hidden in a vault guarded by many wards. To get in, you have to answer three riddles, or else you set off the wards, you also need the key, which the drow sorcerer has at the moment.” The players then asked what the answers to the riddles were. The gnome said that he knew not, only the headmaster did, and he was dead. He did know the riddles themselves, however, so he told them to the party. The first one was “I cover cities and destroy mountains, I make men blind yet help them see.” The second one was “Double my number, I’m less than a score, Half of my number is less than four, Add one to my double when bakers are near, Days of the week are still greater I fear.” The third was “What is it- That we love more than life, Fear more than death, The rich want it, The poor have it, The miser spends it, And the spend-rift saves it?” They started on the riddles right away, trying to figure them out. They took about twenty minutes, then came up with answers for the last two “Six” and “Nothing”. The first one still eluded them however. The gnomes interrupted their riddle solving by suggesting a raid. They showed the party a map and then told them that they would strike at the rooms to the north and they would strike the rooms to the west. They headed out shortly after that, saying they would meet back at the base after the rooms were cleared. At the first room Tarathial listened, and heard grumbling, some shuffling around, and some loud snoring. They readied their weapons and Zethor kicked the door down. Two gray skinned dwarves were in the room, one shuffling chairs around and the other sleeping on a dirty bed. Kratos shot his bow and killed the sleeping one before he had a chance to react, and then the party quickly finished off the other. They found some gold here, the first treasure so far. At the next room they listened again and heard snarling in Draconic “We get to killses the gnomeses master sayss!” And the like. They figured it would be kobolds or some other reptilian creature, which they guessed correctly. They kicked the door down and killed the troglodytes they found in the room fairly quickly. After that they went to the last room and listened again. This time they heard a faint humming sound and a low whistle. They opened up the door and found a glowing ball of light that was making the humming and whistling. It started to talk to them, speaking in a soft, musical, womanly voice. It told Garon, the cleric, that Carthan was with him and that it was sent to aid him. Trevor M. did a knowledge check and figured out it was a Lantern Archon, a celestial being. They gladly accepted the help, and asked the Archon what the answer was to the first riddle. She answered, saying that the answer was “Sand”. The characters then went back to the base and reported in. While the characters were talking with the gnomes, they heard marching and the beating of drums. The gnomes recognized this as a raid, and told the characters to find the drow sorcerer and get the key. The must secure the Tapestry! The characters took the secret passage way back, and found a shaft of flying. They went down to the next level and then found large double doors made of iron. They listened at the door and heard a faint buzzing sound. They entered, saw a museum like room, and then were attacked by two giant bees. They finished them off quickly, got some honey they found on walls and floor, and then searched the room for valuables. They found a large tapestry, a ceremonial dagger, a music box decorated with gold that played a popular elven song (A.K.A The Davy Jones song from Pirates of the Caribbean 2), a large golden harp that played any song they wanted, a set of three platinum scorpions, and a mummified head. They head immediately started to talk to them, saying “Hello there! Where am I?” And the like. They asked him the answer to two of the riddles. At the first riddle he said “Hmmm, A pinch of Salt!” and at the second he said “Oh, a tough question! Hmmm, oh, A broom!!” We all laughed at this. He then proceeded to tell them his name “Jimmy Do!! (Jim-E-Doe)”, where he came from “Outer Space!!” and all sorts of nonsensical stuff. We kept making jokes and laughing at him, and after the “outer space” comment, they figured out that he was just making stuff up. After this they went out a side door and then a door to the right. As always, they listened before entering, but heard nothing this time. They opened up the room, revealing a study with many maps, charts, and diagrams. A large marble statue came to life as they entered, moving to attack and saying, “Are you a student or staff?” They immediately said they were staff, and then the statue went back to its original position. Zethor took a diagram on the anatomy of dragons, and then they went out. They went down a hallway, with Jimmy Do tied securely by the hair to Zethor Fireblade’s belt. They came to a door and listened at it for a moment, then heard Jimmy Do humming the Jeopardy song. They told him to be quiet, listened again, and heard faint guttural voices, and then opened the door. The room was empty, with doors on both the right and left. The guttural voices were from the door on the left, so they devised a plan. They would put Jimmy Do in front of the door, two of them would go behind one door, and two behind the other, open the door, and let Jimmy Do distract them into coming in. They did so, and Jimmy Do started jabbering annoyingly about nonsense, drawing the hobgoblins that were in the room closer. When the first hobgoblin got just beyond the doors, Tarathial and Kratos both shot at him with their bows. Kratos missed but Tarathial hit, downing the creature. The other hobgoblin started to turn back into the room, but Zethor stabbed through the door and into the creature’s heart. They then went into the room.