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Located down the left passage of the subterranean tunnels under the Evening Nip in Zadash, this long-abandoned research facility once belonged to a necromancer by the name of Siff Duthar.[1]

Layout[]

River Entrance[]

The entrance to these ancient ruins was uncovered within the northeastern branch of the subterranean river under Zadash. Members of the Gentleman's Troupe located the entrance on the north side of the riverbank, which they later collapsed into a rock slide. The Mighty Nein excavated this rock slide.

Made of smooth stone as compared to the natural mineral of the tunnel wall,[2] when cleared this 10-foot passage opened into the center of a spiral staircase.

Spiral Staircase[]

Illuminated by the purple light of an enchanted crystal-like stone placed within a wrought iron cage in a corner[3], this roughly eight to ten-feet wide staircase[4] continued 40 feet downward[5] and 60 feet upwards.

Downstairs[]

At the bottom of the stone staircase was a small, dark, antechamber, 15 feet long and five feet wide, that led into a thin hallway continuing further in.[6]

Hallway[]

This four to five-foot wide hallway continued forwards for around 25 feet. On each side of the walls were nine to ten holes carved out at different angles. The floor in this area was trapped with three pressure plates. When one of these plates was stepped on, a metal bolt would fire out of one of the holes in the walls. These pressure plates were rigged in such a way to slowly reset after they were triggered and only a sufficiently heavy object would trigger them, since Frumpkin was able to traverse them without issue. At the end of this hallway was a large octagonal chamber.[7]

Octagonal Chamber[]

The 30-foot radius chamber was octagonal in its design and had a domed ceiling. On each of the domes segments was a painted abstract symbol representing one of the eight schools of magic.[8][9] There were no visible exits other than the hallway used to enter.[10] Ominously held aloft in the center of the dome was a blue, ten-foot wide stone pillar, extending about ten feet from the ceiling.[11] It was square with a slight curvature or dome at its base.[12]

In the center of this room was a triangular one-foot high raised platform[13] that was two and a half feet long on each of its sides.[14] On the platform was a series of half-inch thick[15] carved symbols[16] and a half-inch wide, foot-and-a-half deep[17] round hole in the center. When the siphon rod was inserted into the hole and the correct school of magic spells were cast into the chamber, the arcane energy was siphoned into the top of the metallic rod, causing a false wall on the opposite end of the hallway to rotate open, beyond which was a research chamber.[18] When a spell from an incorrect school of magic was cast and drawn into the rod, the room shook and the large square pillar opened, releasing a creature into the center of the room before reclosing.[19]

Research Chamber[]

Smelling of burnt hair and decay, this chamber was divided into three sections. The center section had a sort of damaged[20] arcane teleportation circle in the center. In the center, there were load-bearing pillars to the right and left, and cold braziers behind the pillars against the walls: little-domed pieces of stone that once contained flame for light. The back of the room contained two mostly melted candelabra[21], two tables with chairs, a mostly empty bookcase[22] but for a few tattered bits of paper.[23]

Above the bookshelf, there was a six-foot-long greatsword with a wide blade bolted ornamentally on the wall. The hilt of it was gold and curled up to the side. It had tiny runes inscribed along its edge.[24][25]

Opening out of the central chamber to the right and left was a smaller pill-shaped areas that was rounded at each end. At each of these rounded edges, was a domed, tight-knit, rusted dark iron cage[26] containing a clay urn. These urns sat in the center of these cages and contained ashes as well as burnt and tattered clothing.[27] Above these urns, attached to the top of the cages were chain nooses.[28]

The tables next to the bookshelf contained writing utensils, quills, and an inkwell.[29] Underneath one of the tables, was a book which was burned heavily in one of its corners having possibly been placed into one of the braziers to be burnt but had fallen out.[30] Written in Draconic this book contained the disjointed scribbling of someone name Siff Duthar[31].[32]

Behind the heavy bookcase was a small cracked opening in the wall behind which was a 5 foot by 5-foot room, that seemed to function as some sort of burial chamber. A number of pots and small cases can sat in this room, an in its center, was a large squat dull grey urn, about a foot and a half wide.[33]

This large urn, while intact, served as the conduit that Siff Duthar was bound to and from which he could continually re-spawn when killed.[34]

Upstairs[]

Baroque Chamber[]

Supported in its center by two pillars, this beautiful 30-foot high[35], square baroque-style grand chamber was covered with intricate designs. It was originally 80 feet long,[36] but was now cut short to around 50 feet[37] due to the back wall of the room being completely collapsed inward, causing the whole room to be slightly tilted to the left side.[38]

The floor was made of solid marble squares that are off-color to each other, giving it a checkered type pattern. The walls had half-pillars intricately carved out of them, and places that are inset where art pieces could sit. There are shelves in places where art can sit. In the middle of the chamber, there are two load-bearing pillars that mark the center and lead up to the ceiling.[39]

There were two upside down acorn-style alcoves that mirroring each other on each side of the chamber. A foot tall, they contained red clay urns. Dangling above from the ceiling there was a set of chains from which hung a third red clay urn.[40] These urns contain ashes[41] and would continually re-spawn will-o'-wisps until they were destroyed.[42] The lower half of each urn, had a metal-lined bottom, on the inside of which had a very faint carvings matching the symbols of the octagonal chamber.[43][44] When these bowls were heated, portion the symbols for enchantment, transmutation, and illusion lit up.[45]

Located in the center of the chamber, at the edge of the wall collapse, there was a white very thinly carved relief that resembled a robed figure with two heads. Having a merged torso this relief was male on one side and female on the other. Having the same features, and similar hairstyles the heads of this figure had emotionless faces looking upwards towards the ceiling with vacant, circular holes for eyes, that were quarter of an inch deep.[46] When a coin was inserted in the holes the relief opens in half and uncovers a 30-foot deep pit beneath the floor.[47] The bottom of this pit contained piles of charred bones and remain having long-rotted clothing.[48] Among these 40 or so decaying corpses there were a few pieces of coin, jewelry including a silver bracelet attached by a chain to a ring. There was also a diamond shaped vial with a crystal topped stopper, which contained a brackish brown-black sludge of a liquid, which when identified revealed to be a potion that could grant the drinker necrotic resistance for one hour.[49]

Siphon Rod[]

Found partially buried in the back wall of the baroque chamber was the four and a half foot long[50], half inch diameter, brass colored[51] siphon rod used in the octagonal room, 100 feet below.[52] The bottom half of this rod was straight for a foot then continued in a tight coil to the very top where there was a small metallic knob.[53]

History[]

"Where The River Goes" (2x15)[]

Attempting to discern the nature of the octagonal room, Mollymauk placed the metallic bowls that had been the bottoms of the clay urns found in the previous chamber onto the triangular pedestal.[54] Believing that the symbols found on the pedestal represented variations of those of the Divination, Evocation, and Necromancy symbols on the ceiling[55], Jester cast Toll the Dead towards one of the bowls.[56] When the spell was released the necromantic energy of the spell was siphoned into the lightning rod on top of the staff. It caused the room to shake and the large square pillar suspended in the center of the room to open releasing a Gelatinous Cube down into the room before re-closing.[57]

After a successful battle, the party decided it would be best to first test out their spells' effects on the bowls outside of the chamber so that the magic had a chance to affect them instead of just being immediately absorbed by the siphon rod. Their efforts failed. Caleb reached the conclusion that fire might reveal something to the party, and through spells and torches they set the bowls on fire revealing symbols for enchantment, transmutation, and illusion.[58][59] When spells matching these schools were simultaneously cast in the chamber they were siphoned into the rod, causing a wall to rotate on the opposite side of the room leading to a hallway into a research chamber.[60]

Exploring the contents of the chamber, the party found a greatsword[61] mounted above the far bookcase, and a burned book containing the manic scribblings of Siff Duthar.[62] Soon afterwards the chamber became noticeably colder, as the dark shadowy form of Siff Duthar emerged in the center of the room, accompanied by the flickering light of will-o'-wisps emerging out of the urns.[63]

"A Favor in Kind" (2x16)[]

The party, after failing to converse with Siff Duthar, was attacked by this undead guardian as well as four will-o'-wisps.[64] The party defeated Siff and were able to destroy the urn conduits of the wisps. Their victory was short-lived as the party realized that Siff had emerged through the back bookcase of the room, and seeing similarities to the way the wisps had re-spawned, they pulled down the bookcase. Through a small break in the wall behind it, Molly stabbed through into a small burial chamber. When they broke Siff's large urn, he dissipated with a expression of sadness.[65]

After taking a short rest, Nott, greased up in oil, squeezed through the small gap into this room, landing directly into the ashes of Siff's broken urn. Covered in this ash,[66] she explored the room, which contained two large decorative vases with gold scrolling as well as a small trapped box on either side of the room which released a poisonous powder when opened.

The first of these boxes contained sets of gold and silver rings and jewelry, including bracelets.[67] The second box contained a partially-burned dark black cloth ceremonial chest mantle with gray stripes along the sides and red embroidered designs that wove out of the neck and down the back. The front of the mantle held a chest pouch[68] containing dried blood.[69]

The party dug out the gap, widening the hole enough to bring out the items within.[70] Making a final sweep of the room, Beau found a book buried within the ashes of one of the braziers. Flipping through, she saw that it contained arcane script and elements similar to the domed room, and as such she handed it to Caleb for further study along with their other findings. Looking over the items for hints of magic, Caleb identified the greatsword had an aura of magic and that it was called The Magician’s Judge.[71][72]

Dividing out the rings among the party, the Mighty Nein discussed what part of their loot they would like to keep and which they were willing to part with as part of the arrangement they had made with The Gentleman.[73][74] They made their way back to the entrance of the research facility and while Yasha, Caleb, and Nott stayed behind to rest, the rest of the party took their boat and went off to explore the right passage of the subterranean river.[75]

References[]

  1. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:32:09.
  2. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 0:48:25 through 53:33.
  3. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 0:53:49 through 0:55:24.
  4. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 0:55:35 through 0:57:00.
  5. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 0:58:13.
  6. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 0:58:30.
  7. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 0:58:40 through 1:11:45.
  8. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:11:46.
  9. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 1:14:18 through 1:16:35.
  10. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:12:35.
  11. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:12:12.
  12. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:20:29.
  13. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:01:24.
  14. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:12:35.
  15. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:14:37.
  16. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:07:45.
  17. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:18:32.
  18. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 2:31:28 through 3:15:25.
  19. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 2:37:10.
  20. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:23:24.
  21. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:21:47.
  22. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 3:16:39 through 3:25:24.
  23. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:27:30.
  24. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 3:27:29 through 3:27:57.
  25. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:29:00.
  26. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:16:39.
  27. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:22:13.
  28. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:23:00.
  29. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:30:20.
  30. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:30:24.
  31. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:33:17.  spelling
  32. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:32:14.
  33. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) at 1:02:02.
  34. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) at 0:24:58.
  35. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:28:24.
  36. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:27:36.
  37. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15).  File:Collapsed Upper Room 1.png
  38. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:27:30.
  39. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:27:18.
  40. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:31:21.
  41. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:37:46.
  42. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 1:37:49 through 1:58:29.
  43. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 2:18:52.
  44. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 2:34:50 through 2:36:50.
  45. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 3:04:53 through 3:10:22.
  46. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 1:28:26 through 1:36:44.
  47. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 2:19:41 through 2:21:14.
  48. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 2:21:33.
  49. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 2:23:33 through 2:26:41.
  50. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 1:33:00 through 1:37:49.
  51. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:36:00.
  52. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:27:06.
  53. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 1:37:49.
  54. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 2:34:41.
  55. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 2:30:11.
  56. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 2:36:23.
  57. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 2:37:11 through 3:03:30.
  58. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 3:04:53 through 3:10:22.
  59. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 3:04:53 through 3:11:22.
  60. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 3:04:53 through 3:15:30.
  61. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) at 1:21:27.
  62. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 3:33:05 through 3:36:00.
  63. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) at 3:36:12.
  64. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) at 0:22:17.
  65. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) from 0:24:58 through 1:04:18.
  66. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) from 1:04:19 through 1:07:30.
  67. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) at 1:28:38.
  68. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) from 1:07:54 through 1:13:50.
  69. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) at 1:21:00.
  70. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) from 1:07:54 through 1:13:50.
  71. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) at 1:21:27.
  72. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) from 1:14:00 through 1:24:35.
  73. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) from 1:24:36 through 1:31:30.
  74. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) from 1:35:00 through 1:39:57.
  75. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) from 1:35:00 through 1:40:05.
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