Mongo boldly steps into the tomb entrance to confront the strange fog. He hears some odd whispering noises, and actually gets spooked and runs away--clean out of the tomb. Then he sinks a little lower by explaining that he had to go "potty..." Oh, Mongo... Everyone thinks to themselves, "um, this is D&D: bodily functions are a myth!" But poor Mongo is the party tank tonight--and he's also like nine feet tall--so nobody confronts him about it. Ultimately, we surmise that the spooky noises are created by the breeze blowing through ingenious geometric grooves in the walls. We proceed into the next section of the tomb.
Side passage #1 is a dead-end containing an old bedroll and some wood shavings. Facing that is side passage #2, which I believe was an empty dead end. A little deeper in the tomb we find side passage #3, blocked off from a cave-in. Facing that is side-passage #4, which contains a mysterious broken mirror device. It bears a geometric emblem that we think may have belonged to the tomb's architect; Avveron sketches it and looks for patterns.
Suddenly things start to get "dire." A pack of giant wolves tears down the passageway and brutally attacks! Mongo bravely tries to cover the entire 20' wide corridor, but two squeeze past and start to snap at his flank! Sharky and Raven press forward to repel the tide! People are tripped, bitten, and shaken around in dire jaws like squeaky chew toys! Mongo is almost overcome, but he gets a fantastic cleave, the front line holds, and Duffy starts to have a conversation with the Mysterious Floating Head of Alureon:
"Hey, I hit that one with a scorching ray! Are you still disappointed in me, Mysterious Floating Head of Alureon!?! Hmmm?, did you say something about these wolves getting used to the spooky noises at the entrance, and now all of the other wandering monsters stay out, so the wolves have this place protected and all to themselves? Cool, that makes sense. Uh, was that Sharky saying something about a breath weapon? That would make sense too, since this tomb is wind-duke crafted! Hmmm, do you think that maybe the wind-dukes might craft a wind-related clue, OH! such as those ingenious grooves by the entrance? We might try to create some artificial wind through them and listen closely for words or a message! We can experiment soon; it looks like the battle is winding down... Wow, all of those flashes of light must be coming from the wands of cure light wounds; let's see if we can get some!"
The party proceeds into the next section of the tomb. Side passage #5 is a dead-end containing dire wolf beds and some scraps of treasures. We find a magic rope, an assortment of "movement elixers", an ornate "indigo-colored" lantern, and a stone sculpture of a finger. Since the lamp is "indigo-colored", and not just "blue", our characters decide that it must be very important.
Which brings us to side passage #6. Up a slight staircase, we behold a fresco painted to look like a representation of a room. Standing at a particular point, it appears as if we're standing in a chamber with seven radiating side-passageways. Each passageway contains a glowing colored lamp at the end: left-to-right we see red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (See DM's e-mail).
To get to the next section of tomb we need to cross a thick wall of hazy webs. We see swarms of tiny spiders skittering around near the topside, so we decide to burn the buggers, and that's that.
Finally, down a slight staircase we arrive in the actual "chamber of seven lamps" as depicted in the fresco. Five colored lanterns are actually in place already, and one (green) is even pre-lit with an everburning torch! Fantastic! So counting the one we hold, there is but ONE that is missing (red, right?) We also notice a couple piles of bones which turn out to be..., an unsuccessful grave robber and his pet?
In the center of the chamber is a large stone sarcophagus, complete with a sculpture of a man lying on his back. Details include: a geometric pattern sculpted onto an orb over his heart (Avveron sketches), a missing finger, a magic trap, and a headstone reminiscent of an arrow, such that the whole platform "points" at the orange passageway. Unfortunately we seem to have come to a dead end. Where in the WORLD could the red lamp be? Do YOU know, Mysterious Floating Head of Alureon?
At this time Sharky shows some true grit by volunteering to challenge the magic trap. Everyone stands back. Duffy stands FAR back, about even with the harpies... Sharky manipulates... and trips, causing everyone to squish their eyes shut and duck! Fwoosh! Well, it was only an acid arrow, but it really smarts! "Yarrgh!" Heals, and then Sharky, unperturbed, takes a deep breath and tries again. ...Snip..., and success! The result is a new toy to play with and a lead to the red lamp! Congratz and thank you!
The sarcophagus, like the spinner on a game of Twister, can now be rotated to point in any of 8 directions (7 colored lamps and the way we came in). First we insert the missing finger and hang up our indigo lamp, just for fun. Then we twist the sarcophagus to point at yellow, and a tiny elevator appears directly beneath the yellow lamp. Cool! One more twist, and we're pointing at green. This elevator seems to get stuck, and collapses into itself. We investigate the smoking hole in the ground, and that's when the SERIOUS trouble starts...
It begins with an ominous buzzing sound... Duffy thinks "Web Web Web" but he's too slow on the draw! The hole erupts with clouds of horrifying little insects, dripping with acid. Mongo is engulfed and roars with pain. Everyone starts attacking wildly, but the swarms open and close around each whistling swing! Duffy finally fires off his chemical web, but unlucky Mongo is caught in the middle! To make matters worse, a giant spider unfolds from the hole and clacks its mandibles hungrily at Mongo. Torches start to fire up around the half-giant, but he's too weakened for us to risk setting on fire himself! Horror as the spider starts to suck off Mongo's face! Things start to look very bad, and Duffy has another conversation with the Mysterious Floating Head of Alureon:
"Uh, so this web is not helping us AT ALL! Is it dismissable? Can you look it up for me? No, YOU look it up, I'm busy trying to curse the spider! Curses: WE'VE had all of the bad luck since we left Hillsfar! Where's that Thomas when we need him the most!?! You know, I don't tell this to everybody, Mysterious Floating Head of Alureon, but... I'm an orphan too! Shouldn't I get some of that charity?? Okay, so: web IS dismissable, excellent so dismiss! oh F*** HERE THEY COME! EVERYONE RUN for your LIVES!! eeeeeWHAAAHI!"
Okay, so that was a little dramatic. In actuality, everyone takes one GIANT step backwards, and then Duffy re-casts web a half-a-moment before the monster's turn. They're all caught, we torch 'em, and then we take a little nap.
The next day, Avveron climbs down the shaft below the green lantern. He finds a chamber where bugs seem to get fed when they're not eating a Mongo. There's also a big group of sculptures with disapproving expressions. Weird. We break for the night.