Session map

The grinding noise came from the two statues in the hallway. An expected they had animated. As we heard their footsteps stomping towards us, I gave Morin my large sacks and a torch, telling her to stuff anything valuable from the secret room into the sacks as fast as she could while u-Heury and I tried to deal with the statues. u-Heury set himself up by the door, planning to hold it closed as long as possible. That would buy me some time to try other things. The most obvious, just closing the secret door, did not work. Carefully reviewing my instruction on Denara’s blessing of Hold Person suggested that living iron statues would not count as people. I expressed a certain doubt as to whether non-magical weapons could even damage such creatures, but was interrupted by a smash as the door broke down.

u-Heury made excellent use of the opportunity and struck a deadly blow. So deadly in fact that his sword sunk deep into the iron form attacking him, and stuck therein. I could see the shock on his face as he nearly lost his grip – then his brows tightened and spat a curse in some barbarian tongue, yanking it free. This did not reassure me on the magical weapon question, as u-Heury had previously demonstrated the ability to damage magical constructs and fae creatures otherwise invulnerable to harm from normal weapons.

Seeing the man’s wounds, I pulled a scroll of healing from my backpack and sought to read it. I regret to say that when I saw that the scroll was blessed by Zuul, my voice stumbled and the spell was lost. u-Heury struck another desperate blow, but took one in return, and was clearly flagging. I pulled out my second, and last, healing scroll, and focused my mind on Ygnas’ body lying nearby awaiting our aid. For her sake, I could petition Zuul for aid; hopefully, Zuul would answer for the same reason. And this time it worked. The healing energy flowed into u-Heury as he struck again, once more damaging the foe.

Frantically I cast about for more ideas as u-Heury traded blows, somehow managing to free his sword again after each one landed. Between the chance of losing my hammer and my doubts as to its effectiveness, I was reluctant to strike myself, preferring to pass the weapon to my friend if he should lose his. But I could stand next to him and present a second target, or perhaps provide light… wait, my lantern oil!

I dug the lantern oil from my pack and threw it at the statue. It bounced off and fell somewhere outside, uselessly. I was debating whether to risk striking the creature with my torch when u-Heury struck a powerful blow and the statue shattered into iron fragments.

The barbarian was a ragged mess, clawing at his belt for a healing potion. The second statue stomped into the doorway, and I blocked it briefly by slamming my heavy shield into it. I reasoned that the shield bore some unknown enchantment and that might be sufficient to harm the statue, and perhaps escape the trapping effect it had on u-Heury’s sword. Alas, aside from briefly blocking the thing, my blow had no effect. But u-Heury had quaffed his potion and stepped up to the front line again. Nevertheless it was clear the barbarian was nearing the end of his rope.

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed the secret door open, then close again. Morin had filled her sacks of treasure, and was escaping! But the statues still blocked the door, even as u-Heury traded blows, and Morin’s entry into the room had distracted him from the foe. Two heavy blows landed, with the first shateering the barbarian’s shield and the second crashing heavily into his chest. u-Heury staggered back into the room, and the creature followed.

I struck again with my shield, hoping to distract it and take some of the punishment to give u-Heury some relief and a chance to strike. It paid me no attention. It paid even less attention as Morin crept up behind it with her short sword drawn, and that lapse cost the crewture deaely as her blade struck home in the back of a vulnerable joint. It spun to face her, and that’s when I saw the strange script written across it’s forehead. I now recognized it from my studies as a golem, carrying a magical animating force encoded in the written shem:

A golem is inscribed with Hebrew words in some tales (for example, some versions of Chełm and Prague, as well as in Polish tales and versions of the Brothers Grimm), such as the word emét (אמת, “truth” in Hebrew) written on its forehead. The golem could then be deactivated by removing the aleph (א) in emét, thus changing the inscription from “truth” to “death” (mét מת, meaning “dead”). wikipedia

With Morin’s blow confirming that normal weapons could damage the golem, I struck a single precise blow and it fell to pieces. We had won.

With both golems destroyed, we tended to u-Heury’s wounds as best we could and searched the hidden room thoroughly. The contents could only be understood as a wizard’s stash of spell components:

Small Vial of Mercury (25gp) Small Box of Dried Crickets (15gp) Small Box of Hen’s Heart (20gp) Tiny Chest of Rose Quartz Shards (75gp) Small Box of Dried Skunk Cabbage Leaves (30gp) Small Clay Model of a Ziggurat (15gp) Satchel of Broken Bloodstones (45gp) Tiny Chest of Dried Carrots (10gp) Tiny Vial of Sulphur (45gp)

I collected a piece of each golem in case those proved interesting to scholars, and we camped for the night. In the morning, I negotiated with u-Huery to provide Denara’s healing for his wounds. We agreed on a price, wrote out a contract for his share of the dried crickets and skunk cabbage sales in return for the healing, and Denara blessed the bargain. We prepared as best we could, drank our potions, and leaped from the bottomless pit, floating gently to the ground. We landed in a flat plane with nearby mountains. Our best guess of the way home was northeast, so we set off in that direction. Our horses (and my mule) were lost, or at least I could see no easy way to recover them.