When last we left our heroes their exploration of the Labyrinth was interrupted as the bones in the center of the room suddenly began to twitch. Invisible forces pulled sockets back into joints, reconstituting into the forms of three towering skeletal minotaurs!
The party reacted with lightning-fast reflexes, destroying one of the skeletons before it was finished building itself up but as Rekken
dealt the finishing blow the wall nearby him shimmered and a monstrous minotaur
walked out and struck Rekken, almost bringing him down.
, the minotaur confronted the group and snorted out “You are no tomb raiders...Curious. Well, you will die screaming all the same." A fight ensued, massive damage being done to the minotaur, Tryntia
raising a wall of water to block him and the skeletons, Serafina
started a fireball competition, quickly reducing the skeletons to dust. Eventually Graxis
retreated through the wall.
were occupied by a small phalanx of skeleton warriors who had previously attacked and destroyed Caliadne
slid between them and started laying havoc when Graxis
appeared next to him coming through a nearby wall and attacked him. While Aella tried to distract the beast he purposefully beat down and killed Praxos
by biting through his neck and decapitating him. As he swallowed the flesh of the fallen soldier his wounds recovered.
The fight continued for a bit, Graxis's great axe about to kill Rekken
when something quite unexpected happened. Time froze, silk lines appeared and the pieces of the fallen warrior started moving back into one piece. Life flowed back into Praxos
who moved with the speed of a God, firing not one, not two but four arrows into the hulking minotaur. One arrow flew through the throat of the beast allowing the previously eaten parts of Praxos
flying out and rejoining his form. Beyond an odd pain on his wrist Praxos
seemed perfectly fine. The minotaur, grievously wounded, retreated through the walls once more.
The party continued walking through the labyrinth, walking carefully and dispatching skeleton minotaurs. Tryntia
to fly down passages and report about any dead ends so they made quick progress. They eventually found Graxis
's lair, a room stinking of blood and offal. Carcasses and slabs of meat hung from the ceiling on heavy chains. Two of the hanging bodies appeared to be human. The stone floor was stained black by centuries of the minotaur’s bloody appetites.
Searching the room the party found quite a bit of coinage and a letter written in blood saying [PENDING PLAYER TELLING ME WHAT IS WAS]
Moving on the party found a shrine room dedicated to Thylea
filled with bones, discarded weapons, and rusted shields. The party spent some time and restored the shrine to a neater form. The bones formed into skeletons but were quickly dispatched. After that, they walked up to the north hand found the tomb of Xander "Dragonshield" Huorath
. This circular chamber had a domed ceiling with an oculus that let in some light from above. The chamber was dominated by a large stone sarcophagus engraved with gilded letters. The floor at the foot of the sarcophagus is covered by an old but beautifully woven rug that depicted Xander conquering a race of bull-headed minotaurs. One of the creatures is shown kneeling at Xander’s feet with a peace offering held above its head.
Exploring the room for a bit, including pulling a mysterious level, the party decided to open the tomb to see if they could find the armaments they were seeking. Tryntia
warned them that she would not support this action and quickly vindicated when a Automaton
carved to look like Xander
emerged from the sarcophagus and attacked the party. The carpet proved to be sentient and swallowed Aella as well.
was able to charm and persuade the automaton that they were here in official business. While it did not let them explore the tomb it ceased to attack them. The heroes quickly realized that this was a fake tomb, intended to fool tomb raiders.
They continued searching the labyrinth finally finding a rectangular room with a high ceiling, sculpted walls, and a flagstone floor with a mangled skeleton lying near the entryway. The walls were embellished with rows of screaming stone faces and a pair of heavy bronze double doors at the end. Two skeletons were sprawled on the floor in front of the doors. Their bones were partially crushed, and their armor was mangled. When everyone entered it was revealed that this whole room was a trap as the gates were sealed and the walls revealed huge spikes protruding from the wall. Euryale
was able to jump out of the room before it was sealed but everyone else was stuck inside.
Furious effort, Praxos
using his adamantine sword to make a hole through the bronze door which Eurytus
using it to sneak through by turning into a spider and activating a mechanism on the other side which slowly started making the door open. Too slowly, unfortunately. Euryale
used her magic to sever some of the chains slowing down the speed of the spikes.
started forcing open the door, and Aella, The Whirlwind
using her spear to slow down the spikes they were all able to escape.
Finally, bruised and battered, the party stood in the "real" tomb a large, barrel-vaulted chamber decorated with polished bronze fittings, which flickered like gold in the dim red light of a single torch. The center of the room was dominated by a black marble sarcophagus, engraved with the likeness of Dragonlord Xander. The murals here Whispers extolled the deeds of the man interred here, the carpet showing him extending a hand of friendship to the kneeling Minotaur
. Before the party could look further a voice sounded behind them.
Graxis stood before them, most of the wounds that had been inflicted on the creature healed away.
"Come to pay your respects, have you? Well, what do you think of your great hero? Xander the conqueror. Xander the murderer. Among your kind, he is revered. But I spit on his bones. I am the last of my tribe. I cannot rest. I cannot sleep. And I am your doom. NOW DIE!”