The Undiscovered Country

Session 14 - Tue 24 February

There's no race like Gnomes!

Jasmine & Madeline are in the Grey Wastes. Madeline recalls advice from her tutor regarding Heaven & Hell, concluding that they’ll both be fine & soon be eating peaches & cream.
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Daft Wullie, still sat on the throne, descends into darkness with a gleeful shout of “Crivens!”. As he reaches a dark fungi filled chamber, a 2nd throne slides into the place he formerly occupied in the Temple, much to the surprise of his companions. As they invetigate ways to reach Wullie, he begins a systematic exploration of the chamber. To the East are 2 rooms – the first is full of earth, a suspended walkway round the edge and 4 giant Fungi in the centre. Carefully Wullie collects some of the earth in one of his mess tins & hastily retreats. In the second room are 4 different coloured & shaped columns that spark Wullie’s interest.

Above in the Temple his companions have discovered that pressing the coloured slabs in sequence and shouting the magic word makes the thrones move again. One by one they all descend, Tuakiin last, much to the scorn of Mortimer. Maggie transforms into spider form & begins an exploration of the chamber ceiling & the local mushrooms.

Mortimer finds Wullie in the second room pouring earth on one column, water on another & then putting a lit torch on a third – each offering disappearing after a few seconds. Wullie’s has no success blowing air on the final column, but Mortimer’s vial of trapped air goes the same way as the other offerings. With a shout of the magic word, the thrones swap again, reassuring all that they have a method of retreat if required.

To the West of the main chamber, stairs lead to a brightly lit chamber, but 3 large pillars block their view. The pillars are gold, platinum & ?, with skulls on top of them. Maggie scuttles across the ceiling and reports back, via Wullie, that the back wall of the chamber is covered in a tapestry. Before it is a throne, surrounded by black mist, and in the middle of the room is a shiny disc on the floor.

The south wall of the main chamber has the familiar sight of a pair of copper doors, covered in runes & chains. It is flanked by two ordinary doors, tentatively opened by Mortimer & Wullie, once the latter has listened for any noises on the other side. The 1st leads to a chamber with 4 thones and walls covered in murals depicting scenes of celebration and the worship of crowned leaders of several races. Leading off from it is another room, full of plush furnishings, covered in expicit murals depicting the celebratory debauchary of those figures from the previous room. Wullie takes some time to study this educational historic art, before filching some unopened bottles of wine. Hamish, seeing the latter filching, does likewise.

Mortimer, still railing at Tuakiin for his lack of courage, entered the 2nd door to find a small chamber with a dark throne and murals depicting the worship of a crowned Fungus creature. From the side leads a corridor containing 4 suits of armour embellished with Topaz gems. Despite Mortimer’s warning that they looked like they might attack, Tuakiin moves closer to examine them. As predicted, the armour starts to attack, but stop once Tuakiin backs out of the corridor. Maggie moves swiftly along the roof of the corridor ceiling, out of reach of the chasing agressive armour, turning a corner & discovering a door to another room. Tukiin & Jenth attack the distracted armour until all signs of animation had gone. Tuakiin dons a set of the armour, Mortimer takes some gauntlets for his spare hands, and the remaining Topaz gems are shared among the group.

Investigating the door found by Maggie, they enter a dining room with a map of the area across a wall. A small cubbyhole at the far end contains silver weapons – some javelins & handaxes claimed by Hamish & Wullie. Full of enthusiam, Wullie scouts about the room & corridor, finding a secret room. The room has a tapestry along one wall and a stone shelf with 4 evenly spaced stones on the other. Mortimer sends an armoured hand to investigate the stones only to find it doused in slime, acid & poison darts, melting away to nothing. Maggie uses her spider’s webs to pull back the tapestry & see what is on the other side. Suddenly a little old lady appears, muttering about no-one taking her treasure. Hamish strikes up a conversation with her & is led through the tapestry into the brightly lit room, the black mist disappating. Maggie follows, disappearing up to the ceiling to swing in her webs & chill out. Casting invisibility on himself, Mortimer explores he corridor himself, finding a secret door at the furthest end that leads into a room covered in soil. Enboldened & enthusiastic about life, Wullie moves back through the rooms they’d explored in case there are anymore secret doors.

In the brightly lit room, the old lady tries to convince Hamish to take her platinum pillar as she no longer likes it. Tuakiin, feeling abandoned, slips through the tapestry, followed soon by Ros, Jeneth & invisible Mortimer, & queries why the pillar isn’t wanted. Mortimer asks the old lady if she is a fungus demon & finds he is right again. The demon carries on it’s efforts at persuading the group to move the pillars. Hamish refuses once Tuakiin withholds permission. Tuakiin, unconvinced by the demon’s promises of a return home, forcibly restrains Ros when the latter tries moving the pillars in desperation to return home. During the fuss, Mortimer bargins with the demon for the answer to life & death, along with the safety of the Gnomes & the Citadel. Tuakiin releases Ros, to attack Mortimer, as he tries to free the demon (moving one pillar out to the copper door), fatally injuring him, only for a helpful Hamish to help restore him with some replenishing wine. In the confusion the demon accidentally(?) gives Tuakiin the mental clue for re-crossing the barrier. In the ongoing debate with the demon, Mortimer eventually cides with Tuakiin and agrees to leave the chamber with the others.

Meanwhile, Maggie has been munching on some fascinating multicoloured mushrooms growing on the ceiling. She spins out two lengths of web from which to suspend herself as the psychedelic rush kicks in. As her companions squabble down below, Maggie goes on a spiritual journey of discovery, going further in her travels through inner space than ever before. All time and all space reveal themselves to her as a single interconnected manifold, all the events coexisting at once in a single unified whole. All barriers between people, species, worlds and universes dissolve into nothing, and she becomes one with the universal consciousness that exists to understand itself. All is one, and she is All. Transcending the crude boundaries of life and matter, Maggie departs from the world of mundane consciousness forever.

Also meanwhile – Wullie has found another secret door, this time in the main chamber. The room it leads into is full of fungus and ageing furniture. A step onto the carpet releases spores that only Wullie’s keen dangersense saves him from. Sweeping his torch across the floor, he kills off the fungus step by step till he makes it across to the door on the farside. The next room is full of statues of mushrooms, which in a fit of unbridled vandalism Wullie smashes to pieces. Leading off from the now statueless room is a room of earth and then the corridor behind the tapestry. Uninterested in the heated debate on the other side of the tapestry, Wullie uses his javelin to sweep all the stones from the stone shelf, revealing a treasure room. A delighted Wullie packs all the treasure up & retraces his steps, meeting the group as they retreat from the demon’s bright chamber. Together they use the thrones to get back into the temple above, leaving the demon to her fate.

Back in the Temple the group discuss their next moves – Tuakiin, Ros, Jeneth & Mortimer are to go across the barrier using the amulet. Wullie & Hamish (after some soul searching about Tuakiin) will head back to the Citadel to report their findings to the Queen, as originally commanded. As they make their farewells & leave the temple to go their separate ways…..

…..below in the chamber of the demon a severed hand moves to the remaining two pillars & carefully pushes them away.

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