Chapter 11

Lost in the Fog

November 23, 2019

Raz, Feti, Gloucester and Sargael drifted in the night fog of Lake Tamoa, gradually maneuvering the rickety old sailboat in a crescent-shaped course in the hopes of making landfall again some distance from the town they had just escaped. Instead, they ran aground on a small island and had only just disembarked when the boat was destroyed by a tentacled monster hidden beneath the surface.

Marooned, the four adventurers made to camp and found themselves approached by three others who had been living here for the past two days. Introducing themselves as Naliyi the half-elf fighter, Formosa the half-orc monk and William the Halfling wizard, they explained that each of them had been tricked into coming here by Jackerel. A fourth adventurer among them, a fighter, was taken away the day before by two beetle-like humanoids. Each of them had come from far-flung corners of the Empire of Gold for purposes unknown, lured by Jackerel and his apparently false promise of adventure and treasure.

The only way off this tiny, fog-shrouded island was through the portal by which Naliyi, Formosa and William had come. In the morning, the seven adventurers went to a magical door sitting in the middle of the woods, just a door in an archway devoid of any other structure. The back of the door was totally plain but a handle and latch on the front side allowed it to open into a 60-foot cube chamber seemingly cut from some kind of red-grey marbled rock. At the far end of it stood an ornate door beside which was a man-sized boulder of curiously symmetrical shape.

Whenever anyone entered the room this rock would come to life and transform into a four-legged monster covered in chitinous plates with only a mouth where a head should be. The creature would immediately move toward the intruder and launch a 30-foot long, prehensile barbed tongue in attack, using it at one point to dislodge the crowbar the party had used to wedge the door open, which would magically close otherwise.

Completely mystified as to the nature of the beast, Sargael could surmise only that it was from the Outer Planes and not of this realm. Clearly, it would need to be overcome in order for the party to escape the island through the door it was guarding. It was decided that they would make a concerted effort after another long rest to fully recover their resources for the coming fight.

Chapter 12: The Infinite Staircase