Theater of Horrors
Written and Directed by Chris Bailey
Session Report by Keith M. Sandler (Slight Misplay)
Jarren – Keith (Slight Misplay)
Sawiya – Sarah
Captain Valla – Erin
Osric – Clark
Wruze – Gabi
Phlaxen Phlox Wombleale – Laura (absent this session)
Int. Dungeon. Day?/Night?
The party awakens, with the world’s worst teleportation hangover, in what seems to be the backstage area of some sort of theater. Predominant in the room is a large pile of junk, mostly wooden left-over scenery and prop pieces from our take of it, as well as a large tapestry depicting a slice of life from a small town. On either side of the tapestry, mounted on the wall, are two plates, decorated with icons. One is of a hand, one is of a sword. Also in the room are about a dozen of what appear to be mannequins.
[DM Note: There are 2 skeletons–(one now destroyed, the other still in-animate.]
These life-size figures depict different characters or archtypes— a knight, a hobgoblin, a skeleton, an old lady, a barbarian, a priest, and an elf forest-warrior.
The party rummages through the rubble in the room, looking for anything of use or a clue to where they may be and why. Our memory is hazy on or purpose here. We don’t find any clues, but there is a door hidden behind the rubble on the west wall, adding to the doors on the north and south walls as additional points of exit.
Gabi wastes no time in causing mischief, putting her hand on the hand plate. Instantly, she disappears to the rest of the party, finding herself in the town depicted by the tapestry. She is very content to stay there for a while.
Jarrin decides to test a theory. He crosses the room intending to drag the skeleton’s hand to the plate, but before he can work on his hypothesis… the skeleton animates, attacking him! A battle ensues, and a hobgoblin zombie mannequin also animates, drawing other characters into the fray. We remember that Erin was careful not to touch the priest mannequin on her way across the room. The zomb-goblin seems to be exuding some sort of effect which plays on our emotions, but we are too strong of spirit for it to have much of an effect on anyone at this point.
We defeat our strange assailants, Gabi returns, and we trek through the south door as we remember some of our purpose here— we must find pieces of a magical staff for our employer. We may be in or near the Underdark (UNDERDOOOOOM!!!!) We know not what dangers may be present, but there must be some, otherwise, why would a group of rough and tumble adventurers such as us be sent on such an errand?
In the south room (after a small connecting hall), there is a wardrobe full of costumes. Gabi, now back with us and extolling the virtues of tapestry-land, rifles through the clothing looking for any objects of our quest… or anything flattering for her to wear. Further back in the room is a desk with some pages on it. There’s also another southerly door. Through it Jarrin goes.
The room he discovers contains two busts on tables, one of a man, one of a woman. Jarrin picks up the woman head, and it immediately animates and begins spouting speeches even as it glows in different colours. The colours change seemingly with the personality of the voice. Is this some sort of idol to theater gods/goddesses? As the head glows black, Jarrin drops the bust on the floor as he shouts to his comrades to come join him and help in this investigation. As he proceeds back to collect his party, the male head animates and begins speaking… in riddles…
[DM Note: Note that you vaguely recognized the, white at-rest version of the head as a statue of Neutralia, goddess of neutrality, and patron goddess of the theatre. As the head animated, it seemed to give speeches that corresponded to various different alignments. Also, you remember that the object you are looking for is called the Staff of Neutralia.]
The party gathers, and the riddles are cleverly solved (by party members better at this sort of thing than Jarrin). As the correct guesses are made, gems spew forth from the mouth of the male bust. One of them is one of the items we are looking for! The others are shiny and somewhat valuable.
The head being out of riddles and the other head being exceedingly annoying (drama chicks… amiright?), the party heads back to the room they started in. Two more mannequins have been animated— the old lady and the barbarian. Neither seems as zombie-like as they had before. They seem confused and not very helpful. Gabi wants to slay the remaining mannequins outright. Jarrin takes issue with this. They haven’t caused any harm, and some of them, when animated, seem to be innocent, at least for now. Should they threaten us, we can make that call. The issue seems to be settled for now.
Jarrin and Clark head through the north door. It’s dark in this room. There’s a dead end to the left, and the corridor proceeds further to the right. Clark has a torch and sees the glitter of copper pieces on the floor by the dead end. He enters to collect it despite Jarrin’s protests to exercise caution. Clark proceeds down the corridor and spies… a floating sword! Being a swordsmith… sorry, being the WORLD’S GREATEST SWORDSMITH, he proceeds to investigate, reaching for the sword. It’s now apparent there are other items floating in the hallway.
It’s too late. Clark’s extendedhand slows as it enters some transparent but visceral substance.
Jarrin realizes also, that he’s left Gabi in the room with the mannequins.
JARRIN: (calling back to party) Guys! We need some help in here!!!
Jarrin draws his bow and shoots at the symmetrical gelatinous monstrosity sliding down the hallway, Clark’s hand still within.