After clearing up the Mine of Many Horrible Goblin Traps the Nice Company went back to Penhaligon to heal up and restock. There was some training and a whole lot of selling off of the contents of the Bag of Holding.
The Nice Company then set out for the Book of Truth. There was some questioning of a farmer, who revealed that people occasionally go into the monastery, but nobody ever comes out. At least not anytime lately.
Scaling the icy and snowy mountain where the monastery was located was cold, but not excessively difficult. The Nice Company found the entrance, and tripped over a snow covered corpse on the way in. Aside from more corpses and an ice spider the first few rooms seemed pretty empty. Though the corpses were a bit suspicious. There was one group of three that looked like they’d had some sort of suicide pact, but with biting? It was rather confusing.
This foyer lead to two connected rooms. Both had a pillar in the center; one room’s pillar had religious sayings about Ket and truth, but the other room’s pillar had chunks taken out so that the words were unreadable. Possibly someone hadn’t liked those Ket sayings about Truth, Justice, and the Karameikos way?
Xandros and Kayoshin led the way through another hallway over lava and into a training room. The lava was regrettably active, so they and the direwolf puppy had to do a bit of stop, drop, and roll. But everyone survived the burnination. Of course everyone else had to quickly join our intrepid trail blazers when three horrible lava zombies crawled out of the lava and started attacking.
Exploration of the rest of the training room and the doors leading out of it revealed a linen closet, a laundry room, and ramp downwards. Further inspection of the linen closet and laundry room led to the discovery of a secret door in the laundry room.
The Nice Company investigated the secret room, and found 4 monk zombies! Monk zombies are very scary. So scary that Brandr, Xandros, and Kayoshin dropped their weapons and ran back into the training room. Gertie, Verdant, and Karamail re-killed the zombies. But for those not directly involved in zombie killing there was a lot of running about and flailing and yelling in fear.
Once the monk zombies were dead and everyone was calm again, the secret room’s contents were investigated. First item: a pit trap! This item was dramatically discovered by Brandr. He also discovered that it was about 100 ft deep, but fortunately not straight down. Other items in the secret treasure room were a whole bunch of gold, silver, and copper coins, as well as a few jars and small statues.
The rest of the party (more carefully) followed Brandr down the pit trap. There another corpse was found and looted. Verdant acquired another ring, this one let her get quite close to the lava with no sweaty side effects. Unfortunately, other than lava and the already looted corpse, there wasn’t anything else of interest down the pit trap.
There was also a small hidden hallway between the treasure room and the training room. In it there were a couple of adventurer corpses and the not-corpse of a rather book obsessed young human.
This young man looked quite scorched around the edges and appeared to be very poorly equipped. He introduced himself as Fizz and said that he’d been in a tower reading books and had apparently read the wrong one in the Forbidden Section of the library. After some questioning it was revealed that he was able to hit things with a mace and also cast some spells. The party decided to let him tag along.
The Nice Company then headed into the hallway that sloped downwards.It led to a sort of fancy altar room. There were a couple of stylish bridges leading over the lava and to and from the altar. Opposite the ramp the party had entered there were stairs leading up and out. The room also had tapestries with Ket on them and pillars engraved with runes of elemental control. The altar appeared to be a symbol of Ket but with knobs at the center and ends of the arms.
Brandr and Fizz were immediately in favor of turning knobs. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and the rest of the party investigated the room before anything too hasty was done. Of great interest was the fact that he floor and about three feet up the walls was almost entirely scorched. Verdant and Kayoshin checked out the stairs leading out of the room opposite where the party entered, and stationed themselves by them to make sure that no portcullis was dropped to lock them all in with any potential rising lava.
Once Fizz and Brandr started pushing knobs, ominous thumping and clunking sounds echoed through the room. The was some sort of swirling lava action in between the two halves of the raised flooring. As the lava rose the rest of the party headed over to the stairs. Brandr and Fizz kept trying different buttons to see if they could stop the rising lava, but eventually they made a break for it and reached the stairs just before the lava burned them.
The party retreated up the stairs, but were pursued by several lava creatures. Despite the creatures being entirely made of lava no one was set on fire. Verdant and Xandros were quite agile with their dodging.
A bit of investigation revealed a secret door headed South. It lead to the Abbot’s quarters, which had the actual door barricaded shut. These rooms were filled with his deranged ramblings about how the rest of the monks were out to get him, especially his second in command.
The party continued towards the South, and found a couple ransacked monk cells, as well as a completely ransacked barracks. Verdant had a great time tossing at least thirty beds. Her bed tossing was quite fruitful; she discovered a pouch of coins and a platinum ring.
Traveling further South, the monastery kitchen was full of ghouls. These ghouls had apparently been kept from breaking out of the kitchen by the symbols of Ket on the doors. Also the barrel of pickles was full of a dead armless monk. The monastery had clearly suffered some very strange happenings.
The monastery dining hall had a cold creature that almost froze Fizz when he tried to check if it was friendly. (It was definitely not.) Fortunately, the rest of the party destroyed it before Fizz was turned into an ice sculpture.
Going back through the secret door in the Abbot’s room the party headed up the stairs. The Book of Truth was waiting behind a ratty drape. On the cover the phrase “One question, two answers” was embossed in everyone’s native language.
It turns out that the Book of Truth could also be called the Book of One Answer to the Question You Asked and One Answer That Was Personally Horrible and Would Mess With Your Head. Which explained why all the monks were dead in suspicious ways. All members of the Nice Company and hangers on asked a question, and the first answer was useful. However, the second was rather unsettling..