AD&D - New World

43: Touch, But Don't Taste

our heroes complete the baneful gates...

Before confronting the remaining Baneful Gates of Azaltin, the Revengers explore other rooms of the temple. They encounter the nest of a cockatrice and send some of their loyal skeletal legion in to destroy it, and Teks — in a fit of thri’kreenian rage, eviscerates a harpy with his bare mandibles.

They also encounter an imprisoned sphinx named Mayram. She cannot remember how long she has been imprisoned, but she has not seen her captors in some time — perhaps years. She believes they were bandits who intended to explore the rest of the tomb. After a hangry interaction with Bertram, Maryam becomes friends with the gnome over a shared meal. Maryam departs the Revengers in good spirits, intending to return to her husband and, if he has shacked up with her sister in her absence, murder them both.

The heroes pass the Gate of Gluttony when Ervendio commands the skeletons to destroy the sumptuous feast, even as Teks holds back a ravenous Bertram. They do not fare as well against the Gate of Knowledge when Teks attempts to read a cursed scroll and begins turning to stone. Again, it is Ervendio who saves his comrade. The remaining books and scrolls in the temple library are tax records, census reports, and other mundane — but no doubt valuable — records of this lost city.

Entering the Gate of Profane Love, the Revengers encounter a strange strange but beautiful dwarf who claims to be a member of Azaltin’s harem. They ignore her entreaties (and her advice to backtrack and re-enter the gates they had passed through) as well as her final request for a kiss for good luck. They leave her behind as spits a curse after them, disappearing into whatever nether-plane she emerged from.

The Revengers face the final gate — the Gate of Sacred Love — and the good among them discover a hidden vault of treasures. They find Azaltin’s inner chamber, which contains a scroll revealing that the Eleven Baneful Gates has been destroyed by the undead Azaltin himself, who was heartbroken to have been separated by centuries from his wife. Translated from ancient chun, the scroll read,

Too late have I realized the Loregiver’s warnings. Immortality is a curse, not a treasure. No man should be separated from his wife by the ravages of time. This is a burden I shouldered through youthful pride. Rest assured that The Eleven Baneful Gates has been destroyed. It can tempt mortals no further.

Bea was unimpressed by Azaltin’s supposed-lesson, arguing that, if you lived forever, you could fall in love over and over again, with lots of people.

Though they did not find the scroll they were sent to recover by Haroushin, the party recovers several items of treasure from Azaltin’s sanctum, including a book called The History of Lions, which purports to be the true history of al-Anwahr.

The Revengers prepare to depart the temple, loaded with treasure — though not with the scroll they were sent to recover….

Group Awards
Cockatrice: 650
Harpy: 975
Gate of Gluttony: 1600
Gate of Knowledge: 0
Gate of Profane Love: 2900
Gate of Sacred Love: 3500
Group Total: 9625 Individual Total: 1925

Individual Awards
Bea 2675 (Lesson Unlearned 750, Group 1925)
Bertram 2675 (Sphinxfriend 750, Group 1925)
Ervendio 2675 (Cursebreaker 750, Group 1925)
Jongle 2675 (Slippered Feet 750, Group 1925)
Teks 2675 (A Taste of Harpy 750, Group 1925)

- gems worth a total of 8500 gp
- harpy feathers
- cockatrice feathers
- gilded scroll case (empty)
- books & scrolls from the library of al-Anwhar (tax records, etc)
- a plate

contents of the final room:
- scimitar
- short bow
- a golden scarab
- suit of bronze plate mail
- purple, silk slippers (I think Jongle already put these on?)
- a book

- Azaltin’s scroll
- book, The Kingdom of Lions


MatthewJent MatthewJent

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