While our heroes were hanging out on the Moon Base after the eclipse, Robby brought them a pamphlet advertising the Thunderlock Tavern Crawl. The pamphlet explained that Murploc Tickler and Famous Thunderhand, two retired adventurers, had grown tired of seeing young adventurers going to battle unprepared. Murploc and Famous therefore created a less-lethal dungeon under their tavern, as a training ground and test for would-be adventurers.
Our heroes, drawn by the lure of loot, fame, and free food, convinced the Director to expense the trip. They even got to take an extra-large sphere, which allowed them to bring some friends from the Moon Base to serve as an audience.
Once they arrived at the Thunderlock Tavern, our heroes agreed to the terms and entered.
Two statues stood in the entrance holding braziers. The one on the left was lit with a magical red flame, but the one on the right was not. After Xander discovered that the flame was not hot, Stick reached inside and found a key. Xander, meanwhile, lit the other brazier with magic, and the heroes heard a sound deeper in the dungeon.
After a recording inviting them to enter played a few times, the heroes stepped through the doorway into the dungeon proper. A spiked portcullis lowered behind them.
Leucis had the fastest reflexes and took off running across some uneven ground. Stick and Xander followed, but before they could cross, the ground began to move. Stick kept his footing, but Xander fell. Meanwhile, blunted crossbow bolts began to fire from the other end of the hallways, striking our heroes several times.
Leucis found between two rune-bedecked walls, which began to spew fire at him. Stick thought about going back to help Xander, but the resourceful drow cast Fly and zoomed over the treacherous ground, past the flame runes, over a pit of acid crossed by three planks.
Leucis began to cross the planks, but Xander was struck by a crossbow bolt and fell from the sky. He hit the plank Leucis stood on, throwing Leucis into the air. The nimble tiefling managed to land on the nearby plank, but Xander fell into the calf-deep acid, ruining his new boots.
Once Stick and Leucis had crossed the planks and Xander had hauled himself from the acid, they found themselves between two stone faces. One stone face spewed spores which had Leucis and Stick wandering, dazed. The other face let out a thunderous sound that struck our heroes like a blow.
Xander escaped first. Leucis pulled himself together and got out of there. Stick, still poisoned and woozy, somehow managed to stumble in the right direction and got out of the room.
They found themselves on a walkway encircling a pit. On the other side of the room, two wooden doors flanked a stone door. On the room’s right and left walls, two gateways led to side chambers. Meanwhile, a bundle of rags and feathers in the center of the room revealed itself to be Patchy, an animatronic owlbear. As Patchy came online, a recording played a voice saying, “Rawr! I’m a monster, rawr!”
The side room on the right contained a chest with four locks: bronze, electrum, copper, and silver. A shimmery effect hung over the left side of the room, where an alcove had been recently revealed. Our heroes guessed that Xander relighting the brazier had dispelled some sort of magic blocking off the alcove. Xander investigated and discovered, among other things, an adamantine dagger which dealt extra damage to objects.
The side room on the left was somewhat more perilous: shelves lined the walls, with skulls on the shelves like some sort of skull library. A skullbrary, if you will.
On the far side of the room, a lever stuck out of the ground. Leucis tried moving it with Mage Hand, but the skulls in the room came to life and started to fly through the air and attack! The flying skulls were mostly human-sized, though some larger ogre skulls also joined the fight.
As more and more skulls took off and joined the fight, our heroes dealt with them with magic and blade. Meanwhile, Patchy continued to be a problem. Leucis blinded Patchy and some skulls with magical darkness, then stood out of Patchy’s reach and Xander dispatched it.
Leucis, growing frustrated with the annoyingly persistent skulls, withdrew his Horn of Blasting for its maiden usage, the explosive nature of the Horn and potentially lethal danger to the bearer had kept Leucis quite apprehensive about utilizing the instrument until now . With a deafening sound, the horn turned the flying skulls, and most of the skulls on the shelves, to fragments and dust. The heroes were then able to get the lever all the way to the left, though what effect this had, they still did not know.
Our heroes found keys inside the ogre skulls, which seemed to correspond to the locks in the other room: an ornate bronze key with a flame motif, an ornate electrum key with a wave motif, an ornate copper key with a lightning motif, an ornate silver key with a skull motif, and an ornate brass key with an eye motif. They also found a rusty iron key.
Leucis investigated the two wooden doors and the stone door and found that the wooden doors would probably take a long time to break down or burn. The stone door had four bolts holding it closed.
At this point, Xander suggested continuing to move the lever back and forth until something happened. Stick, however, had grown frustrated with the lever, so he headed over to the room with the chest with four locks. As he tried to open it, it disappeared, revealing a pit where the chest had been. Stick narrowly avoided falling inside. A moment later, four smaller chests shimmered into view around the room. They were made of metals matching the locks on the illusory chest and the keys in the other room: bronze, electrum, copper, and silver. Leucis cast detect magic in the room, but did not find anything magical. Stick tried the bronze key in the bronze chest, but it snapped off. Stick next tried the copper key in the copper chest, but it snapped as well. Xander recommended trying to pick the locks on the remaining chests. Stick discovered that the silver box was not quite latched, and he opened it to find a potion of fire breathing inside.
The remaining, electrum chest remains unopened.
Our heroes are left with a puzzle:
How can they open the four bolts on the stone door?
How can they get through the wooden doors?
What does the lever in the skullbrary do?
What opens the chests in the chest room, and what is inside?