Day Eight: Hedging bets, songwriting, riddles & close encounters of the treacherous kind.
We awoke the next morning to find a thick covering of snow around the temple. The half-elf found (fell into) a secret chamber in the temple but nothing really came of it. We managed to negate the thicket wall by breaking one of the stone arches that bridged it to create a stone platform over it.
Before us was the citadel. From behind the thicket it was hard to gain perspective but once over, it was overwhelming. Never have I seen such a large or such a magnificent structure. The dome was easily a mile across, held aloft from the ground by hundreds of white stone pillars, each depicting two winged Elves, back to back, arms up holding the roof aloft. Once inside the dome closed on us, the pillars receding into the ground, encasing us in the most beautiful tomb. The darkness was momentary before the ceiling lit up as if it was the night sky. Elven writings lined the walls around the full circumference of the dome, the words to the song. The most beautiful poetry. The music was harder to identify until one among our number realised that the stars on the vaulted ceiling weren’t stars but notes, musical notes.
Yesterday’s foe, the elemental dragon, had been using this place for his lair and was clearly attempting to mimic dragonkin in every way, it had stashed an impressive hoard to which we helped ourselves, most helpfully finding a sypglass that seems to be able to capture images and store them for later recall. We used it to capture all the music after writing down the words to this song.
Our exit from the closed dome was somewhat more troublesome, how to get out? Would this be our tomb?
Several hours passed before we saw it, the writing on the wall was changing between the words to the song and something else, a riddle!
Four men sat down to play
And played all night ’til break of day
They played for cash and not for fun
A separate score for everyone
When it came time to settle accounts
They all had made quite fair amounts
None had lost and all had gained
Pray tell, how can this be explained?
Several more hours passed, all of us trying to think up how this could be true. The half-elf and the razorclaw got it eventually, they weren’t playing a game, they were playing music, troubadours being paid for their musicianship! The ground shook and the statues rose again.
As daylight flooded in and our eyes adjusted, we were set upon by another group set out from Neverwinter. Perhaps they got here after us, more likely they couldn’t figure out the song and decided to see if we could.
The battle was bloody and we barely made it out with our lives, they didn’t make it out with theirs bar one whom we took captive.