After a meager, cold, dry breakfast, the heroes exited the mountain cave, and met up with more companions from the caravan. They had set up base camp further down the mountain, and brought porters and helpers with supplies to help with exploring higher into the mountains.
They climbed upwards for hours, through tedious and treacherous terrain. A glint through the boulders ahead had the companions on alert.
The heroes approach warily. It appears to be a cliff side made partially of metal. As they slowly approach, watching the surrounding rocky terrain for an ambush, it starts to look like perhaps a metal fortress that was partially covered by a landslide long ago.
Aldeen takes a closer look, and finds what looks like the outline of a large door near ground level, approximately 10 feet wide and 15 foot tall. There are no obvious handles or means of opening the door.
After the heroes spend some time search for any way to open the door, Aldeen swings his mighty earthbreaker at the door with all of his strength. Bringing his face closer and closer to the struck spot, he can see neither dent nor scratch. “As strong as adamantine!” he calls over his shoulder to his companions.
Rhogar spreads out his search farther from the door area. Barovar looks higher up the wall, spotting a smaller door that is now partially open. As he points it out to the others, they all indicate agreement that it was not open before.
Rhogar points out a line of pitons that have been hammered into the stone to the left side of the metal wall. “They do not appear old. Perhaps a week or less since they were placed.”
“Let us investigate!” smiles Barovar as he activates his magical boots, floating upwards, but to the side of the doorway. He dismisses Andie, intending on recalling him after they breach the entrance.
Ropes are tied and knotted as the heroes use the pitons to climb up to the open door. Aldeen slowly pushes the door open from just below the door, weapon at the ready. It is dark inside, but the daylight illuminates the interior as the door silently swings fully open at the paladin’s touch. “It is a clear room with some strange doors.”
Rhogar’s stretches his arms out wide as his form starts to shift. His arms elongate and thin out, a membrane forming a leather-like wings. His nose turns up, and his face takes the shape of a large bat. “C’mon Ripmaw!” Rhogar the bat says softly to his bear companion as he grabs the bear and easily lifts the bear the 200 feet upward to the open door. He places the bear just inside the doorway after Aldeen climbs inside, and shifts back into dwarf form to land with a thump on the metal floor.
The floor is littered with leaves and dust that appear to have blown in over several weeks. A large metal double-door with no handles is on the far wall. On the side walls, closer to the double doors are similar, smaller doors with a panel on the door’s right side.
Aldeen inspects the panel. “There is a horizontal slot a few inches wide. The metal panel around it is purple.” The slot appears even too thin for a dagger.
The heroes gather around the two smaller doors to get a closer look.
Barovar hears a slight sound behind him, and turns to see the light disappear as the outer door quickly slides shut. Reaching into a breast pocket, he grabs the small gray stone, and tosses it into orbit around his head for light.
He quickly examined the door from this side, and found no handle or mechanism.
“We’re trapped,” stated Rhogar.
Moments later, as the heroes started to curse their luck, the double doors at the back wall quietly slide open into the wall on either side.
It is completely dark inside. There are three hallways leading out of the next room, and in the center is a circular partition that extends to the 10’ ceiling. There is an opening in front of the double doors in the circular wall, and on the opposite side as if you could walk straight through the circled area. Rhogar approached the circle area as Aldeen starts to head to the left.
Barovar emits a strange, muffled cry. The heroes turn back to see Barovar wide-eyed and pale, staring off at nothing. “I can’t feel Andie! I can’t call him to me!”
“Can you summon anything?” asked Rhogar. “No,” responded Barovar weakly as he leans back onto the double doors that they have now noticed are closed behind them. Again, there are no handles apparent. “I am lost,” Barovar moans as he covers his face with both hands, sliding against the smooth metal doors to a seated position.
Rhogar peeks into the circular area. There is no floor inside, and it drops away as far as he dwarven darkvision will show. There are metal rungs to either side, similar to a ladder, but spaced too far apart.