Some time ago I entered the red flashing door of a portal to the lair of some mad gnome. It was after a failed attempt to expand the road near the swamp south of White Moon Cove. Inside we found a metal bound chest, but before we could open it or retrieve it, we were attacked and forced to escape. Now I’ve returned for that chest.

The team was Dexter, Blue, Freyja, IronAle, Antonio, and I. IronAle was with me the last time we went into this mad dungeon, with its twisting hallways and shattered doors. We set out from White Moon, making good time, and had no problems reaching the portal. However, when we’d seen the portal before it was flickering, and this day, it was glowing steadily. Unsure if this was a good sign or a bad one, I took the lead, and we entered the portal.

Just after we’d passed through the portal, it flickered out, we were trapped. Dexter started a ritual to discern what the runes by the door meant, but we were interrupted by a horrifying creature with the heads of a lion, goat, and dragon.

The narrow hallways proved both boon and curse, as we were unable to bring our full might on the creature due to a lack of space, but it was confined and unable to attack us effectively or avoid our blows. It’s fiery breath put me on the ground once, but timely intervention from Dexter kept me in the fight. Eventually, we brought the beast down, and Antonio moved ahead, but much too quickly. Before we could even catch up to him, we heard the sounds of combat, one Antonio didn’t win.

A troll rounded the corner and we engaged it, Antonio nowhere in sight. The narrow halls proved a problem again, but we eventually defeated the troll, Blue and Dexter providing the fire to keep the thing from regenerating. We rounded the corner, where we assumed Antonio would be, only to find a trail of blood leading deeper inside. Passing through a room and winding through another hallway or two, we came upon Antonio and an ogre. Even in this deadly place we opted for diplomacy, and luckily IronAle speaks the language of giants, so we were able to communicate with the ogre, who we found was named Doe. The ogre agreed to help us find the chest we were after if we’d take him to his brothers afterward, at Brock O’Lee’s place.

After a short rest thanks to Dexter’s Rope Trick spell, we pressed on into where we’d seen the chest last time, and it found it still resting there. We also found a small heart shaped crystal with an octagonal protrusion, glowing with red energy. After exploring a few more rooms, we decided to take the chest and leave, hoping the crystal would reopen the portal. Dexter summoned a disc to carry the chest and we returned to where we entered this place.

We found an octagonal slot that matched the heart crystal, and placed the crystal in it, then turned it, shattering it and opening the portal. Doe carried the chest out for us, and we emerged, but not where we entered.

The portal spat us out over a dozen miles across the Ishah plain, and as night approached we put some distance between it and ourselves before making camp. The night passed more or less uneventfully, and the next day we started toward Broc O’Lee’s camp. On the way we spotted the remnants of an alchemy shop and its owner, who had turned himself invisible (perhaps irreversibly). The man opened our chest for us, for a small fee, revealing a collection of coins and gems, and we pushed on to Broc’s place, reaching it just after nightfall. Within the safety of Broc’s walls we learned Doe’s brothers had been killed, and saw some dinosaurs and a large pack of wolves, but let them pass in the night.

Over the next day and a half we worked our way back to White Moon Cove, somehow encountering absolutely nothing. It was a mission well done, and we learned something about the portals in the mad gnome’s labyrinth.

Go in Sune’s light.
-Taishina Anderfall