Pirates of the Abyss

Alberron's Summer Side Quest Part 5: Between a rock and swarm of angry armor

Al proceeds to smash his way into trouble

In the submarine Alberron began to stir, looking around everyone else was still strapped in and unconscious. Opening the hatch he saw that they were at the bottom of the enormous whirlpool and had crashed into one of many archways encircling a granite dome. Belong the others began to awaken. Illican climbed out of the hatch next to Alberron and recognized the building they had crashed into though it was different then he remembered.

“These archways were added after I left, we had built just the dome. Choire always did have a sense of grandeur,” commented Illican.

As Brin and Ashar exited the sub together Alberron and Illican approached the nearest undamaged archways. They noticed that each archway was a replica of the other. Each were flanked by a suits of armor, one on each side of a tall wooden door with devil-headed pull rings. Alberron began to approach the nearest door to try and open it when Illican stopped him. Telling him that only one entrance to the interior was ever built and it was very unlikely that Choire would have made the structure more accessible. Brin noting his words performed a ‘Detect Magic’ on the door and discovered that it was just an illusion and possibly a trigger for something. With help from Ashar, Brin expanded her search going to each door to find the real one. As they wandered around the Vortex Pillars Illican, unarmed after being imprisoned for so long, pried one of the swords from the hands of the armor as they passed yet another illusionary doorway. After what seemed like hours they found the actual door nearly on the other side of the structure. Hesitantly Illican and Alberron began to open the doors when they were quickly slammed shut, the suits of armor had stuck out their arms and closed the doors.

Inside the armor flames burst and were then quickly extinguished as the dwarf and goliath smashed them into the walls, but it was too late they could hear the suits of armor all around the building waking up and the ones in the adjacent archways were already rounding the corner. Before they were able to reopen the doors the horde was upon them. Together, the four of them were able to hold off the suits of armor for a while, but they kept reassembling themselves (occasionally the various suits would mix up parts or reassemble inside of another thus eliminating themselves from the fight) and Alberron, being the one heading the retaliation, was dog piled. Illican tried to get to Alberron and free him from the suits of armor but then the suits that were on Alberron began to freeze and the fires inside extinguished. As the armor fell away Alberron let out a great roar and smashed anything that came close to him and freezing it until he was surrounded by an ice covered mound of bent and twisted steel.

Now that he wasn’t a whirling ball of anger it could be seen that Alberron wasn’t just covered in a thin layer of ice but he had actually become ice. Breathing hard and still iced over Alberron stomped up to the door and threw it open revealing the four pillars and central pool that Illican had mentioned in the tunnels, what he had failed to mention was the deep gorge surrounding them and the swirling black waters at the bottom. Without hesitation (likely because he wasn’t thinking very hard) Alberron backed up and took a running jump across the chasm. He then landed just short of the other side but on seemingly solid air. Brin quickly taking note and being cautious had already began to Detect Magic when she saw Alberron’s confusion on his landing spot.

“It’s another illusion!” she laughed.

The remainder of the party then cautiously crept across the open “air” and gazed upon the what they had come to destroy. The four solid stone pillars softly glowed with the magic runes flitting across their polished faces. The central pool contained a small mobile whirlpool that seemed to be contained in a model replica of the realm lit up by a skylight at the very top of the dome. Nodding to each other Alberron and Illican began to work on the pillars while Brin and Ashar studied the central pool working their magic to probe it and to try and dispel any associated rituals.

Just as Alberron and Illican were beginning to take down the last pillar (the pillars were specific for the ritual and were not load bearing pillars) when they were stopped by Brin.
“Wait, once you’ve destroyed these pillars the whirlpool surrounding this temple will stop spinning and the water will come crashing down.”

“I will finish up here while the rest of you get in the sub.” said Alberron after a few seconds of contemplation. “When the water gets here come back for me.”

After some reassurances by Brin that the sub was in working condition they agreed that Alberron would be best to stay and finish off the pillars. After waiting for a few minutes for the others to get to the sub Alberron began again on the last pillar and slowly it began to crumble and until it fell with a crash. For a second there was an eerie silence as the whirlpool around the Vortex Pillars stopped it’s constant roar, then a new roar, like that of an angry bear, erupted as the swirling wall of water crashed down upon the temple and began to pour through the open doorway. Activating his Wavestrider boots Alberron braced himself against the side of the dome as he began to rise up on top of the turbulent waters. Below him the rubble of the pillars began to stir and slowly a large golem began to form from the ruins. Unable to keep his balance on the boiling waters and fight off a mammoth golem by himself Alberron was reduced to dodging its attacks while running in circles around the dome. As these laps became shorter and shorter the golems attack luckly got easier and easier to dodge as it had to jump to attack him. In the opening above him some water began to also pour in but he heard familiar shouts and when he looked up Alberron saw that Illican was standing onto lowering a rope for him to grab onto.

When they were all safely aboard the submarine they drove off in a direction picked seemingly at random by Ashar to distance themselves from the ruins of the temple, lest Choire came to “admire” their work.

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