The party, Ozkar the wizard, Grondok the ranger, Rutger the rogue, Marius the cleric, and Andro the dwarven hammerer, have trekked out of Anzurum and through a forested mountain pass to the Vasting Hammer.
The Vasting Hammer is an enormous pyramid, four sided, 300 feet wide to a side, with a peak 200 feet in the air, and the sides angled at 50 degrees. It lies in a great, muddy plain, devoid of life of any kind, and surrounded by a red glow, as if it were always dusk.
The party devised a plan to cross the half mile between the end of the forest and the pyramid. Grondak, using his magical water walking boots would lead the way, picking out safe routes amongst the sinkholes. Marius and Andro stood upon an invisible disc created by Ozkar, which followed Ozkar and Rutger as they made their way across without incident.
Once there, they came across three portals, two enormous passage ways, flanking a man-sized door between them. A great statue of a bull with a man’s face stood in front of the middle door and upon their approach it defly leaped down and greeted the party warmly.
The living statue was an imperial guardian, built to protect this place from intruders. But Pilgar was happy to meet servants of the empire and did not threaten them. However, he was bound to ask them the password for entrance to the Vasting Hammer, and when they didn’t know it, another guard was summoned: the Enris. An force of unknown numbers now guards the inside of the pyramid against the party.
Pilgar recommended to the party that they forego the main entrance, which was surely well defended by the Enris, and recommended that they enter through heavy rain doors at the very top of the pyramid. Taking his advice, the swifter members of the party, Rutger and Grondok scaled to the very top with little trouble.
The less agile members of the party decided to try another approach. Ozkar used his floating disc to carry Marius and Andro up the pyramid. Ozkar prepared the featherfall spell for himself, which was a good thing, because at the very top he slipped and slowly dragged himself and his two passengers to the very bottom.
Meanwhile the ranger and rogue examined the tip of the pyramid. Each side had a similar triangular door. They broke in through one and found that each door had a crank which lowered them. And each door had a large rain skin, like an upside down umbrella rib, that could be extended to catch rain. Each of these had a crank as well. And in the floor of this small room (10×10) was a drain for rain and a trapdoor for people.
At the bottom of the pyramid, the three failed climbers decided to aid one another climbing up the pyramid. But halfway up, Marius lost his footing and brought all three of them down in heap (a critical failure!).
Just as night was falling, and Pilgar was getting concerned that the Enris would come see what was happening outside, Rutger had the idea of using one of the cranks to hoist up each party member in turn. For Marius it worked fine, but when towing Ozkar up the crank they were using disintegrated. Luckily they grabbed the rope in time and managed to get Ozkar and then Andro up to the top.
The party then descended deeper into the pyramid using the trap door. They found 2 doors and a passageway. The passageway led to a pool of stale water, fed by a pipe that ran from the rain room they had climbed in through. Apparently the rain room doors were either recently opened, or the pyramid was in such disrepair that rain was able to get into the pool. There were drains in the upper part of the pool, but the water level was not high enough to reach them. The room was devoid of anything else.
The first door the party opened led into a long room with a trap door leading down. The room was filled with benches and shelves full of old spell components, much of which was still useful to Ozkar and Marius, who began to fill up their backpacks with what they found. Andro stood an uneasy guard, staring at the trapdoor.
Rutger and Grondok left and went to explore the other door. This led into a well appointed living quarters, with dusty rugs and fine furniture, vases on tables and paintings on the wall, as if some nobleman lived here. Rutger immediately began slicing the paintings out of their frames. Grondok ventured deeper into the room, around a corner.
A voice inside Grondok’s head demanded to know why they were stealing the paintings. At this point the party was attacked by a floating, broken urn that contained a brain, the source of the telepathic voice, and an incorporeal ghost, and an animated body, sans brain. Grondok was dominated by the brain and he moved toward his friend. Rutger attacked the animated body and after a quick few rounds, and a critical hit, he destroyed it, which made it explode in a fury of wild magic.
The cleric, dwarf, and wizard ran in and helped in the attack. Grondok, still dominated, hit Ozkar with a punishing attack. Marius healed Ozkar and the party pressed the attack. A hand from the exploded corpse, driven on by the telepathy of the brain, attempted to leap onto Rutger’s throat. The ghost spoke excoriating words, damaging them all. Grondok came to his senses, drew his bow, and pinned the hand to the floor with an arrow. Grondok then shifted his attention and destroyed the brain, but a moment later both he and Rutger were knocked out by the ghost. Marius, who was landing every strike he attepted, and Ozkar, sitting back dealing magic missiles, with Andro’s help, managed to defeat the apparition soon after, and then healed their fallen friends.