As the PCs are exploring or between encounters, an apparition of an attractive young woman appears before the adventurers. She is translucent and her opacity varies as she speaks to the party.
“Help me! I was with my father cataloging his vast collection of magic items when one of them transported me to another realm. I am bound here and the only way back is to create a truly personal bond with a dweller on my own plane—a bond of marriage. The creatures here are frightening and it is only because I have a small inventory of magic with me that I am able to communicate with you and survive.”
Her image becomes very translucent for a moment, almost vanishing as the ground beneath you opens up to reveal a damp passageway that leads underground. Her eyes close for a moment and she inhales deeply. Her breath invigorates her and the image solidifies again. “I have only a few more moments…please, help me. I can offer your items back as reward, plus several more. Venture underground here to one of my father’s caches!”
She gestures to her side, where an image of a small pile of items appear. You recognize a few items as ones that have been taken from you. “Be warned, there are protections in place. When you reach the end cavern, I can briefly materialize, perhaps long enough to undergo the ceremony to bring me back. You’ll know when you’ve reached the end. There is an altar in the middle of a pool. I can only hold them off for about another hour at most. Just...please...help”
The entranceway is thick with roots that hang from the ceiling that thin out as the passageway descends. By the time the PCs reach the “X” marking the fey mister trap, the roots are almost gone. If the players have had any minor items stolen from them, put one or two of them in the roots near the beginning of the dungeon. These items can be spotted with a DC 22 Perception check, and freely retrieved. Give preference to items stolen by the Pickpocket Grass trap, if used, or from a biddlywink that escaped the adventurers in the previous Sidequest Saturdays.
The narrow passageway continues for 50 more feet where it opens into a large cavern. In the middle of the cavern is a pile of bricks. The exit on the far side of the cavern is blocked by a brick wall that has several bricks missing. Also along the far wall is a wand of mage hand (38 charges) half buried in the earthen floor (DC 25 Perception check to find).
The bricks cover a wall of force (CL 20th). PCs can see through the holes, but due to the wall of force, cannot pass through (the area is also affected by a dimensional anchor at CL 15th.)
In order to pass, the bricks must be put back into the correct empty spots. There are 11 empty spots at different heights but distributed from left to right, so it is obvious to number them from 1-11. 31 bricks, numbered from 1-31 make up the pile in the center.
Magical means must be employed to move the bricks and they cannot be physically moved—when contact is made, the brick won’t budge (they radiate strong conjuration magic). Any spell that moves an object, such as mage hand, unseen servant or even teleport object does the job, however. Alby has a sick sense of humor—since this puzzle is supposed to be solved from the other side of the barrier, he left the means necessary to do it in this room (out of sight of anyone in the tunnel beyond).
The bricks need to be put, in order, from left to right: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31 (prime number sequence). When the final brick is placed, the puzzle is complete and the players pass through.
As you place the final brick, the wall shakes and dust falls from the ceiling. Bits of mortar flake off the wall and fall to the ground. A vertical row of bricks in the center of the wall parts. Each brick rotates 90 degrees as they move towards the edge. This continues, the sequence of rotating bricks parting the wall like a curtain until all that remains is a single row of bricks, framing the exit.
A short distance later, just around the bend, is an iron door guarded by a scavenged golem, magic (minor).
The passageway turns and abruptly ends in a heavy iron door worked into the stone. Standing in front of it is something that can only be described as a vertical pile of junk, with rough arms, legs and a head. What appears to be a key hangs from its neck on a metal cable.
Near the entrance to the cave, a DC 20 Perception check notices a single adamantine melee weapon (choose a weapon that would work for the PCs) lying in the dirt. The key is actually fused to the golem’s body. Once defeated, the creature falls apart into many pieces and the key can be retrieved (then used to open the iron door).
Once the door is opened, the PCs see the final cave.
You see a large chamber. An altar has been built from the natural stone on a small island in the middle of a pool that in the center of the room. The bride-to-be is next to the altar, offering you a flowered circlet to place on your head. A small pile of items, including some of your own, sits next to the altar.
She speaks. “Well, you made it!” She points at the intended groom to be. “Relax, honey, I have good news for you. You aren’t getting married today, or at least, not to me! I’m sure Alby will be here in a moment, now that you have broken his defenses. Since I don’t wish to remain here permanently, I’d better go. Goodbye!” With that, she vanishes—as does the pile of items.
At this point Alby, who will be described in detail in tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday appears and is dismayed that you have freed one of his PRANKSTER rivals, Elwin. He caught her pilfering items from his caches and tricked her into this cave—which he disguised as a cache but is actually a prison. Having a sense of humor, he placed items that would be useful to defeat his locks and wards at each location. Of course, these items, such as the wand and adamantine weapons, were on the wrong side of the interposing barriers and thus quite troubling for anyone trapped away from the means of their escape within sight and out of reach—the defenses were meant to keep someone in.
However, he realizes that a resourceful group of adventurers such as these may be just what he needs to solve his biddlywink problem...
[Map by Michael Allen and content by Rory Toma!]