We sent in Skit as a scout. I must admit the ability to shape shift is a very useful one, and at times I get a little jealous. Then I remember she changes into a giant rat, at which point it becomes less enviable. Each to their own.
There are two entrances to the mayor’s place, one is a heavily reinforced and bolted door. Almost certainly alarmed, so the other entrance seems to be a smarter place to start. Skit goes in and discovers a standard kitchen.
I don’t think I’ll ever know if by brilliance or clumsiness this happened, but Skit managed to break a barrel of breadwater all over the floor. The spread of the liquid revealed an apparent gap in the wall where visually there should be none. Illusion.
Through the wall we found a cylindrical descent leading to a pipe leading to a very ornate door, circular with a white jewel in the middle, ringed by 9 other coloured gems. Between the outer gems is a symbol from some alphabet none of us recognize. A quick spell reveals the word to be “Oblivion”.
There’s discussion on exactly what to do with this door. Answers undoubtably lie on the other side, but sevastian says it’s loaded with extremely powerful magics.
Jaros takes a deterministic approach and has us clear the lower pipe.
He then proceeds to pry out the jewels one by one, dodging, deflecting, or flat out ignoring the torrent of arcane devastation that bursts out from the door.
Once the door is disarmed we descend back down. Sevastian gives the all clear and Jaros opens it. It takes him a few hits but he opens it. On the other side is… mountains and piles of gold and wealth…
which whilst pretty and sparkly, isn’t what we’re here for. What we’re here for is answers… and it’s at this point that behind us, the Mayor enters the scene.
He is… a mixture of outraged and distraught at the damage we’ve inflicted on the door. He laments the destruction of years and years worth of work and effort, brands us as villains and attacks in his true form, a monstrous central mass with a giant eye, a collection of 9 other eyeballs on stalks.
Battle ensues, Sevastian and I find ourselves of extremely limited capability: whilst the main eye gazes upon us, our magic seems not to function. Jaros jabs the mayor in the central eye and our capabilities are restored, and we beat the mayor into submission.
The conversation that follows is a surprising one. The “previous” mayor was just another form that the beholder took. He was inspired by the temple of Wee-Jas, by the hope they were giving the people of Carceri. When people started to question the mayor’s heavy investiture in the temple of Wee-Jas, he simply had the “old” mayor vanish and his new half-elfin form take its place.
I found myself surprisingly sympathetic toward the mayor’s plight. Having to sacrifice one’s true identity to uphold a more noble ideal. He may have been an evil monstrosity, but the important thing is that he genuinely seemed to be trying to be better than that. To me, that’s really the only thing that matters. I took his side in the argument that followed. It earned me no favours, and got me more than a few disparaging looks from Jaros, and it ended as it usually does: A threat of retribution should the mayor warrant it, etc… etc..
The usual from Jaros.
I offered to try and fix the door, but he declined my help.
Oh, and I showed him the note about the soul-cage and the temple of wee-jas, but he claimed it wasn’t his. The plot thickens!
We depart the mayor’s residence and return to the others to report.