Traveling along the base of “The Wall”, the cliffs that mark the plateau separating the settled lands from the Wastelands and the rest of the Northern Reaches, the heroes come to an area filled with rubble, obviously from a section of the cliff being destroyed.
This appears to them to be the same general area as where the old map they found in the crypt showed a face carved on the cliff face, and closer examination shows exposed stone stairs leading up the cliff face to an opening above.
Leaving Joan and the animated statue to guard the horses and gear, the group mount the stairs and find a scratched, but otherwise undamaged metal door, with no apparent handles. Beside the door are a metal cone on the wall with two gems mounted into the metal below it. One is a dull green and the other a glowing red stone.
There are bits of rubble strewn around, including one large block of stone in front of the metal cone and the games. On the lower face of the door, scratched in Draconic was the following:
Your hand cannot contain me.
Your eye cannot see me.
I am fleeting when held, but you can catch me if you stand still.
(This is a riddle from Guild Wars 2 MMO)
The heroes decide the words are indicating breath. They blow upon the door, the gems and finally into the metal cone. Shortly after blowing into the cone, the red gem dulls and the green one begins to glow and the doors slide open. Upon entering the ceiling glows with bright light and the doors silently slide closed, with no indications of how to open them from the inside.
Undaunted, the heroes explore the pristinely clean, well lit dungeon that appears before them. The level they have entered appears to be empty, they find what appears to have been a barracks, with strange metal bedframes, surprisingly lightweight and showing no signs of corrosion. a dining hall with tables and benches made from the same material, a magical platform that heats up to cook food (and unwary hands that are placed upon it), a room that contains stores of preserved foods, and a very cold room containing perishable food products that seem to be fresh (and prove to be so when prepared). The group takes a brief respite here and samples the food they find, and then begin to explore the level a bit more.
They find two passageways that are blocked by fallen debris and a stairwell that leads both up and down, right next to the stairwell is an open shaft that also leads up and down. Down below about 20 to 30 feet, it appears that the shaft is filled with water, and upon examining the shaft, Ivan finds a metal ladder attached to the wall. Climbing up and peering in the next level, he sees many serpent people moving about. Going down, he finds what appears to be an empty level beneath them. Rejoining the others, they continue to explore the level they are on and find a large room with 15 statues standing about the room and a large, sunken area in the center of the room. Upon entering, one of the statues moves forward and asks if they are there for training. Hesitation and contradictory answers seem to trigger a magical response and a loud wailing begins and the lights in the area begin flashing red.
At this point, the 15 statues all animate and move forward to attack the heroes. A fierce fight ensues, with 15 destroyed statues lying about the hallway. Kar takes the head of one of the statues along with him as the group decides to return to the barracks area to barricade themselves in and get some much needed rest,
Upon awakening after their rest, they venture back down to where the fight occurred and find no debris from their fight, indeed, the floors are sparkling clean, and the bits of debris they had left out after eating in the dining hall was all gone as well.
Continuing to search, they find a room near the statue room that appears to have been an armory at one point, but is empty, except for the weapon racks and one small black rectangular item with two small gold squares on one end, which, they of course, pocket.
Heading down the stairs to the next level down, the heroes can definitely see, smell and hear water in the stairwell below them, and exit out onto the level below where they entered.
This level appears to be mostly empty, and sports a long hallway broken by a large room sporting many strange looking chairs and small tables, lined up in rows. Hearing a sound that Ivan identifies as the roar of a Bull Crocodile, they peer around the corner at the end of the hall and see at the other end a Bull Crocodile, partially obscured from view, but obviously quite a large specimen. The decision is made to attack the beast and as it is damaged from the first volley of attacks, it’s roar of pain is answered by a pair of roars from behind the wall and another crocodile, almost as large as the first, comes around the corner and begins to waddle quickly towards the group, as does the bull they first saw.
As melee is joined, the second crocodile clamps her jaws down upon Tash, inflicting heinous wounds upon him and appears to be prepared to make a meal of him as he falls, when the magical breastplate he wears begins to glow and he miraculously heals, and uses the crocodiles momentary confusion to scoot back out of it’s jaws before it can take another bite.
The two crocodiles are defeated, and as they are taking stock of their wounds and Ivan explains that Croc tail is quite tasty, they hear a voice from nearby telling them that there is at least one more down in the water around the corner.
Looking up, they see a large, scarred man, wearing strange white clothing and no shoes. He introduces himself as Alpha and asks if they would like to come to a spot where the Crocodiles usually do not venture as they appear to be wounded and in need of rest.
Following him to an area that Brother Thomas believes was dedicated to the healing arts, Alpha shows them small cubicles with strange, multi-jointed metal beds and tells them they can rest there. As he answers their questions, they learn that he was created there and has never left. Those who made him went away one day and never returned. The snake people came through some time back and told him he was welcome to stay or go as he wished, and he simply stayed, since he has never been elsewhere that he recalls.
He is unable to tell them exactly how long he has been in the facility, simply that it has been a long time. The heroes speak with Alpha for a while and decide to get some much needed rest . . .