Session Log 2021-12-06

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The party peered into the room of twisting, branching lines of warped space. None were willing to touch the effect, and they considered the options they had for testing the waters. Robin suggested that Ekkels take out the Little Dudes, but the danger of sending them into an unknown room in the dungeon made him reluctant to have them take that risk. Stymied, Robin peered fruitlessly across the thicket of swaying, light-bending lines, unable to spot any far walls or doors.

The party consulted their map and decided to try other doors. They tried the remaining exit from the room of black cubes and found it to lead back to the round hallway with the inverted inner and outer walls. They also tried the door on the other side of the room of rubble and floating stone. This led them to a new room, of similar proportion to and rather more decoration than the others.

Robin's illusory light floated past elaborate, three-dimensional carvings of flowers, vines, trees, and other foliage along the walls. It revealed a portal archway in the center of the room, partially boarded over, surrounded by discontinuous rings of dry, dark earth. An faint earthy, pungent smell stood out amid the dust of the tower. Ignis, contemplating the symbolism of the room, suddenly realized that whatever this was, it was intended as an artistic exhibition. He recognized it from his studies as a piece in the Old Elven tradition of experiential expressionism colloquially known as an "Art Dungeon", a suspicion he confirmed by translating the Old Elven along the archway's peak as a line of poetry: “Though life’s garden has many paths, each of us has but one fate to travel.”

Robin, intrigued by the possibilities of Old Elven art burglary, passed under the archway boards to enter the passage beyond. She found herself wandering a path of mosaic stone between walls of sculpted glass trellises, partially cracked and shattered on the ground. Dead, brown brush hung from the sculpted glass in dessicated tatters. No sky was visible, but her illusory firelight was unable to reach any ceiling. As she wandered deeper, Ekkels followed after, leaving Ignis and Klaitos in the scant light of the off-angle window sunbeams. They strolled onward through another archway and down a fork in the path that turned into a gentle incline. At an intersection with three other paths to take, differing only in their incline, Robin wondered if there was any point to them wandering onward. Ekkels was seized by curiosity and asked for her help climbing up a trellis to see beyond. In the dim light from Robin's illusion, Ekkels could see that they were in a maze of nearly wall-to-wall paths of trellis and portal archway.

Ignis and Klaitos, keeping watch outside the Art Dungeon, perused the shadowy room. Ignis drew the Invernus heraldic blade and used its shiny obsidian surface to reflect the wayward sunbeams. He studied the back of the archway, which seemed to just be carved to resemble vines, but found no further poetry or clues. Klaitos peered into the room across from where they had entered, but was unable to see anything inside - not even windows.

As Ekkels climbed back down the trellis, he put his foot in a puddle of cold, wet liquid that had pooled at the edge of the flowerbed. Robin inspected the liquid closely and emptied one of the small wooden paintpots she carried in her disguise kit to scrape in a sample. She noticed that the sample was swelling in the pot, and quickly sealed it, feeling it jolt and roll in her hand. She turned to Ekkels, for whose sodden foot she had grown immediately more concerned, and alerted him to the startling sight of the slime having spread almost to his ankle.

She put the paintpot down and pulled out her good forger's paper to wipe it off of him, only to find the substance leaking across the paper to her wrist. Ekkels spied the paintpot starting to twitch and bubble over and started fleeing back towards the entrance. Robin shed a layer of clothing to soak up the reaching slime, grabbed her pack, and caught up to him, hurriedly carrying him the rest of the way out to keep him off the glass shards.

They emerged shaken and regrouped with Klaitos and Ignis. They had been inside the trellises for only a few minutes, and little had occurred outside. Klaitos asked for Robin's help in investigating the dark room. Her light revealed it to be an uninviting option: they saw a hole torn in reality far larger than the shattered spire. A rim of remaining, cracked floor stone dangled over void. Robin's light was unable to reveal anything but the existence of the farther walls - the chasm was wider than her illusion could reach. Klaitos decided to use the grody cannonball he had retrieved from the crates two rooms over to test the phenomenon. He rolled it into the room along a stretch of intact floor. As its weight shifted across a crack in the floor, the crack broke open. The far section of floor - and part of the cannonball, sliced off along the same plane as the crack - tumbled into the void. The remaining cannonball wobbled off another edge. Klaitos decided not to enter the room.