Bacchanal with a Wine Vat, Andrea Mantegna, c. 1475
Dorn and Riordan reenter Gnomengarde after crossing the misting pools filled with the large and colorful mushrooms. They skip the kitchen holding the gnomes who have barred themselves away and decide to check the storage room they had passed on their way to meet with the machine and its erratic operator. As they enter the room, they find it filled with barrels. The space smells of deep red wine and metal. Riordan senses that this would a perfect hiding space for a man-eating shapeshifter and holds Dorn back as he removes the pole of collapsing from his pack.
Riordan mumbles a phrase in elvish while nervously looking around and the pole extends dramatically from a foot long to ten. He begins his sweep of the room, poking and prodding at the barrels and everything in between. As Dorn readies his warhammer, a creature lunges at Riordan but misses in its fury. Riordan drops the pole, swiftly reaches for an arrow from his quiver, and shoots the creature. Dorn immediately engages the creature in melee and dispatches it with his weapon. Using his sending stone, Riordan informs the inventors, Fibblestib and Dabbledob, that they have found and destroyed a mimic. Dorn stuffs the body into an empty barrel, hoists it up, and they trod back across the canyon to present it to King Korboz.
Dorn and Riordan approach the throne room and knock on the kings’ door, announcing they had dispatched the mimic. King Korboz opens the door slightly and peers out as Dorn removes the barrel lid and dumps out its contents. Delighted, the exhausted king flings the door wide open where Dorn and Riordan see his brother bound and gagged. Korboz rushes over to King Gnerkli and sets him free while apologizing profusely. His brother is none too pleased, rubs out his wrists and hands, and proceeds to slug Korboz squarely in the nose. Korboz reels backwards holding his face. They watch each other for just a moment and then burst into laughter. “Come!” Gnerkli bellows. “Let us feast and drink with our saviors!”
The Kings make their way around Gnomengarde with Dorn and Riordan in tow, announcing to all that they are free of the monster and there is to be a great celebration at dusk. The gnomes are overjoyed and quickly start baking and rolling out many barrels of mushroom wine. At dusk, they gather in the throne room and the inventors ask for their pole back. In return they offer a hat of wizardry and a wand of pyrotechnics. Dorn tells them they also found another operating magical item in the treasury and presents them with the clockwork amulet. The gnomes, happy with the heroes’ deeds and honesty, hand the pole back to Riordan and insist they keep all the items to aid them in their white dragon quest. Dorn beams with pride as Riordan eyeballs the tapping of the wine barrels. The kings arrive and bellow, “Let’s feast!” and the wine flows like the waterfall all night and into the morn.
A Quest Concludes
A job well done for our adventures. Their willingness to help has saved the day. Furthermore, their honesty has earned them not only treasure and valuables, but respect. For this quest, the characters were rewarded with everything they could have earned, and players were rewarded with a level increase. After a long rest, back to Phandalin!
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