On the partially-collapsed third floor of the Gatehouse, the party explores a disused armory. While most of the gear and goods are of little consequence, there exist two vaults guarded by powerful magical wards.
The West Tower vault, Vault A, has two keepers: an Alchemical Enchanter called Idiel and a person named Jermonte, who is in the process of moving in after the death of a former keeper, Clarence. A note-to-self by the Alchemist indicates that, until the ritual is re-bound to himself and Jermonte, Vault A cannot be opened by anyone. He also indicated that his recent inventions have been stored temporarily in Vault B.
Note to self: Help Jermonte move into his new office. He needs a rug for his back room as well.
We can borrow one from Patrice. Remember to work on binding the locking ritual with Jermonte in
the morning. Make sure HQ knows that Vault A will be in complete lockdown until Jermonte and I
have taken care of this.
Additionally, I have satisfactorily enchanted both the belt and the sword last night in a spurt
of brilliant inspiration. They’ve both been moved to Vault B. Apparently, their combination locks
are different in Vault B. I’ve written down the code for the crates I’m using. It’s cleaner in
here than it has been in months. can’t wait to get on to my next project.
Arca tinkers with the Alchemist’s gear, using plain iron rings to test the enchanter-workbench. He manages to bind three rings together into a constantly-spinning, floating trinket, and to create a fiery ring which can augment a bare-fisted blow with fire damage.
Vault A’s other warden, the elusive Jermonte, has a room full of unpacked boxes and a cluttered desk, containing the following note from the Alchemist, Ideil.
Letter from Idiel:
Dear Jermonte, my friend, I am pleased beyond words that you’re finally becoming one of the Vault
Wardens. It’s been incredibly dull up here since Clarence passed on, and frankly, Patrice is
driving me crazy. She’s constantly chiding me about my art and harassing me to help her re-write
the locking rituals on Vault B.
Frankly, I think she’s been driven crazy by the boredom of it all. We’re the solemn keepers of
magical weapons that nobody’s been in the mood to steal for generations. The woman needs a hobby.
The Alchemist and I are going to go riding in a couple of days. As soon as you’ve got all your
boxes stowed, you’re welcome to join us. It’d be good to loosen up for a while.
After entering Patrice’squarters, the party quickly discovered another vault door. This one was, as implied by Idiel’s note, not sealed completely. Echo quickly overcame the mechanical lock, but in attempting to open the door, triggered a ritual that had been put in place. The ritual brought two massive, pallid constructs to life within the vault. Fueled by the magical power from the artifacts within the vault, the creatures would hold the doors closed until all the precious contents of the vault were destroyed, or the party found some way to nullify the ritual.
After several mostly-fruitless attempts to penetrate the vault door, the party decided to attempt to infiltrate the vault from the exterior windows, but found them to be protected by a weak magical membrane that seemed to block passage entirely. The membrane was being sustained and strategically enhanced by Patrice, who ended up being the “dead” woman at the end of the catwalk. She stirred to life as the party approached, admitting that her opossum-show was meant to foil the slugpuppets that allegedly killed the painter – her partner warden for Vault B.
Arca and Aubrey managed to convince her not to jump off the catwalk and proved that they were not, in fact, slugpuppets themselves. They argued that they needed the weapons inside the vault and questioned the wisdom of destroying the artifacts she was sworn to protect. She began giving them some hints about how to overcome the ritual, but before she could undo it herself, the broken catwalk finally gave way to stress and she plummeted to her actual death.
With her demise, the membrane around the windows has weakened and can probably be penetrated by teleportation. Before she fell, Patrice mentioned something about “forcing both doors at the same time.”