I was pursuing the library of a wizard in search of information on a newer, more powerful, Magic Missile. Information that I had gathered led me to a series of caves inhabited by goblins. No problem, I can sneak past goblins using my illusions and natural stealth abilities. I came in through an unguarded entrance and found a few goblin sentries in a hallway. Goblins aren’t the best at sentry duty, so slipping past them was easy. The caves themselves apparently hid an underground warren of rooms with flagstone flooring and solid construction. Clearly this was the place.
After navigating a few more rooms, and avoiding a few more goblin sentries, not to mention dire rats and other foul beasts, I came to a large room with towering chess pieces inside. Perhaps towering isn’t the best word, after all I’m under 4 feet tall, but they were bigger than me, easily as large as an Eladrin.
I was considering the room suspiciously, because it was the first room that I had seen in the complex empty of guards, when a door at the other end of the room opened. Through it came a large man carrying a polearm. I was exposed in this room, but it was only one opponent, so I began to ready an attack when the man spoke. He entreated me to let him past. He didn’t want trouble. “Fine by me,” I figured. Better not to engage against a soldier when I can help it. He proceeded across the room using a curious path and out the door next to me.
His path made it clear that the room was trapped and as I began to consider this, the other door burst open and a group came into view. They were a Shifter, a brace of Eladrin and a Goliath. This could be a problem, I thought, but they weren’t hostile, yet.
One of them asked if I had seen a man come this way, and I said that he had passed by. They started to move across, and I had a decision to make. It may have been funny watching them spring the trap and clearly I would learn from that, but instead I shouted to them that the room was trapped and began to help them cross the room.
Why is it that some people just won’t listen to help? Sure enough, one of them, an Eladrin I think (probably thinking they were too superior to accept the advice of a Gnome), stepped off of the safe path. Suddenly the chess pieces were animated.
“Just great,” I thought. Now I had to pull them out of it. The two who had crossed the room, the Shifter and one of the Eladrin were already pressing me into a corner and they were fumbling around the room striking these chess constructs. Pretty soon I figured out the trick to the room and began shouting instructions to them to help them move around without worsening the situation. Even at that, the chess pieces were doing some heavy damage until I managed a trick to shut down the encounter …
In the aftermath, I learned that they called themselves the Shining Shadows and I decided to tag along since they obviously had enough muscle to allow me to pursue even more difficult areas to gain more magical knowledge. So now I’m a Shining Shadow, father will laugh himself silly about that one, but no big deal, he’s not here making it on his own.