Today we descended into the silver mine contested by the mites and the gremlins, in the hopes of finding some silver weapons or tools that might help us to fight the daemon and fey in this region. The main door was warded against the entry of fey, which gave Sionach a bit of a hard time, but our initial scouting was otherwise uneventful. It seems there is at least some illusion magic cast over the mine, as piles of what looked like silver were in fact merely piles of worthless rock. The mine seemed completely abandoned, with no signs of life.
After descending for some distance, we found an invisible barrier, beyond which the mine seemed more like a fey castle, with intricate carvings, almost as though it had been grown rather than carved. We eventually found a large set of double-doors with ancient Sylvan writings, which Aarevan was able to interpret as some form of tomb for “General Traikot,” a human general who betrayed his race (the Sumatron Empire) to join the fey in their war. Within the double-doors, which were cleverly locked, we found a large, octagonal room with a dais in the middle, containing seven gems, each matched to a door on the seven other walls, and a large fire burning in the middle. Each door had a statue sentinel beside it, hand outstretched as though to receive a gem, and a short inscription that seemed to indicate an element.
In a fit of excitement, Aarevan matched gems to statues, and as each hand closed around the gem he placed in it, the door beside it became a moving wall of elemental energy, not only the four that are taught at the Four Quarters (earth, air, water, fire), but also wood, metal, and void. We were unable to close the doors. After some cautious testing, it seemed we could cross through the doors, even those that looked to be of harmful material, to the corridors beyond. The barriers acted as some sort of teleportation spell, though I cannot say where exactly they took us.
We first went through the wall of falling earth and found ourselves in a large cavern with a pedestal at the far end. Aarevan was a little too excited in his exploration and triggered a pit trap, which we all fell into, revealing another pedestal and a large number of scintillating gems and crystals. Liriel realized that these crystals were in fact eggs of creatures from the Plane of Earth, and no sooner had she realized this than we were attacked by crystal scorpions. They did not respond to diplomacy and we were forced to kill them, but not before they did great damage to the party, including casting some sort of spell on Atraxian and I, slowing our wits and rendering me unable to cast spells.
Once the creatures had been destroyed, Aarevan reckoned that their remains would be worth quite a lot of money when we leave the forest, on the order of 2,000 gold pieces, so we collected them for the day that we are out of these accursed lands and back into more civilized areas. We also found two gems: one small grey one that revealed itself to be a ioun torch and one frosted blue one that we have not yet identified, but that is clearly magical. We also found a dwarven warhammer on the pedestal at the far end of the pit, surrounded by runes describing how the dwarves used to be human and only became dwarves after making a pact with giants. Whether there is any truth to this, I cannot say. Biere seemed particularly upset at the implications. In any case, even though the warhammer was meant only to be lifted by a dwarf, and though neither I nor my companions can use it in combat, we recovered it anyway in the hopes that we can sell it later or return it to its people. It is also magical, and particularly effective when used by dwarves.
A final item we found in the pit, a brown runestone, was charged by placing it in a bowl of earth at the first, upper-level pedestal. When we returned to the main chamber and placed it in the appropriate slot on the dias, the door closed and the statue crossed its arms across its chest. How anyone else will enter the room after us, I have no idea.
In any event, after waiting for the effects of the monsters’ spell to wear off and for me to return to my senses, we explored the hallway beyond the water door. After walking for a half-hour or so, we found ourselves at the edge of a large lake with a pedestal in the middle, atop which was a glowing blue runestone gem. Our first attempt to obtain it was, I thought, rather well planned, involving me carrying Aarevan along the ceiling (using our slippers of spider climb), tethered by a rope, so that he might cast mage hand on the gem from above. Sadly, this plan was interrupted when a tentacled monster from the Plane of Water engaged us in combat, throwing a flaming goblin skull that exploded on impact and then using a wand to hurl fireballs at us. Aarevan was knocked unconscious and lost the gem in the lake, and after a brief combat in which we were not particularly effective, the monster replaced the gem upon the pedestal.
We were lucky that Liriel’s eyes are good, because she discovered a pouch containing dust of dryness, with which we were able to drain most of the lake and reveal the monster beneath. Fighting in the water is not as easy for me as it would be for an undine, but between us we managed to bring it down. We gathered up what treasures the monster had collected beneath the waters: a wand of fireballs, one of rain of frogs (both with very few charges left, unfortunately) and another flaming goblin skull. We found, however, that we were unable to climb the ceiling or pedestal, even using the slippers of spider climbing, until we refilled the lake by bursting the dust of dryness pellets that contained most of its water.
Once we replaced this blue gem on the dais of the main room, the water door closed as well.
We rest in this chamber tonight. Tomorrow we will attempt to explore the rooms beyond the wood door and possibly the void door, depending on how effective we are. We are all wounded, some of us poisoned, and I worry that we will not have the strength to explore more than one or two doors a day, and five remain us. In truth, I’m not certain why we are exploring these rooms at all, as the guardian monsters seem quite content to stay where they are and are likely no threat to the prime material. But Aarevan seems quite interested in exploring, and none of us are eager to wade back into the war between the mites and the gremlins. Perhaps we may even find something that can help us in one of these caverns.
In any event, we will rest now until we have regained some of our energy and then continue exploring. I am not looking forward to what we might find. As always, I await further instructions.