Even in slumber, the Ten refuse to stop adventuring.
One night after a long first week of escapades, the popularity and lifestyle finally caught up to the Ten. Even Vessel 12 who is known to not sleep, succumbed to the hypnotic rhythms of his own hammer strikes on an anvil. Each and everyone of the Ten were asleep and each dreamed a very personal dream. Once their vision of their own past, present or future dreams were finished they found their way to one another and shared a dream in another plane.
During the dream of Orb he was visited by his master, a large minotaur named Tusk. Tusk psionically found the ogre-mage through the world of glass to deliver a very special device; a small metal device that makes fire with a flick of the thumb. Tusk called it a “Zippo”, and he told Orb to deliver it to a magic user to make it work. With that, Orb moved out of one dream into a shared dream with Aram via a very hot silver door that Tusk placed in his dream. The wizard had seen these devices before, and he knew they made fire, so that is what they did. Once a fire was laid, Aram lit the fire and he found himself with the Ten standing next to him in a strange desert wasteland.
Standing on a valley of red salt, the ten only sees two places worth visiting. In the distance is a pyramid and far beyond that is a ruined city built into the hillside of a far away mountain. On every side of the party are wandering seemingly lost individuals, all of which have a lizard type body. The Ten quickly decide to head towards the pyramid to check it out.
The great pyramid’s doors open easily to a soft blue light, inside it smells ancient. In the middle of the open space inside the pyramid is a gnome with hollow eyes and a staff with blue runes running up the length of the haft. Near him is a strange looking metallic bird fellow. The gnome senses the Ten and grabs some black orbs and inserts them into his eye sockets. He looks at the group and kindly introduces himself as Mercutio and his assistant Hoppert. Mercutio is the caretaker of the Flagstone, the pyramid that the party now stands in. The Flagstone is also a gateway between the prime material plane and the dream plane that the Ten found themselves in. The Caretaker explains to the Ten that Flagstones are ancient gateways that are anchored in pure logic within planes. Travelers can use the gateways to move between planes as long as they can solve their riddles. In addition, they can be powerful weapons against those who will try and keep travelers from moving to another plane.
The Ten was informed by Mercutio that they will have to quickly solve the riddles for there is an entity within the dream plane that is very upset that they are there and is coming for them. They wasted no time. There are four doors at the corners of the pyramid that need to be solved to help fortify the pyramid and power it up for the journey.
1. The first puzzle was a physical test that required great dexterity and involved retrieving 4 rugs. Once retrieved they must be placed in a pattern like a jigsaw puzzle in the shape of a cross.
2. In a room encircled with fire once inside the Ten had 10 pegs that must be taken and placed in the main chamber in the holes in each of the floor tiles. The shape created must have five rows and 4 pegs in each row. The shape was a Star. Inside the Star was the safest place in the pyramid once empowered. So the ten made the star as big as they could.
3. A set of rings were found and had to be welded together in a pattern with the help of Hoppert but he only had so many uses of his ‘laser’ to help weld. These rings created a chain which would lock the doors to the pyramid to slow the people trying to get in. These were strapped on the doors as soon as it was made.
4. The last room was a physical test and to choose to fight one of three statues and score three successful hits. A silver samurai was chosen by Orb to fight. He immediately hit the other two statues for successful hits. And one lucky hit to the samurai sealed the contest. After that a disc had to be sliced by the samurai in three strikes but cut into 6 slices. This riddle was solve and for his success he was given a black coiled whip called the ‘Forked Tongue Whip.’
The entire time the Ten were trying to gather and solve all the pieces to the riddles, the doors were trying to be bashed in. The pieces were all laid out and and the pyramid was empowered just as the doors flew open. The battle was on.
A water elemental, a electricity based Air elemental and a Red demon with a large scimitar entered the fray. They immediately started to rain pain onto the Ten, but they learned quickly that within certain parts of the star that was on the floor granted certain immunities to fire, water, air, acid and magic depending where they were standing. Once this was discovered it turned the tide of the battle, until other minions and a Beholder came into the room. The worst part was that the Beholder was not the leader, he showed up at the end of the fight. The ten fought masterfully, and with a little luck destroyed not only the first wave of combatants but also the Beholder who could have killed one of the group each round if it weren’t for Mercutio and the magical protections he had placed on each of the Ten before the battle.
When the fight was over and the Ten feeling successful the boss showed his head. Only his head would fit through the door of the Pyramid! He introduced himself as Ikelos and he wanted the Ten. The group decided this was their time to leave and jumped into the center fountain that was Mercutio’s dias that he stood upon. All of the Ten made it out alive, and apparently Hoppert as well. Mercutio stayed at his pyramid as was his post.
Hoppert grabbed a couple of the fallen Ten that were too hurt to carry themselves and he threw them into the fountain. But when the Ten woke up in Flux, Hoppert was not with them, and remain a mystery whether he is in Flux or back on the Dream plane.