Raakamah, City of Monsters
Black Iron Tower Again
Having failed the trials, the characters cannot use the same entrance again. However, in Valedro's notebooks, they find the newest entry in which he suddenly switches to providing the riddle for the new entrance.
Reaching the Black Iron Tower and solving its mystery.
Valedro's notes read as follows:
Lone seekers of the Lonelier Spire
directions from the Great Skull inquire!
Under its chatter to see aspire,
and search for the sign most dire.
After the entrance has been located, they update to:
As you into the gullet descend,
some reflection I do recommend,
to scenes past you must attend
for the path to the future to unbend.
Finally, as they reach the door, the notes say:
The challenges ahead number three,
as the Song, the Sword, and the Shade test thee.
To step ahead, echo the silent plea,
of the nameless one who wishes to go free.
The updated first riddle requires the characters to search under the bridge leading to the Skulls' headquarters when no one else (people who are unaware of the riddle) is witnessing them. They must find the symbol of a circle, from the empty center of which sprout three fishtails or geysers that split in two and the tips of which help form three empty circles (the biohazard sign). If they interact with it, the wall will disappear on itself, revealing a narrow stairway down. This effect only lasts as long as no one else is witnessing the scene.
The second riddle means that these stairs can only be advanced by moving backwards while using a reflective surface to navigate the way ahead. Unless this is done, the stairway will seem like it goes on forever but the party can at most barely reach the point where the entrance is not visible. If they return, the way back is always equally short. If the riddle is solved, however, the reflection will change the path significantly. Instead of a flight of stairs, there will be a flat hallway which leads to the already familiar door with the three faces.
This time, the riddle will update once the party reaches the wall with the faces of the Song, the Sword, and the Shade. The masks will each be letting out a noise every once in a while. The order of the words they speak remains 'please', 'me', and 'go' but no one face has a specific word it repeats. The answer is to speak 'let' between the 'please' and 'me' to fill in the sentence. Once the 'go' for that sentence has been uttered, the wall will melt and reveal the entrance to the tower.
The first room remains the same as before but if they look carefully, they can find Laseron's face repeated a few times in the walls, each slightly distorted.
In the next area, the Song (Kot Bayon; see p. 268 of the Tome of Beasts for details) is not happy to see the party again. Instead of providing riddles, it will accuse them of cheating because they had already failed, vomit up six Shrouds (see p. 348 of the Tome of Beasts for details) and attack.
The next challenge is once more posed by the Sword (Malphas; see p. 283 of the Tome of Beasts for details). Like the Song, it is unimpressed by the party having made their way back for it considers them failures and unworthy of its attention. The only option this time is the free for all. As such, the Sword will summon two sword spirits using the teeth as their weapons.
Hereafter, the original Black Iron Tower challenge resumes. However, the Shade (Herald of Darkness; see p. 249 of the Tome of Beasts for details) has the following Lair Actions:
LAIR ACTIONS (Black Iron Tower)
On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the Shade takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; the fiend cannot use the same effect two times in a row.
- The Shade summons 1d3+1 Shadows (see p. 269 of the Monster Manual for details) which act at initiative 17. They each have only 1 hit point.
- Each opponent must attempt a DC 13 Cha saving throw. If they fail, they are blinded until the end of their next turn. If the Shade has used its Majesty of the Abyss ability, it immediately recharges.
- The area transforms to one of the three alternatives available. The Shade immediately teleports to the middle of the area, hovering 20 feet in the air. If the Shade is reduced to 0 hit points, the area immediately reverts to its original form.
- The Shade immediately heals 3d10 hit points.
The environmental hazards have various effects which occur when a character enters them, either as a result of the area transforming or as a part of their natural movement. The braziers work like a create bonfire (DC 13) spell except they deal 2d8 cold damage. A character that is transported to a square with a brazier by the area transforming immediately save against the effect. The pools of black blood are 5 feet deep. Anyone who comes in contact with the black blood takes 1d6+2 necrotic damage. They gain one level of exhaustion unless they succeed in a DC 13 Con saving throw. Anyone who succeeds in this check is immune to gaining exhaustion from the black blood for 1d4 rounds. Characters submerged in the black blood have disadvantage on the saving throw.
The stairway reaches through the tower so it can be used to go up, to the Masked One's statue, or back down, to reach the exit. As the party exits, they immediately find themselves under the bridge to the Skulls' headquarters and no time has passed.