This morning we haded toward the ruins of Shosckesh,or Thornwatch. The ruins were overrun by the the encroaching brier, and there was a small camp of Draconians who were also investigating the ruins. Marrek and Gnasc did a little reconnaissance, and with more than a little luck we were able to incapacitate the Gold Draconian before he could alert the other’s to our presence. With his Hat of Disguise Gnasc was able to send 1/2 the camp away in search of some Elves (needed for entering the ruins we believe), and we made quick work of all the remaining Draconians but one, who fled into the woods. Celence was able to open a hidden door using her blood, and it led down a long hallway that ended at double doors. The Left had a large tree carved into it and the right an image of Tiamat. Beyond the door was a room with statues lining the wall, blood stains on the floor, and near the back two control levers, one going only up and down, and one with up, down, left, and right. Below the levers on the floor eight holes were carved disappearing into darkness. The control lever changes the destination of the only door in the room, I have attempted to map out what we have discovered below. Room One: This is the starting room Room Two: This room has five statues in it, and a large chasm that is filled with a forest of silver poles. It seems that one could, if they were careful, walk across the poles to the control lever on the other side. When we entered this room we were able to get a better look at the statues, the three closest seemed to be Eladren magic users,and the two on the back wall near the switch appeared to be fighters. Peering into the chasm we dropped a torch and found it only about twenty feet deep. Gnasc wasted no time punching one of the statues and bringing them all to life. Rook and Celence double teamed the statue in the middle, knocking it pron and then back onto the poles. The poles are not too hard to navigate, but the statues were able to stand on them due to their size. The statues were not an easy fight, and it took us a while to discover the weakness of the statues. By dropping down into the Chasm we were able to cut the poles out from underneath them their maneuverability was cut down in the tight quarter of the poles and we were able to finish them off. Room Three: This room as a large pit of Acid between the door and the control lever with giant chains strung across. The chain were easily crossable, but as Gnasc started across them, a giant Hydra rose from the acid. Using the crystals from his Pouch of Frozen Passage Marrek froze the Hydra and the Acid in place and together we made quick work of the Hydra. Room Four: This room had giant statues of Eladrin warriors holding up the ceiling, and though it was clear they were magical in nature the ceiling appeared to be held firm. Moving across the room to the lever Rook triggered the trap that brought the statues to life. As we quickly discovered the ceiling was sturdy but as the statues fell illusions of the crumbling ceiling assaulted our scenes. Moving decisively Rook discovered the paths of the control pad, and Celence was able to destroy the statues and teleport the entire party to safety. Room Five: This room has an image of Tiamat on the floor and ten doors around the perimeter. The control panel is in the center of the room. Gnasc dislikes this room more than any other we have encountered. When we entered this room the walls shimmered and our door disappeared. In it’s place 10 doors, pairs of doors for each of the chromatic dragons, took it’s place. And from the piles of dead bodies, a dragon shaped Flesh Ghoul appeared. The Ghoul didn’t move to attack us, but watched us closely. Severus recognized the trap for what it was, and informed me that 9 of the doors would be traps and one would be the true door. Severus also warned to stay away from the Ghoul at all costs, being close to it would prove deadly. A prayer to the Raven Queen told Rook that we needed to “Feed it death, or kill it.” Celence Started the Hand of Fate ritual, and we all circled around her to protect her. When it was done, the hand points us to the correct door, and when we open it the other 9 disappear. Rook moves to the beast and throws the switches, and even being death brought back it was clear just the aura of the beast hurt him, but he endured and we were able to move back into the the first room. Room Six: This room has four statues of Eladrins, similar to those in the fourth room, except two are spell casters. There is also a large bowl shaped alter in the middle filled with a red liquid. Celence recognized the liquid in the bowl as Blood Myst, and that it would empower the statues guarding the switch. Covering the Bowl with the Walls of Hestauar, Celence sealed in the mist and the statues posed no threat at all Room Seven: This is a square room with a giant crystal in the center. The large Gem was carved to hold the likeness of a Beholder, with each of it’s eyes pointing at different areas of the room. We covered each of the eyes around one side with spare robes and bedrolls. As we worked the switch eyes would flare up and attack, shooting rays of different energy in the direction they were facing, the only damage the crystal was able to do was burn up Marrek’s bedroll before we discovered the latches below it and tipped it over on it’s side shattering it. Room Eight: This room appears to be an old library. When we entered the room we were attacked by swarms of books and parchment. Our attacks seemed to do nothing to them, but they were noticeably hurt by fire attacks such as Rook’s dragon’s breath. Gnasc lit his iron fist on fire, and they seemed to be a little more vulnerable to his swings. Seeing the uselessness of my sword, I grabbed the nearest table and set it on fire, thinking to use it as a large flaming club. But I underestimated how awkward it was to swing, and I only succeeded in setting the room on fire. While the room filled with smoke and the heat became unbearable, we did what we could to defeat the Book Storms. When all was said and done, we almost died this room, but we managed to escape, more than a little singed. We are back in the first room now, three of the holes in the floor are now brightly lit though we can see nothing but light down them. Celence has ended a ritual or rest, and there are more rooms to explore. Back in the first room all of the slots on the floor are lit and there is a new inscription on the wall above the Up-Down switch. “You have found your way through, come below and behold the lock of Shoshkesh.” When we moved the switch a spiral staircase opened in the floor and below we found a room over run with briers, and in the back such a tight knot of brier it could only be the heart we were sent to find. Cutting our way to the hear, we uncovered a mural on the wall showing the story of how the Eladrin helped Bahumut trap the green head of Tiamat in the earth. When we removed the brier heart a small colony of giant ant men swarmed us, but after the trials in the above rooms these ant-men were nothing. We have taken up in the Crystal room (room 7) where Celence has used the fragments of the statue to call forth her magic house so we may rest.