At long last you have found a means to access the lower levels! The secret door opens upon a great hall, its floor comprised of broad steps descending into the gloom. Possibly fashioned for giants, these steps have risers that are two or three feet high—quite unsuitable for the likes of your legs. The steps themselves are fashioned from great slabs of sandstone. They are decorated with naturally occurring bands of earthly tones.
Great columns, haphazardly placed, rise into the shadows. None of these columns are alike. Each is carved in a chaotic mess of reliefs of skulls and body parts and cryptic symbols, none of which have any apparent meaning. Curiouser are the deep sluiceways which bisect the steps, disappearing into the murkiness beyond the extent of your torches. The further you descend, the more you begin to take notice of the russet splotches staining the steps. You have a bad feeling about this…
Your descent is interrupted by a loud clanging to the rear! Whirling, you realize that a portcullis has dropped behind you, barring the way. Turning back around, you are greeted by a volley of flechettes. Screams arise as some of your companions drop. The sound of stone grating upon stone startles you. You quickly note that the walls to the left and right have shifted, revealing yawning black portals.
After what seems like long moments, two hulking forms emerge. You are flanked by enormous bronze golems. Their maddening gaze glows like the hot fires of hell. Then they are upon you, their fists flying in a flurry of crushing blows. Another rain of flechettes descends upon you. Then another. As you lay on the ground, crimson gushing between clenched fingers, you realize the purpose of the sluiceways.
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