Panic mode: Cannot access to the Pit of Screaming Ghosts [HotB]


Legacy of Fire

Scarab Sages

I was re-reading Part Five in the House of the Beast, preparing for my gaming session tonight. And I suddently realized that my players are totally unable to gain access to the Pit of Screaming Ghosts !

The problem lies in the earth-elemental animated cage in J4.

It can only be activated by one of 3 means :
- Talking in Terran
- Casting an [Earth] spell
- Casting an [Air] spell

None of my players have access to any of these !
None of them know the Terran Language.
None of them have access to a spell that can make them speak that language.

I knew this for a long time, but I thought they could rely on spellcasting.

However :
- The fighter cannot cast spells.
- The Paladin of Sarenrae can only cast 1st level spells. I cannot find any 1st level paladin spell with [Earth] or [Air] descriptor.
- The Inquisitor of Iomedae has only a handfull of spells no higher than 2nd level, and none of them has the [Earth] or [Air] descriptor.
- The Witch knows quite a lot of spells, but I cannot find any with the the [Earth] or [Air] descriptor.

I can solve that problem by adding a scroll in the treasure they found last time. Last game finished late, and I didn't told them exactly what they looted.

Tonight's session should be started by an inventory of the looted material.

So, I've been looking for a spell with [Earth] or [Air] descriptor, on their spell list. But I'm unable to find any !

Can anyone help me finding a spell with [Earth] or [Air] descriptor in those lists :
1st level Paladin
1st or 2nd level Inquisitor
1st to 3rd level Witch

Or any other idea ?

Thanks !


The inquisitor gains access to tongues as a 2nd-level spell, and the witch gains access to the same spell as a 3rd-level spell. This spell grants the ability to both speak and understand Terran.

Both the inquisitor and the witch also gain access to comprehend languages as a 1st-level spell. This only lets them understand Terran, but not speak it. So with this spell, they'll be able to read the Terran runes, and hopefully prepare the tongues spell the following day.

If none of the characters know these spells, no worries: There's a potion of tongues in area I9 :)


To actually answer the earth/air-spell question, as well:

The witch has access to summon monster II and summon monster III. If used to summon air or earth elementals, the spell gains the respective descriptor.

It's probably not that likely that they'll try this one, but the inquisitor gains access to the air-descriptor spell whispering wind as a 2nd-level spell.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Once they figure it out you could have one of them make either a linguistics check to fake it or simply have them go back to town and buy a couple scrolls. Wouldn't be too hard they will just have to put in some effort for it.Heck they probably have a magic item that can do it. Also if they found the weapon in the first book and a character is possessed you could as a last resort have that character spout some gibberish that lets them in, although I think they should be able to do this without that. Also an INT boost item linked to linguistics would do it as well. On a side note I believe tongues would not work. It doesn't make you speak a language, it makes people able to understand you and you understand them, no actual language conversion occurs.


Since the point of the Terran-speak is to ask the elementals to open the way, it's enough that they understand you :)

Edit: Besides, it actually does grant the language:

PRD wrote:
This spell grants the creature touched the ability to speak and understand the language of any intelligent creature, ...

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Darn it Pathfinder, quit changing my spells!

I always seem to miss the minor changes, for some reason I remember tongues being things could just understand you.... Must be my old editions showing again ;)

Scarab Sages

Thanks very much !

I'm not sure they will go in area I9, but that's good to know.

Madfang is stil alive in my game, and they have no plan to attack him. All of the Unchosen are dead. Right now the PCs' objective is to go under the Maggot Trone to find out what is seeking Zayifid there.
Ghartok is dead, "Rokova" has been dismasked to the surviving gnolls and troglodytes. The PCs showed them that Rokova was no gnoll. Zayifid fled. However his cache in H7 was not found, so he is still spying around.
Grundmoch is now the leader of the House of the Beast, he made peace with the surviving gnolls and he will not let the PC harm Madfang.

Good catch on the whispering wind spell, I missed it.

But it's even better about summon monster II, because they just found a summon monster II wand in coils of flames (the set piece with Salamanders).

The Witch has 1 rank in Linguistics, so I will allow her to identify the runes as Terran. This should be enough, I hope.

Again, thanks a lot Are.


This is probably too late, but you could just change the trigger to [fire] spells, the language to Ignan, or whatever you want. It would be thematically appropriate and, you are the game master after all.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

When I ran this for my group, I dreaded this roadblock. It's WAY too specific a barrier, and there is no other (written) way to progress. So I feared that my group would look at this, try a few things, and go back to Alma, because the last impassable barrier was the basement of the temple in Book 1 (which they spent half an hour of table time trying to break through). Anyway, I spent quite a bit of time jotting down altnernate ideas for them to get through, something to give them a hint, something for Zayifid to say to keep them trying.

Here's what happened:

No one in the party spoke terran, but I let them roll a DC 15 Linguistics roll (not a defined use of the skill, but it made sense) to identify the language as Terran. My wife, playing the druid, says something to the effect of "I summon an earth elemental to see if it can figure it out."

I didn't point out that if the earth elemental could figure it out, it wouldn't really have any way of communicating that to her, because if I said that, she might not have cast it, and I didn't want to go back to the dreading part.

Three weeks of dread, three minutes of play. Gotta love it.

Scarab Sages

@eakratz : Yes it was too late for my game, but thanks anyway.

@Christopher Dudley : It's funny because it was almost the same thing in my game :
The witch (played by my wife) made a successful Linguistics roll to identify the language as Terran. And she decided to use the summon monster II wand to summon a small earth elemental ! ;-)

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