Checking other rooms, the party has found other shafts with stuff falling forever, magic-eight-ball prophets, and eventually a stone bridge that summons shadows that do nasty things to paladins. In fact, Shalev suffered badly at the touch of one of these vile creatures before dispatching them in their fear of Maat.
Eventually they decided to feed a rope down in the Western shaft until it looped back around, and have climbed upwards to a landing with stairs 50 feet higher than the floor they were previously on.
The mages detected a light trap, but Ahriman antagonized the efreet on the other side by attempting to freeze him with one of the light beams. The efreet fired a beam of fire energy, which was countered by the amulet that Ahriman had been given by the Sheik….. only to fall to the fireball that came along at the same time. Alas, the efreet wasn’t interested in playing and disappeared.
The party carefully picked their way through the trap and uncorked a bottle containing the princess they were there to rescue, and after likewise liberating the Star Gem in the next room, left to find the Djinn that will safe the desert.
If only they knew how.
In the mean time, Kellyn summoned a whale for dinner.
The party finally got into the City of Phoenix, which they raised from the sand by opening the bottle containing the Djinn, but only after the blacksmith recognized how to coax him out did the GREAT EPIC BATTLE start.
Now, the party is looking for an ancient city on the Athis river, where the last Star Gem was kept.