Chronicles of the Blades

Act 1, Chapter 3

Descending into the depths of the temple, Temper’s Blades soon learned that things were much more dark than they at first appeared. As if the dead bodies in the village weren’t enough, or the sinister hints of cult activity…They now found themselves in the deep dark below the surface of the world.

A staircase awaited them after clearing out the cultists in the upper chambers of the Temple. One that descended far deeper than imagined. Three thousand steps or more, with nary a hint of light, and the bottom was at last reached. There, an eerie red glow greeted them. When approached, the glow was revealed to be coming from strange runic text, a language with which none of them were familiar. However, through inspection, they learned the potential purpose of the letters. While they slowly crawled along the floors, walls and ceilings, they also revealed that they were names. And within each name, a soul was bound for some dark, unknown purpose.

Onward they continued into the caverns, impossible angles and black stone encompassing every surface. They walked until they found themselves waist deep in brackish water, under which the passage continued into a vast cave filled with this same water. An elevated passage awaited them on the other side, though it required a rope to ascend. Before they could do so, a hideous beast sprang from the dark water, vast tentacles striking at the heroic adventurers. Their tenacity, however, won them the day, and the creatures terrible arms retreated back into the depths from whence they came.

Still onward they pressed, until they were forced to overcome a ward blocking their progress. Even it’s potent magic was no match, despite overcoming them momentarily, forcing them to attack one another through domination magic. Thanks to Gash and Tank, the ward was dispelled, and they were able to continue. Faced with a choice of east or south through the caverns, they wisely chose south…avoiding the dark horror that awaited them to the east that waited to devour their very souls.

A brief respite was gained at a subterranean waterfall, the flowing waters of which were strangely pure amid the wretched evil all around them. Restoring their health and fortitude, this water gave them the strength to continue. And this is most fortunate, for their trials were far from over.

The stumbled next into a long, narrow corridor lined with horribly detailed statues that resembled no creature they had ever before heard of, nor seen. But most important in this hall was what stood at its very entrance, protected from influencing the Temple around it through a ward set there by the cult themselves. Upon a pedestal in this ward, a suit of armor lay. Made of what looked like carapace, bone, and muscle, this coat bore dozens of eyes…live eyes that peered at them with longing…wanting. The common sense in them bade them to ignore it…but the temptation was too great, along with the desire to investigate what the cult wanted to keep it contained for. Gash bravely donned the Coat of Eyes, despite not knowing what it might do. Momentary discomforted coursed through him as the coat attached itself to his torso. At that very moment, the statues in the hallway came to life, attacking those that violated the ward.

After the statues were defeated, they found another dead orc scout laying against a wall in the corridor. He looked as if he had fought valiantly, but alas, his skill was far from sufficient. Like the others, his black feather sent him back…but not before the PCs wrote a letter describing all they had uncovered.

The Blades carried on further, and found another room of worship. This one, however, bore no cultists. Instead, Dolgrim, Dolgaunts and a Blue Slaad stood guard and devoted themselves to whatever black god their foul forms gave worship to. Despite brutal attacks and overwhelming magical attacks, the Blades slew them to a man, but for one foolish Dolgrim that bolted in fear into the black hall at the end of the chamber. Seconds later, he could be heard dying, painfully, by unseen forces ahead.

What lies in wait for Temper’s Blades? What manner of thing could possibly lurk in this unfathomable depth? They will soon find out…and perhaps wish they never had.

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