(Read the comments to the upper right for a breakdown of all magic items obtained on this first adventure)
Deeper onward they pressed, into the stygian depths beneath the earth into which they had bravely wandered.
Almost tripping over the corpse of the Dolgrim that escaped them, they were quite curious how he had died. Yet no clues were immediately forthcoming. And so they continued deeper still, coming to a long hallway.
Once they had established some light, they saw that the angles here were all wrong. Clearly someone had built this chamber, like the rest of the putrid temple within which they had found so many abominations. But whoever it was had no capacity for sane construction. Every surface appeared to curve both towards and away simultaneously, creating a bizarre sensation of depth that threatened to dizzy the careless onlooker. But the walls were less interesting than what was carved upon them, or the massive door that loomed at the halls end.
The newly donned Coat of Eyes allowed Gash to translate the carvings on the walls in a limited capacity, making sense to the pictograms that accompanied them. Some form of dark worship was going on in all three pictograms. In each, a single eye dominated the image, with dark sacrifices and bizarre monstrosities filling up the rest of the images….apart from the last. It clearly showed Sharn being grasped from below by massive tendrils, causing the buildings to curve towards one another. Thousands of beings knelt and gave praise to whatever entity the eye belonged to, as it watched on from above.
The problem was, the carvings pre-dated Sharns current incarnation by at least several thousand years. But the similarity to modern Sharn was virtually unmistakable.
After discerning a way to open the fifty-foot doors at the corridors end, our intrepid crew wandered into a room filled with complete darkness…save for a small circle of light cast by 4 braziers. Sunrods nor magical light aided in piercing the darkness. Natural light, however, seemed to work just fine. With that in mind, they explored the massive cavern in which they now found themselves.
Upon an altar within the circle of torchlight lay the last of the Orc scout bodies, neatly vivisected, his organs totally removed. Beside this corpse lay a tome of unknown origin. Tank quickly discerned that it should probably not be tampered with. The bones decorating its cover helped with that decision. The dark aura permeating its’ form helped too. But when he attempted to destroy the book, the door to the chamber slammed shut…and a deep grinding sound was heard at the far end in the darkness they had not yet explored.
They soon learned what it was. Red and Winston opted to investigate….and before them stood a massive carving, larger than any statue either of them had seen. It was a multitude of mouths and grasping tendrils, several of which were as thick as tree trunks and long enough to extend out of sight towards the unseen cavern ceiling. And whatever this thing was supposed to represent, they didn’t like it one bit.
Soon after the discovery, the thing began to move….They stood against the horrid abomination that was the monstrous living statue despite grievous wounds, and though it proved a great challenge, they were triumphant.
As the statue shattered into pieces, a prophecy mark manifested within the torchlight circle. Staring at it for a few moments, Tank found he was somehow able to make sense of it to a limited degree…as if it was translating itself for him.
(more about the prophecies later, in a separate section)
Their task complete, they investigated the rest of the issues that concerned them, next. Were the townsfolks souls freed from the writing on the walls, near their initial descent? It seemed not. The souls were still bound, and none of them could discern how to save them. They opted to seek greater powers to do this for them.
The town itself was cleared of the malign aura now, and they were now willing to leave.
Soon they found themselves back at the feet of Sora Katra , who had apparently been “entertaining” Deman Tahl for quite some time. Both seemed in good enough spirits, though Sora Katra was quite annoyed that the party had teleported the Orc scout bodies directly to her private Demense. She also noticed a strange “odor” about Gash…likely sensing his Coat of Eyes, which he was disguising using it’s own power.
She was a woman of her word, and signed the non-aggression pact. She also agreed to send her most powerful shaman to cleanse the souls from the trap on the wall…if it was possible at all.
The party, task completed, headed out. But this was not the end.
Deman Tahl and Ricker had many questions (and some answers)
Deman Tahl revealed that he was more than an eccentric diplomat. He was the King’s Aide and Advisor! He was sent on this mission primarily due to good relations with the Daughters of Sora Kell due to events in the past.
He and Ricker were quite curious about the Prophecy Marks, and seemed to be able to translate the one they had found in the village. Ricker, specifically, took a few moments to decode what he could. After he read it aloud, the party was quite disturbed. It told of a dark power rising from some sort of depths, and it certainly did not sound good.
When they asked about the Artifact the PCs had aquired, Gash revealed the Coat of Eyes by removing its disguise. Ricker instantly went sheet white, and bolted from the room without a moments pause.
What did he know of this coat that scared him so much? And what will happen when the PCs arrive back in Wroat?