Sundered Empires Session Report 37-Shrine of He Who Watches

Read the previous play report

Sorry, spoke too soon.  Still the omniscient Judge here.  We’ll be back to the journals next week…

 

The eagles flew to a mountaintop and roosted, allowing the party to recover their spells before continuing on to the ruins where the eagles believed the mirror still rested.

They found the ruins in a deep mountainous valley.  There were no easy paths into the ravine, and the ruins appeared built into the stone walls themselves.

As the eagles neared the ravine, a hoard of dark shapes flapped into the air.  Black, winged shapes with blunted maws and stinger tails.  The eagles scattered, but Anika flung a fireball straight into the mass, incinerating a swath of them and forcing the rest to flee.  The Eagle King said they must follow the creatures before they could warn the Kings so they swooped down and dropped the party before taking back to the air to chase the creatures.

The party was dropped at the end of a stone colonnade, fifteen feet across, about a hundred feet long.  Tall columns stood carved from the ravine walls themselves.  As the (large) party moved down the center, some of the characters caught a glimpse out of the corner of their eyes of dust moving and the next thing they knew, something was attacking Jayna.  Cronyan jumped in the way and took the blow, and the fight was on.  

The creature was completely invisible and so was able to freely attack the party while they flailed back at it.  They tried various ploys to reveal it, but enough lucky blows still wormed through to defeat it without ever seeing what it was.

They climbed some stairs onto a platform.  The walls around the cave were decorated in frescoes of a heroic figure being anointed by divine beings.  In the center of the platform was a pit filled with sand.  One of the gladiators, a soul knight, had cast detect magic previously and he revealed that some of the piles of sand on the platform were glowing.  So, the party used their new found innate magical abilities (controlling the wind) to blow the piles of sand together and then have Cronyan drop an elemental burst on it.  Four singed skeletal figures rose from the flame and attack the party but were quickly put down.

Inside the pit they found cracked paintings showing a man-insect being glowing with light.  Words in a strange tongue that only Long Tom could read (thanks to his helm) revealed that this temple was to He Who Watches, and there were figures making offerings of plants and fruit to the figure, so the party threw some dried figs into the pit…just to be safe.

Inside the yawning opening, they found a staircase leading down into darkness, and four sarcophagi leaning against the walls, all covered in warnings against bothering them lest the interloper be cursed.  One of them had been opened and the mummy and their buried goods were haphazardly strewn about the floor.  Kaenan-Tal and Rage Claw took a moment to put the mummy right and replaced the fallen items, and in that moment of kindness discovered a latch for a secret door.  The wall pivoted, with the sarcophagi attached, and revealed a smaller staircase down that led to a blank wall.  Ten minutes later, the Alert party members discovered another secret door and opened it.

A vast hall stood on the other side.  Lions of amber stood on either side of the large staircase they had seen when first arriving.  One glimmedered with magic, but did not move when they entered the room.  It was long, with small pillars running to the western end.  A large golden statue of a vulture headed man (one of the servants of the Cerulean King they were told by the locals) stood where an old statue (now broken in pieces on the floor) once stood.  The old statue contained both human and insect parts.

A door led to a room full of dusty urns and boxes and then to the burial chamber of the High Priest and Priestess of the temple, again with warnings not to trouble their rest of their goods (there were two gem studded boxes at their feet, which the party…amazingly…left alone). 

A lot of searching later revealed a huge pile of scrolls that detailed the history of the temple and a secret door behind the vulture statue. 

They opened it, revealing a 15’ by 15’ foot room, again covered in faded and cracked paint.  And a tall, mummified figure, blackened with age and perhaps evil, dressed in rotted regalia.  It told the party that they would die as unbelievers and began to cast a spell.  Lysander, who opened the secret door, shrugged off whatever it was and jumped back, while Kaenan-Tal tried to talk to the abomination.  It responded by summoning a column of horror into the room with them, icy blackness that ripped and tore and burned.  Anika and Cronyan fell, Rage Claw was wounded nigh to collapse.  Long Tom leapt away and avoided the worst, but only just. 

And that’s where we had to end it.  Hopefully next session report won’t be a detail of the TPK that follows…

 

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