Campaign of the Month: February 2016
Rise of the Durnskald
Luon's Journal - Sessions 68 through 71
After nearly two weeks of travel, we arrived at the next temple. The night before we got there, we spotted a figure in the night sky, but were unable to make it out. It was headed for the temple as well. The next day, we figured out from our approach that what we saw had to be an extremely large manticore. There were huge manticore spikes – the size of javelins – embedded in the trees on the path towards the temple. We saw several lizard-folk skeletons as well – the same kind we encountered in the previous temples. There were also evidence of kobolds.
At the temple itself, we didn’t encounter anything. We started to make our way inside – very carefully. We encountered several traps. Cara and Thoragen disappeared for a while and came back to us from outside. During that time Krellum was able to disable the large spear wall trap. Cara and Thoragen weren’t sure exactly how, but they wound up in a pit and were able to make their way out through a small tunnel.
We decided to try a different approach, and tried to get in through the second level. A door to a small study was accessible, and after disarming the trap at the door, we were able to get inside and look around the study. We were unable to find any other doors in the study, but did find some interesting books, as well as a potion on a pedestal in the middle of the room. There were also two doors around towards the back of the temple on the same level. The traps on those doors were deadly, nearly killing most of us. We were able to get one door open, but it knocked me out and temporarily disrupted all my magic. We spent the night in the study – the only seemingly defensible place we could find. The others noted that the door closed after a while, and inside it was completely dark after a few feet.
Overnight someone has moved a pair of statues in between the place we were sleeping and the other two doors. Any attempt at getting near the statues resulted in them channeling a disintegration spell at us. The front of the temple’s first floor was destroyed in the process. This enabled us to get a look into the first level – it was just a corridor that simply kept switching back on itself. Filled with traps, no doubt. At the end of the last section of hallway was a golden door. An inscription in the door indicated that someone needed to drink the potion from the study in order to enter. Krellum took the hit – and I’m glad he did and not me. It turned out to be some sort of slime. That’s when things got really disgusting. The door opened to reveal an avatar of Jubilex. While we fought that, Selin had to turn into snake form so Krellum could swallow her in order to fight the slime. We managed to kill the avatar – I’m sure that got Jubilex’ attention…
After all that, we went into the avatar’s lair and found a trident that had the ability to change weapon forms. Cara is using that, in the form of a rapier. Of course, that triggered another trap – a wave of more slime. There was so much of it that it filled the lower layers of the temple, flushing out the kobolds. Sirathen ran one down in order to get more information from it only to run into the manticore. Sirathen convinced it that we could fix the temple, which it considered his and the kobold’s home. Instead, we talked the manticore into taking the Temple of the Sun as a replacement home, and it rounded up the kobolds so that we could escort them back there. Two more weeks back to the Temple of the Sun, then two more weeks back to this one.
We went up to the third level of the temple to see if it could get us into the second level. After breaking a hole in the wall, we found level 3 and level 4 completely empty. The kobolds and manticore had cleaned it out. We broke a hole into the 2nd level only to find complete darkness. Krellum toss in a globe of fire and nearly got us all incinerated. The manticore had told us something about the sun and the moon touching being cataclysmic-ally bad, but it seems that anything light touching that darkness would be disastrous. After that Krellum tried just peering down into the hole. He disappeared and when he came back, something had tried to eat his brain or something, because he had a hole in his helmet and the back of his head was all bloody. From his descriptions of what he saw, there’s either a gate to the Far Realm, or a portion of it was brought into this temple.
I had an idea to put a hole in the roof above the other one we made so that at high noon the next day the light would hit the darkness and destroy the whole damned thing. Since it was later in the day, we decided to wait until just after noon the next day in order to give us more time to get away from the temple. During the night, I had a dream about the temple. It was built to honor Semuanya, the lizard folk god, and was said to house a great treasure – a relic of some sort. It was also built to imprison a great demon – obviously the avatar we fought. The whole temple area was considered to be holy ground by the lizard folk, and many battles against the juan-ti had happened here.
This information of course prompted the others to want to retrieve the relic. Against my better judgement, we went back in. This time Thoragen peered into the hole, and just like Krellum, disappeared. Selin tried to communicate with him, and the only message we got back was “run”. We barely made it out in time. I suspect Thoragen did something to bring in light, but he denies it. Whatever happened caused the entire temple to explode. I’m not sure how we all survived, but we did. We found Krellum laying in the smoking crater. I healed him as much as I could from my belt, and as he started to sit up, a golden egg dropped on his head, nearly taking out his good eye. I extracted it from his helmet – it’s about 2" in diameter. We can only assume it’s the relic, as it temporarily fried Thoragen’s monocle from the intense magic. I’ve got it in my backpack. As we set up camp for the night, I heard a voice in my head that said “impressive”. Not sure what was impressive or who was impressed by it, but there you have it. My feeling is that the relic has some sort of sentience. My preference would be to return it to the lizard folk once we return home.
Tomorrow everyone should be ready to travel on to the next temple. Maybe this time I’ll be able to get some information before we go inside…