Into the Depths

Artanas's Log: The Ancient Temple (Session 16)

The temple is oddly built. In one of the side rooms, we found a large metal pillar. The stairs in the room lead to the roof, where one of the spires was made out of the same metal.

We decided to focus on the main hallway. There certainly are a lot of traps in here. Fortunately, Jaridan is very good at ferreting them out, and even better at dodging the ones he overlooks.

The double doors at the end of the hallway had some strange writing around it. It looked vaguely Elven, but I couldn’t read it. Kyari used her magic to translate it. It read:

Only one who is pure of spirit can enter

Brottor couldn’t open the door, but Kyari was able to. Inside, we found a great hall. Leading across the floor was a long metal path, forged from what appeared to be the same metal we saw earlier. At the far end, a man sat slumped in a throne, pinned by a sinister looking sword. He wore silvery armor similar to what the undead warriors wore, only much finer. Shards of crystal littered the ground around him.

On the pathway in front of him lay another man in yellow armor. While both men were coated in dust, neither appeared to have been touched by the passage of time.

Frescoes lined the walls. They seemed to depict two races. One appeared Elven in nature, while the other vague resembled Hobgoblins. They seemed to be fighting over two crystals, which exploded in the end. The last scene showed Men and Dwarves and other races, suggesting this was the birth of the races as we knew them, although I’ve never heard of any religion that presents our origins like this.

Kyari entered the room first, and we all followed. Jaridan used his immovable rod to ensure the doors did not close behind us.

There was a lot of magic in both bodies. Brottor sensed evil as well, both in the man on the floor, and the sword that held the other in place. I felt the urge to remove the sword from him. After all, if the sword was evil and the man not, it seemed there could only be foul reasons for it being there in the first place. However, it was decided we should explore more of the temple before we disturbed anything.

There were stairs in the first hall, leading both up and down. Treading on the wrong step would cause the stairs to turn into a slide, leading to a row of spikes at the bottom. This proved to not be a great obstacle, as Jaridan once again used his immovable rod to lock the stairs in place.

The roof held a large pyramid-spire, bigger than the others. Inside it held four pillars. What any of these were for, we could only guess (and Jaridan did, several times).

Heading down, the stairs turned into a spiral. They stopped briefly at a door before continuing their descent. Jaridan peaked through the door to find some sort of crypt. Crystal coffins held bodies as whole as the day they died. However, some had broken, the bodies within rotted away to mere skeletons. However, as Jaridan looked around, these skeletons rose. He quickly shut the door, and Kyari sealed it with stone.

Pressing on, we came to another door, but thinking it was likely another crypt, we proceeded to the bottom of the stairwell. Here there was a much fancier door, made of metal. After some searching, Brottor found a keyhole, and we used the key the Eared-Folk had given us.

The room was large, but mostly empty, save for several metal pillars. What was worth noting were two holes knocked in the walls. We squeezed through the smaller one to find a giant pile of gold and jewels.

However, there was a crazed Dwarf who yelled that the treasure was his and promptly attacked us. He smelled horrible. Like a dead body left in the sun.

We pulled back, hoping to lure him into the open where we could press our advantage. We could hear him rummaging in the cave, until he showed up with a strange necklace. Pulling an gold orb off of the necklace he threw it at us, where it exploded like one of Isabelle’s fireballs. I got the brunt of it, yet fascinatingly, I was unharmed. It must be a blessing from Kelendenras.

Faced with the full brunt of the six of us, the undead Dwarf died quickly, dissolving into a horrid-smelling ooze. But the treasure was ours! Enough to fill the bag of holding, and mroe!

The other passage led to a small chamber with dark runes carved into the walls. As we watched, a shadow detached itself fromt the wall and came towards us. The cave was too narrow to fight in properly, so again we retreated, but the shadow did not seem to follow us. Kyari once more used her magic to seal up the entrance.

We returned to the great hall to investigate the two bodies there. Kyari was unable to speak with the dead king. So the plan was to take the king’s sword and use it to impale the yellow-armored man, in case he rose, then remove the evil sword from the king’s body.

There was a flash of silver light when Kyari picked up the sword, but nothing we could do seemed to have any effect on the body. However, when Brottor pulled the sword from the other man, his body crumbled to dust, leaving a glowing form behind.

He spoke in a language I could not understand, but Kyari, with the help of Isabelle’s Tongues spell, translated for us.

He spoke of the ancient battle depicted on the walls, and how they slept, waiting for the Day of Judgment. The other man came to stop them. His soul is still in the temple, animating the dead. He told us that the sword could defeat him, and he gave his armor to Kyari. There were more weapons in the armory that we might be able to use.

We rested in the armory, looking over some of the loot we had obtained. There were a few magic items in the mix, including one we determined with a little experimentation would allow the wearer to speak, understand, and even read other languages.

We headed below once more. The skeletons were still pounding at the stone wall Kyari had made. We gathered outside where we had sealed the shadow, but even as we were preparing for the fight, things turned sour. There was a loud clatter from behind us that could only be the skeletons breaking free. Before we could respond to this, the shadow stepped through the wall and attacked.

It was a frustrating fight. Even with the silver spear I had taken, my attacks would pass through him like nothing. He would lash out at Kyari, then duck back into the confines of the wall.

In the end, Kyari used her magic to break open the passage again, and Brottor ran forward, using his Lay on Hands to channel great amounts of positive energy into the shadow. It was too much for him, and burst apart into nothingness.

The skeleton warriors had fallen. We stopped briefly so Brottor could cast the evil sword into the Chasm, and we headed back to the Pillar of Dorzun. Tomorrow, we resume the search for my family. I only hope the gold and magic we gained here will make up for the delay.

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