My last entries are lost somewhere between the shorelines of Moira and the place I awoke, laying amid the bones of previous captives. My first thought was that I had made a bed out of corpses in the darkness of the ships bowels and did not realize my mistake until mornings light. Using my light I guickly understood that I was no longer aboard a ship and that I was a prisoner of a Kobold cult giving praise to the sleeping beast beneath the very floor I awoke upon. Their loyalty to him did them no justice when I took their lives, and he received no feast as I left him sleeping as I walked from the cave surveying my wounds. I reached into my bag and retrieved the silk scrap that once belonged to the Kobold enemy and tied it around the stinging gash on my arm. I flew to the top of a high stone and slept in a hidden nook on its side. When I woke up I felt very refreshed, taking a few moment to recall what I had faced the day before, and pressed on to find a more suitable environment to prepare for whatever lie ahead.
I was surprised when I came upon the gates of Ambrovere, the capital city of Brahve. Before awaking in the remains of Kobold captives and fighting for my own freedom, I was sleeping aboard a ship set out for Brahve shoreline in order to get within flying distance of The Isle of Melora. The change of events has not been an inconvenience as I am unaware of what exactly I was trying to accomplish in the first place.
Inside Vandercrest’s home a sense of nostalgia washed over me. Over his hearth on a mantle where several vases filled with flowers that I recognized from my past. Further inspecting the room I felt certain that we were in the presence of a warlock. [[:20309 | Das], an Eladrin fighter, called into another room from which a Tiefling ducked his head into the doorway, eyes wide from surprise.
Vandercrest requested we all gather around for the details of the adventure. He began speaking, in rushed sentences, about The Great Temple of Rokthull. Laying on a table before him was a sparkling ruby radiating with a magical aura. He spoke of how beneficial and rewarding the journey and our participation would be, speaking in provocative tones about the worldly treasures we would find. I am not interested in tangible goods, and I wondered if there wasn’t an underlying attraction to this mission.
“What is in this other than your material treasures?” I asked brashly.The tiefling flinched visibly at my lack of appeasement at his revelations. Das responded, gesturing to the stone,“Don’t you feel the magic this possesses?”
“Yes,” I responded, “But I prefer magic I can control, not magic that seeks to control me.”
Vandercrest continued in his excitement to explain the historical importance of the journey. The most valuable treasure would be a legendary staff which, when reassembled, would reveal many truths about the past. I felt myself warm to the group as I realized that they seemed to be as intrigued by the knowledge as they did the riches and that I may actually find some purpose in this mundane existence.
Das, Beksehmet, and I went into the city to spread word of the mission. A member of the Temple of Ioun came to us asking that we locate a book that was left behind by the former clergy in this area. Das seemed to adopt the idea quickly so I just added this request to the list of tasks ahead. We were asked by another group to take notes of the Temple so that we may help them produce the first ever known map of The Temple. The last request was one of compassion, a woman whose husband went on a quest to the Temple of Rok Thull and never returned, Mr. Douven Staul. I promised her that I would give my best to get her any information I could about her husband.
The group met along the shoreline to board a ship early this morning. I am eager to get into the waters. The temperature is dropping severely the air is foggy with freeze. I think it may require some firepower to get past the ice. I will not be writing again until we have acquired the staff and visited The Great Temple of Rok Thull.
I had invisioned The Temple of Rok’Thull as a magestic structure. There was no Temples on the horizon, only snow and wind, Finally we arrive to a rock standing against the white. The stone wasn’t collecting snow like the grounds around it, rather it seemed to melt the snow to a misty fog. Vandercrest walked up to the rock confidently and pushed his hands beneath the swirling fog, moments later a pillar rose from the ground and revealed the entrance to the temple.
Inside the temple was a long room filled with pews. Running down the center of the room was a red carpet leading to an alter. Just beyond the entryway two fountains babbled out muddy water, and more fountains adored the front of the room. Vandercrest began to explain his hypothesis on how he thought the staff would work, gesturing to a stone before him. The wall was beautifully adorned with intricate relief art displaying ancient symbols I couldn’t grasp. I looked down to see a wand laying on the alter and picked it up for myself, quickly looking about for any possible objection from the others to see them gazing at attractions of their own. Finally we opted to move on and followed the back door to a hallway which we first took left.
Beksehmet opened the door and seen a goblin sleeping inside. Suddenly their was pink mist everywhere. I couldn’t tell what was going on and it didn’t seem anyone else could either. When the air settled we filed into the small room our eyes searching for the creature. There were no doors, could he have vanished? In our search we found a trapdoor beneath the desk and Das lowered himself in the dark space. I heard commotion from below and gently lowered myself down as well, unaware of what I would see. The goblin stood across the room and Das stood, brow furrowed, directed toward the west wall. The goblin had affected his vision, but I was able to hit him with frost weakening hi m while the party reassembled itself. In the hidden room I found a Talon Amulet. I put in around my neck, working around my rigid hair.
The doorway at the other end of the hallway let to yet another hallway. Their where two doors, one directly in front of us, and another futher down in the opposite direction down the corridor. I began to feel useless as I watched the men fighting, all I could do was follow the orders Das called out. I backed up quickly, allowing for the group to retreat, but the fight was over before retreat even started. We searched the room, which seemed to be used for ritual draining, or perhaps gathering blood for some other use implication. There was also a sarcophagus slide across the floor to reveal stairs leading under The Temple.
Beneath the temple was a long room with tombs stretching its lengths on either side. The red carpet led through the center to a door at the end. On either side of the doors was woodwork stands with shining white statues set on both. Das began to cross the room when suddenly the tombs began to groan their covers opening simultaneously. Beksehmet’s growl echoed off the walls as he stood defensively. Everyone bolted into battle, there were enough Undead to exert all our efforts, and I quickly reduce my fair share to ash. The bodies came forth in a second wave and we cut the down. Having no more enemies visible Das took the opportunity to rush to the door. When the door proved to be unyielding he then turned inquisitively to the statue on the woodwork stand. I seen him kneel down and suddenly all the tombs along the opposite wall slammed shut. I ran to the statue in front of me and kneeled before two statues of Bahamut, praying for his quidance. With the tombs now securely closed we felt no immediate danger and began to discuss our first major encounter. We each agreed to keep a statue of Bahamut from the stands. We then rested in the stairwell, eventually nodding off into the night.
The next morning we continued through the temple’s lower layer encountering more goblins through the room we had battled in the night before. I was able to help very little once again as Das commanded from the doorway. I bet he has had a fair share of adventures. When we walked through the room we saw every wall was latticed with spikes. The room seemed built purely for combat, I would venture to guess that means something worthy of protection was nearby. We searched a small room finding vials of healing herbs and concoctions, I tossed them to the men for melee maladies. Beksehmet stood at a dresser holding in his hands a beautifully dyed headdress, he asked me to examine it, and when I revealed it to be the Headdress of Flight, something I found of personal interest, he passed it into my ownership, I tied it on immediately, smiling like a child with a new toy. I thought I heard Das snicker at me, so I guickly frowned looking away, continuing to knot the stings.
The next room was filthy. The ground was made of dirt and along the back wall five gravestones stood in a row. Beksehmet gave a shriek as he sidestepped the wall. The startling discovery was bony fingers jutting out of the stone wall. I looked instinctively around for a lever and told the men my theory. Das suggested the gravestones and so we each began inspecting the stones. The fourth stone seemed have a flexing field of magic over it, my hand tingling as I graze my fingertips over it. I tell the men to stand back as I use my scorching burst to penetrate the magical field. The wall pulls away from the fingers, the rock collapsing in on inself, forming a doorway, and allowing the corpse to fall to the soil below. A tick seems to echo off the inner walls of the hidden space beyond the graveyard wall. Das stepped inside to find a chest empty of all but one parcel of parchment, the last words of Douven Staul. “This treasure chest has been looted by the Great Douven Staul. So long suckers!”
I clenched my jaw in remorse and understanding. It would unfortunate to deliver news to the Widow Staul that her husband’s fate was sealed by his cocky demeanor. I couldn’t help wonder if it was a quality that had drawn her to him in the highlight of their courtship. Outside of the small room we looted Douven Staul, in the end stripping him of all he died for, and Beksehmot retrieved the letter from the chest and handed it to me for keeping, reminding me in his gesture that his news was mine to give. I suppose she is lucky to know what happened to him at last, she can rejoice in that he died in jest, what a comfort that will be.
The next room we entered was large and parts of the wall were latticed with spikes as before. A large black hole in the floor revealed a dark distance going further into the Temples depths. The men seemed out of sorts in this room, as though it left them too unguarded, although no threat opposed them. I announced that I wanted to fly down the shaft to find out what it possessed. The men agreed we shouldn’t overlook it, especially since all available doors where locked. I flew down, tied to a long rope that was secured on the wall above, and landed on a stone platform. I used my light to see around me, smooth walls to both sides of me but below the surface of the platform I could see about ten feet of spikes jutting out from the round platform I now stood on. As I struggled to find the meaning behind my surroundings I called up to the men, my words cut short by the abrupt movement below me. I held onto the stones surface, steadying myself as not to fall into the blades below.
The stone began to climb to the surface rapidly, spinning in circles leaving me dizzy. When the stone breached the surface it began to move across the room spinning wildly out at my party members. It was very hard to focus on anything happening around me. I heard the coarse barking of orders, then suddenly Das was atop the stone beside me. I grumbled a unintelligible hello before he catapulted of the stone again. My fingernails felt as though they were breaking away as I held to the stone. Below I heard the pained cries gurgles of Vandercrest. Finally the stone stopped, the work I found out later of Beksehmet finding a hidden panel along the wall. I quickly lowered myself to the mangled body of Vandercrest, looking for any rapidly flowing cuts, using my silk scraps to tie of any existing flows. Das and Beksehmet helped move Vandercrest from the corner he had wedged himself, between the spikes of the platform and those of the wall.
We rested in the room while Vandercrest mended, with the aid of the potion we acquired earlier. After our rest we passed through one of the two doors we had not yet explored. Through the door we found ourselves in a small room. The far wall immediately caught my eye as I watched the way the surface seemed to melt in and out like the ocean’s tide. I wasn’t entirely sure what my eyes were seeing, the wall seemed, soft. Das and Beksehmet pressed through the wall, and I almost called out for them to stop, afraid that there was no other side to this mysterious soft spot. I heard the collisions from the opposite side and pressed myself through, stepping into battle, along side the others in my party.
After the battle we seen that the room housed an artillery of weaponry, all old and beyond use. A loud voice boomed out from the wall where an old, rusted suit of armor stood in display,
“A wondrous treasure, valued by all, sought by many, found in both victory and defeat, yet never in the bottom of a treasure chest. It marches before you like a herald, and lives long after you are gone. Of what do I speak?”
I thought for a moment and muttered half-heartedly, “Legend?” The word spoke broke the glamour placed upon the suit and the it revealed to be a handsome black armor. Beksehmot asked the men to help him change from his current armor to his new treasure. He must have been impressed by the new armor because it seemed he was very proud of his current armor, taking the take to admire through his tattered hydes throughout the temple. (to be con’t)