Session XI, part 2

Upon arriving at the temple ruins, the party found an entrance carved out of the hillside. Warily remembering other times they had descended into the ground, they were relieved that nothing horrible happened to them as they descended a long staircase and came out into a long hall. The walls and floors were smoothly-hewn and tastefully nondescript.

Beginning to explore, the brave adventurers first found a large room featuring four large pillars, one of which had begun to crumble, opening a fissure in the ceiling through which a thin sliver of sunlight shone into the otherwise dark chamber. Before anyone had a chance to look around, though, they were set upon by six giant (small dog sized) centipedes, whose bites proved to be capable of paralyzing the victim – as Stark, Koringa, and Bunny all quickly discovered! Spiderssen fought valiantly, but ultimately it was Eiluned who skillfully destroyed all six of the unnatural arthropods. A combination of potions and time thawed out the rest of the party, though each found that the location of their bites – the fighters’ ankles, and Bunny’s left arm – were practically useless. The quick quaffing of potions restored the fighters to fighting shape, though Bunny forsook a cure for the time being, wanting to conserve their resources.

As the party recovered its wits and range of motion and began exploring the room, they were disturbed and disgusted to find yet another giant centipede lurking in wait for them behind one of the pillars. This one was truly giant – that is, man-sized – and its mandibles clicked menacingly. However, it proved singularly ineffective against the fully-restored party, and it joined its smaller cousins in an ichorous death ere too much time passed.

Continuing their explorations, the party found that the pillars were carved with images which must have once represented the life of St. Cyrus. Like the defaced mosaics adorning the walls, however, it was impossible to discern their content. Additionally, the fault in the ceiling had let in a significant amount of rainwater, which formed a nasty pool, and which no doubt contributed to the growth of the many discolored fungi across the floor and walls.

All the party found of any interest was a small votive candleholder and an exquisitely carved wooden statue of St. Cyrus. Both seemed fairly valuable but the statue, at four feet tall, was too tall to be carried, so the party left it behind for the time and headed south, into a small circular room that consisted entirely of a pool beneath an aperture in the ceiling. At one point light from the aperture must have reflected in the pool, but at present – and for Cyrus knows how long – the entire room was covered in dangerous-looking green slime. The party chose not to even bother investigating, and withdrew.

Coming around a corner, the party were surprised to find three brigands laying in wait for them, along with a freakish creature with a body as long as a horse and a wolfish head larger than a lion’s. After some blows were exchanged, Spiderssen cast his favorite spell and the bloodied brigands fled while vomiting profusely as the wizard stood there twirling his face on his index finger. After the rest of the party killed the creature, they realized that they were at the end of a collapsed tunnel, and that the brigands and the creature must have been attempting to dig into the ruins of the tunnel, though to what end they could not discern.

The party decided to see if Flea could track the brigands by following the scent of the vomit she had been looking up. She seemed to understand, and they followed her to a room that looked as though it had been a dormitory: smashed-up wooden pallets, shreds of bedding and clothing, etc. There were no brigands, but Flea immediately found a crack in the tiled floor through which rose a stench that could only be described as charnel. The crack was too small to fit through, and peering through revealed only darkness.

Frustrated, the party re-investigated a room adjacent to the collapsed tunnel, which, judging by the broken glass and dark stains on the floors, seemed to have been the temple’s wine cellar. There were a few unbroken bottles, and upon opening one it smelled decidedly vinegary.

Working their way through the dark, narrow halls, the party also found a disused workshop, the contents of which seemed to have been smashed in the sacking of the temple, though a few functional tools remained.

As the party entered a circular room full of smashed barrels and crates, they were certainly surprised when two big spiders dropped from the ceiling! Combat was fierce and frightening until the spiders were soundly crunched, and in the flickering of torchlight the party saw a shadowy shape in the webbing at the top of the room. Poking it with his staff, Spiderssen was able to dislodge it, though in doing so he caused it to fall on Bunny, though she sustained no damage. It proved to be the desiccated husk of a man. Searching the corpse revealed a small coin purse containing 10 gp, as well as a scroll case. The scroll it contained was written in an obscure eldritch dialect, and all Spiderssen could determine casually was that the spell was called “Mask Alignment.”

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~ by erranttiger on October 23, 2011.

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