2300, Sul, 1 Janosh, 3E1000
The Heroes 4 Hire continued their search of the dungeons beneath the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun, exploring a series of dusty old crypts that apparently hadn’t been visited in eons. The first crypt they happened into had sealed niches in the four walls of the odd, parallelogram shaped chamber, each sealed with black bricks. Six great sarcophagi lined up in the center of the room in two rows of three, all made of the same black stone. Some glittered with gold, others platinum. Jewels winked and glistened from sculpted visages atop each sarcophagus, gem “eyes” of red, orange,yellow, green, blue and violet. At least a dozen other shapeless statues lined the walls of the place, human-sized forms of black stone, but without clearly defined limbs and with featureless heads.
After taking in the scene for a moment in the low light of Karraway’s Light spell, Lt. Diplo Norixius took a step beyond the threshold into the chamber, only to be met with the floating, ethereal face of a spectral bulldog, peering at him sadly with glowing red eyes. He paused a moment, trying to discern what the sad bulldog was trying to convey, before taking another step into the crypt proper. The ethereal bulldog suddenly swelled to a large, demonic creature and attacked, catching the party by surprise. The nycaloth dove into the middle of the Heroes, attacking Karraway before teleporting to the other side of the chamber.
Smedley Hampton, Alton Beeblebrox and Illyia Baham rushed the fiend and engaged him in the middle of the sarcophagi, where it again teleported away to a point farther down the hallway that approach the crypt. While the rest of the group re-rushed to the nycaloth’s new position to fight, Smedley decided to start prying gems from the eye sockets of the visages while the distraction was underway, and pocket them as quickly as possible. The nycaloth again teleported to the middle of the party and the fight continued in the entrance threshold of the chamber.
The fiend threw down a Darkness spell, and the Heroes were presented with another opportunity to, begrudgingly, practice their blind-fighting skills. Erendriel Thalolan Wild Shaped into a rhinoceros and charged out the entrance and down the hall, while Naïlo Thia rode upon his back looking for an opportunity to take a shot at the nycaloth. Diplo and Alton found a wall in the Darkness and used that to navigate their way through, looking for an edge or the fiend itself. Illyia and Ryoun Rodri found their way out of the dark into the hallway, where they set up ready to attack anything that came out after them. Thalolan and Thia turned around and charged through the black again into the chamber, hitting no one on their way by.
The nycaloth guardian of the tomb found Karraway again and struck him down, just as Diplo and Beeblebrox found the fiend in the dark and returned the favor. The Darkness dissipated as the demon burned away to a pile of ash, and Diplo revived Karraway, Thia, Ryoun and Thalolan departed down the other branches of the entrance hallway to reconnoiter while the rest healed, investigated and looted the crypt the nycaloth was guarding. Down the other hallways they found other burial chambers, all with full, sealed niches and unguarded. The whole party regrouped once the first crypt was properly investigated, and they entered the last crypt in the series together.
The last crypt had sealed, burial niches along three walls of the rectangle, but the west wall had a faded painting of an inverted, two-stepped pyramid of purple hue. On one side of it was a shrouded black figure, on the other a black, many-rayed sun. Both of the black figures were merely outlined with silvery paint, gray and lusterless with age. A lone bier stood in the center of the chamber with a coffer of black stone, and its lid was askew — something had disturbed it, recently from the tracks around it in the dust.
The Heroes cautiously moved to investigate the coffin, and were not surprised when a corpse-like entity jumped up and declared they would all die for disturbing his, Wongas the High Priest, final resting place. The party hit him quickly and with such damage that the corpse immediately fell back into his own coffin, apparently finally resting.
They searched and found little of value, and them moved from the west wing of the dungeons to the east wing. There they searched several store rooms of rotting garbage, avoided a room with a few bones and nothing else apparent from the entrance way, and ended in a large chamber with a huge cistern of cool, clear water that descended out of sight. With the dungeons searched to their satisfaction, the team returned up the stairs to the lower level of the Temple proper.
Back on the lower level, the Heroes made short work of quick exploration of the west side of the Temple, forgoing any thoroughness of search in the interest of merely getting the layout of the temple discovered and ensuring that they had, in fact, eliminated all the monsters and other potential adversaries. They found that they did, in fact, own the temple on all levels, and could take their time to give it a thorough and proper searching, all in hopes of finding the ‘hidden closet’ mentioned in Slaggoth’s journal and discovering what the ‘Dark Preist’ is actually after.
The team split up, some returning to the encampment at the base of the Three Sisters and some staying to guard the Temple. The party broke the camp down and loaded everything back into the wagons, and then made the several day journey up the treacherous mountain path to bring all their equipment, supplies and companions up to the Temple complex.
Far, 6 Janosh, 3E1000
Will the Heroes ever find the ‘hidden closet’ referenced in Slaggoth’s journal? And what will they discover within if they do? What will be the outcome of the final showdown once the Dark Priest arrives?
Tune in next time, on “TGC: Heroes 4 Hire!!”