Campaign of the Month: August 2013

Dragons of Autumn

The Temple of Mishakal

Session 4

As the group enters the ruins of Xak Tsaroth, they notice steam rising from a well to the east. Yelfis moves to investigate as the rest of the group heads towards the only standing structure among the ruins. As Yelfis approaches, he hears a whooshing sound coming from the well. Suddenly, a large black dragon flies up from the well. It hovers just above the well and declares, " Fools! You will never leave my swamp alive! "
A wave of fear washes over the group as the once mythical creature blasts them with a stream of acid from its mouth. As the group dives for cover, The dragon begins uttering a magical incantation and the area surrounding the well is cast in complete darkness. The group stumbles for a way out of the magical darkness except for Yelfis who charges for the well. His battle cry attracts the attention of the dragon who launches her acid breath attack at the dwarf. Blz19 Yelfis survives the attack and hears the dragon dive back into its well. The companions guide Yelfis out with the sound of their voice and take refuge in the only standing structure of the ruins.
The giant golden doors open easily and the group enters what appears to be an ancient temple. The statue of a beautiful woman stands before them – her arms stretched out in front of her as if she were holding something. When Goldmoon enters the room, the statue comes to life and says:
" Beloved disciple, the gods have not turned away from man. Man turned away from the true gods and now seek gods who do not truly exist. But the end of darkness nears. Krynn is about to face its greatest test. Men will need truth more than ever. You must return the truth and restore balance. "
" To gain the power, you shall need the truth of the gods. Far below this temple life the Disks of Mishakal, circular plates of platinum that are all you need to call upon my power. You must recover these Disks. "
" But your way will not be easy. The Disks now lie in the lair of the dragon. Therefore I bless your staff; if you present it boldly, never wavering, you shall prevail. Even then, your journey is not complete; you must leave here and search for a true Leader of the People. "
The statue returns to its original pose and says no more to the group. The group is stunned and excited as their quest for knowledge of the old gods is finally bearing fruit. They quickly decide to scout the temple for a path that will lead them below.
The temple yields a few worship rooms. Two are empty, but one contains a trio of Baaz arguing over a scroll placed on a dais. Kip stealthy approaches the Baaz to investigate. Unfortunately, the Baaz are speaking their draconic language and Kip can only understand that they are fighting over the scroll. Kip considers tripping one of the Baaz with its own cloak, but realizes its vestigial wings prevent such imbalance. Instead, Kip launches a sneak attack. The noise of battle quickly draws the rest of the group. Two of the Baaz turn to stone as they fall in combat, but the third surrenders. The group attempts to interrogate the Baaz about the temple, but the information he provides is useless and they slay him. The group continues to search the final rooms of the temple.
The second to last room contains a group of small and dirty dwarves who are attempting to dig through a stones wall with bare hands at the urging of a lead dwarf. The group recognizes them as Aghar or gully dwarves. When the gully dwarves notice the group, they mistake them for Baaz and begin groveling for their meager lives. The group clarifies the misunderstanding and the head gully dwarf looks relieved. The gully dwarves introduces themselves and their supervisor urges them back to work " looking for pretties. "
The group inquires about the search for " pretties " and the lead gully dwarf explains that they are on a mission to secure pretties for their than, The Great Phudge Highbulp! And with the mention of their King, all of the gully dwarves stand at attention and salute.
The gully dwarves are not that intelligent, but the group is patient and manages to buy some information from them for a few copper. The group asks how many Baaz are below to which the gully dwarf responds with animated gestures. He counts his fingers, toes, and the fingers of another gully dwarf before smiling and responding, " No more than two! "
The conversation is exasperatingly difficult, but the group convinces the gully dwarves to lead them to their King. The group follows the band of gully dwarves to a chamber behind the statue. The room contains a spiral stone stair case and a moss covered pillar that does not touch the ceiling, but is too high to see the top. The group stops as a few of the companions attempt to climb the pillar, but it is hopelessly covered with moss. Yelfis asks one of the gully dwarves to climb the pillar. The gully dwarf is much more accustomed to managing slimy surfaces and scales the pillar quickly. He descends with a handful of silver coins and splits it amongst the companions. The companions follow the gully dwarves down the sprial staircase.
The next level of the temple appears to be the typical mausoleum one expects in old temples. The level is one long hall separated by gaping chasms where the floor has fallen away to reveal a massive cave below the temple. Several beams of daylight breakthrough the cavern to reveal more ruins of Xak Tsaroth about 700 feet below them. There are corridors on either side of the great hall and the companions are led by the gully dwarves to the corridor on the right.
The corridor contains several recesses for tombs, but it is currently occupied with dozens of gully dwarves waiting in line. At the other end of the corridor, the group can make out the sound of a Baaz shouting orders in common, " You, you, and you. Into the pot! " The orders are followed by the sound of a whip and then the screeching sound of a large mechanism. One of the gully dwarves eyes the companions and says, " I don’t thinks the bosses will lets you ride the pots. "
The group agrees that riding the pots or meeting the " bosses " is a good idea so they ask if there is any other way to the city below. The gully dwarves offer to take them on the " special gully dwarf way. " One of the gully dwarves leads the group back into the main hall where they avoid the chasms and make it to the far end. Along the way, they spot the Baaz giving orders and lashings to several gully dwarves who hop into a giant larder pot and are lowered on a massive chain. The mechanism attached to chain is being operated by a large ogre.Blz06
As the group approaches the far end, Almaia spots a very nice chest on the opposite side of a particularly large break in the floor. The temptation is enough for her to test her skills and she asks the group to hold on. Riverwind secures her with a rope and she begins to circumnavigate the chasm on floor that is visibly unstable. A few sections of floor break away under her delicate steps, but she successfully crosses to the other side and secures the chest. The chest contains five flawless diamonds, easily worth 1,000 steel each.
Before crossing back to the group, Almaia notices a small corridor and she investigates. The room contains several ornate sarcophagi and a lone ghostly form stands among them. The ghost appears to be a young human guard. He looks around sleepily and spots Almaia. " Oh, hello. I have been on shift for a very long time and am eager to rest. Are you my relief? "
Almaia admits that she is not and apologizes. The ghost sleepily looks around again until his gaze settles on Almaia again. " Oh, hello. I have been on shift for a very long time and am eager to rest. Are you my relief? " Almaia realizes that the ghost is obviously not stable and slowly backs out of the corridor, back across the chasm, and rejoins the group.
The group returns to the far end of the hall where another statue stands like the first; this statue, however, does not speak. The gully dwarf leads them to a foul smelling pipe in the back of the room and climbs right in – the companions follow. The pipe is covered with ancient and foul smelling slime and descends at a steep angle. Almaia and Mora follow first as they are both capable of controlling their descent. Mora with her monk skills and Almaia with her ring of feather fall. Despite their advantages, Mora and Almaia find the pipe unmanageable and rely on their skills and magic items to guide their way down the pipe. The rest of the group travels slowly and eventually their two human companions in the rear lose their footing and slide down. The larger human figures catch the rest of the group and they all slide to the bottom. During their descent, they notice a junction in the pipe. Unfortunately, they are traveling too fast to alter course and cruise right past the junction.
The pipe dumps them in a small room. The floor is wet as the walls are seeping mucky swamp water. The group notices that the floor is steeped like a ‘V’ almost like the roof of a building. As they look up to confirm the ceiling is a floor, a giant monstrous spider attacks! Despite the close quarters, the group is able destroy the spider. The smell of the foul beast quickly drives them into the next room.
The group has to climb to get through the doorway as they are obviously in an upside-down building. The next room is larger and filled with broken and rotted wood furniture. The group checks the ceiling again and notices the ceiling bustling with ghostly images of patrons and barmaids. They move around without noticing the group or even the laws of gravity. The group calls to them, but the ghost flee in fright from them. The building and its ghostly patrons appears to have been an inn that was destroyed in the Cataclysm along with most of the city of Xak Tsaroth. The doors and windows that would have led out of the inn do not open and are seeping swamp water. The swamp water all seems to flow towards the hearth and chimney of an upside-down fire place. The group investigates and determines that the chimney acts as a drain into another cavern. One-by-one, the group climbs into the fireplace, down the chimney, and enters another cavern.

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