Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Colony - Turn 34 - Whispers in the Dark

Despite the freaky hallucination/vision, the party decides to explore a bit more of the shrine complex.

Start Date: August ?+1, Early afternoon
Start Status: Another Path
Start Location: Mountain ruin

Adventuring: Rennard, Jinx, Mendel, Aaron, Maarek, Xon
At the Tulip: Adrienne, Brigg, Hagan, Kessel, Smoke, Zenobe

The Turn

After discovering the evil altar and experiencing a strange vision, the group decides to back out and explore a different direction, at least for now. Xon leads the way to the courtyard, where the group turns its collective attention to the east portcullis. Like the south entrance, the bars here are corroded and weak. It's fairly easy to create an opening the group can get through. Xon waits outside and keeps watch on the portcullis and courtyard while the others advance cautiously into the room.

This area is even larger than the first shrine, close to 100 feet east-west and 70 feet north-south. Two large passages, one leading north, the other south, lead away into darkness and there are doors visible down these corridors. The east end of the room is taken up by four raised platforms, three small ones with altars, one larger one with three statues that appear similar to the three outside on the raised platform.

A stocky, muscular, scowling man [west statue] crouches at the front. He is bare-chested and wields a spiked ax that appears too big to use effectively. A slim woman with a cloud of long hair and a dagger at her waist [southeast statue] stands beside a stern-faced man [northeast statue] wearing armor and holding a raised sword with a faceted blade. Like the statues outside, these figures are very tall and have pointed ears, high cheekbones and narrow features.

The three altars resemble the one in the south chamber, except Rennard says it is not tainted by evil. However, instead of three different runes in the ring around the central obelisk-shaped decoration on top, each has a single repeated symbol. North altar = center symbol. middle altar = top center symbol, and south altar = bottom center symbol.

While the others carefully check on the altars/statues, Jinx peers down the south hall. "Well that was a waste of time," he calls out. "This corridor turns west. I bet it joins up to the other passage we saw." He walks to the corner and peeks around. Between his light and the sunlight filtering through the south portcullis, he can see the entire corridor. A quick check shows the north corridor is similar.

Suddenly, Xon cries out, "Guys! Did you see that!?"

Everyone runs to the entry. "What was it?" asks Maarek. "We didn't see anything, did we?" He looks at the others. Everyone shakes their head.

"I saw a shrouded figure walking toward me along a forest path. It was holding a wand in one hand, and something else in the other – I couldn't see it clearly. Slithering black energies spread behind him... her? When the waves touched the trees, the leaves wilted and fell, the branches shriveled and the trunks shattered. Everything turned to gray dust. Then I was here again."

"So it's not the altars. Maybe there's something in the air here," says Aaron.

"Or something we ate," adds Jinx.

"Well, at least we should check out the north passage. I'll bet the north end has another shrine in it," says Mendel. "We should go look before we leave or find a place to camp or try opening any of these doors." The others agree, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, and Mendel's theory proves out.

The north shrine mirrors the southern chamber. The three statues, a cloaked figure holding a leaf-covered staff, a robed androgynous figure wearing a belt of metal discs and a slim sword, a mundane-looking man holding a large book, stand behind an altar decorated with three runes (upper right, middle right, and middle left). The altar here is not evil either. "Well, this place may not be evil, but it is magic. Every room we've explored has a magical aura," says Aaron.

Mendel starts to speak, but then...

You stand upon an endless plain of grass with a burning sun overhead. A slim figure, wearing an orange robe with a belt of metal discs from which hangs a narrow sword, stands with his/her hands on the side of a huge obelisk of red and yellow stone chanting words in an alien tongue: "Uluvax, Cruchinex, Shkeel kelika a meshte Matu. Vetarix, Alkabera, Hagoul kelika a meshte Matu. Jetal aye kai ko Gloxu et Choku. Uluvax, Cruchinex, Shkeel kelika a meshte Matu..."

"Gaa!" cries Xon. "I really *hate* that. We should get out of here."


A quick note on the doors in the corridors. They all appear to be metal-banded wood and pretty heavy, except for the door on the east wall of the north passage. That one is stone and has no obvious handle. The edges are all sealed with crumbling mortar.

End Date: August ?+1, afternoon
End Status: Even Stranger
End Location: Mountain ruin

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