Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Colony - Turn 35 - Delving Deeper

Start Date: August ?+1, afternoon
Start Status: Search & Sleep
Start Location: Mountain Ruin

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

The Turn

After exploring the various shrines and main hallways in the complex, the group decides to do a more thorough search of the area, except for Xon, who refuses to stay in the building and keeps watch in the courtyard. The time-consuming process produces results. Aaron finds a secret door in the large shrine, and Maarek finds another in the south chamber.

Those inside the shrine also experience two more of the strange visions.

A powerful storm plays about the top of a mountain peak where a woman dressed in purple raises a dagger in both hands and calls down lightning to strike a brutish form that towers above her. The gigantic figure staggers and raises its pole-axe to strike, but a shadow sweeps across the scene from behind you, blotting everything from sight.

The room has golden walls and a black marble floor and statues of dragons line each wall. A tall woman with flowing black hair sits upon a silver throne on a high dais. A stern-faced man in scale armor and holding a crystal-bladed sword stands behind her, one hand on the throne. She studies you for a moment, then raises a hand, beckoning. "Call us, and we shall come. Together we can save the world from the great darkness to come." She drops her hand and caresses the dagger at her waist. "Call, or face the wrath of those set free before, now tainted by corruption."

The second vision is somewhat disturbing. Unlike the other visions, where the actors all bore some resemblance to the tall and pointy-eared humanoids depicted by the statues, the man and woman in this one appear human. They also seemed to look from party member to party member, as if they were actually seeing you.

"OK, the creepy temple is getting really creepy," says Aaron. Let's get out of here and find a place to spend the night. It has to be getting late." On that note, the party heads out the nearest portcullis and meets up with Xon, who is quite bored. Together, they head down the mountainside to find a campsite. It takes an hour to find a relatively flat spot that's not soaking wet, but eventually, the group settles on a small rise that's partially sheltered by a few trees.

During the night, the rain begins again, starting as a light drizzle and building slowly. By morning, it is a downpour. The group eats a miserable meal of soggy trail bread and jerky before packing up and heading for the ruin. The group has a plan and they quickly move to the northernmost door, leaving Xon sheltering by the portcullis in the courtyard. The wood is half-rotten, and the door opens easily, revealing a narrow passage heading north then west. Several openings on the west/south wall lead into small rooms. Each chamber has a simple cot, table, and chair made of old and brittle wood. A few hooks on the wall hold ragged bits of cloth. The furniture is the same scale as the items found in the village, overly tall and long for human use. The area has a musty smell, and there are a few small pools of water fed by dripping cracks in the ceiling. There is nothing of value here, so the party moves on.

The east door in the south corridor is a bit sturdier, but it yields to the combined might of Maarek and Jinx. The space beyond was clearly a kitchen/eating area. The open fire pit in the center with a chimney that leads up through a crevice in the rock is full of wet black muck and some of the bins and tables around the periphery of the room contain dried out bones and desiccated roots. The fire pit is surrounded by a flat counter and there are several tall stools nearby. There are some steel utensils and pots here, but they're corroded and likely useless.

As they move to the next door...

A familiar landscape of twisted white stone (or is it bone?) stretches to the horizon, where it meets a purple sky streaked with sickly yellow and green light. The black sun/hole is high overhead and tendrils of purple energy reach down from this object to touch a shrouded figure who stands in the center of a circle of red and yellow stone. As the vision fades, the being turns its faceless head in your direction and raises a metal wand to strike.

The southernmost door opens into a narrow corridor that parallels the main passage. Two doors on the south wall and a third at the end. The air in this section carries a faint scent of rot and decay. Moving single file, the group heads to the nearest door and opens it, revealing a room lined with bookshelves. "This is more like it!" says Mendel.

Aaron moves to the nearest shelf, pulls out one of the leather-bound volumes and carefully opens it. "Don't get your hopes up," he says with a sigh. "The pages are rotted away."

"Look up there," Jinx points at the ceiling, where water drips from several cracks onto the shelves.

"Curses. We should check these out, just to be sure there's nothing useful here," says Mendel.

"Agreed," says Rennard, "but let's explore the rest of the corridor first. Maybe we'll have some better luck in the other rooms.

The party checks the next room along the corridor, which is almost identical to the first, rotted books and warped shelves. Rennard notices something odd on the west wall and, after a bit of tugging and twisting, uncovers a hidden door in the wall.

The room at the end of the hallway was some sort of workshop. Several benches and tables hold partially assembled furniture, pottery, dried-out ink, dusty quills, and decaying piles of paper. Tall stools indicate once again that the occupants of this place were not human.

End Date: August ?+2, morning
End Status:
End Location: Mountain Ruin

I think this is a good place to stop. There are three secret doors (noted on the map) and the stone door left to explore.

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