Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Colony - Turn 33 - The Mountain Ruin

With no sign of obvious threats, the party decides to explore the ruin before them.

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

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

The Turn

After a brief debate, the party decides to explore more of this structure. Maarek gathers everyone for a prayer [bless] before they head up to the gaping archway. Once there, they can tell something has been coming in and out. The thin dirt trail is the result of foot traffic, but the recent rain has washed away any details and leaving the ground soggy.

The tunnel ahead is lined with polished red and yellow tiles laid out in a repeating pattern of arrows pointing up and down. A few loose tiles lay on the floor, and Rennard stoops to examine them. They're some ceramic, relatively thin but strong.

The space beyond the tunnel is a courtyard that's open to the sky that's about 70 feet north-south by 40 feet east-west. Scattered trees and shrubs grow in here, and Mendel points to a half dozen or so shallow depressions scattered around the area. "Those look like something rests there, a large animal," he says.

"Birds," says Jinx pointing to huge feathers laying on the ground here and there. "Big ones. Who's up for roast turkey?" The wallows suggest the creatures that use them are human sized or larger. A few scattered tracks and scrape marks hint at three-toed and clawed feet 10 or 12 inches long.

Xon takes a position near the tunnel. "I'll keep an eye on the entry. We wouldn't want to be surprised by whatever left those tracks. "

The others examine the other features of this area. There are eight equally spaced stone pillars about 40 feet high spread across the courtyard. Mendel suggests they may have once supported a roof of some sort. The north, south and east walls are solid granite and pierced by wide tunnels that lead into the mountainside, each guarded by a portcullis. To the west, narrow passages lead into the wall to the north and south of the main tunnel. "Let's look at those first," says Aaron. "I'll be they lead to the balcony.

Rennard, Jinx, Mende, and Aaron check the north passage, leaving Xon and Maarek to guard the entry. It leads to a narrow stair that, as predicted, ascends to the balcony above the tunnel. It's a simple 20 x 20 foot platform with a curtained wall and a stone floor. There's no sign that anything uses this area. A second stairway leads back down to the courtyard, mirroring the north passage.

The group next focuses its attention on the portcullises. The space beyond each is dark, but they can see it is large. There are also more stone pillars. They stop at the south passage. "These bars are pretty weak. I'll bet we can bend one or two," says Jinx. The old bronze work is no match for the stronger members of the party, and in short order, they have an opening wide enough to get through.

The group slides through the opening and advances into the area before them, a large chamber with a wide passage leading away to the east. At the south end, they find three statues standing before a simple altar.

  • A shrouded figure carrying a metal wand and a stone sphere
  • A hulking, brutish woman with shaggy hair that hangs to her waist wearing close-fitting scaled armor and wielding an axe-headed pole arm
  • A wild-haired androgynous figure dressed in spiked leather armor wielding a mace and curve-bladed ax.

The altar is made of the now familiar red and yellow stone of the Obelisks. It consists of a thick slab laid over a solid block. Inscribed in the top of the altar is the image of an obelisk in a circle surrounded by a pattern of three runes (top left, bottom left and bottom right runes from the lizard cave rune image).

"It's magic," mutters Aaron.

"The altar?" asks Xon from the doorway.

"No. All of it. The room. The statues. The altar. It's all magic."

"There's evil here," says Rennard, pointing to the altar. "I don't like it."

Then everything changes.

A 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 thing that rises above the northern mountains is no sun; It's a pitch-black hole that draws your eye and chills your flesh. A pervasive sense of hopelessness fills your soul as you are drawn toward the void.

Suddenly, you are back in the shrine.

"By Sarva's light! What was that?" exclaims Maarek.

"I don't know, and I'm not sure I want to find out," says Jinx. "Maybe we should back away from this, try another direction."


Approximately 3 turns have elapsed since you entered the tunnel.

End Date: August ?+1, Early afternoon
End Status: Don't touch it, it's evil!
End Location: Mountain ruin

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