We finish donning our equipment, and find some extra useful kit in the cupboard as well, which we take. We have a quick planning session, and decide to take some food upstairs with us, leave it outside each door and then knock on the door. The idea is that they will come to the door, see the food and be momentarily disoriented, at which point we will attack with the advantage of surprise.
We execute the plan and it goes fairly well, although our devastating touch from the previous session deserts us and it takes a few hacks to bring the Reavers down. We then search their rooms and find little of interest, and search the Head Reaver’s room again, and find some more cash. We also take his map, so we know where we are going, which is obviously to help Rahasia, because we are heroes.
We carry the gnolls out and leave them in the forest, loosely tied, then take the horses from the stables and torch the manor house, to prevent the Iron Ring using it easily as a base. Checking the map, we realise that we are actually in the Republic of Darokin, not far from the Selenica road, and that Rahasia’s village, Kora Hoton is a day or so’s march to the north east.
We proceed rapidly to Kora Hoton without incident, and find it relatively easily. The village is isolated and appears undefended and we are welcomed with open arms. They appear rather too trusting of heavily armed warriors. Rahasia greets us, and is saddened when we tell her that her messenger died before we could save him, but is grateful that we have come. She tells us little that her letter had not already shown us, but offers to guide us straight away to the temple, which is only a mile or so from the village. We demur and ask for some lunch first.
After lunch we proceed through the forest towards the mountain. At the edge of the forest is a road-side shrine to the Old One, where she stops, and tells us that we must proceed alone. We agree, because we are heroes. We also forget to ask about what our reward will be, because we are heroes. Pretty stupid heroes it seems.
We start a debate about the bet way to approach the temple, which is easily visible on the bare mountain. We consider the option of approaching by circling through the forest and then climbing the side of the mountain, out of direct sight of the temple, but find that while we have been discussing this, our heroic feet have taken us up the roadway that winds up the open slope of the mountain right in front of the temple, and we now stand before the great gates of the temple. Obviously no-one was on watch, or fortune has favoured the bold.
Bryan scales the thick creepers that cover the outer walls and looks down into the deserted courtyard, thick with the detritus of many days abandonment. We push open the valves and enter. The courtyard is deserted. In each corner is an octagonal tower. We enter the right hand one, which is a shrine to the Old One. As we start to investigate, we are attacked by a small stone-like winged creature which leaps out from behind the statue of the Old One and slashes and bites us. Pavel and Oin strike at it without effect, until Oin remembers his magic sword and uses that instead of his axe. As more and more of us attack it, it finally dies under our blows. Behind the altar we find the some coins and the remnants of a leather sack with an embossed symbol of two panthers.
There are steps down on either side of the altar, and Tanara descends. Underneath is a corridor that follows the lines of the walls above. The outer side is lined by curtained cubicles – Tanara looks and the nearest contains a bed, a pile of rags and a pile of round stones. She takes one of the stones, and returns upstairs – there is a very creepy feeling down there.
The tower in the other corner is also a shrine with stairs, but we are not attacked. On either side of the courtyard are four hovels, which contain nothing of any interest. In the centre is a large octagonal pool, filled with a murky liquid, and steps up to the doors of the main temple. Bryan throws a coin into the pool, and the surface trembles and churns. We decide not to disturb it any further, and climb the steps. The doors at the top are closed but open easily. Beyond there is a transverse corridor, with a hand drawn on the wall pointing to the right. Near the entrance is a curtained doorway, beyond which is a small room with many pegs and some rags, which turn out to be clothes, similar to those worn by the elves in the village. On the other side is a similar doorway, but the room beyond is thick with dust. We enter and are suddenly attacked. Our assailant seems to be an elf, so we strike to subdue him, for Rahasia had asked us not to kill any of the Siswa. We strike him, and Oin knees him in the unmentionables, so he collapses, grunting as he does that we he had not realised that we were not Siswa. We disarm him and wait for him to recover. It turns out that he was a companion of Hasan, Rahasia’s lover, but became separated from him, somehow, on a 15 minute walk from the village, and arrived here after him. He has been looking for him, but for some reason has not got further than this room. It seems that in the stupid hero stakes we are facing some pretty stiff competition for the bottom place.
We continue along the main corridor in the direction the hand is pointing, with our new companion, who is called (rather amusingly) Alki. We resolve to keep him away from our meagre stock of wine. The corridor ends in a large octagonal chamber with another large statue of the Old One, and a pile of rags in front of it, which turn out to be robes. Alki recognises them as Siswa robes. There are many footprints that cross the chamber from the doorway we entered by to the other doorway on the north wall.Read More