Characters: Cynder, Lyric, Tuwidin, Britney, Vraela, Hanna
Another day, another place to explore! This time around, our party was headed for an ancient temple that a halfling man asked us to investigate. It was only about a day and a half travel from Ruined Oak, to the north-west.
Before we left, he told us of a riddle which was supposed to help us with entering and exploring the temple.
“Do not be seen, listen but not too hard, and ware the rooms of stench.”Dero the Halfling Researcher
Part 1: The Journey
With me leading the way, and Hanna keeping an eye out, our fantastic group set off to the north to find the temple. Our first day went rather uneventfully, though we did spot a ruined tower on the opposite shore.
During the night, we were sleeping peacefully when a small ball of blue flame wandered into our camp. It appeared to be a variety of undead known as a wisp.
Despite most wisps being unruly spirits, this one was friendly. It seemed to be made of fire, but upon closer inspection the fire was actually cold to the touch. Cynder took to the little ball of flame immediately and the two became friends for the rest of the evening.
In the morning, the wisp had vanished and we set off again. Though it took some time, we managed to locate the doors of the temple set into a small hill. With all the vines and shrubbery around the entrance, it looked as though it hadn’t been disturbed in many, many years.
Part 2: The Temple
Upon entering the temple, we were greeted with three designs on the floor and a transparent door ahead of us. Vraela was able to identify abjuration magic along the floor, which seemed to connect to the doorway somehow.
Three of us stood on top of the abjuration glyphs, deciding that the riddle might be a clue on how to unlock the door. The furthest left person covered their eyes, the person in the middle covered their ears, and the person on the right covered their mouth/nose.
Apparently it was the right solution, because the door opened and we made our way into the next room!
There, a stone statue with one large eye stood watch over a stone room. At the center was a dim brazier, and a book on a lecturn. The book, written in Gnomish, had a riddle about remaining hidden because being seen would mean our doom.
Once we touched the book, the statue’s eye began to glow purple and it suddenly started to move. Anyone who stood in its gaze was paralyzed by fear and became unable to move!
Thankfully, Britney noticed a gem in the back of its head that seemed to be powering the thing. With Hanna’s quick fingers and climbing ability, we managed to pry it loose and deactivate the statue.
The gem turned out to be the key to the next room, which had a similar book and riddle. This one was written in Undercommon, and said:
“Listen but not hard, for listening will mean your doom but not hearing will get you lost.”Strange Book
Once we moved into the room, we heard a strange and ethereal singing. The weaker willed of us fell prey to the strange voice, and began to move as quickly as possible through the labyrinth of hallways toward the singer.
Unfortunately, Hanna was one of those who fell prey. By the Gods can that woman run! Even while dragging me behind her! Between her running, and Britney’s hasted speed, the two made it to the singers before most of the group had even come close
At the end of the labyrinth, we found two grotesque harpy statues that seemed to be the source of the music. Although they were hardy, a few good whacks with my quarterstaff managed to shatter them and the singing ceased.
We found a similar gem to the first in a bowl between the statues, and we surmised that it could be used to open the final door in the temple.
However, we felt that our time in the temple should come to an end, so we made our way back out and set off for Ruined Oak.
Part 3: The Return
Our journey back was largely uneventful, though we did run into our wisp friend again. This time, it seemed to be accompanied by a friend.
A large humanoid creature with glowing yellow eyes was lurking in the nearby bushes while Cynder played with the wisp, and tried to magically force the person on watch to fall asleep a couple of times. However, it failed in the attempts and fled when we went to investigate. Should you be traveling through the area, keep an eye out for small blue flame creatures and their friends!
The next morning, we made our way back into town and contacted our halfling friend, Dero. He gave us payment for the two books we had found in the temple, and thanked us for our time. All in all, a productive exploratory adventure!
If anyone would like to return to the temple, please retrieve the blue gem from Hanna to open the third door.