Campaign of the Month: December 2014
camaraus journal 16
It is still the 22nd of Flaurmont and here we are facing a locked door keeping something from leaving the last standing parapet of the crumbling wall that surrounds the Temple of Elemental Evil. We try to see if there is a way in besides the door, but it seems to be magically sealed. We cannot drop a rock in from the outside.
It appears we must go through the door if we want to see what is in store for us. Octavius smashes the chain and lock, pushing the door open. The inhabitants are aware of our intrusion, for as octavius swings aside the wooden door a volley of arrows hit him. David rushes in after that, pushing Octavius aside. David alone enters the tower and begins to channel waves of life draining force from Balthac through his body. Octavius was injured as well, but he is a strong man.
We wait for a moment as David is destroying all life in the room, both friend and foe. But before we can rush in behind him, a large pile of rocks cascades down blocking the door from the inside. I take flight as a bird and try to reach him through the roof, but there is no entrance I can find. Octavius helps Gimbly squeeze through a passage. Together with their magic, David and Gimbly destroy over a dozen of these human marauders. We clear away the rocks to see a single, burned survivor among our enemies. David says the leader got away, so we tend to the surrendered man. Our prisoner is named Charles, and he names their leader as Sterg. We allow Charles to leave with his life and some of his friends’ possessions, but first Spark asks him to open the front doors of the temple for us. We watch him go over there, but as he draws near, he shudders in revulsion and flees.
David and Sergei both turn to us at that point and reveal something. It seems they both had dreams of these bronze doors to the temple. Clearly the holy immortals have something in mind for us, and these doors are a key part. They reveal that both believe that these doors are one of a number of seals. The seals created long ago in the crusade against the temple, and locking away the demon or whatever the ancient evil may be.
David says that he has been called to destroy the doors, so that we may put this place to rest for good. Sergei says that he was warned about unleashing the evil, and cautions us to leave them intact less we unleash an evil that would destroy us. It occurs to me that Balthac, a dragon slayer would be one to call for great deeds even if the enemy is a challenge to great for us. For now everyone is fine with continuing to explore without disrupting the seals in any way.
Now that we have released Charles, it is time to look for Sterg. Under the standing parapet, a small passage runs, we hope it will take us into the temple. Instead we arrive in a clearing well north of the temple at the bottom of a well. There is a building there with a stable. It could be a good place to hole up if we must leave.
We search the rest of the grounds around the temple in hopes of finding some way into the temple other than its ominous and enchanted doors. The search yields little. A small crawlspace of some eroded building lead to a wine cellar, but there was no other exit. We must face the doors. Because we are tired, and there seems to be little travel to and from the temple we decide to risk a night’s rest before making our attack.
With a day to rest and prepare spells, I ready one to twist and shape wooden objects. This allows us to consider the side doors as opposed to the main seal. I make a hole large enough for us to get through, and we cautiously peer inside. The temple main floor has one large open room, and just a few small rooms sectioned off to the side. It appears to be abandoned, still in the same state as with the crusaders left. The pews are broken, the alter smashed. Rubble is carelessly strewn. It is an erie quiet, but as we move through, there don’t seem to be an illusions or traps.
All about us, drawn upon the walls are horrific scenes of evil actions. Images glorifying the triumphs of chaos. The temple has been partitioned off into sections despite its open architecture. The floor and walls are made of different materials in each section. A reddish stone seems to be for fire in the north, a mossy green for the sea in the east, grey-yellow sandstone for earth in the west, and white marble for air to the south. There is an alter in the center, a broken blade hints that its use was for sacrifices. Further on ahead, a huge throne stands, too large to be toppled. Above it is written “The power of Elemental death brings mortals low, but raises the nameless one on high.”
Is it too much to hope that the sub levels are as empty as this one. But we cannot hope that it is entirely empty, for we are here to find this Lady Ilyana. And perhaps Lord Finn himself can be stopped here and now. We venture down the stairs in the west, Earth. We walk with the strength of the pure elements of balance. Nature shall not let this blight syphon off power for such a destructive, antithetical cause.