Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 66


Character Class Description
Ert Fighter level 1 Lean and dexterous fighter with disheveled hair and wincing eyes.
Rashomon Elf level 2 A dangerous looking elf.
Llyfed Elf level 3 Thin and balding elf whom also happens to be Rashomon's friend.
Derennan Dwarf level 3 A dwarf hailing from Western Wastes.
Hist Fighter level 1

Maggotfeast 4th, Fireday

The blackest black.

The dreamless void.

The noiseless drifting.

Hist slept. But he was a shell of a man he used to be.

What he had witnessed at the defiled temple of the Shang-Ta left him a broken man.

But even broken men can be determined.

And Hist was determined. Oh, he was.

To return, and purge the temple of Chaotic forces, once and for all.

Alas, not everyone shared his grit and resolve.

Derennan left for Hara, carrying the party's valuables, scrolls, maps, and other treasure.

Others were nowhere to be found.

The elves showed up; weapons sharpened, spells studied. They too were eager to free the world of abominable energy festering atop Ghinarian hills.

Dorn, Rashomon's retainer, showed up as well. His gut was telling him a raise was coming. Either that, or he that he was gassy.

Ert, a veteran fighter whom had just arrived to Ahyf, joined them as well. Little did he care about tales of horrors lurking on the hills.

Camus, the Curate of Thoth, joined by four acolytes, was ready as well.

“I promised to accompany you there. If what you've told me is true, then we might have a much bigger problem on our hands than I've realised.”

Maggotfeast 6th, Airday

The sun was up.

The broken idol in their eyesight.

There was no wildlife; no sounds.

Camus ordered the acolytes to wait at the plateau below the desecrated temple, and then he joined the party.

As Llyfed stepped on the first stair leading up to the foundation atop which sixty feet tall stone idol of an eagle rests, he felt great misfortune is about to befell him.

The idol exploded, hurling thousands of head sized rocks in a three hundred yard radius. A colossal bull charged through the stone statue like it was made of driftwood, right down the stairs!

Llyfed yelled in surprise, and tumbled to the side desperate to avoid being trampled.

Ert looked in confusing as the elf clumsily threw himself to the side, and then rolled off ungraciously onto the dirt.

Hist, Rashomon, and Dorn looked worried. Although they haven't witnessed the same thing as Llyfed, they understood well enough what was happening.

It didn't help that they were all soon suffering from tinnitus.

Ert seemed completely unaffected.

The insides were as they left them.

Bare stone reeking of death and decay.

“These men were once Vicars of Shang-Ta. We should build a funeral pyre for them. Also, clean the central chamber. I cannot begin my ritual in all that filth, detritus, and other garbage.”

Elves dumped copper coins by the hundreds, right in front of the temple doors. They were smelly, filthy coins. Could be washed and polished with some effort, though.

The insides of the temple lit-up in a sickly green light.

Camus frowned, his broad shoulders tensed, as he grunted.

“This is much worse than I though. Much, much worse.”

Whole temple pulsated evil, chaotic energy.

“It might take me weeks, if not months, to throw out evil forces from here. And trust me, whatever did this, will not go out quietly.”

The party retreated into the dilapidated stone house on an elevated plateau just by the trail leading to the temple. Dorn and acolytes cleaned it as much as they could, and prepared it as a camping spot for the night.

“No fires. We lay low.”

Maggotfeast 7th, Waterday

First night watch: Llyfed and Hist.

Second night watch: Rashomon and Ert.

Third night watch: Dorn and Llyfed.

That was the plan.

Reality, though, was much different.

Dancing figures in the thick dark were spotted during one of the watches; followed by Hist seeing a large bull scratching its sides against the building; followed by everyone taking a position by one of the many open windows.

Tension could've been cut with a knife.

When one of them light up a torch two arrows flew into the building. Luckily, the only thing they hit was a wall.

The torch was immediately extinguished.

Party welcomed the sunrise after hours of being on watch.

No one had a good night's sleep.

Scouting the perimeter revealed very little. No signs or traces of anyone or anything. The broken arrows resembled those used by cannibal barbarians whom had killed Conly on these very hills.

A brief sermon was given for the fallen clerics. Their corpses emanated foul vapours as they melted in the bonfire.

Camus spent the day at the heart of darkness, praying and uttering ceremonial incantations, attempting to dispel great evil that besieged this Temple of Law.

Party spent the day cleaning up the stone house to the north-west of the temple. That one had functioning doors and three windows with shutters. A significant upgrade to the one they just spent the night in, which had six wide open windows, as well as broken doors.

Since they had no access to the water to wash off dried excrement and bodily fluids, the party had used some of the potato sacks to scrub off as much filth as possible.

By now everyone was suffering from tinnitus and headaches.

Camus emerged from the temple visibly exhausted. He was pale and leaned warily on his staff. Ert helped him to the stone building.

“Priest, which deity is associated with bulls? Who might've desecrated the idol? Are any local tribes known worshippers of any such deity? Others told me that the effigy was covered in coins. That doesn't seem very barbarian-like to me though, so likely the cult might hail from a more civilised place?”

“That's a difficult question to answer. There are as many barbarian gods as there are barbarian clans. I do know of the so-called Storm Bull god, who according to them had torn the world asunder, and out of the wound came Altanians, bright red like the pure blood of gods. Perhaps you could learn more in Forsetti's temple in Hara? They have many historic scrolls. But let me tell you something... whatever desecrated this place was powerful. The Sinkhole is fighting back. I don't expected it to go away easy. Listen, I'm exhausted and need to rest before continuing with the consecration ritual.”

The night was about to fall.

And it was about to be a dark, dark night.

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