Monday, October 31, 2011

The Aldelle Group – Session 49 – Temple to Throne

Session 49 happened Monday, October 17, 2011.

This campaign used the Dyson’s Delve dungeon pages on A Character for Every Game as a starting point, but has now moved on to new material from the DM-in-training.  I heartily recommend Dyson's Delve as a beginning adventure.

Adventuring Group:
Tre-ba Bel a sheer (female elf alchemist)
Elspeth (female half-elf rogue)
Frankie Hu, Master of the Distracting Fist (male dwarf monk)
Harkaitz of the Red Soul (male human cleric of Ra)

Aziz of the Light (male human paladin, cohort of Harkaitz)
Sarisvati the Sun-touched (female Ifrit oracle, cohort of Aziz)
Midnight (female half-elf witch, cohort of Frankie Hu)
Macha (female human fighter, cohort of Elspeth)
Estrela (female Aasimar druid, cohort of Tre-Ba)
Short John Copper (male halfling expert, hireling)
The Red Keffiyehs (human warriors, followers of Harkaitz)
Carnish (male gnoll spellcaster of some sort)
Professor Walsh (male human expert)

Evening, August 3, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, who moves the winds.

We are now encamped a short distance away from the temple Sarisvati’s vision led us to.  I spent the last two days using wind walk moving our group from the Green Pyramid to here.  Tomorrow we will enter the temple.

In the meantime, Frankie and Midnight have finished crafting some magic items for Frankie’s use.  Frankie has also suggested we make a ring of truth – a ring that causes the wearer to speak nothing but the truth.  Frankie believes that it will make questioning people faster and easier.  The trick is that to craft a ring of truth, you have to be crafting one of two other rings and fail, as a ring of truth is a cursed item.

I started crafting it this afternoon, but I have paused.  If I am attempting to forge a cursed ring, what will I actually get?  A ring of truth may only be one of the possible outcomes of failure.  Might not failing on purpose lead to some different cursed item?

Also, Short John has informed me we are a little past the halfway point on our foodstuffs and we will need to resupply in a week or so, it depends upon how many more “lost strays” we pick up.

Late Morning, August 4, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, who inspires the best in us.

Early this morning we walked over to the Red Temple of Ra.  It is an immense structure, even if it is not as large as the two pyramids we have explored so far on this quest.  What the Red Temple lacks in size it makes up for in architecture.  The central portion is a 240 ft by 240 ft square with an 80 ft square extension in the center of each wall.  The walls are 50 ft high and the central square is topped by an immense dome, easily another 50 ft higher.  Sprouting from flat portions of the roof of the center square are four towers, each topped by a cone.  There are open archways in the center of each outermost wall.

We approached the nearest archway and discovered that despite being open, no sand or dust from the desert enters the temple.  Once we were inside, we saw that the entire interior of the structure was one immense chamber.  The towers were spaced equally around the large central area and supported the roof.  They had four doors each, two each on opposite sides.  Between each tower was a platform raised 10 ft and topped with an ornate altar to Ra.  The dome appeared to be self-supporting, but I am no architect.  To say the walls were decorated does not do them any justice.  The entire history of the worship of Ra over the last 500 years was depicted on the walls in the form of legends and stories of the faithful.  It was beyond inspirational and I could do little but stare at it agape for several minutes.

My companions, meanwhile, immediately started sweeping the inside for traps and hidden passages.  When I was not quite so overwhelmed by the grandeur of the temple I asked Carnish to cast fly on me and he did so.  I then took the time to fly to exterior top of the dome and landed, then the tops of the four towers.  I did not really believe this would trigger anything like what we were hoping to see happen, but I like to be thorough and I was doing nothing helpful on searching for traps or concealed compartments.

By the time I returned, Elspeth had completed her extensive search of the entire chamber for traps, including the doors to all of the towers.  She found none.  Frankie had search for concealed passages or compartments and found only one unusual feature: the central floor appeared to descend, but he could not locate the trigger mechanism.  Elspeth and Frankie determined that the triggering mechanism was some sort of remote trigger.  Frankie wondered aloud if the temple decorations showed scenes of the interior of the table and so Frankie, Elspeth, and Tre-ba started looking more closely at what was shown.  Elspeth noticed that all the scenes of healing showed the healer laying hands on the person being healed, even in scenes where it was clear that a burst of positive energy was being channeled.

Based on that observation, Aziz went to each altar and used his lay on hands ability.  When that did not cause anything to happen, he did the same to the floor section that should move.  This triggered the movement of a 30-foot square of the floor, which descended 20 ft.  The walls of the exposed area are carved in heavy bas relief, except for a five-foot wide corridor on the north wall.  This passage led to a single room with an altar and a mural on the back showing part of the legend of Sylar, specifically a scene of Sylar healing one of his compatriots.  Taking a cue from the mural, Aziz laid hands on the altar.  This caused another secret door to open in the dropped floor area.  Behind that secret door was a room that mirrored the first and, after Aziz laid hands on the altar in that room, a descending set of stairs was revealed in the floor of the dropped floor area.

Estrela flew into the lower chamber as a bat to scout and reported a raised dais with a single sarcophagus on it.  Elspeth searched the area for traps and reported none (Aziz asked if she was sure before entering).  Based on the decorations on the sarcophagus, this was the sarcophagus of Sylar himself!

Aziz reverently opened the sarcophagus and laid hands on the corpse of the legendary paladin.  While nothing appeared to happen as a result to those inside the chamber, those outside noticed a floating platform appear at the apex of the dome.  I flew up to the platform (Carnish’s fly spell was still active) and found a golden altar.  I prayed at the altar for guidance and received a vision of an area I recognized just as an immense pyramid started rising from the sands, sand pouring off the pyramid like boiling water.  The place was the location of the Uskar Gate, where the storm giants assisted us – this was the Throne of Ra rising above the sands once again!

Knowing where we needed to go next, we exited the Red Temple.  As we left, all the shifted floors, concealed passages, and floating platforms re-concealed themselves.  It was quite impressive.

As we were walking away from the Temple and back to camp, Midnight’s detect scrying spell went off – the lich was attempting to spy upon me.  Thanks to the warning from Midnight’s spell I was able to focus my will and the scrying failed. 

It did start a fierce debate as to what our next course of action was.  We knew where we needed to go, but it was three days march from our current location.  We suspected the lich had a spell of some sort to warn him if the Throne of Ra rose to the surface (he had obviously been accessing it via teleportation) – the timing of the scrying and our raising the Throne seemed too coincidental to be anything other than a response from the lich.

Needing more information as to the lich’s actions, I cast sending and sent the following message to Brek’nok:
Have raised Throne of Ra. Going there to seal gate. Scry the lich – we need to know his location over the next two days. ~Super Rat

The response I received was:
Lich and vampire in stone structure. Skeletal champions on watch outside. Lich studying tome. Close to gate. How goes it on your end? ~Brek’nok

Seeing an opportunity to surprise or get ahead of the lich, I suggested we use wind walk to fly the majority of us directly to the Throne of Ra now and try and take out the gate suddenly instead of over three days from now.  The lich does not seem to know about my ability to cast wind walk yet, so we should be at the Throne two days before he expects us.  The rest of the group agreed to this and we will be flying out shortly.  I will be taking Aziz, Sarisvati, Tre-ba, Frankie, Midnight, Elspeth, Macha, and Asmo.  Estrela will stay in bat form and fly along in a pocket.  Carnish will stay here with Short John and the Red Keffiyeh guarding the camp.  If all goes well, we will return in 2-3 days.  If they do not hear from us in five days, their orders are to report to the temple of the city of Uru and report what has happened.

It is time to go.

Midafternoon, August 4, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, who blinds our enemies.

We have arrived at the Throne of Ra, an immense pyramid with deep carvings in each side of the pyramid of Ra sitting on his throne.  The top fifth of the pyramid is carved into the shape of an Eye of Ra, looking to the four cardinal directions.  We have just received a sending from Brek’nok:
Gate secured. Want us to get phylactery? Could also go to Terranor or just help the dwarves. Any preference? Best of luck at Throne of Ra. ~Brek’nok

*End of Session*

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