After having destroyed the gears to the lava flow, we continued our investigation of the temple to Fire Cult.
We follow a horrible odor and arrived to what looks like a large moldy room. In the middle Bashar investigates and finds black shelves holding books. We can not see the subjects of the books as the they are covered in a brownish mold. I decided to throw caution into the wind and take a book from is place. Suddenly, my hand is stuck, as if something is holding onto my wrist. The mold is not just sticky but i can feel it physically pulling me. Fear grows through me when it gets more aggressive and tries to consume my arm. I decide to unleash a blast of agonising eldritch, which had the reverse effect. It tripled in size and now it seemed angry. In one swoop, i am engulfed. I immediately feel my lungs lose all its air.
Bashar tries to pull me out but is unable. It’s silly to think, but I was still holding onto the book. I should have let it go. But as i feel my heart pounding in my ears, I hear a shriek from the mold and it suddenly withers and a rust color covers it completely. I fall from its grasp, choking for air. Drongar reached over and healed me with his divine touch and explains that Nassaug called down the blight upon the plant creature. Having the spell myself, I know how powerful it can be. This is the second time Nassaug saves me from certain death. I am starting to have to find a way to repay my companions who seem always there when i am in death’s grasp.
As we continue our investigation, we discover a secret passage in the corner of the moldy room.
It is filled with dust and cobwebs. It has been sometimes since it had been used from what we can tell. I produce the soft glow of dancing light to illuminate our passage. Rusted weapons aligns the passageway.
We make a discovery. A shield, that I detect is infused with magic. Kilrin becomes mesmerised by the shield. No coat of arms is found upon it that we see, but it does have a moving sprocket, right in its center. We can not discern what makes the sprocket move clockwise; must be the magic. Drongar picks the shield up with some measure of reverence but does not attune himself to it.
We pass through another secret door and we enter the prison block. More than 12 cells line the corridor.We discover a Salamander inside one, who pleads with us to let it go. It says it will help us take vengeance upon its slave masters if we help it. We are unsure and tell it we must talk amongst each other first.
In the cells across the way we discover some of those dwarves with the flaming beards. We speak with one of them and he also wishes to be freed, to find his son which was in the forge. I bite my lip, but i successfully lie to him, informing him that he was killed by his slave master, and not our company.
When we open the cell door, the fire dwarf rushes Bashar. We all stand ready to fight until we realise he is hugging Bashar in thanks for being rescued.
In the last unlocked cell, we find a sleeping cultist guard and he is easily subdued
We head south but out path is blocked by two fire caster, who were performing some kind of ritual upon brasiers in a large cauldron. Drongar pushes the cauldron down in fear of some evil spell be cast upon us. Nassaug transforms himself into a enormous scorpion. My flesh crawl at the sight of him but he fights as skillfully as ever using the pincers and the aggravating stinger. We seem to hold them well, until one is able to hit us fireball. We are quite hurt, but Bashar finishes him off with a hit of his powerful maul. Drongar dispatches the last one with a sword thrust.
We enter into a larger room with over 30 feet vaulted ceilings. It is filled with treasure and sculptures. For a second I fear it is a Dragon’s hoard and this is its Lair, but we smell the foul odor of the chimera we defeated.
We find 570 copper pieces. Over 1040 silver and 432 gold coins. 42 platinum pieces was also found beneath the gold. Some beautiful moonstones as well. We also find a potion of waterbreathing and a pouch holding red sand. I detect that the sand has some magical qualities. It might be the dust of disappearance.
We continue south to another door and we encounter some cultists. Battle erupts and we make short work of them, but not before again being doused with more rain of flame. Our clothes are now a permanent chard black color.
We discover that the fire cultist where interrogating a member of the Air Cult in the back room. Drongar grabs this survivors and with a commanding voice, does his own interrogation. With Drongar’s sword to the cultist throat, he has no choice but to informs us, while laughing with a hint of fright, that we, the Heroes of Red Larch, are fools and that while we are here, fighting the cultists, crawling the through every room of the dungeon, as adventurers do, Aerisi Kalinoth, the priestess of the Air Cult, has mounted an attack on Red Larch. I feel a pit in my stomach. I want to just run through the temple, not caring about the daylight, towards our adoptive town. Before we can ask anymore, yet again these cultist fanatical ways, forces this cultist to take his own life on Drongar’s sharp blade.
That anger is forming inside me again. I can feel my mother’s haunting words echoes inside me. “It is not enough that your enemy’s branches and trunk have been severed my son, one must pull at the the roots, ever so slowly to see the fear before their death throes. Then you go after its seed and its water and only then will you know it has finally been defeated.” I shudder at the vile word and chase it away. I will exact revenge upon these Princes of Apocalypse, but not her way. I would rather they live, deep in a hole, with no chance of escape then what she tried to teach me when i was three years old deep in the Underdark.
We decide to try and recoup our strength before we head out into the fray. Some of us need to replenish our weave, divine and unholy energies to battle the great threat ahead. But we have no luck, our quiet meditation and resting is interrupted by an Etin. We defeat it quickly but need more resting which we fail again, as it seems the Fire cultist are well aware of our presence within the temple. We continue to fight against an Ogre and 4 fire mages. I fear more will come.
Will we ever escape this pit of unholy fire?