Journals of Ayoi: Part 1, Discovering the Temple of Bone
Mordun 16: 12887
After the incidents of this evening is has suddenly occurred to me that I might actually meet my end in this goddess forsaken land and it is this revelation that has led me to believe that it may be proper to begin a journal so that in my next life I might benefit from the lessons learned in this one. While I could begin this journal at any stage of my journey, it would be far too taxing to go into great detail regarding incidents now long past and thus I believe I shall simply begin with those most fresh in my memory.
Our evening began when we became aware that large packs of undead were roaming the countryside near the town we had recently washed ashore of. Feeling unnecessarily proactive as a group (as usual) we left immediately in an attempt to intercept them. After a short journey and a moment of fighting we had accomplished this objective. This not being enough for one night apparently it was decided to move on to a nearby hill known in past days as the Temple of Bone. It had been rumored that the undead might be spawning from this location and since we were already in the vicinity it seemed like a good idea. Again after a short journey we entered into a very large clearing in the surrounding forest. Within the clearing lay a hill ringed with the ruins of a older civilization and with a massive grave site around that. Upon the crest of the hill lay a rough circle of bone pillars, not unlike ribs, lit with unnatural light.
As we began our trek across open ground we heard the howl of hounds. Bounding towards our location, but staying within the ancient city, were a pack of unnatural fire demon-beasts. Most of the members of the party decided to take flight and gain access to the top of the hill for reasons that I still do not understand. Not being of the flying variety, I alone stayed behind for a few moments. Mere seconds after the party had departed from my presence I heard sounds indescribable except to say that they were created by a creature long dead. The next few moments were confusing, but it is sufficient to say that in the end the daughter of Tellzan to whom we had recently become acquainted had been slain and turned in extremely short order.
The now undead girl ran, and took refuge beneath the city. We followed, and quickly found ourselves in a dungeon-like temple to the recently dead god Qo. After several minor obstacles we came to a locked door. Several minutes of trying to open them through the device present in the room for doing so followed. Eventually this fumbling met with limited success the doors opened all their own. We heard however, the noise of a creature moving back into the darkness. Of course this did not deter the ambitious Sasha (somehow it never occurs to humans to take caution in such situations) from boldly striding forward and she foolishly began down the dark corridor. For my part as the events unfolded, what should have been a quick scan for mental activity, turned out to be overpowering thanks to the presence of a single powerful entity deep in the darkness. The rest of the party hesitated in proper order as I fought nausea for several moments. Not surprisingly Sasha returned moments later several shades lighter and scared quite witless. Fortunately she was unharmed. This hallway being more than we wished to deal with at that time we decided to attempt to open one of the two rooms left available to us. The decision would be fateful.
My memory of what happened when we opened those doors is somewhat hazy but I will attempt to do justice to it. A deep fog emanated from the chamber beyond and powerful wraiths assaulted us from all sides in union. What we later identified as bone golems attacked us from the sides as well, creating a sense of being surrounded almost immediately. Tellzan, the human warrior, a man of surprising integrity for one so misguided as to follow a god of war, was quick to assault the threats around him. Al-Rathis too, an insane and gullible if strangely lovable dwarf (despite his smell, appearance, and general lack of wit), was fast to have at our attackers. I began to spin a complex tune learned in the lands of the fey to keep the wraiths at bay and I believe Sasha began fighting at our rear.
Barely seconds passed before magical energies of various elemental as well as negative types washed over us in several waves. Tellzan seemed hurt the worst by these and although seriously wounded I managed to maintain my tune. Al, having finished with the constructs, moved to our rear to attempt to slay the undead that were keeping us from having a route to escape with. Tellzan and I took cover in recesses in the walls, and did our best to press against them.
Slowly the party began to become pushed together. Sasha, in a fit of what I can only assume was insanity, released several great spells into the still unseen room and then plunged into it herself. Tellzan collapsed under many wounds caused at the hands of the wraiths and Al pushed potions of healing down his throat. It was at about this time that I noticed something next to me, attempting to not push against me. Cawanan, my guardian, quickly shot me mental apologies as he had been swarmed from all sides and was unable to continue to fight. Even Al was beginning to look tired and pale.
Still hearing Sasha cause unseen destruction in the room beyond, I quickly called out for the now conscious Tellzan to make a dash across the corridor and grab my hand. Seconds later the three of us arrived in the next room. Wasting no time we three healed what wounds we could, and protected ourselves with what magic we had. Feeling confident that Cawanan and Tellzan would now live I recalled to the corridor in an attempt to help. By this time Al had retreated back down the corridor and was fighting several more wraiths. I did my best to begin a tune to hold those that appeared before him in place but it was not nearly enough. Even with additional help from Sasha who reappeared just then we were still forced forward toward the cloud. Al and I took hits from the wraiths, draining our now diminished energy and only the return of Tellzan, recently run back to fight, saved us.
With only one or two wraiths remaining Sasha and I stepped boldly into the cloud. Immediately I saw that my previous assumptions about what this effect was were wrong. The "cloud" was not a gas at all but rather some sort of perverse negative energy effect I had never heard of. I had barely time to gasp when a voice from within the darkness cried out. A swift reply from the depths of darkness wrung out seeming to damn the original speaker to death. All at once the air became superheated and time stood still. Bone flew through the air and rock evaporated behind me, as several objects the size of horses exploded into Sasha and Tellzan. I was flung to the floor and all my senses went dead as the shrieks of humans met the reverberations of the impact. Several months prior I had wondered if putting fire resistance on my armor seemed like a good idea. I was very sure it was now. The heat that engulfed me would surely have liquefied flesh and bone if not for those magical protections.
For several seconds all I could feel was scorching heat. I staggered to my feet and stumbled toward the door dazed but remarkably unhurt. Several objects stuck me in the back as I did so and through the haze and pain I made out the forms of Cawanan and Al-Rathis running toward me. Still alive but feeling weak I slumped to the floor as Al charged past me into the room. I did not see Tellzan or Sasha anywhere. I could hear not but ringing in my ears and smell not but burned flesh and molten rock.
A small eternity passed that way. After it was all over we had eliminated all of the unliving within that small room. Al had managed to slay our casting foe seconds before dropping to the ground of exhaustion himself. One wraith had survived which he and Cawanan had slain. The life of Tellzan had been saved by a thread with quickly bound wounds and the use of a healing potion. Sasha had not been so lucky. Barely anything recognizable as a body was left of the angry woman as she had born the brunt of the impact of that last fateful spell. The daughter of Tellzan had been turned to ash from a bolt of sunlight released by Sasha some time earlier during the fight not seen. With the aid of magic we made a quick escape from the temple and returned to the town of Twin Lakes. Here we shall rest the night.
Worthy of a side note at this time is the statue we found in the room when the effects of the cloud had cleared and the fighting ceased. Roughly 25 feet tall we found a statue of a demon from older times known then as Abarat. This demon, a general of the demon-god Titalus, was sent into the mortal realms to make the way ready for some event which it is most probable did not come to pass. He is generally thought to be dead. The statue itself carries a mighty staff, not a part of the carving, that seems to be magical in some way.