Night's Dark Terror

15th Nytdain, Yarthmont AC 1000 - ???

The party followed the tunnel they were in until they reached an area of magical darkness. Roger threw a torch into the black, but the darkness remained. He then tossed a stick with Continual Light in it and the darkness fizzled. The light spell was canceled as well, though. The torchlight showed the tunnel taking a turn to the left.

Just past the curve, the tunnel ended into the bottom of a shallow “pit.” Above was another tunnel intersecting the opening. Roger investigated, spotting the back of another “secret door” on one side of the hole and more tunnel beyond. He also heard a scraping noise down the passageway.

The party began to clamber up on the side opposite the noise. The Traldar were still below when an oozing horror slid into view.

Kartoeba

Wulfirth and the Traldars fled in a panic, but our heroes remained to fight.

Roger sunk two arrows into the creature and Martin cast Magic Missile upon it. Ollimarus hurled his hammer and struck, but to his horror, the weapon did not return to his hand. It had sunk into the ooze that made the creature’s body! Pavel cast a sling stone at the beast and Nightly cast Striking on Trollcutter, which Roger was now wielding, to enhance its power.

The thing lashed out with its tentacles, catching Nightly and Ollimarus and attempting to draw them closer. Nightly cast Cause Wounds on the pseudopod, burning it, but it did not release her. The cleric’s prodigious strength was enough for her to hold her own against the beast’s pull, though. Ollimarus drew a hand axe, but failed to free himself as well, being drawn closer and tumbling into the lower passage. Martin used his Fireball, placed behind the monster to avoid striking his companions.

Roger struck at the tentacle on Nightly, severing it. The beast slithered up onto the ceiling and began to cross the pit from above! Pavel was struck with a tentacle, but raced toward the creature and attacked with his flail! Martin cast Web, partially trapping the tentacles.

The creature was unable to advance, thanks to the webs, but acidic slime dripping from its mouth was fast dissolving the strands. It pulled Pavel off his feet and Ollimarus out of the pit toward it maw. The acid seared them both but they managed to avoid being swallowed.

When Roger struck with his sword and Nightly with her hammer, the thing shuddered and fell limp. The dissolved webs broke and it dropped to the floor, oozing slime everywhere.

The party used what healing magic they had on the injured and Ollimarus retrieved his hammer. The leather wrappings were dissolved, but the dwarf-forged steel was still sound.

As the body melted away, strange purple smoke with electrical sparks came off the body. As if blown by an unfelt wind, the vapor streamed toward the door and through the cracks. The group decided they were unwilling to investigate such strangeness and went after their hirelings. They found the three men-at-arms farther back down the tunnel they’d come from, cautiously returning with fear in their eyes.

Reunited, the group explored the tunnels some more, eventually coming to a pile of rubble with slivers of daylight visible through the cracks. Some heavy lifting later, the party came out into the valley, below the hill and about 200 yards from the temple. They piled the rocks back up to discourage pursuit and trudged back toward the temple.

At the walls, one of the Traldar sentries was surprised to see them approach from without and frantically called to them that something was amiss in the temple.

Inside the compound, Guri told them weird sounds and lights started coming from inside not long ago. They had thought it was the party dealing with something within, but seeing them outside now put the lie to that.

Roger clambered up to the crack in the dome and looked in. Much was in shadow, but he could see Hutaakan figures moving about and see flashes of purple light. When he told those below what he saw, Guri and the Traldar threw open the doors and attacked! Pavel cast Silence on one warrior after telling him to head for the priests.

The party was torn about what to do, but in the end, they went to the Traldars’ aid.

Inside, two Hutaakan priests on the dais were chanting, one holding a scepter bathed in purple light. The altar was now an archway, raised up out of the floor, the top having been the only part visible before. Several jackal-faced warriors fought the Trals.

Roger fired his arrows, Nightly Silenced one of the priests, and Martin used his Wand of Device Negation on the glowing scepter of the other priest. Pavel used Hold Person but only caught one warrior in its effect.

The battle saw several Hutaakans and Trals fall, including Guri. The priest with the negated scepter realized he was inside a Silence effect and moved until he could hear again, then he screamed a command. A ring on his finger flashed and the temple statues shuddered into life!

Roger fired two more arrows, killing the priest. The scepter fell and the globe shattered, sending coruscating energy everywhere. The statues went berserk, stomping around hitting anything that moved.

Suddenly a blast of purple light from the archway shook the temple. Everything went red and the party found themselves thousands of feet in the air, plummeting toward a grassy hill. A moment later, they were no longer falling, but standing in a stone circle on a hill. Several Hutaakans and a Traldar the only other survivors of the fight appeared as well. Nightly tried to get answers out of one Hutaakan warrior, but all he knew that “all this” wasn’t supposed to happen. That the priests had been trying to summon “The Heroes of the Past.”

By this time Roger had killed the other Hutaakans. He then shot the one Nightly was speaking with, leaving none alive.

Taking stock of their situation, the only surviving Tral –Rokko– had no idea what had happened and was near to panic. Martin Levitated and Roger climbed atop a menhir. Looking around, they saw forests and hills and a large body of water. There was also a city of some sort near the water.

Strangest of all, though, was the sun. It was red….

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gairim

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