RPG Recap: Beyond the Temple of the Abyss, 2012-09-08
Sometime during the Red Moon, 937
Continuing on their trek home, following the direction given by Find the Path, Delian, Rob-E, Heron and Thordis soon caught sight of a distant — and massive — statue on the horizon. They carried on toward it, and soon enough were in its shadow.
An area around the plinth was cleared of trees and showed signs of being used for quite a few campers over the last few weeks. The the moment, though, there were only four groups: A group of twelve men and women were camped together near the statue’s base, each of them wearing a white chasuble and sword over his or her clothes. Six metallic skeletons stood, quite still, in formation beneath a high canvas tent. A lone wizard (judging by the flowing purple robes) sat apart, as did a lone barbarian of the northern woods.
One of the older devout waved to the arriving group and introduced them to Cosativa, the goddess depicted in the statue: defender of the realm, patron of those who have or are lost. He suggested that it was quite felicitous that Delian, himself quite lost, had come under her shadow.
The arrival of this motley crew also rekindled the interest of the idle wizard and druid, who got back to investigating the site before they could be beaten to the punch. The plinth, only three feet wide, was nearly half door at its base, and pretty soon everyone was overcome with a keen interest in getting the doors open — everyone but Thordis the Soldier and Heron the Medium, who watched dubiously from the rear.
The groups seemed to introduce themselves to one another with a series of shoves, each adventurer deciding he had a better idea than the one currently trying something. Yuki the Aspirant tried to pry the doors open with an iron spike, then Delian with a sword. Red the Medium tried to understand the ticket-selling kiosk nearby, and Yuki shoved him away to try his own luck at the buttons. Rob-E stayed out of it.
In the midst of all this, two of the white-clad devout came trotting over and tried to derail the mischief with calm explanations. They were only partially successful. The nervous young man explained that the door would open for ticket-holders, and that the kiosk would sell tickets, but only for an obsolete and rare form of specie. Their leader would be happy to sell some of those notes for the right price, and to aid the group in getting inside for no cost at all.
“I must urge you,” he added, “not to take us up on this offer. While the view from Our Lady’s eyes is known to be astounding, there are … threats … residing within the statue. Oh, and as for the temple below, none have ever returned from its depths.”
Delian asked how much the tickets were going to run them and, getting an answer (five pounds of gold per head), declared that he’d fund an expedition.
There was tentative enthusiasm about this idea from everyone but the hirelings Heron and Thordis, who were wholly enthusiastic about waiting outside to see whether anybody would come out alive. “We’ll watch your horse,” Heron promised. Thordis wondered whether Delian would pay for his promised replacement sword up front. Just in case.
The elder devotee of Cosativa, after telling some tales of his own experiences within the tower, and with octopodes, and with voluntary amputation, agreed to help the group get into the tower. He also urged them to reconsider. Instead, Red considered trying to forge some of the banknotes needed for entry. After having a good look at one, though, he decided it would have to wait.
To prepare for an expedition to be had the next day, the group split up. Red went to work recruiting the metal men. This proved to be surprisingly easy. After extracting a promise that the site would be neither defaced nor looted, the “Group Leader” of the “Western Spear Centurion Squad” agreed to join Red with no compensation. (Group Leader did make some unusual requests for equipment, but was willing to accept swords in place of death rays or nanoplague dispersal grenades.)
Meanwhile, everyone else made for Allman, a nearby town. While they were able to purchase nearly everything they’d hoped for, the trip was not entirely without incident. Walking through the woods, they were startled to find an elephant-sized bag of floating flesh several stories above them. As they stood and stared, the thing turned toward them. Yuki felled the monstrosity with a few well-placed arrows, but not before it had fired a massive five-foot quill at the group, impaling Heron and killing him instantly.
He was briefly mourned, carefully looted, and unceremoniously buried beneath a small cairn.
R.I.P., Heron the Medium
Yuki = 0 + 137 = 137