A trimmed crew consisting of Borodin, Saum, and Dal’Shara get to work at the Earth Temple.
The trio scheme to free the captured guards despite being outnumbered by the local Gnoll clan. Saum uses a combination of fake blood, poison, and “potions of illusion” to disable the Huntmasters on watch. They launch into the camp, at first swinging feebly while the Gnoll Shaman bounces lightning between them. They manage to free the guards and arm them with handaxes. The combatants dance around each other and the campfire, trading flanking and deadly blows. Saum’s Positioning Strike sends a Marauder right into the fire. The gnolls use pack maneuvers to surround a guard and nearly kill Borodin; but, a few well-placed swords turn the tide of the fight and ensure victory. Edgar the guard murders the unconscious gnoll guards and stomps off; Ziggy the guard is emotional about the loss of the third guard. The crew make their way back to the Temple to collect reward.
With few options remaining, the trio decide to explore the Halls of Arcanery. Borodin leads them to the “clean room” with elemental tiles and traps. A bit of detective work proves the Earth hall is clear.
They advance into a large chamber with no apparent ceiling and sandy floors. Moonlight shines into this room (though it is distinctly NOT night-time). Two mysterious humanoids (Clay, a human; and Terrak, a gnoll) are chanting near a sealed treasure chest. Surrounding the room are gargoyles on a ledge 20’ up.
Clay and Terrak stall (test) the trio with a simple puzzle: how many keys does Clay have? The gargoyles mock the entire scene but Saum quickly determines that Clay has zero keys. Aha! Terrak remembers he has the key and the chest opens. Inside is an unusual scroll with the following inscription:
In this room time stands still.
A ritual binds the beast of sand.
Its casting lowers the floodgates.
The God of Time is winding
The clockwork of the universe.
Dal’Shara vaguely recalls the “God of Time” may be Pelor. On the mention of his name, the stars turn and morning rises in seconds – sunlight floods the room. The scroll is changed and now shows a story in heiroglyphics. Borodin uses his history knowledge to work out the basic story: Pelor frees some snake-woman from a prison. The identity of the snake-woman eludes them, and Clay points out it is the Lamia Queen. They recall Lamia are evil – and why would Pelor free an evil creature? Dal’Shara sees the solution and holds the parchment towards the sun – through the parchment they read the story backwards and Pelor imprisons the Lamia Queen. The images rearrange themselves into a complex ritual scroll. It is an Imprison Other ritual, but casting it in reverse will release the beast bound under the sand…
You very well need a Dwarf before setting ancient beasts free. So they go looking for Antek (and Donaar) in the Tenacious Wing, but not before convincing the competing adventurers that Saum was petrified by a trap in the Earth hall. In the Tenacious wing, Donaar is caught up in a hot game of cards and Antek has drunk himself prone. A halfling thief underestimates Borodin and tries to pilfer a few coins from his purse. Borodin catches up to the thief but Ingg The Ogre has zero patience for such disputes. Borodin pleads his case and Ingg turns the halfling upside down – distinctive Eladrin coins fall from the thief. He throws the halfling into The Pit and releases Borodin. Well, Borodin decides the little guy needs a lesson in manners. He descends into the pit and faces off against the halfling (but not before all three place bets in favor of Borodin). The halfling gets in a cheap shot before Borodin is ready. Saum and Dal’Shara try to sway the crowd, cheer on Borodin, and intimidate the halfling. Borodin needs only two expert sword swings to drop the halfling at his feet – even this hardened crowd is impressed by Borodin’s finesse.Rewards (Borodin, Saum, and Dal’Shara)
- 650 xp each
- 263 gp each (50gp of that is a gnoll necklace of baubles and animal teeth)