Lander, Cynthia, and Elam returned to Master Pallas, only to be led to a staircase spiraling far into the depths beneath the Zayan monastery. Wasting no time, the party began their descent to hear the words of a prophecy that Master Pallas had told them of. At the bottom of the stairway, a large stone doorway with a circular groove embedded into, blocked their path. Cynthia withdrew the amber orb and placed it into the socket, causing the doorway to open up, by sinking into the ground below.
They first came upon a hallway with a locked door at the end. The party noticed the words, “mind your manners” scratched deeply into the stone wall, and Lander surmised almost immediately that they should knock upon the door in order to open it. Knocking three times, the door gave way, allowing the group to pass in to the room beyond.
The party entered into this new room, taking note of the strange glyphs on the wall before them, and a series of pressure plates and switches spread out through the halls. After a bit of debate, Elam used Milo’s Staff of BAAA and his own immovable rod as a means to figure out the course of the strange puzzle. At the cost of a singular sheep, the party eventually figured out the trick to the strange room, which involved activating the puzzle through pressure plates, and then pulling levers in a specific order. The party continued onwards, though not before Cynthia chose the smallest and cutest of the sheep, and left it down a hole the group had found.
The team emerged into the next room, a brazier in its center and a hollow metal ball with symbols carved out of it hanging above. The party lit the brazier and the flames shot up into the metal ball, and caused the circular object to begin to rotate. Elam, having had cast Comprehend Languages previously, was able to decipher the shadowy words on the wall which read, “when within me, speak my name”. Before the party could converse about this revelation further, an fiery Azer emerged from the flames, snarling in anger.
mediately started fending off the creature, though realized far too quickly how dangerous being in close proximity to it was, due to the heat it generated. Elam, thinking quickly, cast a spell to gain him momentary control over the Azer, sending it into a corner to sit patiently and stop attacking them. While Elam kept the creature under control, Cynthia and Lander devised a plan – Cynthia would use her magical wet shirt to dampen the creatures fire abilities, and Lander would deliver a sneak attack to a weak point at the same time. The two performed admirably as Elam finally lost control over the Azer. The battle finally began.
Wasting little time, Lander backed away from the flaming creature, pelting it with arrows from a distance, while Cynthia transformed into a Giant toad, leading the beast into the corner of the room, away from her companions. Elam fired magic at the creature wildly, however missed every shot, and Lander finally drew the Azer’s attention as a well placed arrow pierced it’s anus. The creature charged in anger, however was brought to it’s knees as Lander deftly dodged out of the way and sliced out at it’s legs. Giant Toad Cynthia rushed towards the beast’s back, aiming her tongue for the arrow that protruded from it’s rectum. In a disgusting, fatalistic display, Lander and Elam watched in horror as their friends toad-like tongue erupted from the Azer’s face, rectum first. The creature, impaled, was motionlessly dropped to the floor as Cynthia withdrew her tongue.
The beast now defeated, the party was still left with the need to figure out the cryptic riddle which barred their way forward. At a loss, instead of applying careful thought and measured answers, the party began randomly guessing. “Flames” while standing in fire, “dungeon” while in its depths, and many other halfhearted attempts, until they answered correctly. “Darkness” while standing within the shadows. The door to the next room finally opened, allowing them to pass.
The party entered into a much smaller room than the previous two. Channels of water built into the ground, and a spout spewing water at a high speed through the channels, through a grate at the far end of the room. In the center of the room, on a platform surrounded by the channels of water, was a sphere set upon a pedestal. Strategically placing themselves in corners of the room, Elam and Lander waited patiently while Toad Cynthia approached the sphere with the now glowing, amber orb in her hands. She reached forward and placed her free hand upon the sphere. The room began to shudder and shake as the party, unable to move, were suddenly beset by visions.
Cynthia saw her old friends whom she had left behind, gasping for air as they all began to drown and suffocate beneath waves. Milo cowering, surrounded by shadowy tendrils, wrapping him in their embrace. Jazzpaws, riding atop a burro, with a legion of small followers behind him. Lander recognized Hes, his old mentor, beaten and battered, tied up against her will with a grim look upon her face. The lifeless bodies of his family, with a robed figure leaning over them before turning towards the party viciously. And Elam recognized Larue, changing from the form of a unicorn, into that of a beautiful human, with fear in her face as shadows danced around her, reaching out.
The party snapped back from their visions, returning to the room they had momentarily left, a whispering voice pervading each of their minds, speaking words that they’d not soon forget, even if they’d have tried.
Warriors, from another time; another land. The fallen from the sky. A land of shadows, grasping for your souls.
An evil maw will open to swallow this world whole. A land of shadows, grasping for your souls.
One borne of blood. One borne of death. They will call for you, and you shall return to darkness.
Yet a key exists, though shattered and weak. To be brought to it’s former glory. A chance to redeem all, or destroy eternally.
The end of all worlds will come. The past and the future shall end together; bound so tightly.
Seek out the Prisms of Asru to return home, and put an end to the creeping darkness.
As the last words were spoken, Cynthia withdrew her hand, only to find the sphere had crumbled to dust, leaving behind a singular, reflective prism. Reflexively, she touched the prism to the amber orb, and it began to glow brilliantly. Tossing both orb and prism into her pack, she was surprised to find that her bag immediately morphed, becoming a reflective silver in color. As Elam and Cynthia attempted to investigate the cause of the strange magical effect, Lander was more interested in the fact that the rumbling of the room had only increased and noticed the ceiling had started to crumble.
The party attempted to retreat, but found that their exit was now blocked by rubble, leaving only one way out, the grate through which the water freely flowed. A large rock fell, splitting the spout, and causing water to quickly start filling the room. The group, working together, managed to break open the grate, using the building water pressure around them to escape through an underground channel. Cynthia, still in Toad form, led the way, shielding her companions underwater and moving them deftly through narrow passages and around obstructions.
As the party floated along, eventually coming to a period of rest along the underground river, they were alarmed to find a waterfall not far ahead. Cynthia swam forward with gusto, while Elam and Lander attempted to use caution and slow themselves down. All was for naught as the party was ejected from the channel, and began free falling through the air. While Lander and Cynthia crashed into the river’s spray below, Elam performed a perfect triple front flip, diving head first, and leaping out of the water in perfect form. His two companions were lucky enough to see this display momentarily as they battled the waves which threatened to drown them.
The party eventually pulled themselves to shore, and while gasping for breath, they were met with the silhouetted figure of a large horse, standing majestically before them, the sun setting behind it. The silhouetted figure stepped forth, revealing itself to be a unicorn.
“Bout time you all arrived”, the unicorn spoke in a masculine baritone. “The name is Larry, brother of Larue, and I’ve been waiting for you.” The party stared in awe as Larry shook his rainbow mane, Cynthia replying with a solitary “ribbit”.
Confidence in your newfound diving abilities