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Hello, and welcome to my Blog. Where one geek will share with others what many dream of doing, but may not have the Skill Points to dare...

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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The Ruined City of Xak-Tsaroth.

We rejoin our heroes about an hour or so away from Pulb’s burrow. The gully dwarf our heroes met. If you remember correctly, Dominic mentioned, before bedding down, that it was curious that a gully dwarf would have such treasures when he lives in a swamp. So, with agreement, our heroes decided to return in the morning.

The ladies, Minty and Isosceles, took in upon themselves to call out for Pulb, but they were surprised to find no sign of him or his family. With Lox, the three of them ventured into the burrow to find that Pulb and his family had vanished. There was no sign of the treasure that once lay in the corner. What was more puzzling was the fact that the burrow showed no sign of being disturbed, but our heroes agreed that with both Pulb and the treasure being gone, it was no mere coincidence.

Venturing back to the temple, our heroes planned to see whether or not they could find any clues about Pulbs disappearance. Isosceles and Lox went inside, finding no sign of the winged beasts or Pulb. Isosceles cast a spell to help her detect any magic that might my lurking in the temple. She felt a pang of something within proximity, but as they searched, again, they found nothing. It was then they thought that it was in the pool itself, but as they learnt from their last visit, they had no way of reaching the bottom of the pool in safety. So, with that, our heroes turned from the temple and went on their way.

While they travelled, the adventurers realised that they were heading towards a forest. This was worrying, as they knew nothing of a forest between the swap lands and Xak-Tsaroth. As they went deeper, they found the growth to get dense, making is difficult to travel. The came upon a clearing and camped for the night. The night was uneventful, but when they awoke they realise that Riverwind and Goldmoon had vanished. Everything from their tent, which still stood, was inside. Lox went into the tent to investigate, only to find the Blue Crystal Staff inside. Knowing its importance, Lox picks it up only to be blasted by energy unknown to him. Wounded, he picked himself up and wrapped the staff inside some bedding and took it to his friends. Minty and Isosceles were shocked to hear what happened to Lox. He lay the staff by the fire while they discussed what to do with it. Why did it shock Lox? Would it shock anyone else? Being the one that could heal, Isosceles patched Lox up and then approached the staff. Lox unveiled the staff, allowing it to fall to the ground, so that he didn’t touch it again. Our heroes decided that Isosceles should attempt to pick it up. She hesitated, but took the staff in one hand. Instantly, she felt a wave of calming flow through her. With that, the staff reacted and healed Lox of his remaining injuries. Everyone in the group felt better. They were worried, but knew it was right that Isosceles carried the staff. With no sign of the two Pathfinders
or any indication as to which direction they went, our heroes packed up and started on their way again.

The T-Junction.

After a couple of days of uneventful travel, they came across a road. A T-junction to be exact. To the east they could see a large courtyard which was lined with pillars. In front of that was a large well, with what looked like vapours rising out like snakes. North of the well lies an old building which stood out from the rest due to its impeccable state. Its roof was intact, the walls were in good shape and the stone doors looked almost new. Dominic knows this to be the outskirts of the ruins. The city of Xak-Tsaroth. As they approach the building, they that the doors are lined with gold, standing under archways with vast decor. Dominic stands outside on watch while the other three decide to go in. The doors open very easily, as if they are still in constant use. Walking inside, our heroes find a large square room with a door to the left and right. Rows of church pews fill the room surrounded by candles everywhere and three hooded figures standing at the far wall at an altar. Revealing them selves, and being somewhat hostile, the three Dragonkin stepped forward. None of them had uttered a word. Isosceles, hiding the staff, tried to reason with the Dragon folk, but when one of them tried to fire a bolt at our heroes, and missed, they attacked. Lox easily took down two of the creatures, one turning to stone and the other dissolving into disgusting goo. Minty and Isosceles has injured the other one. While it wriggled in pain, Isosceles put a boot to its throat, to ensure it doesn’t escape and started to question the beast. This is when they learn that all those that had attacked them in the past had been Dragonkin. Isosceles cast a truth telling spell on the injured figure, who forcefully gave answers, knowing that he shouldn’t. He revealed that they were in a Church for the deity Mishakal, Isosceles patron deity. The figure also revealed that he worked for Quang, the leader of his kind. The figure didn’t know where to find Quang, but further revealed that he had been given the task of finding a Blue Crystal Staff. The staff is required by the High Lord Neraka, in Verminaard. Neraka, again, was un-placable. With the creatures last breath taken, it too turned to stone.

The battle at the alt

After investigating the room, they went through the door in the right, seeing as the door on the left was locked and would not budge. Again, the door was open. They find a small circular room with a large shining statue of a lady in the centre. As if it was natural, the statue started to move. It looked upon Isosceles and began to talk in a somewhat ancient yet soothing voice. Peacefulness washed over our heroes, making them feel both hope and sadness at the same time. The statue spoke these words:

"Beloved disciple, the gods have not turned away from man. Man turned away from the true gods and now seek gods who do not exist. But the end of darkness nears. Krynn is about to face its greatest test. Man will need the truth more than ever. You must return the truth and power of the true gods to men. It is time to restore the balance. To gain the power, you shall need the truth of the gods. Far below this temple lie the Disks of Mishakal: circular plates of platinum that are all you need to call upon my power. You must recover these disks. .But your way will not be easy. The Disks now lie in the lair of the dragon. Therefore I charge your staff: if you present it boldly, never wavering, then you shall prevail. Even then, your journey is not complete; you must leave here, you must search for the true Leader of the People.."

With that, the statue held out its hands, motioning Isosceles to place the staff there. The staff and the statue both reacted by glowing a bright blue that became too bright for Minty and Lox. It soon finished and with their new knowledge, went back into the main room.

They found Dominic examining a corner, who then proclaimed that it was a secret door. Dominic revealed the door to them and with nothing awaiting them outside, they made haste into the new door way.
Sliding down the slope!
They found themselves venturing down a narrow corridor that curved slightly. It seemed to go on for some time before coming into a large circular room with a pit in the centre. They knew they had to get down there, but how? None of them had any rope, but Lox mentioned that he’s a good climber. Looking down the pit, they could see a ledge about 30 feet down. After that it was a slope, but to where this slope went, they did not know. Lox carried Minty down first and then Isosceles. Dominic attempted the climb down, but slipped, crashing down onto the other three and causing them to start sliding down the slope. Gaining speed, they slid down the slope into four figures, causing them to crash down with our heroes. They eventually hit the bottom, finding themselves in a large room with a door at the end. Gully dwarves! They had crashed into gully dwarves, but before they had a chance to talk to them, they had scurried off through the door alerting something in the dark ceiling corner. A giant spider jumped down blocking the door way looking displeased at being disturbed. Minty shot off two bolts with her crossbow, wounding the spider, but before the poor beast knew what had hit it; Lox took in apart with his massive axe.

The heroes made their way through a network of empty rooms before realising that they seem to be upside-down. They realised they were walking on the ceiling. With no explanation, they carried on, finding room after empty room. They came across a bakery before finding what looked like sleeping barracks. Large bunk beds lined the walls in rows. Searching the beds and old weapon wracks, Lox and Minty found swords, but were none the wiser as to whether they were mundane or not. Minty became aware that they were being watched! Three Dragonkin came into the room, one the obvious leader due to his armour and weapons, and attacked the heroes. Again, Minty let loose with a double bolt that injured the leader. Lox had trouble with one as did Isosceles with another. Lox eventually dispatched his foe, again, being covered in goo as it keeled over. Isosceles had her sword swiped from her hand when her foe turned to stone. The leader jumped at Lox. Minty took aim and further injured the leader. Lox stumbled but managed to take the leader, its body hitting the floor before exploding violently. Covered in gore, the heroes decide to take time and rest for the night. Presuming it was night. All they knew is that they have been awake for some time and were tired. Rest is was. They awoke hours after, Isosceles claiming her sword back from the pile of dust that was all that remained of her scaly enemy. They take up their belongings and look for a way forward.

Our heroes further examined the room before Isosceles found another secret door hidden by magic. More like a portal they thought, as they simply had to walk through finding themselves in another narrow corridor that led to another large square room. They enter, finding no one present. They see another altar. A large plaque on the altar reads:

“One box leads to Salvation! Three lead to death! Two tell lies and two tell the truth!”

The four boxes!
Looking down, our heroes find the four boxes, each with their own plaque. Reading from left to right, these read:

“I am not trapped!”
“You don't want to open me!”
“I am trapped!”
“The statement on box number one is false!”

With that, our heroes look at each other, none of them crazy enough to motion without thought.

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