A Maze and A Vision

Jump?!?

They sent off the quiet young lady to fly around and investigate, and when she returns, they all decide the best course of action was to jump off a cliff! Yes, they have featherfall, but in a temple like this, anything could happen! There’s still a Vrock flying around! And it did come in for a swoop, but fortunately, they put it down before it could fly away with the adorable little one.

So many bodies down there. The Cobalt Soul contingent, and a number of Aurora Watch. We walk quickly away, the young lady has already taken from them what might be needed to identify them. There is an unstable gate down here, one the mages had suspected, but left alone. They were more focused inside the temple, what was keeping it filled with demons time and again. I warn them against getting too close, and we head for the path that was found back inside.

Chains covering the floor, and three different paths ahead. Purple, Green, and Darkness. The books from the Cobalt monks mentioned this, but not a solution. The crossing is perilous, but we all eventually enter the purple tunnel. The pressure of the temple is awful in here, I feel sick to my stomach. It takes far too long to reach the next branching. The tunnels have changed order, but the chains remain.

The strange small one goes in, dodging the chains and having a good look around. He notices a nearly worn away symbol of the Chained Oblivion above the dark pathway. We all bolster up and make our way across, some with more difficulty than others, into the darkness. It feels better in here, calmer, though it is difficult to see ahead, and the tunnel changes quite frequently. We do reach the third branching, and spot the symbol above the darkness again. Across we go, pulling a few out of chains, and do an very… well, one would call it hilly outside. Much traveling up and down, until we find ourselves back at the beginning.

It’s much easier now, to spot the symbol above the darkness, now that we know what to look for. We have to take all three dark paths to get through. So, we soldier on, through the chains, and the pain. It’s a good thing Morty has that little heal-bot running, but it still hurts. We finally reach the other side and find a winding staircase further into the mountain depths.

It’s a long, twisty way down, but nothing haunts us, or trips us, or sends us sliding. The chamber at the end is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It is as though the gods themselves struck through this mountain of betrayal and crystalized their love and beauty in the depth of this cavern. Also, their sheer might, as these crystals are razor sharp, and it takes a bit of doing to get everyone down mostly safely.

The altar at the center calls to young Shak’Nul, and his amulet. The Jewel senses the power here, and the moment it touches down, an apparition appears. It is the boy from Question’s visions! Then it is a battle for this very temple, and the boy fights alone, and the very gods fight over him. He is alone again, in a sunken city. Could this be Cael Morrow? Is it all true? Is he trapped for the ages, beneath Ank’Harel?! We have to go home!

Oh. Oh no. Aloysia found us, and demanded the jewel. Fortunately, her crew aren’t too keen on attacking my friends. Kai’Osh begins to beat his drum, and they calm even further. Except for a couple of them, but they are kept at bay. Aloysia was so upset, she tried to bring the entire mountain down upon us before she ran! By the time we got back up the stairs, she and the others were gone. A flash of light, a teleport circle, perhaps, took them all away.

They left behind, a shattered stained glass portal, and six very angry flames, however. One of whom got our little metal cleric on their side for a moment or two of healing, That would have served us far better. They want us to dance with them. I wonder, had we before, if they could have truly shown us the way. Too late for all that now, as we extinguish their flames, one by one.

Now, how do we get out? Jonas opens a door to the right and discovers giant demon flies. Closes the door quickly, but they do not try to follow. Protecting their hive, one might guess. The door to the south opens upon a long hall of flickering torches. This makes Kai’Osh more nervous than the demons, and he may very well be right. Jonas heads back in to deal with the flies, and a droning noise fills the room. Urzu falls unconscious as soon as she enters their room. Little SHAGWIC pulls her out, but the Chasmes just follow. Mimi falls next, and again, but the others cut down the flies before they are able to drain too much life from their fellows. Morty digs through the body of one, but just gets covered in goo. They do find some interesting bits in the next room – some motes of possibility contained within glass orbs, and a ruby vial. Concerned with what might lie ahead, we take some time to rest. Those bugs didn’t hit often, but they hit Hard.

The far door is opened and we reach another intersection, the door to the left begins to glow with the Jewel. We have found our way out! We quickly head that way, and across the stone bridge. Gathering up all our strength, we push the gates open just enough to startle the guards into brandishing their weapons at us. They quickly realize who we are and let us through. No one else has come out since we went in, but they are glad someone has made it out safely.

I explain to the Noble Fragments, for they truly are, having kept me mostly safe through our entire endeavor, what I know of the Vermillion Consortium and the Sunken City beneath Ank’Harel. The power they are trying to usurp for themselves, and the danger, should they get their hands on the Jewel. I invite them to return with me, to find this Alyxian in the depths, and solve the mystery of this power. I also invite them to breakfast after they agree. I am starving!

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