Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Into The Temple Of The Blade Queen

From the journals of Kremernesh Mommanpopple...

By the time the morning sun had broken the horizon, we had made our decision. We would accompany Maria into the jungle to retrieve her gem from the temple and then we would leave the Miguel to head into the northern seas to rescue their father. We made some quick preparations and then set out for the temple with Maria, Grim Rose and company.

Under Maria's guidance we were able to make good time to the temple though we did have a run in with a massive swarm of mosquitoes. Thankfully Rose was able to drive them away before we were totally drained of blood but I don't relish the thought of encountering them again on the way back to the town.

The temple itself was a massive stone building with an abyss in the center which surrounded a giant stone column on which the gem rested. After some exploration, we found that a trough containing some kind of liquid ran around the perimeter of the temple. We deliberated for a moment and then decided to see if we could set light to the liquid. Instantly the flames shot around the temple, illuminating it for us all to see.

Now that we had some light, we could see that there were staircases in each of the corners and numerous inscriptions throughout. Most proved to be to archaic to make sense of. The one that Puck was able to puzzle out was written around the entrance. "When the four lesser gods are appeased the great one will bestow his treasure." It seemed that the only way to solve this puzzle was to head down the various staircases to see what we could find so we choose the one to the left of the entrance and proceeded down.

The stairs went deep underground and it was while we headed down that I started to feel quite ill. Excusing myself from the party, I was able to force myself to vomit which seemed to help greatly. Must remember to avoid mosquitoes whenever possible on this island.

At the bottom of the staircase we found ourselves at the juncture of a three forked corridor. This time Puck was able to make our the various inscriptions which I am quite certain saved our lives as they held clues about what kinds of challenges we would have to face. I choose the central path as it seemed to indicate that there were numerous traps that must be avoided and it turned out that we were right! We each were able to succeed in our various tasks without too much difficulty until the end. As Lee was completing his task, his corridor began collapsing and a large stone crushed one of his legs. If not for his mighty constitution he might not have survived but he was able to drag himself free. Between Puck's healing sword and my own attempts at setting his leg Lee seemed to be not too much the worse for wear which is good as we still have three more challenges to face and I don't relish the idea of attempting them without him.

Upon returning to the main hall, we saw that a small section of bridge had extended out over the abyss toward the central column. It appears that with each challenge that we accomplish the closer we will get to our goal. This is good to know but for now we are taking a moment to rest before we continue.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Of Sunken Treasure And Long Lost Family

From the journals of Kremernesh Mommanpopple...

Once we were safely away from Montain, I decided to try to find out a bit more about just what we had gotten ourselves into. Spying First Mate Kate on deck, I asked about just where it was that we were headed.

She told me that we were headed to the Ixitaca atoll. There was an old cargo ship that had hit a reef there and sunk below the waves. Included in its cargo were a number of magical items which we were free to take as Miguel was only interested in a single book though Kate didn't know just what was written on its pages.

Shortly after that we all joined Kate, Sarah, and Black Powder for dinner with the Captain himself. After we inquired some more, he told us that included among the items on the ship were a number of spell books, some necklaces, and even some coinage. When asked why the vessel would be heading to such a remote location, he informed us there used to be a small colony on the atoll that acted as a resupply point for passing ships though it had long since been abandoned. We also tried to find out more about just where the Captain had gotten his own ship from but beyond telling us that it was from a family member he refused to elaborate.

The next morning we reached the sunken ship and we watched in amazement as Miguel's crew used some kind of giant inflatable devices to raise this ship out of the depths below! Lee and I followed Miguel onto the ship as he headed straight for the storeroom that held the book he was looking for though the storeroom held much more than just a mere book. In fact the storeroom was virtually overflowing with painting, magical items, and other items.

After we dug through the items in the room for a while, we received word that a powerful storm was blowing in so we sought shelter on the beach of the island along with the rest of the crew. Shortly after we arrived on the shore, the ship sank beneath the waves again and the storm slammed into the island so we retired to our tent to wait it out. It was only after appraising some of the goods that we found that we realized that there was none of the usual sounds of activity in the camp so we went to investigate only to find ourselves knocked out!

When we came back around we found that we were tied up in a large haul with the rest of the crew. We worked to free ourselves only to find out that our captor was in fact Maria Cortova, Miguel's older sister. The abandoned atoll was not so abandoned and Maria had established her own town on the far side of the island to act as a supply point for her pirate fleet. We also learned that Maria and Miguel had been on an expedition together with their father six years earlier seeking some giant sapphire that can control the currents. Unfortunately things did not go anywhere near as well as they had hoped and their father had become trapped there while his children escaped.

Now we were faced with making a choice between heading north with Miguel to try to free their father or crossing the island with Maria to help her retrieve a magical gem from an ancient temple on the island. A difficult decision indeed, but before we make it we will rest for the night here in Maria's town.