We next find our brave party on their way to the Ziggeraut. They are stopped by a few scouts from a local tribe, and asked to follow them to the village. The Paladin. Captain and the 2 surviving crewmen have apparently been taken by the tribe as a negotiation tactic.
Once at the village, the party meets the tribal shaman by the name of Stormcloud. He asks the party to retreive a golden statue from the ziggeraut. A wizard that had been held by the tribe is sent along with the party as well. If the party returns with the statue they can have the Paladin, captain, and crew back alive and unhurt. Each party member is allowed to take 1 misc item from the village supplies, and are escorted to the Ziggeraut by a few scouts.
Once the scouts depart, the party braves entry. The solid stone door is forced open, and Dorian, being the wise and experienced soul that he is, suggested that they use some pitons to jam the door open, in case they need to make a hasty retreat. The party see’s the wisdom of this, and secures the door.
Almost immediately inside the ziggeraut, they encounter a carrion crawler. A disgusting battle ensues, with the group victorious. Down the hallway past the dead carrion crawler, they find 2 doorways. One has a large statue of some ancient yuan ti, with a lot of inscriptions on the walls that no one can read. The next room has 4 orbs on the floor, and a disc that can be rotated at the end of the room. The party spends some time in here, as it is realized that rotating the disc around changes the lights in the orbs. Once the group realizes that they can not hear or sense anything changing in the ziggeraut, by rotating the disc (and changing the colors of the lights in the orbs), they decide to continue exploring.
They find the carrion crawler’s nest around the next corner, and quickly check through it, as one never knows what discarded (or digested!) treasures are found in a dungeon. Nothing is found, and the party continues exploring.
The next corner turned, takes the party into a large room that has an eerie green glow, a large pedestal with a golden statue on it, and oddly enough.. a dozen or so beautiful women. Or so Aurus thinks, being the first person to enter the room. There is untold wealth amassed around the pedestal as well.
The beautiful women quickly show their true identity as they melt into light consuming shadows. Dorian rebukes them, and pushes most of them back, as Brother Johnathon turns more of them. Mayhem erupts as the party tries to destroy them, only to realize that black beams are shooting out of the statue into the ‘women’, and restoring all damage done to them by the party!
Aeyo quickly grabs the statue and makes a run for it, as the wizard has realized that if the statue is moved out of the ziggeraut, it could stop healing the ‘women’. The party starts making a run for the front door, some more successful than others. Poor Aurus was nearly done in twice in his efforts to get outside, before Brother Johnathon and Aeyo helped get him out. Dorian had the presence of mind (or greed?) to quickly fill a backpack full of gold, before he starts to run out. Dorian is nearly killed on his way out, but is saved by the Cleric.
The party barely makes it out the door as the temple entrance sinks beneath the mud and muck of the swamp, leaving only the top of its stonework roof above ground. After they rest and heal up a little, the party returns to the village, only to find everyone dead, and no sign of their paladin, captain, or crewmen! The sole survivor is Stormcloud the Shaman. He is severely hurt, and tells the party that the statue must be destroyed immediately, and it can ONLY be destroyed in the fires of a volcano a few weeks away, and then the death rattle sounds in his chest, as he dies.
To be continued..