Dungeons and Animals

The "Old, Broken Building"

Wary of this angler fish individual, Millie and Fern headed down the tunnel to try to find out more. They found him outside a small hut build along the edge of the river, seemingly in the middle of planing wood to build a boat. Calling out to the fish man from some distance away, he reacted defensively, immediately warning the pair that he had nothing worth stealing. Millie insisted they meant no harm, and tried to probe him for information about the temple. Quickly the pair discovered this was no easy task, as the fish man barely spoke any common, and would frequently lapse into Aquan, which sounded like a bunch of blubbering gibberish to the girls.

Frustrated by the language barrier, the two returned back to the rest of the group, who meanwhile had discovered a potential way across the lake. They found a series of stone pillars rising out of the water, lined in a row all the way as if once they had supported a bridge leading from the beach to the temple's island. Although any bridge that may have once sat upon the pillars had long since fallen away, perhaps the group could somehow move from pillar to pillar to cross to the island.

After much debate, the group as a collective decided to revisit the angler fish man, hoping for more assistance. B asked him if he had any boats for sale, to which the fish man replied no, but he did have some for trade. Debating what the fish man could possibly want, Fern bounded over to him and offered him the golden dragon hat that covered her helmet, to which the fish man quickly accepted. Putting his new prize on one hand like a puppet, he waddled over to the river and stuck his head below the surface. Moments later, a boat rose up out of the water, completely dry even as it spilled water from its sides. The man offered the boat to the group, who excitedly accepted. Solstice transformed into a shark, and towed the group out into and across the lake.

Arriving on the shore of the island, the group found themselves right along a small beach just beneath the imposing temple wall. From this distance they could tell the temple had seen many, many years, and large parts of it were clearly crumbling off into the water. After attempting to camoflauge their vessel, they hiked up to what appeared to be an entrance, and discovered a large stone doorway. They found the door was wedged open by a longsword, and was too heavy to open any further. As the group slipped through the opening, B was transfixed on the sword. Though it appeared mundane to everyone else, B looked at the sword and saw a glamorous, awesome weapon, one that he simply had to possess. Worried that the removal of the sword would lead to the permanent closing of the door, Kijani was able to wrestle B away from it, despite his numerous attempts to escape her grasp.

A bit further down, the corridor opened into a gigantic receiving room. Despite the poor lighting, the group could make out etching and carvings all over the walls, some of them towering nearly floor to ceiling, accompanied by druidic inscriptions. Before Solstice could attempt to translate however, the group's attention was drawn to the other end of the room, where a few goblinoid figures stood guard around a makeshift fortification blocking a stairwell.

The group started to take shots at these guards, who proceeded to charge across the room, and found themselves surrounded by a Spike Growth spell Solstice had spread across the floor. In no time at all, the group had dispatched the goblins and began to explore the hall further. Solstice studied the druidic phrases, but couldn't figure out their meaning. The inscriptions contained too many proper nouns, which due to the nature of the druidic language and its usual lack of such self-referential verbiage, can't be deciphered unless they are specifically taught. However, as she traced along the edge of the room, she found one word she did recognize. One of the very few proper nouns she knows in druidic, the name of her mentor, Greta. Solstice quickly looked up and saw the etching above Greta's name was that of a towering bear, very similar to Greta, though due to how stylized the rendering was, she couldn't be too sure.

Solstice, rocked by this information as she was, decided she had to focus on the task at hand for now, so after she reported her findings to the rest of the group, they all proceeded forward. The room contained a few exits other than the barricaded stairwell, so the group decided to search the surrounding areas first, before ascending. Traveling down one hallway, they arrived at a partially collapsed room with a completely sundered floor. Millie volunteered to scout ahead, and jumped across the jagged outcroppings that the floor had been reduced to. Moving down a hallway on the opposite side of the room, Millie discovered a room containing nothing but a gigantic statue of a dog man and some druidic words inscribed into the statue's base.

Returning to report her findings, she slipped as she was crossing the broken floor, landing about ten feet below and causing several stones around her to shift. All of a sudden the group heard a distinct click, and saw a door behind them begin to slide out of the wall, sealing off their exit. Remembering the previous door they crossed and acting quick, B gave one of his shortswords to Kijani, who wedged the sword between the wall and the closing door, which just barely creaked to a halt against the force of the sword. The group as able to squeeze back out the door, but wasn't confidant that the sword would hold very long.

Arriving back in the receiving hall, the group decided to try another hallway, and before long found themselves in another partially collapsed room. This room was much taller, however, and up above they saw a doorway with the remnants of a collapsed landing platform in front of it. Littered around the sagging floor of the room was the remains of whatever structure this room used to house as well as several skeletons half-buried in the wreckage. Millie attempted to climb the wall of the room to reach the upper landing, but was unsuccessful, and upon landing back on the ground, triggered something. Suddenly, vines began to rise up out of the stonework and exposed dirt, wrapping around the skeletons in the room, acting as artificial muscle and sinew to reanimate the long-dead skeletons. The skeletons picked up their discarded armaments and began to attack the party.

At first driven back by the undead ambush, with the help of B's summoned creatures the party was able to turn the tide and beat back their skeletal attackers. As she dispatched more and more of the creatures however, Millie began to cackle louder and louder, and was once again overtaken by the other-worldly bloodlust within her. Her eyes clouded over black, and she once again clearly heard the voices telling her in Deep Speech to destroy her enemies. She began to float and shoot magical beams at the undead, quickly finishing off those that remained. Once the hostiles were all dealt with, she turned back to her allies, glaring at them for a moment, before falling unconscious and down to the ground. Fern ran to aid her, and while the group was distracted, B made a break for it, still determined to acquire the sword by the entryway. Kijani and Solstice quickly pursued him, using a combination of magic and muscles to tackle him to the ground. However, B was still in control of the dire wolf he had summoned from his Bag of Dust, and commanded it to retrieve the sword. The others were unable to stop the powerful wolf before it made its way down the hallway, and shortly thereafter heard a distant thud, before the wolf leisurely returned with the sword in its maw.



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