As if threat of punishment from the Order wasn’t enough, one look from mother could slice through any falsehood. I was never good with lying. I don’t know what I’m going to say to the party about the new powers awakening in me.
Just when we thought this day was a bust, Hiro appeared out of nowhere to brighten our day! He shared with us lore he learned while exploring the ruins on his own. Mosaics in the temple suggest that a double eclipse is believed to be in the near future. Hiro has been on a quest from his master to find a (real or not real) magical feather in preparation for some important event. Could the eclipse be this event?
Ever curious for truth, Colibri brain-probed the mind of an acolyte we had captured. That honestly sounds pretty invasive. Is that ethical???…Anyway he learns that the acolyte’s god, the Death Bird, is prophesied to enter this world during the double eclipse. The Death Bird oversees the passage from life into death…and sometimes death back into life. That doesn’t sound THAT evil, I mean are we SURE the undead aren’t capable of agency and altruism? Should the acolyte’s mission be successful, he thinks he’ll be rewarded with eternal rest and an exit from the cycle. The feather is a metaphor. (what the heck is this feather everyone is talking about). Someone named Ke$ha is their leader? We pressed onward.
I will not discuss the rooms. Saldo and Inari, how their taunting stung.
A few magic-free moments later, and we disturbed the peace of the paladin dedicated to the Death Bird religion…the paladin my Order warned me about…This paladin, Clarity, was suspicious of our presence, and yet Saldo is able to conjure balderdash right from the ether and convince Clarity that we’re miners turned around…”clarity”my ass. He directs us to the guards…whom we had recently slain.
Not wanting to cause unnecessary conflict, we left until we could come up with a better plan. We continued exploring door to door, with Lucien and Saldo entering the orc commander’s chamber. I heard a faint “snikt” and a “splort” (kinda like dropping a watermelon), and they emerged from the chamber. We quickly left, but shortly after heard a loud cheer in the distance. Realizing that we would soon have to face violence, we made a beeline straight for Clarity. By the time we turned the corner, he was already leaving his room expecting a fight, with the rest of the orcan guard at his side. By combining forces, we overwhelmed Clarity and negotiated the end of the fight. Classic mercenaries, they were happy to raid Clarity’s room and leave the ruins.
The mercenaries were not thorough, as Lucian found an unidentified wand and an old note:
“At the time of the double eclipse & assuming the island has been successfully submerged, the rising tides shall activate the water-machine to to open the sarcophagi. The Items of Power MUST be brought to the crypt or all will be lost – to our great horror and death” ~Kluka
Well that created more questions than answers. The note was nearly ONE THOUSAND years old. Have we been carrying around the Big Bad this whole time? Was the wizard working for her, or did Kluka murder him? Are we delivering the ingredients to this ritual right to her doorstep? So much to debate, but no time to do so.
We continue onward again, finding ourselves in the kitchen with a few more mercenaries. We quickly engaged in battle, with the mercenaries transforming into monstrous boar forms. The fight does not last long, and we found ourselves with yet another vial of wereblood. Might as well take it, I guess? Onward again, and Lucian led the way to two chained up wargs blocking our entry. Saldo used the full extent of his dog-whispering to pacify the one warg, but was unable to quiet the second. He comes up with a pretty smart plan to bother the wolf enough until the guards stop responding to him. Sure enough, we eventually re entered the room to find the second warg content with a piece of meat.
I’m concerned for where this mystery is going, and for what we are yet going to find. Are we stopping some great pending cataclysm, or are we hastening it’s arrival? What will actually happen during the double eclipse? A sarcophagi (hehe I still remember throwing one out the window) probably means powerful undead to fight. What of the voice inside though? Is it related to what we’ve been finding? It’s call is growing stronger, and the party is quite suspicious of me. I’m afraid for what my order might think and do if they find out. I’m not even sure I can defend my righteousness when I have taken quite a few number of lives.