Friday, March 23, 2007

Session 8: The Temple of the Hora Quan

Thirdmonth 13, 1759 – Thirdmonth 14, 1759

They returned to their ship, and chased the monkeys off fairly easily. Sigrid climbed up into the rigging, and Captain Blank shouted “argh!” a lot.

They healed, rested, and the next day they made another shot at getting up the mountain. It was still raining.

This time it went a little better. They didn’t run into any more velociraptors.

About midafternoon, after many hours of hacking through the jungle, they came across the ruins of some ancient city, spread out beneath the peak of the mountain. They conducted a search of the ruins, and discovered a few items of magical quality, in the overgrown remains of an armory: a string of white beads, and a shortbow woven with black. (Well, mostly Soern found them, between his keen eye and sense for magic.) They also found various assorted nonmagical items—bones, mostly, and a slightly charred doll. (Sigrid picked up the doll.)

The ruins seemed to be of a city, and they converged on a central building, a round building, with columns and a sky light, built around a well. (The well connected to some kind of passageway, underground.) This building appeared to be in better shape than the rest of the city, mostly intact, and in it they found a (non-magical) silver ball.

From this building, a wide central lane ran up to the glittering thing they’d seen, and they followed that path up to the pick. Turned out, the mountain was actually a volcano, and the glittering thing was a platform built around the edge of the volcanic crater. And that there was an altar on the platform, and various fossilized feathers and strange items in pots around the inner edge. (It occurs to me that I didn’t do a good job of explaining why it was glittering, in the game. Let’s pretend I mentioned that it’s decorated with crystal, spaced at regular intervals around the edges. And pretend that makes some kind of sense.)

Floating around the altar was some kind of fluffy mosquito, making a horrible buzzing noise. They got closer, and it got really bad, so bad that it dazed Soern. Captain Blank managed to knock it out of the air with a bit of wind magic. Mark coup de grace’d it with his boot.

On the altar, they found a few more things: a carven skull, of terrible visage, and a egg-sized yellow gem with shifting occlusion. (Both were magical.)

The Aur Xica got “very enthusiastic,” about the skull, and then progressively more frustrated as the fiddled with the things on the altar. Finally, they touched the sword’s hilt to the skull. Apparently, that was the condition that unbound its ability to speak, which it immediately began to use to yell at the party for taking an absurdly long time to get to this point.

They talked to the sword, about its function, history, powers, and how to get those powers. It mentioned Tai Faren, and various champions, and a number of other things that only Sigrid remembered anything about. It couldn’t tell them much about what the rest of them actually cared about, unlocking its power (which it also cared about, very much), but thought it probably had something to do with “restarting the Hora Quan—the Heart of the Sea,” which had something to do with “the isle of the jeweled trees.”

They decided, based on this information, to return to Ao-Manasa, but not before completing their explorations. They went back to the still-intact building, explored the passageway a bit. (The Aur Xica informed them that it was a lava tube.)

Inside the lava tube, they fought four more of the fuzzy buzzing things. Soern dispatched them post haste, with a sorcerous blast. Then they went all the way up, found that one end led to the volcano crater, and all the way down, where they discovered that the other end brought them back to the beach, a short walk from their ship. (Which they returned to.)

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