Savage Tide

Here There Be Monsters (part 5)

The Temple of the Demogorgon

As the party advanced slowly out of the fog appeared the features of two gigantic fanged baboon heads, their fanged jaws opened wide. These figures were actually carved into the black rock of a small hill their gaping maws revealing two caves leading into the hillside. The adventures advanced into the western cavern, unfortunately it appeared to be rigged to collapse burying the front ranks of the party under several feet of rubble, but thankfully the back ranks of the party were able to dig them free before they suffocated. The adventures were more cautious as they navigated the eastern cave.

The cave turned out to be a natural tunnel, it looped round to the west eventually giving way to worked stone and a short hallway ending in a pair of tarnished bronze doors. The doors were engraved with scenes of all manner of demonic reptiles and simians tormenting human slaves. The handles were made from the barbed tongues of fiends. Flanking the doors in a pair of niches carved into the walls were two statues. These statues each depicted leering monkey demons, their tongues dripping an oily red liquid that evaporated before it hit the floor.

Tamzana identified the scenes on the doors as a depiction of the Abyss. Dalrin stepped forward grasping both door handles, as he did so the barbed tongues wrapped round his hands and forearms cutting into them and taking a payment in blood before there was a click and releasing him they swung open to reveal a chamber stained in blood.

In the room were two stone thrones sat on either side, set into alcoves. On the far side of the chamber was another alcove; this had a blood-caked altar of greasy green stone, topped by a pair of black tallow candles. Iron-framed mirrors stood on either side of the altar, their reflections warped and indistinct.

After some investigation and Darlin becoming overcome come by an primeval rage and attacking everyone else until he was knocked unconscious, they adventurers discovered this was some combination of elaborate trap and transportation device. Once activated the two mirrors change into swirling vortexes of darkness, which teleported the group to a large open cavern.

The huge chamber was bathed in a strange red light coming from above. Thorny vines grew across the walls and toward the ceiling some forty feat above. A natural stone bridge crossed the upper reaches of the cavern, directly above a pool of crimson liquid. The adventurers exited, one at a time from a large iron bound mirror in the north of the room, and within moments they were attacked by the lead bar-lgura’s harem of demons. The battle was brutal but eventually the adventurers killed two of the demons while the third elected to flee the battle, but not before she summoned an illusion of a wave of blood pouring over the heroes.

The ape demons defeated the heroes were able to explore the room better. On the lower floor they discovered an access to a grated dried up well that from the sounds above lead to a room full of howling apes. While on the upper floor, they found the source of the strange red light had been coming from a large red crystal lodged in the roof, which was filtering the natural light from outside. They also found two doors leading out of the cavern on the upper level, one to the south the other to the east, from which more noise of howling apes could be heard.

Taking the southern door the group came into a room littered with bones, as they entered a human skull appeared from a pile of bones raised up by a large skeletal snake’s body. Valdis thought it was a construct called a Necrophidius, an ancient method of guarding tombs, but from his recollection he thought they were smaller. The creature opened its mouth and a lightening blot streaked towards the adventures catching several standing in the open doorway.

“Two-Feathers”, opened up with a hail of arrows at the creature unfortunately the snake wasn’t where it appeared to be. “Displacement” commented the two arcane casters in unison. Dalrin moved into the room attacking with his longspear, and Trantil charged in after. Shallasar caught a glint in the serpent’s eye and suddenly was convinced he the snake was his best friend and couldn’t understand why his friends were attacking it. He managed to convince Tamzana the same and together they tackled Valdis and “Two Feathers”.

Trantil seemed too enraged to succumb to the serpent’s charm, but also unable to see thought its magical displacement, swinging wildly and doing nothing more than smashing piles of bones and sending the dust flying. Dalrin proved most effective, stabbing repeatedly at the beast, when the point of his spear found flesh, he saw through the creature’s magic disguise, revealing the creature to in fact be a Spirit Naga. In the end it was a desperate deafening Shout from Valdis, who was being grappled by Shallasar that finished the creature off and left Trantil’s ears bleeding1.

With the creature dead Shallasar and Tamzana returned to their senses, and joined the search of the room. In the chamber they discovered a number of magic items among the bone piles, and a magical rod in the bottom of a fountain. The while the doors from this chamber were unlocked, the next chamber the iron doors however were firmly locked. Either side of these solid doors were two large iron statues depicting hulking simian fiends, each one holding out an arm missing a hand. The statue on the right was missing it’s left, while the statue on the left was missing it’s right. A quick search discovered one of the hands had fallen behind the statue, replacing it they adventures discovered it worked like some sort of magical lock on the door, unfortunately the other hand was no where to be found. There only hope was it was in the room they had not investigated earlier.

Returning to the room Trantil kicked down the door allowing Shallasar and “Two Feathers” to storming into the room. The first thing that struck them was the foul smell of urine, faeces and the sweet of a whole troop of baboons that were using the large chamber as a home, the next was the tidal wave of angry apes that charged at them attacking with tooth and claw. “Two Feathers” managed to get a couple of arrows off, and Shallasar stab a few as the wave swept over them. Trantil saw the wave of pure animalistic fury storming towards him and the other adventures and responded in kind. Standing in the narrow doorway he swung his heavy blade, as it was as light as Tamzana’s rapier. Each swing would cleave the bodies of several of the baboons as they tried to push through the narrow doorway. He disappeared briefly into the sea of fur and blood, highlighted by brief flashing of light as his crimson blade was drawn back only to strike again and again. The savage apes seemed to come in an eternal unstoppable torrent, yet Trantil stood alone against the flood until after what seemed like an eternity all was calm, yet in reality the carnage only lasted for less than a dozen heartbeats.

The chamber turned out to be some sort of throne room, and Shallasar keen eyes detected that the throne could be moved to reveal a hidden alcove containing two chests. Inside one they discovered a small fortune in gold and silver coins, plus a wand that would renew their vigour, and a magical buckler, but more importantly the missing ape hand.

Returning to the chamber with the ape statues they returned the missing hand, and with a creaking sound and a shower of rust from the hinges the doors swung open into a long processional hall. The hall was lit by flaming brands held aloft by iron ape statues placed at even intervals on either side. Each of the ape statues had its head thrown back, as if silently howling at the ceiling above. The did not stay silent for long however as immediately on entering the hall the iron apes started to scream and bark the arrival of trespassers in the temple, whatever was at the end of the hall would surely known they were coming.

1 Once more Valdis manages to catch Trantil in one of her area effect spells. I wonder she is trying to kill him, or just get the muscular fighter’s attention, much like a young girl might punch the arm of the boy she fancies in the school yard.



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