Art by Ben Wootten
The huge chamber was watched over by five hideous statues. On the opposite side of the room was an even larger statue made of a green rock. Possessing the stout, stylised body of an ape, this statue had two stone tentacles where each of its arms should be. Sprouting from its shoulders were two fanged baboon heads. The statued lorded over the room atop a great dais, staring out in frozen rage.
To the east and west stood four towering demonic apes, bar-lguras like the creatures the heroes had already encountered. These faced a roaring fire pit in the room’s centre. Suspended above the pit locked in a metal cage, was Tristy Sommers, her naked body was battered and bruised marked with several cuts and painted with runic symbols. As she saw Dalrin and the others enter the room she pleaded for help. Her pitiful plea became a scream as the latch retaining the winch used to raise the cage flicked up and the cage started slowly lowering towards the inferno below.
Tamzana cast an enchantment to quicken the actions of the party and the adventures charged into the room, although at first none could see a foe to attack. Shallasar ran over to the winch slamming a dagger into the gears to stop Tristy’s decent. Dalrin took flight and quickly got to Tristy in the cage, the couple’s fingers intertwined and in an instant they disappeared into a vortex of swirling water.
Valdis, her white pupils betraying her magical sight pointed out the largest of the apes, Olangru, which was invisible to the others and Trantil moved to attack it, but misjudged it’s location. “Two Feathers” attacked with her bow, Valdis was only just able to warn the shifter as another invisible ape creature charged at her from the opposite side of the chamber.
Olangru teleported away from Trantil lining up for an attack on Valdis, while “Two Feathers” stepped back to put more arrows into the demon near her, Trantil and Shallasar came over to attack it with swords. Olangru charged forward pouncing on Valdis, pounding her with massive fists, she collapsed from the impact.
The large ape visible Trantil and Shallasar were able to rain a series of blows against it. The smaller ape tried to teleport “Two Feathers” to the opposite side of the fire pit away from her allies, but the shifter resisted, she responded by moving round the pit after the ape putting a deadly arrow into it’s gut.
Olangru was more successful with his abduction, he grabbed the sea-elf, who’s cold iron blade had stung him so badly moments before and teleported above the pit. He held him there for a moment, levitating above the pit thanks to magical boots, and then dropped the elf. Shallasar’s hand shot out looking for something to save him from certain death, and found the metal cage. As the hot metal seared his skin he stabbed out with the cold iron short sword in his other hand, his blade slid cleanly between two ribs and into the heart of the demon. Tamzana administering a potion to her fallen school friend, then walked over to investigate the statue.
Dalrin returned to the chamber, having left Tristy, somewhere safe. The villains were vanquished, but Shallasar was hanging perilously from the metal cage above the fire pit, the dead ape floating in front of him, quickly Dalrin flew up bringing both to the floor.
At that moment the statue began to move, the hard green rock, animated the tentacles shooting out with an unbelievable speed and flexibility. Two coils wrapped round Tamzana, lifting her off the floor as she struggled to escape, while the creature let out a deafening howl that sounded like a screams of a thousand tortured souls straight from the Abyss. It shook Trantil and Shallasar to the core, seeing their fear Dalrin called on the sea gods for protection, raising the spirits of his fearful companions.
Tamzana managed to free herself by transpositioning with Dalrin, as the giant golem’s tentacles squeezed round the clerics waist he seemed to dissolve like water and slip through its grip landing on the floor1. The group attacked the creature with every weapon at their disposal but its stone skin seemed impervious to all but the strongest of blows. Trantil was sure his leap attack would be able to finish the creature, but as he jumped of the dais to strike the creature just picked him out of the air with his tentacles and threw him to the floor. In the end Tamzana and Valdis managed to destroy the temple guardian with a hail of acid orbs2.
With massive golem destroyed the group collected Tristy and returned to the ruins, as the left the temple to the Demogorgon the fog was already lifting and by the time they reached the ruins, they could see the sun which had been hidden for days.
1 Dalrin has the Travel domain power that grants him freedom of movement, so if a party member gets grappled, standard practice is for Tamzana to use Benign Transposition to swap him with whoever is trapped.
2 “More Orbiness than Orby Orbysson the mayor of Orbville!” as Valdis’ player said.