Aryth 18- Today is our 9th day on the trail, the main group will be leaving Farshore tomorrow and we are only a day away from where I think Tazion is. We decide today that we will continue to travel by night tonight even though we will have to enter the Screaming Jungle again halfway through the night and finish the nights travel in the jungle. After talking to the group we did also decide to go straight to Tazion and not to check out the Temple of the Jaguar, which is about a half a day’s journey out of the way. I am excited about the prospect of finding Tazion tomorrow morning and am hoping that tonight’s travel will be safe!
Aryth 19 – After a full day’s sleep, we entered the screaming jungle [sic] this evening. Not to far into the jungle we realize why the jungle has been named that. The monkeys are extremely loud and annoying, not to mention the birds, bats and too many different insect to name! Our travel tonight is uneventful besides the noise. As the sun started rising above the trees, we entered a clearing with a stream running through with four Olman women near the far shore of the stream. They offer to feed us and talk to us about the area.
Zakea [sic] is their leader or at least it seems like she is. She sits with the group as the other three seem to do most of the work around the site to prepare the food for us. Zakea tells us that they are Zeng [sic] Spirit Dancers, which does make sense as to why they would be so far away from any settlements. After spending a little bit of time talking with them and watching how they are acting a couple of us notices that the other three women are acting strangely almost as if they are charmed. So I try and cast detect magic in a way as to not draw any unwanted attention, to see if that was the case. Unfortunately I am not as sneaky or nonchalant as I would have like to have been. Zakea [sic] is obviously upset at my doing so, and as a result she decides to show us what she really is. Zakea [sic] was a Succubus!! The group jumped right up and into action extremely quick. Tonk andIouan both engage her in melee while Krylyk peppers her with his usual volley of arrows. Their attacks do not seem to be affecting her like they should be though, so when it is my go at her I decide to try to use the Monkey Head Idol that the Rakasta tribe had given us a few days earlier, hoping that what they told me was true about that idol. I stepped forward and stuck her with it. She let out a scream of pain mixed with disbelief and was banished right back to the Abyss where she belonged. The Rakasta tribe was right thank the Gods!!
With Zakea [sic] gone the other three woke up out of her enchantment and offered to dance for us as our reward. Their dancing was amazing, and afterward they offered to perform a ritual tattooing of our spirit totems on each of us. After receiving our tattoos we rest for the remainder of the day, some of us actually rest while a couple of us enjoy the companionship of the beautiful young Olman women!
Just before nightfall Tonk climbs one of the taller trees to take a look around and see how far the mountains are. He informs us that they are about three miles away, but he also sees that there is a good size clearing of in to the south about seven miles away. After a quick discussion we decide to head for the clearing to the south. We thank the Olman women for their company and head south. After about 6 hours of travelling south we find a wall that seems to go for quite some ways, [[An’ Atl]] turns into an eagle to do some quick reconnaissance on the other side of the wall and when he comes back to us tells us that we have definitely found a large ruined settlement that is surrounded by a wall. With that information we decide that we might be better off resting here until day break. So I cast Rope Trick and up we all went.
Aryth 20- We wake to the sounds of the monkeys again this morning, there are times that I swear I can almost understand them now!Tonk tells us that just before dawn he saw three very large black widow spiders (about the size of horses) climb the wall.
After eating a quick breakfast we start to walk along the wall to see if there are any tracks leading into the ruins. Krylyk actually climbs the wall and walks along the top of it! After a short time traveling east we find a break in the wall but decide to continue our perimeter walk to look and see if there is any evidence that one of the other groups beat us here. Halfway around the wall at it’s southern most point there is another break. However not far from this one there is a three story ziggurat that has Girallon and three Chimpanzees wearing armor on the second level of it. We try very carefully not to be seen as we continue or walk around the perimeter wall. The west side of the wall seems to be engulfed by a tar pit and as we come around to the north almost where we started we find another opening in the wall. As we look for tracks of other expeditions again we notice a trap at this entrance. We continue on our way to where we started and decide that it would probably be best if we scaled the wall and entered Tazion that way. We are able to scale it fairly easily and proceed toward a set of ruins that are not far from the wall.
When we get to the edge of the jungle near the ruins An’Atl saw last night, we discover that there are 6 of the armor wearing chimps here sunning themselves. An’ Atl tells us that they are called Charau-ka, they are an extremely [sic] race of semi-intelligent primates that are native to the area. After a little discussion between the members of the group it was determined that our best course of action was to just attack them as opposed to trying and bargain with them. I am not sure if I agree especially since I have never dealt with them before and I would love to learn more about their culture. With that being said, we took this group totally by surprise as Cam dimension leaped into the middle of them and used his negative energy to damage them all, while the rest of us used missile weapons to quickly defeat them. It was some of the easiest combat we have had in some time; however we did take them totally by surprise. As we looked through their supplies six tentacles came up out of the well and lashed out at Cam. Four of them wear [sic] able to grab him and drag him towards the pit. Cam dimension leapt out of their grasp while the rest of us all jump into the melee attacking different tentacles. Cam took a beating by this 10 tentacle creature, when all of the tentacle either withdrew back down the well or laid there lifeless. Tonk took it upon himself to jump down the pit and make sure the creature was dead. That was not one of Tonk’s best decisions as the well is sixty feet deep. While down the well Tonk finds an old backpack along with a breastplate and scythe. On his way back up the well he also finds a dug out corridor about halfway up. Once Tonk gets finishes his climb to join us, I take the time to check out the gear he found down at the bottom of the well. The scythe is magical, while the breast plate is masterwork. Inside of the backpack we also find two potions of cure serious wounds!
We decide to climb down the well and check to see if that tunnel leads to anything. The tunnel seems to go for an extremely long way heading towards the heart of the ruins (South). After some time we start to smell tar, Krylyk moves out ahead of us to scout out what might be causing the smell. He comes back to us to tell us that up ahead is an intersection that has tar seeping through the ceiling and a large puddle of it covering the floor making it difficult to move through the intersection. Cam uses a stone shape spell across to the center of the intersection so An’ Atl can walk out and look in the three different tunnels. There is tar in all of the tunnels but he see’s an end to the tar in the tunnel heading east so we decide that Tonk could carry us one at a time through the tar to the safety in the eastern tunnel. Most of us get sickened by the smell of the tar but after a while we feel better. We travel east for what seems to be 30 minutes or more only to find that this tunnel starts to slope downward and the floor is covered by a liquid substance. The liquid is water to our relief so we decide to continue through the water. After a while the tunnel opens up to twenty feet across and the waters is almost chest deep, but I can see some light up ahead so we continue on. All of a sudden an extremely large water elemental pops up and engulfs An’Atl. The next round it moves forward and engulfs Krylyk as well. An’Atl morphs into some form of water lizard, which is too large for the elemental to hold and attacks it. Cam and myself both summon earth mephits to fight it. Iouan was the next one of us to be swallowed by this thing, while An’Atl summons a crocodile to help us out. Tonk follows Iouan into the beast and all seems hopeless as our three best fighters are drowning in the belly of this thing. I continue to use my wand of magic missiles against it and the crocodile and mephitis do what they can to help as well. Finally the elemental stops spinning and our companions spill out of it. Krylyk falls unconscious just as we finish off the elemental. We quickly check for treasure before we decide to continue towards the light I saw just before the elemental appeared.
The light is actually the end of the tunnel we come up out of some ruins at the eastern most part of Tazion. We look around a bit and decide to travel through the jungle towards a rock outcropping where there is another group of the Charau-ka sunning themselves. We sneak up on them to the best of our ability after another quick and fairly easy battle we kill all but one and try to question him. He informs us that his leader Ragaruru will eat us all. After a bit of careful interrogation he does tell us that there are more serpentfolk here and that they are in the ziggurat and that as far as he knows none of the other groups have arrived yet. With that information we decide that it is best that we kill him so he doesn’t go and let the rest of the Charau-ka or the serpentfolk know we are here. It has been a difficult day and we decide to go back to the jungle and camp for the evening. I cast rope trick and we all climb up to rest.
Aryth 21 morning entry- As I study for my spells this morning I have a breakthrough and realize that I now understand a couple of new spells that might be helpful to us, Minor Globe of Invulnerability, and Stoneskin. With all of the studying of the ancient Olman language I have been doing I now feel pretty confident that I am fluent in that dead language as well, again I am hoping that this will help us discover everything we need here to find Saventh-Yhi.
With us all rested we climb out of the rope trick cautiously. We would have to be dumb to thank that the two groups of Charau-ka we defeated hadn’t been discovered yet. As we get to the edge of the jungle we spot a group of Charau-ka patrolling by the ruins near the old aqueducts, we watch them head south towards the jungle. After we wait for a couple of minutes we make a dash from our hiding spot in the jungle across the clearing, it is about a 300 foot distance and we tried to be stealthy, however with our group it never seems to work out that way. We made it to the other patch of jungle near the northern most wall, and as far as we can tell we were not spotted. We were able to make our way through this part of the jungle with no issues until we get to the ziggurat that we saw yesterday. We again stay in the jungle and do our best to evaluate our situation. The ziggurat is about 100 feet from the jungle. The Girallon, and three Charau-ka are still guarding the second tier of the ziggurat, and the main entrance is guarded by two Serpentfolk wielding great swords. There is another entrance that we can see that is not guarded as far as we can see but we have to move a little more towards the side to make sure the serpentfolk don’t see us.
An’Atl summons a pony and sends him to the other side of the ziggurat to hopefully distract the guards long enough for us to sneak into the side entrance. It works; the Girallon and Charau-ka all head over to the other side of the ziggurat long enough for us to stealthily enter through the side entrance. One by one we sneak into the room which is little more than an entrance hall with a mosaic floor and ceiling. I start to study the mosaics and notice that the floor depicts the 13 moons of Eberron, which is interesting since there have only been 12 moons for nearly 1000 years or more. The thirteenth moon disappeared when the 13th house was destroyed.
As I was studying Iouan hears something in the next room/hallway and closes his Wayfinder killing the light that I was using to study the mosaics. Krylyk moved through the room to look through the doorway to see a serpentfolk patrolling that hallway, and he thinks he hears another one coming from the other direction in that hall as well. As we all try to hug the wall and stay quite [sic], two serpent folk burst through that entrance way to attack us. These guys are definitely tougher then the Charau-ka we fought yesterday. As we finish them off two more come from that same doorway and I hear something behind us. When I turn to look there are the 2 serpentfolk that were guarding the front entrance coming toward us, so I quickly cast web to close that entrance up, we do not have enough frontline troops to fight on two fronts! That seems to hold them off but I continue to watch that door just to make sure, if they try and break through I can always set the web ablaze. The group kills the second set of serpentfolk just in time for an extremely large serpentfolk to bulrush [sic] his way through the door! I quickly cast enervation on him as Krylyk peppers him with arrows. Tonk, An’Atl, and Iouan enter into melee with him. He was tough! It took a couple of magic missiles along with the rest of the group hitting him to finally down him. However as he falls the two that were trying to enter through the entrance that I cast web on (or at least I assume it was them) jumped in his place. Just as we think it can’t get worse, the Girallon roars from the other side of the webbed doorway, bursting through the webbing. Tonk, and An’Atl were fighting the Serpentfolk, while Cam, Iouan, and Krylyk tried to keep the Girallon and Charau-ka -ka from over taking the rear of the party! It was just so chaotic! Iouan decided halfway through this to attack Cam. The look in his eyes told us he wasn’t in control of himself. I notice multiple Charau-ka -Ka heads peering through the door behind the Girallon as if they were about to climb through the top of the doorway and stay on the ceiling. Cam tried to dispel whatever was affecting Iouan while I decided to cast my fireball of the other side of the door behind the Girallon hoping to catch as many of those Charau-ka as I could. As the situation calmed down somewhat, Krylyk and myself decided to run outside of the hall and there was only one Charau-ka out there and he was climbing on the side of the ziggurat. He attempted to cast feeblemind on me!! I was able to fight it off, thank the Gods!! Obviously this is no ordinaryCharau-ka. The rest of the group funnels out of the entrance hallway just in time to be caught in a lightning bolt cast by him!! We exchange spells back and forth, and Cam actually cast a stone shape on the wall of the ziggurat that incases its feet and traps him on the wall. With that the spell casting Charau-ka just disappears. It was an extremely chaotic combat. As we look about the area quick I realize that there are nowhere near enough dead out here to account for all of the heads I had seen earlier so I must assume that it had used a mirror image spell as well earlier. We decide at that time to grab everything we can from the dead and check out the rest of the ziggurat hoping to find him. I think it is a safe bet that he was not a Charau-ka, and that he was probably a serpentfolk deceiving us much like the original one we ran into at the one temple when we rescued the other castaways a month ago, but that one cast divine spells and this one is casting arcane ones! Here is a list of items we found after the battle:
4 Masterwork Great swords, 1 Large Masterwork Great sword, 2 Masterwork Darkwood clubs (I claimed one), 1 Masterwork Cold Iron Spear/blowgun, 20 Darts, 9 flasks of poison
1 Potion of Cure Light Wounds, 3 Potions of Cure Moderate Wounds We used 2 of them)
After we collected all of that gear we deiced [sic] to do a quick once over through the ziggurat hoping to find that spell casting Charau-ka/ Serpentfolk and finish it off. Unfortunately as we made our way through it we found no sign of him. We did find some other interesting things instead though. On the first level of the ziggurat there was one room that we were unable to enter. It had great bronze double doors that had no hinges or handles to open them with. Cam tried to dimension leap into that area with Iouan and Krylyk but they had no luck the actually ended up on the other side of that room in an adjacent hallway!
The second level of the ziggurat had a couple of rooms on it there was one area that we could not enter here as well it was protected by a cube of force about 20 on each side. We also found a room with a backpack in it. The backpack contained the following:
1 Heavy Gold Statue, 1 Gold Dragon Comb w/ red garnet eyes, 1 Ring of Force Fangs (holds 9 preloaded charges of Magic Missiles), 1 jeweled electrum ring, 3 large gems (Amber, Jet, Star Sapphire) all radiate magic!!
While I was studying the magical auras of the gems I noticed magic radiating from behind a wall. We examined the wall to find a secret compartment in it holding an ancient magical sword that we gave to Iouan.
There was also a journal from the serpentfolk spell caster in the backpack. The journal is written in a language that I am not familiar with so I read one of my scrolls of comprehend languages and started reading through the journal quickly. While I read the journal I found out that it was definitely a Serpentfolk that was casting at us and disappeared. Their name is Isslar and he (?) claims to have been chosen to prepare the way for his kind to find their way home. He has been studying the puzzle that Savinth had left behind and has still not able to figure it out. He talks about how some of his degenerate kin have joined him and that there will be more following soon. He talks about the Idols and the stones that are needed to open the way. And that he has three stones yet there are four idols, and that he has no clue which stone goes to which idol. He cannot tell the stones apart, and because of that he is having difficulty. Lastly he talks about how he has been able to enthrall the Charau-ka, and that he has tasked them with finding the last stone. He has little faith in their ability to do so, but is happy that they at least are able to keep others from disturbing his research. I can only assume that he is extremely unhappy that we have been able to disturb his research and stolen his notes and gems!
We decided to check out the third level of the ziggurat and discovered it held nothing of any worth that we could find. It was obvious that the Charau-ka and Girallon lived up here by the mess that they left behind though.
From the height of the third level we could see a garden on the north side of the ziggurat with four Idols in it all hovering a little of the ground. We all went down to the garden to investigate it. Each of these idols had their hands out like they could be holding a rock of some sort. The Idols also had coloring as well: Purple, Yellow, Silver, and White. With the knowledge we gathered from Isslar’s journal, and also realizing that serpentfolk, much like their slithering kin, are colorblind. We decided to place the Amber gem into the hands of the yellow Idol, it fit perfectly! As soon as we put it in the Statue said “Where night is banished I ride in triumphant glory” Realizing that this is going to be an important part of the puzzle on finding Saventh-Yhi we contemplated trying the other 2 gems into the different idols, but we could detect necromantic auras and decided that if we made the wrong choice there could be a significant penalty that we weren’t willing to pay. So we will find the missing gem before trying any other gems in the idols. That decision has led us to head off towards the Charau-ka’s area in the middle of these ruins. Since we know that they are looking for the gem for the serpentfolk that is our best bet at this time.
Aryth 21 evening entry – It is a sad evening tonight! Iouan laid his life down to help the rest of us escape with our lives. After An’Atl did some reconnaissance for us by flying over the walled in area that the Charau-ka lived in we decided that we could make a good assault on it by climbing over the main wall and attacking a small group of them. It made sense since we figured they would never thank [sic] to watch over the top of the wall. An’Atl and I flew over the wall while the rest of the group (Tonk, Krylyk, Cam, and Iouan). Once the group made it to the top of the wall Cam dimension leapt into an area, and used his ability to channel his negative energy to damage most of the Charau-ka that were there. The rest of us took shots with our different missile weapons from the top of the wall. To our surprise the Charau-ka were quick to react and were able to charge at Cam even though we thought he would have been safe where he was. The tar pits that were scattered throughout the area made it difficult for us as well. One of the Charau-ka had a large pet snake as well and was able to cast some divine spells at us. As the battle slowly started to turn bad for us Iouan, and Tonk climbed down the wall to try and rescue Cam, who was in a very desperate situation being surrounded by a group of Charau-ka. Krylyk continued to fire his bow from above as An’Atl tried to get control of the snake. I summoned three fire elementals to assist us in the fight but there were just too many Charau-ka for us to handle and we decided to retreat. Krylyk covered Tonk, Cam, andIouan as they tried to climb the wall and escape. Tonk made it no problem Cam used his last dimensional leap for the day and made it safely to the other side of the wall, but poor Iouan couldn’t make it up the wall. Every time he grabbed at vines to help himself up the wall they ripped right out of the wall on him. Krylyk had to jump off the wall for his own safety as they Charau-ka started climbing the wall to follow our escape. Iouan tried again to climb the wall but again he pulled out a handful of vines. I commanded the elementals to dive into the tar pits to cover our escape but it wasn’t enough to help Iouan. He screamed for An’Atl and myself to fly away and stopped trying to climb the wall and just started fighting the Charau-ka again. As I looked back over my shoulder all I could see was thick black smoke coming out of the tar pits and I could hear the sound of battle. We waited for a while hoping that we might see him coming towards the jungle that we are hiding in but we haven’t seen him. I fear if the Charau-ka didn’t kill him then maybe the heavy nauseating smoke that bellowed out of the burning tar pits did! While I only knew Iouan for 15 days, I will miss him he was a trusted companion and a brave warrior. I cast rope trick for us to climb up and rest in for the night, and as I look back towards the Charau-ka encampment I realize that setting the tar pits on fire may have helped hide our retreat, it also will be much easier for the other groups to find Tazion now, all they have to do is follow the thick black smoke!
As we started setting up our watch system, we heard a noise outside of the rope trick. There was a female voice calling out my name! We talked through the opening in the rope trick to discover that there was a female elf, named River Song hiding in this section of the jungle in the ruins looking for us. It turns out that she was travelling with Shivayne and the House Thuranni. They have already been here and discovered where Savinth-Yhi is. Shivayne writes me that whenever they tried to draw out a map and show us where it was their markings would disappear, so he left us some clues as to how to discover its location.
Purple – Jet – South
White – Sapphire – North
Silver – Moonstone – West
Yellow – Amber – East
Sun = Flames
Star = Sextant
Circle = Blindfold
Moon = Women
The note also tells us that the serpentfolk spellcaster has 3 of the gems we need and that the Charau-ka has the other. Since we already have taken the three from the Serpentfolk we will have to find the last one tomorrow. We invite Summer up into the rope trick with us and we rest for the evening.