Destroy black idol, discover in wall carvings that Guzman‘s Mace of Smiting was pictured wielded by a sad, gaunt man wearing an adornment on its head; story of Al-Anwahr becoming clearer. Explore other rooms
The session begins with the siblings still embroiled in conflict.
Faruq dodges away from Sulayman‘s attempted grapple, “Su! Snap out of it!” Guzman swings the heavy Mace of Smiting against the huge construct, but it continues it’s assault. Trying to dodge away from the construct, Guzman nimbly ducks away, weak and bloody.
D’aro calls out; “Stop attacking it!”
The gems that make up the eyes of the idol glow with red malevolence, and Guzman feels himself losing control but snaps back and regains control.
Printz uses his magical voice to shatter more of the idol
Faruq blasts the idol and pushes it back, trying to break down the door behind it, but it remains in one piece, the door undamaged. Retaliating, the idol blasts Faruq hard in the chest, knocking him back.
Zephyr, still trying to distract and bother Sulayman who has lost his mind, smacks him just enough to deflect Sulayman‘s Burning Hands away from him, avoiding the brunt of the flame. He can see in Sulayman‘s eyes that his brother is not in control.\
G: WHERE’S YOUR GOD NOW!?
D’aro and Sulayman, seeing their god destroyed, felt rage wash over them, and hatred for those would would dare, but the magic soon faded and they regained their senses… remembering everything that had transpired.
S: Brushing Zephyr‘s shoulder… it’s not as bad as it looks…
D: I am so sorry; I was ensorcelled; I hope I did not hurt you, it looks like I did. Hehe… I apologize.
G: I am fine; the blood on the ground isn’t all mine.
Guzman grabs the beautiful red gems from the destroyed statue.
Realizing their dire state, the orphans decide to rest.
S: This is only the first of 11 trials, yes?
F: Brother, can we trust them?
G: We dno’t have much choice anymore, we’re still family.
F: looks Guzman hard in the eye, “And yet, we are not whole.”
G: I don’t think it’s time to mourn now, brother.
D: Surely we must not move on to the next trial as casually as we did this…
Huge brass rings on the door leaving the room prevent D’aro from opening them, certainly a person only of titanic strength would be able to open them.
D’aro looks in, terrible stench, what looks like outer gallery, walls carved with impressive relief, oncer verdant gardens of a lush kingdom. Almost as if creating inside what the kingdom used to look like outside. The marble has weathered the test of time, and D’aro sneaks forward, telling his brothers to follow from a distance.
D: Stay here brothers, you’re making too much noise.
As D’aro moves through the huge room, he notices passively the frescoes along the walls, depicting life and how it must have been in another time; children playing, people laughing, and a time when things were much different than now.
While waiting for their brother, Sulayman continues to examine the depicitions
Someone drew someone that was wearing a crown/diadem , and wielding what looks like the same mace that Guzman used to destroy the black idol. The figure looks gaunt and sad, as if he is not able to participate
S: Guzman, look here… is that not your mace?
G: It looks similar, but I’m holding the mace, so I don’t know….
S: flash in anger but does not snap in anger. Puts his hand on his shoulder. Guzman, you’re not in teh picture, you’re right. It looks like your mace is important somehow.
G: Yes, it felled the idol!
D: Brothers, come there is a door to the north.
Without any indication of traps or sound coming from beyond, the siblings push into the next room, the doors opening easily.
The next room looks like a waiting room; benches long the walls, diases with bowls on them, likely filled with cool water for guests once upon a time. Moving into the next room, D’aro sees an old scene of battle, remembering how Al-Anwar fell; the skeletal remains of dozens of soldiers who apparently fought each other in this room during the civil war that claimed this city hundreds of years ago when Azaltin returned to the city, undead and tried to take it from his brother. This, certainly was where the pentultimate battle finally happened.
As D’aro steps into the room, the bodies of the skeletal creatures rise up, grabbing nearby weapons, ready again to wage war on those who would enter Al-Anwar; the Lionguards of Al-Anwar remain loyal to this day!
With no choice but to defend themselves, the orphans respond in kind, easily destroying the skeletal warriors; returning the room to the ominous, battle-scarred scene they first discovered.
Pondering the history of Al-Anwar and the scene before them, the siblings discuss briefly what lay ahead; surely the story of this ruined kingdom is not yet completed…
Proceeding deeper into the temple, the siblings enter a room strewn with skeletons and the walls are marred with ancient, dried blood. In the center of the room, a beautiful rose garden is illuminated by a continual light spell, and a ornate water fountain adroned with centaurs in its center splashing contemplatively.
D: I feel this room is a room of death
S: What gave it away? The skeletons or the blood?
G: Shall we turn around then?
Doubling back to protect their flank, the siblings enter another room to see a simliar scene; skeletons and blood strewn everywhere.
D: I wonder if this scene of death has turned into a scene of life…
S: I suspect this is one of the 11 trials…
Guzman, stepping on the grass… feels a wash of rejuvenation wash over him. Moving forward, the siblings open
A marvelous feast has been set out on a massive carpet. Beautiful silverware, chalices filled with wine, fruit, platters of pheasant, boar and succulent pastries… an impossible feast. After weeks travelling through the haunted lands, with naught but simple rations and Zephyr‘s Goodberries, no one was immune to the feelings this evoked.
D: This is certainly one of the tests the hermit told us about…
G: Can we not just rub some of the food and drink on our face if we don’t swallow it?
EVERYONE: THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.
P: What if we just tasted it… just the tip?
Guzman skirts the carpet careful not to step upon it, resisting the urge and the growling in his stomach. Opening one of the adjacent doors, another scene of carnage appears as the doors swing open, and the skeletal lionguards animate as before, mindlessly defending their stronghold.
G: Did anyone else see wht I saw? It looked like they were saluting me or paying me reverence?
G: Do you think we should try it again with another of the scenes?
Continuing their exploration, the siblings are careful not to fall into temptation at the sumptuous feast in the room they keep crossing. The bronze portals in the next room with blue green statues with open hands at the sides, and as Guzman steps next to one of them, they animate; wielding two glowing scimitars, turning to the siblings who have trespassed. Felling these automatons handily, the heroes return to the room with the beautiful rose garden. Printz; feeling a longing to test what Guzman mentioned, wanders onto the grass, feeling the same rejuvenating feeling his new companion did.
Overwhelmed by the aroma of the flowers, Printz admits to himself, he’d like to have a garden like this at home; and knowing this, would your previous companions have met such a horrible fate if they had known this peace was waiting for them further in?
Faruq speaks briefly with Sachiel, and she listens intently. He then asks her to determine (as a Maridan) what if anything she can determine about the fountain and its magical properties.
D: Printz, you must leave.
P: I can’t make anything of it
D: Powerful magic is meant to test us, no?
G: What if the test is to overcome the temptation to drink and by not drinking, we’re not actually passing…. but Guzman confuses himself
Sachiel returns, the water is magical, but doesn’t know what it does… it’s not golden water for sure, but what it is exactly, she can’t be sure.
Deciding whether to rest or not, the siblings discuss their next move….