After successfully escaping from the arena with Lucky in tow, our group met back up outside of the city of Mithas. Mat and Kellin decided to return to the city to find a shopkeeper and sell the goods we’d won from our victories in the arena, while the rest of us waited in the neighboring forest with Lucky and Helicon.
Not long after entering the walls of the city, Mat and Kellin found themselves sparring with a group of minotaurs in a bartering transaction that quickly went south and transformed into battle.
At that same time back in the forest, the rest of the group suddenly heard a great crashing sound approaching through the underbrush, as a Triceratops emerged from the trees and attempted to trample the heroes.
By the time the dust settled in Mithas and their foes had been vanquished or had ran away fearing for their lives, Mat and Kellin decided to postpone selling the group’s goods and reunite with the rest of their party.
Meanwhile, back in the forest, the triceratops seemed to focus on grasping Zefir in its huge maws before it was finally brought down by the heroes’ assault. Gleaming from the great creature’s forehead was a blue gem that had been embedded there, seemingly out of place on the primitive beast. We pried the gem out of the dead monster’s flesh and Helicon detected an aura of magic about it that appeared to be somehow attuned to Zefir.
Troubled by these events but not swayed, our group decided to head for Ergoth, the nearest place where we could potentially sell our goods. Not even a full day’s travel had passed before we heard a loud sound like wind chimes or glass pieces crashing against each other approaching on the road in front of us. As we hid in the bushes on both sides of the road, three large and quite terrifying creatures entered into sight: an Ice Elemental, a Rope Golem, and a Crystalline Horror marched directly towards us as if we weren’t hidden from view. Noticing the creatures each had a blue gem embedded in them, we gave up the ruse of hiding and launched into an attack.
Several Scorching Rays and Pit spells later, our battle weary group stood over shards of ice and burnt ends of rope and mutually decided to change course to Rhinegoth’a, where we could find someone capable of cleansing the aura of Cassandra from Zefir. Apparently someone had sent these bedazzled beasts to track down Cassandra/Zefir, and we would need to resolve this problem sooner rather than later or risk an onslaught of attacks of this nature.
After another day of travel, we arrived at the inlet of a vast lake. We had been told that we would find the temple of Rhinegoth’a inside a cave, and soon we found two large statues marking its entrance. Peering closer, we saw that the statues were created in the shape of a large pile of goo with eyes, and each of the statures possessed a concrete tube capable of shooting flames at a distracted traveler as they passed. Mat disabled the traps that would surely have incinerated us, and while searching around the room, we found a sledgehammer covered in black sludge. Mat picked it up and brought with us as we plunged deeper into the temple.
Soon we entered a rectangular room with strange etchings in the wall that appeared to be in the language of abyssal. Thankfully Mat had the ability to read the etchings, and he told the group that it appeared to be instructions on how to use the temple.
Essentially, the temple had been created with the ability to cleanse someone’s spirit if the individual was placed into a cage and lowered into a stone tube filled with fluid. The catch was that the tube was currently empty, and would only fill when a complicated stone lever was triggered within an altar in an adjoining room. There were also additional levers spread throughout the temple that more priests could be stationed at, each one reducing the difficulty required to activate the cleansing ritual. If all of the levers were triggered, even a low leveled priest could pull off a cleansing ritual, but if only the main lever was pulled, than only a powerful priest should attempt it.
Giving it a try, Raven attempted to pass for a cleric, and set about manipulating the stone staff. After a failed try, we heard something squishy approaching and a huge demonic ooze came into view. As Raven fiddled with the contraption again, Zefir recognized the ooze as a type of creature that could split and duplicate if cut or slashed, which put our heroes at a disadvantage and required they fight with blunt instruments. After a few more failed tries with the lever contraption, a monstrous eight legged Shriezyx and a Fungal Crawler entered the room and joined the battle alongside the ooze. Changing tactics to focus on exterminating these creatures, our group initiated a coordinated battle to take them out one by one. When the ooze was the last creature left, we slashed it a few times which caused it to divide, but we were able to overcome its divided form and vanquish the animated sludge with some effort.
Turning back to the altar, we attempted a new strategy, dividing into three groups and activating three altars, to ease the difficulty of triggering the cleansing fluid. It still required some skill and patience, but eventually we were able to do it, and fluid rushed into the stone tube, signaling our success. Zefir jumped into the pool. Only a moment had passed when a creepy red slime dropped onto Bru and seeped into his eyes, mouth, and open wounds. Overtaken by the beast, Bru heaved and retched before vomiting it up in a pool of red slime. A few well-placed blows from the rest of the party took it out before it could attack anyone else.
Turning back towards Zefir in the stone tube, the group spent a few rounds attempting to pull her out, via a chain attached to a cage that was already lowered into the chamber. When she finally emerged, she indicated a feeling of being refreshed that implied the cleansing ritual had worked.
Exiting the temple and camping for the evening, the heroes discussed where to go next. In the morning they headed towards Ergoth, and after traveling for some time found themselves outside the gates of the elven city of Qualimori. Passing through without incident, we gazed upon a beautiful city full of intricate buildings, with terraces covered in vines that overlooked trees and expansive courtyards, as the sounds of urban life filled our ears.
Several elves approached us then, asking if we wanted to donate to the “elven religion” but Raven sensed they were dishonest, so Mat bluffed that we would make a donation later, and we parted ways with them. We soon found a vendor where we could sell our loot and replenish our supplies. After looking over the treasure we amassed, we agreed we would give 1000 gold pieces each to Lucky and Helicon, as they were turning out to be very important friends to have.