7/7/1000 – Godsday 7th Ripening 1000 YT
In the morning, Belben supervised the destruction of the Yellow Musk Creeper and the clearing of other foliage, thereby revealing the strangely constructed black metal door in the obviously man-made mound underneath.
The party made their way down a flight of stone steps and began to explore. Tomek and Natalia soon realised that they were not in a shrine of Mitra. Sconces on the walls and a mosaic on the floor of the first room they found all suggested the place was connected with some other religion or being entirely.
In another room, a chair made of human bones was found. Inside an old wooden desk, two pages of some very old book were discovered, along with a simple iron key, an ornate platinum ring and a small glass jar containing a glowing green maggot or grub which appeared to be alive. Belben handed the ring to Natalia, declaring it to be of great value but no apparent religious significance, suggesting that it be part of the players’ reward for joining the quest.
In the next room discovered, all hell broke loose! The room appeared to be some kind of prison with cages for detainees, one of which held the skeletal remains of some unfortunate person. Belben paralysed Tomek with a spell. Reacting quickly, Natalia then rendered both priests unconscious with a sleep spell. With great effort, she dragged them into the two empty cages, finding that the key found the previous room operate the locks to both cells. Both priests were still asleep when the spell affecting Tomek began to wear off. Worried and confused, the players continued exploring, finding several sinister rooms (one was a cave containing strange, low tables made from a weird metal and in which they found the remains of some strange tools and some human skulls with the tops cut neatly off; the second appeared to be a temple with a green stone altar marked with strange carvings; the third contained a vast stone cube which gave off a faint but disgusting smell of decay).
At that point, they heard the angry shouts of the now recovered Father Belben and decided to return to the prison room and remonstrate with him. Belben tried to trick Tomek into releasing him but lashed out with his fists once freed. With some difficulty, Tomek and Natalia overpowered the now crazed, ranting priest, locked him back in his cage and rushed out of the underground complex carrying the two priests’ shoulder bags. Tomek was visibly shaken by the sudden and horrible transformation of the previously kindly Father Belben.
As they emerged into the daylight, Tomek and Natalia saw that the weather was turning, with large raindrops beginning to hammer down.