Blades of Light

Tal's Journal, Entry 23

Through the Looking Glass

Well, the trip up the Bone Road was… menacing. The road itself winds around the frozen Great Old Ones, which was somewhat intimidating. We passed a few groups in various stages of difficulty. It wasn’t entirely my idea of fun.

We did reach the Throne of Mavros eventually. It was rather… impressive.

There was one guard at the entrance, an uncommonly attractive half-orc, which granted wasn’t much of an improvement. She and Ceor seemed to hit it off right away, largely because they both had giant shields emblazoned with the symbol of Mavros.

This is likely to be trying.

Miaako managed to convince her he was a holy bird. She seemed inclined to follow him. I really wish I could be surprised.

It was more of a tent-city than a camp; most of the residents seemed to be permanent. It wasn’t like any temple I’d ever seen before, a huge building made entirely of marble, with an enormous flame with no particular fuel source. Just as we got there, the flames flickered and flared up, and for a second there was what appeared to be a cave on the other side, with some sort of ledge extending away. It looked like a stone bridge over a chasm of some kind.

That was about the time the half-orc guard asked if I was a devil. I resisted the urge to set her on fire.

Ceor was inclined to follow her to pick out a campsite because she knew where the bars are. Lovely. She seems to have attached herself to us. I blame Miaako.

Ceor, Miaako, Reeshka and I went to go take a closer look at the flame. Hopefully, Miaako won’t commit sacrilege before we’re ready to go. As soon as Ceor set foot on the steps leading up to the flame, it rippled. When he was halfway up, the arch formed again, and seemed inclined to stay open.

Then Miaako got more stupid than usual, and walked on up and attempted to go through. Perhaps fortunately, the half-orc knocked him away before he could get through, then dragged him back.

She could prove useful after all.

Ceor did not seem too eager to investigate. I’m not too eager to go in there unprepared. Really, I don’t feel inclined to go in there at all, but I’m not sure we have a choice. We certainly drew quite a lot of attention. Once we got away from the flame itself, we were still drawing a crowd. It was much the same when we went to the bar. Ceor really doesn’t want to investigate that arch… and I don’t blame him. I just don’t think we’re going to get out of it.

I do wonder why he’s so reluctant… perhaps his brain has finished developing.

We might as well do this before we lose our nerve.

Naturally, we drew a crowd again.

Ceor, being Ceor, wouldn’t let me go before him, though since Ceor is the one keeping the gate open, we compromised and he had me ride behind him. Miaako and Reeshka elected to walk. The half-orc, Kallistra, had her own warhorse.

The arch was some sort of teleportation gate, though I can’t tell if it’s extra-planar or just location. Fortunately, it seemed to be still open once Ceor passed through. We could still see through to the temple, but judging by the crowd’s reaction, the arch closed on the other side.

Ceor went first, as is his nature. He found a large symbol carved on the the apex of the bridge. It looks like the symbol of Mavros combined with something else. Reeshka said it was about what you’d get if you combined the symbol of Mavros with the symbol of Thor. There was a sort of electrical-type feeling radiating from it, but Miaako pronounced it safe enough. The bridge doesn’t look the sort to be structurally stable in the regular world, but then…

There was another ledge on the other side, and a large passage heading into a cavern. According to Reeshka, the passage seemed to be naturally worn, rather than worked. That’s comforting. There was a cross passage, but it ended at another chasm. There was a smooth dome of rock on the other side, with an opening facing the ledge. As we considered ways of getting across, we noticed there was a light in the chasm and a rush of hot air. I think it’s some kind of elemental. Unfortunately, Reeshka took that as a cue to create gallons of water and dump them into the chasm.

This could have been a peaceful resolution before that…

The thing was enormous, of course. We might as well just cut to the chase and attack. I hit with a Magic Missile, Ceor missed with his bow. Miaako hid. Though perhaps it wasn’t as bad as we thought… the elemental just grabbed Kallistra and threw her across. Didn’t seem to hurt her, beyond the impact with the stone floor. Not that Reeshka found that comforting when it grabbed her. Kallistra managed to catch Reeshka when it threw her.

It was a bit gentler with Ceor and myself, in that it just carried us across, though it was still deeply unsettling. That was a deep chasm. But being engulfed in flames was soothing, even if they weren’t my own flames.

Miaako, of course, flailed and probably soiled himself.

The chamber on the other side was bright, incredibly bright. I wasn’t stupid enough to detect magic here, but there was a crescent shaped chasm on the far side, glowing brightly. It seemed to be some sort of powerful positive energy source.

The fire elemental ferried all of us- and the two warhorses across, then vanished into the chasm. Once that was done, we examined the chamber. The floor seemed to form a shallow bowl, with a large spiral carved into the center. The crescent shaped chasm seemed to be full of a luminous mist. As I examined the area, I noticed that the darkness of the chasm the fire elemental carried us across seemed curdled- as did the light in the crescent shaped chasm. It seemed to be some sort of primordial thing, but I’m not sure of more than that. Miaako wandered into the center of the spiral, and indicated that he felt like he was being subtly pulled in the direction of both chasms. But only in the center.

Kallistra tried it, and felt a similar sensation, though more towards the light chasm, as did Reeshka. I felt absolutely nothing when I tried it.

When Ceor tried it, his sword started buzzing. Then he drew it.


Kassil RiaHawk

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