Session 1 Part 8
After a quarter of an hour the Rip led them to a dead end. Bolted to the wall was another old iron ladder leading up. But this time Rip had to climb nearly thirty feet upward. The tunnel must have slowly sloped downward as they traveled away from the inn. Instead of a wooden trap door Rip found a heavy stone slab locking the way at the top of the ladder. He pushed slightly on the stone and found it very heavy and securely in place. Since the tunnel leading to the ladder and up it where so narrow no one was able to help the shifter push the stone block out of the way. There wasn’t even enough room from him to switch places with one of the stronger goliaths. It was up to him to move the stone slab. Bracing himself the best he could Rip placed both hands on the stone above him and pushed with all his might. At first the stone didn’t budge but then, with an agonizing slowness a crack of light appeared along the edge of the stone block as it rose. Seeing this filled Rip with hope and with renewed effort Rip was able to push the stone block up and out of the way. A slow and steady grating issued from the stone followed by a loud crash as the stone tumbled away into the darkness beyond the opening. Rip quickly jumped through the newly formed exit and followed the stone block into the unknown. One by one the rest of the party climbed out of the tunnel.
Looking around the party found themselves standing on an altar at the far end of the temple. The stone block that had blocked their way laid at the bottom of the altar across a couple of wide stone steps. Stretched out ahead of them was the rest of the temple. It was in complete disarray with walls that were covered in blue and green glowing graffiti and broken pillars and statues lying across the outer walkways. The center of the hall was a jumbled pile of broken stonework. It was hard to see through the pile making it the perfect place for something to be hidden. All of the stain glass windows were boarded up long ago and did not allow any light to enter the temple. And if not for the soft light that was shed by the graffiti the temple would be completely darkness. As it was the hall was dimly light making the far side disappear into a thick gloom.
“I guess we will need to check out those offices at the far side. How do you think that we should proceed?” Adran asked his companions.
“How about we split into two groups and make our way around all that junk in the middle?” Tihee suggested pointing at the jumble of rocks in the center of the hall.
“Sounds like a decent plan to me. A warrior and a caster on each side with another for backup?” Kang suggested. Adran also agreed with the plan and split the party into two sending Rip, Keothi and Tihee to the north side and Kang, Xious and himself to the south side.
“Be careful, there could be anything hiding in that mess,” Adran said pointing at the same jumble of stones that Tihee had mentioned.
“Yeah, maybe even Oscar,” Tihee suggested.
“Or the creatures he is feeding,” Keothi added.
The two groups slowly stepped down from the altar and made their way around the obstruction in the center of the temple, each one ready to defend themselves against any surprise attack.