Ashes of the Empire

The Hidden Shrine (Part 1)

Session 22 Recap

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  • As the next morning dawned, the heroes awoke to find the hags awaiting them. Cautiously, they started the negotiations. The hags, being primal spirits of the Shadowfell, are interested in all things related to primal spirits. They explain that many long years ago a hidden shrine from an unknown people was found deep in the swamp to the north. The people who used to own the large shrine were able to trap primal spirits and tap them for their power.

  • The hags propose to the party that if they are able to penetrate the shrine and discover the secret to these ancient people’s ability to master the primal spirits, that they will reward the party. Specifically, they will craft a powerful amulet that allows Geigan to survive in the Shadowfell.

  • As a token of their good faith, the hags provide the party with a smaller, less powerful version of the fetish they promise to craft for Geigan, which allows him to at least operate for a few days. They also give the party a map, some potions and a ritual scroll to aid them in penetrating the shrine.

  • The heroes agree and depart the hag’s commune, following the map. After the better part of a day, they happen upon old ruins sticking out of the soft, muddy ground. The shrine was near. Pushing on, they finally catch sight of the shrine itself, a large pyramid shaped stone structure rising above the swamp.

  • After a few more minutes of moving towards their goal, the party starts to hear rustling in the bushes nearby. As they move along the noises get more and more frequent and seem to be steering them towards something. Finally, the heroes come upon a large standing stone in a small clearing surrounded by muddy, moist ground. The strange runes appear to be in some language related to Supernal, but Lu is able to make out a single name: Tamoachan.

  • No sooner does Lu say the name, does the soft ground give way in a torrent of mud, vegetation, and stone. Tumbling down, the party falls and slides several stories and ends up at the bottom of a pile of rubble and mud in some strange subterranean chamber. It would seem that the shrine found them before they found it.

  • Taking stock of their situation, the party discovers that not all of them fell into the room, and that Larissa, Mr. Burke, and Tavon managed to escape it and stay on the surface. As if being split from their charges wasn’t bad enough, they also discover that the air in this chamber is foul and poisonous – lingering for too long in these lower chambers would be very detrimental. The party sets out to find a way out or at least a place where they can reach fresh air.

  • The heroes set out to explore the lower chambers and discover that the primal spirits that these people trapped so very long ago are still very much alive in this place. They manage to avoid conflict with some of the denizens, using their negotiating skills and Lu’s knack for trying to guess the language’s meaning, but in some cases diplomacy simply is not the best course, and they have to resort to violence.

  • If the guardians of the shrine weren’t bad enough, they also have to contend with traps, some deadly, and others simply damaging. In total it works to slowly wear the party down, and leaves them wondering if they will make it out before the poison gas kills them.

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