Horgar’s Journal – from our DnDNext playtest adventure
Having followed our lizardman guide into the depths of the jungle we now found ourselves lost, his reptilian figure had disappeared into the concealing foliage, whether by design or accident we knew not.
We knew we were meant to be travelling north to prevent the sacrifice so most of us tried to discern which way was north but each of us came up with a different answer. After a little convincing our elven archer clambered up a tree to get a better lay of the land, returning to ground level and determining our course.
Travel through the dense jungle was slow and hot but uneventful and we eventually came to a clearing, sitting in the centre was a very large stone ziggurat with a staircase leading to its summit. Myself and the hill dwarf warrior were just about to scout the edge of the clearing when the impatient rogue strode out across it. We couldn’t let him go alone so the rest of us followed, and that’s when the ground gave way below us!
We finally came to rest in a large chamber with several alcoves and a central dais, each holding a diorama of primitive village life. Our human mage noticed that where the majority of parts were clay, one figurine held a metal implement and so took it in case it proved useful. Then we noticed the noxious gas seeping in from holes above the only door leading out.
Examining the door we noticed a groove in the keystone above it and realised the implement matched, placing it in the groove released the door. The tunnels beyond were stone but crudely made (definitely not dwarven) and damp throughout and led to a chamber. The wizard noticed movement and blasted whatever it was with arcane energies, killing what was revealed as a large crayfish. Then a central boulder stood up, actually a giant crab of some sort that began to speak to us. The elf fired an arrow which did little more than anger the beast. Before combat could be initiated though I rode forward on my trusty goat (Snarler) and tried to placate the beast. Turns out it was some sort of guardian creature set to prevent the escape of a vampiric god entrapped in this “shrine”, I managed to convince it that we were here to stop this abomination and to show faith I removed the arrow. This seemed to placate the creature and it bestowed upon me the ability to understand the written and spoken language of the shrines builders which he called the Olman. The creature returned to its slumber and we ventured onwards.
The tunnels continued and we found a large statue, the rogue and hill dwarf climbed upon it to “examine” its jewelled eyes and the sword it concealed, but caused it to topple over. They were able to retrieve the items and also revealed a hidden smaller tunnel behind it. We investigated this but it proved to be a dead end (our rogue at the front could find no hidden doors etc) and so we returned to the original tunnel and continued.
The next chamber held a talking slug guardian, we once again were able to placate it verbally and without combat but the hill dwarf decided to break the ancient urns in the chamber. The first spilled forth a swarm of large rats which tried to bite him until he cut one to pieces with his halberd and the others fled.
Delving deeper into the complex the next chamber had several toppled pedestals and one still upright. The toppled ones appeared to have held (now broken) clay items, sat on the remaining pedestal was a silver pyramid (the mage took this “for safe keeping”).
Forging onwards we opened another chamber and released a torrent of water, I was lucky enough to be on my sure-footed mount and so weathered the flow but many of my companions were washed off their feet. Passing through the chamber we then came to a door with a small “keyhole” in, our rogue looked through and discovered a beautiful female humanoid swimming. Describing the sight to the rest of us our mage recognised that this was a Neried, a fey creature. Opening the door the Neried began talking to us and the elf’s eyes began to take on a glazed look of one smitten.
We would need to progress carefully if this creature could charm our party its intentions could be less than friendly.