After a nice reunion with the crew of The Goldenhawk Skyship and the mage Quagmire, the party plotted their next move now that they were finally free of Baba Yaga’s Hut. A disturbing communique from the Archbishop of Torm in Tantras had warned of trouble brewing in the Sea of Fallen Stars. Despite the alarming news, the party decided it best to fulfill their pledge to Elaith and Jarath and finish what they had started. They had recovered Shalay Marel from Baba Yaga’s Vaults and now needed to use it in some sort of process to cleanse an ancient elven temple and perhaps vanquish the Spellplague. So Shan Val manned the steering wheel and began piloting the ship at a high elevation towards the Plaguewrought Lands and The Ruins of Ormpitarr.
Along the way Quagmire cast a few rituals. One was a spell called Enhance Vessel to make The Goldenhawk Skyship’s hull stronger and more resistant to damage and to make it faster. The other spell was called Steed Summons that enables Praxis to summon Tyberious quickly to his current location.
With Sulee flying down and using her keen eyes and guiding Quill and Shan Val, the party arrived over The Ruined Tower where they had left the Spell Journal of Arian Dane. With Praxis on Tyberious and everyone else in Shan Val’s Mortar and Pestle, they flew down into murky swamp to find the tower just as they had left it. Quagmire could feel the Plague all around him and it was quite unsettling. Dorian tried to teach him the means of casting arcane spells in the swamp so as to avoid those spells going awry and being influenced by the thick plague mists. It took some time and Quagmire began to glow with a bright light at one point as he learned the technique but learn he did.
Retrieving the book from the invisible chest and flying back up to the Skyship, they began to use the book to find the location of the ancient elven temple. Finding the building did not take long. The old stone architecture had been freshened up by the application of human skulls completing covering the exterior of the building. They were painted in strange serpentine designs. Shan Val thought that the vile fashion choice and snake themes correlated with the Yuan TI who had battled Elaith and Jarath as they went after the book long ago.
Again Praxis rode his Pegasus steed, Tyberious, and the rest of the party rode down in Shan Val’s Mortar and Pestle. Quagmire used a very cool spell called Guillaume’s Veil to create a globe of invisibility surrounding him to cloak the party. Flying down unseen, Quill got a good look at the Hideous Temple with stone gargoyles apparently original to the building and the new look of the colored skulls covering everything on the outside. There appeared to be only 1 main door to get in and Quill spotted to creatures lurking in 2 pools of filth by those doors. They were well hidden but not well hidden enough to escape Quill’s keen gaze.
Quill’s eyes also spotted something interesting. The stone connecting some of the gargoyles on the roof some 80 feet off the ground was very weak. It didn’t look like it would take much to make them fall. So the party flew up to roof next to the gargoyles. Dorian slid out of the Mortar onto the roof and hid behind the gargoyle statue while Shan Val flew the mortar over to another gargoyle above the other pool on the ground.
Dorian used his thievery to rig up the gargoyle to fall down on the guardian. Likewise Shan Val used dungeoneering to find the weakest point and arcana to steer the mortar just right to knock it off. Quagmire used his telepathy to communicate to both of them so that when they were ready they would simultaneously make the gargoyles fall down onto the unsuspecting guards below. There was a tense moment where due to a poor roll Dorian knock a bit of skull off the roof and it landed in near the puddle causing the guardian inside to stir. But Dorian was well hidden with this stealth and the others were still cloaked in Quagmire’s invisibility. The guardian’s pool went silent again.
On Quagmire’s signal the huge stone gargoyle’s were released and fell 80 feet onto the unsuspecting guards below. With a loud thud and crunching sound they smashed into the slimy pools. Bubbles of blood and gore were the only thing to surface.
With the guardians eliminated the party flew down and Quill examined the Door. He found it was magically and mechanically trapped with an acid ward and a spear trap. Shan Val removed the acid ward and Dorian dealt with the spear trap. Then Quagmire unlocked the door. It was also magically held shut so Shan Val also brought that down that with his arcana skill. Quagmire used his thievery to open the door just a smidge and Quill used his far sight to gaze about the room.
Quill saw a huge room filled with yuan ti serpent people. They were performing some sort of ceremony including severing the head from some sort of human sacrifice which looked like it was too late to do anything about. The 60 foot ceiling in the room had three different levels of floor. The first and closest to the door was covered in 3 feet or so of slimy viscous foul liquid. Then a level of brick covered floor that rose up 10 feet higher and then a green marble floor 10 feet higher still.
Skulls line the walls of the inside of the building as well. The Yuan Ti were all involved in some sort of ceremony leaning back and forth and rhythmically chanting. The yuan ti included 13 minion guards wielding scimitars, 3 huge bastard sword wielding abominations, 4 chameleon skinned archers, and 2 priests at the altar.
In order to better deal with the yuan to on their own terms and to avoid the slimy floor, the group decided it might be best to enter near the back of the room via a passwall spell. They are planning their assault as they seem to have surprise on their enemies for now.