The Abyss Stares Back

Fangs for the Memories

On the other side of the newly – opened passage, we find and follow a hallway sloping gently downward that terminates in the back of a chapel with a dais at the far end and a weak phosphorescent glow coming from the ceiling. Oh, and two skeletal guards. Milosh nonchalantly strolls up through the aisle, drawing the ire of the guards and causing them to attack. Fight!

Once the skeletons are dealt with (aka, scattered across the chamber in the form of dust), we explore. The dais and skeletal remains reveals nothing, other that the fact that the whole structure seems absolutely ancient and undisturbed for ages. There are two doors leading out from the room, and Mads opens the one on the left. The light is stronger here, almost daylight in strength, and to the uneducated eye it looks like a greenhouse. It even has a tree in it, which Mads tries to converse with, labeled “the tree of truth”. And some dead plants that he insists could be undead, because he literally doesn’t know the meaning of the word.

The other door leads to what looks like a medical chamber of some kind, filled with empty shelves. In the center is an ash pile, with scorch marks on the ceiling above it. This ceiling has the same kind of phosphorescence as the other rooms. Around the pile of ash there are 7 skeletal figures. A fragment of paper that we find implies that maybe, just maybe, there might have been some transcendence going on here, and that the fire was fueled by books and scrolls from this storage room.

There is another door exiting from this room, and Mads tries to open it but finds it to be stuck. And not just stuck, but held as if by a person/spirit in the other side. Neither his nor Milosh’s strength is quite enough to pry it open, but pure confidence in my knowledge (i.e. ridiculous ego) is enough to join the get-through-the-door-club. Yay!

Inside is an egg on a pedestal with firefly-like lights swirling around inside of it. I hear something whisper “welcome, apprentice” in my head, and we all feel like there is a presence in the room as we enter. It seems like this is our goal, and that the swirling lights are the memories stolen by the Awakened. The age of this place, however, also implies that the egg here is far older than they, and that the memories (or whatever else it may be) inside could be from creatures other than those we know about.

We argue for some time about what to do – whether to break the egg immediately or take it with us, whether what is inside may be dangerous enough to selectively fish out memories or smash it and release all, whether the voices heard in the chamber are those of the prisoners of the orb or those of the long-deceased builders of this place, etc. Finally we decide to take the orb outside and smash it immediately, and while doing this call Johanna and find out whether it has any immediate effects. So we do, and it does, although exactly what those effects are is unclear.

Oh, and Mads decides that it’s a good idea to eat some fruit from the mysteriously-not-dead tree in the left room of the underground temple, and he gains the power to be slightly more insufferable. AND he makes a direct inquiry to Johanna as to whether she is a demon, the answer to which is surely not a lie that will come to haunt us later.

Finally, we set off on our journey to Kreszk, deciding to bypass Mt Baratak and Point Hope in favor of speed. After we have dealt with the situation there and participated in the surely-not-suicidal attack on the Awakened by Blackburn’s cronies, we will go to Point Hope to make sure that it still stands, then to the mountain to educate ourselves in ancient blue-huffing barbarians, then maybe back to Teufeldorf to burn down the Asylum.

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