The miasma that haunts the Giant’s Wood and protects it from outsiders as it divides Whitecrown was spawned from a temple older then memory and a mystery to the wisest aware of it. Business in town keeps Garyson from joining the group but the elf called Watcher temporarily joins the group to see them to success. It is obvious that Watcher’s only loyalty is to the forest appearing indifferent even to its own people. The Tree Singer only wants to restore the miasma to its previous strength and makes no illusions otherwise.
The temple lies north west of the meeting with the Elves which with Watchers aid will only take three days travel. Watcher employs magic to make sure everyone is fed without having to disrupt the forest’s denizens or use rations. At the first night of camp the group meets some of those denizens. A pack of hungry wolves!
The next few days are quiet as the group traces deer paths through the ancient red woods. Mist hides the canopy for the majority of the time producing a light but constant trickle from the accumulated condensation. Watcher intones that they are within hours from their target when a group can be seen ahead cutting through the brush.
p.The Orcs seemed to be searching for something and the canny observer might assume they were headed to the same place as the party. For people who have not seen fulls Orcs before these monsters strike a fearsome figure. They wear the same insignia as the previous Orcish encounter.
The temple is rough hewn stone covered in ivy and moss. Its design is ancient and it seems to be centuries without suffering a disturbance. Watcher has the key to the temple door which hisses and spews dust after the lock is turned. When the group moves forward through the wide, twisting halls the way is lit by patch of bio-luminescent moss growing inside. Carvings one the walls and words fade from a life time spanning centuries or more. Patches of words in Elvish, Draconic and something that resembles a dialect of Halfling survive in various sections of the temple. As they wander through the dimly lit maze something slides around a corner. Bits of metal flicker in the moss light as the cube of garbage filled ooze lurches toward the group.
Much of the temple is filled with roots and mud or bare stone long looted or abandoned. The murals are carved in and some seem preserved through persistent magical effects. One path illustrates varying breeds of dragons vibrant and strong but as you progress the pictures display the great beasts dying. One corner has an intricate etching of a Halfling Druid willing a great tree to sprout up and grow. The group might be impressed that is animated with Illusion magic. Another is a grotesque list of unnameable monsters no one here has ever seen. Possibly the most lifelike of the murals…which makes it all the worse when one of the pictures peels itself from the wall to attack!
The monster is an ancient thing. From another world and another time. A skitters on six legs with twisted face of a spider and a whip like tail ending in a fanged maw. To those who understand Abyssal it repeats a single word again and again. When it is slain tendrils of palpable magic wisp away and trail further into the temple as if drawn in.
The temple seems to have long sunk into the earth making the floor shift at odd angles. Puddles of foul smelling stagnant water breech the stone from where the floor has cracked. Energy can be felt all around even to those without magical training or senses. A scent like brimstone and ozone drowns the bog stench. Muffled singing echoes from some unknown direction. The puddle begin to bubble suddenly as small creatures with leather wings crawl out of the muck.
Alot of rooms and hallways dead end making the route a process of elimination. Even though stripped bare the walls seem to reverberate with memory. The dust and dull glow reach out to the adventurers posing a question at the edge of their lips with each opened door which lingers half formed and unanswered as they leave. One of these doors opens with a screech inhabited not only by more of the Ooze Mephits but also a locked chest just behind them.
As the group continues the invisible mystic force pushes against them like a stiff wind. The walls crackle with static electricity and the animals are becoming uneasy but not so much that they cannot be managed by their masters. Some pattering sound echoes louder and louder until finally the group finds another Ooze Mephit dancing clumsily cradling some gem in its arms. As soon as they see each other the Mephit crushes the gem in its hands and melts into nothing. A rumbling erupts from behind them and a waves of water rushes forth roughly hurling the adventurers deeper into the temple.
The smooth stone floor thirstily drinks the water leaving the group disoriented and damp. The singing that some of the group may have heard earlier is clearer and louder down here but still some ways away. Handfuls of rooms lie open in the small web around them suggesting one last opportunity for sanctuary before closing in on the mystery they were sent to unravel.
Rested or weary the group finds an altar room at the end of the maze of bare rooms and hallways. Here is the source of ancient power permeating through the site. A sprawling statue depicting a swarm of all dragonkind with etchings of halfings barely perceptible from the passage of time. Strange things lie littered around the large room and the floors has about half an inch of fetid water. Sitting on the altar below the statue is a creature of sublime beauty dripping wet and singing some sad song. The fey creature is violently insane and has no intention of letting anyone leave alive.
As the Lampad dies and withers away strange fittings around the statue glow softly with pale green light. A slab of stone worked with ancient writings seems to be the focus of the illumination and is easy enough to free. The writing seems some advanced form of wizardly code.