The Compass Rose

Flaurmont 20

Tamoachan (Part 1)

Trapped beneath a ruined temple of Camazotz in Tamoachan, a long-abandoned city once the second-largest Olmecan city on the Isle of Dread, the adventuring group is winding its way downward, searching for an escape.

Approaching a jade block, the group realized that it was a doorway, as the block of jade was on a rounded edge, allowing it to rock back and forth in its frame. As Sahrthin moved to listen at and push the door, he found himself flattened as a mummified centaur in full Olmecan battle gear pushed its way over the door, pinning him underneath it.

The battle was fierce, but quickly done, as the centaur was defeated, but not before it struck Sahrthin with its jade-tipped pike, leaving a diseased wound behind.

A door in the chamber was opened, revealing a set of stairs leading down into another chamber.

Before continuing, the group decided to return to the previous area to investigate the tiled room and the plug in the ceiling. The tiled room held no new secrets, although some refused to believe that there was no hidden door present. The wheel in the ceiling, however, turned out to not be the escape route that they had thought it might be. In fact, opening the portal unleashed a tornado, which slowly built in strength and whipped those who were in the octagonal chamber.

After several rounds, the cap was pulled back into place from the vortex of winds, resetting the trap.

Unhappy with this, the group moved back towards the stairs and descended even further under the earth.

At the bottom of the stairs, two stone statues (of Olmecan design, though their features were rough and unfinished) flanked the entrance. At the far end of the room, a low pool rested against the far wall. The statues did not animate, despite a fear that they might. The pool seemed to be a fountain that had long-ago ceased to flow. In the bottom of the pool rested a stone statue of a lobster.

Aldrick moved into the pool to grab the lobster, only to find himself grabbed by the water of the pool and attacked by the very water itself. As he struggled free of the water, the water in the pool immediately smoothed over and calmed.

The creature, a water weird, seemed bound to the pool. As Bargathungar grasped the stone lobster, the water in the pool turned back to normal water; apparently the water weird had been dispelled.

With no other obvious method to progress, searching was conducted, revealing that the elevated pool was, in fact, elevated about 6 inches above the floor. Examining the perimeter of the pool, a series of Olmecan words were written. As they were said aloud, the stone floor of the pool receded, revealing more water filling a downward-leading tube/tunnel.

Bargathungar jumped in and descended into the depths, and after about thirty seconds, found himself entering a large open room, all while descending in a column of water.

As the entire group arrived at the base of the watery column, they found themselves in the middle of a huge, for lack of a better word, diorama. Standing atop a hill, situated all around them were thousands of ankle-high statues, many of which were Olmecan but a number of which were not. Different portions of the room were set up to appear like they were different terrain types, and a noticeable artificial sun glowed in the southern half of the room. A number of “devils” as well as other creatures (all clay statues) were scattered throughout the different areas.

As Malificious tried to figure out whether the room was a miniature version of the Isle of Dread, Bargathungar and Sahrthin decided that it would be best to destroy all the clay statues by stepping on them. Aldrick the Blacksail seemed okay with this plan and Carric the Wild was more intrigued with the depiction of the terrain types than anything else.

Exploring the room revealed two doors, one to the east and a double-door to the west. As Aldrick moved to the west door, Carric and Bargathungar moved to the east door. The west door opened up to a corridor that extended into the darkness, though a visible side passage was noted. As Bargathungar opened the door, he noted that there was a pile of refuse on the floor inside, but also that there were some Olmecan artifacts inside.

As Carric moved in to detect magic, the refuse pile opened up one eye and then another in rapid succession, and then it began babbling and gibbering incoherent Olmecan curses, which only Mal could understand (and even then, they were mostly nonsensical).

The battle that followed was difficult, as the gibbering mouther seemed to be somewhat resistant to damage, but it also had the ability to confuse those who listened to its insane babbling. Eventually, though, the creature was destroyed, and the need to take a break was felt by one and all.

Next Week: Tamoachan (Part 2)

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