To the Mountain's Heart
Being an Excerpt from the Journal of Jack Summerisle, Paladin and Green Knight of the Eldeen Reaches, concerning his adventures with his companions various and sundry as they seek the Heart of the Mountain, moving from the Hollow World of Pellucidar back towards the Overworld of Eberron, in a quest to awaken the Heart of the Mountain and defeat the Ghoul King.
We pressed on into the bowels of the Temple, going down many flights of stairs, and passing under the surface. It boggles the mind to think that we are in truth headed up when we do so. We have been in the hidden world of Pellucidar for so long now seeking this very temple.
Within the temple, we first encountered a chamber with a large altar made of piled stone. Three guardian creatures, made of stone but resembling the creatures known as dinosaurs here in Pellucidar, greeted us. They asked us to pledge ourselves to always battle the demons. This was an easy pledge for all of us to make, as we have already aligned ourselves to that cause.
The next chamber contained two giant suits of armor and two strange masks. The masks spoke to us, asking us to leave behind all worldly possessions. We refused, and the masks and armor animated, then attacked. We battled hard, and destroyed the spirits animating the items. Unfortunately in the battle, my armor was disintegrated by the touch of one of the giant suits. Fortunately, after the battle, the very same suit of winged armor that I was battling changed its size down to fit my body, and I now wear it. I am struggling to learn how to operate the wings, but I get the feeling that I will have the hang of it soon.
The third chamber contained another alter and three stone bird creatures. They demanded that we each impart some of our vital life force and experiences, to become more like children in order to pass. Again, we refused, and battle took place. We were victorious.
The fourth chamber was ornate, with numerous artistic wall carvings and inscriptions. There were five strange vessels on or near the altar, making strange noises. While some companions were stunned by the sounds from the vases, Pelar the Blade-Singer poured sand in one to mute its insane mumblings. I inspected the altar and found that a second pledge, this time against the Far Realm, was needed. I of course quickly pledged, as the Greensinger sect is already dedicated to just that. Other companions followed suit, although it took much effort to get Jade to commit, as he was entranced by the mumblings.
As we take a quick break to rest up and catch our breath, Yuv, with his legendary lore, informed us that beyond the next door should be the final altar. Could it also be the home of the mountains? We shall see.