Sunday, May 5, 2019

Nearing the Heart of the Mountain

[A lacuna exists in the extant manuscript of the Journal of Jack Summerisle. It is unknown how much is missing, but compared to the previous entries, much has changed.]

The Journal of Jack Summerisle
Being a record of the exploits of the renowned Green Knight of Eldeen Jack Summerisle, and companions various and sundry, in the strange subterranean world of Pellucidar deep beneath the surface of Eberron. 

The great walking mansion Lungbarrow crumbled to ruin behind us. It had gotten us close to the Giants' Temple, but just how close we were not sure. Our time in the sentient residence had been interesting and full of challenges. Now, we were once more cast out into the vast midden heaps of the ruined giant city.

Rhea the Witch had performed a ritual to create a shelter for us, and we settled in for a well needed rest. Unfortunately for our intrepid party of adventurers, one of the sentient trash-creatures disturbed us in our rest. It was in the form of a stegosaur. Cankles the Ogre Barbarian, Jade the Elf Ranger and myself exited our shelter to destroy it or drive it away. Luckily, a few well-placed blows from my axe and Cankles' club, arrows from Jade's giant bow, and magical assistance from Yuv the Dragonborn Cleric of Bahamut ended the creature's unnatural existence. Yuv, however, was unable to recover the use of his prayers.

Jade scouted the area and found another place to camp. Rhea had slipped into a catatonic state and could not revisit her ritual, so we set a watch. Mine own watch was first, and as I stood guard I heard the approach of more trash hounds, scavengers that posed an annoyance more than a threat. I roused Jade and Cankle and we devised a plan to lead them off or at least confront them away from our camp to allow Yuv the rest he so badly needed. The plan went off well. Cankle distracted them while Jade killed one with his bow. The hounds decided not to interfere with us, fleeing as fast as they could.

The rest of the evening passed without incident until near morning. A giant passed our camp, playing its odd music on her flute. Those of us on guard duty were unaffected, but Yuv slipped into the magical trance while he slept. He dreamed, and that ended up to our benefit. The dragonborn saw the way to the Temple, and that we were near. Once we roused him, we set out and soon discovered the ruins of the Temple of the Mountain's Heart.

The temple was built like an inverted pyramid, with a deep pit leading into the earth (and strangely, up towards our surface homes although in this upside down world it appeared to lead down). There were a myriad of steps leading down the pit, but there was also the temple proper. Thinking there might be somewhat of use within, we decided first to explore this ruin before seeking out the Heart of the Mountain.

Inside was dust, decay, traps and magical guardians. We battled our way through the guardians, deciphered ancient Giantish texts, and discovered some golden religious implements. Judging by some of the images carved into the walls, we may need to offer up a sacrifice to the Spirit of the Mountain if we can awaken it. It seems strange that this long quest to seek the Mountain's Heart may soon be over. I just pray that the Ghoul Kingdom which was threatening the various peoples of the Mountain has not already fulfilled its goal of conquest, and that we can save the allies we have made above in the Kyber underworld and on the surface. After a brief rest here, we will set out again.

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