Kast

Chapter 8: Adventures in the Sky

Excerpt from Tharn's Journal

After defeating the manticores, we decided to rest a short while and take a closer look at the room. Three of the walls of the room were decorated with elaborate carvings. The far wall appeared to depict the founding of the monastery. The left wall showed the daily routine when the monastery was active, but this wall had been damaged by what were clearly marks for counting. We couldn’t tell what had been counted, but the marks could have been made by the monsters we had defeated. The right wall was a row of portraits carved in the stone. It’s possible that these were the former leaders of the monastery. Some of the portraits, mostly the more recent ones, had been (literally) defaced, probably by whatever had made the marks on the other wall.

Moving on, Telsin and I scouted ahead in an attempt to avoid being taken by surprise again. The hallway sloped downward, and seemed to have a very slight curve to it. After a short while, we reached a glimmering door and decided to go back for the rest of the group.

Once we were all ready to move again, we proceeded down the hallway and through door. The door opened onto a fairly wide walkway hanging in the air. Once we were through, Lucky closed the door behind us, and it just disappeared! With only one option we moved forward, and noticed that the walkway was disappearing behind us. At the end of the walkway, we reached a large stone platform hanging in the air, seemingly unsupported. The platform itself was set with intricate stonework depicting two intertwined dragons, one black and one white. On the platform were three statues; an onyx owl, golden eagle, and silver dragon. The far side of the platform had two doors, which were at the same time repelled us, and attracted us. It was like feeling fear and warmth from the same thing at the same time. In the center of the platform was a table of light food and drink.

Now that we were on stable ground, we were able to examine our surroundings. Caleb deduced that we were no longer in Kast, but had been teleported to the elemental plane of air. He recommended that we not jump off the platform, as the fall was not simply long, but actually unending. I don’t think any of us had really considered that option.

The layout of the platform made it fairly clear that we were supposed to pick one of the doors. While we were talking, we were surprised by an additional voice! It turned out that the statues were able to talk, and provided some insight into which door we should take. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to agree on much. One would tell us both doors were safe, another would say he was lying. Regardless of how many absurd questions we asked, we never got any useful informaton. It. Was. Infuriating! But at least we had snacks.

Finally, we decided to check the doors. At least, the others did, while I hid behind a statue. I’ve found too many traps recently, and wanted to leave this place in one piece. The doors both opened safely, and both led to a stone passageway like the one we had followed to this place. After a few experiments with coins, we determined that both doors led to the same place… We had worried, and wasted all that time when the decision didn’t matter.

Moving forward, we again heard the sound of bells, telling us that we were truly back in the monastery. After a short while, we entered a room filled with a white mist tinted with hints of red, gold, and yellow, like the sky at dawn. To the right and left of us were two statues, and the far side of the room narrowed to a hallway whose floor was a fine grate. Trying to cross the grate caused Tuiz to burst into flame. Another puzzle.

With nothing else around, we tried moving the statues. The slid surprisingly easily, and beneath them were more grates like the passage ahead. With the statues moved, the flow of whatever was causing the fire was redirected, and we were able to continue through the passageway.

Our success was short-lived, as the following room was much the same, but with four statues. This time, there were no grates under the statues, so we were left somewhat perplexed. Again with nothing else to try, Tuiz and I went back to the previous room and moved the statues back to their original positions. With the grates again covered, we were unable to proceed to the second room, but Lucky was able to get out. Once past this puzzle, the hallway split, with closed doors down either path. Removing the statues again caused the left door to open.

Past the door, Lucky found a lever and two closed, but unlocked chests. Pulling the lever opened the right door, allowing the rest of us were able to move through, and opened the right door. With all of us in the room, we checked the chests. The first one contained gems and potions, but the second was a mimic! Lucky had tried to open the mimic, and his hands were stuck to it. During the fight, Tuiz managed to remove most of Lucky from the mimic, Caleb was grabbed by a pseudopod from the mimic, and with each attack, more of Telsyn’s limbs were stuck to the mimic. Finally, despite how bad the situation seemed, I managed to deal the final blow with a well-placed arrow.

Leaving this room, we continued through the other door, and found ourself in the ritual chamber! Two other hallways opened from it, much like the one we had entered through, and there was another door into a smaller room. In this room, we encountered the same adventurer from the courtyard. He looked as though he had had a rough time as well. He said that the weapon he was looking for was not here, but that he had found some useful treasure in the other room. Instead of fighting, he offered to take one piece of his choosing and leave the rest for us. Since we were in no condition for another fight, we accepted his proposal.

The treasure room had a pedestal in each corner, one of which was empty, leaving 3 items. One item was a small pearl, another a pair of gauntlets, and the third a broom. I chose to take the broom, as it was the most out-of-place of the three. In addition to these, there were also several papers, finely inlaid with gold and well illuminated. None of us were able to tell what they meant, but I gathered them to show to Daevon, who would appreciate them more than the rest of us.

With all that done, we left the monastery through a now empty pathway, and returned to Roshi’s hut.

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