(S10) The Telamok Peaks
Our heroes awake at the Lilloti household. They have decided to stay the day, to allow Aella to recover after her near brush with death and to celebrate the Spring Feast. The party helped the household as much as they could, Praxos painting a beautiful mural above their communal shrine and Eurytus blessed the land with Thyleas bounty, enriching the soil for the months ahead. Euryale was quite sociable but pointedly did not do any chores. The Midsummer feast came and the heroes sacrificed a goat. Many villagers had arrived as the Lillotis were like community leaders. People took turns at the flame, asking a question about their upcoming year and hoping Mytros would answer and show them the way. The answers the heroes got were a bit more practical. Their way to the Necropolis was to be the long way around. So be it. Waking up the next day, the heroes prepared to leave for the fabled Necropolis when they were visited by Kiriki, a young siren who informed them she had been hired to ferry messages between them and The Mithral Forge. She had a scare when she saw the Aarakokra of the group, Rekken and after she calmed down she explained that his people were the reason her people's empire was destroyed many millennia ago. She told them of the Legend of the Sirens.
A day of travel later, the party encountered a war camp bearing the symbols of Mytros and Akros. The camp was quite defenseless but walls were hastily being put up by a few massive minotaurs carrying several meters of what appeared to be stripped tree logs. They were accompanied by soldiers who were not helping but were instead guarding them.
Speaking to the guard it was revealed that he knew of them and told them the commander of the camp wished to speak to them. As they walked towards him some of the party caught some dirty looks from some of the soldiers which puzzled them. Praxos ventured that it was because Akros was notoriously not cosmopolitan as Mytros and seeing so many odd folk may have rubbed them the wrong way. They then met Commander Hileas (Jaws) who gave a bit of a hard time to Praxos, recounting his service history in front of his companions, explaining that it confused him that someone with such promising potential would throw it away by leaving the army. After talking to the heroes he informed them that the tensions between The Kingdom of Aresia and The Kingdom of Mytros were again, rising and that they were here as a show of force. In any case, he invited the party to camp behind the walls before they continued on their journey.
Hours of climbing were needed but the heroes made it to the freezing peaks of the Mithral Mountains. They eventually found themselves on the path commonly known as the Path of the Dead, because it is the only way to reach The Necropolis of Telamok. It was utterly quiet. There were no bird calls, no insects, no animal life at all. Even the sound of the wind was missing in the dead air. It grew colder as they walked ever upwards, and a light covering of snow-covered everything. The path was narrow and treacherous. Just past the edge, the ground fell away for hundreds of feet. The silence was suddenly ended by a song... A song so beautiful that it makes their heartache with desire.
Thankfully most of the heroes were able to snap out of it before they stepped off the cliff and with some quick thinking, Tryntia destroyed the mist in front of them revealing snow harpies. Euryale actually jumped but in an amazing athletic feat was able to grab onto the lead harpy and cling on until she was brought back to safety. The harpies, their cover taken away, were quickly dispatched.
The heroes moved on but disaster struck as they all fell unconscious, the familiar grasp of Lutheria upon their minds.
“Poor little mortals." The woman's voice is soft and concerned. “So worried about everything! Worried about honoring the gods; worried about offending them. Worried about war. Worried about the future. What can we do to make you worry less?"
On the path ahead, you see a man standing with his back to you. He gazes out over a beautiful valley, which is covered with wildflowers. A soft breeze is blowing, and birds are singing brightly.“
Knowledge is the greatest of all mortal burdens, don't you think? Knowledge is pain. And if you pursue it you will find a-plenty.
Ignorance puts the mind at ease. Ignorance makes mortals happy!"
The man turns. His face is twisted with pain and despair. Red tears streak his face. His eyes, ears, and mouth have all been stitched shut.
After this vision that familiar madness started to grip their minds and squeeze them...when something different happened. The Oath of Fellowship, sworn long ago after the rescuing the Oracle Versi, merged their minds which protected their minds but showed them what the others feared.
- Praxos: You recover quickly and find yourself standing on the mountainside. Approaching your companions you quickly realize something. They can’t see you. They don't remember you. No one does. You run and scream at them “IT IS I PRAXOS” but your voice is not heard, your form is forgotten. Just like your family you have never existed.
- Euryale: Before you stand two people. You know them, they are your parents Orrin and Selena. They are looking at you in disgust. You realise that you can’t move your hands, that you don’t have hands. You try to step up but realize you only have a tail. You try to call for help but can only manage hissing noises.
Your mother steps forward, her finger pointed at you: “Monster” she says through clenched teeth. She is right you know as you coil back in fright. Your father, kind Orrin steps forward and says “Monster”
- Rekken: You are back on the Sea Queen and everyone is there. Master Volo is as usual nose deep into a book. As you approach he lifts his head to reveal the horribly degrarded features of a drowned man. “You left us”. Looking around you you find that you are surrounded by the crew, Serfanine, Arafah and others, all bloated and drowned. They stare at you and then start screaming “you left us” “You did this”
- Tryntia: You swoop down on the back of Ykleizeon raining fire on the Gygan army when suddenly one of the gigantic hands of Sydon lashes out and knocks you off. Hovering, you watch in horror as Ykleizeon, wings broken, dashed on the rocks below. And again, you swoop down on the back of Ykleizeon raining fire on the Gygan army when suddenly one the gigantic hands of Sydon lashes out and knocks you off. Hovering, you watch in horror as Ykleizeon, wings broken, dashed on the rocks below. And again.
- Aella: You are in the warm embrace of Leira. You look down and she smiles sadly and points behind you. As she does her hand catches on fire and she is reduced to ash. Turning you see flames. The island is on fire. And so are its people. You watch while the flames consume your family unable to do anything. A dark shadow soars above and it smiles a toothy smile “You abandoned your family, you abandoned your duty. This is why this happened. Because of you”
- Eurytus: You stand on an island surrounded by darkness, the Gynosphinx beside you. In the distance you see Versi the first, her back turned on you. You speak but she pays you no attention. The sphinx shakes its head and tells you “Do you not understand? She does not love you, she never did. You were not chosen, you were exiled, cast out. Destined to live in this age , where all is wrong, where you belong”.
Some brief discussion but mostly a grim awareness of this shared experience.
The group had now, finally, made it to the Necropolis. Smaller tombs lined the sides of the cliff. The ancient structure stood ahead them, awe-inspiring in both size and splendor. Although ice and snow obscured the details, its magnificent pillars, and statues surround a massive stone structure. The party took a moment to rest and during this time Aella was drawn to a nearby river. She somehow communed with a spirit that lived there which took the form of a horse made of water called Caliadne. It let Aella know that it would serve her but not why.
Kyrah, Poet Laureate of Mytross voice cut through the awkward silence to tell them that this was Damon, guardian of the Necropolis, and let only people who gave him a Burnished Dragonlord coin as payment for passage. Thankfully she had just that and the group was able to enter.
The tombs were sealed by massive slabs of stone but featured a transparent area in the center where one could gaze in and look at the murals on the walls and the sarcophagus. They respectfully looked into some tombs such as:
- The tomb of Telamok Arkelander, oathsword of Tysophale. The inside of this crypt contains a large sarcophagus with a proud warrior engraved on its lid. Fading murals covered the walls and ceiling of the crypt. They depict the same warrior, slaughtering enemies of every kind: men, women, centaurs, satyrs, cyclopes, and more.
- The Tomb of Dorion Neurdagon. No dragon was mentioned and when looking in the walls and ceiling appeared blackened with soot. An ornate sarcophagus in the center of the room was carved with the likeness of a young man, and its lid had been left slightly ajar. Footprints in the soot suggest that this crypt had been visited in the recent past.
- The Tomb of Gregor Huorath. Unlike the other tombs, this one did not have marble pillars. The crypt was empty and had no sarcophagus. The murals and painted ceiling told the story of a young man traversing the islands and waters of Thylea. The man, however, was absent from the final panel. This simply showed a grieving woman looking across a stormy sea from a palace balcony.
Their search for the weapons of the first Dragonlord was put on hold as a nearby tomb exploded violently, a young man flying out, pursued by two marble golems. The tomb raider in question was no other than Serafina, Rekken's crewmember, that was considered drowned with everyone else. The heroes defeated the golems but then confronted Serafina about being a tomb raider. Pieces of marble littering the Necropolis floor around them, the Heroes of Thylea interrogated Rekkens erstwhile companion, now tomb raider Seraphina in-front of the tomb of Myrto the Magnificent.
She explained that through
her research she had made sure that this tomb was not sanctified and was
actually the tomb of Myrto the Magnificent, a grandson of
Adonis Neurdagon mostly known for his wealth and hopefully someone who knew
where the legendary treasure of the Dragonlords was kept. This was possibly
Rekken and Serafinas only hope for returning to their
She revealed that in the journal she found in the tomb it was stated that the last person who knew where the treasure was, was Estor Arkelander, the legendary captain of The Ultros. Even the most unperceptive of them all could not fail but notice the faraway skeletal figure on the bridge staring right at them. Damon Caduceuspeered at them, the distance and decayed figures making his thoughts a mystery. A small mercy, he made no move towards them. Seems Sera was correct, this tomb at least, was not sanctified.