In the morning the figured it out together. Dolxx recognized the last figure as the cave where they had seen an altar. From that they solved the rest off the puzzle. It was a map how to find to the Krarsht followers lairs. The first sun was a round room from where tunnels led out. While the triangles together with the numbers showed which tunnel to take from the round room. Then a stream before a second round cave. Last was a cave with the altar the group had seen earlier. From there the tunnel led to the scorpion men's caves. A decision was made to go there. They found the stream as the map showed. On the other side was a group of broo's which fled when they saw the A-TEAM. Raven tried to charge against them but fell into the stream from the slippery bridge. Kaid-aw and Dolxx had to rescue Raven out of the stream before he would vanish in the stream. When everybody was safely over the bridge the broo's was nowhere to find. As they walked along the tunnel bars of bronze closed the tunnel. In it was a door with a padlock. Kaid-aw saw in it a very well conceal trap. He could not disarm it but he could open it with a successful pick lock. He takes the lock with him. The tunnels ended in a cave where a man was sitting beside a desk. A low fence was dividing the room. Besides the desk was a gate in the fence. Kaid-aw shoot the man with a single shot from his heavy crossbow. On the table was a book, which was taken. He also had a key that looked liked it could fit in the lock. There were three tunnels leading out of the cave. The left one was chosen and divided again into three tunnels. The middle one led to a cave with seven small cells. In each of them was a man sleeping. Kaid-aw and Raven killed all of them. The following right one led to a locked door which was barren from the inside. And the left one led to a similar cell complex. The team backed to the room with the desk. The middle one left very soon to stairs down. On the way there an assassin attacked Merlox in the head. The assassin hit 39 pts of damage in the head but luckily it was Merlox he had attacked, because Merlox could withstand it, thanks to his heavy armoring. The assassin fled immediately after the blow and no one was able to follow him quickly enough. The stairs down led to a new tunnel which ended to a open pair of doors. The doors looked like a mouth. In the middle of the room was a statue of Krarsht on a stone pillar. The pillar stood in the middle on a deep whole which was covered by a net of prazim. It was obvious that this was the temple of the cult. As the group examined the room Dolxx was attacked again by the same assassin. His arm was cut off but his allied spirit healed it immediately. As the blood dropped to the ground the door vanished. There was a small room with a tale and a book of stone for the priest and two small alcoves, one with the Rune Hunger, , and the other with the Rune Chaos, . Kaid-aw tried to cast a rope to the statue but as it touched the statue was attacked by a heavy disruption. A hole was cut into the net so the statue could fall down the twenty or so meters downwards before it touched a rapidly moving stream. Raven tried to shoot it with a slingshot powered by a fire arrow but he got the same result. Then Dolxx tried again with the rope but once again a disruption came from the statue. Eventually Kaid-aw started to read the book in the priests room. It was a book about the rituals and history of the cult. After reading for three hours he found a story which interested him. It was a story about a HeroQuest. In this he could read the following story:
Urlok, the fourth son of Urox had been trying to find Shrart, a descendant of the Hungry Mouth. One day after a contact with Mostali's Shrart was resting. Urlok atlast found Shrart and sneaked into it, through the open mouth, to cleave Shrart's heart in two. Urlok saw the Mostali's Shrart had eaten but continued. As he walked on he found an adamant dagger laying on the ground, or more correctly in Shrart's throat. He tried to take the dagger, but as he was reaching for it, an unknown "well-doer" hit him in the back. Urlok turned around and killed the "well-doer", but when the blood of him dropped down, Shrart felt the sweetness of blood and woke up. It closed the mouth and Urlok was captured inside it and died there.
It was obvious that Dolxx blood had closed the door and the only thing that could save the party was their first HeroQuest. In the book was the rituals for the HeroQuest, but they had to change it, because they could not afford to get any blood on the ground. Obviously the so called "well-doer" would attack as they were getting the dagger. They argued fourth and back how they would do the HeroQuest without getting wounded. In the end everybody agreed that Merlox would pick up the dagger and jump forwards as he would touch the dagger. He would be protected by the best protection spells the group had. And at the same moment Dolxx and Kaid-aw would attack where the "well-doer" would most probably stand. They could not stay ready to attack as then the assassin would most likely not attack them but later. It would have to be a surprise attack against the "well-doer".
They cut the net more so they could jump into the water to start the HeroQuest. In the two alcoves were two metal runes with ceremony guidance's how to perform the ceremonies correctly. The ceremony was made by Merlox who was the most accustomed with ceremonies. Then everybody jumped in the water and the HeroQuest started. After a few rounds they emerged on a shore in the Heroplane. They looked around curiously, but everything looked quiet. A worm was some fifty meters away from them. They casted all their spells as they would not go away, because there is no time on the Heroplane. Then they started to slowly approach the worm. Only Dolxx managed to sneak but even the others were quiet. The mouth of the worm was open. As they entered it, they saw a few meters inside two dead dwarfs. And not far further there were three more dwarfs. These were the mostali the story had told about. And soon they saw the dagger laying in front of them. They took their positions as they had agree earlier. And just as Merlox touched the dagger Dolxx and Kaid-aw hit where the "well-doer" would be. And indeed he was there. Both Dolxx and Kaid-aw hit but it was Dolxx mighty blow in the abdom that made it. The "well-doer" fell down unconscious. Then Kaid-aw chopped the head off the "well-doer". Merlox got the dagger as he climbed up from the ground. The "well-doer" had a dagger that was magical and made of iron, which the group took with them. Now they were not anymore on the HeroQuest the ritual was telling about. After a short walk they found the heart. Everybody aimed and attacked the heart. Kaid-aw hit well with his main weapon while Dolxx and Merlox only hit with their secondary attack. Raven hit with both his attacks. But the damage was not enough and the worm started to move itself. Immediately a new group of attacks were made. Kaid-aw hit again with his spear, while Raven once more hit with his both attacks. Dolxx hit only with his kick while Merlox missed completely. But as the last hit stroke home the movements of the worm died out, as it died. A white wall of some liquid, Dolxx guessed as prazim, engulfed the party. It came from the interior of the worm. After a few rounds they flew out of the hole they had jumped in from the temple and the mouth formed door was open again. The modified HeroQuest had been successful. Everybody was completely cover with prazim but they were able to move normally. Now the party left the temple as quickly as possible. Dolxx would lead the group and kill anything that tried to stop them while Kaid-aw and Raven took the stonebook and the metal runes. Merlox would be the rear guard. As the party came to the room with the desk there were people in it but when they saw the party covered with the prazim, the moved out of the way. When everybody had passed the room a leader of the Krarshti shouted and said to the A-TEAM to leave the book behind them. Kaid-aw let loose of the book, but Raven said that he would not take any orders from any slimy chaos follower and carried alone the book with him. The leader cursed Raven and said that he would be a marked man in the future. Raven realized this but he did not care. It was a mighty deed when he carried alone the book, as any normal person could not have done it. The journey to the tunnel up to the surface was a short and uneventful. Talio was waiting where he had been left, on the stairs to the surface. Raven asked the others if they could block the tunnel at that point for an half an hour while he would go to the trolls and climb up to the troll quarters with the book. After this the rest and Talio walked back to Arlatens tower and then escorted Talio to his quarters.
After this a long training period for Merlox and Raven was held, while Dolxx and Kaid-aw did cult duties. The A-TEAM Inn was opened just before the sacred time.
Do you want to read how the A-TEAM reacted on some Minor Worries?
Did you read how the A-TEAM coped with the Trollclan that wanted their lands?
Copyright © 1997-2005 by Kim Englund. All rights reserved. How to contact me. Last modified 01.01.2005.