After an hour of waiting in the shadows for our three new friends, we began to grow suspicious… I nearly had a heart attack when a man in robes of white and gold seemed to spawn from the darkness behind us. He addressed himself as an Avenger of Jihan, the Rhythian goddess of the sun (a daughter of Pelor), and asked us what business we have here. As a gesture of trust, we told him our mission, and he agreed to help us. The avenger was tracking the forbidden ritual-scrolls that the Zehirite priests stole from Soloman the sage. Coincidentally, his trail ended at this plaza; perhaps these students were in way over their heads.
After searching the plaza, Dragonov discovered a hidden portal within the fountain, revealing a staircase going down. Lucious went ahead to scout, and requested some light after slipping in something wet and sticky. My stomach nearly gave out at the sight of gore covering every surface in sloppy smears. We found a hand.. and the ring it wore was the same one worn by one of the three students. Before we could turn back to ponder this complication, the portal shut on us, closing us in the darkness, and cutting us off from our new ally. Calling light from my Orb, we descended..
After what seemed like forever, we came upon an ominous door of jet-black stone, bedecked with carvings of snakes. The handle was set within the onyx jaws of a snake’s head. Dragonov was able to open it, but the jaws clamped down on his wrist, poisoning him. The air within this giant entry hall was thick with toxicity; poison assaulted our senses, and made us fearful of entering the snake-god’s temple. Mustering our courage, we continued forth to bring an end to the evil here. Our first step within the temple was greeted with a Lizardfolk Priest, and 3 sickening Dretch Demons. As we battled them, several of us were injured by a devious trap involving iron stakes shooting up from the floor. Natty was almost lethally poisoned by the priest, prevented by 6 feet of red steel through the lizardman’s chest, courtesy of Lucious.
Three doors lay before us: One of Iron, two of wood, one of which was locked. Choosing the most neutral path, Natty kicked down the locked wooden door, and interrupted 3 Bullywugs harassing two young women in a pool. Disgusted by the scene, we rushed to destroy the foul creatures. The fight proved more than we expected; we didn’t spot the four Blood Hawks perched above. Nevertheless, we slew them all, and freed the prisoners, one of which was the studious young woman from the University. The other is still to traumatized to speak to us, but judging by her clothing, I suspect that she is a priestess of Jihan, captured to please the Serpent deity. We decided to take a short rest and clean our wounds in the fresh water of the pool.