Terra Incognita

Summer, part 3

Betrayals A-Plenty

Quickly, our party dashes inside the temple and close the doors behind them. To their surprise, the doors seal themselves shut magically. Their relief is short-lived however, as the temple guards attack and then it’s a fight to the death. As they battle the guards, they notice a paladin kneeling at a brazier at the far end of the temple. The paladin is not restrained, but he rises neither to assist the guards nor his would be rescuers.

The last of the guards slain, our party approach the paladin, and only then does he face them and identify himself as Jaryn, Champion of Naraash. Stunned, our heroes listen as he describes his betrayal of the Order of Light and conversion to the Hand of Naraash. He then challenges any of the party to combat to replace him as Champion.

None of the party seem to be interested in holding the title, so they attack in force. They finish him off quickly, but just as his body slumps to the ground a great demon appears before them. “I am Naraash!”, he proclaims. “Which of you is worthy to be my champion?” Rather than accept, our heroes choose to fight.

Before long though, the demon’s influence is too much for Hragnar. “I will be your Champion” he tells the demon. “Good,” Naraash says, “then kill all of these unworthy.” Together, Naraash and Hragnar begin to attack together. Horrified by their leader’s betrayal, our party fight on, eventually slaying both Naraash and Hragnar. Few tears are shed though as the team rifle through his belongings for the best of his equipment.

Soon after Naraash is slain, the fire in the brazier begins to flicker and die. The magical seal on the temple doors begins to break, and our party panics remembering the mob of cultists outside. Thankfully, a secret door is discovered and they run in just as the mob bursts through the doors. The group runs along narrow passageway, but amazingly they are not followed. The passage empties into a natural cavern which they follow through to the other side of the mountain. From one of the other tunnels emerges a halfling who was lost in the caves. Once outside, he promises to lead them back to civilization.



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