Monday, November 15, 2010

Episode 21: Assault on the Temple of Perpetual Dawn, Part 3

Saladin raced into the back room of the temple, and much to his surprise he found a large, reptilian statue set against the back wall and dominating the center of the room. A large, eelike head sat on a humanoid body, kneeling in a meditative pose. Arms were tucked into its sleeves, while on the ground at its knees an inky pool of water sat malevolently still. Horrified yet fascinated, Saladin took a step towards the monstrosity, only to pause as he heard something. From behind a door set in the wall behind him, he heard noises - cries of someone, apparently in a great amount of pain. This person also seemed to be invoking the names of a great number of local deities. He strode forward resolutely to help.

Takemiya, while grateful for the confusion and chaos that provided excellent cover, decided that a little more caution was called for, and quietly shifted planes into the Ethereal. Sounds became muffled and shapes dimmed as he crossed the boundary of this reality and entered the next. But he could now see into the back room, see Saladin’s look of horror as he discovered the statue, and as he entered the back chamber through the wall, he could also see through the door the source of the strange, plaintiff cries issuing from the side room.

He had to admit, there were worse ways for someone to suffer…

Cold, damp and thoroughly annoyed, Xeno decided he’d had enough. Spying a window to the back of the temple, he decided to sneak in. Aaa’ooo’aaa had been dispatched to the top of the building to see what he could see, so Xeno took advantage of the chaos and clambered up and into…

A small, dark room.

He could see some sort of tabletop. He hopped down onto it and found himself tumbling amongst a number of objects. Fortunately for him, they seemed to be mostly made of rubber, so no suspicious noises were made to alert and of the guards. He managed to make his way to the floor, and after tripping over a few more rubbery items, he finally cast a light spell to see exactly what it was that had been giving him so much trouble.


It looked like the Spanish Inquisition had set up a special branch for bachelorette parties in here. Xeno didn’t know much about medieval rubber manufacture and molding, but he had a pretty good idea that this was a real good sampling of some of the best that the trade’s most clever and devious minds had to offer, and quite frankly it gave him the willies. LOTS of willies, to be exact.

He quickly slipped through the door opposite and into a large room containing Saladin, an large eel and a slowly apparating Takemiya.

“Don’t open that door.” Takemiya’s voice was cold, clear and full of authority. It froze Saladin with his hand on the knob.

“But someone sounds like they’re in pain! It could be Kobayashi! Oh, hi Xeno.”

Xeno shut the door behind him and eyed the room, and his eyes stopped on a pair of large, glinty eyes.

“Are those gems?” he asked, pointing to the statue’s large, green peepers.

“Yes,” sighed Takemiya wearily. “Those are indeed emeralds the size of my fist, and that is indeed Kobayashi,” he turned to face Saladin again, “but I can tell you that while he is indeed ‘in’ something, it is most definitely not pain.”

It's called 'Monkey Escapes Naughty Treehouse', actually, he thought to himself. And the lad's quite good at it.

“Still, don’t you think we should help him?” Saladin cried. “Who knows what’s going on in there? Xeno, should you really be climbing up there?” He was halfway up the eel’s head before Takemiya turned to gaze into the pool of black water.

“Xeno, shouldn’t you be detecting traps or something before you go prying gems from a statue’s eyes?” He thought he could see something in the water. The outline of a door.

“That’s Xoe. She’s the thief. I’m more of a sticky, stabby kind of guy.” Pling! The statue’s right eye popped out of its socket and into Xeno’s hand. He quickly pocketed it and moved over to the other eye and started prying it out with his knife.

Yes, thought Takemiya, there is a door at the bottom of the pool. A small trapdoor about the size of a-



Suddenly, Takemiya was sucked down, down, down into the noise and the black. Falling faster and faster he felt exploded apart only to be rammed back together again and find himself lying heaving and panting on the bottom of a passage floor. Water oozed out from his clothes. He could see an old, ancient stone ceiling above him, but he heard nothing but the trickle of water from his boots. He closed his eyes and turned on his telepathy, searching for minds that could tell him where he was.

He found one.

It was small, and it was weak, and it repeated over and over:

“My name is Ryan Longbottom. My name… is Ryan… Longbottom…”

Perhaps he was on the right track, after all.

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