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Darth Paul
Posted by the GM
Curse of Strahd
Chapter 15: The Amber Temple, Part 2
The heroes pressed on, making their way to the next sealed amber door. Although Kyne was unable to disable the enchantments sealing the portal, Volta and Shokk had enough muscle to breach the door. Beyond, another small chamber with a blue, marble floor held three large, amber sarcophagi in niches. Evan lit the room with a burst of fire which, strangely enough, caused Kyne to flinch back as if the rogue was now afraid of fire. Perhaps the bargains he had made with the vestiges in the amber sarcophagi had more of an effect than he let on.

There were other horrors here as well - strange, thin humanoids clad in organic armor sculpted from black resin. They crawled down the walls and attacked from surprise, slashing at the heroes with ribbon-like blades and blasting at them with spells. But the heroes rallied and fought back, and soon the armored figures were all dead. They rotted away quickly, leaving only the crumbling black resin of their arms and armor behind. Kyne, Verity, and Caxius investigated each sarcophagus, and Kyne took more and more power into himself. Each bargain left him with a new and even more horrible sign of the unholy power that he had taken into himself. The others began to look on him with suspicion...and fear.


Kaorti, once human, now monstrous things from the Far Realm.

As they exited into the hall, the heroes heard cackling voices. "What have we here? Others come to loot the Amber Temple? Thieves, vagabonds, and rascals?" A trio of women with green, warty skin, long, sharp nails, and all wearing ragged, dark robes and carrying - of all things - brooms, entered the hall from another room. A trio of witches, no doubt here for arcane lore. The heroes wasted little time with words, as the three witches tried to hex them. Blades and spells made short work of the witches and their animated brooms, and the heroes searched the two remaining rooms on that side of the hall. All they found was a massive construct, fully 10 feet tall, in one of the side rooms. It was crafted of wood and iron, and could no doubt move, but was not animate. Caxius saw a sigil crafted on the back of its helmet-like head, and made note of it. Perhaps they could find something about it in another room.

As they crossed the great hall and made their way into the west passage, the heroes chose to ignore the double doors at the far end and the near end of the chamber. One of the far sets of doors had been breached, though the other two were still sealed. Time enough to explore more later. As they entered the west hall, Caxius and Shokk saw a strange radiance emanating down the passage, reflecting off the amber-glazed walls. Rounding the corner into the hall running parallel to the main chamber, they saw a small, humanoid figure levitating in front of a breached vault door on the north end of the passage. It turned to face them. It had hair like flowing silver flame, purple-black skin that shone with points of radiance like stars, and its eyes and mouth glowed with fiery radiance. It looked at them, whispering words in some alien tongue. But its intent was clear, and it was as if they could hear its voice in their minds. It said, "Die!"


The shining child was a waif of the outer darkness. It had not come to play.

Shining beams of radiant fire lanced at the pair, and with a wave of its hand, the creature created a wall of shimmering, rainbow colors that cut the corridor in half. It passed back through the wall as the others rushed in. They narrowly avoided being blinded by the shimmering curtain of light, and saw the small creature pass back and forth through it, lancing about with beams of star-fire and a touch that seared like the sun. Evan realized it had created a Prismatic Wall with the barest of efforts, but the gnome wizard knew that certain spells could bring it down. He, Caxius, Kyne, Verity, and Cira hammered at it with spell after spell, and color after color vanished. Volta and Shokk absorbed hits from the creature as best they could, with Volta's axe slashing it time and again, causing drops of burning blood to fall as the enchantment on the blade wounded the small aberration. In the end, the wall collapsed, and without its protection, the two half-orcs' blades and Verity's hand crossbow made short work of the creature.

The heroes moved to explore the breached vault, and found that one of the sarcophagi had been destroyed by some unimaginable force. An eye opened in the air, and tentacles reached out of nothingness to grab at them, but arrows, spells, and blades quickly forced whatever hid in the empty air to withdraw, seeming vanishing back into the outer dark. More sarcophagi, more pacts...and more suspicion. More rooms were explored, with nothing of value found. Yet another vault was found, one filled with one-eyed, hunched, humanoids - nothics - that were defeated in short order. More sarcophagi, more pacts. Kyne appeared less and less human. More rooms. Whatever scholars or wizards ran this temple, they had left little behind, and it had been long ago by the state of the place. Making their way back upstairs, the heroes confronted the wizard's apprentice, Vilnius, about his master's staff. Evan decided he was keeping it, and threats were made. Vilnius shrugged off a charm spell cast at him by Caxius, and opted to act! It cost him his life, as though he had esacped with a simple Misty Step spell and blasted the party with a Lightning Bolt, Caxius caught up and paralyzed him with a Hold Person enchantment. There was nothing magical about Verity's crossbow bolt to the back of his head, but it ended the fight pretty quickly. Remaining upstairs for the nonce, the heroes rested and and healed before making their way downstairs.


The Eye of Fear and Flame harrowed the party with fear. And flame. And hell hounds.

The heroes found another vault, with a robed skeleton inside. It cackled, urging Kyne to commit dark deeds, and when he refused, it raised its head. One eye socket held a ruby, the other a black sapphire. It blasted the party with fire and fear, and summoned hell hounds to do its bidding. The heroes faced a tough battle with this one, barely prevailing as the thing fell to a well-placed bolt.

The heroes made their way back upstairs, finding an old laboratory of some sort. Evan was able to reconstitute a handful of potions. Another room held a scale model of a castle, one Volta recognized as Castle Ravenloft! With foresight aplenty, the heroes made a map of the castle, which would likely be handy when they chose to confront Strahd. A few rooms yet remained. The heroes pressed on, looking for more knowledge and weapons to help with their impending battle against Strahd....
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