The Pathfinder expedition settled into Tazion and cleared out the giant wasps left in the ziggurat. The trailblazers continued searching the ruins for the 4th gem to no avail. Once they figured out the pillars near the entrance to the underground tunnels once supported an aqueduct that fed water to the tunnels, Mastuuk thought the gem might be hidden at the waters that fed the aqueduct, but nothing was found there (after a long trek through the jungle) other than a hungry dire tiger that nearly made a meal of Teyla while the others bathed in the river.
Amivor and a couple of his Pathfinders used spells to scour the ruins for secret doors. They were able to find the last gem (jet), in the old temple where the monkey man priest had set up shop. They began to experiment with the idols, placing gems in them. They obviously made several mistakes as the idols lashed out with magical attacks when a wrong gem was placed, and Joque was staggered. Fortunately Zelhee’s ability to heal merciful was able to help Joque. As each gem was successfully placed, the idol telepathically placed a phrase relating to the gem’s purpose in their minds. Once all four gems were in the correct idols lap’s a voice rang out in Azlanti “Thou are ready for the test. Take ye the stones and prepare well, warriors” and the sound of a thousand stones tumbling together could be heard from the next room.
Returning to the main room of the lower level of the ziggurat, they found the black door of the lower room gone and a shimmering magical portal in it’s place. After only a few moments hesitation they proceeded through the portal and found themselves standing at the top of a set of huge stairs (5 foot drop) that wound around 3 sides of a room that was about 150’ deep. The fourth side had a dias that raised about halfway up the pit where a majestic marble statue of Savinth, hero of the Azlanti, stood. At the base of the stairs was a bronze plaque on a marble pedestal. There was a pillar rising halfway up in the middle of the room whose flat top was level with the dias and the midpoint of the stairs (two five foot gaps separated the stair from the pillar and then the dias).
They made their way to the plaque and saw it was engraved wtih four symbols. Along the way, they could see there were four depressions at the foot of the statue. As Mastuuk reached the plague, the sound of rumbling stones could be heard again as the portal they entered disappeared and the black door reappeared, while at the same time the whole wall section at various points of the steps pushed out to sweep anyone off the steps into the depths of the pit. Behind the wall sections as they pushed out could be seen small alcoves with niches that help triangular bronze plaques engraved with symbols. The problem was the walls closed quickly, and to dart in and get them while avoiding being swept off the steps was difficult.
Rather predictably, Zelshee and Teyla soon were swept from the steps and trapped at the bottom of the pit and hurt. Mastuuk flew, and Drasheen air walked, while Joque nimbly darted from step to step. They were able to collect quite a few of the tokens from behind the sliding walls, when suddenly the floor of the pit began hissing with poison gas slowly filling the pit (much to Teyla and Zelshee’s dismay).
The others rushed to the statue with the tokens and saw that they would fit in the depressions, but the depressions held other symbols and they would have to figure out how the symbols int he depressions matched with the ones on the tokens! This involved some guessing and trial and error, unfortunately each error resulted in a scream from the statue that was a sonic blast that stunned all in the room.
As Zelshee and Teyla were slowly succumbing to the gas, and the gas neared the puzzlers on the dias, they finally placed the 4th token correctly. As they did the gas stopped and began receding as the statue rotated on it’s base and the back of the statue turned into another shimmering portal.
Stepping through the second portal (after recovering the coughing warriors from the bottom of the pit), they found themselves in a circular room with two small quartz windows on opposite sides. In the middle of the room was a large circle with a fine grid carved into the floor, and around the circle were arrayed 4 columns made of six circular rotating disks. Each disk was engraved with 6 symbols. The symbols had a theme on each pillar: Sun, stars, moon, and void. There was a depression at the top of each pillar and when they put the corresponding gem in the pillar beams of light came from each quartz to each pillar and a shimmering image of a jungle scene appeared above the circular grid in the middle of the room and a pinpoint of light appeared on the grid! Experimenting with the pillars showed that the scene on the floor changed as the disks in the pillars were rotated, and if all 6 symbols were lined up the scenes included some ruins. Mastuuk was able to use his knowledge of the geography of the Mwangi Expanse to realize the point of light on the floor showed the relative location of the scene displayed, and the grid represented a specific distance. After lining up the pillars such that the matched symbols were one’s holy to the Azlanti religion the image showed an ancient city of towering ziggurats and crumbling, vine-choked buildings around a central lake, filling a hidden valley. Looking closer they could see a river that fed the central lake. Mastuuk was quite sure the crumbling city was a modern view of Savinth-Yhi and analyzing the point on the grid he was able to pinpoint it’s location to only a few days travel from Tazion through a mountainous portion of the jungle. The way to Savinth-Yhi had been found at last!
From the Log of Jocque Tarr
Not a single tarr in any bar in the whole friggin’ world would believe what has just happened here. Esecially if I tried to tell them about it. Truth be told, I am not sure that I could even tell it right. One thing I have right is that it took every last one of this crew using all of his or her talents to get to Tazion and solve this puzzle. In fact, it actually took more than our team to do this. It also required the help of the expedition to find the last gem.
Speaking of gems, I noticed that once we left the “map room”, the gem stones disappeared. It would be the irony of ironies to have come this far and discovered this much, only to lock the keys in the treasure chest!
I did not know it until yesterday but “Savinth-Yhi” translates as “The burial place of Savinth”. I am not a fortune teller but it is starting to dawn on even this salt that that whore Ieana is trying to bring this snake god back to life and we may be on the way to bring Savinth back to life so he can lop the head off of the snake one more time. I think most of the people in our expedition and probably all of the people following us are here for the treasure they might get out of the deal. I am beginnng to think it will be a miracle if any of us live through what is about to happen in long lost Savinth-Yhi.
I think we have already secured the magical sword that Chivane is after here. She and her Red crew do not have to go any further or wait any longer. According to Mastuuk it is an ancient weapon that can shatter other weapons and probably some kinds of armor. I thought about taking that out of our bag of findings and trying to get it to Chivane but as this thing has unfolded it has become clearer and clearer to me that we are going to need every possible advantage in the battle to come — maybe including a weapon that can shatter other weapons. Shivane will have to wait for this to be over but by then she may be fleeing for her life from what may be unleashed here or looking for our small band when we are all dead.
There I go again, cheering myself up. I will talk to Zelshee about making sure this sundering weapon is readily available for use in the burial place of Savinth which appears to be just a short jungle walk from here. I bet the door to Savinth-Yhi is locked and guarded. Better sharpen my picks…..
Notes of Zelshee Venso
I don’t know how I survived that room with all the steps! I don’t know how any of us did. Being pushed off the ledge, the hideous laughter, and the choking gas. We were lucky (once again) to make it out alive! Well….thinking on it. We were actually lucky to even make it in. We kept putting the gems in the hands of the wrong idol. Divine intervention (feeling sorry for us) or just dumb luck (sorry Mastuuk). I did my best to help, what little I could. There was nothing for me to hit with my ax. And I really didn’t understand that last room with all the different views of the jungle. Gods know I’m not the brains of this operation!
But soon, very soon, my ax or bow will be needed again. That day, I am looking forward to. If this ziggurat is just the means to find the hidden city. Savinth-Yhi will be guarded by who knows what!? And how many?
Yes, tonight we sharpen our weapons for the justice that will be dealt from them. Then we can look forward to days marching in this evil jungle.
And this jungle is nothing but evil! A girl can’t even take a bath without being attacked by something right out of a scary bedtime tale. And once again, Teyla had to be saved. I think she has the worse luck out of all of us. At least I got all the tar off me before that dire tiger pounced on us!
Next town: – More soap.
From the Journal of Mastuuk Venso
30 Kuthona 4710AR
We have done it! We have found Saventh-Yhi! I’ll not say it’s been easy. Jocque was unable to find the final stone but luck was with us and the Pathfinders had a spell prepared to aid in locating the final piece to the puzzle which, when activate, yielded entry to that great room. Oh and what a puzzle it had for us. I will have to contact the creators and point out a few ambiguities and poor assumptions on their part. Perhaps there will be a second pressing.
I couple have spent a lifetime exploring the room of maps. The information there could launch and complete the careers of three Pathfinder greats. Alas, my fame lies elsewhere, in the great city itself, just days from us. I am a little worried that we have not seen much of our competitors or that Great Evil. Has she already found the city or just she follow us from the shadows, letting us do the difficult work while she waits to snatch the prize from my hands.
The image of the ruins indicates a vast, and likely dangerous, ruin. What unknown dangers await? More serpent men? Magical beasts? Great powers from beyond space and time? I do hope not, we’ve almost lost Teyla more times than I can count and I have become quite fond of her. I wonder if she feels the same? I digress. We must ready ourselves but I am unsure how. My initial feeling is to gather more magic. Perhaps the caravan has some useful spells in hidden books?
From the Journal of Drasheen Rettig
Today was the day to beat all days. I am so tired and yet I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep or meditate. Zelshee and Teyla almost died from the gas and shreekings of the statues while we fit the gems in their correct places. Every time I was sure I had a corrstponding riddle and puzzel piece figured out I was wrong and my friends got hurt and sicker and sicker. I was so afraid to do anything and yet we had to before they died. We have much to think about and figure out. I say that because we have not been right much. It seems we have to try everything first before we come up with the rigth answer. My friends almost dying in the bottom of the pit while we tried and tried to figure out the right configuration of the gems. When I close my eyes I see thier slumped bodies not knowing if they are alive of dead.
As I pray myself to sleep I pray for guiidance. This if only the beginning…