From the journal of Caleb…
With the dragon army forces fooled into going the wrong way we decide to deal with the guard on the balcony first before heading to the Temple.
Alexi steps out from the training room doorway and casts a sleep spell on the guard in the top balcony of the Grandmasters room, while I jump from the roof of that building to grab hold of the cliff and climb up the mountainside. As I gain the balcony I glance at the guard and still find him asleep. But what stops me cold in my tracks is the figure of Master Yamato, the Monastery’s second in command, rummaging around in the Grandmasters room. Yamato tries to seem unsurprised, but I know he is as shocked at seeing me as I am him. The Master slowly starts walking towards me, but I get the sensation he is ready to pounce on me, so I jump out of sight and vault up onto the rooftop to hide myself and determine what my next actions will be.
Peering over the rooftop from a dark corner I see the Master Monk walk towards the edge of the balcony and realise this is my one and only opportunity, as I know Yamato is not a Master to be reckoned with. Flying in hard and fast, I leap down and land a solid kick, which knocks the surprised Master clean off the balcony, leaving him fall the 100 foot drop to the hard ground below.
Peering over the side in shock disbelief, that this actually worked against a Master of Yamato’s combat prowess, my shock turns to dismay as I watch the agile master tumble and slide against the rock face to reduce the effects of the massive fall. With a satisfying thud however, Yamato still hits the ground hard, and from there I see him look up at me like a predator, all fake smiles gone, a look of pure hatred while he spits foul obscenities at me swearing revenge.
Yamato is up in a flash, almost running up the rock wall in an effort to get to me. I act quickly and grab the Grandmasters heavy bed chest and hurl it at the climbing monk, hoping to distract him. Mishakal must have guided my hand because with surprising accuracy the chest hits the oblivious master square in the face, exploding in a shower of wood, and again knocking Yamato off the rock wall to the ground below. This time the Master is not able to break his fall and he lands awkwardly breaking his leg.
Knowing in my bones that Yamato must be the traitor that Alexi counselled may exist in the monastery, I yell out to the Goldenscale brothers that the betrayer is on the ground at the base of the Grandmasters balcony, all thoughts of steath gone.
Hearing my cries I see Quinn walk around the back of the temple building to investigate. He exchanged words with the betrayer, but while I could not make out the words from this distance, Quinn’s intent is apparent, for the knight slowly draws his sword, assumes a battle stance and warily moves towards the prone master. I found out later from Quinn that he was questioning Yamato on why he was betraying the order he had been a member for so many years, and it seems Yamato did this out of spite at not being able to claim the Grandmasters mantle and the power that he believed was rightfully his. However Shee-Cou had also come to investigate and heard the exchange between Quinn and Yamato. Yelling… Why?… Why?… Why? I saw the young monk lose all reason and launch in to attack the fallen master overcome with grief at the betrayal of one Shee-Cou had idolised. Moving faster than I could follow, Yamato blocked the attack and before Quinn could do anything, the former master snapped Shee-Cou’s neck in a bone crunching twist and flung the boys frail body to the side.
Seeing this I felt the rage burn within me, and made a vow there and then that Yamato would pay for his crimes. As I was about to climb back down to assist Quinn I notice the Grandmasters katana hanging on the wall over his bed. I take the opportunity to grab the sword and then quickly move back down the rock face.
At this point Quinn has engaged in battle with Master Yamato and I am surprised to see the young knight is holding his own against the veteran combat master monk. I’m truly amazed as I marvel at Quinn’s prowess for one so young.
I climb down to a point where I decide to jump with katana in hand and launch with an almighty leap that cuts into Yamato deeply. Finishing the move I roll forward and produce a backward slash with all the power I could generate. It was an all or nothing gamble. I see Quinn looking at me, standing up straight from his battle crouch, and I look over to see the headless body of the former master fall to its knees and slump over onto the ground. I am truly amazed at the craftsmanship and exquisiteness of the grandmasters sword. I cannot believe how cleanly it cut through Yamato.
Knowing we have little time, I gently pick up the body of Shee-Cou and we move quickly around to the Grand Hall where Alexi has been working on a spell to hold close the doors, to give us time to investigate the shrine. I see Quinn pick up the severed head of Yamato, show it to the forces of evil watching and start to stride towards them. To a man they flee, allowing Quinn to toss the head and follow close behind.
We investigate the outer shrine area and cannot find a physical entrance into the inner temple where I believe the sacred items that my monastery has been entrusted with is kept. Alexi determines that the way in is hidden behind an arcane illusion which he can decipher. Upon understanding the illusion he is able to determine the magical words that open the way into the Inner Temple. (GM: “Mishakal’s Blessing” was the password Alexi uses)
With the open doorway before me, all that I have been struggling with this since I knew I would be returning to the monastery washes over me. What do I do about the law? It is very clear that no one other than the Grandmaster can enter the Inner Temple, and I know I am not supposed to do this, it is forbidden. I have tried praying to Mishakal for guidance but so far have not received any revelations. In the end I just cannot bear the thought of my orders treasures falling into hands of evil. Even if it means I am breaking the orders most sacred law, I must do what I think is right, I just hope my masters would understand. We enter the temple…
The room holds many, scrolls, books and other wonderful items that have been well preserved and maintained by the Monastery. There also murals on the walls that depict scenes that include, several magical items actually located in this room (Horn, Shield, Brooch, Staff, Rod and a Mirror)
• Horn (Paladine)
• Shield (Mishakal)
• Brooch (Mishakal)
• Staff (Arcane)
• Rod (Arcane)
• Mirror of Deception (Wondrous Item)
In the centre of the room is a table with a scroll and a small book on it, that Alexi determines may be a true copy of a section of the Disks of Mishakal and beside it on a large pedestal is the huge book known as the Tome of the Grandmasters, a forbidden book that contains information and history known only to the Grandmasters. I still wonder if being here is the right thing, but as Alexi has said there may be information here that we need. For the second time today I break one of the orders most sacred laws and decide to read from the tome.
It seems within the Inner Temple Alexi is not able to use any of his arcane powers or he will “suffer the wrath of the gods” as he puts it. Quinn and I don’t seem to be affected.
I start reading from the large book, and there is so much information, it is hard to find any relevance without serious study, but a number of pages catch my interest including Whupus, the Dragonlance, The Disks of Mishakal and even a reference in there about me Young Caleb Wow what a privilege to know that I’m in the middle of my own history and legacy on how to continue the advancement of the Order.
While I am reading Quinn finds a secret passageway leading down underneath the Inner Temple floor, which is good in case we need to make a quick escape. Quinn notices the secret room is like the one in the ruined town, with a painting of the gods and there is a corresponding painting here that shows the city, as the painting in the ruined town showed the monastery. Both secret places show the painting of the third city Xak Tsaroth.
During my reading, we can hear pounding of the doors and an organised group of hobgoblins and draconians trying to get into the main temple room. They try baiting us out saying that they have more monks as prisoners. But I’m not entirely convinced that this is the case as I know we have been over most the Monastery and have seen no further signs of my people.
Alexi is interested in the Mirror and investigates the item using his keen understanding of arcane properties to determine what its function and purpose is. He eventually discovers that the Mirror is a wondrous item that is used for deception, with the ability to change a person’s appearance.
Further pounding on the door is heard and we decide that in case they break in, we put all the valuables in the secret stairway underneath the room and move the Mirror closer to the doorway to cause an explosion that would put all at risk in the area.
After another period of 5 or 10 minutes all is quiet outside, except for the faint sounds of battle. We decide to go out and investigate and see the great hall empty and a band of dwarves battling the forces of evil out in the courtyard – such a welcome relief!!! We also see three draconians running towards the library area. It is evident that the dwarves are holding their own so we begin to chase the draconians, acknowledging the dwarves as we run past. It seems they arrived on the backs of griffons… Alexi comments this is very strange, but we have no time to converse.
Following the fleeing draconians we enter the eastern rooms of the monastery and see the large draconian (GM: Sivak) holding a sword and waiting for us, and we notice the other two draconians in the library looking for something. We prepare for battle…