Our party begins by gathering intelligence on exactly who is Ya-Zarra the frost mage, and who tried to kill them. Richord spends some time with Captain Tomrand and the Iron Fists, while Sen-Jan finds a node, then realizes he is in the very Temple of Sarduk itself. He follows a monk messenger from the Temple back to the palace kitchens where it seems inconceivably yet another poisoning plot is afoot. Sen-Jan thwarts this scheme. While waiting for the handmaidens to bathe Richord, Sen-Jan elicites assistance from Suella and the Shahi-Ra Mercenaries. They now have an army worthy of assaulting the Towers of Winternight.
The two decide to investigate the Temple more directly. In a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the High Priest Terin, our two Mages decide to go underground and see what all the hub-ub is about. Below is the boy yet again, though with a trick of Ice Ya-Zarra threatens them directly and a huge battle ensues. Our two mages are quickly overmateched with the ferocity of the monks, and Richord unleashes havoc in the Temple. First with a disasterous cave in from the fountains above, followed by a collapsing statue, then a swarm of deadly snakes. Finally with a bit of luck the tides of battle turn and Sen-Jan kills Rolind the boy, and Richord pursues Terin on foot. Above ground the chaos is more wide-spread as warriors, priests, and whores alike run for their lives as snakes overtake the temple. Sen-Jan finds a powerful ward on a dungeon door. He dispels the magics to reveal a captive Empyrean Warden names Shayla. After some reintegration and plotting, Richord and Sen-Jan decide Shayla is more brave than wise, and heed their own counsel to mislead everyone into thinking that they are headed to Lake Ho and the Towers of Winternight while they actually intend to travel to the Adamantium Temple.
With Warlord Zan-Yon’s head atop the Iron Fist’s pike, the barbarian tribes leave the party alone. After several days the two pass through the Fogs of Confusion and arrive at the temple. In a dramatic duel arcane, they gain access and meet the extremely powerful Shaka-Khul. he freezes time and speaks to them. In reward for bringing the mask he teaches each of them 3 Rotes. He also deems they must take the mask to Telfas at the Mysterium’s Ars Draconis, but first Ya-Zarra must be put down. Shaka-Khul sends out a force to the North to flank back and gives the party a trinket to keep them hidden on their journey back to Lake Ho.
The party arrives at Ho-Tem, the village on Lake Ho and the high mountains behind. They camp and prepare for the onslaught of the Towers of Winternight…
Fallen statue of Sarduk