Blended Solo RPG (Session 4)
On the road again, looking for gods in all the wrong places.
It is nearly dawn when the amazons leave the sacred grove of Nylea and descend through the meadows on their steady trudge toward home. Weighed down by the loss of Thyia, the three warriors hardly speak to each other, ultimately drive a slower pace for the sake of Lysandra, who is still very much in the throes of her quag sickness.
As day breaks, the sun rises and the sky shines gray blue. The respite from the rain is welcome, but isn't enough to lift anyone's spirits from the miasma of loss that haunts them all. The trees thicken and part, and as they stop for lunch, Ptolema notices a strange, towering bluff just off their path, like a temple carved from the living rock. Where a door should be, there is instead the great yawning mouth of a cavern, forboding and dark.
"If that is a temple of some sort, we might find respite inside its walls," Ptolema offers. Lysandra only looks at her, pale faced and exhausted, then nods. When Ptolema looks at Alekto, the younger woman only looks away, picks at the edges of her sandles. Steeling herself, Ptolema takes it as consensus, and when they rise again to continue their journey, they make their way toward the temple bluff and its cavernous entrance.
It is nearing dusk when the amazons cross into the cavern, grateful at first for the shade and the cool air coming out of the depths. Casting an illumination spell, Ptolema leads the way into the musty darkness, looking for signs of life, for signs of offerings, but finding none.
And then they reach the huge iron door to the subterranian temple, ten meters high and almost as wide, encrusted with thousands of skulls and blackened bones. The sight is enough to make Alekto gasp, but Ptolema and Lysandra look upon the grisly door silently, grimly. The portent is clear to Ptolema, and as she lowers her magic light, she turns to the others.
"This place is sacred to Erebos," Ptolema says. "Beyond this door, we tread only in the realm of the dead. We should turn back."
"I have walked through places sacred to Erebos before," Lysandra squints at the door, her voice hoarse. "With Thyia so recently gone, it may be a blessing that we come upon such a place so quickly. It may be that we can broker an exchange with the priesthood in this place for the release of some, or of all of our sisters lost on these shores, and in the wreck of the trireme."
Ptolema pulls in a deep, uncertain breath, but the hope is enough to get Alekto back to her feet, excited.
"How do we get inside?" Alekto asks.
"One need only to knock," a voice answers, a crackling voice like rustling leaves that comes from a shadow slowly resolving itself into the shape of a (Oracle:) human priestess with a smooth, bald head and piercing blue eyes. Her golden robes shimmer over armor that seems to be made as much from bone as from shadow, and she has two tiny ring piercings over her left eyebrow.