After a long day of dislodging riverboats, fighting rin-ka warbands, and salvaging treasures from sunken Scarlet Brotherhood watercraft the expedition wanted nothing more than to rest for the evening. Alas, the megafauna of the Amedio Jungle was unmoved by their petty desires.
As they trekked up the old road to high ground near the temple of Rana Mor they’ve were ambushed by two hungry digestors. True to their name they spewed acidic stomach juices over most of the expedition to begin dissolving their meal. This was nearly the end of Walden Witherby, as the caustic bath collapsed the aging academic.
The party was able to dispatch the creatures, though not before several members were treated to another acid bath. They then healed the injured were able to get Walden on his feet again and continue the climb up the old road.
Upon finding a suitable campsite an enormous tentacled mass burst from the ground and drug Wizzleficks into its maw. The warriors drew steel and began hacking at it to try to retrieve the unconscious gnome from within Brogin called up spirits to hack at it and the wizards of the Grey College hurled bolts of force.
The thing snatched up Aurelio next, but he was able to fight off the paralytic neurotoxin that lined it’s primitive stomach.
Concerned for the lives of his friends Dr. Blackstone foolishly climbed into the things mouth to mount a rescue. Unfortunately, as he tried to reach past the very alive Spear of Vathris to grab the supine cartographer the neurotoxin made contact with his skin and now the historian was paralyzed.
Luckily Lio was able to tear it apart from within and free himself and his two companions. Wizzleficks was stabilized while Theadric burned the creature with magical fire. Hope then removed Tobi’s paralysis while Brogin healed Wizzleficks and anyone else injured in the battle.
Within the remain of the monsters they fond an amber block containing a small figure which they quickly determined was Milo Bushcutter, or at least an older mustachioed version thereof. In one hand he held a mirror and the other a flask the he was in the process of opening.
Following a hunch from Theadric, Tobias hammered a spike into the amber to break the flask. This release the contents, which then ate through the amber at a rapid pace, freeing Milo.
After straightening his handlebar mustache, Milo was able to explain that he was from a parallel world and had investigating the surge in mystical phenomena, which he’d determined was centered on the temple of Rana Mor. Unfortunately the Scarlet Brotherhood caught him and encased him in the amber-like substance before he could prevent it. Then a portal must have opened up taking him to this world where he was eaten by the monster that the heroes just slew.
Milo demonstrated that the mirror he held was not attuned to his world, and that it reflected what was happening their instead of the world around it.
The expedition made camp and set watches. When they awoke Wizzleficks (who’d had fourth watch) and Brogin where gone and no tracks where to be found. A look through Milo’s mirror revealed a note in Wizzlefick’s precise hand letting the party know that he and Brogin had fallen through a portal to the other side and had to leave due to Scarlet Brotherhood activity.
Worse, both Tobias and Hope felt nauseous and tired, their bodies contending with some nasty disease from spending part of the previous day breath river water. Fortunately Aurelio was able to wreak terrible vengeance of the bacterial colonies of the Red Ache, leaving Hope and Tobi merely fatigued.
The expedition continued up the old road, which was in much better repair on the other side of the mirror, and soon found themselves above the forest on an a grassy plateau with the stone temple in the distance.
A stone wall surrounded the temple, a wide archway guarded by two silent stone elephants was the only visible entrance. Looking through his spyglass Tobias was able to catch movement in one of the temples towers and the party hastened their approach to the wall to get themselves out of sight of any potential snipers.
On the other side of the archway was a causeway over a canal that presumably surrounded the temple. At the end of the causeway was sort covered courtyard before a pair of very large stone doors with no obvious mechanism for opening them from without.
They also noted an arrow loop on the wall to the left of the door. Dr. Blackstone saw no one on the other side but decided to empty his bag of magical ball bearings through the slit so as to provide a warning if anyone approached.
As Hope began the slow methodical casting of a ritual to read the words carved over the stone doors the party heard a thump as someone fell behind the arrowslit. Hope then chose to expend the energy to cast the spell more quickly, hoping to glean some method of entrance from the words so that there could escape attack. As she did this the crossbowman regained his feet and began shooting at the party, of which Tobias was the most apparent. After some abortive attempts to fire into the arrowslit the spellcasters switch to magic missiles, and Lio teleported behind the attacker, quickly finishing ending the undead assailant.
Tobias passed through a crowbar to Lio and he began moving carefully from room to room along the front of the temple while Theadric followed stealthily allow the outside of the building. Eventually the halfling entered a tower at the corner of the temple while Lio waited two rooms away, having heard movement on the other side of the door.
Theadric was attacked from above by a snake which attempted to coil around his small form, but he was able to pop free and the rest of the party rushed forward to help dispatch the serpent.
Lio then rejoined the party, and they soon found themselves fighting a priest and an initiate of Nerull in a chapel. The chapel was warded, and the air became thick with scythe-wielding spirits, driving the heroes back into an adjoining room. The initiate fell quickly to spells and arrows, the priest was another matter but the party prevailed before he succeeded in slaying any with his deadly touch.
The room adjacent to the chapel was filled with torture devices and there was an iron-barred cell in one corner. Milo’s extradimensional mirror revealed Brogin and Wizzleficks imprisoned therein, in the parallel world.
The ward eventually dissipated and the heroes continued, the Grey College delegation always a a room or two behind, taking notes and investigating details of architecture.
Two doors left the next room they found. One a set of barred double doors that they would eventually learn lead to the commissary and the other leading to the covered walkway along an inner canal.
After hacking open the double doors Hope dropped a spell of darkness of the waiting initiates, which Milo followed up with a fireball.
While the surviving initiates healed themselves in the darkened dining room a priests, a chain-wielding warrior, and a tiger came bounding toward the other door.
The fight was going well until Milo’s magic slipped out of his control with deadly results, and he became the epicenter of a powerful fireball. Even Tobias, who managed to both dive out of the way and ward himself against the effect came away singed. Only the academics, away from the battle in another room were unharmed by the unexpected effect.
After some desperate healing to bring Aurelio and Milo back into the fight the battle turned back in favor of the heroes and they won the day.
Beyond the dining area was the party found the initiate’s cells, one containing a secret cache of treasure.
Hope set up a Leomond’s Tiny Hut to protect the party, which now reduced in number could fit entirely within, and they rested the night unmolested.