Episode 22: The Teeth Of The World
Another night and a day of travel out in the open proceeded entirely uneventfully, with no further signs of the great peryton beasts, or indeed of any threat. The stony moors were empty except for Keen leading his four companions through the rocks, guided by instinct and by the Thieves Cant markings for “treasure ahead.”
For a moment during a night watch, Ara sensed someone or something was watching them, but saw nothing.
During their travel Magnus became noticeably distracted, lagging behind the party, more taciturn than usual. When questioned, he told his friends the compulsion to complete his geas for Banu was weighing on him, and he was finding it harder and harder to resist, even though he had undertaken to go with the party to help Yuna find a guide in order to better complete that geas.
Their trek led them through a rocky pass in the base of the mountains, which ended on a small bluff on the cliffside thousands of feet in the air. There they found a broken campsite and another slain thief, the body ripped apart in a manner similar to the one from which Keen recovered the platinum statuette and the map. Based on the scribblings on the map, the party decided to await nightfall, to see if moonlight would reveal a path forward. So there they sat high up in the Noms, the mountain range which rings the southern edge of the Thorimfel Plateau, mountains known also as the Teeth of The World, and there awaited the night.
Ara attempted to learn more about their surroundings from his spirit ancestor Aleh Xa Akiir, but found she could not respond to his queries. Similarly, Levani attempted to use the compass face of the Dragonhead coin, only to find the coin face smooth and cold, with no indication of the raised arrow that had been visible previously.
Sure enough, when the moon rose, a great stone staircase was revealed protruding from the side of the cliff, leading up, up into the darkness. With Keen once more in the lead, the party began climbing the narrow stair, treading carefully to avoid bring down their feet on a section of stair which, when the moonlight was obscured by thin ribbons of clouds, would simply cease to exist.
For hours they climbed, with one near disaster as Keen lost his footing, but was grabbed by Ara, until at last, as the first rays of predawn light crested the mountains, the party reached the top.
The stair led to a small caldera, sheer rock rising up on three sides, with the cliffside wrapping around to the southeast. At the far end they could see a large cavern in the rock, the only apparent way forward, but between them and the cavern was a hill giant, yelling and shaking his fists at a tree.
Keen was easily able to slip past the brute and hide in the shadows of the mouth of the cavern, but Levani attempted to communicate with the giant using magic. As soon as she revealed herself to the giant, it flew into a rage and ran screaming for the party. A brief battle was joined, but Yuna’s use of the Calm Emotions spell caused the giant to lose interest, and go back to staring at the tree. Levani used this opportunity to blow the giant off the side of the cliff with a Thunderwave spell.
As they proceeded into the cavern Yuna realized that she was able to cast magic here without the effects of spell sickness.
Continuing on in the early morning light, the party emerged from the far end of the cavern to find another, wider bluff, filled with dozens of dogs of all shapes and sizes. Many of them ran to greet the party, and Yuna was soon on the ground covered in happy, playful dogs. Several of the largest, most powerful dogs were standing guard around a large, circular hole in the ground revealing a spiral staircase descending into the earth, but they would not permit the party to approach.
Keen followed the trail from the cavern a ways into the high rocks, and in what was initially a dead end found an illusory wall that lead to an ancient structure built into the mountainside: the Temple of the Moon. At the mouth of the temple entrance they found another dead thief, this one seemingly cut down by automated traps as he attempted to escape the temple.
The party ventured inside, finding the first chamber empty but for stone pedestal rising from the centre of the room. Keen placed the platinum statuette upon the pedestal, which locked into place, and a shaft of moonlight reached down from the ceiling, illuminating the room and revealing the floor, the walls and the ceiling itself to be covered in draconic script.
The writing told the story of Yi-na-Hotep And The Five Suns, and Keen realized that he was able to read the Draconic writing, a language he had never learned.
An investigation of the room revealed another false wall, leading to a second chamber deeper inside the mountain. This chamber contained a large stone Telisaran calendar, whose sigil tiles needed to be placed in order around the wheel; each tile had a number etched on it in draconic. When the tiles were correctly placed, a third chamber was revealed, one much larger than the others. On the floor were five circles depicting the phases of the moon, and a tiled mosaic on one wall showing the phases of the moons, each numbered in draconic, but with the final portion of the mosaic broken and obscured.
Mouths of Grolantor Defeated: 1
Village Of Dogs Discovered: 1
Dragonborn Temples Rating: Mysterious
Fibonacci Puzzle Rating: Too Easy, Apparently? Sheesh
RP Rating: Awesome!