Part 26: The Orc Temple
Sorry it took so long!
Update 24: The Orc Temple
I followed the tunnel down from the surface. Fifty or so meters later the tunnel opened to reveal the Orc's temple.
The tunnel to Orc town and the temple were separated by a large, deep chasm. Luckily a downed pillar was in the perfect position to get me across.
The temple was open so I continued inside, only to come face to face with a skeleton. Ur-shak's tale of undead residing in the temple proved to be true.
When I had subdued the undead guardian, I paused to examine the engravings in the entryway. The one on the right seemed to depict a sarcophagus suspended over some spikes. The left engraving portrayed two archers and a target of fashion.
I pushed forward into the temple. Undead patrolled the area under command by an undead mage. I quickly dealt with the skeletons, glancing around the chamber as I did so. A passage below led forward through a dark, rough corridor. A door on the left side was opened but the way forward was closed.
I needed to get a better look and the Mage was harassing me with spells. I noticed a set of runes behind the skeletal wizard but I couldn't get a good look while he was pounding me with ice magic.
When the mage was defeated, I examined the runes. They were situated in the center of two blocked entrances. From left to right I saw a red rune, a yellow rune, and finally a purple rune.
I tried the gates for a few minutes hoping that they were weak enough to be broken or otherwise removed. It was no use. I had no choice but to explore the room on the left side of the room.
I entered the door and made my way into a narrow corridor. As I did, however, a gate slammed shut behind me and the portcullis on the left and right side of the tunnel began to slowly rise. It was a trap! A skeleton warrior emerged from each side. They proved somewhat difficult in such cramped quarters but I handled myself well enough.
When the trap was bypassed I turned and searched for a way to open the next gate. A lever behind me did just that, opening both the way I came in and the way forward.
I continued forward. The newly opened chamber contained a small central chamber with three similar sized rooms along the sides. Each of these rooms contained a lever of sorts, a twisting box atop a square base, and each room's floor was adorned with one of the three runes I'd seen earlier.
I thought for a few moments. It was possible that the inscription behind the skeleton mage's post were instructions of some sort. I chose at that moment to test my theory by turning first the lever in the red room, then the yellow and then the yellow. I heard the sound of iron scraping stone outside in the main chamber. It seemed I was right.
I returned to the main chamber and passed through the newly opened doorway. What I saw next was quite similar to the first room, though different in layout. Another closed doorway straight ahead, an open passage leading to a small room on the left, a set of pillars leading to a higher location and a hollowed out tunnel that led below the temple. Oh, and there were more skeletons with another magic user among them.
I charged the mage first, prioritizing him over the weaker undead. He went down quickly but I now found myself surrounded. More undead resided in this room than the one before. My enchanted robe was absorbing much of the impact but I could feel the rusty weapons start to scrape my skin. Determined to make it out of here alive, I defiantly swung at the undead. I had come so far. I was not about to die in some unspectacular fashion like by being crushed under rocks or dying to the lowliest minions of an sleeping God.
This time I opted to investigate the dark tunnel. I dropped down to the level below and immediately heard a familiar sound echo throughout the dark corridor. The familiar scraping sound only made by a single creature in the colony. This temple had minecrawlers!
The crawlers did not seem to be any different than those that I had encountered in the free mine. Like the old mine's crawlers, though, it appeared that these temple minecrawlers had been here for some time. They had time enough to set up a nest and entrap many unfortunate victims.
The darkened tunnel split ahead. I traveled down both paths. The left fork took me back to the first room. I emerged through the lower doorway that had previously been blocked. I still had things to do in temple so I returned back to the split and traveled down the other fork of the tunnel. This one opened below another room.
A skeletal Orc watched over the room and had his back to me. I crept up as close to him as I could and unleashed my magic upon him, turning him to dust.
I pulled myself up to the level above. In the adjacent room was another undead Orc. I decided to mix it up a bit with a storm of fire. The ball of flame collided with the dead Orc and exploded. He was weakened but not quite defeated. He let loose a deep, disturbing roar and charged toward me with his rusty hammer held high.
I waited for the right moment and swung. My blade connected just under his right armpit, severing his right arm from torso and sending his now hollow body to the ground.
I advanced through the open doorway that the undead had been guarding. As soon as I stepped through the portcullis behind me slammed shut. It seemed as though as this was a common security procedure here.
Like the room that unlocked the first door there were three small rooms that each contained a cube switch. I decided I would start with the right switch and work my way to the left.
I turned the right switch and heard a click. When I turned, I saw something that I did not quite expect. A demon, similar to the one that Xardas had bound in his tower. Unlike Xardas' guardian, this demon was not at all friendly. It hovered toward me and began to fiercely slash at me with its sharp claws.
I dodged its attacks as best I could and responded with my own. A few solid hits later and it fell lifelessly to the ground.
When the demon was dealt with and I felt confident enough to continue, I used the middle switch. It was the same result. A demon was summoned from somewhere and immediately attacked me. There was only one switch left. I used it and turned around to see what awaited me.
An old, shriveled undead Orc hobbled toward me holding a large staff. Green magic glyphs were drawn on every inch of its decaying body.
"An infidel in the house of the master! Damned be you!" The creature spoke in a deep voice.
"YOU be damned, you stinking moldy carpet!" I shouted back. That insult sounded much better in my head.
Varrag-Kasorg held out its staff toward me, sending a ball of electricity my way. The magical defenses of my robe held up and absorbed much of the magical energy.
While the shaman was using all of its energy trying to subdue me with its magic, I struck him with my sword and sent him reeling back. I followed it up with another and then a third. He fell to the ground in a heap. If this Shaman was similar to the rest, this was going to be quite easy.
Among his belongings I found something of interest. A long, though very old, sword. The portcullis leading out was still closed but I had an idea.
On the way in I had seen a small socket of the approximate size and shape of the sword's blade. I slid the blade in. I heard a faint click and moments later the gate slid open. It worked!
I made my way back through the minecrawler's tunnels and to the room I had come from.
I explored the open room on the east next. Inside were two of the stone switches. One lifted the stone that blocked the front door, but had the unfortunate side effect of lowering the roof of the roof. I only had a moment to think but eventually darted to safety within a niche that was not in the path of the roof.
When the roof raised once again, I moved to the switch on the right. This switch lowered the stone pillars that were outside in such a way to allow me to climb them as stairs.
The newly unblocked doorway seemed to lead down another narrow corridor. I chose to climb the pillars first.
The pillars took me to a platform that overlooked the rest of the chamber. Two more passages were located atop the platform. A rough, mined out passage and an open doorway would take me into another carved, temple chamber. I decided that I would go this way first.
As I walked through the doorway I saw the engravings that were at the entrance to the temple: Two humanoids with bows pointing at a target and a sarcophagus over spikes.
As soon as I entered the gate behind me slammed shut, and the one in front opened. It now became evident what awaited me here: another of the undead shaman.
I inched my way toward him, attempting to keep as quiet as I could. It was no use. He heard me coming and approached me.
"MORTAL! YOUR TRAVELS END HERE WITH ME!
"I'll send you traveling first, you moldy maggots idea of paradise!"
Varrag-Unhilqt fought in a way similar to the first shaman I'd fought. He used lightning magic in an attempt to keep me immobilized but again this tactic failed.
I searched the shaman's body and came across yet another useless, though interesting, sword. I attempted to leave but unfortunately the gate had closed behind me. I would need to find another way out of here.
The room was fairly plain with the exception of the grate in the center of the room, under which was a series of large sharp spikes and a sarcophagus.
I thought back to the engravings I'd seen all over the temple. Two men aiming at a target with a bow. I just happened to have a bow with me but I could not immediately find a target. I slowly scanned the room until I spotted a single block that was a bit off. I aimed toward it and fired a shot. It hit in the center and the block was pushed in.
The grate over the pit was gone, as were the spikes. I jumped down and moved to examine the coffin. I knew that this was somehow involved in what I needed to do. A moment later, the green jewel in the center of the sarcophagus caught my eye. I moved to touch it and when I did, I heard the familiar sound of stone scraping on iron.
Whatever I'd done to the jewel had raised the gate and allowed me to leave. I prepared myself to travel down the mined out path next. According to what Ur-Shak had told me, I still had three more shaman to deal with.
The stony shaft brought me face to face with another of the Undead Orcish guardians. He was guarding a ramp that led down to the remainder of the chamber.
There were three distinct areas on the lower level. A bloody room full of spike holes, a second, locked room, and a rocky, uneven part of the temple that has been dug out by minecrawlers.
I went to the dug out area first and encountered someone I did not expect to see.
"Get lost, you aren't wanted here." The Templar said.
"And YOU are gonna stop me?"
The templar reached for his weapon. "YES! I will stop you - You won't prevent Master Kalom from awakening the Sleeper." Kalom? So he found the sleeper after all. "Don't try to attack me, the high priest has transferred part of his powers to Master Kalom and us. Now we are immortal. "
I respectfully disagreed and showed him that he was in fact, not immortal. He fell to the ground in a bloody heap, my sword still lodged in his torso.
I traveled to the spike room next. In a recessed niche within the room was a wall engraving depicting the usual archers and target. I found the target on an adjacent. I hit it with an arrow and the button depressed.
Within moments, I heard a rumbling and clicking of gears beneath the floor. I frantically ran to the niche that contained the drawing. It was just in time, too. Nine foot long spikes erupted from the holes in the floor, a mere second after I reached safety.
When the spikes had receded, a wall on the far side of the room began to slowly lower. Yet another target became visible. I fired at it with an arrow and heard a scraping sound from outside the room.
I set out to investigate the source of the noise. It turned out that the other room's gate had opened. The room was similar to the room I used to unlock the first set of doors. Three switches, each adorned with a rune. I tried the same combination that I had used back then: Red, Yellow and then Purple. I walked outside.
The door that the Templar had been guarding opened, but I still had business in the rest of the temple. I backtracked to the main room where I had climbed the pillars.
In this chamber, I ventured through the last remaining room. Previously it had been blocked with a large stone, but the two switches in the other room had moved it away. I walked inside and saw the back of another Orc shaman.
He must have heard me come in. He turned and walked my way.
"YOU DARE TO DISTURB MY PEACE?"
"It remains to be seen whose end it's going to be you worm-bitten meatloaf!"
The tactics of this shaman differed from the two I had previously fought. Instead of utilizing lightning based attacked, he used fire. By focusing his mind on me, he was able to set me ablaze. When his concentration was broken I used the opportunity to strike, taking him down with a few solid hits.
This shaman also carried a sword, as well as his magic rune.
The altar in his cavern was trapped. As I reached out to grab the scroll there, a large rock slammed down from the roof above. The scroll wasn't worth losing my arm over.
I unlocked the gate by sliding my newly acquired sword into the stone hole.
I returned to the doorway that the templar had guarded and walked down the ramp on the otherside. I came out at an area guarded by two more undead Orcs. The doorway on the left led further into the temple.
An old, decrepit aqueduct was situated above a canal on the right. I followed the canal and ended up in a large cavern filled with magma.
A small building was situated in the middle of the magma pool on a small rocky island. There was no apparent way to reach it. The path was in a ring around the building, with three small rooms along the way. I walked down the path, clearing all enemies in my path, and entered each room in order. Demons protected a switch in each chamber.
Each switch in each room was pulled and a bridge extended across to the building.
I began to walk inside but suddenly stopped. On each side spikes suddenly sprung up. I was going to need to find another way inside.
I walked around the side of the building and found the perfect way to bypass the spikes. To the right of the entrance was a large hole just high enough to be climbed.
I climbed inside and was confronted by the fourth undead shaman, Varrag-Ruuushk.
"YOUR LONG TRAVEL IS OVER! YOUR MORTAL BODY WILL BURN!" the undead creature shouted.
I shook my head. "Now, I really don't think that's such a good idea!"
I backed away from the shaman and conjured up a Death to Undead spell. The blue bolt slammed into Varrag-Ruuuskh but he simply laughed. He was immune! He was quite similar to the third shaman with his choice of spell, but spell immunity aside I defeated him relatively easily. I had defeated four of the five shamans. One more and the Sleeper would be mine. This shaman also had one of those old swords.
On the altar that Varrag-Ruuuskh had been tending to lay another old sword. Along the wonderfully carved blade were carved ancient runes. I wasn't sure what the sword was but I knew enough to take it. It was something special, that was for sure, and I figured that Xardas would know what to make of it.
I made my way back the way I came. There was nothing else of note there. I returned to the ramp leading up and instead turned left to go further into the temple. I encountered a half dozen templars and undead guardians down this path, though only the templars posed any trouble due to the length of their blade.
After the hostiles were taken care of I found myself before several more locked gates with no apparent way of opening them.
I scanned the surrounding area and saw a large platform behind me. I hopped from suspended platform to suspended platform and eventually made my way there. A small engraving on the side seemed to point down.
I stood atop the large stone block in the center of the platform and twisted the lever. I soon understood what the engraving meant. The stone moved downwards and let me off in a flooded room beneath the magma.
As I stepped into the final room the gate slammed shut behind me. A large slab of stone stood in the center of the room against the wall with a switch on either side. I pulled each switch. The one on the left raised the gate and allowed me to leave, with the negative side effect of releasing minecrawlers into the flooded chamber, while the other had no noticeable effect.
There was nothing else down there so I returned to the large stone pillar and used the switch in the center of it. The stone rose back to the surface and I now noticed that the portcullises were open.
I passed through the previously locked building and arrived on the other side. A large, imposing stone bridge spanned a chasm.
As I made my way across, I saw what awaited me there: The final shaman.
He approached me the same way that all others did.
"YOU MUST TURN BACK HERE!" Grash-Varrag-Arushat warned me. "NOBODY MAY DISTURB THE SLEEP OF MY MASTER!"
I smugly grinned and unsheathed my sword. "Wrong, your SLEEPER will be wide awake soon!"
The shaman only laughed as I attacked him, making no move of his own to attack. I wasn't hurting him!
"Damn. I'm not causing the slighest damage! I need another..."
"NOW YOU WILL DIE!" the shaman roared.
"I'd better get out of here fast!" I said, seeing the shaman in the midst of conjuring a spell.
As I ran down the bridge to safety I could feel a foul wind hitting me from behind. It was beginning to burn through my robe! I ran even quicker, making it to the other side just in time. Had I been any slower I would have died.
The final Shaman was invulnerable. I didn't know how or why but he was. I ran back through the Temple to leave but this was slightly complicated by the fact that reinforcements had arrived. The temple was swarming with undead and templars. I avoided as many as I could and left the premises. I needed to tell Xardas immediately.
Update 24 Supplements:
Lesser Demon spotlight Viddler
Final shaman encounter Viddler