The next morning they start up the path and eventually come to a way point with dwarven structures, and a dwarven guard. He welcomes them and since it’s getting to evening they spend the night there. They tell him about their quest, and While the others rest, egrim is taken to meet some elder dwarves. The elders tell him more about the trails they are to face, one trail to each, and that the guardian who is eternal will be the one who decided their fate in the end. After tlling him this info they expire and egrim returns to the others to share what he’s learnt. Next morning they discover the wardens body out in the snow cleaved by a giant war axe. They see frost giants wandering around and remoraz hurling themselves at the barriers around the stairs. They run up to the next waypoint, an elvern affair and meet the warden who just tells them the treasure they seak is both physical and metaphysical before they have to move on. He does tell them that they will have to apease the white dragon elder too get any furthur. Just then the remoraz break the barriers and they run on. It’s close to night when they reach the dragon queen’s nest and they are permted entry to her. Alexis explains they seak passage through her lands and offers both knowlage and gems as paymet. She starts to tell the dragon of the red on the pagan plains to which the white takes offence. However alexis sweet talks her way back pandering to th dragon’s ego and then clair gives the queen a bejewled mirror again pandering to ego. They are given passage and leave swiftly. They carry on up and finally find the temple. It is a huge cathedral affair with gigantic statues and alexis sees there is a trap on all but the straight path forward. Around the walls are thousands of sand times all with names in various languges and over the doorway hangs an effegy of death. They procede accross the floor, avoiding the bad tiles and up the stairs opposit and find themselves in a huge room with more tiles with various things writtn in various languges on. Opposit there is a crash and lights and a person shows up and says stuff about the test then goes away. The group then set about translating the languages and tiles and figuring out what it means.
Draconic going accross in diagonal:
In forune lies the key
But what forutune is, is what you determin it to be
Gold and silver valubal maybe but diminish in time
Wealth in knowlage expands horizons but can loose touch with change.
How can one keep stock in sundered wealth or knowlage without gain
(ends on an elven tile)
Gain is often in the unseen horizon
(ends on blank tile Celestial to the left)
The sky is the limit
If all you belive is in the sky
Yet above the sky, do not clouds form?
And above clouds are stars not born?
Amoung the stars are gods not bourne?
(ends on a blank tile at edge)
Iin dwarven going stright up:
Longevity can be measured in lifes span.
But such life ends
Life lke the mountain, erodes over time
Stone becomes sand
But edifice last beyond life’s span
Stone when wrought lasts beyond time for legacy stands tall.
(end on blank tile)
The group continue to read the incriptions on the tiles.
In silvern, straight to the right:
From the smallest seed life doth sprout
Yet when winter comes, life sursease
Yet spring brings new life to what lays dormant
Without roots, there is no nurture
Yet without branch there is no canopy
Terrain, going in straight opposiit to the silvern:
What lies beneth is the inner seam
Yet from this seam, veins branch and flow
Yet onlyy those wise to see can find the mother lode
Yet veins are lost in the molten slip
For fire is the great undoer of those laid low by rock
Infernal, stright down
Life and death are but two points on the path
The path has many corners, some lead to dead ends
The key is not always how, but who
The way to power is not always the quickest way
But it is always quicker than the righteous way
The path to glory is always paved with others blood and mortared with others bones
When man, first met neightbour, he found foe
The need for Invention comes from cnflict
What man does not understand, man destroys
Which is greater; civilizaton or conquest?
5.1: civilization begats legacy
5.2: conquest cleans the slate
They decide, given the advice from the elders, to try the philosophies that sound like the begging middle and end. Ivan decides to step out onto the dwarven tiles but they crumble, and he manages to leap back in time to see the tile has fallen on to one of the staues below, directly over it’s spear. The group do a collective shrug and this time lex ties the rope around herself and tries celestial, draconic, silvern and terran in turn but they all crumble or droop, like their elemental origins, into the space below. Finally they try infernal, the language of malcious intent, and walk over unscathed into the solid outer rim. They head up the next set of stairs, one at a time: lex, sel, ivan, wren, egrim and eventually fai, and one by one become ensared by the trap of the mind. A voice asks what they want, what they fear or are running from, and in turn presents them with an apperition of their fears or otherwise confounds them. Only sel manages to break free of it’s hold and figures somthing isn’t right with what is happening.
(lex is asked what she is thinking and replys: where is the danger, what is here, I kinda fancy a beer. She is shown a great shadowy figure that she aims her crossbow at. It sort of thretens her, and she says it’s not real. It asks if she is real, if her freinds are real and she insists she is and they are but it moves forward and removes the bolt from her crosbow to prove it is as solid as she. It mentions she has survived many others and offers to let her see them again. as she sifts her weight, becomes aware of a squeeking crackling feeling and looks down to see acres of bones and part corpse bits, most of which she recognises. She groans and says she knew the last tile of iinfernal was about her. The fgure says that this is everyone she has ever killed, or been allied with who has died, or everyone through some action or inacion on her part has died. She uts the cross bow away and says it’s clearly usless, but says again none of this is real, and it asks why does she fear it. She says she doesn’t, she fears beer shortage. It says she drinks to dull the pain and forget the faces before her, and again she denys it, but is left transfixed by the sea of bones she’s made)