In which there is an antisocial angel, many traps, and almost everyone dies.
We rejoin our heroes outside the Proving Halls of Gorum. Fairly certain now the the Iron God’s temple was not the repository for the treasure they seek, they set out for the shrine of Milani. However, no map they possess actually shows the site. Tzann MaCray, as a former employee of the consortium from whom the maps and research were claimed, volunteers a lead his former boss had yet to explore: There exists within Temple Canyon a site known as the Temple of the Small Gods, a site for those who worship lesser deities, or whose friends or family had left Taldor to attempt the Test of the Starstone.
To MaCray’s knowledge this site was tended by a guardian, and this guardian would likely know the location of the shrine to Milani. Once there, however, the knights found the guardian to be intractable almost to the point of open hostility when questioned about the shrine. Only upon learning that our heroes hailed from Blackthorn, and were therefore the rightful inheritors of whatever treasure the bandits may have stolen, did the guardian open up and agree to show them the way.
With the guardian’s begrudging help, our heroes soon found the location of the long-neglected shrine. An artificial cave carved into the rock its entrance had been almost completely covered by sand. Though there was never any guarantee that what they sought would be buried there, the sheer number of traps they encountered once inside seemed to suggest there was something worth guarding beneath the ancient stonework.
Working their way deeper into the cave system, they encountered a small group of plunderers caught in the act of raiding a vast treasure room, and combat was soon joined! However, the tables quickly turned against our heroes when the enemy sorceress turned out to be a far more adept enchantress than they had anticipated. First, mighty Dread was slain after succumbing to magical sleep, then Sir Glenn collapsed under the assault, and finally even Dame Lagatha, despite her legendary defenses, was killed by a stab to the back.
In that moment, it seemed that all might be lost, were it not for the timely intervention of the guardian, now revealed to be the powerful angel our heroes had earlier suspected him to be. In a flash of heavenly power, he had vanquished the sorceress and returned the dead and dying to their earthly bodies. Through divination magic he had seen the peril that awaited them, and had feared he might be sending them to certain death. And with that, he made his exit, leaving our heroes to count the many, many gold coins that lay in the chests around them.
20, 8, 5, 13, 15, 14, 11, 5, 25, 1, 12, 23, 1, 25, 19, 12, 9, 5, 19