When we last left our adventurers, they had decided to rest up at a developing fortress to the north. After gathering some information and feeding the locals berries, the crew decided to set out, heading east in The Minotaur. After flying near the mountains for a good time, a massive castle could be seen below. Im, through his mountainous travels, knew that this was the home of a retired couple, once great adventurers themselves. There was also a village in front of the castle, so the team decided to land, against Filiel’s wishes. As soon as the ship landed, Recke headed straight for the castle, and asked to speak to the lady of the house. Recke asked the woman, from one adventurer to another, whether she had seen or heard about a magical temple in the desert to the south, for it is the location of a great artifact that Im, and the rest of the party for that matter, is in desperate need of. Unfortunately, she had no information on this specific temple, only that there are a great number of ancient temples to the south. After donating some rations to the crew, the lady dismissed Recke, who returned to the ship and the lift off was shortly after.
Captain Amon’s great plan was to fly straight to the center of the desert, passing over many landmarks and a caravan on his way. After he realized how stupid that was, he then decided to fly around aimlessly attempting to find another caravan. He did, eventually. Mantowagon flew down to said caravan, attempting to talk to them. However, as soon as he came out of wild shape, the caravan of ordinary silk traders fled from their camels into the vast desert. Im finally shares that he knows of a Goliath trading post just over the mountains. A quick stop resulted in information about a town across the country’s border to the east. With no other options, the party had no other option, and they flew east for two weeks.
Filiel hears a voice in her head telling her to find one Khonsu-khaibet, that he would be the key to finding the solution to Im’s amulet problem.
Upon arrival, the crew separated to explore the village. Im, Amon, and Recke entered a good sized shop at the front of town. While inside, a small boy began to stare at Recke, with a kind of warning in his eyes. This glaze did not last long before the boy ran into the shop’s back room, behind a single beaded curtain. Recke asked the shop keep about the boy. It turned out that the mysterious youth was the youngest son of the shopkeeper. Inquiring further, the shop keep only revealed that the boy was, “Not right in the head.” This accusation was backed up by the boy’s sister, whom Recke also spoke to. Still very curious, Recke left the shop and began looking around the town more. Joined by Im, he entered a tavern/inn where he was told by a couple of locals that the shop keep not only charged way too much, but also beat his son on a regular basis. Growing evermore suspicious, Recke proceeded to ask around town about the shop keep and his son. Many of the locals refused to talk to Recke about the subject, which makes one encounter all the stranger. A couple of the locals, out fishing, said that the shop keep was a very honorable man with the best prices in town. Recke had a very strong instinctual feeling that this was a lie. He was also pretty sure one of the men tried to curse him. Still suspicious, Recke left the men, returning to the front of town.
Meanwhile, as the Caravanessai, Mantowagan and Filiel were doing a little bit of exploring of their own. After some looking around, a young boy walked up to Mantowagon, and stared into the druid’s eyes. The boy whispered, “My father is part of an evil plot,” (or something along those lines), turned, and ran away. Obviously curious, Mantowagon quickly wild shaped into a small bird, got the boy’s attention, and with the curiousity of expected of a small child, he followed the bird into an ally. Once secluded, Mantowagon changed back to his natural form, and after the initial shock, the boy turned and ran back to his home, the shop in the front of the town.
Continuing to satisfy their curiosity, Recke and Im knocked on the door of, judging by the deceration of the house, a very skilled hunter. Mantowagon followed the boy back to the shop, entered, and struck up a conversation with the sketchy shop keep. Mantowagon devised a story of thievery, accusingly the boy of stealing a small trinket from him in the marketplace and demanding to speak to him. The shop keep told the Druid that that isn’t necessary, that he would keep his eye out for the trinket, and that the boy would surly be punished. Mantowagon bid the man adieu, and still suspicious, went on his way. Back to Im and Recke, they knocked on the door, and a hulk of a man greeted them warmly. After a short conversation, the two discovered that this man was Khonsu-khaibet, the very name that Filiel head in her head. After Im finally discarded his doubt of the hunter’s identity, the he and Recke asked Khonsu-khaibet if he would help them find the contently moving magical temple in the desert. Khonsu agreed, as long as they agreed to help him fix some of his own problems around town. Recke and Im could not refuse, so the three of them set off to meet up with Mantowagon and the others.
After Mantowagon left the shop, he realized that the young boy had not been inside. Quick thinking, Mantowagon changed himself into the appearance of the boy, and ran inside, carrying a small pendent from Filiel’s bag. He ran straight through the shop, through the beaded door, into the back room. The first thing that could his eye was a giant wooden statue with rubies for eyes. Continuing to search, Mantowagon also found a small crocodile head made of malachite, a box of gold, and two scorpions. He grabbed the two scorpians, and pocketed them. After another quick look, Mantowagon shifts into a small lizard. He then hears the familiar voice of Amon in the shop, and the two make eye contact. Mantowagon leaves the back room and latches on to the bottom of Amons pants, and Amon sinply walks out of the shop.
Once outside, Mantowagon shifts back into his own form, and tells the others what he had seen. Just then, Recke and Im approached with Khonsu and introduced him to the others. They explained that Khonsu would help the group find the mysterious temple, but that he requested a favor in return. Lately, people had been disappearing around the lake by the town mill. The crew decided it would be best to wait until morning to deal with the problem, so everyone, minus Amon, headed back to Khonsu’s dwelling for the night. Amon decided to stay behind and keep watch over the lake, trying to catch a glimpse of what may be the cause of these disappearances. While in deep meditation, Amon was attacked by a ridiculously over-sized croc. Luckily, Amon survived and ran like a girl back to Khonsu’s house, finished his meditation outside the front door, and waited for the others to wake.
In the morning, Amon told the others what had happened, and the team went down to the lake, ready for a fight. Standing on the shore, nothing was visible in the murky water. Mantowagon, taking charge, turned into a a huge water elemental and entered the water. The lake is not very big, but once underwater, Mantowagon discovered that it was still certainly big enough to hide an over-sized crocodile. The two began a wrestling match, a pretty even wrestling match actually. Recke, seeing the splashing water coming from the center of the lake, struck the location with a lightning bolt, hurting Mantowagon in the process, but hell, Recke did what he needed to do. Meanwhile, Im is standing on the shore doing nothing. Eventually, Mantowagon wriggles his way out of the grapple, and retreats to a safe distance. Shortly after, both Amon and Filiel jump into the water to attack the beast, while Im stands there, doing nothing. It isn’t not before Amon is grappled in the croc’s mouth. To save Amon, Mantowagon changes him, as well as Filiel, into crocoliles themselves. Im still standing, watching from the shore. Not long after the aid of Mantowagon, did Amon and Filiel finish off the over-sized reptilian. Im, standing and watching. After dragging the beast ashore, Mantowagon identified the creater as being completely unnatural, that there was no way a simply crocodile could get that large on it’s own. With a brief discussion with Khonsu, Mantowagon learned that there was rumors of an evil cult in the area, and that if shown some items used by the cult, Khonsu-khaibet could identify them as such.
After a short discussion, the crew decided on a plan. Amon and Im entered the shop, greeted warmly by the suspicious shop keep. Immediately, the man apologized, for he had found the trinket that his son had stolen from them. He hands Amon Filiel’s pendant, and invites Amon for a glass of wine as an apology. Amon accepts, and pulls out a bottle of wine he had taken from the dragon he dominated. The shop keep takes a drink, and almost gags because the wine is god awful. The shop keep insists that they open one of his personal bottles, so he pours Amon a drink. The entire crew is suspicious of the man and his wine, but don’t want to risk calling out the shop keep just yet. Just then, the man’s young son, who is really just Mantowagon is the boy’s form, runs in, takes Amon’s glass, and chugs the wine. Without any hesitation, the shop keep signals to one of his guards, who knocks Mantowagon over the head with a club and throws his out of the shop, where Filiel and Recke wait. Another glass of the wine is poured for Amon, who is hesitant and tries to stall. He asks the man his opinion about crocodiles. The shop keep shows a genuine distaste for the creatures, then urges Amon to drink up. The Time is up for Amon, he has to make a decision whether or not he will drink the wine.
Just then, Mantowagon bursts back into the shop as the boy, and yells, “My father is part of a wicked plot! He is part of a cult, and he is responsible for the crocodile in the lake!” “What are you talking about?!” the shop keep yells, seeming a bit flustered. Shit’s about to get real. All the guards, the shop keep, his wife and children all began to attack the crew, getting multiple shots off before the team even realized what was going on and could attack back. After a few punches were thrown from both sides, Mantowagon had had enough. After shifting into a huge fire elemental, he set the entire shop ablaze. Everyone died instantly, except for Mantowagon, Im, and Amon…. how lucky. Amon got out of the door with very minimal injury, Im walked out calmy while on fire, just brushing the flame off once outside, and Mantowagon shifted into a water elemental and put out the blaze as quickly as he started it.
After everything was calm again, Im walked into the back room and grabbed the malachite crocodile head, and Amon, along with a few pin pricks, took the rubies from the eyes of the wooden statue. The young boy enters the destroyed structure, and asks Mantowagon, “What… what did you do to my house?” After a shot discussion with Mantowagon, the boy asked for his father’s jewels, for they were all that he had to his name. After a few words of “advice” from Im, Amon handed over the rubies. Im talks to the town authorities, and relays the message that all visitors are suppose to sign in at the caravanessi upon arrival. After a little paperwork, and a little bit of explaining, the crew now had time to figure out what the fuck just happened. Recke wanders off the the house where he had met the strange acting wizard the day before. The man was outside of his house packing up his fishing gear. Recke explained that the shop keep had just burned down his shop, killing all of his loved ones. Skeptical, the man asked for proof. Recke told him he could do one better, he had gotten a confession. Recke turns and says, “Wait here, I will be back soon.”
Recke walks back to the others and pulls Mantowagon to the side. He explains his driving suspicion that this wizard was connected to the shop keep, and that he needed Mantowagon’s help to figure out exactly what was going on. The two of them head back to the house where the wizard lived, but when they approached, it was the shop keep who was walking with Recke. Recke stepped around the corner, still within earshot, to let the two talk. They spoke very vaguely, but quite obviously about secrecy, and a underground cult or organization. Unexpectedly, the wizard says something to Mantowagon in the town’s native language, which Mantowagon was not familiar. Knowing that trouble was rearing it’s ugly head, Recke turned the corner and grabs Mantowagon’s arm. “That’s enough time, we have to go.” Recke pulls Mantowagon away while the wizard is still shouting in the unknown language. The two turn the corner, and out of nowhere, get struck with a ball of fire. Mantowagon quickly shifts into a storm elemental, grabs Recke, and retreats back to the ship.
That night, Filiel stayed in the ship, Mantowagon and Recke slept at Khonsu’s, Im slept outside Khonsu’s in his tent, and Amon was staying outside of the wizard’s house to keep an eye on him. In the middle of the night, Recke is woken up by the SCREEE!!! of Mantowagon’s dinosour. Looking around, Recke sees that both Mantowagon and Khonsu-khaibet have been murdered in their sleep. In a desperate move, Recke throws a fireball in the direction that the dinosaur is SCREEEing. Next he knows, there is a dead wizard on the floor. After searching his body, Recke walks outside, only to find Im dead as well. After collecting his personal belongings for safe keeping, he looks around thinking, “What now?”