The next chamber our swashbuckling heroes sought to explore was the high priest’s quarters. Disgusted with the furnishings, the implements of torture and the viscera they found on display, Korbin angrily smashed everything he could find, accidentally letting loose some nasty vermin – a pair of mohrg worms and a swarm of skin scarabs – which were quickly dealt with.
Next the ravenfolk cleric set his mind to solving the bizarre puzzle in the center of the temple – by the rigorous process of trial-and-error. While Hakari, Nasira and Weed further explored the main floor, Korbin banged his head against the puzzle until finally his laborious methods produced results. When a constellation was drawn upon the various dots, the heroes were transformed into black smoke and transported to another level of the complex – this time, the observatory, a hundred feet above the ice.
Blasted and buffeted by the howling wind, the pirates explored the observatory, discovering five strange and unfamiliar constellations highlighted by great mirrors. In addition, Nasira discovered an impressive and haunting city, carven into the ice and previously invisible to the approaching heroes, that spans as far as the eye can see.
Using their new coordinates, the Dragon Turtle’s officers transported themselves down into the temple’s catacombs, hoping to find the captive Ylva there. Instead, they found only mummies, arising from their stone slabs to harass them. In the ensuing battle, Scarskin the orc was brutally murdered, leaving only Massak left of Hakari’s raiders.
Taking a gamble on another set of coordinates, the swashbucklers transported themselves upward – instead of downward – and, quite to the surprise of both parties, came face-to-face with the temple’s vampiric inhabitants.