Session Date: July 19, 2009
Characters: Valentine, R’Bel, Rithban
A month later, the party is at the north continent. Valentine picks up R’Bel, who had gone ahead to scout his home territory on foot. R’Bel reports finding a mysterious plateau at the base of the mountain range located at the first set of coordinates. A path ascends into the mountains from the plateau, and Valentine has the ship follow this path from the sky. They do not reach the coordinates, but do find an ancient temple. All recognize that landmasses move, the coordinates are probably a bit off after all this time, and this temple looks promising. The ship drops anchor above the temple courtyard, and the party disembarks.
The temple is a step-pyramid with an entryway at its base and a small room at the top. Rithban flies up to investigate the room. He finds some interesting murals featuring a trio of stones being worshiped, but not much else. The pictures are communicated telepathically to the rest of the party, and then everyone heads into the entrance at the temple’s base.
The first room of the temple features three sets of statues holding up the ceiling. Each statue is of a person with the same set of three stones on their hands, arranged in a triangle and pointing towards the wrist. The first pair of statues features blue stones, the second green, and the third red. The room appears to be foyer or somesuch, as there is only one other exit on the other side. The party proceeds into the next room.
The next room features murals depicting the advancement of a civilization from primitive beginnings, through technological achievement, and finally to a society focused on religious and spiritual pursuits. An altar and the gong behind it represent the only furniture in the room, and everything is made of stone. There is a cave-in covering the leftmost side of the room, and no visible exits. However, Valentine uncovers a loose stone on the floor. The party lifts the stone off to reveal that it was a secret trapdoor. Stairs lead down, ending in a room that the party estimates is directly below the altar.
This room is lit by an ambient blue light and has two other doors. The party opens one door to reveal what looks like a barracks. Unfortunately, this barracks had some wood furnishings at one point, and moisture and age caused them to rot. A fierce stench erupts, causing some party members to lose their last meal. After that spectacle, the room is explored, but nothing exciting turns up. The party then tries the other door.
When this door is opened, the ambient blue light in all the downstairs rooms turns a more normal color. Inside the room, the party finds a stone desk with a console much like the one in the Ark R&D lab. There is also a tapestry behind the desk featuring the circle of life. The party activates the console, and find themselves facing another hologram. After some lengthy discussion, the party learns that the Crystal of Thought, one of SAM’s components is indeed here. The hologram is a bit leery of the party’s intentions, so SAM himself is brought down from the ship to satisfy him. With SAM present, the hologram informs the party that the security precautions protecting the crystal will be lessened, then disappears. When he does, the tapestry moves aside to reveal a circular door, which everyone proceeds through.
Once everyone is through, the door shuts behind them, and three questions are posed.
“What is full of joy and sorrow and can be lost in the blink of an eye?” R’Bel uses his shamanic wisdom to answer the first, “Life”.
“What is the most sacred thing on this planet?” Rithban applies his analytical skills to the second, “Life”.
“Why was SAM made?” Valentine quickly figures out the third, “To protect Life”.
With the questions answered correctly, the Crystal of Thought is relinquished. Rithban takes it to SAM, and it attaches to the android’s left hand. SAM, who has been unconscious for 2 months, awakens and is filled in on the events that have been transpired. The party then leaves the temple. Before they fly off, SAM repairs the temple, and when they leave there is no indication that the temple was ever there, it lies hidden beneath the mountains. The party then debates their choice of next destination. In the end, it is decided that they will head to the southern continent for the Crystal of Might.