Knowing that there were probably guards through the door to his left, Broneslav moved across the octagonal room to the doors opposite him. He pushed them open carefully. A short corridor lay before him, opening into an octagonal room with alcoves on three of the walls. Iron bars blocked the way into the alcoves. These gates were locked and had words carved above them: KESINI to his right and KESANA above the other two. A large gong hung on the wall opposite the corridor. He wondered what the words and the gong might mean. Broneslav had no means of opening the gates, barring finding a key or breaking them if he could. This gave him an idea. He tried the keys he had found in the Rahib's library and soon had all three gates open. The alcoves were obviously empty, so he had no further need to enter or search them, but at least he knew that the keys he had were for the gates and doors in the temple.
Returning to the corridor, he tried the door to the north because the dragon guard and the gold were supposed to be in that direction. It swung open and he found himself in a plain room with no decoration or furniture. A single reptilian creature stood in the centre of the room. Warily Broneslav raised his sword and shield. The creature did not move but merely looked at him.
"Umm, hello," he said, "Are you the dragon guard Rahasia's father told me about?"
As opening lines went, there were better, but Broneslav was not a character in a story after all.
"I am Ular-Taman," the creature hissed, "I serve Elyas and I guard his treasure. So, yes, I may well be the dragon guard."
"Uh, great. I was told that you knew what I needed to do to defeat the evil that was behind the Rahib."
"Indeed, I have lived through the time since Elyas fought the three witches and perished. I have endured my duty for his sake and I shall help you, for I see that you seek to crush this evil too. I guard the way to Elyas' tower, although I fear that the Rahib has found another. The evil is the witches. You must destroy them. You will need the ring that I guard and the pendant that goes with it."
The creature told the story of how Elyas had fought three witches. The witches had cast a spell to crush Elyas' tower under a mountain, but the wizard had managed to trap them in his tower even as it was encased in the mountain. He died doing so, but their evil was contained. Ular-Taman directed Broneslav to a loose stone in the centre of the room, where he found a ring with a black jade stone set in it.
"You will need to find the pendant too, but I do not know where that is."
"So, if I am to destroy these witches, how do I find them?"
"There is a door hidden in the north wall of this room. It leads to the treasure room. There is a hidden door in the north wall of the treasure room. It leads to a tunnel that will take you to Elyas' tower."
Now I wondered if Broneslav would remember the pendant in the upper level and make the connection with the ring. Time to consult the oracle. The answer came back 'Yes, but'. The complication was that a fact was actually incorrect that Broneslav thought he knew. So, what mistaken assumption had he made? I shall address that somewhere along the way, I think. First, Broneslav was more interested in the treasure.
Broneslav listened carefully to Ular-Taman's tale and assured the creature that he would do all he could to control or destroy the evil.
"I believe I know where the pendant is, but first I shall check the secret ways that you mention. He headed through the secret door that Ular-Taman had shown him and was soon standing in the treasure room. The first thing he grabbed was a well-crafted sword that lay in its scabbard on a pile of gold coins. It was better balanced than his own, and the blade seemed to hold a sharper edge. Broneslav quickly strapped it on, before gathering up as much of the treasure as he could. He also found a Potion of Healing which he recognised because his family was wealthy enough to buy them from wizards when occasion demanded. He swallowed the glowing blue liquid and some of his wounds began to heal (+1 HP). It was not enough. Broneslav decided that he needed to rest and recover before he went further. He did not have time to rest until fully healed, but it had already been a long day, and he needed to rest anyway. Ular-Taman agreed to guard Broneslav as he slept, so he made up his bed on the guard's floor and slept (+1 HP).
Broneslav Torenescu (S16, D14, C15, I12, W10, Ch14, F1, HP 5/9, AC4, Sword 1d8+3, Bow 1d8)
Torenescu Family Member 1
Keen Vision 1
Good Education 1
Empathy with Animals 1
Goal: Prove that he is an adult following the Shearing Ceremony
Goal: Slay a red dragon
Quest: Deliver a parcel to Merisa in Gray Mountain Village
Quest: Rescue Sylva, Merisa and Hasan
Quest: Undo the greater evil under Kota-Hutan Temple
Roll of Honour
Alki (Level 2 Elven warrior brutally slain while helpless by the Rahib)