Several days ride from Balic, the group makes it to Grak’s pool. The group rides on a cart with an inix pulling it, a driver from Balic is driving the cart. Chunkra is along for the ride. The mountains rise to the north and west … the group instructs Chunkra to take the cart and meet up at Alturak. They split up to continue on foot into the mountains. The terrain is lowland rolling foothills, not too rocky at first. Early evening approaches and the group comes across an area covered with tree-like plants, entering the upper foothills, still approximately 1 day away from the mountains. While T’kkyl is on watch, he takes a tinkle and the group is surprised by chicken looking vampire hobbits (anakores and hejkin).
Another day of travel after the encounter, the characters see the mouth of a cave entrance where they assume the oracle resides. The mountains are less impressive, have less height/girth than the Ringing Mountains near Tyr that the companions are accustom, with their peaks burning in the sun rather than the ringing with peaks obscured by clouds of mist from the northern forests.
Cave entrance feels like light is being “absorbed”, light only extends 5 feet from the companions and dim light for a further. 30 feet to the right there is a straight drop down. THe group turns around, the path narrows past the entrance to 5, which B realizes was broken open and patched in some ancient time, the hallway opens again to approximately 15 feet a short while later. Walls are rough, ground is still relatively flat, there is a bend to the right. They encounter a “Y” shape split.
T’ykkl knows of an oracle, “Temple of Delphi” kind of situation, ancient. He’s sure that the oracle will be deep within the mountain. The party turns right and encounters another split, they know the path meets up again shortly ahead. They continue on the right and another junction before them with hard split. The path here is narrow, about 5 feet. The dwarf feels warmth to the right. They proceed to the right and there is a 4 way junction. The warmth is clearly in front of them, with some mild warmth to the right. The path lowers slightly in front and right. The group proceeds to the right, after about 30 feet the floor slopes gently about 15 feet downward and there is a bridge above. T’ykkl decides to jump up to the bridge. On the right he sees a cave-in. On the left he feels more warmth. The group decides to climb a rope up. They fail miserably but finally succeed.
They proceed forward. After a short time, the hallway widens into a cavern. There is a sulfur smell and there is some old bat guano along the floor. They group continues to the right along the wall to about “3 o’clock” having entered from “9 o’clock”. There is another opening to the right and they can see light and high heat emanating from the opening. They continue along the wall and find a small room adjacent with a broken alter inside. The script is not something that B can recognize. It was a humanoid structure, whatever sat atop is gone, the alter is rubble. After some careful study, there are markings on the alter that seem to reflect some connection to the rubbing of the sundial.
The group decides to go into the light/heat hallway and the path curves to the right. The heat is intensifying greatly. There is an opening to the right, the straight path is immensely hot. The path to the right has a 10 foot drop straight down. They proceed ahead and there is a lake of lava in front of them. Molten rock blocks their path. There is an island approximately 15 feet in front of them, on the other side of the lake. There is a path on the left curve. The group turns around and drops down the 10 foot drop. It’s clear this is a much larger open space and the floor is clearly not natural. They listen for signs of life but hear nothing.
They follow along to the right and … [encounter] There are spires that appear to have burst or erupted from the floor.
The Obsidian Oracle emerges from the portal.
“Imix, one of the elemental princes fought Pelor over the sun and imprisioned Pelor, one of the old gods. Use the dial to open a gateway to Pelor’s prision. His prision is on the sun. While freeing Pelor could turn some of the balance in this world, you must find artifacts and other evidence of lost gods of this world.”
“Balderdash is a servant of Pelor. The primordials have held this world in servitude for too long. Find the missing pieces of the “sun dial”, they are spread around the world. One is in the City of Bodach, the city of the dead. This is a powerful undead city, it is not impossible to get in. Find a way to disguise your “life.” There are items one can use to disguise yourself. Bodach use a mobile fortress of bone, a giant lizard. Getting onto this fortress may be a good way to gain access to the city."
“You friend did fight valiantly, I may be able to bring him back as something … different. I would need blood of something the same race, works best.” Balderdash offers his own blood, the oracle slices Balderdash’s hand using his own body having formed a knife shape.
“Dwarf blood and Thrikreen don’t mix well being on opposite sides of the arthasian species. Bugs are arcane creations from the Dawn War. Dwarves are more natural. He may not remember you at all. He may not even remember that he was a Thrikreen.”
“I am a shard mind, one who is uncommon in this world. We are actually gatekeepers who protect all parts of this world from the Far Realm. There are actually parts of the Far Realm within this idol.”
“You are not just average people, while you do have a long journey ahead of you, the odds are not insurmountable.”
The portal leads outside of Alturak — Chunkra is nearby the portal having honed into the companions using the crystal around his neck.