After the forced departure from the bandits’ camp, the party makes its way through the forests of Nissus Point. Along the way Bartholomoo receives a vision instructing him to test himself, that he might be worthy to travel to the Land of the Sun and oppose evil forces there. Bartholomoo follows the path revealed to him unhesitatingly, and the rest of the group follow.
Bartholomoo leads the party to an old campsite. Although the rubble strewn around the place has been weathered by the passage of a few months, this place is a part of Nissus Point that is familiar to Blizzacane and Lindwell; it is the campsite where the bandits were excavating in hope of finding the Evocation of the Lesser Sun. Bartholomoo and Blizzacane mistake the old tarp covering the ladder down for a giant piece of cheese, and Blizzacane runs off with it, hogging its cheesy goodness for himself. (Woe, then, that it was merely tarp-flavored.) The path down revealed, Bartholomoo is drawn under the earth.
The caverns that Blizzacane, Jorma, and Lindwell cleared of bandits are clean now. The old crates are stacked neatly near the ladder. Sunglobes dot the roof of the cavern, brightening what was once dark and dangerous. Akiva Stein, the sole resident of the caves, is found installing another sunglobe, and is pleased to have company. He offers to show the party the second floor, and they accept. However, when the party descends through the hatch, they find themselves on the staircase of the Underground Temple of Pelor again. A voice calls to them, urging them to complete the trials of Wisdom, Power, and Courage.
The first test is the test of Wisdom. The voice requires them to solve a mathematical conundrum before proceeding. Lindwell calculates the correct number of sets in the solution, and the party moves on.
The second test is the test of Power. Three plant creatures assault the team. A Vine Horror immobilizes them all immediately while its allies move in for the kill. A Shambling Mound seizes the middle of the room and flails about with its massive tendrils. A Dryad slips around the room, appearing and disappearing around the Shambling Mound for maximum advantage. Lindwell blinds the Shambling Mound to him and his allies for a while, allowing them to avoid its wrath for a while. Blizzacane slips through the enemy formation and draws a few of their attacks towards himself. Torclaw slips and slides and throws and stabs, spreading massive damage around. Bartholomoo does all he can to sustain his allies. After the Vine Horror is dispatched by the adventurers, Lindwell manages to force the Shambling Mound to attack the Dryad several times. The Shambling Mound drags Torclaw into its mass as the Dryad puts its bulk between her and her enemies. Bartholomoo charges and knocks her to the ground, whereupon Blizzacane rushes in to assist. Torclaw escapes the plant’s grasp and pays in kind, punishing it for its failure to move. Soon, both remaining plants are laid waste, and the test of Power is complete.
The third test is the test of Courage. Once again, the third room is divided by a vast chasm down its middle. One of the lion statues from its previous incarnation stands on one side; another lion statue roars silently across the chasm. The party tests for secret bridges and finds none. Torclaw lassos the far statue with a rope, then secures the other end to the near statue and crosses over that way. Bartholomoo rashly leaps into the chasm, but plunges into the darkness. Realizing his folly too late, he grabs at the rope and misses. Shocked, the party has no time to process the event when Bartholomoo falls from the gap in the ceiling and grabs the rope! He then passes over the chasm normally. Lindwell asks Torclaw to ready himself to grab the warlock, then teleports over. Blizzacane takes to the rope with his usual athleticism.
The trials complete, the party enters the final room and obtains a reward! A throwing shield, which Bartholomoo claims, is the gift of the powers of this place. The adventurers are exhorted to seek the Land of the Sun once again and are transported outside the caves.
- 250 XP each (10,886 total)
- Throwing Shield (Bartholomoo)
- 1600 gp (Bartholomoo)