Marpenoth 13, 1489DR – Leafall (October), Thursday
After crossing the bridge, they begin to see the road ahead is cut out of the mountainside, rising steeply to one side and falling away on the other. Mist and snow greatly reduce visibility, and the howling wind cuts through like a knife.
They sense something is watching them. As they look around them they spot a nine-foot-tall goat standing atop a crag above them, its gray fur blending perfectly with the rock of the mountain side. It lowers its head, and malice glimmers in its eyes. Kasimir whispers "Sangzor…"
The party takes up a defensive position and ready their weapons, the monster goat charges. The groups send volley after volley as the charging beast approaches them. It tries to ram them off the cliff but they miraculously manage to avoid its horns. It is a hardy beast, and yet still mortal in the end. The group breathes a sigh of relief as the final arrow pierces the deranged animal.
Under advisement from Kasimir, the group takes Sangzor's pelt, which is considered a great prize among the beserkers of the land. It might lend them some good will in their encounters to come.
They travel for the next 2 days.
Marpenoth 15, 1489DR – Leafall (October), Saturday
The road fades away under a covering of snow, but it takes them far enough to see the facade of some kind of temple carved into the sheer mountainside ahead.
The front of the structure is fifty feet high and has six alcoves containing twenty-foot-tall statues. Each statue is carved from a single block of amber and depicts a faceless, hooded figure, its hands pressed together in a gesture of prayer. Between the two innermost statues is a twenty foot-tall archway with a staircase leading down. This must be the Amber Temple.
As they investigate the entrance they notice a natural fissure has opened in the mountainside west of the temple's facade, creating a gap two feet wide, ten feet tall, and fifteen feet deep. They see light coming from a room beyond , and hear human voices there as well.
Carefully, they squeeze into the gap, Dale at the lead, and head towards the voices. Dale sees a group of female mountain folk dressed in furs and armor. There is also a dire wolf curled up by a makeshift campfire.
Dale slowly enters the room through the gap with his hands outstretched and announces himself. The warriors quickly draw their weapons and for some moments stare in silence at the ready. Finally, what seems to be the leader of the group steps forward.
"Is that… the hide of the fell-beast Sangzor?" The muscular and intimidating woman, Helwa, approaches Dale and touches the furs he's wearing. "Amazing! Did you slay this beast?"
Dale answers, "Aye, as we were coming up the mountain the beast attacked us."
"Then you are a mighty warrior indeed!"
A murmur of excitement and agreement spreads throughout the room and the warriors lower their weapons, in awe and respect for this strange and great warrior, Dale. The others from the party emerge from the gap and Dale introduces them as his companions.
The group learns that these mountain folk became trapped in the temple while hunting for food and savaging the area when they were attacked by flaming skulls just outside the room. Unable to defeat the skulls on their own they retreated to this room. They ask for the party's help in defeating the skulls and aiding their escape.
The group agrees and they join together heading towards the temple's hallway. Our heroes easily defeat the skulls and warriors thank them in earnest. They declare the heroes welcome among their people and leave the temple to return home.
The party examines the hallway after defeating the skulls and find the body of a dead wizard lying next to a staff. Makaelis, against better judgement, looks at the staff for a moment and grabs it. He feels power travelling through his arm and something inside him is changed. "I crave power above all else, and will do anything to obtain more of it."
As they linger in the hallway Dale senses a malevolent presence coming from the floor below. It seems to be coming from the large statue at the temple center.