Treygor, Elda and Morstor trudged over the sands. They were tired, hungry and Treygor ever the canny barbarian feared that his companions were beginning to suffer adversely the effects of the journey thorough the never ending desert. Elda in particular was still shaky after the fight with the blasphemous giant thing that had ambushed them at the oasis a couple of hours ago. This journey had taken the thief well beyond her comfort zone of lifting purses and threatening shop keepers in the nearby city of Arestor. Morstor, the magician, remained cold and unreadable. Certainly the worm hadn’t fazed him. After Treygor and Elda had slain the beast, he had calmly stepped forward and harvested various body parts for his “magical researches”. The stench had been terrible and Treygor hoped that the sorcerer would be more use when they reached their destination.
Then the wind whipped up again. A blasting wind that grinded razor sharp sand and shards of rock into their exposed flesh. These evil winds had hounded them ever since they had set out over desert towards their goal. Morstor said they were the “Suicidal Winds of Zondos”, an ancient curse that was invoked by even setting out towards the temple. After loosing the mules and a suffering a myriad of small cuts they had learnt to wrap up “desert style” Treygor saw them as yet another evil magic that he could physically beat. Elda merely cowered under her cloak and muttered something about the payout being worth it. This time the winds lasted but a brief but savage moment, like a final goodbye, for they had reached the summit of the last ridge of sand before their destination.
The ancient temple a baleful magnificence of vast ruined splendor wrecked in some magical battle millennia ago, untouched by the viscous winds, squatted on the plain before them. Treygor re-examined his motives for coming here and wondered once more if Morstor had cast some malign magic which had befuddled his reasoning. He had hooked up with Elda in Arestor and was busy engaging in a mini-crime spree across the city, when they had broken into Morstor’s house in the dead of night. They had heard tales of a local sorcerer and his ill gotten gold, and decided in to liberate it. Instead they found the dread sorcerer aware and ready for them and found themselves trapped in a magic circle like some demon summoned from the Otherworld. Morstor had heard of the infamous duo and had deliberately lured them to his mansion to make them a proposition. Treygor was still hazy about the specifics of the deal, but it involved the magician guiding them to the lost temple of Zondos and them being able to take the gold and riches of that place, while Morstor was after ‘something’ lost in that pit of hell many thousands of years ago. What that ‘something’ was Treygor had decided to deal with when the time came. What little he knew of Morstor, indicated it would not be a good thing.
Ever the man of action, he stilled his thoughts as they traversed the shattered slabs of stone that surrounded the temple. What ever happened in that ancient battle, it was like some giant fist had descended from the sky and reapeatly pounded the structure into the ground. Morstor took the lead, and the map inscribed upon a piece of cured human flesh was consulted again, as he led them through the maze of broken stones. Eventually they came to it. An large arch of ancient construction, with demonic frescos of Serpentmen whipping, slaying and eating apemen in a scene of savage joy. “You never told me this was a temple of Serpentmen” Tregor rumbed. “You never asked” Morstor evilly smiled back. “Lets get this over with, I don’t feel good about this place” Elda pleaded breaking the deadlock between the two men.
With swords and spell readied they entered the gapping maw of the black portal.
Something in the black darkness shifted in anticipation.
[a bit of gaming fiction from a book I’m working on, full details soon 😉 ]