Beneath the fire-crowned mountains of Zhongdao…
As the party continued their exploration of the shrine, the party began to make their way through the doors in the dining hall they had entered.
Their first encounter with a locked door ended differently than Gin would have liked, with a dart embedded in his yeti-hide coat. The corridor the first door opened into ended in another dead-end, with another dragon engraving.
The second door was not likewise trapped, but opened into an unfinished, broken-down section of the shrine, with winding, wending corridors that lead in bending passageways through the earth.
As they traveled, they came across a number of unusual discoveries. They found a tunnel, appearing to be cut into the corridor, which they determined not to crawl within to investigate. Further along, a fallen-in section of the corridor dropped deep down into the mountain, where the grinding and oppressive heat of magma flow reached up into the corridor.
Further along, the party encountered both a trap-door, leading to the first room they had found within the shrine, and a series of engravings on the wall. Written in Draconic, it formed a message in scrambled letters.
Unable to decipher it to begin with, the party moved forward again, following the last doorway they had found, and stealthily looking into a very curious room. Within, a number of fire sprites danced in a circle, around a scribed summoning circle and a ring of standing stones. As Ivellios attempted to communicate, the creatures screeched and scowled at him, claiming that fire would consume the world, and the balance had been broken. As Ivellios slowly backed out of the room, the creatures began to follow after, and only Grozem holding the door shut kept them from following after.
The party backed away, and when the door opened, a horde of the creatures spilled out. While they were quickly put out with a combination of blows and elemental magic, the one survivor offered little further information.
Moving deeper still, the party found another engraving, this of the traditional staff of a shrine maiden, with a small bowl-shaped indentation beneath it. The party also finished their deciphering of the text they’d found:
Bring Fire to the Brothers and Water to the Sisters; The Passage will open the one who Sees themselves True