The characters have gained entrance to the Temple of the Lake. An ominous, powerful thumping can be felt as they approach.
The Temple is composed a of white marble, that glows softly in Cleon’s innate light, the floor is covered in dust, with only faint tracks erasing it. The walls hang with crumbling tapestries, faded beyond recognition. As they traverse through the temple’s halls, approaching it’s center, the heartbeat thumping gets stronger and stronger. At the doors of the Temple’s sanctum the heartbeat sound is so great that it blocks out all other sound, more now a wave of energy than sound. Upon opening the door they see a disturbing scene:
There is large octagonal rune-structure on the floor, inscribed inside is circle of pale seamless stone almost 20 ft in diameter. Rising from the stone circle a cylinder composed of a black, mirror-like substance, slightly translucent, and rippling like a lake in a hailstorm. Briefly, at the origins of the ripples, black smoke spreads over the cylinder. Where the cylinder meets the ceiling, almost 40 feet above, a mirror image of the runes and the pale circle can be seen. Afterimages of a large shadowy form can seen rushing to escape the cylinder of dark water. A slow heavy beat rushes outward in a powerful wave about once a second, it cannot be heard but only felt. At each of the eight corners of the rune a small reptilian daemon is seated, and appear to be chanting. Cleon recognizes them as Sarinji.
Both Aaron and Cleon come to the conclusion that they must be stopped, and immediately begin attacking. The creatures fall swiftly beneath Aaron’s arrows and Cleon’s mental powers. Only a few attempt to retaliate, casting strange hunger and thirst inducing magics on the pair. As each falls a portion rune structure flickers out, and begins to absorb the blood of the fallen daemon. With all but three daemons slain, three gigantic arms of blackness shoot out from the column of dark water, crushing the remaining daemons, their blood absorbing into the fading rune. When the last light of the rune flickers out, the column explodes into black smoke. Aaron is blind, Cleon’s innate light being totally suppressed. Cleon can see a smooth skinned, lithe giant crouched down on one knee in the center of the circle. A terrible voice speaks to their minds “Thank you.” “I will repay each of you with one boon. What is you request, Aaron Sigmal?”
Aaron requests “Make me a god.”
“That is beyond my power, is there any other thing you desire?”
“Immortatility.” Aaron says, confident in his answer.
“Done.” the voice replies.
“And for you, Cleon? What would you ask of me?”
“The power to dominate entire civilizations with my mind alone.” Cleon answers, a bit less sure than his companion.
The being vanishes dissolving into mist.
Cleon and Aaron are both struck down, forced into unconsciousness by extreme pain.
Upon awaking they note that each now has a glowing red symbol branded on their foreheads, but with sense of no time they disembark from the rear of the Temple. They quickly discover another hidden stair, leading down to Waystone Gate, an ancient relic, allowing instantaneous travel to a specific location. They step in the circle of obsidian columns, and are moved to a mountain-top. They arrive nauseated, unseated by this form of travel, but this doesn’t stop them from realizing that return is impossible, the stone columns of this Waystone Gate are damaged, and unfunctional. They begin to make their way down the mountain, headed towards an endless, impenetrable jungle. After an exhausting eight hour climb down, as they are not used to these altitudes, they make camp, halfway down the mountain. Aaron wakes from his trance, surprised to find his wounds show no sign healing. Cleon remains blissfully unaware in deep sleep. Aaron waits for dawn, contemplating what has happened to them, huddled next to his pyrolith for warmth…