“Your lack of faith is evident priests.” Maruc said dismissively, searching their frightened eyes. “If you believe in anything beyond your weak flesh you will follow us into the vault and lend us your aid. But I suspect you will fail not only yourselves but your god. If you wish to be of any service do not flee far from here, for we may need healing on our return.”
“We shall wait outside and watch for your return,” said a priest with shame and fright in his voice. The pair of Hutaakans retreated quickly away to a short distance away.
“Come friends let us see what horrors lie below.” Withdrawing his lightstone, Maruc boldly stepped into the archway and allowed his gaze to become accustomed to the gloom.
Miklos was less eager to enter but allowing the bulky woodsman to go before him, he followed behind.
“Rather lovely, isn’t it,” Hasan mused, taking a final peak at the temple’s facade that filled with gentle sworls, intersecting angles and the occasional hints of centuries-old pigments. “You really should think about painting it again,” he started to complain to the Hutakaa, then remembered that they had been too frightened to enter. He joined Maruc in crossing the threshold. The elf stood quietly and waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness.
Standing at the top of the stairs Ludo thought the Vault looked and felt like a tomb. He shivered and followed Miklos and Stephan down the stairs, At the bottom he muttered, “This place has the feel of death, tread carefully”. Fishing into his pack, he pulled out and lit a torch.
With the priest and elf in the lead, Feldard knew he’d be best served guarding the party’s backs, so he took up his rearguard position and kept watchful eye behind as the group entered the shrine. His dwarven eye for stonework took in the details of the shrines structure.
The art inside the shrine was of the same style as other Hutaakan relics, but the content was different from any other works they had seen. The interior walls were a panoramic the Hutaakan valley with a large temple in its center. The walls were split into two themes. To one side of the temple, the valley was bright and glorious. It featured an elf bearing a magic rod, riding upon a golden dragon into the valley toward a large Hutaakan temple. The other half was dark and wretched, with undead creeping everywhere across the landscape. In the center of the dark half of the valley, diametrically opposed to the elf, was a dark figure, entirely depicted as a black silhouette.
Stephan was not sure whether or not it was acceptable for him to draw his sword. Despite this place being a shrine, it nonetheless held a great sense of foreboding. He drew his sword taking his place among his comrades.
Miklos felt a tingling sensation emanating from the rod. It was ready to fulfill its purpose.