Sloane's new friend, the recently hatched lizard "Tank" causes something of a stir among the children within the town; "That's a funny looking dog!"
The characters visit Raene's hardware store and soon enter into negotiation with the store's owner; he his happy to buy their mundane goods and offers additional gold if the party if they take their funds in store credit (which they accept).
It seems Raene also trades in more unusual goods, usually selling them on through merchant contacts who trade with the bigger cities in the west. The party inquire if he has anything available; and he shows them an (allegedly) magic dagger, and a small potion pouch containing 3 unidentified potions.
|Picture by aquelion (Deviant Art) (Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)|
The party mention they have a magical necklace and some blank scrollstone; Raene is interested in the latter and offers to trade it for his potions. The party decide to think on the offer.
Tank makes something of a nuisance of himself in the store; Raene mentions that some previous adventurers he'd met had explored an odd stone mound some distance north of the Dark Eye hills and they had described a set of carvings on the side of the mound including one which looked like the odd little lizard.
The party decide to investigate this site, and having used some of their new store credit to fill their packs with trail rations they head off for fresh adventure.
The mound is easily located. It's an odd equilateral triangular shaped structure, 40' long on each side. A 10' wide path leads from ground level up one face to a height of 10; before it changes direction and travels up another 10' in height up along the second face. It changes direction and rises a further 10 along the third side before ending in a stone arch.
On the sides of the stone structure are inscribed pictograms of Lizard Men accompanied by odd lizards; sure enough there are one or two which look like Tank. The stones themselves look old but are in immaculate condition, as if something is allowing them to resist the effects of aging and weathering.
The party climb the path and approach the arch; as Tank nears there is a flashing of light and a mirror like substance fills the archway. As Tank backs away the mirror-effect disappears. Re-establishing this strange phenomenon, the party investigate and then pass through...
... To reappear in an odd triangular shaped stone chamber. They have appeared through an arch in one corner, whilst two similar arches reside in the other corners. Two short corridors branch off from the chamber and within each appear a trio of lizard-like statues, although the appear to be very life like as opposed to stone.
|Picture by thejagman22 (Deviant Art) (Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)|
As Tank moves away from the entrance gate, the mirror-effect disappears. Experimentation with the other arches shows one activates in a similar matter to the first, whilst the third gateway does not activate at all; the lintel stone at the top of the arch appears to be cracked, the only sign of damage within the chamber.
The party travel through the second gate and appear atop a second stone mound, seemingly identical to the first, albeit in a very different location. This mound is within a verdant swamp-like area; near the bottom of the stone structure are a number of primitive huts inhabited by a number of lizard men.
As the party descend the lizard men approach including a wizened elder; he welcomes them in broken Common, seemingly in awe of the "Ancient One's servant" (Tank), and he tells them the story of the old war between the Ancient Ones and a terrible evil. He sees the arrival of the party as a great portent and omen as he knows that the Evil has been rising nearby!