Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (69)

    Miyara says that now would be a good time to decipher the scrolls.  Unfortunately Goru tells us that the Queen will not let him decipher them.  Miyara then asks the Queen if she had any idea where the tunnels connecting the holds might be, but they were gone long before her time.
    Suddenly there is a low rumbling and the earth shakes a little.
    Miyara thinks of the way we came in, where we have not yet looked for the dwarven bones.  It might not in fact be crawling with dwarven defenders -- they may all be at the main entrance.
    Miyara suggests that everyone else should go up to the top, possibly out, while she goes through into the tunnel.  Then, if nothing collapses, we could come back in.  I suggest that I do it, but Miyara points out that I have to return back home, eventually.
    After some discussion, I decide to leap through the wall anyway, but as I do the Queen lets out a girlish squeal.  I stop myself, believing I have made her reveal that she actually knows something.
    Goru says, "We've had a vision."  He says that we would all be crushed under a mountain, except they would be buried in a commoner's body.  While they hold the sogin roku of stone, they would not be harmed by the fall.  He does not believe that the trap is triggered by diving through the hole, but that would result from that course of action.  It was not triggered by the trap here, but that path would lead to the mountain falling on us in this lake room.
    Queen suddenly looks at Miyara and says she wants her to do the burial ritual right now.  She says that she will do the ritual, but she need Miyara's help.
    A later aside from Goru says he believes she wants to be buried her way rather than be entombed under a mountain.
    So we head to the other entrance to the temple.
    The Queen says she hasn't done this before.  She's seen it done, but not the details.  So she may make mistakes, and we are to contribute if we have ideas.  To start, we all put on the robes and carry the staff associated with it.  Miyara then shows the Queen the scroll from the ladder, which tells us how to pass through free from taint.  I mention the stone that was worn through touching, that might match part of the scroll, and it had runes on it, which could well be the runes we must speak.
    We must think pure thoughts.  I think of a world without barbarians.
    We descend the stairs to the octagonal room with the block of stone.  It is clear that the stone has been worn with lots of people touching it.
    The Queen can read the runes.  She says she needs to lie on the stone, and the rest of us should walk around the stone reverently chanting appropriately.  She climbs on the table and lies down on her back, and closes her eyes.
    We walk around reverently, even the barbarians.  We walk around eight times touching the stone.
    The Queen asks if we are done.  She climbs down, and goes over to the runes, walking around to decipher them.  She tells Hosei to stand in one place, pointing at a shape that might not be a rune but a symbol, and he is to touch it when she indicates.  She then tells me to do a similar thing at a different symbol, and Miyara at another.  The three of us are spaced equally around the stone, and there are runes scattered and connecting the three marks.
    She starts reading the runes, and as she reaches the end of each phrase points at one of us to touch our symbol.  There is a flickering from the silver inlay in the runes, but that is all.  The Queen believes we are done.
    We had reset the trap, so Pireseri disables it again.  We go down to the temple.
    The temple is as Pireseri had described it.  In the middle of the room the stone dias stands, with a large block of black rock on it.  The edges of the block are carved with arcane dwarvish runes and symbols.  At least corner are gargoyles.  At either end is an ornate stone throne facing away from the block.  The North is elaoboratelky carved, the south is place.  There are remains of orcs and furniture, charred as if an explosion.  THere are nine hangings, three of which have fallen.
    We will enter the room, someone will volunteer to be the dead person, and we will do the ritual.  If we have not properly done the ritual, we will enter the room and die.  This is a preburial ritual -- there need not be a dead person -- but it may be frightening for the dead person.  Miyara and I both volunteer, but Miyara overrules me and makes me promise that if she dies, the statue must get home.
    We all step into the room.  There is a chorus of whispers racing around the room, as if a lot of spirits were alerted to our presence and discussed it in soft tones.  But after a moment, the whispers fade and all is quiet.
    The Queen indicates Miyara to sit in the Northern throne.  She does so.  The Queen takes up position next to the side of the block, and indicates the rest of us are to array ourselves around the room.  She says that whatever happens, we are not to fight it.
    She begins to read from the scrolls.  As she does, the gargoyles creak into life and move to the northern throne.  They take firm hold of her and lay her carefully on the block, head to the south, and stand back at the four corners.
    The Queen reads the second scroll, the one that we translated partially.  The biggest fire elemental we could imagine appears on the top of the stone engulfing Miyara.  The Queen reaches the end of the scroll, and stares at it in surprise, then looks around in horror as the elemental begins to turn towards her.  She begins to back away, dropping the scrolls, and clearly reacting in fear and terror.  The elemental moves menacingly towards her.
    I say that she said not to fight it.
    Goru looks straight at Ashu and says "Stop it.  Use the stone and stop it."  Apparently he does so, then Goru tells Ashu to tell it to continue the ritual.  It does.
    The Queen steps back again.  The elemental begins flaming up.  Miyara lets out a small scream, but otherwise remains still and controlled.  The elemental does not react, burning for a few more minutes, then very slowly going smaller until it vanishes.
    The Queen begins reading the third scroll.  The gargoyles move again, pick up Miyara, and firmly but reverently place her on the southern throne and take up guard around that chair.
    We stand still for fifteen minutes.  The doors to the lake swing open, and the gargoyles pick up Miyara and carry her up the stairs to the lake, and out to the throne where they place her.  The Queen leads us after them.
    The Queen stands directly in front of the throne outside the gargoyle perimeter, and says almost in a whisper to Miyara, "Don't resist."  Her spirit moves into Miyara.
    ((At first it's clear there's a presence within her telling her what to do, but soon it fades away.  As it's almost gone, a slight whisper says "Thank you."))
    Goru says she is gone, and Miyara indicates so.  The gargoyles are still there, however, and Miyara does not move.
    We think the body is to sit on the throne for a day or three, according to what we read.  We settle down for the vigil.
    Hosei suggests that if we put away the robes, the gargoyles might return to their posts.  That seems like a good idea, and we do so.
    ((Suddenly the gargoyles in unison turn and walk down into the temple, close the doors behind them, and return to their posts.))
    I suggest to Hosei that we could not go through the temple this time, but should go the mundane way into the lake room.  We tell Miyara that the gargoyles have gone, and she stands up from the throne.  Nothing happens.
    Now perhaps we can enter a tomb in safety.  Miyara leads us to the hole in the rock, and she asks Hosei if the magic has changed.  He says the magic is the same down the tunnel, trap or blessing, but what has changed is some powerful magic once pervaded this whole room that is no longer here.
    Miyara climbs through the hole.  A lightning bolt crashes down the hallway, smashing into her and blowing the rocks from the doorway into pieces.  It hurts several of us, but not badly.
    We enter the hallway.  Ahead there is is a passage that leads to stairs down.  Rabena treats Miyara before we continue.

    We go down the hallway with usual positions and precautions.  I lead with Pireseri, and Hosei to tell us of magic problems.  I am under orders to stop if Pireseri stops.
    We proceed to the stairs, which go down about twenty feet, and the passage goes another thirty or so feet where it ends in a door.  We move on towards the door.
    As soon as my foot touches the floor beyond the stairs, another lightning bolt crashes down the corridor.  All of us are hurt to some extent or another.  I treat my wounds while Rabena moves through the group, working her skills.  Miyara and Ashu are the worst hurt, and still very weak, but we move on anyway before a trap could reset.  Ashu, in fact, passes out;  Goru carries him.
    The large stone door has a roaring lion's head carved into it.  Hosei believes this is the source of the lightning bolts.  Pireseri says it is neither locked nor trapped.  I open the door.
    The octagonal room has bodies on biers around six walls, and on the final is an opening into a room beyond that appears to contain a single bier in the center of the room.
    I bow respectfully.  Hosei tells us there is magic on each bier, but probably not traps.  Pireseri sees no traps.
    I step in, moving reverently.  The bodies are all dwarven in armor, all richly accoutered.  They are ancient and dehydrated but not rotted or decayed.  The next room is square, and in the middle is a single bier upon which rests another armored dwarf, wearing the neck band of royalty like the others.  He has an iron crown on his head.
    I bow reverently and move into the final room.  I walk around the room, carefully with head bowed, to see if the crown has a sogin roku glowing.  It is a simple iron crown.  I ask Goru to read the names, and when he gets to the king, his name is not Hargrim but Hrada.  Goru does not know the name.
    I apologize for disturbing them, and back out of the two rooms, bowing all the way.

    We leave quickly up the corridor.  Apparently Hargrim is in the room labelled Hargrim, much to our confusion.  We head to the lake room, closing the door behind us.
    Here we rest to recover before being subject to the next set of traps.