Whispers of Belorai

Long Live the Queen

I’m not sure how long we were wandering in that accursed desert, but it felt like weeks. The sands held many mysteries, such as the deep thrumming constantly emanating from the ground. Also, with all of our lost wandering, why had we not reached a point where we could see the mountains surrounding the desert? But these questions no longer mattered to us. All we cared about was putting one foot in front of the other in hopes of finding something other than sand. Eventually, when we had almost died of thirst, we came upon an oasis. Unlike the many other pools of water we had “seen” in the sands, this one was no mere illusion. We spent the next couple of days resting and rehydrating, but although death was no longer imminent, I could still see no way out of this accursed sea of sand. However, while exploring the oasis, we came upon a strange magical device. Seloma, being the most knowledgeable about these things, activated the device, and it pointed us in a direction. Having no better leads, we went where the device lead us and eventually came upon a large stone platform. Brushing aside the sand, we found a hatch in the center, leading to some stairs down. The stairs led to a strange underground building. Each level consisted of a circular hallway lined with seemingly identical rooms, with a set of stairs leading downwards and towards the center of the circle. A strange chittering noise could be heard throughout the halls. The source of this noise did not remain a mystery for long, and once we reached the third floor we were attacked by a swarm of enormous ants! Although many in the party were thrown into a panic, I was secretly grateful to be able to swing my trusty blades once again. We slew the insects, but the physical exertion reminded us of our intense hunger. I almost devoured the ants raw, until someone suggested that we cook them first. Being full of both food and water for the first time in at least a week, we pushed onwards, our spirits renewed. Upon reaching the center of the building, we entered an enormous room and found a gargantuan ant queen nesting within. I realized that this must be the “queen” that was spoken of in the note we received. Having been given a cursory knowledge of insect hive minds by my former master, I knew that if we killed the queen, the rest of the colony would be in disarray. I had Seloma teleport me into the air above the queen, and I delivered a devastating blow upon her back, imbedding my naginata in her chitin. I was unable to keep my grip once the strike had landed, and I tumbled from the queens back onto the ground below. Luckily, Kam had blessed me with bird-like bones, so I sustained minimal damage. Raiju, seeing his opportunity, leapt onto the queens back, using the handle of my naginata as a handhold. It took him a few tries, but eventually, he was able to drive his blade into the queen’s neck, killing her. I was somewhat disappointed that the final blow was not mine, but still satisfied that I had done my part in defeating this powerful enemy. The rest of the ants began twitching on the ground, incapacitated. In the center of the room, we discovered a large crystal floating above a hole that was exactly the right shape to hold the crystal. Having been adventurers long enough to know what this meant, we placed the crystal into the hole. Loud grinding noises could be heard, and the building inverted itself, becoming a stepped, conical structure, leaving us standing at the top. Water began to flow from the top and filled pools at the base. Once the transformation was complete, a new entrance to the building was revealed. Inside, we found a strange disk and four more devices similar to the one we found in the oasis, all pointing in different directions. Does that mean there are four more buildings similar to this one? What secrets will we find within?

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bthagedorn

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