After resting for the evening, the party continued to explore the Shrine. Firstly, Tessare searched for secret doors along the walls of the Altar room. Though, as she approached the Altar, a snake again, uncoiled from the Altar and struck her. She didn’t make her fortitude save against the poison and felt sick. The party then raced to her rescue, swords swinging. The party made short work of the snake, and it retreated back to the Altar, where it became part of the carvings. Tessare felt sicker and sicker, until Irizati used his healing skills to stabilize the poison.
The party then searched the samll room off the altar alcove, but found nothing. As Tessare was searching the back wall of the Altar alcove, a ghostly figure offered her a goblet. The goblet was very dirty, but cleaned up Ok. Tessare, trying to work out what it was, filled the goblet with wood shavings and set it alight. When placed upon the altar, nothing happened. However, the party noticed that the stone arch for the entrance, that had fallen to the floor, had reinstated inself at some point. The arch showed some vulture-like beings. The party then decided to proceed to the other exit off the first room in this level. As the last person left the room, the arch again collapsed.
The party proceeded into the first room and down the smaller corridor which emptied out into a room with four alcoves, one on each end wall and two directly ahead. Three of the alcoves had wooden sphinxes within them, and the fourth was filled with rubble. As Raz stepped foot into the room, the carved sphinxes animated and moved to attack. The party leapt to his defence, with Raz, Irizati and Toby holding off two sphinxes while Davor held off the other Sphinx, with Tessare and Phos helping out. The party found it a tough fight with both Raz and Toby badly hurt.
After the last sphinx had fallen into firewood, Tessare cast Detect Magic on the room. The only source of magic was the back wall of one of the alcoves. Both Raz and Toby looked at the wall, but couldn’t see anything unusual. Tessare then confirmed that it was illusion magic, and everyone elected to disbelieve the wall, which worked for everyone except, ironically, Tessare. The party leading a Tessare with eyes shut, then entered the next room.
The next room was filled with misty blue vapours. Upon breathing in the vapours, Phos started acting very strangely, hitting himself with his quarterstaff, injuring himself quite badly. The party reacted, Raz, by sitting on him, and Davor, by disarming him. At this point, the party was attacked by four creatures, who resembled evil Mr Tickles. One got its hand around Irizati’s neck, preventing him from speaking and slowly strangling him. The other attacked Davor, but did not hit. The party then started to attack the creatures, with the exception of Raz, who was still dealing with an irrational Phos. Two rounds later, Tessare also started acting strangely, trying to stab her own party. Raz reacted to this by subduing Phos into unconciousness and pushing Tessare into the room they had just come from, trusting in her inability to disbelieve the illusion to keep the party safe from her. Meanwhile Davor and Toby had sucessfully killed the Choker strangling Irizati, only to have a second Choker get both hands around his neck, choking him unconcious. The Choker then dragged Irizati away to feed on. Davor tried to stop them, and tragically, missed the Choker, hitting Irizati and killing him. All looked bleak for the party, with both Davor and Toby being choked, Toby going unconcious and being dragged back to the nest, Davor making one mighty swing then collapsing. However, then Raz entered the fray, managing to dispach the last of the badly wounded chokers. Raz, the last man standing, then collected the rest of the party, including an unconcious Tessare he found in the corridor and took them all back to the altar room to heal overnight.
After healing the following morning, the party limped back to the Monestary with Irizati’s body. Father Zastoran was unable to Raise Dead, but on description of the goblets from the shrine, asked to see them. He then asked the party to come with him back to the Altar room at the shrine where he lay Irizati on the Altar and poured water from the goblet onto him. As Irizati began to breathe, the goblet shattered.
After a lot of healing and a couple of days of rest, during which Raz tried to clear out the blocked corridor, the party decided to continue the exploration of the Shrine. The party continued though the room with the illiusionary wall and into the Choker room, although the party had covered their mouths with wet clothes and Irizati had given them some magical help, Phos again began acting irratically. The party quickly bound and gagged him and continued on. They proceed through the choker room, which was filled with baths and other cleansing stuff, to a completely ruined scriptoium. When Tessare again detected magic, she detected it on the large plaque at the end of the room depicting Nethys on his river baque. Raz explored the wall and found a secret door, but had no idea of the opening mechanism. Thinking it couldn’t hurt, Tessare cast open/close, and the wall slid silently upwards. Upon the opening of the door, the party could all hear whispered voices, however only Tessare and Phos (who was gagged) could understand what they were saying. They seemed to be asking about who, what and where they were.
Upon entering the rough-hewn corridor, the party noticed a row a statues, their lips moving, and puffs of blue mist emerging from their lips. The corridor led off onto the dark. Toby offered to strip down to just his clothes and run in, investigate and run back. The party agreed, but made the precaution of trying a rope around his waist in case the mist affected him. Toby ran down the corrridor and into a large cavern. Leviating in the centre of the chamber was a large river barque, the same as on the plaque. However, Toby’s attention was drawn by a man in ragged finery regarding him. “Who are you?”, the man demanded. Toby replied with his name and asked the man the same question. The man refused to answer and asked him to leave, the longer Toby was there, the more agitated the man became. Toby left after only a short while.
The party then decided to question the man. After Tessare asked him many questions, the man getting more agitated by the second, they found that the man was of the house of the Falcon, and claimed to be a Cleric of Nethys. However, he keep asking the party to leave as he considered the shrine his home and they were trespassing. When the party wouldn’t leave the man suddenly changed shape into a man/leopard hybrid and attacked the party using a punching dagger and its bite first concentrating on Tessare. The leopard creature seemed to concentrate on a party member, including poor tied up Phos, but not killing them. After taking some damage, the man/leopard ran into the corner of the room and disappeared. Upon investigation the party discovered a swinging wall leading into the Altar room from the small room at the side of the altar alcove.
The party, badly mauled by the were-leopard, retreated back to the monestary.