After our party dispatched the few lizardmen that attacked us, we examined the main area of the temple. Amon was more interested in finding his "pet" dragon rather than search the rooms. Throughout the main rooms we found signs that the lizard folk were worshipping a dragon. After a brief search of the main floor and some of the outer rooms, we came across a throne room. Two, rather large reptilian beasts assaulted our group. Grushnak quickly dispatched the first brute and a combined attack from Jansyn and the others made quick work of the other beast. Then from behind the throne, a hunched over and elderly looking lizardman shaman approached us, supporting himself on his staff. Keylth, ever on guard, used her magiks to pull the shamans staff from his staff, causing him to topple to the floor.
We soon learned that he spoke common and he told us that there was a black dragon who lives below the temple and that their leader, Vethka, was leading her people to worship this foul beast. He said that this is the reason for the lizardmen's recent turn in becoming more aggressive. He asked that we find Vethka and kill her so that his clan can go back to their own way of life.
We also found a nice little treasure trove in the throne room. A couple of scrolls, jewelry and some gems. We also came across a golden shield that looked untarnished. Since I am the only one in the party who is trained in using a shield in combat, I decided to swap it with the current iron shield I had been carrying. Inscribed upon the shield is a tree that appeared to grow an apple. To our astonishment, the apple grew from the shield and Grushnak plucked it and took a bite. As soon as he bit into the fruit, some of the wounds he had suffered in the attack healed themselves and he felt rejuvenated. It appears that my newly acquired shield is also capable of producing a healing fruit once per day. Praise be to Istishea for sending me this gift!
The elder shaman gave us directions to the lower levels and told us that we could find Vethka down there. As we proceeded along the path we came across a large room with stairways leading further down and the sounds of drums could be heard coming from down that path. There also was a set of doors across from the way we entered and we decided that it would make sense to clear that room before we headed down the stairway, just to make sure that nothing would be sneaking up on us. Upon opening the door we espied the missing young dragon, covered in a grey ooze. While I would have enjoyed watching the little beastie get digested by the ooze, Amon started to attack the ooze in order to drive it off. After a few magical attacks we were able to separate the ooze from the dragon and extract the dragon from the room. It appeared that Amon was conversing with the beast in some sort of telepathic manner. Of what they said is unknown, but I still don't trust it.
As we made our way down the staircase, the drums and chanting grew louder. Amon was the first to reach the bottom of the stairway and it opened out into a large cave grotto that had a river running through a portion of it and off to one side we spied Vethka leading a group of lizardmen in some sort of ritual. As the rest of us started to make our way into the cave, Vethka casted a large purple cloud that started to spread out towards us. It quickly enveloped myself, Grishnak and Keylth and the smell of the cloud caused us to retch. Once the effects wore off, Keylth and myself launched a barrage of magiks at the lizard folk while Jansyn charged the group of lizardmen. Grushnak held back, making sure that no harm befell Keylth and Velos, the craven coward, decided to sit this fight out. After a few minutes of melee, we dispatched the lizardmen except for Vethka. Apparently she used some sort of illusion to whisk herself away from the main group during the fight. As we paused to catch our breath and take stock of any wounds we took, I noticed that Amon and his little pet had disappeared. Someone thought they had seen the little beast drag Amon into the river. Curse his foolishness for trying to domestic such an evil creature. Without hesitation, I dove into the frigid waters to search for our companion. The rapids were strong and I was thrashed about the rocks but I could find no sign of Amon. The river soon deposited me in a large pool in another part of the cave. It must have also connected to another part of the caves, for my companions had followed a path that lead to the same area.
Jansyn discovered that Amon was in another grotto, alive but knocked out. As everyone gathered around, we saw that our guide, Maechen, had grasped the little dragon by its throat, with her sword poised to end its life. Suddenly, the waters churned as a large black dragon surfaced from the waters and commanded Maechen to let go of her spawn. Maechen said that she would kill the young dragon unless the mother would turn over the key from the alter. What she was talking about made no sense to us. What key? what alter? None of this made any sense. The dragon agreed that she could have the key as long as no harm befell her child. The dragon directed me to an alter then the grotto where Amon was passed out. With a quick prayer and a blessing of water upon the alter, a key soon appeared. I grabbed the key and handed it over to Maechen. She let go of the dragon and quickly ran out of the room. We gathered Amon and also headed back up the way we came in and made our way out of the temple.
It was late in the day and rather than risk further injury or encounters, we decided to make camp back at the ruins of the manor where Mama Booga and he clan were camped. So it appears that Maechen was not who she claimed she was, or maybe the real Maechen was long dead and the person we were following was some sort of doppleganger working for the Red Wizards of Thay. We will soon head back to Cromm's Keep and inform Sir Isteval of our findings. For if one of the guard at Cromm's Keep was not whom we thought she was, maybe there are more… This is most troubling indeed.
No doubt the Red Wizards are behind all of this and I will do everything in my power to put a stop to their plans.