The spiderlike automaton collapses in a screech of metal and stone, and the party finds themselves alone, in the shadow of the great Lost City of Garu. Crumbled stone buildings and huge pyramids thousands of years old stretch out before them.
Lykourgos, Jevel, Haleth, and Lalae set off exploring, walking across the wide plaza that makes up the western half of the city to reach the smaller of the two main pyramids. On the pyramid’s northeastern corner, they encounter another automaton. The battle goes smoothly, but in a stroke of tremendous bad luck, Jevel is crushed by the collapsing creature. Deep underground, the party relies on their own skills to restore Jevel’s health, camped in the entrance to the small pyramid.
Once they are prepared, they light torches and descend into the pyramid, down a steep stair and a sloping hallway. They encounter a winding pit in the corner of the first large chamber, and drop a rock to see how far it goes. The splash at the end sets Jevel on edge. He really hates water…a lot.
But the party continues on down the main corridor. The descend another steep stair, and come to a corridor lined with doors covered in elaborate hieroglyphs. Lykourgos carefully checks for traps, setting them off without injury one by one, and they are able to enter three of the four rooms. Their findings only lend to the mystery.
Each room contains an elaborate sarcophagus, engraved with dramatic scenes and surrounded by funerary urns. The party finds a silver sarcophagus with a picture of human sacrifice on its lid: a man is having his heart removed. The skeleton inside has striking crystal teeth. In another room, a heavy turquoise sarcophagus, sealed with a sophisticated lock, shows a scene of a woman wearing a long robe and an intricate crown, and the skeleton inside is encrusted with turquoise.
The final sarcophagus is gold, showing an image of a warrior pointing a golden spear at a swarm of spiders. After a tense moment as Lykourgos disarms the trap, he and Jevel lift the lid, to find it filled with thousands of spiders. It turns out the spiders are gold, covered in a lifelike black lacquer. The skeleton inside is plain, unadorned, aside from being buried in thousands of spiders.
The final corridor, stretching deeper into the earth, is painted a bright crimson, but quickly fades when it is exposed to the outside air. A small antechamber contains dozens of urns filled with crystal dust and ancient wine. Jevel takes one of the wine bottles, saving it for later, against the admonitions of the rest of the crew. The largest urn is filled with hundreds of squirming, crystal-encrusted spiders. Lykourgos scrapes some crystal off of one, and finds that it stops moving. The party collects some of these spiders and moves on.
At the end of the corridor there is a mural, fading into dust as the outside air wreaks havoc. But it is still clear enough to make out the scene: An egg sits atop a large mountain, and from this egg walks a precession of men, as well as large spiders. They cross a deep forest, and reach a city with two pyramids. The mural raises more questions than answers:
- What is the mountain in the picture?
- Who were these people, and how were they connected to the spiders?
- If the city in the painting is, in fact, Garu, how did it come to be underground?
- Does the mural show a ritual? Or is it an event? Or maybe even a myth.
Tired, with a lot to think on, the explorers turn to leave the pyramid.