Difficulty: Level 10 In the tavern, NAME overheard other heroes talk of the Temple of the Four Elements. Located in the middle of a treacherous swamp, they say it is a true trial of an adventurer's skill. It also holds untold treasures -- so much wealth that hundreds of adventurers could loot it and still there would be plenty.
NAME realized that the temple was actually at the bottom of the lake! He/She swam down and into the entrance. There was air trapped inside, and NAME surfaced inside a cavernous chamber. Each corner of the chamber had a doorway to the deeper recesses of the temple. In the center of the room was a huge cylindrical pillar with strange writing carved around the top and bottom of it. NAME chose a doorway and set off for more adventure.
When NAME got back to the pillar in the center of the temple it had changed dramatically. The pillar had opened up to reveal a stairway down into the depths of the temple. He/She descended slowly down the polished stone stairs.
The floor of the room in the southeast corner of the temple was littered with stone tiles. On one side each had a picture, and on the other some irregular protrusions. There were several clusters of holes in the walls. The pictures seemed to tell a story, if only they could be arranged the right way.
For a genius like NAME it was a simple task. He/She got it right on the first try, pushing each tile into the wall in the right place. As a whole, they illustrated a figure pushing three gems into walls in different rooms. After that a door appeared in a large cylindrical pillar just like the one in the cavernous room where NAME first entered the temple.
NAME was able to get all the tiles into the wall in the right order, but only with a lot of trial and error. It was very painful trial and error, as each time he/she got one wrong, it triggered a trap that shocked NAME with an electric charge. The tiles illustrated a figure pushing three gems into walls in different rooms. After that, a door appeared in a large cylindrical pillar just like the one in the cavernous room where NAME first entered the temple.
Encounter 10: Story Encounter 2 Text
In the northeast corner of the temple, NAME found a room with no floor. Instead there were wobbly platforms balanced above murky water. NAME was sure he/she saw something moving down there. On the other side of the room was a large dull green cut gemstone set into the wall.
NAME nimbly hopped from platform to platform to reach the other side. When he/she pushed on the gem with both hands, it slid back and became lit up from behind by a magical light source. It was quite beautiful, at least until NAME realized the gem was now free for the taking.
NAME tried to cross the platforms carefully, but they were far too wobbly and he/she slid off into the water below. Swimming frantically, he/she made it to a half-rotted rope ladder on the far side, but not before getting bit several times by some very angry (or hungry) fish in the foul pool. When he/she pushed on the gem with both hands, it slid back and became lit up from behind by a magical light source. It was quite beautiful.
Encounter 12: Story Encounter 3 Text
In the northwest corner of the temple, NAME found an very old man sitting on a ratty but well-stuffed cushion in an otherwise featureless room. There was a large dull blue cut gemstone set into the wall on the far side. The man appeared to be sleeping at first, but he opened his eyes and stared at NAME expectantly.
With his/her most appealing smile, NAME greeted the old man and offered to share with him some food and water. He/she talked to the man at length about all manner of things, entertaining him for almost an hour. Finally the old man asked him/her why he/she had not yet mentioned the gem in the wall yet. NAME told him that he had clearly waited patiently here for a long time and the least he/she could do was be patient in return. The old man got up and activated the gem by pushing it into the wall, then offered NAME some gifts as thanks for the stimulating conversation.
NAME tried to sweet-talk the man into explaining how the gem worked, but he became angry and violent. He was quite strong for his age -- no match for NAME, but still able to dish out almost as good as he got. After defeating him, NAME inspected the gem. When he/she pushed on the gem with both hands it slid back and became lit from behind by a magical light source. It was quite beautiful.
Encounter 14: Story Encounter 4 Text
The southwest corner of the temple was totally overgrown with vines. The walls of the room in that corner were half-dismantled by the roots, branches, and trunks of plants. The gem NAME expected to see here was nowhere to be found. There were some pretty flowers of yellow, pink, and purple, however.
He/She wisely took his/her time examining the plants. By giving them the respect all life should be afforded, he/she found that they responded to touch and words more than any plants he/she had encountered before. With gentle coaxing, NAME got the vines to part on the one wall that was still intact to reveal the clear gem. It sparkled brilliantly once activated, and NAME heard a grinding sound emanating from the center of the temple. He/She grabbed the gem and hurried on.
Frustrated, he/she began hacking away at the plants to clear them away and find the gem. To his/her surprise they began lashing back at him/her, biting him/her with strange serrated seed-pod looking things. Eventually he/she found the clear gem behind a bunch of thick vines and pushed it in to activate it, leading to a grinding sound emanating from the center of the temple. NAME grabbed the gem and hurried on.
Encounter 16: Final Encounter Text
At the far end of a narrow passageway, NAME could see a glittering treasure. As he/she began down the passage the temperature increased rapidly. Soon sweat was pouring down his/her face.
The heat was unbearable, but NAME found a way to bear it. His/Her resistance to heat had been built up through many previous adventures. Dragon breath, lava pits, spicy pork at the Dancing Donkey Inn back in town . . . to his/her relief, the chamber with the treasure it was much cooler. It was also filled with valuables.
The heat was unbearable, and NAME found he/she could only get halfway down the passageway before he/she was forced to turn back. To come all this way and be defeated by the heat was pretty embarrassing, so when he/she got back to town he/she made up a story about fierce warring cults that overran every corner of the temple. He/She made sure to steal some decorated axes off the walls of the main chamber to corroborate his/her story and to sell to easily deceived collectors of tribal artifacts.