With the Lucky Leather delivered to all the good little boys and girls of the desert, I took stock of my location, gathered my bearings with my ever trusty astrolabe, and headed back toward the burning embers of the encampment I left earlier.

I then connected with a path snaking it’s way to the temple and climbed up the hill. I traversed some treacherous rock formations and noted some strange tithing bowls next to a rough cut statue of what I’m quite sure was a horse. It was not carved to scale and the artist was a little loose with details. Further I am not a proponent of horses due to some very misfortunate deeds that have taken place in the valley of Nightshade Pass.

The temple loomed in the distance and I was eager to investigate. However, my entry was blocked as there was no bell with which to announce my presence nor a door upon which I could knock.

“A temple without a door? I find myself at a loss.”

There was a formidable rock formation adjacent to the temple, so I did my best to scale it, then repel over. It was in all in vain and I took several severe tumbles for the effort.

“Perhaps the entrance is a subterranean one?” I mused as I made my way around and around the structure looking for a hidden opening. Nothing revealed itself and soon darkness was upon me. The prophetic words of the Master Squire came true as skeletons appeared out of nowhere, ready to stab me in the backside.

“There will be none of that!” I declared as I took control of the melee and did my best to stab them first.

I was quite successful in my initial assaults, but there seemed to be no end to the boney rascals. As soon as one brace of skeletons fell in a clump at my feet, another was on the march toward me.

Higher ground was called for and I scaled the rock formation again. This was a brilliant plan and the fighters were helpless to get me. Alas, they had archers in their ranks and I was soon alight with their flaming arrows.

“Two can play at this deadly game!” I cried as I leapt from my perch and threw my flaming self at them. To add to my web of confusion, I hit the ground with Immolation. The night was alive with the call of skeletons claiming their release. In turn, my pockets were full with the gold and weapons I relieved from them.

Although still fully alive and conscious, my situation had not improved as I was no closer to gaining access to the temple. Searching in the dark yielded no results and more than once I nearly lost an eye to the deadly scrub of the desert.

Settling my bedroll, I took refuge in the strange glow of the horse statue. I had a rejuvenating meal of Corpion tail with lemon wedges I prepared back at The Hollow. I then slept lightly until the dawn, then renewed my search for an entrance.

I tried to follow the wooden stairs, but they seemed to disappear into the rock itself. Getting a good line of sight, I judged where the stairs should be, calculated a few angles, lined up a few points of attack, plotted a trajectory, then jumped onto some rocks toward the back of the structure. So far, my plan was a success.

Choosing my marks carefully, I leapt from one outcropping to the next. There was no path, but I was ascending. With the canyon and a mighty precipice on my left, I hugged the small pathway that seemed to exist. Moving from ledge to ledge like a cat, I managed to meet up with the severely weathered stairs.

It was tricky going, but I was soon scaling toward the top and finally reached the covered tower I had seen from a distance. It was a marvelous view, and had my life not been in jeopardy from the ill-tempered ghost that came out to meet me, I would have quite enjoyed it.

I didn’t even have the opportunity to offer aid to the apparition, or ask him about his plight, as he struck without warning.

“Very well, you leave me no choice but to use the sword! I was going to ask how I could be of assistance and learn your deep and meaningful back story of how you came to be here, but no more!”

And with that, I struck him soundly. Multiple times. Then I struck him again. When I found he was still moving and causing me strife, I struck him again, hurled some fire about the place, rained down an ice field, kicked up a fuss with an earthquake and body slammed the first thing that moved.

Then, for reasons I couldn’t fathom, flowers fell from the sky. I looked around to see if a worthy crowd had gathered to celebrate my stunning victory. I looked for fair maidens throwing their accolades at me, but alas, I was alone with flowers at my feet.

With nothing left to do in this wreck of a temple, which I still couldn’t actually enter, I made my precarious way back down. I then pondered my next move.

“Why would a ghost attack me without provocation at the top of a temple, then throw flowers at me when I was victorious? I know it’s my Achilles heel, but let me think for a moment.”

Then I was struck with an idea.

“To the horses! Horses love flowers!”


A fetching temple off in the distance. I believe I will give a knock a say hello.


Quite a festive view up here. The stairs could use some work and putting in a door would be awfully handy.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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