The party spent an uncomfortable yet relatively safe night in the chapel of Ert in the depths of the Forbidden City underground. Awakening the next morning, the party talked amongst themselves until finally choosing the secret passage in one corner of the chapel as their way further into the dungeon. There were three other ways to go (North, South, or outside the chapel a hallway to the north and west) but upon examining the hallway within the secret passage, Cadelaine and Mongo noted that the dust was thick and nothing had passed this way for many years, if not decades (if not centuries!). Perhaps some long forgotten wealth was at the end of this forgotten hallway…..? Forming up, the party began heading cautiously down the hall, with continual light devices lighting the way, and Cadelaine checking for any traps. The hallway ended about 50 feet in at the appearance of a large room, but the first thing to be seen was eight walking undead, eyes blazing with evil intelligence, surrounding a withered priest like zombie in the middle of the room. The priest began speaking in Ancient Delosian, which only Alando and Kal could understand. In a hollow and cracked voice, the zombie stated that his name was Macreus, high priest of Ert, and what was the year? Barely understanding him, Kal told him the year, which seemed to agitate the undead priest. He then asked the party if they served the serpentmen. After a bit of awkward back and forth, it seemed that Macreus had sealed himself within this passage several hundred years ago, awaiting an attack by serpentmen that had apparently never reached his secluded corner. His mutterings spoke of insanity, and Mongo, Nadal and Endefal moved up in anticipation of combat. Kal then preemptively cast a Faerie Fire on the first few zombies, and trying to turn the zombies, both Endefal and Alando failed, Then a spoken spell by Macreus caused Nadal, Endefal and Kal to freeze as they were Held! Immediately, the first line of ju-ju zombies moved forward for combat with the helpless group. Cadelaine fired a Magic Missile at one to find the spell had absolutely no effect. With only seconds to think, Cadelaine pulled forth her Wand of Fire and commanded it to form a Wall of Fire right in front of the advancing zombies! With his ring of fire resistance, Mongo leapt through the wall with minimal damage and began fighting. Alando cast a Dispel Magic, which dissolved the hold spell but did not bring down the Wall of Fire. The first two zombies passed through the wall and were quickly taken care of by Kal, Endefal and Nadal. Meanwhile, on the other side of the wall Mongo began chopping through the zombies by himself, as no one was willing to pass through the Wall of Fire to assist him. Finally, Nadal subjected himself to the flames as he passed through to help the ranger. He took some damage, but was soon also in combat, making his way to the zombie priest Macreus. With use of Fist of Faith, Endefal cleared a path, and was able to battle Macreus. A blow to the zombie caused a huge puff of a horrible looking dust to fly out of his body, and coming into contact with the pestilent substance caused Mongo to go to the floor, retching. By this time, Nadal and Kal had entered the room as the Wall of Fire had gone out, and they were able to lend their weapons to the fight. Attempting to sneak forward invisibly, Cadelaine found herself suddenly visible and quickly retreated before being struck by the zombie priest. Quicker than he hoped, Endefal brought down Macreus, and the priest dissolved into dust. The rest of the ju-ju zombies were brought down soon after. As Mongo began to feel funny and blood began to run out of his nose, Endefal quickly cast a Cure Disease on the ranger, which seemed to arrest the awful illness the dust had given him. Searching the room, the party found nothing of interest except for a passage that went further south. Going south aways, Cadelaine found an unusual pit trap that the party was able to bypass on their way down the corridor. After almost 100 feet, they reached the end of the passageway….which ended in a dark, gaping crevice! On the small ledge, the party was just able to make out a rope bridge far to the southwest, as well as a ceiling of stalactites, and to the east, another small ledge that seemed to lead to another dark passageway. As the party debated their actions, the now un-charmed Desteri (Alando’s Dispel Magic earlier had taken the charm off the mercenary fighter) began throwing torches into the darkness, discovering the level below was about 50 feet or so….then, hearing noises in the dark, he launched a flaming vial of oil into the darkness. Suddenly, a large mass that was unidentifiably in the darkness responded with a thrown boulder, which caught Desteri in the chest and threw him back. Several other throws followed, but none were close. After this, Mongo took the continual light wand from Endefal and using the power of his sword Sentinel, began flying around the darkness to discover the area of the chasm. He managed to check out the rope bridge, which connected two corridors farther to the SW, and landed on the other ledge nearby. Unfortunately, the light buzzing about attracted the attention of almost a dozen giant bats, which attack Mongo as he flew about. Mongo was bit a couple of times, but managed to fly back to the ledge where the party waited. As the bats followed, They were peppered with missile fire from Desteri, And Cadelaine, and Kal quickly threw a Hold Animals spell that caught four of the animals, sending them to their doom as they suddenly stopped moving and dropped like rocks to crash on the floor of the level below. More missile fire deterred the other bats, who quickly flew up among the stalactites to hide Discussion of a way to go followed, with the party eventually decided on checking out the ledge and passageway to the immediate west. Using her ring of feather falling to prevent trouble, Cadelaine used a rope tied by a flying Mongo to easily traverse the short distance. Shining her torch inside, Cadelaine saw the edge of a room which was covered by yellow mold! The mold also seemed to cover several skeletons and a large chest-like object. Kal used his shape changing ability to fly over, and with his extensive knowledge of fungi pronounced it as yellow mold, very deadly, but susceptible to fire. Without much hesitation, Cadelaine threw a vial of oil into the mass of the mold and followed it with her lit torch. In the conflagration that followed, the skeletons tried to rise but were destroyed, and the fire burned out every scrap of the mold, revealing a large stone chest. Soon, the rest of the party used the attached rope to hug the side of the chasm and cross over to the new area. Searching the room, nothing except for the stone chest was found, and it was opened by Cadelaine revealing a mace, rod and a gem. Desteri stepped up and greedily grabbed the rod, which had a skull-head on one end. Nothing happened to him, and Alando cast Detect Magic which showed the rod as magical (but none of the other items). Taking the items, the party vowed to watch Desteri and his new “prize” closely to see if any bad effects overtook him. At the other end of the room was a large stone door with a heavy stone bar on this side to prevent entry. As the bar was easily lifted, the door opened and the party continued down the corridor north. They soon came upon another set of doors in the east side of the corridor. Not wanting to open the doors, Endefal used Stone Shape to fashion a hole inside one of the doors so they could look within, then shaped it to make it large enough to possibly enter. Inside was quite a sight. In the large round room was a red tile hexagon, in the middle was a floating, flaming skull that intently watched them! Cadelaine looked inside and noticed a trap attacked to the door, a wire that ran to the ceiling and triggered a ballista bolt if the door had been opened. Entering instead through the hold in the door, Cadelaine was able to disarm the trap, and the party then concentrated on finding out the purpose of the floating skull. Soon after the party entered the room (everyone but Desteri, Kumar, the twins Ular and Tula, who refused to enter the cursed area, along with their prisoner the still tied up lizard man), the skull spoke to them saying he would answer a single “yea” or “nay” question if asked. Several half assed and useless questions were spoken, none answered with any significance. Finally, Alando asked if Ardu was still alive somewhere within the city and the answer was “Yes”. Then, he was asked if Ardu was under ground and the answer was again “Yes”. Not much info to go on, but it was more than they had up until that time. As the questions wound down, the skull spoke and said that for the price of a question, their souls were now Ert’s own!!! Suddenly, a small skull appeared on the back of each character’s left hand, much to the consternation of everyone (especially the priests, who were worried this would put them in bad with their own gods). Continuing to travel north in the corridor, they found the passageway led back to the Chapel of Ert through the south door. Again talking about their choice of direction (either through the north door or back down the passageway to the chasm and the rope bridge), it was decided that they brave the chasm and see where the rope bridge Mongo had seen would lead. When they reached the ledge, they worked out a system where party members armed with missile weapons would watch for the giant bats, while one by one Mongo would ferry party members across using his fly ability. After a few nervous minutes where a few giant bats flew around but did not attack, the party was flown across to the rope bridge. The bridge seemed new and very solidly constructed, 40 feet long with new strong hemp and closely set wooden boards, and including a “handrail”. One end (to the west) led to another cavern, and beyond that, another rope bridge. To the west, the rope bridge led to another ledge and a passageway lit by torches. Choosing the west, Cadelaine invisibly snuck forward and rounded a corner, seeing a small chapel with a statue, basin, and several hanging draperies. Also within were six warrior types armed with spears and knives. They were painted on their entire bodies with black and white paint, resembling living skeletons. They seemed to be guarding the chamber, and Cadelaine notice that a doorway to the west was set with strong iron bars that were set into the stone. Sneaking back, she told the party of what they had seen. Throwing caution to the wind, the party rushed the six guards, counting on their excessive numbers to help them triumph. In quick order the guardians were killed, except for one charmed by Kal and commanded to join him. Questioning of the guard told the party this was a worship area to Ert, and to the east there existed a larger chapel where a large ceremony was going to take place later, which included sacrifice and summoning some kind of creature. Resolving to check that out, the party began searching the area, Desteri, ignoring any warning, went to the statue of Ert and removed two gems that were the eyes of the statue. Removing the gems, the statue exploded in fire, and not only flames but some sort of curse from beyond hit Desteri at the same time. As Desteri stumbled about, the black tapestries were removed, and behind them were found a dozen one foot tall, ugly and evil looking wooden dolls that resembled some sort of fetishes. Asking Mongo about the dolls, Mongo revealed they were known as Kani Dolls, and were often animated with evil spirits to guard areas or stalk individuals. The charmed guardian was filled with fear as he saw the dolls, going to the corner and quivering in fear at the “devil dolls”. Ignoring more entreaties, Desteri grabbed one of the dolls to place it within his pack, pricking his finger on something sharp upon the doll. Immediately the dozen dolls came to life and began swarming the mercenary fighter! The evil little dolls began biting and biting the fighter, and several were destroyed by Endefal, Mongo and Kal as they tried to kill Desteri. Finally, one doll jumped to Desteri’s throat, ripping it out and causing the fighter to fall unconscious as the doll continued to chew! Mongo took the fighter by his legs, and by swinging him around, caused the dolls attached to Desteri to fly off across the room, where they were quickly crushed or destroyed by party members. After the battle, Endefal bandaged Desteri’s throat, and Nadal (who had not helped the beleaguered fighter) said that the greedy bastard had gotten what he deserved… As Desteri lay unconscious, Alando used that time to take the Rod that Desteri for himself. Using his ability to identify magic items, Alando announced it was a Rod of Smiting, and keeping it as his own he gave his own magical mace to Kumar so the priest of Attar would finally have a magical weapon to use. The gem eyes of the statue were also removed from Desteri, and the party vowed to curb the excesses of the grabby fighter from here on out. After the party searched the room and rested, Kal questioned the charmed guardian about what lay beyond the barred chamber to the west. The frightened native said that a “giant demon” dwelled at the bottom of a set of stairs through the other chamber. The bars had been placed to not only prevent anyone from entering the lair of the “demon” but to prevent the demon from attacking anyone within. Examining the room revealed nothing else, and with only one way to go (back west to the rope bridge and the Chapel of Ert beyond) the now even larger group prepared to do battle if the priesthood was indeed going to sacrifice innocents to their god….
Ajada (native Ashante warrior): An employee of House Valaryan, Ajada is a caravan leader. His job is to relay orders between the merchants sponsoring and travelling with the caravan and the native drovers, porters and bearers who take care of the animals, carry the supplies and guard the caravans that pass travel through the jungle. Ajada is typical of his profession, a no nonsense, mirthless man who has proven to be trustworthy in the past and very good at his job. Due to several odd pronouncements the party suspects he might have cannibal blood somewhere in his family tree...
Alando (human priest of Vistna): A tall gangly young man who is awkward in social situations, Alando came to the Temple of Vistna in Port Maurgre under circumstances he won't divulge (except to say he was being "punished" for some undeclared fault). As the newest and youngest priest at the temple he had been assigned to the high priest, Vespasian, and often runs errands for him. He has been assigned to travel with the party to the fabled "Elephant's Graveyard" deep in the jungles of Delos (and later the "Forbidden City" even deeper in the jungle's depths). Along the way he has become a bit more outgoing and has risked his life for the party, especially for Cadelaine who he has developed a bit of a crush on.
Ardu (native Delosian human Ranger): Ardu is the uncle of Mongo, and left his tribe long ago to work with House Valaryan. Over the years he has become a trusted and valuable guide for trading expeditions. As a youth Mongo and his brothers always looked up to Ardu, who has a blunt, black humorish style about him that endears him to most. He has taken Mongo under his wing since the destruction of his village, and has been assigned by Gam to look out for and educate the adventurers on the dangers of the jungle and how to survive them. Later developments find Ardu kidnapped by the evil serpent men and taken as a captifve to their stronghold, the Forbidden City (where Mongo and his friends have traveled to rescue him)
Ark (human ranger): A evil mercenary in the employ of House Tarn, he and his group were hired to steal a map of the Elephant's Graveyard that had come into the hands of the priesthood of Vistna. After stealing the map, Ark and his companions were then paid to find the Graveyard and secure the area so that House Tarn could exploit it (killing anyone who got in their way). Unfortunately, on the way to the Graveyard his party was attacked by cannibal headhunters, and then by the group of adventurers, and he and the other mecenaries were defeated. Captured for questioning, a Helm of Alignment Change was placed on his head, and now Ark loyally serves with the party due to his new LG nature. Ark perished in combat with the priest of the elephant god, Honapo, as he was stung to death by summoned wasps then crushed by a clay golem.
CADELAINE (silver half-elven mage/thief): Daughter of a silver elven ambassador to The League and the head of House Valaryan (making her Nadal's half-sister), Cadelaine stowed away on a merchant ship to Delos to save her adopted family from future problems. Her mother (a sorceress) having passed away, and her father refusing to acknowledge her, Cadelaine moved in with a local baker's family whose son idolized her. Learning the fine art of burglary with her friend to supplement her adopted family's income, she felt she had to leave as she became older and her resemblance to her father became more pronounced (perhaps causing trouble in the future as questions would be asked). Taking a ship to as far away a location as she could, she hopes to start a new life far from the sad reminders of her past. She has been employed by House Valaryan to obstensibly work off her debt for the ship ride to Delos.
Captain Bohema (Human corsair): The Captain of "The Morning Sun" is a large, bawdy man. His job seems to be a continuous circuit of trips, from Delos (where he picks up trade good such as mahogany, ivory and spices) back to the League several thousand miles away, where he unloads his booty to gather steel weapons, beads, and cheap gems, and then back to Delos. Not without compassion, he took Cadlaine under his wing when he found her stowed away aboard his ship bound for Delos, and rescued Endefal when he was found floating in the ocean. He recommended both to House Valaryan as employees on his judge of character.
Damu (wererat warrior): An inhabitant of the Forbidden City, he is one of the leaders of the wererat clan that has existed in the long abandoned sewer system for many centuries. Enemies of the serpentmen, they have quietly battled their reptilian foes from the shadows. Recently Damu and his ratkin have attempted to capture and turn the party to lycanthropy for the good of the wererat clan. His plan failed, and he managed to escape to perhaps again plot for the capture and corruption of the party.
Desteri (human mercenary fighter): A member of a ill-fated caravan raided by serpentmen, Desteri was captured, then escaped, from the reptilian clutches and eventually made his way to the mongrelmen's camp in the Forbidden City. Soon charmed by the elven mage Aratheas, he was her willing bodyguard and plaything until a Free Will spell cast by Endefal gave him his mind back. Escaping with the party after the death of Aratheas and confrontation with the mongrelmen, he was found to be a crude, rude and impetuous warrior with few redeeming qualities but his sword. Soon charmed again by Kal, he followed orders until once again being freed from the charm by a inadvertent Dispel Magic. Taking back up his impetuous ways, he was badly injured by a group of evil Kani dolls who he accidentally activated while adventuring underground. For now, he is still with the party until they tire of his nature, or charm him again. Finally, catching the figther in the act of searching Cadelaine's unconcious body, Alando attacked him and was seriously injured. Mongo at that point was fed up with the ill-mannered mercenary and chopped his head off, ending his brief association with the party.
ENDEFAL (gold half-elven priest of Attar): Little is known of Endefal's past, except that he was captured and held aboard a Taranthian slave vessel, where he learned the word of Attar from another priest posing as a simple slave. When that slave-priest was beaten to death, Endefal found his calling in the word of Attar, and attempted to destroy the ship many times until he finally escaped. Found floating in the ocean by Captain Bohema of House Valaryan, he is being employed by them to work off his debt for his rescue. Endefal is quiet, brooding, and has a hatred for slavers that perhaps encompases even Mongos.
Gam (human ?): Called "The Patriarch" by most members and employees of House Valaryan, Gam is a older, scarred, grizzled individual of a few years. How he came to Delos, and how he became the leader of House Valaryan on Delos is unknown. He is gruff and blunt, but not entirely cruel. Above all he seems to be motiviated by profit, for himself or his masters at House Valaryan no one knows.
Gra-Gra (Carnivorous ape companion of Kal): Charmed and befriended instead of killed, Gra-Gra has proven to be quite a beneficial addition to the adventurers. Fighting with the strength and ferocity of any warrior, he has proven himself time and again a valuable fighting force. His habit of stopping to take a bite of almost anything he kills in battle (usually by ripping it in half with his claws) is distasteful but .... Sadly, the ape was killed in battle, burnt to a crisp by a delayed blast fireball cast by The Immortal King in the caverns under Kitanga.
Horan (Black necromancer in the Forbidden City): A enigmatic force in the city, he controls many of the patrolling undead that walk the streets of the ruins. He says he is only there in search of ancient knowledge, whether foe or ally cannot be determined, although he seems to be bearing a grudge for injuries to his servant Kwano (a female necromancer apprentice of his) by the party, and is apparantly shadowing them through undead servants such as bonebats. To display his power he killed the priest Endefal with a Death Spell, and seems to have various unusual and deadly spells at his disposal (as well as the power to speak and act through undead). He resides in a large, well kept mansion in the city's SW area, behind a stone wall, guarded by various undead creations.
KALPHISTANE (gold elven druid): Kal (as he is known) was part of an ill-fated expedition to find some trace of an elven force that had landed on Delos over 500 years ago and then disappeared. With members of the Vistnan priesthood assisting, the expedition had not gone far into the jungle before being attacked by the dreaded Snake-men and their allies, killing his mentor and the other elves Kal traveled with. Returning to Port Mauge with the survivors, Kal stayed with the Vistnan priesthood awaiting further contact with the priesthood of Faerel. As the weeks wore on he realized that no further assistance would arrive, and is now working for House Valaryan to pay his way and hopefully use his time with them to become more attuned to the jungle so he can search for this lost elven city on his own.
Kumar (human native priest of Attar): Rescued by the party from slavers, this horribly scarred young man (a large ugly whip lash crosses his face) found Attar when he prayed the night he was captured. The god came to him and offered him help if he would assist others who also had been taken slaves, and thus Kumar became an acolyte. Seeking out Endefal when he had been rescued, Endefal realized the native boy had been touched by Attar, and took him on to guide him. Since then Kumar has participated in the group's adventures, often showing a reckless disregard for his safety when he rushes into combat unarmored screaming "Attar" and wielding a large war club.
MONGO (native Delosian ranger): Mongo watched his entire family except for an older brother taken captive and sold off into slavery by Tzulan warriors working for the Taranthian priesthood. They were not the first or the last Ashante tribe to be treated thus, so he swore sword vengeance against the Tzulans and their Taranthian masters and vowed to slay them and rescue his family. His older brother left him in the care of his uncle Ardu (who is employed at House Valaryan as a ranger scout) while he tries to track down their family and get word back to Mongo to join him. By then it is hoped that with the teachings of his Uncle Ardu, Mongo will have become an experienced and deadly warrior. Now that Mongo has taken up worship of the Elephant God and wields the sword Sentinel, he has also become the protector of the Armec tribe in their secret valley. Mongo's chosen enemy is the serpent men and any reptilian monster, due to some unspecified event that happened early in his life.
Roho (Human native fighter): Roho was an Ashante tribesman who was assigned to guard Kalphistane during a battle against Tzulan warriors. Kalphistane was the first elf Roho had ever seen, coupled with the elven druid's flaming spear, spell use, and generaly inability to fight well, Roho had assigned himself to guarding the druid and protecting him in battle. Kal's exoticness and spell use made him (in Roho's mind) an emissary of the Forest Gods so he must be protected. After several adventures with the party, Roho was killed with a poisoned blade while battling the evil mercenary thief Jakk
Sholo (native fighting man): Sholo was part of the Armec tribe, a "lost' tribe that had for centuries lived in the valley of the elephant and then guarded the entrance to the valley (after being chased out by the evil priest Honapo). Sholo was the chief's son, fully ready to take over the dying tribe for his father when the burden of leadership was passed on. The arrival of a group of adventurers, who destroyed Honapo and made the valley once again safe for habitation, was a turning point in the young man's life. Inspired by these heroes, especially their leader Mongo, he vowed to follow them to learn more about the outside world and experience adventure. Perhaps he could also spread word of the Elephant God, and someday come back to lead his people with the experience and wisdom of having traveled the jungles of Delos. Sholo is quite young and raw but quite strong and fast, and after being given a magical short sword by Mongo, has proven quite skilled in it's use.
SIR NADAL KINSWORTH VALARYAN (human fighter): 5th son of the present head of House Valaryan, Nadal has been sent to far-off Delos to get him out of the way so he won't muddy the waters of succession. Thinking he was beng sent to Delos in order to take command of an army of men, Nadal quickly had his hopes dashed as he given the the lowest position (mercenary) upon reaching the House Valaryan outpost in Port Maugre. However, despite some initial disappointment and prissiness, Nadal has seemed to adapt well to the vagaries of life in the jungle and is looking at the experience as a "toughening up" period that will make him even more suitable to one day lead House Valaryan
Talith (human fighter): Talith is head warrior of House Valaryan. Although not a native Delosian, he has come to know the jungle well after many years serving the merchant house there. All preparations for trade expeditions are nominally under his control. Right now he is stationed in the Valley of the Elephant supervising the gathering and shipment of hundreds of pounds of valuable ivory
Tula and Ular (native Ashante warriors): Twin brothers of a young age, the two cheerful warriors were captured by serpentmen to be used as sacrifces. Escaping their clutches, they joined the mongrelmen area of the Forbidden City and were well liked by their fellow "lost explorers". Escaping with the party after the mongrelmen attacked following a mishap, they loyally follow the party in their quest. They are especially impressed by Mongo, who they hero worship from afar. Unfortunately, Ular had been bitten by a wererat while in the undertemple below the city, and after showing signs of being ill, changed into a giant rat and disappeared into the darkness.
Vespasian (human priest of Vistna): The head of the temple of Vistna in Port Maugre, the old gray haired scholar has spent many years in the jungle port. He seems to be driven (like many other Vistnan priests) by a thirst for knowledge about the jungle continent, it's legends, history and people. He is known for sponsoring expeditions into the jungle interior to aquire ancient or forbidden knowledge.