The next morning, the party was somewhat at a loss for any further action. They had been in the Forbidden City over a week and all that they had accomplished was to set almost every group in the city against them! At this point there didn’t seem to be a lot to go on….the group had managed to alienate every group they had come upon, that or make them dire enemies. Not having a lot of direction, Alando cast an Augury that seemed to say their destiny lay to the “south”. With nothing more to go on, the party began heading that way in hope of enlightenment. As the party very carefully and quietly crossed a large avenue, They were suddenly set upon by a gigantic Rhinoceros beetle that happened to be lumbering down the street! The large creature attacked hungrily, as Nadal and Mongo stood to protect the rest of the party with Cadelaine hitting the giant beetle with magic missiles. As the group battled the insect, soon several giant wasps began also attacking, attracted by the movement. Everyone at that point was engaged in the battle, either hand to hand or missile weapons. Soon, five giant wasps lay dead and after a long battle the rhino beetle finally was chopped to pieces despite heavy injuries to Endefal, Nadal and Mongo. The party quickly moved to the south after the long and noisy battle, and found a quiet set of ruins to heal up and prepare. Suddenly, the lycanthrope warriors from the day before, Damu and Jamal, appeared before them! They said that they had spoken with the rest of their group, and decided that it was imperative that they show the party the trail through the sewer system that led to the serpentmen’s lair. Agreeing to follow them, the wererats led the party to the large temple of the bat the party had passed the day before, and through a long, dank stairway that led down. The smell of bat guano and decay was strong, and several rats scurried around in the darkness as Damu and Jamal led them to a large entry chamber. Saying this was part of a larger temple, the wererats led the party down a large corridor to the west, saying that it eventually led to a sewer line that led to the serpentmen’s camp. As the party pulled out their continual light objects and followed the guides into the gloom of the corridor, they were surprised after fifty feet to come to a solid stone wall! Ominously, at this they heard a loud sliding noise and a boom, and saw the eastern entrance had been shut off by a stone wall. With a bad feeling, the party turned to Damu. Apologetically, Damu explained that a meeting of the wererats had concluded the party could better serve their needs as lycanthropes themselves….their power added to the existing rats could swing the battle between the serpentmen and wererats towards the rats! At that, several rats in the chamber changed formed into ratmen, and these (along with a horde of giant rats) began to attack! Quickly, Cadelaine used her Web spell to entangle almost all the giant rats at the end of the corridor. A desperate battle followed with the ratmen (Damu and Jamal themselves turning into rat form and escaping) attacking and attempting to bite the party members to infect them with lycanthropy. Through the battle, only Ular and Cadelaine were bit, and several of the ratmen were killed, Finally, the battle turned in the party’s favor and the surviving ratmen turned into rats and escaped into holes in the walls. Five ratmen lay dead in the chamber, and searching by Cadelaine revealed a hidden catch that raised the stone wall at the east end. Attempting to retrace their steps, to their dismay the party found their exit was blocked by a huge iron wall that had apparently been triggered to fall by the wererats. Attempting to use Stone Shape to go around the iron wall was ineffective as the stone walls themselves were constructed of some sort of unique material that resisted the spell. After a quick conference, the party resigned themselves to further exploration into the underworld to find another way out of this trap that they had walked into. Exploring the nearby chambers, it was discovered that the temple was one to Ert, the Delosian God of the Dead, and it looked to be long abandoned. One chamber held a stone statue to Ert that was left alone, while another contained a quartet of lizardmen who were apparently capturing giant centipedes for food. The lizardmen were quickly killed, except for one that was Held by Alando and then tied up by the party for questioning. Dragging the captive lizardman behind them, the party went through a secret door in one of the tombs and came upon a group of underground froglike beings…known as troglodytes….who attempted to spring a ambush on the characters. Kal, Endefal, Mongo and Nadal entered combat with the primitive beings, their stench sometimes driving them back. A judicious use of another Web spell by Cadelaine that captured three of the amphibious creatures and led to a easy end to the battle. All the trogs lay dead, and another secret passage lay exposed in a hallway the trogs had sprung their ambush in. Carefully investigating the passageway, the party saw no evidence anyone or anything had passed this way in a long, long time. At the end of a corridor, a large ancient iron door led into a large room that looked like some sort of worship area to Ert. There were several pillars, pews, a large altar at the front, several slumped figures in the pews and four large urns from which some sort of odd smoke oozed forth from! The chamber was lit by a continual light spell in the center, and it was quite an eerie and spooky looking scene. Slowly, several members of the party came into the room to examine the figures. Unfortunately, at this, several of the figures sprung up and began to attack….they were undead wights, hungry for life energy! Endefal and Alando attempted to turn them to no avail, and the party found themselves facing eight of the beasts. Unfortunately, to make matters worse, the greenish smoke began causing party members to fall unconscious one by one! This made the battle even more desperate. Alando was struck a couple of times, which caused him to lose some of his health and energy, but after a long battle that involved collapsed characters being dragged out of the room by non-combatants until they awoke, only to re-enter and then sometimes fall back asleep, Alando found out pouring holy water in the urns caused the smoke to stop rising. After the smoke was stopped, the battle was fought on more equal terms, and Nadal, Endefal, Mongo, Kal, and Cadelaine soon had destroyed all the undead. Afterwards, the party decided to search the room, and discovered two large doors to the north and south, and a secret passage in the SE corner that led to a long deserted passageway. Binding their wounds and curing themselves, the group decided the hidden chapel would be a good place to rest and recover, hidden as it was, as long as no more undead came within. Posting guards, the party uneasily set up camp for the night. As they rested Alando examined a pendent taken from all eight of the destroyed wights, a skull shaped ceramic piece of jewelry on a chain that was a holy symbol of Ert, God of the Dead. Thinking they might come in handy, he placed all eight of the symbols within a pouch for perhaps further use….
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.