The next two sessions centered around the Battle for the Sanctum of Jing, where Rhys, Szeth, Revan, and newcomer Masako were to lead a force of Lickspit Kobolds against the occupying force of Gnashteeth Orcs and their allies, the force of Clevenstien Soldiers occupying the Sanctum where Jing was once worshipped by a long-forgotten cult.
The initial entry began with the group sneaking in through the entrance they’d discovered before. The room they entered had two exits: One to the east, and one to the south that was blocked and barred by a table. When given the option, they unbarred the south exit and went through it. What they found beyond it was a hallway littered with the corpses of humans and orcs, After doing some searching, they found a hole in the wall surrounded by a destroyed room. Going through the hole, they found a viscious Howler, a monster which had been hidden inside the walls of the temple by Jing as a surprise for anyone trying to tear apart the Sanctum. The group killed it, and found, via a broken wall in its lair, the first of the ten fabled Vaults Of Jing. As they’d learned the hidden way to unlock the vault by winning a contest of riddles, the group did not need any hints to open the vault door. They DID, however, need to find the Alter of Jing, which was in a seperate room, and required a skull from a Nightstalker Skeleton to be inserted into it in order to unlock the Vault’s door.
Continuing their investigation, they found a fake vault, placed right in front of the real vault as an attempt at a bluff. They also found, continuing to backtrack thorugh the path that would have legitimately led them to the Vault of Jing, a trap which Masako fell into, trapping her in a chamber filling with poison gas unless she inserted an arm into a stone lion’s mouth. This led to her taking substantial damage, but thankfully she was able to keep from losing the arm. In the next chamber, they found several prisoners in cages; The two elves they’d encoutered before in the Temple of Deep Darkness (Which they promptly ignored), the animate, shadowy-possessed corpse of Rrressa which appeared entirely feral and was trapped in a cage that appeared to possess strong magical wards upon it, and lastly, the drooling, labotomized body of one of the 5 criminals Masako was sent to the temple to hunt. After discovering his body had become a legitimate vegetable, she wanted to know who did this. The criminal’s only reply was “laughing man”. At the prompting of Szeth, Masako put the criminal out of his misery.
The group then walked into a defensive position manned by Thog, and the full military presence of Von Clevenstien’s forces, plus those of the Gnashteeth Orcs. Alongside them was a deranged man known as Brian Gall, who kept laughing over and over and over again, without any seeming source of laughter, as well as a mysterious cloaked figure. Thog was reluctant to start a fight, offering the group a chance to surrender or to buy their own safe passage. The Cloaked Figure then offered Thog a vial of a supposedly super-powerful healing elixer, Alura’s Tears, if he killed the party. Thog quickly grew hostile and the final battle began.