XVII The Lost Temple of Yig
IVLIVS XXV DCCCXCVII
Outfitted with supplies and three guides, Zahur, Titus, Lucius, Gaius, and Etrusicus make their way into the vastness of Africa. They brave strange sights, weather, and beasts before arriving at the clearing at which the temple of Yig appears in all its alien splendor, a green stone mountain, every inch covered with images of serpents of all sorts and kinds. They go boldly into the temples only entrance, leaving their guides and all safety behind them.
Upon entering the temple the PCs find it very dark and humid. The passage winds downward in a corkscrew and they travel until they have lost all track of time. By the light of a torch they notice changes in their form; their hair thins, finger nails fall out, their eyes yellow, and their skin becomes scaly. Because of this horrid transformation they avoid looking at each other or themselves if it can at all be avoided. Within the temple they encounter a shifting maze filled with traps designed to deter any who would violate the sanctum of Yig’s house. Although the party is temporarily forced to abandon Titus they eventually make their way to the center of the temple to the horrendous altar of the serpent god.
Etrusicus makes a blood sacrifice to the limbless deity and speaks the name of Antonius Hibernius Drac. From the stone maw of the altar Etrusicus’ blood shoots out like a fountain and forms a liquid human skeleton around which a green vapor flows to give the shape of Drac around the blood. After a solid minute of screaming Drac realizes his situation and speaks with the PCs but first ensures them all of their eventual insanity. He tells them of The Unspeakable One and his home on Adebaran and of the play. The play that tells of glourious, doomed Carcosa. Fabled, dead Carcosa.
Having learned all that they can the PCs make to leave the way they came but are met by a face; a face whose cold classic beauty you have never seen the like of, not amongst the sons of men. Neither weakness nor mercy does it show, nor cruelty nor kindness. It might be the marble mask of a god if not for the unmistakable life in it. Life cold and strange but life undeniable.
A thought splinters and fragments within the minds of the PCs. A thought of the body that must be behind the wall, beneath the face. Inhumanly perfect. Inhumanly cold. The full lips part and the face speaks: “Come.”
Compelled by the word of the thing, Titus turns on his friends and attacks them mercilessly. Etrusicus circles around the obstacles in the room to attack the face from behind and makes an alarming discovery: the body attached to the impossibly beautiful head is that of a massive coiled serpent. The party barely survives the fight with the abomination and crawl back to the surface moments before the temple jumps from this location in time and space.
Knowing that a coming encounter with the play is apparently inevitable, they (with their stunned guides), make the long trek back to Avalia.