After a few incidents and a tied stare-down with Coote, Boro seemed to settle in among the crew. He didn’t really know what these people were doing but he knew the he was in their debt after they helped him escape from Bashere som he followed without asking questions.
Following the compass the ship made landfall on a small beach, where a small stream escaped the dense jungle and ran out to sea. They gathered a party, consisting of Duncan, Vernus, Boro, Leach, Allen, Coote, Mobbs and Prabaker and supplies and made their way through the jungle. The rest of the crew was to remain on board and wait for them to return.
The trek through the jungle was relativly painless, save for Duncan’s brief encounter with a snake. Four days later they reached the other side and stepped onto a plain surrounded by jagged mountains.
It took the party a full day to reach a hill half way across the plains. From on top of the hill they could see a pass cutting though the mountains on the other side. They could also see a fort of some kind blocking the pass. Duncan sent Allen on a scouting mission and he came back with some disturbing news: the fort was guarded by black and tan soldiers. Duncan noted how strange it was that the soldiers seemed to know the locations of the waypoints even though they didn’t have the compass.
Based on Allens information, the party devised a plan to attack the fort. They would wait for nightfall. Then Boro and Coote would sneak up to the fort and help the rest scale the 2m wall, after Allen and Vernus had taken out the two guards patrolling it using musketts. After that they would use grenades to cause confution and dispose of whatever guards remaining.
They plan worked perfectly and they managed to take the fort without a single crewmember being injured.
Only one enemy survived the onslaught and after a little “persuation” curtesy of Boro, he answered whatever questions they asked.
He revealed that this fort had been built just over two years ago to guard the pass and what lay beyond. The prisoner promised to show them the next day.
A search of the fort revealed little of use, but they discovered som letters suggesting that the fort was overdue on supplies and could expect reinforcemenst any day.
The next day the prisoner led them through the pass and into what looked like a black pit circled by jagged rocks, easily 400 m across. Vernus concluded that it was an old volcano after discovering that the black sand they were standing on was in fact pulverized obsidian.
At the center of the pit stood a white building. Inside the marble structure was nothing but a hole in the floor, about 2 m in diameter. There were piles of marble blocks in the corners of the room suggesting that the hole had been covered by a smaller structure.
The british soldiers had constructed a winch that could lower a platform down into the well.
When asked whet was down there, the prisoner said that he didn’t know. Something about his behaviour made Duncan suspisious and suggested that the prisoner be lowered down first “just to be sure”. This made the prisoner reveal that there was a trap down the shaft that had killed several soldiers and had blocked them from progressing further down.
The crew tried to throw objects down the well to see if they could reveal something but all that happened was that they confirmed the presence of a trap. They then lowered a rope down the well so they could find out how deep they go without setting off the trap. They then tied a piece of rope to the platform to make sure they wouldn’t accidentally get caught in the trap, before they lowered down Boro. (After all he had to earn his keep…)
The first 10 meters of the shaft was constructed of the same marble as the structure above, however afterwards the walls were made of a strange metal.
Boro couldn’t make much of the traps mechanism. There were three narrow slits in going all around the shafts wall. Whenever something went past the first, round blades would pop out, destroying whatever they hit. He did a quick search of the walls but found nothing.
Neither did Vernus, who went next. He did however discover that the metal used for the wall was the same as the one used in the portugal temple. He searched the walls for some clue but found nothing.
Finally, Duncan had a go, and he found the little rectangular impression. They used the compass the same way they had in portugal, and a door opened, revealing a small passage that lead to a spiral staircase, going downwards.
The stairs were long and took them deep into the earth. When stey finally reache the bottom they stepped into a gigantic, dark cave. The cave had been carved out of obsidian, and every surface was shining black in the light the three explorers brought.
A bit further into the cave they found a block made from the same black glass as everything else. Behind the block stood a pillar sporting some open shackles. An inspection of the block revealed an inscription: “Sagittarius Cave”. Vernus identified the phrase’s double meaning: In latin “Sagittarius Cave” means “Beware the Archer”.
While Vernus was busy with the block, Duncan inspected the pillar and shackles. He found nothing on the pillar, but there was something peculiar about the shackles. The locs were apperantly broken, but the rust on them suggested that they had been locked for a long time. In addition Duncan found evidence that the shackles had been opened only recently.
Boro stood watching the darkness. Thinking he had picked up a track of some sort he wandered off and the next thing he knew a long black arrow hit him in the shoulder. As he drew his weapon and returned to the others, another arrow hit him in the back.
The three of them scanned surroundings but they couldn’t spot the one shooting at them. The archer seemed to move quickly around the cave and attacked from a different direction every time. Vernus and Boro spotted a figure in the darkness. It looked like a huge black dog that seemed to watch them from the shadows. The creature had a bloodshot third eye located on it’s forehead. It stepped in and out of the darkness, seemingly to keep the characters attention on it, rather than the archer. As the dog looked on, the arrows flew at their targets with uncanny accuracy.
Boro managed to launch a successful attack on the dog as it ventured too close. As Boros sword hit home, a scream pierced the darkness and the characters could spot the archer for the first time. He wore tattered clothes that curled around his body like smoke. Half his face was hidden behind blackened strips of fabric, that left only his right eye and snarling teeth visible.
Just as quick as he had appeared, he melted back into the dark sending an arrow that hit Vernus. Boro kept on attacking the dog while the two others concentrated on the archer. Every time the dog got hit, the archer appeared, and Duncan and Vernus used this chance to attack the archer. The strategy was risky as the characters were constantly battered by arrows and in the end both Vernus and Boro were left unconcious from several wounds. Duncan had only his armour to thank for him still being able to fight. He was still seriously wounded and would fall to the next arrow that hit him. The archer tried to sneak up behind Duncan but Duncan heard him coming and launched a last desperate attack. It succeded, and the archer fell to the floor and rotted into dust in a matter of seconds. Duncan fainted from his wounds seconds after.
Coote and Mobbs made their way into the cave and started tending to their wounded shipmates. It took all of Coote’s skill Vernus’ salve to keep the three from dying. Duncan woke before the others and managed to finish exploring the cave. Across a pit that cut the cave in two he found a silver globe, identical to the one in portugal. He inserted the compass that realligned itself, pointing towards the next waypoint.