The group decides to climb down off the butte and head toward the ruined temple to the west. They set out across the salt flat expecting to arrive at the temple in only a few hours. However, the simmering heat coming off of the salt flat made the ruin appear closer than it really was. After several extra hours of walking the group finally reaches the ancient crumbling temple. From a distance the group can see that a portion of the roof remains intact as do most of the edifices walls. They keep a sharp eye out for movement from within the temple as they approach closer, so intent on watching the dark shadows within in the glaring reflected light of the salt flat that only D’Ander, the Halfling notices that the ground surrounding the temple is greatly disturbed. At their present location, only small areas, a few feet across are disturbed but as one moves closer to the temple, the entirety of the ground surrounding it becomes disturbed. The group decides to approach from another direction, should the ground disturbance be caused by some burrowing creature, they decide it would be wise to outflank it in order to reach the temple. After a short distance the group can see that the ground all the way around the temple is disturbed. They also notice that off in the distance a sand storm, and figure that it will hit in less than two hours and will force them to remain at the temple over night, or either head back to the Ianto’s rock shelter. While they stop to discuss their options, Blu’chez (Thri-kreen warrior) decides that the best course of action is to simply run across the loose salt-sand to the temple. The rest of the group waits until he is halfway across the disturbance before they decide to join him and follow suit. Seeing how he has not been devoured they assume it is reasonably safe.
Having safely reached the temple after a four hour trek the group is tired and thirsty, but they decide to do a quick reconnaissance to insure that it is not occupied. After a some cautious exploration of the temple they discover that the walls of the temple are covered in bas-relief carving that were once painting in bright vibrant colors, though they are now cracked and faded. The scenes on the walls depict a human male (?), slaughtering strange looking green beast-men in a variety of horrific ways.
Near the far end of the temple, in a side chamber just off of the main alter room, Abraxus finds the desiccated corpse of a half-giant. The half-giant, clearly the mines overseer, is laying face down in a pile of rubble and lying across his right arm. After closer inspection Abraxus is able to tell that the corpse is clutching something tightly in his barely visible right hand. He decides to turn the corpse over and pry its hand open. As he does so, he sees a writhing mass of slug-like creatures underneath it, and in the dead half-giants hand, and ancient solid gold coin. After snatching the coin away he drops his hold on the corpse but is unable to move away quickly enough and the swarm of Rot Grubs begins to crawl up his exposed arm and legs. D’Ander rushes to his side and attempts to kill as many of the grubs as possible.
The rest of the group, hearing Abraxus’ squeals of alarm rush to see what is happening. When they do so, an adult Silk Wyrm and five hatchlings that had been awakened from their slumber by the commotion, drop from the ceiling catching the group unaware and attempt to make a quick meal of them. In the ensuing melee Keln is badly injured by the Silk Wyrm before the rest of the group forces it to flee out into the salt flats. Blu, chases it down and with some help from D’Ander they finish it off.
Retreating back to the shade of the temple the group decides to take a rest, bandage Abraxus’ wounds, drink some water, and let Keln recover from the Wyrm’s assault. The group after resting for a bit decides to go back to examining the bas-relief murals. Blu, using his magical lens is able to decipher a bit of the script they find on one of the walls. The explains the meaning of the glyphs to Thurnderhoof who then translates it into common for the rest of the group, as Blu will not speak such a crude and vulgar language as common or any other human language for that matter. The glyphs tell something about a man named Wyan of Bodach, but the writing is far too fragmentary to discern what the story is about. The group assumes that the Wyan of Bodach is the man pictured slaughtering the green beasties in the murals.
After having rested for a bit, Abraxus show the rest of the group the gold coin he found in the half-giants hand. They determine that it is pure gold, and probably worth nearly 2,500 shekels. They decide that he must have found it in a vault or crypt below the temple and so set off to look for entrances to a crypt. There are also still four missing human guards and workers yet to be found and a sleeping place out of the dust storm would be an added bonus.
The dust from a sand storm hits the temple and limits visibility to only 20-30 ft. The strong winds blowing through the structure creates a low ominous moaning sound. The group hastens their search for more suitable shelter out of the blowing, lung clogging sand. Behind the main alter they find a secret door, that when opened exposes a set of narrow stairs that lead steeply down into the darkness below. Some of the group is beginning to have second thoughts about sleeping in a crypt and express that perhaps they should wait until the following morning to explore the crypt. The moaning sound of the wind becomes louder, while at the same time the strength of the wind seems to be subsiding, at least momentarily. Visibility improves a bit and the characters now hear the shuffling of feat scrapping on hard stone floors. They look into the surrounding rooms of the temple and beyond into the salt flat and see that hordes of zombies are descending upon it from all directions. They realize that the ground disturbance surrounding the temple was from the undead whom it would seem, dig themselves out their graves each night and roam the temple and the salt flats in search of flesh.
Not wishing to be torn apart by hundreds of ravenous zombies the group enters the crypt and seal the door behind them.
Below in the crypts, the group finds the corpses of the four other men they came looking for. The men have no obvious physical wounds, and the doors on either side of the room are barred, from this side of the door. Clearly, whatever killed these men came down the stairs above, or more likely, was not hindered by physical barriers at all. As such, the group decides to open the door to see what horrors lay beyond. They enter the first room and find themselves staring at a statue of a large dragon. On either side of the statue is a sarcophagus, both still intact. Abraxus approaches the first sarcophagus and decides to pry off the lid, hoping to find more gold coins within. With some effort, and the help of Blu, (and despite the protest of some of the others) they are able to push it aside, but the bulk and the weight of the unbalanced lid sends it crashing to the floor where it shatters.
Awakened by the desecration of their tomb, vengeful ghosts awaken and assail the group. After repelling the spirits the groups find the sarcophagi empty of anything valuable, but in cubbies along both side walls, in plain sight, they find 16 sealed scroll tubes. Thunderhoof opens several and determines that they are poor shape and likely to simply fall apart. They decide to take the scroll tubes hoping that they may be able to find someone who could restore them to readable, if not usable condition or someone who would be interested in buying them despite their poor condition.
Thunderhoof stops to repair his warhammer, which he broke fighting the spirits of this room. The rest of the group decides to spend the time searching for hidden doors and such. Much to their amazement, they actually find one. It opens when a small level hidden in the tail of the dragon statue is turned. The door opens directly behind where Thunderhoof is setting. He quickly jumps to his feet, determined to thrash anything that comes out of the gloom beyond. No threat materializes and the group begins to explore the chamber.
They find that it contains a single ornate sarcophagi covered with the bas-relief carving of a green beast-man warrior. Blu, with his magic lens reads the sarcophagi’ inscriptions and Thunderhoof translates. They learn that it belongs to a beast-man named Urrok the Brave a mighty warrior of the beast-men who slew hundred of men during his lifetime, and much to their disbelief, four dragons single-handed. Of course, they decide that looting it is the only sensible course of action and open the sarcophagi. Inside they find that Urrok’s bones and most of his equipment have turned to dust. However, they find two spears tipped with metal blades in near perfect condition.