Ranza (Changeling 4)
Gnarl (Wood Gnome 5)
Hobbs (Hedgefey 5)
Hobbs (Hedgefey 5)
Thrax (Fighter 3)
Vergarious (Changeling 3)
The rest of the night passed without further interruption, and at dawn the next day the party started plotting a plan to access the colossus. Hopefully without disturbing/attracting the attention of whatever laired in the head. In the end. Thrax made use of his potion of polymorph to transform into a hippogriff and carry the party one by one to the open chest cavity. Last up was the invisible Ranza, and at this point a giant eagle head appeared in the eye opening above. But it was content to just stare at the coming and goings, and shortly after ducked back from whence it came.
The party found themselves inside a rather cramped space, from which other passages led off in cardinal directions. Scattered on the floor were broken and weather-worn pieces of glass, apparently from a window or lens that once filled the chest opening. There was also a scattering of strange brass mechanisms and gears on the ceiling and wall, and a tarnished round metal plate on the back wall. After close examination of all the bits and pieces, the party surmised this formed some sort of viewing or signaling device. As a backup, there was a tarnished brass bugle hanging on the wall. Vergarious cast detect magic on the room but discovered nothing of importance.
Turning now to explore further, quick glances down the three narrow passages revealed they shortly ended in rooms. Except one to the left, which ended in a solid wall of darkness. So the party headed there first. Gnarl sparked up his light spear, and pushed it into the room. Surprisingly, it barely pieced the darkness, lighting just a tiny sphere with faint light. Then suddenly from that darkness errupted a ghastly baying, making everyone recoil in fear and driving Thrax into flight through the western passage. Then from the darkness emerged two shadowy hounds, with glowing red eyes and jaws that took up most of their heads. These leapt at Gnarl and Ranza standing in the corridor. As the rest of the party prepared to wade in, the second hound howled and drove Vergarious and Hobbs into flight, leaving just the changeling and wood gnome in the fight. One hound tore viciously into Ranza, causing massive damage and forcing her to back away. Her colour spray also had little effect. But she and Gnarl held the line, and the two hounds were soon slain. They then went in search of the missing three. Thrax was found climbing a set of stairs which led both up and down the height of the statue; he reported it was blocked at the bottom by the same rockslide they'd seen outside. A quick check above revealed a mess of sticks and stuff; likely the bottom of a nest belonging to whatever lurked above.
Vergarious and Hobbs were found cowering in the comer of a small room, which itself presented a strange sight. The walls were covered in murals of Imperium legionnaires on the march, while seated about a small table were four real legionnaires. They appeared true to life, and close examination suggested they were in fact real legionnaires trapped in some sort of stasis. The party tried several experiments to 'animate' them, but with no success.
Heading back out to the chest opening, Thrax decided to grab the bugle and blow. After several hoots, he attracted the attention of the creature in the head; a huge eagle flew down and into the chest, lashing out at Thrax with it's wickedly sharp beak. He backed away, and the rest of the party held their attacks, unsure if this were really fiend or friend. The bird then turned and flew out again, returning to the eye opening and disappearing from sight.
Ignoring the eagle above for now, everyone returned to the legionary room. Ranza found a secret door on one wall; Hobbs opened it by twisting a torch sconce on the wall. It led to another small chamber, this with an altar in the centre. Lying on the altar was a sword and shield. Carved on front of altar was the sun and triple star symbol of the Church of the Three Virtues, and the following phrase: "One must not trust to know even what one sees. Be right". Ranza boldly stepped forward and grabbed the shield, at which point both sward and shield animated and attacked. Gnarl quickly cast entangle, filling the room (and most of the rest of the statue) with a mass of root and twig. This held the sword and shield, and everyone else, locked in place. Gnarl and Hobbs however were able to move enough to hack the weapons' down, and than all waited for the spell duration to elapse so they could once more go about their business
Danger now passed, the party turned back to the altar. Thrax grabbed it and pushed, revealing an open shaft below. Poking at the right side of the symbol on the front caused the alter to open up, reveling another shield and sword. These proved both real, safe and magical, and were claimed respectively by the two changelings Ranza and Vergarious. Everyone then turned to the shaft, and Hobbs was roped up and lowered down. The shaft extended about 70', then opened into another small chamber. At the bottom was a small brass box, covered in images of of Imperium legionnaires on the march. Rather than go after it, Hobbs dropped a grappling hook to grab it and pull it up. This triggered a trap at the entrance to the chamber; eight bolts shot out in a grid pattern across the opening. Thankfully the hedgefey was not hurt by these.
Once Hobbs and box were back up in the altar room, they proceeded to break open the lock (which they observed was trapped). Inside they found an entwined golden eagle and dragon, at once recognized as the standard of an imperium legion. One could only surmised it had been placed there for safekeeping ...
Eagle & Dragon standard of the XXI [Mor] Imperium Legion (3800sp)
Shadescourge (Sword +1, +3 vs incorporeal creatures)
2 Shade Hound
2 Shade Hound