Akkar Akkad, junior member of the Akkad royal line and advisor to priest-king Gulkishar, has approached the king’s brother Gilgamesh to engage on a secret mission. He recommended a covert team investigate a rumoured bandit base on the mostly submerged ziggurat of Hammurabi—the Temple Ziggurat dedicated to the gods, flooded 75 years ago. Both the proximity of the threat and the holy nature of the site suggested secrecy to Akkar. The recommended team included the Minotaur Runepriest Siduri (priestess of Inanna), Dragonborn arena champion Krivv, and Elvish merchant/hunter Acacia.
Being a man of action, Gilgamesh did not waste time looking for information about the ruin. Gilgamesh knew that patrol regularly passed it and that it was briefly used as a guard post, while Siduri recalled that it had been properly sealed by the temple when abandoned. Choosing the hour before dawn, the adventurers travelled by boat to the mooring at the top of the ziggurat. Krivv, another man of action, leaped ashore and approached the opening into the entrance into the structure. Approaching in the near darkness, Krivv failed to notice the awaiting bandits, who fired on the party through arrow slits in the wall.
Fast-acting Acacia returned fire with her crossbow, able to hit the archers through the slits. Responding in kind, the archers take her out. Gilgamesh takes control by lifting the boat from the water and hauling it ahead of himself like a shield—in the process, accidentally knocking Siduri into the Tigris River and Acacia’s unconscious body onto the ground. Manoeuvring the boat, Gilgamesh blocks the southern arrow slits stifling half their fire power.
Krivv charges forward, running blindly into the glue trap situated between barriers erected by the bandits. Siduri is able to swim out of the river and uses a healing rune on Acacia and Krivv who has become the focus of the archers. Krivv attempts to smash his way through the barrier, but is attacked by the melee guards and goes down. Siduri rushes forward to heal him again, forced to stand on top of him to avoid the glue trap.
Gilgamesh charges into battle and leaps over the barrier to confront the archers—taking the two on the north side down. Using his defender’s aura, he forces back the melee bandits while Acacia darts in and out from behind the cover of the boat while peppering the bandits with arrows.
Krivv tries to force himself out of the glue while Siduri lands a few blows of her own. Gilgamesh makes another stunning leap, bounding over Siduri’s shoulders to the other side of the barrier. He’s able to badly hurt many of the remaining bandits, but as Krivv and Siduri are taken out by bandits he is surrounded and taken down. Acacia races in to revive him, but he’s immediately taken out again. Acacia is able to slay three before she too is knocked out.
|The party awakes in a primitive cell attached to the guards’ quarters. Their gear has been taken, but only one guard watches them. From behind the guard a roguish figure approaches. Silverkin, a contact of Akkar’s, has slipped into the bandit’s camp pretending to be one of their own. He is able to take the guard by surprise and drive him towards the cell, where Gilgamesh holds him and Silverkin finishes him off.
Freed, the rogue slips back into the shadows while the party prepares to deal with their remaining foes. Their haste is rewarded when the bandits break through the door they had blocked to the adventurers in position—Gilgamesh and Krivv right by the door and Siduri and Acacia (standing by the bandit’s cooking pot). Krivv, in true barbarian fashion, slips in amidst the enemy and lays waste to the bandits in a whirling blow. The combat is brief, and while Krivv takes their weapons and, after examining them to determine that they appear to be of Kimah make (the criminal merchant family), sinks them into the untouched glue pots.
Adjacent to the cell is a doorway which has been blocked and barricaded by the bandits. The bandits are afraid of the noises they have heard coming up from the door and have never looked beyond it. The party decides to open it, rather than the sealed door in the other chamber. Siduri believes it leads to a staircase down into the temple-proper.
As expected it does lead to stairs, but surprisingly they are not under submerged. The party carefully makes its way down the slick steps that open into a small chamber with a sealed door on the far side. Siduri identifies this room as a purification chamber. The great hall should be beyond the sealed door. Sensing no disturbance from the Goddess, Siduri begins removing the mystical seals before demolishing the boards holding the door closed. The party enters the cavernous room to find an unexpected sight. The room is modeled after a long hall with a central aisle and towering columns. There are statues of the gods along either sides of the room and a dais opposite the door with an altar and three more statues behind it. Some of the columns still stand, but most are crumbled and broken. The center aisle is a mass of corpses and fresh blood and a weird mist hangs along the floor. But the most surprising thing is the large black pipes descending from a hole in the ceiling. These pipes seem to have been used to draw the water from the room. Next to the pipes is an elevator, currently resting in the room above.
The party, upon closer examination, reveals that of the 9 statues to represent the gods and goddesses of Urkesh, only three remain un-desecrated – Inanna, Urkesh and Enki. The rest of the statues have been smashed. When Gilgamesh steps into the pool of blood to take a closer look at the bodies of the dead, all but the freshest rise and the mist grows thicker and tries to impede the heroes.
Acacia leaps forward onto a broken pillar and sends a volley of arrows at a group of minions. The rest of the enemies, including archers and corruption corpses, converge on Gilgamesh. Krivv charges straight to an archer and Siduri provides support from the entrance of the great hall. The minions fall quickly, the archers with a bit more trouble, leaving only the corruption corpses with their horrible aura. When the last one explodes, showering Gilgamesh and Krivv with fluids, the party is able to pause and take a breather.