One moment you were standing on the raft, watching through gaps in the mist as the scenery slowly floated by. The next moment the world seemed to lurch and it felt like you’d been smacked around the head by something, but without an actual impact point.
Everyone simultaneously staggered, all in slightly different directions, causing the raft to rock dangerously and some of the guards fell into the swamp water.
You regained your balance, took a moment to help the guards find their feet and get back on the raft then took a look around you and found that the world has changed…you had changed….something indescribable had changed.
Suddenly new thoughts and ideas began to occur to you. You realised new ways of dealing with problems and challenges. A dozen old memories flashed through your minds and you found it ludicrous that you acted in the way you did at the time….
Jack, you remembered the time there was a merchant who needed his horse re-shoeing and he overpaid you….why didn’t it occur to you that you could have not said anything and instead simply kept the money?
Mr Jingle, all the Scrumpy you’d been selling for Granny Smith over the years, you had hundreds of opportunities to skim some money off the sales and keep it for yourself, why didn’t you consider doing that at the time?
You all have similar thoughts over many old memories. You are pretty confident that you probably would still have acted the same as you did, but you’re left wondering why didn’t it even occur to you to be dishonest at the time….to exploit the weak…to hurt others….to put your own needs first.
All these new thoughts and ideas…..they felt like a part of you….they felt natural….not exactly nice but natural. It was like you’d been seeing in black and white and suddenly things are now in colour.
One of the guards turned to another guard and said “You know, I think I’ve always hated you. It’s nothing personal, it’s just the way you look.” He then slamed a dagger into the other guards throat, leaped from the raft and swams for the shore. He got about twenty metres before something drags him under the water never to be seen again.
Moments later the Prince spoke using the magical ring.
“Something just happened to us. We’re not sure what it was but I’m guessing you guys felt it too. It doesn’t change anything, we still have a mission to complete. If anything, it makes our mission more important. I’ve lost three men, one went crazy and attacked the others. We had to kill him before he killed us. We’re shaken but still here.”
Everyone nodded in grim agreement and determination. The guards steered the raft closer to your designated entrance to the temple. When you closed to within fifty feet the mist parted and revealed a number of undead wandering around it.
You took them on and defeated them convincingly. Zombie Halfling stone throwers and Humanoid Skinwalker Skeletons both fell under your precise blows. Two more guards were dealt mortal wounds but six guard and you guys all survived.
With the threat neutralised you approached the temple entrance. One guard insisted he didn’t have the nerve or stomach to continue and asked permission to stay behind and watch the rear / guard the raft. Everyone took pity on him and agreed.
Inside the temple entrance some steps descended into a small stone room and then further down into a flooded area. Jingle bravely headed into the water, being forced to be completely submerged and swim through an underwater maze of passageways.
He triggered a scything blade trap at one point and almost took a lung full of water when the wind was knocked out of him. With help from Blackjack though he just got to the surface before any damage was done.
Riley then had a turn and soon managed to navigate a way through the maze and discovered more stone steps leading up out of the water and into another small stone room at the other end. A single stone door was the only discerning feature but low moaning noises from undead could be heard not far away.
Riley was also aware that he was now closer to the tear of destruction. It’s aura was palpably stronger although he was sure that he was not yet in the zone of corruption.
Riley returned through the underwater passageway to his companions and begun to guide them through it to the other side.