On the way back to the temple, the party explored a former crypt now turned into Avvakris’s dressing room. In it, chained to the wall, was Verus Vorum, a priest who had been stationed at the shrine of Mithras in the village (the one Cornelius came from) when Set arose 300 or so years ago and turned almost all the villagers into his evil worshipers. Verus had been exploring the tunnels under the village at the time, and came back to find his fellow priests slaughtered, or worse, being tortured to death. His mind broke, and he became Verus Two-Face — half the time he is a LG priest of Mitras, the other half a CE priest of Set. He narrowly escaped being killed the first time he flipped in the paladin’s presence, but the party eventually decided to take him (and Avvakris’s ceremonial priestly garments) back to the White Tower and let Holomir deal with him. Holomir remembered him from long ago (Holomir is over 500 himself), and had him put just outside the tower entrance with gnomes to guard him until something could be done for him, if anything. Mostly he just wants to be allowed to confess his sins and get far enough away from the influence of the village so he can finally die. No more blood, please. He also asked them to find the Mace of Mithras.
Verus was able to tell them of some of the rooms behind the temple, so they were able to avoid the ever-cloning skeletons by showing them a seal from Avvakris’s ring. They found one very smelly room full of the bodies of sacrifices, and a black pudding having lunch. The black pudding managed to get a good hit on Wil before being destroyed, leaving Wil nekkid and peeing on his armor to clear the acid from it. Boy I would have loved to see that! Several of the party were then sickened by the stench of the bodies in the room before they managed to move on. In the next chamber were the three statues of Mitras that Verus had told them about — all were wearing the belt, the ring, and the amulet, and one was carrying a mace. Simply standing in the room in the presence of these statues (much desecrated, but infinitely valuable to a Mithrandic temple) was enough to heal all wounds. On to the chamber of Omphalos, a guardian naga. Roger was able to walk straight in after greeting Omphalos by name — everyone else was paralyzed by one of the numerous glyphs that covered the floor. Omphalos inspected Roger carefully, and suggested he tell his friends to greet him by name as well. Once they unfroze and did so, they were able to move, and admire the many many MANY glyphs that covered the floor, including glyphs of blinding and other nastier things.
Qarian detected a set of secret doors on the west side of the room, which Omphalos was suitably mysterious about. They entered and found themselves in a large room with a reliquary on the north wall and a dais with a gold throne on the south. The reliquary held a piece of bone, and was carved with scenes of Mitras’s deification. The throne had several items laid out in front of it, including a sword, a brooch, a small gold coffin, a chest, a spear, and some earrings. When they approached the throne, a figure appeared, looking very much like the statues in the other room. He greeted the party and told them he was Mithras, at which point some obeisances happened (as Dave would say). He asked if they wished to make an offering to him, which several of the party did — then he asked if Roger would like to wield the sword (glass-steel +3 holy broadsword), which Roger said he would.
Mitras also offered the small gold coffin to the party, which contained two raise dead charges. The party asked what the rest of the items were, and Turin was particularly taken by the +4 earrings of charisma. He had earlier offered Mithras his moonstone cloak, but now he offered him two of his wands as well (and maybe something else?), and was able to take them. At that point, he decided maybe he ought to convert, and as so often happens, a religious debate broke out. That’s where we left it, as Dave wanted a week to think about whether Turin should take such a drastic and impulsive step. (Perhaps Qarian can talk him down… perhaps not.)
XPs: 1,000 for Roger and Turin, 1350 for Qarian, 1250 for Wil