The entire village has changed. Hopefully for the better, but I don't know.
Darvin was still recovering from his wounds the next day, and Kevin was called out to help our scouts. They were starting to run into tiefling scouts. Whatever force they have is getting closer. Amatus and Benmor had returned, so the four of us slipped back into the temple. The only room we had yet to explore was the one with the statuettes. The voice asked a riddle of what the people it belonged to were known for. When I placed the horse statue on the altar, and it was satisfied. We returned to the main room to find it filled with acid. There were a few islands of stone, but we knew what was coming and prepared the best we could.
As soon as we all entered, the doors sealed themselves and some creature crawled its way out of a pile of skulls in the center island. It appeared to be a combination of a dwarf, halfling, and elf skeleton. It was a faint hope, but I yanked it into the acid hoping the creature would be injured. Of course it wasn't, but I still felt I had to try. Then it threw the halfling skeleton at me! The fight with the creature involved a lot of jumping, and we all were knocked into the acid at least once. Benmor ended the fight in the nude. Really didn't need to see that.
When the fight was over, the acid vanished and a figure was standing where the pillar used to be. He introduced himself as the Keeper and it was his voice we'd been hearing. I guess he was a sort of scribe in life for the people who were on the tapestry. The five queens: Nuah, Cessair, Fortania, Illyr, and Milesia. The last two were the ones who left by ship. Milesia went missing during the voyage. He explained that there were wards set in place by the kingdom that once ruled over this area. Activating them would cause the town to vanish, become completely unseen. Malik had a serious concern about what the Keeper meant by "vanish" and wished to discuss it elsewhere. We left the Keeper and returned to Mother Gramm.
It turns out she isn't one of the people who traveled here under Queen Illyr. The stories of her age don't go back that far.
We eventually decided to activate the wards given that while they might completely destroy the town, the tieflings would definitely destroy Corkirk. We descended back into the temple to speak with the Keeper again, only to find that the wards were already active. If we deactivated them, we would bring the ancient city back. It wasn't what we expected, but an ancient city would probably be better protected than what we had set up. We deactivated the wards and rushed upstairs to witness the largest city I'd ever imagined rise from the ground. Amatus was quick to proclaim it a miracle of Laenau, partly to keep the village calm and partly to keep them from realizing we indirectly destroyed most of Corkirk.
This place is massive. Benmor and I gathered the treetoppers and treemappers together so we could try to get a basic map of the city laid out. Figure out the best spots for ambushes and defenses. While we were doing that, Malik and Kevin found some of the cities defenses. The Keeper gave Malik a crown that controlled giant stone guardians with shields as big as they were, and Kevin was shown a way to control the inner keeps siege bows. They launch arrows longer than I am tall and a hand wide. Our basic strategy is to start at the outer walls and continue to fall back through the streets taking as many potshots at the tieflings as we can. We have the guardians on the inside of the gates to attack them from behind once their forces make it through. I almost feel like a general from one of Mother Gramm's stories. Whatever the tieflings were expecting, I can guarantee this city wasn't it.