The acid lake
The Wasteland was a salt lake of fine, corrosive particles. Alpha One took a step and his power notifiers went haywire. He took another step and all his systems shut down. Lord Kendrick’s Rakhadian eyes and arms also ceased functioning. Both Kendrick and Alpha One were consigned to the wagons.
Sand Squid attack
Kitra’s sharp eyes spotted movement in the sand ahead, ripples below the surface. ‘Sand Squid!’ squealed their guide and ran off in the opposite direction, as the sands ahead erupted in tentacles. Tarse threw one of the Collector’s energy grenades. Direct hit! The sand squid retreated.
The city in the mirage
After a few hours crossing the dry lake-bed, a dark blob became visible on the horizon. It got larger as they approached but was still unclear. Suddenly, like passing through a waterfall, a city on a raised platform became visible. It was in ruins. Alpha One’s sensory and power units re-activated after a period of nothingness.
Kitra, Alpha One and Groo investigated the ruins for danger. There was a large plaza at the entrance to the city, and many collapsed buildings, but no signs of life or other guardians. The acidic lake-dust covered everything.
Magister Reeg in charge
This was what Magister Reeg had prepared for. He set up camp, drew up rosters of students and guards, and assigned two teams to explore the ruins building by building. Kitra, Alpha One, Agra, Groo and Tarse went with Master Osso’s group.
The temple and the Terax
After painstakingly auditing the contents of a few buildings, Kitra was drawn to the central temple complex in the middle of the ruins. It had an intact courtyard and some inner buildings, one of which gaped with a dark fissure. Groo noticed ancient reptillian tracks around the temple building. Kitra entered the courtyard. As she did so a huge roar shook the rubble, and a gigantic Terax — a mutant monitor lizard, pushed its way from the hole in the right hand building.
The students ran in all directions. Alpha One opened fire and Felix Tarse threw a grenade at the thing, seemingly to no effect. Kitra dashed up to the central temple building. There she found an altar with an ancient eight-pointed star symbol. She pushed the symbol and stairs silently opened up behind the altar. She dashed down them. Alpha One also dodged past the might lizard, which was close to cornering him, and up the stairs to the strang stairs.
Felix Tarse ran towards the plaza encampment in a panic. Groo ran more slowly and tried to get the Terax to follow him. With a sinking feeling he realised he had been successful. With a roar the great lizard lumbered after the Deru.
The puzzle chamber
Down below, Kitra found herself in a small chamber. She faced a metal door inlaid with odd numeric patterns and an indecipherable plaque of ancient writing. Alpha One clanked down the steps and they peered at the patterns in silence.