Somewhere north of Chivay

If one were to travel the treacherous paths through the peaks of this district, one may come across a building, carved out of the face of a sheer cliff, accessible only through a winding mountain trail that doesn’t even pause to acknowledge it. It apparently once served as a temple, though to who or what no one can say. Its pictoglyphs conform to no known South American culture and the bat-wing creatures carved into its walls bear no resemblance to any living thing. It has stood here for longer than anyone can remember, and the harsh Andean climate has done little to damage its ancient textured surface.

A few archaeological expeditions sent to the site in the early 20th century never returned. Their deaths were blamed on the treacherous conditions of the surrounding landscape and further expeditions were curtailed. Other interlopers have passed it from time to time, and a fair number have even made use of it: a gang of bank robbers took shelter from the police there in the winter of 1935, a splinter cell of Shining Path hid arms and supplies within its depth, and wonderers and vagrants of all varieties stopped to spend the night there in their wanderings.

In some cases, nothing happened. The temple protected them from the elements and the visitors went on their way without further incident. In others, however, the interlopers disappeared… or worse, were butchered horribly with no sign of their attackers. The police found money from the 1935 robbery on snowy slopes nearly 2,000 feet down and locales spotted bills floating on the wind for months afterwards- still smeared with the robbers’ blood. Shining Path has had the most success with it, and continues to stash supplies in its hidden recesses. But none of them linger after dark, and they have never found the walled-up passages leading deeper into the temple’s interior- passages which still echo with the gurgling sighs of the temple’s original occupant.