Forgotten Keep and the Western Lands

Splitting of the Sky and Sea

After ignoring the old man’s warning of staying away from the sea the party found themselves in Flan port at the Traveler’s Inn. Gannic, Nemi and Amarae sat on the roof of the inn as Rolf and Theoren drank at the bar. From the roof the three travelers witnessed the sky like they had never seen before. A line seemed to split the sky in half and colors of purple and pink flowed from it like two rivers each flooding the sky, one side pink the other purple. Then the dark line that separated the colors grow and a dark void filled the middle of the sky and a single start could be seen through the darkness. Inside Rolf, caught up in the festivities had purchased many drinks for himself and the other patrons and was now falling asleep in his beer. Theoren looked around and noticed that the bar had emptied and the barkeep looked worried as he closed the shutters and prepared to lock the door.

“Those colors, the sky, not good, not good.”

Theoren remembering his companions on the roof stumbled to the door and out onto the street. The warm air and silence greeted him and the colors of the sky embraced him. The street was empty. All doors locked and shutters closed. He called up to the roof, his drunken mumbling breaking the silence.

The group spotted Abbey moving in the shadows towards the plaza. As the rest of the group descended from the roof on Gannic’s rope Theoren clumsily made his way to Abbey. She hushed him as he approached and explained that you must follow the creatures of the sea to find her son. He has left many years ago on a night like this and he must return this night or stay under the sea till the next split sky.

As Nemi and Amarae moved around the plaza to the opposite side they heard a groaning sound from farther down the street and in the colorful gloom of night saw a tall ragged humanoid creature dragging what looked like a limp human. The creatures moved quickly towards the south only slightly hindered by dragging a full sized man. Nemi loaded her crossbow and fired a bolt into the creatures back as Amarae turned into a large panther. The creature hissed in pain and turned, it’s face was horrid, skin saggy, grey and wrinkled. Hair disheveled and its dark eyes’ gleamed with hate. Nemi shrunk back into the shadows, fear drawing the strength from her. The large panther that was Amarae rushed forward gashing the creature with a claw. The horrible creature’s claws seemed to glow in the strange light as it slashed but the panther was too quick. Nemi drawing her strength loaded another crossbow and fired at the creature but missed. Again the panther rushed in clawing and retreating. The hideous grey humanoid took one more swipe with its claw, missed the panther and then disappeared into nothing.

Nemi And Amarae could still hear its footsteps retreating down the cobblestone street but could not see anything. Amarae rushed after it clawing at the air and catching it twice before she could not locate it again.

Hearing the sound of battle Gannic and Theoren caught up to the human man the creature had left behind. His eyes met theirs but he was limp, unable to move or speak. As they turned to go after Nemi and the panther his eye’s darted frantically. Seeing this Theoren put him over his shoulder and carried him back to the Traveler’s Inn. After banging on the door the barkeep reluctantly opened it and Theoren placed the man and Rolf inside.

Meanwhile a Nemi and Amarae heard strange watery voices through the streets and Amarae stalked through the darkness. A few streets over she witnessed over a dozen strange fish like humanoids with spears making their way down the street towards the plaza carrying empty sacks woven from seagrass.

When the fish creatures reached the plaza they quickly removed the remaining food from the tables and loaded it into their sacks and returned down the street which they had come. Abbey followed, staying in the shadows behind them as they did.

One of the fish creatures who sack was mostly empty turned off the street into an alley and the cracking of wood could be heard. A few minutes he returned to the street, his sack full and struggling. He opped it briefly to strike the contents with the blunt end of his spear. This put him a good twenty paces behind his fish companions. Nemi and the panther raced down a parallel street and maneuvering in front of the group. Creeping through a side street they waited till all but the last of the fish creatures had passed. As the last creature passed he glanced down the alley to see the large panther. He watched it carefully as he continued undisturbed by the magically created sound of a crying baby in the opposite alley. The line of fish creatures turned down a diagonal street towards the harbor, as the second to last creature turned the corner the panther rushed out towards the last fish creature. As she did he dropped his sack and raised his spear. She stopped at the sack as the fish creature backed away, grabbing it in her mouth and dragging it away. As she did the fish creature raised his spear but a bolt from Nemi’s crossbow slammed into his side and he turned and ran to follow his companions. Inside the sack a young boy moaned, his face badly bruised. Nemi and Gannic returned him to the building he was taking from and left him in front of the door after banging loudly and magically projecting a voice inside the house.

The group together now continued south towards the waterfront and docks. There they could see the strange fish creatures returning to the water and Abbey trailing them. As the last of them disappeared under the water Abbey prepared to follow but Theoren approached her.

Nemi and Amarae watched the reflection of the sky in the water as footprints appeared on the street walking towards them. The creature appeared slashing the Panther with its claws and staring into the panthers eyes. Nemi rushed forward stabbing it twice with her daggers and it disappeared again returning the the sea.

Gannic and Theoren followed Abbey into the water and along a muddy path. The path’s decent stopped after about fifteen minutes and traversed a rocky hill covered in kelp. As the path left the forest it passed a hillside with half a dozen cave openings on the right. As Abbey passed the caves a giant eel rushed out towards her. Gannic rushed forward stabbing the eel with is spear but not before its jaw closed around Abbey pulling her back towards its cave. Theoren ran up the side of the hill and met the eel as it retreated tail first into its cave. His sword Fimbric slid through the eels neck before it could pull Abbey into the dark opening. Abbey tumbled down the leaving a cloud of blood. Gannic reached her and with magic brought her back to consciousness. Another eel rushed out and biting Theoren’s leg. He turned and slashed its side and it retreated back to its cave. Gannic healed the screaming Abbey and told her they would try and find her son and deliver the message to him. With that Abbey rushed back the way they had come.

Return to Marmack Mountain

Spoke with Coreen and found out that she was an under elf from the City of Perle and her sister Gitil turned her to stone in some kind of jealousy or power struggle. She also explain a little about some of the magic items. Gannic figured out how to use the rune shield and that Rolf’s Ax helped with alertness. Left the valley of caves with Coreen and the her large body guard, she headed north to the Marmack mountains.

Party went to the forgotten keep and found out that they are worried about the forces to the west. Purchased new armor for Nemi (giant lizard leather) and Theoren (Studded giant lizard leather). Amarae got a new wooden oak staff and wooden shield. Rolf found out that Colm was heading to Talis the Arena of Blood which is far to the east.

After spending the night in the forgotten keep the group left for Flan Port where they met an old man on the road who warned them not to go because of the splitting of the sky. Arrived in Flan Port, Gilven drank his vial and left separating him and Nemi and curing Nemi’s mute condition. In Flan Port witnessed the beginning of the splitting of the sky.

Elves old and pale

After docking in Flan Port in the afternoon Gannic went to the market and purchase new chainmail and Gilven purchased three peals with two of the opals from the slavers chest. The rest of the group headed to the Broken Mast where Rolf lead the drinking celebrations with several of the Sea Dagger crew and the captain.

Meanwhile Nemi and Amarae hid separately in the dock area and watched the Sea Dagger. As Nemi waited three disheveled humans with missing teeth approached her claiming this was their dock. As she tried to push past them to leave one grabbed her shoulder. She slashed out with her dagger gashing his arm and tried to rush past the other two men but was blocked. One struck her with a the stomach but the blow seemed softened. Another blow struck Nemi in the back as she drew her other dagger and slashed both men in front of her. One collapsed to the ground and she ran past the other. They did not pursue.

Back at the Broken Mast Rolf, half a dozen drinks in was feeling quite warm. He was was buying rounds of drinks for the sailors and the bar when an aged rugged looking elf approached him. Behind him several humans also watched the group. The elf glared at Rolf and demanded for him to leave. As he did Gilven suddenly felt like he had been slammed in the stomach and then again in the back by an invisible force. He turned around quickly casting detect magic but saw nothing. Rolf and the Elf made their way towards the door. As Gilven followed there was a loud crash behind him which was followed by an a cry as a brawl erupted in the bar. A thrown mug struck Gilven in the back of the head as his progress towards the door was stopped by the surging crowd. Theoren managed to push through the crowd to the street.

In the middle of the street Rolf prepared to defend himself with his his great ax as the elf wielding a long and short sword rushed forward to attack. Rolf struck the elf with several mighty blows but he seemed less harmed then he should be. Rolf his series of might ax strikes driving the elf back. The elf’s longsword glowed slightly as it stung Rolf twice but Rolf responded with even more powerful swings of his ax injuring the elf. The elf rushed forward hitting Rolf with his two blades and knocking him to the ground. As Rolf fell the elf turned and fled down the street and into an alley.

Gilven stuck in the crowd rushing towards the door saw one of the humans who was with the elf draw a dagger and move through the crowd towards him. The dagger struck Gilven’s leg but didn’t seem to cut as deeply as expected. Gilven raised his hand and three bolts of flame shot out catching the human and his companion engulfing them in flames. Screams filled the tavern as the patrons spilled into the street through the windows and door. Gilven reached the street to see Rolf knocked to the ground and the elf flee. Four streaks of force leaped from Gilven’s hands striking the elf as he turned into the alley.

Nemi found another place to hide and continued to watch the ship. As she did something cracked her across the head and in the leg, but there was nothing behind her except a wall. She continued to watch the ship and just before dark the captain returned and Nemi noticed Liam make his way down the docks and board the Sea Dagger. After an hour he left the Sea Dagger and Nemi remain hidden watching the ship.

Rolf, Gilven and Gannic rushed to the alley the elf had run into but found nothing there. Rolf let out a victory cry as they looked around. Then they heard a group of city guards approaching so they stayed out of view in the alley. The guard moved to the Broken Mast and bar keep explained a dwarf and elf had caused the problems, an elf wearing a cloak and carrying a staff. No mention was made of the elf who had attacked Rolf.

Figuring it best to keep a low profile the group headed towards the Sea Dagger where Nemi spotted them and they exchanged tales. Gannic healed Nemi’s wounds and when he did Gilven’s wounds also healed. Then the group asked to stay for the night on the Sea Dagger. Rolf drank some more with the crew but Nemi watched the giant reptile she had named Sunshine. Sometime in the middle of the night she noticed activity as a large ramp was laid out. Liam and two humans appeared out of the darkness and make their way up the ramp to the ship. There they were greeted by the crew as they opened Sunshine’s cage, put a rope around her neck and led her off the ship. Amarae turned into a raven and followed them as they walked straight through town to the gate which opened for them and they left Flan Port and headed east.

The next morning Amarae again turned into a raven and flew east from the city and again spotted Sunshine being lead about ten miles from the city. They continued east before turning north but Amarae could not remain a raven for much longer so she returned to the Sea Dagger. In exchange for an opal the Sea Dagger left port with the party and dropped them outside the city to the east. There the party made haste north for a few days traveling past the forgotten keep and towards the valley of caves, home of Coreen the medusa. At the old stone bridge Talwyn continued north towards the Marmack mountains in hurry to return to her brother.

Once in the familiar valley Rolf and Gilven lead the group up the northern side and around to a reddish cave opening with twisted tree. Inside the group was lead to Coreen by a huge humanoid they had fought previously. Averting their eyes they handed the vial to Coreen. She drank he vial and her voice changed from hissing rasp to a soft and smooth. When the party gazed upon her they were met by a strange sight, an elvish creature stood before them. Sickly pale with huge cat like eyes that showed no color this was like no elf they had seen.

Revival of the Dead

After a full night of rest under the protection of the cat people the party set off to the Southeast in the morning. After a few hours of travel through rocky hills they reached the edge of a vast swamp, turning south the group continued along the edge of the swamp.

As they traveled Gilven and Nemi smelled a faint rotting flesh smell. They immediately moved away from the swamp but as they did six naked humanoids rushed up the hill after them. A barrage of bolts and thorns hit the creatures followed by a fireball. The remaining two were destroyed when Rolf rushed forward and gashed them with his ax.

With the creatures defeated the group make their way south and found the tarpit. Turning east Talwyn lead them through the swamp and around the tarpit reaching dry land and a familiar path just before nightfall. After resting the night the party followed the path south arriving at the great wall and the village of Tanaroa.

After resting the night the ventured to the step pyramid in the center of the village and found an opening in the side after Rolf moved a large Stone block. After Given called out for Huita she appeared on the stairs leading down into the darkness. She shushed Gilven out of the opening and it closed behind him. A few minutes later she Huita approached from the south with four masked humans carrying the bodies of Lars and Delen. Gannic poured the vials from the pool on them and they glimmered briefly and began breathing once again.

With Lars and Delen returned to the living and the other vials from the pool in their possession the group returned to the Sea Dagger and negotiated their return passage. They agreed to pay 3 large emeralds, 2 small emeralds., the gold necklace with garnets and the three bowls with gold inlays in exchange for return passage for everyone and freeing the Ape and Sabertooth tiger.

With the animals set free the Sea Dagger made good time back to Phlan Port. On arrival Theoren returned the water sword to Eili and she offered to accompany the party to repay them for their help. When they refused she promised to repay them in the future and left to return home.

The Greatest Warriors of All

While spending the night in the giant nest Gannic took some hair in a vial and poured some of the water from the pool of life into it but it didn’t seem to change. After some more discussion Rolf called out to Nemi and she appeared out of the darkness. Her and Gilven stepped away from the group and after a short discussion returned. After resting in the giant nest the party set off to the south as they neared the southern edge of the plateau the path split and they turned to the north east till the path turned east along a stream. At the headwater of the stream they stopped. Nemi found signs of golf in the water while Amarae turned into a raven and flew to the northeast where she found a large chasm in the earth. Returning the rest of the party continued to the chasm where Fimbric began to ring and vibrate. Rolf, clutching the sword lept into the chasm and found veins of golden ore. After an hour of loosening ore the group left the area and continued south towards the bridge to leave the plateau. Crossing the bridge as the sun dropped below the horizon the adventures set up camp for the night on the same trail they had rested days earlier.

The next morning the adventures began a rugged climb south through the mountain terrain and down into the hills. The following three days the followed the hills staying out of the jungles to the west and the swamp to the east. They found a trail with human sized foot prints but the trail turned to the east as the party continued south. During one of the nights a giant snake snuck into camp and began constricting Theoren and dragging him from camp. The party was able to kill the huge serpent and another before Theoren could be consumed.

As the fifth night since leaving the village in the volcano approached a colorful camp was spotted in the distance. The camp was filled with feline like humanoids. The party approached cautiously and began to parley with the strange creatures. they shared many stories of battle and accomplishments and shared food as they sat around their fire into the night. Amarae approached one of the three huge tigers they had and seemed to communicate with it for several minutes before settling to petting and scratching it. Theoren traded the six furs they had found for a fine gold necklace decorated with garnets and the party slept in the safety of the camp with directions for reaching the tar pit and village trail for the next day.

Green wings and the silver ring

The party left the Pool of Life and made their way past the steaming pools and up through the dark passages. When they came to the largest room where they had been attacked by crabs they moved across the water to the collapsed passageway and squeezed through the small excavated section. Following the passageway on the other side lead to a room with a stone pedestal on the side of the room. On the pedestal sat three gold inlaid bowls and a closed stone box. Amarae warned not to open the box but Theoren took the three bowls and the group continued through the room and found the passageway that lead back out of mouth of the giant stone face.

Sitting on the balcony one human stared blankly at the carnage spread across the room. Gannic lead the group up through the whole in the ceiling to the exterior of the island. There they found the huge oak tree. The ground around the tree was trampled. Gannic went to the tree and began to meditate while the rest of the party investigated the area. Talwyn found a huge reptilian foot print near the tree. When Gannic left the tree he found a large acorn with a symbol of an oak on it in his hand.

As the group prepared to leave they heard a whimpering and found the group of native children who had escape the earlier battle. One of the children spoke some Mari. As they lead the children towards the boat they children stopped in terror. They gestured a huge flying creature was in the water and as they did the head and neck of a giant green dragon rose from the water. As all the children and most of the party fled into the protection of the passageway Gannic began speaking with the monstrous beast. The creature seemed evil and cruel but proud and intelligent. It also appeared to be able to use magic and very interested in Gems and magic. Gannic fetched the stone box that Amarae had warned them not to open and the dragon opened it and looked at it in disgust. Gannic also looked at it before closing it and keeping it with him. After much negotiation and one terrified villager the party gathered a vial from the pool of life for the dragon, surrendered two emeralds to it and the dragon took to the sky flying out of the volcano to the Northeast.

With the lake safe once again the children were lead from the island and the talking chief agreed to take them in and raise them in the village in exchange for defeating the village’s enemies that had been on the island. The next morning the group hiked out of the volcano and made their way down the other side and back to the across the river and to the giant ape nest where they had spent the night some days before.

Late in the night as Gannic and Gilven took guard Gilven attempted to remove the silver ring with vine etchings from Nemi’s finger but she awoke as he did. In the darkness she sprang to her feet lashing out with her dagger cutting Gilven’s arm deeply. As she did Gilven pulled the ring off her finger and stepped back muttering about killing her and grasping his wounded arm. Gannic hearing the commotion quickly illuminated his spear with magic. As he did Nemi leapt over the rocky side of the nest and disappeared into the darkness. The rest of the group was awaken by the commotion as Gannic and Gilven began to argue about the ring which Gilven had renamed to “my precious”. Now with everyone awake several members of the group climbed outside the nest looking and calling out for Nemi but she could not be found.

Gannic cast a divination and looked at Gilven and the ring carefully. After much discussion Gilven decided to use his last pearl and determine what magic of the ring truly was. After the short ritual he told his audience that ring had healing powers but at a price. He then attempted to use the ring but when he put it on his finger it did not illuminate as it had been on Nemi’s finger. After several more minutes of heated discussion and much to Theoren’s dismay Gilven placed the ring on a large stone in front of Rolf. Rolf raised his ax and struck the ring with a mighty blow. A loud metallic crack rang out in the night and as the ring split in two a warm tingling sensation washed over Gilven, Talwyn and Nemi, the three injured companions and their wounds healed…

The Pool of Life

The party gathered around the pool and began trying to take water from it but it seemed as if no one could touch the pool water, anything submersed in the water returned dry and no containers could collect the water. While they experimented Gannic started a healing prayer on the group. While they waited for Gannic to finish his prayer Amarae used magic to read the runes on Talwyns shield. It appeared to be four words that had no meaning she or Gilven could comprehend. Gilven cast detect magic and was blinded and dazed from the magic before him. Theoren and Rolf removed the short sword from the skeleton and cleaned the mineral deposits from it to reveal a blade that appeared to be made of solid water. Talwyn and Nemi noticed a ring on the skeletons finger and Talwyn removed it and cleaned the minerals from the electrum band etched with lightning. She then partially submerged it into the pool. When nothing happened she fully submerged it and tried to fill a vial while doing so. When this did not work she kept the ring submerged for a minute before handing it to Rolf who was also holding the water bladed short sword. While holding both the ring and sword Rolf tied to take water from the pool but nothing happened. Nemi, Talwyn and Amarae tried to cut the huge roots encasing the pool but quickly lost their train of thought. Gannic feeling recharged healed the group again.

After Gannic finished his healing he knelt beside the pool and meditated. Then he drank the water from his waterskin and lowered it into the pool. Bubbles rushed from the skin as it filled with water. He removed it from the pool and it felt partially full. He then took a vial and filled it with water from the pool and added a few pieces of hair from Talwyn’s brothers lock. The hair floated on the surface of the water in the vial. With another vial he put the scales of Coreen into the vial and dipped it into the pool. As he did the hair disappeared and the water in the vial changed to a blueish tint. As he passed the vial to Gilven he could see a refracted image of Coreen in the water of the vial. Gannic repeated this with vials for everyone in the party and Lars and Delen. Then he picked up a bone from the skeleton that lay next to the pool and placed it in a vial and dipped it in the pool. A image of a human female appeared in the water of vial. He carefully poured it onto the skeleton and it was encased in a glow of magic. Skin and flesh appeared where there had been only bone and a women with straight dark hair and fair skin opened her eyes and looked around confused. She appeared to be in her twenties. Gannic handed her his cloak and after a few seconds of taking in her surroundings and accepting some water she spoke in Mari. Her name was Eili Storn and she was from the Mari Kingdom. She had come to the pool to cure a sickness from herself and her family but had not been able to draw from the pool. The party provided her some clothes and after some conversation Theoren provided her a rapier but not her sword or ring.

Eili agreed to travel with the group out of this place. They proceeded down the terraced landscape back to the pools and explored the rest of the cavern. On one of the raised ground between pools they found a satchel. After discovering some weak mineral crusts and falling into the steaming pool Theoren managed to retrieve the leather pack and found five emeralds inside along with other rotten and moldy goods.

As the group moved towards the unexplored passageway leading out of this natural cavern they spotted a human peering at them from the dark. After some words and gestures the human approached them but they could not communicate with him. Gannic gave him a torch with light on it and he quickly headed towards the exit.

Moving through the passageway revealed another large cavern with half a dozen pools within. Several other passageways lead out of it to another large cavern with more pools. As the party moved around the cavern four amphibious creature’s heads rose from the pools hissing “Push them in the water” and then dropped below the surface again. Gannic responded by pushing Amarae into the steaming water. As Theoren tried to pull her from the pool Nemi tied to push him in as well but failed. As the group struggled to hit the creatures in the pools with bolt Amarae was slashed open by the hooked end of one of the amphibious creatures tentacles but Theoren managed to pull her from the pool as she lost consciousness. Another amphibian hissed “kill the elves”. As it did Rolf turned and cut Theoren with his ax. Theoren picked Amarae up and fled towards the exit with Rolf hot in pursuit.

Gannic turned and pushed Gilven into the pool. His ring did nothing because Theoren has been wearing it less than ten minutes ago when he retrieved the satchel. Talywn was able to quickly pull him out of the pool as one of the hideous creatures rose from the pool behind him. Gilven focusing on his staff unleashed more energy than he thought possible resulting in a mighty blow which seemed to crack the air as it crushed the creatures shoulder sending shockwaves across the pool surface. The creature dropped below the surface and Nemi and Gannic stabbed and slashed at Gilven. Talywn was able to smack Nemi and Gannic and they recovered from the mind control.

Theoren turned to Rolf and tried to break him from his enchantment by striking him but it failed. Rolf responded with two mighty slashing blows to Theoren nearly bringing him to death’s door. Gannic, now thinking clearly moved towards Rolf and Theoren and launched a sling stone which smacked the back of Rolfs neck waking him from the mind control. As the rest of the group retreated Eili muttered words of magic and a cloud of fog covered their escape. Back in the passageway the group quickly moved back to the pool where Gannic feeling the surge of energy healed the group again.

Trouble from within

Shutting themselves between the door and the portcullis, the party began to rest. As they were disturbed by the sound of someone on the stairs, the dwarves awake and see a native human creeping up the stairs in the dark listening. As he reached the top, he turned and retreated down the stairs but as he did, Talwyn punctured his lungs with a crossbow bolt and he collapsed on the stairs. The dwarves opened the portcullis and search the body before tossing it into the well-like hole in the adjacent passageway.

Returning to sleep, they were interrupted again when a torch was tossed from the stairs lighting up their resting place. Gannic, being the only one on guard, was momentarily blinded by the bright light and was unable to see who had thrown the torch.

As more time passed, the dwarves became restless and ventured down the stairs. Rolf walked out along the edge of the first of the boiling pools. Seeing nothing but more pools, he returned to the group and they climbed the stairs where they encountered a strange looking elf. After much discussion, they determined that the elf was seeking a powerful healing source and they had similar goals.

Finally, with the entire day and night passed and the party well rested, they moved down the stairs to investigate further. As they moved deeper into the dark, steaming cavern between boiling pools of water and mud, a strange smooth-skinned humanoid with huge eyes and four small tentacles in place of a mouth rose out of the water. As it did, Theoren stabbed it once and Talwyn’s crossbow bolt cut it deeply. In response, it hissed “Kill the dwarf” and attacked Theoren with its tentacled beak and large clawed, tentacle-like legs wounding him twice. Theoren moved away from the creature and regathered himself while Talwyn missed the creature with her second crossbow bolt. In response, Rolf suddenly turned towards Talwyn and slashed her with his ax.

As the party scrambled to respond, another similar creature moved into the pool on the other side of them and hissed “Fireball them all except the dwarf.” Amaray muttered, bringing a beam of light down on the new creature and damaging its smooth skin and flesh. Gilven responded unleashing a ball of fire over the entire group damaging everyone except Rolf.

The group, now shocked and seriously wounded, sprung into action. Theoren tackled Gilven with his net. Talwyn launched a hail of thorns into the newest creature and Nemi fired another crossbow bolt at the strange creatures. Gannic healed as Rolf tried to free Gilven from Theoren’s net. Then Talwyn moved behind Rolf, striking him with her sword which seemed to awaken him from the hold on his mind. While Nemi tried to gag Gilven, Theoren struck him in the back and he, too, seemed to awaken, freed from the mind control.

With Rolf and Gilven freed from the creature’s influence and Gannic’s bless protecting the group from further manipulation, the party moved past the pools and towards more pools and a raised terrace. Nemi watched over the pools, hitting the creatures with her crossbow when they rose from the water. Amaray did the same with her moonbean and Gannic stopped and turned arming his sling and waited. As he did, one of the creatures surfaced in the pool and Gannic’s sling bullet ripped into its face. Nemi’s bolt followed and the creature slumped into the pool.

As one creature fell into the pool defeated, another surfaced and took control of Rolf’s mind, who then attacked Talwyn, hitting her with two mighty blows from his ax, and sending her to the smooth cavern floor unconscious. The new threat attacked from the edge of the pool but was unsuccessful as Theoren was able to strike Rolf with his blade, awakening him from the spell. Rolf turned on the amphibious creature, cutting it with his ax twice and bringing it near death. As it turned to retreat into the pool, the moonbeam moved over it, melting its flesh and bringing its life to an end.

The last creature sunk back into the pool badly injured. Gannic brought Talwyn back to consciousness with a small chant and then healed her with a cure wounds. The rest of the party watched the pools, ready to attack; but with no further signs of the creature, they scrambled past the last steaming pool to the terraced mineral-covered rocks. Ahead, two huge roots wrapped around a small pool. In front of the pool lay a mineral-encrusted skeleton of human size.

The Black Pearl

While Gilven distracted the giant crabs Theoren swam to the northern corner of the room with a rope attached to Rolf. Rolf attempted to swim next but sank to the bottom and Theoren pulled him across the bottom of the room. As Rolf neared the other side he was grabbed by a giant crab and held underwater. Talwyn and Nemi swam across and Gannic tossed a illuminated rock into the water near Rolf. As Rolf battled the huge crab Talwyn swam above it stabbing it with her spear. finally Rolf managed to drag the creature up the stairs on the side of the room as another crab rushed towards him. Talwyn and Rolf managed to defeat the newest threat but as they did another crab grabbed Talwyn form below. Gilven ran across the room on the water leaving his mage hand distracting another crab. With is staff he stuck two crabs dealing them both a final blow. Gannic managed to swim across and reach the other side and as the party regrouped one last giant crab climbed the stairs underwater to attack them.

After defeating the last giant crab Theoren pointed out the giant oyster he had bumped into in the doorway. With Rolf and Talwyn they managed to pry the shell open and Gilven spotted a fist sized black pearl. As Gilven reached to grab the pearl Rolf’s hands slipped and the oyster closed suddenly trapping Gilven underwater. The group was able to pry the Oyster open freeing Gilven and the pearl.

The group continued past the giant oyster and turned down a long passageway with half a dozen large burrowed out holes in the walls above the water level. Gannic moved to the middle of the passageway to toss a illuminated stone into one of the tunnels but six dog sized rats rushed out of the holes and attacked. Talwyn killed one as Gannic was bitten twice before Gilven burned most of the rats to death and Rolf finished off the two that survived Gilven’s burning hands.

Seeing one of the tunnels lead to another passageway Rolf climbed through and came out in a dry corridor. The rest of the group followed. The new passageway ended in bars with a dead native clinging to them on the far side, its back torn open by claws. The group decided to leave that room and continued the other way which lead to a steaming well. Passing by the well they opened a door which lead to stairs going down and another barred passageway going back to the south. Gilven noticed a lever on the far side of the bars and opened it with mage hand and the barred gate lifted. The door beyond was wet and water pooled in front of it. Talwyn opened the door and water rushed forward knocking everyone except Rolf down the stairs. As the water rushed past Rolf notice a burnt body being carried in the flood.

Down the long stairs the rest of the group found themselves in a huge natural cavern filled with huge boiling mud pits and geysers. They climbed the stairs after the water stopped flowing to rest before continuing onward..

Swimming with Dwarves

While most of the group discussed what to do next in the partially blocked hallway. Nemi climbed the stairs to the edge of the fog cloud and shot a human as he tried to climb the rope through the large opening in the ceiling. As he fell to the floor of the room several other humans climbed out of the opening. Gannic grabbed the sealed gourd which he had detected as magic and retreated down the stairs and back into the fog. In the fog he ran into Nemi as arrows and spears rattled off the walls around them. They were both hit once. They retreated into the partially blocked hallway. There Gannic drank from the gourd and it healed him so he passed it around to the rest of the party. With the gourd empty Talwyn and Gannic used all their remaining spells to heal the party.

After healing the group advanced to the edge of the fog cloud and engaged the humans in the room. Rolf and Theoren rushed up the stairs on the left and engaged the four humans on the balcony. Talwyn and Gannic climbed the stairs on the right and attacked the humans standing around the opening in the ceiling. Nemi and Gilven launched attacks from the edge of the fog on both stairways. Rolf and Theoren were both knocked off the balcony to the floor where Rolf tripped over a body and lost his ax. Several of the humans were killed around the opening in the ceiling and Rolf and Theoren fell several of the humans on the ground floor but took heavy wounds from the archers above. Talwyn and Gannic also sustained several serious wounds before Talwyn retreated down the stairs to the entrance to the hallway. With the situation looking more and more grave Gilven unleashed a fireball at the opening in the ceiling which engulfed all creatures standing around the edge.

Seeing their companions flaming bodies falling back into the main room the moral of the remaining humans broke and they ran for the hallway exit. Talwyn was trampled they rushed into and over her in the fog. She managed to crawl from their path and released the fog cloud. As it dissipated Gilven’s hands erupted in jets of flames burning several more of the humans. As the remaining burnt humans rushed towards the water Nemi dropped on with a crossbow bolt and they were cut down by Theoren’s blades. One remaining human dove into the water and swam for his life. Theoren managed to hit him with an arrow before disappeared along the cliffs to the north.

With the humans defeated the party searched the chambers and found six black obsidian bowls that contained some kind of toxic paste. They also retrieved six fine animal furs, two green emeralds and a large flawed blue diamond from inside skulls in the largest room.

As the party rested for an hour Theoren handed Gannic the spear with the glowing red head that he had found on the human guards. As Gannic muttered magic words and looked into the spear his expression changed from curiosity to disgust. Raising the spear above his head he brought it down over his knee splintering it in a crackling explosion. Gannic stumbled back from the shockwave tossing the broken spear to the floor. It no longer glowed red. After healing the group set off deeper into the ruins. Moving through the mouth of the huge face carving the passageway turned and descended down stairs ending at a stonewall. The stones looked like they had been moved recently and were fairly easy to move again. After taking time to clear about half of the stones the group moved past them and continued down the passageway.

As the passageway turned to the right Gilven and Nemi moved forward investigating the floor and ceiling for any type or traps. Just as Gilven noted the passageway looked eroded the floor gave away dropping both of them into the chamber below. Gilven’s magic ring activated and he landed on the water but Nemi dropped into it.

The chamber was filled with over four feet of water as the group dropped into it. The water was warm and smelled like a swamp, the air hot and thick. The chamber was open to the right leading through a row of locked cells with rusted iron bars. After Gilven checked each cell with the light on his staff and found nothing except for a few old corroded tools they continued past the cells into the hallway beyond. The hallway ran perpendicular and they group turned to the right which lead to a after about twenty feet. A soft clicking could be heard through the door. Opening the door revealed a huge room filled with water. About eighty feet across on the opposite side of the chamber was a twenty foot wide hallway that appeared blocked by rubble. Several bones and a huge rodent looking skull floated in the water.

As Rolf and Talwyn stepped into the room they stumbled forward under the water. As they tried to scramble back up the stairs underwater huge armored claws grabbed them. The rest of the party rushed forward to help and managed to drive back the giant crab like creatures and free the dwarfs. Gilven activated his ring and walked into the chamber on the surface of the water. As he moved along the left side of the room towards another opening leading away from it he noticed something large moving under the water towards him. He quickly retreated back to the group at the doorway of the room.


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