Pathfinder - Origin of the Merchant King

The Cradle Comes Home
In which everything we knew comes to an end.

“Thank you so much, this was so much easier than if I had to find it on my own,” Tristan said.

Tristan and his minions charged into the room. Three humans in chain mail, flanked by a heavily armored half-orc lead the way in front of Tristan. He mumbled some words and the air shimmered around him.

Rand was about to blast them with a fireball, but realized Tristan had placed a lesser sphere of invulnerability which would nullify the spell. I moved up to get in a better position while Priest prepared Jared for the fight with a blessing of strength.

Tristan cast another spell and his minions grew to the size of ogres.

Rand blasted the enormous group with a fireball, engulfing Jared with it as well. I got in a quick hit and tried to keep myself between the casters and the beasts, but they snuck around to get at Priest who promptly put up his sanctuary. Jared started ripping apart the enemy in front of him.

Tristan maneuvered behind the half-orc, but the anti-magic field did not move with him. He then fired a scorching ray at Jared, who miraculously stayed on his feet.

Rand fired a scorching ray at the beast attacking Jared and he crashed to the ground. I attempted to knock the opponent down in front of me, but he withstood my assault and counter-attacked. I shrugged the blows off as Priest started making his way over to Jared.

Jared lobbed a bomb into the armored half-orc and the splash washed over Tristan who ignored it.

Tristan then dispelled Priest’s sanctuary which opened him up to a massive blow from the half-orc. Rand attempted to take down one of the humans, but I had to finish him off and step in next to Priest to protect him from the incoming attacks. Jared then came in to flank the large half-orc, which had the unfortunate effect of putting us in Tristan’s view.

Jared got hit by a slowing spell and the half-orc bashed him into the ground. I responded by tripping the half-orc and slashing him as he went down. The other human ran over to Rand to start pounding on our spellcaster and Priest slid over to heal Jared.

Tristan then blasted lighting through me, nearly killing me right there. The half-orc got to his feet, getting pounded by Jared and I. His attack almost finished me off, but I stayed on my feet for a bit longer.

Rand fired another blast at the human in front of him, frying him to death.

I ran past the half-orc, knocking him back to the ground giving Jared and I another chance to hit him while he was vulnerable.

Tristan fired a scorching ray at the two of us, taking Jared out and leaving me reeling, but standing.

Rand started blasting at the large half-orc and I moved out of his way so I could recover for a little bit. Tristan then summoned up a ring of fire to protect himself from any assault I could muster.

The half-orc turned his attention to Rand, but did not kill him with his first attack. Rand shocked him through the plate he was wearing and he collapsed.

It was time for Armageddon.

I ate the enlarging extract and pulled out the axe (3d6+10).

Tristan knew something big was coming and created a half-dozen duplicate images of himself. Priest, responding in kind, turned into an energy body. Jared, freshly healed, dragged himself behind the curtain, just in time to get webbed by Tristan.

I broke free of the web and charged at Tristan. My axe came bearing down on him and I connected with the real Tristan. Priest, still stuck in the web, started healing us up. The healing was very helpful as I was about to take a face-full of magic.

Tristan blasted me back into the webs with his powerful magics, but I was able to keep from getting stuck. Rand fired another salvo of missiles into Tristan, destroying the other images he had created.

Another blast of lightning laid Jared and I low, but we stood strong against it. I followed up on Tristan as he tried to escape and knocked him back down. Priest and Jared were able to break out of the web, in order to heal me back up. I was quickly blasted down by the caster, and got to experience combat from Jared’s perspective. At this point, I became the sponge for damage while Jared tried to recuperate from the slow effect he had been placed under.

We started working on him, hoping to take him down before we ran out of power.

In a final attack he blasted himself with a fireball. The blast knocked the spellcasters unconscious, but Jared and I stayed on our feet.

The cradle dropped from Tristan’s charred hands and all we saw was a blinding whiteness.

View
Into the Bowels of the Vault
In which we discover a new world of pain thanks to a rainbow of gems.

We started walking from the factory back to the Vault. Jared was consumed with getting Keri back from the machine men. Nothing we said would sway him to work with us to keep his brother alive. He finally sprouted a tumor familiar and sent it to get in touch with his brother. Unfortunately, the windows were not open for it to fly into. As it was flying to the factory it spied a large eyeball heading toward us.

The eyeball came into view of us, carrying a box somehow.

“What’s in the box?” Jared cried.

I opened the box with my sword and found a red velvet lining inside. There was something in the box covered by cloth and a piece of parchment.

The parchment carried a missive from Rigmar telling us he was convinced by Keri that our cause was just. I received a belt, Priest a stone, Rand a bracers and rod, and Jared an amulet.

We donned our new gear and proceeded on to the Vault.

Zeebo and his grandson were there to meet us. We showed him the key we had obtained and he gave us a purple cylinder.

“To enter the home of the Cradle, you will need four cylinders; purple, blue, orange, and red,” Zeebo told us.

Before entering the Vault we took a rest for the casters to recuperate.

- Day Passes -

After our brief respite we entered the Vault. As the door opened the corridor ahead of us lit up with floating globes of light. We then entered a large circular chamber with a pedestal in the center of the room with four recesses that would fit the cylinders we had. There were a series of glyphs which Rand translated: Honesty, Compassion, Wisdom, and Bravery. There were no other doors leading out of the room.

Jared and I were all about putting a cylinder into the pedestal. He slotted the blue cylinder into Honesty and the room began to rotate. The spinning stopped after a minute, and the entryway was no longer there; it had been replaced by another hallway.

We had a plan, Rand pulled out a piece of chalk and wrote “Blue – Honesty” in the hallway that had opened. We pulled the cylinder out and the room spun again. Jared and I walked out and verified we had the exit and Rand marked it accordingly.

We then placed the blue cylinder back in, and Rand and I noticed the room was spinning and moving down. Our writing was still there, so we headed down the hall.

The hall was rather short and ended with a door. We opened the door and entered a room lit up by more glowing globes. In the middle of the room was a palette of adamantine bars, which I promptly loaded into the portable hole to bring back to Rigmar.

Jared kept searching the vault, but didn’t find anything else of note.

We headed back and placed the blue cylinder into Bravery. The room then started rotating again and the passage that opened up was marked with “Blue Bravery”.

The door at the end of the hall was “75”.

Jared decided now was a good time to just throw the door open and within was a large animated cat skeleton belching smoke out of its eyes from the furnace from within its ribs.

Jared immediately went down as the cats barreled him over. We backed down the corridor and after a fierce battle, we were able to take the cats down.

The room looked exactly like the room with the adamantine bars, but it was empty save for a pair of nests for the fire cats.

Next up was Blue Compassion. We headed down and were blasted by spined balls which had been carved from rock. It was rather painful, but all right. The door at the end of the hall was “97”. I opened the door and the floor fell out from beneath us. I managed to jump away, but Jared tumbled to the bottom twenty feet below. I tried to leap over, but crashed to the bottom. Jared finished up his jumping extract and tossed it to Rand, who was able to leap over and send down a rope.

Priest waited on the other side while we checked on the chests within.

Jared made his way to the first chest. Jared was immediately sprayed by acid.

Jared moved to the next chest. Jared was immediately sprayed by acid.

Priest made his way over after I unsuccessfully opened a chest. After he failed we begged Rand to come back over and try to open a chest. He caved in, and was sprayed by acid and failed to open the chest.

We called it quits and headed back out.

Back to the main room and we moved the blue cylinder to Wisdom which took us to a door labeled “39”.

In the middle of the room was a box that had several rods sticking in it, one of them was onyx.

Jared and I were arguing over what to do, but Rand marched straight in and pulled out the onyx rod.

Back to the hub and we put the purple cylinder in Honesty.

“You can’t just cram two rods into one hole,” Jared mused as we talked about getting the rods together.

The next room contained a chest behind a waterfall. I reached through the water and pulled the chest into the pool. Once it was out I opened it up and found lava within. Rand stepped up and reached his hand into the chest, which was mind-boggling and pulled out an egg. We debated what to do with this egg; Jared wanted to smash the egg, Rand wanted to keep it, Priest wasn’t sure, and I wanted to put it into the hole.

We decided to place the egg in the water to see if something would happen. I placed the egg in the hole and pushed the chest back under the waterfall.

Purple Compassion.

The door was unnumbered. Behind the door was a large slumbering chimera. The beast blasted us with lightning, but didn’t take any of us out. I leaped into the room to try and mitigate the amount of damage it could do with lightning. Jared charged in to strike at the monster.

Jared was immediately attacked by the creature’s three heads and two claws.

Priest ran in to heal us, and we were promptly blasted with another lightning strike.

In the end, Jared went down right before the chimera was killed by Rand.

We picked up the orange cylinder that was hanging behind the chimera to complete the set.

We decided to go back to the Blue Compassion treasure room before resting. Rand set us up on acid resistance. After being extremely prepared, we managed to open a chest, only to see them all disappear.

- Day Passes -

Purple Wisdom.

Another unnumbered door. Jared heard the sound of rocks smashing the floor. Within the room was a pair of rock trolls.

The blocked off the hallway and we started pounding on them. After they went down the first time they crawled back to their feet and continued to pitch rocks at us, knocking Jared to his feet. I stepped up and downed a potion after Rand blasted them with his last fireball. Once Jared got back up he recalled that rock trolls need to be hit with acid.

Purple Bravery

The door here said “Headquarters”.

“Come on in, I’ve been waiting for you,” a woman’s voice called from behind the door.

Behind the door was a woman sitting behind the desk. Jared and I stepped into the room while the spell casters stayed in the hall. We tried to coax them into the room, but they would not come in.

“What are you doing in this room?” Jared inquired.

“She’s not human!” Rand called after us.

Rand was stubbornly waiting in the hall, but something lulled him in.

“So, seeking the red cylinder is why you have come to see me?” the snake woman inquired.

In order to get information the snake lady wanted something in trade; part of someone’s soul.

After I offered up my soul in exchange for the cylinder, she then offered to tell us how to get to the Cradle.

I then took the cylinder and gave up part of my soul. I was a bit exhausted after giving up my soul. I then headed out and stopped back in the pedestal room with all the cylinders.

We started running through the orange cylinder slots, but no doors were revealed.

The red cylinder spun the room for a very long time and eventually took us to a long dark and dusty passageway. The door at the end of the hall was all iron and was dented from the inside out. Jared heard muffled sounds from within.

- Day Passes -

It was time to slot all four cylinders

Blue Honesty

Orange Compassion

Purple Wisdom

Red Bravery

As Rand placed the final cylinder in all four of them sunk into the pedestal. The room began to spin, sending us further and further down at a much faster pace. After thirty minutes of descent we came to the bottom where the hallway that was revealed was made of a gleaming metal.

We headed down the hall, the spellcasters waiting a distance behind us. The hallway emptied into a large room with an altar on a dais. The room was larger than the pedestal, about 100’ in diameter.

Jared and I approached the altar which was covered in runes that were indecipherable to us. Rand followed us in and magicked up a comprehension of the runes. It was a history of the city Estendel and how they thought the Cradle would bring about a golden age.

As Rand was reading we heard a familiar voice coming from the hallway. Zeebo was there at the entryway and he morphed into Tristan Corvair. He laughed as he sent his minions in so he would be able to bring the Cradle to the altar.

View
Of Robots and Little Brothers
In which Jared nearly dies of panic and me stabbing him in the face.

We traveled through the city, past the ruins of buildings when we came upon an immaculate factory. Time had not touched this structure and its large windows glistened in the unnatural light. A fence lined the perimeter and was still standing solidly.

The rest of the group started looking about while I stood at the gate with my hand on my sword, waiting for something to come out to greet us. It didn’t take long, there were several metal dogs within the fence growling at us.

We made our way to one of the gates and there was a bell for us to ring. I decided to just give it a whirl and pulled the rope to ring it. Shortly after, a metal man with smoke billowing from his eye sockets approached the gate, flanked by the dogs.

“What do you want, fleshbags?” the metal man inquired.

“We are looking for Rigmar,” Priest said.

“The lord and master of creation? It is blasphemy to speak his name,” the metal man said.

After some talking, it turns out Rigmar had transcended flesh to become a metal man himself. We would not be able to see him unless we transcended ourselves. We excused ourselves to converse with our friends.

Jared, obviously, wanted to become a golem.

We went back and called the metal envoy back over.

“I want to know what is involved for transcendence,” Jared told the metal man. He tried to convince him to let us in so he could inspect his metal body, but nothing seemed to work. I finally suggested Jared just go in and become a metal construct, which he enthusiastically agreed to.

Once the metal man opened the gate I rushed through and tried to smash his face in, but the man was tougher than he looked. The dogs flanked me and the man started bashing me with his fists. I managed the trip the metal man as the magical backup ran off. Unfortunately, the metal man just turned into a whirling mass of blades and bits on the ground. Jared dropped a bomb on him, but was unable to run away fast enough while I danced lightly back.

Rand ran off to pull the bell on the other gate, not exactly sure why. Jared and I continued to flee from the whirling mass of metal, bonding over his wonderful use of bombs.

The metal man then grabbed Jared after a pair of attacks, and then pierced him with surprise blades from his chest. Jared then hung from the man’s arms as he continued to get murdered. Jared was flung away, and I managed to get another blow in on the creature to smash him to bits.

Then he blew up, and knocked Jared close to death again.

After a bit of rest, we proceeded into the factory entering a large reception area. I walked over to the desk, curious to see if there was a directory of where to find things in the factory.

We decided it would be best to find a quiet room to rest in, so we decided to head off to one of the halls. The first door we tried opened to a bathroom, where we decided to rest for a few hours.

- Day Passes -

We then moved across the hall to the door where Jared had heard scampering feet. It was an empty bathroom.

We turned the corner and saw a large room, well lit from the large windows. There were more stairs in the back, leading to a balcony that surrounded the perimeter of the room. I stepped into the room which was filled with long work tables filled with machines in various states of construction. There were two long tables in the middle lined with body parts that were decaying away.

Jared was thrilled by the body parts.

Creepo.

Several automatons came to life as I walked into the room. A pair were bulky, as if I had been turned into one of them. The other three in the back of the room were tall and spindly, almost spiderlike with a greenish glow emanating from the liquid transistors on its back.

The automatons came at us, the first tossing a freezing blast at Jared and me. Jared lobbed a bomb back, somehow hitting his target, then ran back down the hall away from the machines.

We backed into the hall and Jared and I decided it was time to block things up. They automatons came after us and we ate our enlarge extracts. We closed off the hall, keeping the healer and mage safe.

I pulled the enormous great axe out of the portable hole and after one poor swing I connected with the massive automaton, splitting it in two.

Jared went down shortly after as the large automaton in front of him pounded away with bombing backup. Priest kept doing his thing, while Rand rained more magic down on him.

After an exciting battle, in which I actually smote several creatures, we pinned the last bomb automaton in the bathroom and Rand shocked it out of functionality.

We then took a rest so the healer and mage could regain their abilities.

- Day Passes -

We proceeded up the balcony, the axe stowed safely away in my portable hole. Up on the second floor was a door that lead into another set of offices.

In the office were several automatons working away at the tables writing something in a language we did not understand. Rand, with assistance of a spell, was able to read the work. It turns out the machines were transcribing ancient books, science, math formulas and all sorts of other things.

Double doors stood at the end of the office, which were locked. Jared unlocked the first set of doors, but a second set behind those eluded his skills. I knocked on the door, per Priest’s request.

A clockwork gnome opened the door and within was an enormous mechanical creature, Rigmar.

“Why did you break into my house and destroy my creations?” the massive automaton asked us.

After telling the creature what we were there for the vault key, Rand proposed a deal. If there was something in the vault the automaton wanted we could fetch it for him. He would give us the key if we retrieved an onyx rod from the vaults, but we would have to leave Keri with him. This was a deal we would not agree to, at least Jared and I wouldn’t.

We gleaned some more information from Rigmar about the vault.

After talking it over, we decided the fate of the world was more important than any one of us. Jared, enraged by our decision charged Rand as the sorcerer cast a hold person spell on him. We tied him up, and then dragged him out.

We made our way to the vault, Jared cursing us the whole way from over my shoulder.

View
The City of the Dead
In which we defy gravity and witness an even creepier side of Jared.

We continued walking along the mixed up cliff face looming above the City of the Dead.

I noticed the landscape was herding us toward a specific point, right where an ancient road at one time entered the city. The gates, large enough for heavy traffic, were open. We continued onward.

As we approached, a pair of dog like humanoids stepped out from behind the gate. They both held two handed swords.

“Who dares to enter this city?” One of the dog-men asked.

“Where are we? What city is this?” Jared asked, seeming a bit distracted.

“If you do not know, you should turn around,” the dog-man replied.

We discussed a bit more, and our charm seemed to convince them we were well intentioned. They asked us to leave a token for them to remember us by. After we went in we saw them deposit our items in a chest filled with many other tokens.

The roads were surrounded by devastated ruins. Rand took an interest in the ruined buildings and went to take a closer look. Nothing of interest really stuck out, though. We continued onward to the center of the city.

As we made our way in, Jared noticed several people standing in the back of a building. He pointed this out to us, and we stopped to take a look. Priest noticed they were not dog-men, so I moved on to take a closer look. Priest and Jared started looking for rocks to throw at the people. I got close enough to see they were just statues and waved the rest of the group over.

Jared tossed a rock at one and bounced it off one of the statues. Nothing seemed to happen, but then…

Out of the ground came a basilisk.

The basilisk stared down Jared, but he didn’t succumb to its gaze. Rand unleashed a bolt of energy while the creature continued to stare Jared down. The two of us charged in, taking cover behind a statue while Rand and Priest worked to keep us free from its stony gaze.

Poor Jared was turned to stone and it was up to Rand and me to slay the beast. Priest continued to bless me while the creature stared at me the entire time. Finally, I cut off its head and put its gaze to rest.

Once the basilisk was dead, Rand was able to study the beast to discern we could pour the blood over Jared to turn him back from stone.

Once we got our bearings together, Jared decided he wanted to crawl into the basilisk burrow to see what was in there. He ended up pulling out a few gold pieces and tattered rags.

We continued along toward the center of the city, walking past the destruction on the road. Some of the buildings appeared to be in relatively decent shape. The strange ambient light bathed everything in an odd atmosphere.

We noticed a building with flickering candlelight a little ways up from us. Priest and Jared were able to hear many voices speaking, but couldn’t make out any details. Jared started going through a list of animals he could turn into. I got tired of this and walked closer to see what the sign in front of it said: “The Stupid Dagger Inn”.

We were curious, so we approached. Rand started picking up several languages, but could only understand bits of common. We decided to head on in, so I went through the doorway.

I entered the in, with Priest next to me. About thirty people, elves, dwarves and humans, stopped talking to see what we were doing. After a moment they went back to their conversations. We were approached by the barkeep and we placed an order for some refreshments. We then took a seat at a table and observed the room.

There were no mixed race tables, so we fit right in. After a few minutes a halfling serving wench brought us our food.

“Hey, baby,” Jared said seductively to the wench. The girl promptly crawled onto Jared’s lap.

Things got a bit weird here.

We asked the wench some questions, but she got tired of being interrogated and left, but not before she lifted about 50 coins off Jared.

Jared then made his way over to a table of humans to chat them up.

“Are you guys from this area?”

“Yeah, we come here all the time,” one of the humans replied.

They discussed the local sights; the great spires, the vaults, the central square with the floating platforms, the zoo.

Priest talked with the barkeep to find out more about the city we were in. Turns out they refer to it as the city, and he has never left it. Turns out he had more things to talk about: the endless lake, Rigmar’s factories, and his personal favorite the downtown alehouses.

“Have you heard anything about the cradle?” Priest inquired.

“Oh, the Cradle! That is our city’s greatest artifact,” the barkeep told him.

We got directions to the vaults, and got some more advice.

We continued our way to the city center. In front of us we saw two orcs standing in front of a collapsed building that spanned the road. They asked us to pay a toll of 500 coins each, so I paid with my sword instead.

Rand and I attacked one of the orcs, and the other pulled out a bell and started ringing it. I was expecting more very soon. The first orc went down and I ran over to the next orc, just in time to get smacked in the back of the head by one of Jared’s bombs.

Bugbears came charging from around the rubble, followed closely by a cyclops.

After a long drawn out fight, during which Jared was almost killed, we finally slew the creatures.

We took a rest in an abandoned building and I placed the large great axe we lifted from the cyclops into the portable hole in order to be prepared for Armageddon.

- Day Passes -

In the morning we continued on our way. We passed through a null magic zone and the spellcasters grew extremely concerned that they no longer had access to their abilities. Thankfully, the zone passed by shortly.

As we approached the center the buildings became larger and larger. The street opened up into the square and we saw the floating platforms. To our right was what appeared to be a capital building, the banners of the city hanging limply from the flagpoles out front. Next to the capital was the vault, which still looked very secure.

Jared spied scavengers as well as vegetation growing in the square. There were many common plants, but he also saw rare flowers sprouting here and there.

Our mission was to get into the vault; the Cradle might be within.

The Vault was still intact and very secure. We mounted the platform and at the end of the long hallway entry there were a pair of iron doors. Jared went to work, attempting to disable the lock on the vault.

As Jared was working, Priest noticed a young boy watching us as we waited for Jared.

Jared was unable to open the door. Rand then attempted to detect magic, and promptly blinded himself.

We then made our way to the capital building, thinking there might be something in there to go through. Perhaps there was an office to go through. However, the capital had been ransacked and destroyed, so we started coming up with other ideas.

Jared attempted to find secret doors, but was unsuccessful.

After looking for a secret door we saw the young boy approaching us with an even older Zebo.

There is something wrong with Zebo.

We spoke with Zebo, but he was rather confused by what was happening. His grandson, the boy with him, then started speaking for his grandfather. Zebo had passed along a spoken history about us, and presented us with a blue cylinder we would need inside the Vault. As to getting into the vault, we would have to find either the Vault supervisor’s key, the mayor’s key, Rigmar’s key, or the archmagus Zanzo’s key.

We decided we would make our way to the factory.

View
Barroom Blitz!
In which the group is reintroduced to my friendly demeanor

We’re in Olfden now, I guess.

As we were heading out of our inn a drunk came up to me to ask me a bleary eyed question.

“Do I know you? You look familiar,” he said.

“No,” I responded flatly.

“Is this you?” he asked and pulled out a poster.

Without wasting any time I punched him in the face, mashing the poster into his nose. Apparently he wasn’t alone and his three companions stood up from a nearby table.

“Don’t even bother getting up,” I tell the men at the table.

Rand, in an attempt to prevent an all out brawl, dropped a sleep spell on the table. Several patrons collapsed, but the three men were of stronger stuff than the average bar patron.

They stood up and two of them made their way over to confront me. I punched one of them, busting his face in, but it didn’t take him down. He then recognized me and they drew their swords. This was no longer a bar brawl.

Jared stepped up and tried to gnaw one of the men accosting me, but was quickly tackled by a third from the table. The last guy flipped up the table and hid behind it. I started hacking the men apart, Rand got into a better position and Ashen tried to mow them down but his gun jammed.

Jared was unable to break free from the guy who had tackled him, and was then pinned helplessly to the ground. The fight went on and I was suddenly held by the cleric. Rand blasted the guy pinning Jared, but didn’t kill him. Ashen was able to clear his gun then blow away one of the men attacking him.

The battle raged around me. Ashen gunned down the guy stabbing Jared to death when I finally was released from my magical prison. I leapt at the cleric and started chopping him apart. Rand blasted him with a magic missile to take down. Then another well placed magic missile killed the last bounty hunter.

Ashen was not interested in going through the bounty hunters’ belongings, but Jared was resolute.

“Melty hands make short work,” Ashen said with a shrug.

We quickly made our way out of town and setup camp.

– Day Passes –

We continued on, looking for a trail we could pick up that would lead us to Rickman, the bandit leader we let go so long ago. Ashen was able to find a trail that might be that of someone on horseback. We started following it, but lost it after a while. Rand went off to relieve himself and just happened to find the trail again.

We followed the trail further into the woods when Ashen suddenly found a trap in our way. Jared, quick with a bomb, was able to disarm it without blowing it up. The trap was not lethal, just a noise maker to alert someone of intruders.

With that, we decided it was time to find out what we were up against. Ashen suggested we sneak up to the camp. I suggested he go ahead and I would follow him in five minutes, or if I heard him screaming. I waited with Rand and Jared while Ashen scoped out the camp.

After a few minutes we headed in.

Rickman spotted us as we were heading down the trail and turned to flee.

“Hey! We just want to talk!” I shouted to him.

After a brief discussion we convinced him to stay and talk with us. He wanted to see the bounty we had brought with us and requested we send Keri to hand it over. Jared vehemently disagreed with this plan and we sent Priest in his stead.

“I thought you were working for Widesman,” Rickman said upon looking over the bounty.

“The enemy of our enemy maybe doesn’t suck so bad,” Rand explained to him.

We talked some more, trying to figure out what Rickman might know that would make Widesman want him dead. We were able to convince him to lay out the history between Widesman and himself. After a long talk Rickman finally gave us something to go on.

“I didn’t think much of it at a time, but we had to deliver looted caravans to a manor on Windmere Lake on a couple of occassions,” he said. “We were ordered to go there and given a different password for the gate. We took the caravan in, and left it there. Those were the only caravans we didn’t get a cut of, and we couldn’t look in them. Since we were well compensated we didn’t bother looking either.”

“The two times this happened were almost exactly six months apart,” he went on. “There would probably be another shipment in a month if it’s on a schedule.”

We found out the caravans had been shipped by Felstad’s company. Nothing about the caravan was different, no extra men.

With that information, we decided we would continue on to the City of the Dead. Averting global disaster sounds like a better use of our time. We traveled for several days until we saw a wisp of smoke rising from the mountains beyond.

We pressed on and eventually came to the foothills. There was a cabin, from which the smoke was rising. Next to the cabin was a cave.

Jared was quick to knock on the door. When nobody answered he Jared reached for the knob to open it, but I batted his hand away. The door creaked open and I grabbed Jared by the collar to keep him from rushing in.

Behind the door was a wizened old man Rand recognized.

“Zebo?” Rand asked.

It turns out it was the old alchemist Rand had found while searching for information on the City of the Dead. However, Zebo was decades older. He invited us in to catch up. It was a rather confusing discussion. Our best guess was we had stepped through time somehow and landed in the future.

I asked him about the cave, as all the talk of time jumping was a bit much for me to process. Zebo had planned to explore the cave and arrived about 20 years prior. He had help bring out his supplies, then his expedition went in, but never returned. They disappeared about 13 years ago. He and two others of the expedition were left, but the other two finally decided to leave about three years ago and never returned.

We decided to take a rest in the cabin.

– Day Passes –

In the morning, Ashen decided to have eggs and it just so happened there were fresh ones in the pantry.

We then headed into the cave.

After about twenty minutes of walking the cave opened up into a larger room. The room appeared to end at the edge of a cliff, but it turned out we were looking down upon a city.

I decided to drop a coin into the hole, flipping it into the middle of the hole in the wall. The first one went straight into the city. I dropped another down the side of the wall and it rolled to a stop.

Jared was quick to hop in. The rest of us climbed over with the safety of a rope.

We then started walking along the ceiling of the dome as it curved down to the city above our heads.

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Slay the beast
In which we learn to appreciate good music, then totally kill a giant monster

We returned to town and reported to the mayor. He was well pleased and asked us to look over his nephew, a stinky half-orc.

After a bit of a rest we headed back to the hole.

The first thing we did was free the sphinx. Ashen, not his real name, was not happy about letting the beast go.

We then headed down the steps to face the beast below. As we passed the platform we defeated the ettin on we came to another door. After hearing nothing beyond it, I opened it up…

To wonderful music.

The room was brightly lit, though we couldn’t find the source of the light. Eventually, our ears started bleeding from the overwhelming beauty of the music.

Rand was able to start shaking the charm off, but couldn’t break free of it.

We wavered in ecstasy. Time slipped through the cracks of the walls, slithering through awareness. Music was all around, and music was wonderful.

Finally, Rand broke through the illusion.

The room was dark, filled with acrid smoke which was choking us to death. Rand plugged his ears and covered his mouth and came up with a plan. He threw a sleep spell at Jared, then at me. We started to wake up from the illusion. It was too late for Jared, however, as he collapsed to the ground overwhelmed from the noxious fumes.

Rand then successfully put me to sleep as Priest came back to reality. The two of them dragged me out of the room and Priest channeled energy to heal the group. Ashen was able to resist the music and we were all able to get out of the room.

After some discussion outside the room, we agreed that Jared could go back in after we faced down the beast.

We continued down and came upon yet another door. Nothing could be heard behind the door, so I opened it up. Within the room were four crypts lined up against the walls and an altar directly in front of us.

Jared and I attempted to move the lid off one. We were able to get it off enough for Jared to stick his head and his arm in. I slipped my sword in there to light it up and Jared jammed his head right in. There was something glittering in there, so Jared grabbed it and promptly stuck himself in the tomb. I was able to slide the cover off enough for him to get out and he came back with a necklace in his hands.

Finally, Jared found something. It was a necklace.

We moved onto the next crypt. Jared stuck his head into it and was promptly grabbed about the neck by a skeletal hand. He started screaming, probably just stuck again.

And then the crypts blew open and a shambling mess of flesh and bone lurched onto the floor, Jared in tow.

After a long fought battle we brought the golems down. Ashen stood his ground, blasting away with his musket. Jared and I maneuvered the other golem around and we were able to take it down without Jared being taken down.

And then we pulled the cover off the last tomb.

We then headed down to confront the beast.

At the bottom of the stairs was a room. In the room was darkness. In the darkness was a dragon.

The dragon was dead.

I walked into the room with my sword alight and approached the beast. The black dragon appeared to be dead, and as we inspected it a small back dragon leaped from the deep shadow and blasted acid down the hall upon everyone but me as I was standing at the corpse of the ancient beast.

Jared and Priest were incapacitated, but Priest stayed on his feet. Jared started the fight to stay alive, and I started moving about the battlefield.

The dragon charged past me, and I was able to get in a few hits on it. It made its way down the hall and nearly wiped out Priest again. Priest stood strong and threw a sanctuary around himself.

“You spawn of an egg sucking wurm, it’s time for you to die!” Rand screamed at it, blasting it in the face. He then bravely ran out of the hall, the dragon nipping at his heels.

So I went back after it, charging into the hall. I smashed the dragon, but didn’t take it down. It’s counter attack was enough to lay me low.

Without my defensive strength to stand between everyone and the dragon, the rest of the party dug deep to do as much damage as they could. Rand let loose with another electrical blast, and the dragon succumbed to the power.

The dragon horde wasn’t extensive, but we did find nearly 100,000 copper pieces, 2,000 gold pieces, 5 fire opals, and a portable hole. As we were digging through the room we found a door behind the corpse of the large dragon. Through the door was a library with rows and rows of books.

Many of the books were written in a very old version of common. It seems we had stumbled upon a historical record kept within a moldering, rotted pages. There was also a table in the center of the room with an even older book on it.

Take the cradle to its place of birth
Only there can destruction be wrought
Deep beneath the earth
Many battles have been fought
To bring the end of the Knights of Red
On this day will rise
The city of the dead

Upon further inspection we noticed a pedestal which must have been displaying something. Ashen was able to find evidence that someone had been in here within the last year from a slight disturbance of the dust.

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Who needs charisma?
In which I become an even bigger asshole

We made our way back to the sphinx’s chamber. Rand and Jared placed the gems into the slots while I watched the sphinx for any tricks. When Jared placed the last gem the energy curtain dropped revealing a doorway.

Beyond the door was a circular stairway leading down. We followed the stairs down until they came to a landing at the bottom. An unintelligible language was scrawled across the door which none of us could understand. Jared listened and heard animals behind the entry and decided to go in. I opened the door to reveal a kennel manned by two orcs.

“What are you doing here?” one of the orcs asked with surprise.

“We’re here to kill you,” I informed them.

Rand stepped next to me to and attempted to daze one of the orcs, but was unsuccessfully. I leapt into the room and drove my sword through one of the orcs and moved back to protect the door. The orcs then ran off to unlock the wolves from the walls and the beasts charged me. I managed to fend off one of the wolves, but the other knocked me to the ground. Priest started buffing Jared up and he leaped into action, but was quickly charged by another wolf.

Rand continued to keep the other orc dazed, but as I killed one of the wolves the first orc made his way over to let the fourth wolf loose.

Jared and I started working the wolves over as I got back to my feet. One of the wolves dealt a devastating blow to Jared and he went down, though Priest was there to get him back up. Jared then crawled out of the room and I shored up our defenses while killing another wolf.

We backed up onto the stairs and kept the wolves at bay. Jared was able to get back into the fight and was not immediately knocked out. He started ripping them to shreds and killed one quickly. One of the wolves went down and the other wrestled Jared off his feet. It was to no avail and I killed the last wolf.

We then interrogated the orcs that were hiding in the corner. After getting some useless information about Mal, who is large, I cut off their heads. Better to deal with the orcs now than to have to kill them after they’ve raped some farmer’s daughter in a few days.

After wiping my sword off we headed down to the barracks on the next level where Jared was thinking he’d be able to rig a bomb to protect us from any orcs within. After being confounded with how we’d blow the door up we decided to just kill any orcs in the barracks.

Once we were all prepared, I threw the door open and charged in. We surprised the orcs in the barracks who were playing cards, and three more that were sleeping. Unfortunately, an ogre was also sitting in the room which we had not anticipated.

Rand lit the card table on fire with burning hands while Jared was buffed up. I continued the attack on the card table and tried to slay one of the smoldering orcs.

One of the orcs was a sorcerer and he cursed me, enfeebling my mind.

The ogre lumbered over to Rand and mashed his head in with a massive club.

I stabbed that god-damned sorcerer in the face and it went down faster than Jared in combat.

Somehow, Rand and Jared killed the ogre. Don’t ask me.

Jared then killed one of the orcs. Who cares.

So I killed another orc, because that’s what I do.

Rand sprayed some more stupid fire at the other orcs. It looked cool, but it didn’t kill any of them so what’s the point?

The other orcs came over and then zapped me. It sure hurt a lot, but it didn’t kill me. So I killed him. Rand gave me a thumbs up as if he had helped my by hitting the orc as it ran by him.

Shut. Up. Rand.

Then stupid priest let the last orc run by.

Jared chased him out of the room, but he was not fast enough. So I went after him.

I burst out the door then leapt to the stairs across the tower to cut it off. It was a twenty foot leap across, and I’d probably die if I didn’t make it. But that orc would warn Mal if he got by. Something was nagging in the back of my head that it was a bad idea.

I jumped from the ledge. Across the abyss. To the steps about twenty feet away. And about ten feet down.

My eyes followed the orc as he scrambled away from Jared. I was floating across the gap, my armor pulling me down to the pit, and my death.

I smashed into the steps on the other side.

The orc dropped his sword. So I walked up to him and ran him through.

We then rested, and I regained my senses.

We headed down to the next landing and an orc met us and opened the door. The stairs continued down.

“You are expected,” the orc said.

We entered the room.

Sitting behind a large desk was a large creature with two heads.

“Well, we’ve been expecting you,” the ettin said.

Priest and the monster spoke with each other. It turns out they were taking virgins to give to the Beast at the bottom of the stairs. I’m puzzled as to why they continued to live here.

After the small parlay we agreed to take the Beast out. We started down the steps, with Priest walking with the mayor’s daughter.

But we were lying! Once the daughter was down the steps we turned around and charged back into the room.

Jared and I stepped into the room and Mal flipped his large table at us. Jared ducked under it, but I just took it. Jared charged into action, going after Mal and biting at him with his disgusting claws.

Jared was quickly taken out. Priest started healing us up, Rand shocked one of the orcs, and the ettin followed me as I made my way out of the room.

I started making quick strikes against the ettin, but he bull rushed me and knocked me off the steps. I landed about two stories down.

The fall didn’t kill me, so I started running up. I heard the fight continuing upstairs, so I ignored the sounds I heard coming from the dark. The fighting I head was Rand shocking the ettin, Jared shredding the cleric, and Priest running for his life with the mayor’s daughter.

I was nearly to the top of the steps when I saw Rand come flying down. He landed much more gracefully with a fancy roll at the bottom.

I crested the stairs, panting and cursing at Mal who was once again on the stairs. Mal threw a javelin at Priest, knocking him out. I then set myself up so I could go after Mal.

Rand got up to Priest and dumped a potion of curing into him.

With one final massive attack, I leapt from around the corner and put my sword through the ettin’s heads. It collapsed to the ground and leaked brains around my feet.

The battle was over.

Now that we had rescued the girl we headed back out to take her back. The mayor was overjoyed and would grant us the favors we wanted.

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The spinx's riddle
In which we solve a riddle and battle the elements

We rested in the room we slew the ogres in.

– Day passes –

There was a large door leading out of the room which was composed of iron and other materials. Jared attempted to open the lock up so we could get the chain off, but was unsuccessful. I attempted to slice the chain in twain, but could not. Without a mark on the chain we decided to head down the open hallway.

At the end of the hall we encountered a double door. Jared noticed nothing extraordinary about the door and there was no keyhole to peek through, so I kicked the door in.

Unfortunately, it was not enough to surprise the orcs on the other side. They rushed in and bashed us before we were readied. They even had a spellcaster to back them up, and he blasted me in the face.

I ran one through with my sword, but the others that were left pounded Jared into unconsciousness. Priest was able to bring him back into the battle with a cure. Jared mowed down on more mutagens and stood back up, swatting attacks away as he regained his feet. I ran another orc through and Rand melted away the spellcaster’s skin.

The spellcasters began slinging at each other, Rand was backpedaling from the counter attack.

Priest stepped back into cover and began channeling to save us.

The other spellcaster then retreated to some slumbering beast, in the hopes that it would protect him. I was having none of that, so I charged him and ran him through as he attempted to wake the creature.

Jared wiped out the last orc and we had the opportunity to see what the creature was; a sphinx.

“You’ve killed the vermin,” the sphinx said, opening its eyes.

Behind the sphinx was a shimmering wall of energy concealing a staircase leading down. It was chained to the wall with the same material we encountered at the door.

We spoke with the creature, and it informed us the girl we were here to rescue was down the stairs behind the energy.

“There were two keys made to enter the barrier,” the sphinx told us. “One is Mal’s, the other is under my protection. If you are smart enough I will give you what you need to start your journey. Are you smart enough?”

I welcome the day with a show of light
I stealthily came here in the night
I bathe the earthly stuff at dawn
But by the noon, alas, I’m gone

“Is it dew?” Jared asked.

“It is. You are smarter than you look. This will unlock the chamber from whence you came,” the beast said and tossed us a key.

We made our way back, opened the door and headed down the hall. It opened up into a room with a dirt floor. Jared and I walked in as Priest and Rand watched skeptically from the hall.

Suddenly earth elementals sprang from the floor.

The creatures pounded on us and I nearly succumbed to their initial onslaught. I withstood the, wiped one out and moved into a better position. Unfortunately, Rand blasted a few of them with burning hands and hit me with it as well. The creatures then attacked me again and brought me down. Jared then went to town and started taking out the elementals.

Priest laid out a timely channel, and Rand blasted the elementals. Jared then finished off the last of the dust monsters.

We got our bearings, and a mound of dirt rose up with a yellow stone upon it. Rand snatched it up and we then healed up with Priest’s help.

The hallway leading out took us to a crossroads, each ending with a door. We proceeded down the hall to the door. Jared listened at the door and upon hearing nothing I kicked it in revealing a room with hot coals on the floor and three fire mephits.

Jared sprang into action and charged into the room, somewhat recklessly. The mephits attacked Jared while one of them charged the rest of us and blew fire down the hall. Jared continued ripping apart the mephits, the other started funneling down toward us. Steam started blasting us out of the hall and the other mehpit created another little friend made of molten rock, lava if you will.

Since we would be filling up the hall with mephits I stood my ground and started working on the steam mephit in front of me.

The lava mephit then melted into a pool and slid toward me down the hall. The steam mephit then blasted the spell casters, catching Priest off guard, and I cut it out of existence. The magma elemental then slid by me and made his way toward the spell casters.

Jared was then taken down shortly after his vomit swarm was activated. Then up. Then down. Then up. Then down.

I finally killed one of the mephits and got into the room.

Priest then stepped up and channeled more energy to get Jared back into the fray. Jared and I started killing off the mephits. Once we were down to a single mephit, Jared ran into the hall to get away from the mephits. Rand dazed the final mephit, Priest laid guidance upon me, and I destroyed the creature.

After the fight, Priest turned into a being of energy and we healed ourselves. We collected the red gem revealed in the room and took a rest.

– Day passes –

In the morning we headed down another hall. Jared heard “wooshing” coming from behind the door and I promptly kicked it in.

Behind the door were two air elementals. Rand armored up with mage armor, then I sprang in to attempt to attack one of the elementals. After a timely blessing from Priest, Jared moved in to attack another elemental. The two of us started hacking at the air about us while the spell casters stayed safely back in the hall.

One of the elementals turned into a whirlwind, engulfing Jared. He was then taken along for a ride as it sucked me up as well. The other elemental headed down the hall and started working on the spell casters, but Rand struck first with a shocking grasp.

We continued to be spun around within the other elemental, hearing Rand destroy the elemental he was facing down.

The elemental the threw Jared and I as it turned back into its normal form, then it struck me a mortal blow and I was staggered. Fortunately, Priest was able to heal me quickly and we finished the elemental off. Another gem was recovered and we regrouped for the last room.

I kicked the door in to reveal a large beast within. There was a shallow pool in the room containing a large water elemental. Jared and I were able to get it into a good position and started beating down on it. Rand and Priest supported us from the hall as we cut it apart. The beast then opened up on Jared and dazed him, but he was still on his feet and was able to eat a healing extract.

We continued battering away at the creature. Jared was then taken down a second time. Then, after several more rounds of attacking, I finally dispatched the elemental.

We collected the last gem and sat down for a rest.

– Day passes –

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Die goblin, die!
In which we meet new forms of life and then kill them

In the morning we decided to head down the other cavern, while Chen stayed to watch the mouth of the tunnel.

Priest lit up my sword and I lead the way through the tunnel, squatting down like one of those filthy dwarves. After a hike that was about as long as the other we came upon a partially buried dwarf. Jared went to slice off his fingers, and noticed the body was burned. Rand then noticed there were scorch marks just outside our radius of light.

I continued on, but we came to a dead end. The cavern widened out to about 20 feet across. Three duergar were scattered through the room, all of them burnt badly. There was an entrance that had been since covered with stone. Jared sat down to prepare a potion that would help him detect secret doors. Rand scavenged up some lumps of gold and silver from the bodies, probably coins at one time.

I waited with Jared while he prepared his potion. Rand did a bit more sleuthing to attempt to determine what had caused the fire. Jared’s potion revealed nothing.

After the fact finding, I decided to kick down the rocks. Beyond it, I saw a dim flickering glow. I kicked down more rocks, enough to get a better look at what was in the tunnel.

The room beyond was similar to the room the hydra was in. The room held a globe of fire, with scorched walls all about it. Rand attempted to detect magic, and saw the globe was radiating powerful magics. Priest tried to plumb his knowledge for something useful, but didn’t come up with anything. I got tired of the scholars attempting to deduce things from it, so I chucked a rock at it. The rock passed right through it and came out scorched on the other side.

We then decided to make our way in, so I knocked enough of the rocks down to get in. I stepped in and didn’t blow up.

Rand and Priest started doing their magic thing.

After some time Rand said, “I thought these were myths, but this appears to be a living spell.”

Jared tossed a duergar finger at it. The fireball consumed it and attacked us!

“No fireball, we’re not here to hurt you!” Jared shouted as Rand and I beat it to embers.

Jared tossed me a resist elements potion, which allowed me to stand in the fireball without being hurt too badly. The ball enlarged as it fed off the combustible parts of our clothing.

We battled on and the creature got it hooks into Priest. I charged it from behind and killed it. As it died it exploded, leaving Priest in a serious amount of pain.

I wiped the ashes off my sword and we headed back out and into town.

We met with our contact at the mayor’s office.

“You’re back again. Have you taken care of the problem?”

Jared threw the duergar fingers at the assistant. He handed over the bounty for taking care of the duergar.

– Several Weeks Pass –

During the intervening weeks, Rand and I started tracking down information on Widesman again while Jared and Priest stayed in town and researched and did charitable deeds respectively.

After returning to Olfden, we were relaxing at the inn. The mayor’s aid, Alderson, burst into the tavern and made his way to us immediately imploring for our assistance. We followed him to city hall to meet with the mayor.

The mayor, a very handsome and charming man, spoke in a slightly worried voice which was odd for such a charismatic man.

“Excellent. You have come,” he said as we entered.

Alderson brought in refreshments and we seated ourselves in the office.

“I know you have done services for the town in the past. This request is not just for the town, but for me personally. Two days ago, my daughter was kidnapped and taken to an encampment in the Norgotha Peaks. I have received a ransom note from a war chief, Maal,” he told us.

The mayor handed over a hand written note with Maal’s signature on it.

“If you want your young one alive, then vacate your town,” was written on the note.

“I sent two squads of Eagle Knights after the war chief, but only two men returned,” the mayor went on.

The war band was composed of goblins and hobgoblins. The knights reported seeing something large, perhaps an ogre, but they weren’t positive. The mayor was unable to send more men due to the goblin warrens as the goblins would wipe out the men he sends into their territory. Since we have experience with fighting in the caves, he thought we might be able to do it.

We were outfitted with provisions the town could provide; rations and a handful of curing potions.

– Days pass –

We made our way to the foothills and quickly realized we were in the right spot when we came upon the crucified bodies of ten Eagle Knights.

I made my way to the top of the hill to take down the bodies. I was able to see into the valley from the vantage point. About 100 yards from the hill there was an entrance to the warrens. There were a handful of goblinoid creatures milling about the entrance.

We decided to wait until nightfall before making our approach.

We made our way to about two hundred feet from the entrance when I decided to just head in. Rand held me back while he prepared for the attack. Once he was ready I stood up and brandished my sword.

I started charging the goblins, screaming on the way as I headed in. They started firing upon me, but I brushed the incoming missiles away. Rand launched magic missiles past me at the goblins.

Metal screeched against bone and I lopped the head off the closest goblin, but the sneaky little bastards sprang out of the shadows behind us and attacked Jared and Priest.

I soaked up a handful of goblins as one of the hobgoblins ran off into the warrens. Rand stepped up to intervene on Priest’s behalf, and Jared swatted two down quickly.

Rand struggled to fend off the goblins, but Jared was quick to rip the hobgoblin apart before it harried him too much. The oracle came under fire from the straggling hobgoblin, while I started cutting down the goblins that had surrounded me.

Rand backed up further, closer to Priest, and blasted the goblins with his burning hands. One of the goblins perished in the fire, but the other barely survived the hit. Jared let loose with everything, but the hobgoblin was able to parry each of the blows. I cut down another goblin, and continued to back up toward the rest of the pary.

Priest started channeling energy to keep the rest of the party alive. Jared bore down on the hobgoblin, crushing his shield between his horrible mutated jaws. I cut down the remaining goblin and backed up closer to the party only to have the hobgoblin next to me spit an insult at my seeming cowardice. Rand melted a goblin, leaving a hobgoblin staring him down. The numbers were looking better, but we still had some work to do.

Jared was in dire straits, but Priest was able to get next to him and unleash his new moderate curing spell. One more swing put the hobgoblin in the grave, and I ran over to assist Priest.

Jared finally got over his funk and bit through the last hobgoblin’s leg.

We made our way into the warrens, and were welcomed by a much larger cavern than the dwarven ones we had gone through. We saw a bright flickering light ahead, and the cavern opened up ahead of us. We figured the best way to spring the trap was to just head on in, and we were greeted by two enormous ogres.

I waded in, thinking about eating Jared’s Puke Potion, but not knowing what it might do I decided to just stick an ogre. Jared then stepped in and showed me how the the disgusting thing worked. We stood toe to toe with the ogres and I did my best to deflect the blows they attempted to rain upon Jared.

Unfortunately, the ogres bashed Jared in the face and he went down, but the swarm fought on. Priest was able to heal Jared, then put a sanctuary around him. Rand cut one of the ogres down, and the other rounded on me and nearly put me into the ground.

Jared got back into the fight and finished off the ogre when I was unable to completely gut it.

We searched the room, finding treasure and two tunnels leading away from where we were.

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Snakes? Who cares?
In which we find out that there is such a thing as too much head

As we were walking through the town in the morning Keri spotted an old friend. We were then introduced to Priest and Chen. I asked Priest to weigh in on the duergar problem.

Much was discussed and we eventually began speaking about going back to kill Widesman.

We finally agreed to go speak with duergar and find out what they want to do with the amulet. Before doing that, we decided to take a rest in order to recover more from the outing at the cursed temple.

– Day Passes –

Morning broke and we headed off to see the duergar.

We arrived at the encampment and found they have been fortifying the camp. Stones and mortar have now been added to the camp. As we approached, the duergar hailed us.

“Have you returned what we seek?” the guard called.

“No, we need more information,” Jared tried to lie to him.

“Wait here,” he responded.

Jared quickly ate a mutagen and tried to stare down the other. The duergar returned with the leader of the clan we had been talking with. He and Jared sparred back and forth, but Jared was far outmatched. We then spun on our heels and were given the ultimatum to turn the amulet over.

We began discussing our options. We then decided to try and have a copy of it made by the local jeweler. The jeweler didn’t have any dwarven jewelry on hand. I got sick of the conversation and suggested we talk to the mayor’s office to rustle up some militia.

We met with the Mayor’s representative. I asked if we could rustle up the militia to wipe out the duergar. We were directed to speak with Major Greenway, the head of the town watch.

We met up with Major Greenway to speak to him about getting reinforcements. We were ushered into a room at the Watch.

“The duergar have threatened the town, and will sack it tomorrow night,” Jared told the man.

Jared spoke to the man about the amulet and managed to throw us in an incriminating light. Once Jared demanded we get reinforcements the man said he wouldn’t be able to authorize the action. We then left and headed back to the inn.

We finally came up with a plan. We would head back, tell the duergar to leave then send back an escort to obtain the amulet after breaking down their camp.

– Day Passes –

In the morning we prepared ourselves for the meeting with the duergar.

“Did you bring the amulet!” the guards shouted.

“Yes,” Priest told them and laid out our terms.

The guard left to go over our terms. The duergar agreed to send all but five from the camp. One of the dwarves moved in closer to inspect the amulet. After that, the dwarves ripped apart the camp. After an hour, most of the dwarves began heading west leaving a contingent of warriors to retrieve the amulet.

During the work we waited outside camp.

Once the majority of the dwarves were out of sight, we approached the warriors they left behind. I tossed the amulet at their feet.

“Would you share some of the wonders of the relic with us?” Priest asked.

The dwarf told us it was an important religious relic. As the dwarves marched off Chen noticed holes that had been left behind which had been recently excavated. I began uncovering them.

Once I had cleared enough rubble off I ventured into the hole. The rest of the group then followed me into the hole which headed off toward the town. We traveled for a long distance when suddenly Chen and Jared heard something in the tunnels which sounded like snakes.

I kept moving through the tunnel, who cares about a few snakes? What about a giant snake? How about a hydra with five heads?

I started chopping heads off, Chen punched it in the faces, Jared furiously started an fire and Priest kept us alive as we minced the hydra. We eventually got into a disassebly line and took it apart. We got it down to two heads when it finally got through Jared’s defenses and took him down. Priest stepped up and started burning the heads and we were able to defeat it.

Once I was able to take a good look at the area I noticed we were directly under town, thanks to my ability to determine where I was underground. The hydra would have been able to break out into town and kill everyone it came across. While I was scoping out the tunnel Chen noticed a shabby robe and a gemstone wrapped up within it. When Jared put the robe on he noticed it had undead figures stitched into it.

We made our way back to the beginning of the hole and rested up for a bit.

– Day Passes –

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