Darkness in the Delimbiyr

Return to the Darkness

After securing a guide to the Moathouse the newly formed company entered the eerie and bleak ruin, hoping to find answers and banish the darkness that threatened Zhedarak.

They discovered that the remnants of the previous guard had been removed, and for the most part, the crumbling ruin was empty. However, they recalled a secret passage hidden in a shine-wall, and continued through a narrow corridor…only to have a steely gate slam shut behind them! The gnome wasn’t concerned with this setback – his telekinetic might could easily rend the steel grate – but the loud, crashing noise surely warned any within the dungeon of their arrival.

As they crept cautiously through a narrow hallway, the gnome’s psychic sight revealed an invisible foe at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Immediately, the gnome launched a dazzling bolt of psychic lightning that struck the screaming foe and left it reeling. But it was too late, moments before the bolt struck, the invisible figure hurled an arcane charm at the centre of the group that exploded with a dull rumble into a fiery burst of death. The figure melted into reality, and appeared to be a lone, draconic bugbear, plated in blue dragon’s scales, hefting a massive hammer and shield, and wearing a cloak denoting its service to The Elder Elemental Eye.

A pitched battle broke loose, as the gnome’s psionically-enhanced reflexes became aware of the situation, but he was crushed against a wall by the mighty crush of a bugbear’s shield. The psychic warrior charged along the wall psionically and cleft the bugbear with a mightly arc of his jagged blade, as the warlock loosed bolts of eldritch fire upon the remaining foes. Within moments, it was over and three dead bugbears lay smouldering at the heroes’ feet. Their armour was formed from blue scales they grew, that had given them resistance to some of the elemental spells and powers of the group.

A few minor traps plagued the party, but after a few short moments, the psion summoned an astral construct to walk through any suspect corridors or passages, setting off any traps with its plodding steps. The warlock, weary as always, noted a strange magical force seeping through a crag in the wall. Upon further inspection, it appeared something arcane was buried behind the wall. The cleric called upon his faith and cast some divinely-inscribed stones that hovered between his hands, informing him that weal and woe would await them. The hexblade sneered at their chances, and readied himself and his blade.

Empowering himself psionically, the psychic warrior tore at the wall with one of the fallen bugbear’s great hammers, battering earth and stone alike. It lead into a musty, diamond-shaped room, with two protective, runed circles upon the ground. Upon examination, the room filled with screaming and a beautiful golden light, as what appeared to be a rotting, fiendish angel appeared in one, and a benevolent, celestial demon in the other. They were trapped in this place for an unknown amount of time, but by depleting their essences, they could return to their own planes – but in order to do so, they would have to mutually cull each other’s power. The silver-hued demon would give a blessing, and the withered angel would bestow a curse. The group agreed to this unusual arrangement and chose to limit the angel’s fiendish harm by specifically citing how they would be cursed, in exchange for the demon giving them a random blessing. After a few short moments, the strange energies mingled with the crackling air and both beings vanished in a display of fire and golden lights, as the runes un-wrote themselves on the floor.

The Oghman cleric became more introspective and deep, but detached from the real world and less aware of his surroundings. His hexblade ally gained a divine blessing from his goddess, but now he constantly heard whispers that hampered his ability to listen. The warlock felt his health erode slightly, but began to recall strange memories of arcane facts that were not his own. The psychic warrior became stronger, but his eyes became a dazzling psionic purple and gave his vision a perpetual haze. The gnome also felt his health erode, but in turn was told that a powerful extraplanar being had taken interest in him, and may, should it chose, assist him in some way in the future, when it saw fit…

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A Friend in Need

The duskblade had left due to conflicts with the Mystran – citing that he was an irresponsible fool and not of the real Mystran faith – leaving the party with only three heroes, yet still needing to discover the secrets that the Moathouse hid, in addition to needing the presence of one skilled in the arts of divine healing.

Searching out the Library of Dumathoin and seek the advice of the seers there, they discovered that nearly everyone else of wealth, position or power in Zhedarak had attempted the same. Predicting this, the Dumathanians locked their doors, delving into prayer and meditating upon the recent events, and maintaining a traditional stance of silence until they knew more. The party was met with the mithril-clad dwarven guardians of the temple, and told that none would be permitted entry, and so returned to the Allfathers Forge, the gnome psion hoping that some of the contacts through his affiliation with The Golden Gear may lead him to a private seer of sorts.

Upon return, the group were met at the forge by a pair of veterans from the goblinoid conflicts some months earlier – a clerical-seer of Oghma, and a cynical hexblade of Tymora. The hexblade said they needed an arcanist capable of blasting holes in things, and the psion said he needed a seer and a healer. The two parties became one and joined up. Unfortunately, the psion remembered that in his zeal to collect gold and gems, he accidentally sold the Torch of Revealing, an integral item to the party’s progress within the cursed the Moathouse; the seer used his divinations to scry its location and discovered a robed man speaking with a magically protected individual, flanked by heavily armoued – and scaled – bugbears.

The seer explained he felt these were agents of The Elder Elemental Eye, and revealed that they were acting under utmost secrecy, relying on the strange arcane explosion some miles away in the hills of the Greypeak Mountains to take most interest away from their own doings. Using this information, the newly-formed party planned a method of attack against a foe that was now well aware of them…

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A Surprising Find

Weary and depleted of their most potent array of spells and powers, the heroes mulled about the cleared dungeon, examining its cold, stony walls for hidden passages or treasure, but found neither. Choosing to explore a previously unopened door, they eventually battered it open, only to be confronted by a “ghost” of a previous traveller; their magically-minded allies easily realised these were the arcane parlour tricks of a gnome, and when called, the missing gnome alchemist revealed himself to the group, thankful for his rescue.

The warlock healed him with his magic wand, and the grateful gnome explained of the terrible cult that occupies the catacombs below. A rift grew between the duskblade and the mystran cleric, as the latter refused to arm the alchemist with one of his magical wands out of spite; the stubborn duskblade had few nice comments to say about his increasingly unreliable ally. The gnome pointed out areas where his own ill-fated exploration revealed hidden passages within the walls that the vile cultists use for rapid passage. He nervously accompanied the group further, and after discovering the location of the secret passage, they felt they would return and explore it further, after resting and recharging their formidable powers.

As they crept up the lower stair, escaping the blackness of the ruined dungeon below, ghostly black hands clawed at the group, sapping the strength of the duskblade and the mystran. The gnomes realised the danger and immediately fled, while the psychic warrior luckily hacked at one and his magical blade struck true and cleft it into shrieking mists. After a brief battle, the group fled the mounting shadows below – their shrieking wails signalling that more were attracted like flies to the escaping, living prey.

As the group ventured through crumbling ruins of the Moathouse, a far-off hideous thundering alerted them to distant disasters. Making their way to the edge of the ruined foundation, they peered off and saw a wispy spiral, easily a dozen miles off, reaching from the rocky hills of the Greypeak Mountains, all the way up to a set of dark and looming stormclouds. None of them could quite say what this weird phenomenon was, but they hurriedly trekked back to Zhedarak, with the duskblade’s blinkdog leading the way. On their way back, the hideous crashing of a rushing ice-storm battered over them – the group barely reaching safety against a unused rocky cliff-face. The ice was horned and sharp, as if it was serrated leering faces. As soon as it happened, it vanished, ice included.

As they made their way through the rapidly fading sun, back to Zhedarak, they took notice of all manner of strange weather and magical patterns – massive swirling dust-clouds hundreds of feet tall, geysers of pure blazing fire and torrential blizzards – all vanishing as fast as they appeared. On the outskirts of the dwarven fortress-city, they found the militia out in full force, lead by heavily armoured warriors and the spell-laiden Doomwardens of Dumathoein. The city had witnessed the bizarre patterns as well, and were hopeing that the heroes, recognising their magical talent, may have some insights. Troublingly, the Doomwarden confided in the psion – someone he recognised as a person of great integrity – that their mystical communion with their seer-deity had fallen silent on the matter of the explosion and erratic, arcane weather.

Upon return, the Mystran declared that he needed a more refined band to associate with and left. Although their primary source of divine healing left, none stopped him, as they realised his arrogant nature, aloofness and faltering faith were simply not worth his company. He duskblade also parted – the Mystran brushed him the wrong way and the many close encounters he lived through soured him to life on the road. During the twilight of that eve, every shop, tavern and barracks was alight with torches and discussion – people were awed with wonderment and perhaps, more than they wished to admit, fear.

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A Return

Resting their envenomed wounds in the dwarven citadel-town of Zhedarak the heroes used some downtime to plan and plot further, while the duskblade furthered his studies into this ancient elven blade-art. After a few days rest, they hired out some dwarven steppe-guides, who returned them to the crumbling Moathouse, amidst a slate-grey, stormy sky.

They explored the upper level of the crumbling ruin, and between sheer braun and eldritch blasts, managed to force their way through most of the locked, closed or stuck doors. Discovering a strange cloak and an odd featureless pastel mask, they discovered little more than startled bats, scurrying rats, and a scant handful of dusty coins that others had presumably overlooked. They also discovered an small, heavy statuette of an earth elemental, except made of cold iron – the warlock recoiled from this odd discovery.

Convinced that the upper levels of the fallen manor held little else for them, they discovered a steep and ill-used stair, that descended into a yawning, black basement, and crept down the chill stairs, only to be ambushed by a pair of well-armed bugbear guards, each wearing a black cloak with the symbol of the elder eye upon it! However, the duskblade’s shocking blade and the psychic warrior’s keen edge proved a better strategy than ambush, and after a relatively short battle, the party had won.

They crept into a hidden, under-warren that appeared to be a ruined barracks, or a sprawling, abandoned cellar. Nearing some unused jail cells, a pungent odor of rot sapped a few of them of their fighting strength, as a horde of ravenous ghouls poured out of a nearby hall. The cleric was bitten and immediately paralysed, but the defensive spells remained potent; the gnome’s psychic visions warned him of this ahead of time, allowing him to release blasts of cryokinetic energy, shattering the ghouls, while his allies blasted and stabbed them to their best ability. Further searching only revealed a dust-laiden torture chamber, perhaps causing them to question claiming such a place for their own, once they had cleared it of its foul, unholy taint.

Venturing further, they noted that one of the refuse-laiden rooms had seen recent traffic – the gnome accordingly manifested a protective psychic shield, before the group entered the room. They found a many pillared room with a white blanket in the middle, holding several strange items of dark power, namely, some Incense of Dreaming,a bead of force, a Torch of Revealing and a strange scroll, coiled inside a black metal tube, later revealed to be a copy of the Fell Manuscript of the Black Cyst. While they were observing these items, two well-armed bugbear guards hid behind the nearest two pillars and leapt out to the attack – however, the gnome’s psychic visions sensed them and he directed a deafening blast of crackling electricity at one; his force-shield protecting him from the ensuring brunt of the bugbear’s weapon. The party readied themselves for the battle, when an unseen witch croaked fell words and caused a black rain to fall upon the party, harming and burning them.

They scattered and fought against the bugbear-guardians, as the cleric used his prayers to dispel the black rains. The witch relied on trickery, causing the duskblade to strike himself with his flaming blade, but with both bugbears soon dead, they pressed forward. She blanketed the room with a thick fog and escaped into an unseen corner, out of the vision of even the gnome’s psionic eyes. The duskblade hustled to her last location, but couldn’t see her, and used his cloak to become invisible. The warlock tossed a sunrod into the fog, but it remained thick. The gnome’s mind lashed out at the fog and dispelled it, but the witch was nowhere to be found. As they crossed the room, the cleric wandered too close to the fell items on the blanket and was shocked with a burst of negative energy – however, he was able to properly identify the foul artefacts.

Figuring that she had somehow escaped through the southern door, they healed themselves with spells and wands, and then crept to the door. However, upon opening it, several skeletons, encrusted with strange, brown dust stepped out – their massive lead, an ogre-sized skeleton fully knocking the psychic warrior back, as his cohorts spilled out. The very air around them sapped heat and vitality from the heroes as they fought, and the duskblade successfully realised that they were rife with brown mold that had grown (or was placed) within the carefully constructed bones. Worse still, each skeleton that was felled immediately shattered into a icy cloud of brown mold, easily turning a victory into a hasty defeat. Retreating backward the gnome and the warlock escaped to the far side of the room, pelting their skeletal foes with eldritch bolt and kinetic fire alike. The duskblade cast a scorching ray, which erred and struck his clerical ally, just as the giant skeleton collapsed into an explosion of icy dusts. Battered and defeated, the heroes healed up and counted their blessings. Their vitality was returned, and although the duskblade had fared well, psion was half-spent, and the cleric was all but empty of his spells. The warlock’s supernatural luck had run out, and he had exhausted his magical gauntlets, and his ability to powerfully flood his eldritch blasts was now beyond safe.

They regrouped in the main hall, by the stair, bandaged their wounds, and spent their spells and wands. Curious about exploring the rest of this strange, malevolent place.

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From The Hills!

As the weakened party strode back through the grey slate and shale of the Greypeak Mountains, they suddenly heard a crashing roar – part of the very hill itself broke loose and began to slide down the ledge as an avalanche. To make matters worse, the ground beneath them, that was moments ago broken rock and soil had become a muddy morass, causing them to sink and rendering movement nearly impossible. Riding down the rockslide was a large, rocky, crab-like creature the gnome identified as an ‘avalancher’ – an earthen beast that uses its massive bulk and tough hide to literally ride avalanches it magically creates down into hapless prey below.

Reacting quickly, the duskblade whispered a few words of power and flew to the edge of the mud, attempting to get a better assessment of what was happening; his blink dog companion warped out of sight, to a nearby, safer ledge. The avalanche buried the gnome and his psychic warrior bodyguard, leaving the cleric untouched but shaken. The beast slammed into him, it’s tough, rocky legs landing on firm ground where mud used to be, outmaneuvering him and attempting to prevent his healing spells.

The gnome focused and warped himself out of the rubble, as his psychic warrior remained trapped. The duskblade leveled a shortbow, from across the mud, but to little effect. The cleric battled vainly, as he was no match for the large, rampaging beast, but his magic kept his health up as it protected him. The psion drew forth an astral beast to dig the psychic warrior from an early grave, and placed him on a nearby bank.

Lashing out with a spear-like psychic assault, the psion shattered through the beast’s simple mind, severely wounding it and causing it to shudder with visible pain. The duskblade capitalized upon this by hurling an enfeebling spell that shot sapping green crackles across the beasts’ hide. It immediately panicked from these two devastating blows, and hurled itself down a steep hill, rolling and tumbling away with its avalanche. The group eventually dug itself out and hurried back to Zhedarak, footsore, poisoned and battered, but not defeated.

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Lurking Danger

Wending their way through the dismal backdrop of Greypeak Mountains, the party trekked through light rain and a cloud-strewn sky, before eventually realizing that they were lost. Orienting themselves to some of the local trades-paths, they eventually fell prey to what appeared to be an ambush that never would happen; the duskblade fell through a trapped false-floor in front of a wooden chest. Later exploration revealed three would-be assailants who had perished some days beforehand.

Pressing onward, they eventually found the Moathouse amidst the rocky hills of the Greypeak Mountains. The wall had partially collapsed and one of the towers was burnt-out. The gnome took notice of some new planks securing the open bridge to the vaulted door. Suddenly, a frosted tongue lashed out from a nearby rocky, salt-marsh and swallowed the poor gnome in one bite, leaving little but certain doom. The rest of the party sprang into action, as a giant frost toad lurched partially out of the icy marsh. The duskblade and psychic warrior closed for melee, but their attempts were fraught with an ill fate: the duskblade nearly sliced the psychic warrior with his crackling blade and the latter dropped his jagged orkish blade into the salty marsh. Thankfully, the gnome focused his mind intently and manifested a dimension door to warp out of the belly of the beast – a move that easily saved his life.

The sickly toad croaked and the marsh water froze instantly around the burst of icy cold this fell bellow brought. The duskblade and psychic warrior fought onward, while the gnome pelted the massive beast with psychokinetic bursts of fire from afar. The cleric continued his defensive prayers and levelled a wand that belted fiery bursts at the beasts’ thick hide. Then, the beast lunged and the duskblade was swallowed, but later cut out by the psychic warrior, who landed a telling blow and tore the beast’s flesh wide open. Taking stock of their situation, the cleric tending to their wounds, they then pressed onward.

Immediately inside the shattered courtyard, they notice a large smear of dried blood along the floor, leading to a nearby step that rose into a further court, its doors frayed and splintered long ago. They strode through the rocky, dwarven court – the gnome reflexively reaching out with his mind to psychically sense any danger. They entered the far court and found a shattered tower, with a few doors, the light darted through the sagging and beaten roof of this large, chapel-like place. They could see a few bodies arranged in strange positions, with their weapons placed on top of them. Suddenly, the psion sensed danger and sprang to action, using a force shield to ward off harm.

A trio of dog-sized, scaled lupine creatures emerged from the shadows and rubble and sprang their attack, breathing a weird, mind-numbing mist upon the heroes. It slowed their reflexes as the world around them became a blur. The screeching beasts closed for battle with vicious claws and dripping, venomous bites. The gnome realized these were ambush drakes and tried to inform the party through their magical stupor. The mist prevented effective movement and they stumbled to parry the beasts’ claws, and stinging poisonous bites. Their hides resisted some minor magics but the psion was able to consistently blast them with searing pyrokinetic blasts. The cleric’s prayers ensured his allies wouldn’t be seriously harmed, as he cautiously backed away, his mind resisting the mists.

Just as the pitched battle seemed even, the gnome’s energy blasts tore two of the beasts apart in a fiery, screaming explosion. The final beast panicked and wild-eyed, took advantage of the confusion to retreat into the courtyard, leaping over the wall and escaping.

The group gathered themselves and then searched the dank room, discovering the remains of a bounty hunter they’d spoken to earlier, as well as what appeared to be an unknown thief and a man in clerical robes. They discovered some weaponry and gems, as well as several strange artifacts that seemed to be linked to The Elder Elemental Eye: the gnome and cleric confirmed the nature of these strange and chilling religious objects. The drakes’ perhaps had a last laugh, as their venom lingered through many terrible bites, but the gnome’s disciplined mind ignored the poison through sheer power of will. His friends weren’t so favoured, and suffered wracking pains, leaving the duskblade in anguish and nearly paralyzing the psychic warrior.

The group decided to withdraw to the nearby rocky hills, to rest and aid their envenomed friends.

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A Weary Return

Upon their trek back to Zhedarak, the rains started anew and made the slate-grey soil of the Greypeak Mountains run with dull, wet earth. As they travelled through yet another passage of staggering canyons, a rock wall suddenly exploded suddenly, causing a minor cave-in, and partially trapping the heroes. Smoke then erupted from the closer side, perhaps as protection, and then rocks began to pelt and rain down upon the partially harried group.

The duskblade flew into the smoke, but was unable to find much of anything within it, and was pelted with more rocks, as a searing blast of fire scorched him from within the roiling grey haze. He took cover in a natural crevasse and was soon joined by the psychic warrior. Eventually, the entire group was brought up the wall, thanks to the warlock’s magical transportation wand, but they could see little more than burnt stumps, sudden and rocky drops, and the thick smoke.

They sounded a retreat once the smoke had passed, and noticed another cloud of dark smoke near a copse of trees, near another shattered crest in the grey rock. Not wanting more hassle, they quickly headed along the former canyon wall, but their feet were attacked by the very soil and earth, driving painful spines and spires into their very treads. They quickly doubled back, and after some debate, the cleric agreed to attempt to dispel the magical hazard; however, his bard companion was less than impressed when he was ordered across the spiky ground to test whether or not the dispel had worked.

Upon returning to Zhedarak, the group made their way to the Allfathers Forge and reported their findings to Thunderlord Kressel Ironhide who thanked them for their patience and dedication to his cause. He rewarded them richly, but the duskblade and warlock refused some of the platinum-stamped bars. Thunderlord explained he would speak with the Doomwardens to forsee the best course of action, as the cave-ins would be stopped indefinitely now.

A Loudwaterdhavian member of the Headhunters, Ssedarth Tenhammer, came looking for their former ally, the unnamed totemist, while they were guarding the surface tunnel. He left a message for the now-deceased totemist that rumours of a coiled serpent hiding out in a nearby dwarven ruin may very well be true. The party sought out local grizzled prospector, Deliac Thurdeep, who confirmed that he’d helped Ssedarth a few days prior, and explained that said ruin was haunted. He explained that the Doomwardens do clear out the undead menace that mysteriously gravitate toward the ruins annually, but haven’t done so recently. He furthermore explains that a gnome alchemist named Spugnois Blackbottle is known to have thoroughly explored the upper ruin, in search of what he believes is a secret, but lost treasure. An operative for The Golden Gear overhears their intention to search the ruins, and explains that an Spugnois is missing as noone has seen him for approximately 2 weeks. The Golden Gear would be very interested in his whereabouts and safety.

Finally, the bard has left the group, dissatisfied with his former employer’s gradual aloofness and uncaring manner. He wishes his former friends well, but will not be traveling with them anymore. He has decided to remain in Zhedarak, under the employ of the renowned tavern, Firewater’s Rest.

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Canyon of Doom

By the earliest watch, the cleric and bard discovered that they were not alone in the sleeping camp, as a small wing of spined felldrakes had quietly scaled the steep grey walls and descended into the camp, content to feast upon the dead gargoyles. The massive, yet graceful dragons warned the party about a rival back of ‘ambushers’ who keep to the shadows, and who’s foul breath robs both movement and thought. Their hunter furthermore explained that death is on the air in the Greypeak Mountains and that even now, ancient wyrms begin to stir from their slumber. They hurriedly dragged the gargoyles off, leaving the party alone once again.

A hunt of Griffon happened by, but quick thinking by the learned-psion informed the charismatic bard that they indeed were able to understand the common tongue. With persuavive words, he convinced the creatures that there was better hunting elsewhere, and that the party did not make any claims to the griffon’s territory. With that, they took to wing and were gone.

Our heroes found themselves at the dawn of another dreary, mist-sodden day, in the grey slate and stone of the canyon they agreed to watch. Then, without warning, a cluster of small, rocky, stump-like creatures literally appeared through the solid rock, taking the party by complete surprise. Their jagged rock-like teeth severely injured the psion, who barely warped to the nearby safety of a nearby hill. The battle proved difficult, as their strange forms were all but immune to most of the magic that the party possessed, and their rocky hides resisted most blades and blows. The warlock’s blasts leaped from his hands onto the foe, and the psion’s sonic energies screamed forth, shattering them when it connected. One remaining creature escaped back into the earth forever, ending this chance encounter.

By high-sun, the party heard a clattering from a short ways down into the quarry, and saw a massive, rocky creature, shaped like a wide, vicious shark, supported on stumpy legs. It stumbled at the party and savaged the bard, but was immediately set upon by the rest of the group. The duskblade’s new blurring armour protected him from the brunt of the beast, but the psion’s powers seem to barely pierce it’s hide. The warlock climbed to a nearby rock wall and pelted it with bolts of eldritch fire, harming it greatly. After a few hectic moments of flashing blades and vicious teeth, the beast slumped dying upon its side, slain by the psychic warrior’s final strike. They claimed a magical bracelet, which it wore upon its massive tongue, as their spoils.

The party deliberated and agreed that this was the cause of the cave-ins and decided to investigate further, but as they left, the broken and bleeding corpse sagged to its feet and mindlessly trundled into the party. Although devoid of most of its ferocity, it flailed and bit without care for itself, only to explode in a foul plume of blood, bone and gore. Upon examining the nearby cliffs, the warlock discovered a necromantic rune, which he surely believed was the source of this mysterious and vile re-animation. The psion and cleric recalled that this may be connected with the rash of undead that have recently been appearing near Zhedarak and set off to warn the dwarven fortress town, as well as explain their findings.

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A Heroes Call

A steward for Thunderlord Kressel Ironhide of The Ammarindar Reclamation & Restoration Front approached the party as they were visiting the skilled gnome tradesmiths of Zhedarak and asked for their assistance with a serious problem. He explains that many of the local mines have been collapsing at a rate that is far quicker and more calculated than could simply be mere chance. The diviner-seers of the Library of Dumathoin explain that something works against the town, but for some strange reason, they were unable to tell who, or indeed, what was hostile to Zhedarak.

They met with Thunderlord Kressel Ironhide and he explained the seriousness of the situation, and the group agreed to investigate. He’s explained that other groups, such as The Lucent Blade & Roses’ Thorned Roses have trekked off in search of an answer. Upon some further pressing, he explains that the diviner-seers of the Library of Dumathoin explained it was more than a singular foe causing these problems – perhaps a group working together to undermine the progress of The Ammarindar Reclamation & Restoration Front, and harm the fortress-town of Zhedarak as well. They also explain that whatever it was, wasn’t collapsing the tunnels from underground, but perhaps from above, on the surface.

After being guided to a low-lying crater, some one-hundred feet above one of the main tunnels, the group set up camp in order to stake out what they could about the attacks. After a few false alarms, a flight of gargoyles overtook the party. What surely would’ve been a challenging and difficult fight, frought with tactical decisions and daring risk had easily become a minor setback for our heroes: although the gargoyles attacked in utter darkness in a concealed canyon, and almost exactly in the dead of night, at the last moment the clouds inexplicably pulled back, bathing the encounter in bright silvery moonlight, completely negating the beasts’ precious cover of darkness.

Sel√Ľne had surely smiled upon such destined heroes…

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Something Stirs Near Home...

Having returned from the frozen fortress of Zilrus the crazed Immoth, the group headed back to Firewater’s Rest and rested their fatigue away as they tallied their gold and magical treasures. Amongst said items, they encountered an sighthold mirror, a device of whimsy, mostly for pampered nobles to recall their fondest memories. However, this mirror revealed the last adventuring group to possess it – as well as their terrible fate at the hands of what appeared to be cultists of the The Elder Elemental Eye. While seeking more information on this development, the heroes stumbled across a vile cleric of Beshaba, amidst a small crowd, who was attempting to blame the ills of the town upon a confused beast he had captured in the foothills.

The strange and monstrous creature was a hagspawn – the rare male offspring of the fell magical creatures known as hags. The cleric engaged in heated debate against the warlock and psion, but their superior argumentation won, as the crowd turned against this villainous cleric and saw through his flimsy attempts to intimidate the people of Zhedarak into worshipping his evil goddess. In thanking them, the hagspawn gifted the party with a powerful trinket it was unable to use, but Joshtradamus was able to rely his mastery of the supernatural and wear the hag’s heartstone unharmed. The hagspawn was kidnapped some hundred-score miles away, and has no idea why he was being brought to the Greypeak Mountains. The psion sought to investigate a possible return of The Elder Elemental Eye, but there was no evidence that anyone remained of the cult.

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