Franzen’s mutated corpse lies in pieces on the bloody ground. Cale, Alek, and Bren stagger, panting among the carnage; Karnov is gone, taken by an unknown malefactor.
From around the corner, Finch stumbles into view, spattered in gore and dragging a huge sword behind him. “I found it stuck in a guy,” he says with a shrug. Before the others can respond, a dwarf emerges from the shadows, his shoulders covered with the dingy pelt of a great beast.
The newcomer identifies himself as Thale, a mercenary hired by Kiris Alkirk and Triana. While he’s not impressed with their latest battle, he needs help on a job he thinks will interest the party: stopping Triana’s sister Dreus from creating another Slaying Stone.
They agree to accompany Thale to Dreus’ workshop, whose location he’s deduced from an old sending stone. Several days outside of town, they find a cavern blocked by a large boulder, which Cale and Thale roll aside, revealing a spiral staircase of new construction descending into the earth.
It leads to a small, torch-lit room. Empty suits of armor line the walls, and two imps flit about inside a Magic Circle. The far door is locked, and obviously trapped by some kind of magical fire. The imps plead with the party to release them in exchange for the words of power that will disarm the trap. Though Cale and Finch are able to use their magical talents open the door, they can’t bypass the trap. They agree to the imps’ bargain and destroy the Magic Circle.
True to their word, the imps deactivate the trap and fly off, but angry souls, which were also trapped within the circle, animate the suits of armor and attack. However, the rusty metal is slow to react, and the heroes destroy them quickly.
Down a narrow hallway, Bren spies a room full of elemental chaos and enraged, flitting elementals. A pool of chaosstuff in the center draws in elementals and regurgitates more powerful amalgams. Burned by fire, battered by wind, gouged by crystals, the party puts them down. Cale sweeps his sword in a wide arc and takes out four at a time. The party steers them away from the pool, and no more amalgams appear.
Continuing into bowels of the earth, the party is surprised when the imps return, this time with undead reinforcements. The imps vanish while their lumbering soldiers attack, only to reappear to strike without warning, their barbed tails dripping poison. Again, the party reacts quickly, taking down the largest threats and killing one imp before the other escapes.
They follow it and stumble upon an old crone, hunched over potions and alchemical reagents. Dreus is expecting them, reanimating skeletons and commanding her golem to attack. Alek sears the skeletons with radiant energy while Cale stands up to the golem. Focused fire brings it down quickly, and they turn their attention to Dreus. She lashes out with her magic, but the combined force of all the heroes is too much for her. As she falls beneath their blades, she cries, “No! They must not know of Stonefang!”
Thale recognizes the name as a Dwarven settlement a few days away. A sending stone Dreus has on her reveals that the Severed Eye orcs await them at Stonefang. They ransack the workshop and return to Hammerfast for reinforcements, with a quick stop by Alkirk’s tower to collect payment.
- Gauntlets of Arcane Might – Cale
- Bracers of Mental Might – Alek
- 100g in residuum
Level to 4. Bren’s leaving us in town, but we’re picking up two more companions.