Princes of the Apocalypse

Off to Red Larch!
Kythorn 12 - 14

Organnac (the 3rd) & Silveno, at the request of their benefactor, & Javonte Harte, at the request of his own benefactor, set out separately from Waterdeep to Red Larch. By the time they all reached Rassalantar, they realized they were heading to the same place. After an awkward introduction between Organnac & Javonte, they decided to continue on together.

When they reached Amphail, they met a genasi bard named Nasim at the Stag-Horned Flagon. They also heard about how the town had been having unusual rat problems. Before the night was over, the innkeeper was attacked in the cellar by a pack of giant rats that had dug their way in. The travelers & the bard rushed to the innkeeper’s defense. They slew the rats, but sadly, the innkeeper died from his wounds.

The group attempted to follow the rat’s trail back to where they came from, but they met unexpected resistance from more giant rats, as well as a swarm of rats. They retreated, deciding returning the next day would be better.

The group met with Lord Warder Orlin Hollister, who agreed to assist the group. As he went off to gather a posse, the would-be heroes followed the trail to an abandoned barn. Silveno scouted it out, catching sight of a strange man interacting with the rats. He was unfortunately spotted & shot in the back by a hand crossbow before the rat swarm was sent after him.

The group managed to destroy the swarm & engaged the man. After shrugging off several blows as if they were nothing, it was revealed that the man was a wererat. Ultimately, the group retreated, but not before Organnac was bitten by the wererat.

They met up with the posse, & while they had their wounds tended to, the Lord Warder led the men & dogs back to the barn. They found the barn empty except for a few rats, which were quickly dispatched by the posse’s dogs. The Lord Warder then had the barn burned down for good measure.

With that, everyone returned to the Stag-Horned Flagon to retire for the rest of the day.

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On the Road again...
The Long Road to Red Larch

Kythorn 15 – 18

Day I Long Road

The next day the three travelers, Javonte Harte, Organnac (the 3rd), and Silveno set off to prepare for travel and to ask Nasim, bard of Ra’d to join their band. Nasim joins the party! And then procures a donkey to join them on their way to Red Larch.

The Lord Warder gives the group a sealed letter to give to the priests in Red Larch, promising to make whatever donation is required to have the potential curse removed.

Day II Long Road

The second day of travel the group passes the Rundreth Manor, only to find a body near the manor. They find when examining the body that it was the wererat from Amphail and that there are long claw marks on it.

Later that day the travelers cross paths with a caravan, the leader informs them of the dangers of this stretch of road and the loss of others on it.

Day III Long Road

The party travels under duress as unusual weather in the form of a dust storm lingers over us.

Day IV Long Road and Red Larch

A few miles from Red Larch, Silveno sees a trail leading off the road and into a dell overgrown with bushes. Clearly a wagon has been going through it recently. Organnac III ostentatiously barges after it, as Silveno subtlety tails down into the dell to find a bandit camp, with bandits, and a bear, oh my!

A tussle ensues and the bear mauls his/her captors as we fatally detour them from their bandit-like ways. Afterwards we throw one into the cage wagon and gather up the loot and finish our trip to Red Larch.

Arriving at Red Larch Organnac III announces the defeat of the bandits and we separate to sell the loot and bring the prisoner to the local authorities. Organnac III and Silveno go to sell the loot and Nasim and Javonte go to find Harburk Tuthmarillar. They find him at the butcher’s and show and give the prisoner to him. Nasim offers to lend the wagon to him to hold the prisoner.

The Constable suggest if they are staying in Red Larch to stay at The Swinging Sword Inn and that The Helm Tavern will have good food seeing how the Inn’s kitchen was burned down.

With Organnac’s “delicate situation” still in mind the group heads to the shrine to receive his blessing. There we meet Imurra, Priestess of Sune, who suggests Imdarr Relvaunder to bless Organnac III. Imdarr is found and takes Ogannac III to bless him with the cure.

That problem solved, the group heads towards the inn.

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Red Larch & Its Troubles
Kythorn 18-19

Organnac got side-tracked by the Helm at High Sun, the tavern across from the Swinging Sword. The rest of the group got their horses stabled and procured rooms from Kaylessa Irkell, the innkeeper.

At the tavern, Organnac met a half-orc woman, who was a caravan guard currently between jobs and three sheets to the wind. They shared some food, some drink and then she dragged the barbarian upstairs to do…whatever it is half-orcs do when they’re drunk and someplace private.

Meanwhile, Silveno & Nasim came over to the tavern and got some food. Javonte Harte opted to stay at the inn and partake of the more limited selection of food there. The tavern didn’t seem to have any useful information about what was happening around the valley. Kaylessa told Javante about some of the things she’d seen and heard about recently: lightning in the Sumber Hills when the sky is clear, mist that resists burning off in the sun, other such things. She also told him that she was sure there was some sort of evil presence at Lance Rock, a landmark about 5 miles SE of town. She went so far as to offer the group 50 gp if they would check it out.

Silveno and Nasim returned to the inn, at which point Nasim seemed to become very intent on becoming friends with Kaylessa. During the course of the evening, she gave her thanks for the group’s willingness to check out Lance Rock, which was news to the bard.

Come morning, Organnac, Silveno and Nasim gathered at the tavern to discuss things. Once again, Javante opted to stay at the inn. Imdarr Relvaunder briefly arrived, apologizing to Organnac about not making it to the tavern the night before. He also said that there would be a trial of sorts for the captured bandit soon. Deciding that Lance Rock was as good a place as any to go first, the group gathered up the tiefling and headed down to the butcher shop to talk to Harburk Tuthmarillar.

Harburk verified that there had, indeed, been an increase in bandit activity as of late. He even gave a suggestion on where a bandit camp might be located. He simply did not have the manpower to go running around the valley trying to protect everyone. He also seemed somewhat skeptical about the evil presence at Lance Rock.

As they arrived at the giant pile of granite, they spotted a sign next to a trail that went down into a ravine, ending at a cave. The sign warned for people to stay away, lest they catch a disfiguring plague. It was signed The Lord of Lance Rock.

Javante scouted ahead and spotted a body inside the cave. The whole group then entered and slowly approached the body, which proved to be the corpse of a human male. As soon as it was disturbed, it animated and attacked. The scuffle was brief and the zombie was put down.

Moving into the cave system further, Javante was attacked again, this time by a pair of zombies that tried to drop rocks on him. Again, the zombies were put down, though the group was a little bloodied by the end of that fight. At that point, Javante decided it might be prudent to allow Organnac to take the lead.

After travelling down a gore-smeared tunnel, they came across three more zombies. Very strangely, the three danced about and were clad in costumes: a bear suit, jester’s outfit and a lady’s gown. As soon as the zombies became aware of the party, they stopped dancing and attacked.

Once these zombies were defeated, the party decided that perhaps it would be prudent if they rested a bit, so they withdrew from the cave to lick their wounds.

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The Battle of Lance Rock
Kythorn 19

After licking their wounds, Organnac (the 3rd), Silveno, Javonte Harte, and Nasim, bard of Ra’d were ready to enter the caverns again. With Javonte concerned about the the threat of rocks falling and killing him, the group thought it would be wiser for Organnac to take the lead, and this time for the night blind bard to trail behind with his light so it wouldn’t inhibit the others night vision…much like a backwards swimming anglerfish. As they reentered the the tunnels, the group followed their previous trail back to the caves that held the four zombies.

On the other side of the cavern there were two more tunnels, northwest and southwest, respectively. Organnac led the group down the southwest tunnel. After a short distance in Organnac saw a light and signaled down the line to have Nasim put out his light, which he did immediately. The party then gradually collected, hidden, outside the entrance to the new cavern.

Seeing a man in the cavern, Silveno and Javonte wasted no time and struck first, killing him instantly. Entering the cavern, we find that he was not alone and there are another four skeletons, this time with shirtbows. We can make out another man behind them. Entering into combat, we fought until all the skeletons were destroyed, but our group also took casualties. Organnac was the only one standing, but as a loyal comrade he chose to leave the battle and the “Lord of Lance Rock” behind with his horrors. He carried his party members out into the light and on to their noble steeds so that they could ride back to Red Larch, much like beaten bags of grain tied to their animals.

Arrival at the temple lead them to the priest of Tempus & the lovely priestess of Sune, who kindly healed us and renewed our dedication to end the battle of Lance Rock! Especially the pluckily bard who had wooed her into a stuttering mess. (NO, I SWEAR THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED ORGANNAC! DON’T BE JEALOUS!) Rushing now to find the “Lord of Lance Rock” ,we head back into dangers unknown.

We track down the “Lord” and confront him in a glorious combat, in which Nasim graciously lets the others take the lead as he tries to discover the mysteries of the shortbow. Finding the mysterious weapon useless he joined the fight to strike down the “Lord” while on his last leg, seeing how he had let everyone else take a turn first.

With the “Lord of Lance Rock” dead The heroes gather themselves to find what treasures the “Lord” had amassed a Lance Rock.

In the center of the room was a glowing globe with an illusion of an eye symbol floating above it:

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Six Feet Under and Still Alive
Kythorn 19-20

From the journal of Nasim, Bard of Ra’d.

After the defeat of the necromancer, whilst there was still treasure to be looted and divided, we found ourselves without the strength of Organnac, which was of little consequence because I was there. Javonte went over to examine and take the glowing globe and the wand left by the necromancer. After, we took pity upon the worn out oaf and dragged him through the mud and out of danger. Silveno wished to go back, but Organnac protested, wishing not to be left behind. So, gathering ourselves again, like bags of flour upon our steeds, we headed back to Red Larch.

When we arrived, there was a gathering around one of the old trees just outside of town. Through the mass of villagers, we spotted the bandit that we had tangled with earlier dangling from one of the branches dancing the jig of death. There, we approached the Priest of Tempus and told our tale of the necromancer, confirming that the ugly sod had been set ablaze and met a true end. As we left the crowd and began our trek back to the inn, we ran into Elak Dornen and Ilmeth Waelvur, the latter being the owner of some ramshackle wagon shop.

When we met Kylessa, we retold our story of valour and triumph over the necromancer and put all of her gratitude onto a tab that we immediately began working off again. Organnac demanded a round of chicken for the entire room, enticing them to listen to him between mouthfuls. I couldn’t let him spoil the story with his meat-headed vocabulary, so I stepped in to recount the tale in full. He didn’t appreciate it and we began a duel of words, recounting our struggle.

Part-way through our story, a pointy-eared priest, who turned out to be a worshipper of the God Lathander, stepped in to aid Organnac, seeing that he was struggling to raise his jaw from the table as I talked over him. He went by Brother Eardon, and he was a wanderer. After joining in our audience he told us his wish to aid us in our adventures at Lance Rock. He then told us of his worries of the dwarven delegation that had been travelling through the Sumber Hills, but which had not arrived in Red Larch when expected.

The next morning, as we gathered in the inn commons, Kaylessa gave us a pack filled with crumble cake, which soon became our breakfast, as I attempted to defend it from Organnac’s stomach, rather than the day-long meal it was meant to be. As this battle of wills was fought the rest of our group gathered in the commons. With all of us gathered, including the Brother, we were off to Lance Rock again to search the last of the caverns.

With two more caverns to search we started with the southeast tunnel and found and destroyed more dead and undead bodies in what could be the necromancer’s larder. After a short skirmish with four of them we contimued on to the southwest tunnel, which led to a small area with trunks. Before opening them Silveno thought to check for traps and he exposed a trapdoor above the trunks waiting to laden us with a burden we couldn’t carry.

With the last caverns observed we headed back to the where the necromancer was killed to gather what items we could find of use.

After finding that dreaded shortbow that I had left there, Brother Eardon aided Organnac with finding some grain ale. We declared our adventures done at Lance Rock and headed back to Red Larch.

Arriving back in Red Larch our party disassembled to entertain ourselves, although Organnac and Silveno seemed to have similar business as they wandered off talking quietly to each other. I must say I took the liberty to spend the time wisely with a goddess of a half-orc and her bed.

My private prayers to my Orcish goddess were disrupted when one of the villagers found me and stated that there was a tremor and a great sore upon the earth lay open to us and that Silveno and Organnac sought to gather and explore the hole. Following the villager I found myself next to Ilmeth Waelvur’s wagon shop and that near it was a great depression in the ground. Organnac, Javonte, and Brother Eardon stood near the edge and Silveno had already gone down to aid some of the villagers that had fallen in the behemoth of a hole.

We began our new quest by climbing down to find that two entrances laid before us, a hole leading up a tunnel and a door…which Organnac opened. As we entered the hallway we observe carvings in the walls and two stone statues that seemed to be doors. Preventing Organnac from opening any other surprises, Silveno stepped forth to guide us safely through the hall but Brother Eardon stopped us with his sharper senses and we looked up to see iron cages hanging from the celling waiting to drop upon us.

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Delve into the Delver's Domain
Kythorn 20

From the journal of Nasim, Bard of Ra’d.

Silveno, being the slippery knave he is, decided to check out the traps on his own. Whilst he scouted ahead, I asked to go and give the giant stone doors a once over. However, I was told to stay away because that would require a light, which could lead to alerting whomever may be prowling in the shadows.

Silveno and Organnac set one of the traps off, dropping a massive metal cage to the floor, blocking the rest of the hallway ahead of us. For all of his boasts of strength and willpower, Organnac couldn’t even make the monster budge. Javonte checked behind the statues, partially out of spite for me, to see what was behind them; empty corridors and nothing more. We chose to enter the southern most one, finding only a bench sitting above a privy hole at the end. Waste of time. We then went to the one towards the north, which reeked of death and decay. Organnac and I moved to the next chamber ahead of the rest to find a trio of corpses and unusually and unnervingly large rodents feeding upon them. We mopped them up like a very violent pest control service. Brother Eardon examined the bodies before we continued moving.

The next chamber was a different mystery: a floating rock. Organnac told us of Ilmeth’s whispers, “The delvers must not be angered, the stones must not be moved.” Javonte surmised that it was a touch of magic at work, suspending it in the air as it was. Organnac decided to be his usual self and take a first hand account by walking right into the area under magical influence, and started to float as well. At the other end of the chamber we found a door to continue through.

As we entered the next chamber from the northern side we found ourselves before a makeshift stone idol of a dwarf. Shattered, reassembled and caged by a wooden frame keeping the invalid from falling falling apart again, he lay quarantined by a wreath of coins and gems. Silveno, being a man of religion, gathered the gold from the floor, as Javonte found a dagger laying with the tribute. He read the word “Rezer” from the side and found that it glowed dimly. I, then went to a plaque and read of this statue and that it was a petrified Iron Star dwarf. With the rest of the tribute going to waste I went and gathered the rest of the coins as Brother Eardon and Javonte gathered the gems.

Laden with our burdens and fat with treasures like suckling pigs, Silveno went to the western wall and checked for traps on the door. Finding none, Organnac opened the door to find another half-orc looking out the door on the other side of the chamber, and a human boy pinned under rocks.

Finding him more anxious at our presence then angry, we interrogated him. Grund was hired as muscle for a cult and was watching over the punishment of the boy for being bad. Ignoring Grund, we ask the boy and he told us that he failed to deliver a message to the Believers. After giving water to the child and about the release him, Silveno was rushed by Grund. Luckily, Organnac had his back and knocked Grund out and tied him up. I, then noticed another plaque next to the boy that read, “Displease not the Delvers.” Brother Eardon talked to the child about the Delvers and Believers and found that the Delvers were entombed here and the moving stones are with and are used to communicate with the Believers as warning when they move. They had recently moved and the boy had failed to send the message along.

Sending the boy out of the caverns, we headed back to the shattered dwarf and Organnac opened the door on the east wall. “DON’T DISTURB THE DELVERS,” yelled an old man. Brother Eardon lost his temper with the distressing events of the day and shook the old man until he told us that their priest Larrakh had been giving the Delvers human sacrifices, and that the Delvers are through the door just behind the old man. Hogtying the old man, we drag him next to Grund in the west chamber. Silveno, checking the west door, found himself looking down the first hallway with the hanging cages. Seeing movement he set one of the cages off halfway over some masked men. Barricading the door we prepared for an attack from the north door.

Six of them made it to the northern door and with the power of his god, Brother Eardon called forth the Light of Lathander and thus killed three of the six so-called Bringers of Woe. We battled with the remaining three till Organnac subdued the last for questioning. Surrounding the two incapacitated cultists, we removed their masks, much like the meddling group of young warriors and their hound of old did. As we started to discuss what to do with the incapacitated ones we moved the last one to be placed with the other hostages, only to find that Javonte had slit their throats.

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Subsequent Events
The Tomb of Moving Stones & Other Things

Kythorn 20-21

Having brought down the so-called Bringers of Woe and secured their prisoners, our stalwart band of heroes moved on into the Tomb of Moving Stones to confront the Delvers and the priest known as Larrakh. On opening the door, they found a huge room with a range of standing stones. Along the walls they saw entombed remains of…someone. Several someones, to be exact.

Before they could properly process everything, Larrakh attacked, unleashing a magical barrage on them. Silveno was quickly brought down, though Brother Eardon quickly stabilized the elf. The rest of the party pursued Larrakh, quickly cornering him. Undaunted, he continued to unleash his magic against the party, until he found himself in vicious hand-to-hand combat with Organnac (the 3rd). Between the half-orc’s axe and the magical assaults of Nasim & Javonte Harte, with some support from the good Brother, Larrakh was finally brought down. At Brother Eardon’s suggestion, this so-called priest’s life was spared so that he could be questioned.

Larrakh’s curious vestments, it was noted, appeared to be made of stone. He was also adorned with a strange symbol, the meaning of which was unknown.

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The Delvers turned out to be the ancient remains of dwarves, presumably those who had made this underground structure. A secret door was found, beyond which was a tunnel that led to one of the town’s quarries. They were confronted by the owner of the quarry, a somewhat round woman who had no time for them. She snidely suggested that if they were so interested in finding treasure, they should go find the Blood Cave and the wealth rumored to be there.

They ultimately turned their prisoners over to Constable Harburk Tuthmarillar, who had his men secure the underground structure. Their work done, they party turned in for some well-deserved rest.

The next morning they decided that they would go check out this Blood Cave. Brother Eardon regretfully informed them that he wouldn’t be able to join them, as the Constable had enlisted the aid of all the priests in town to ferret out all the member of the Believers.

Getting some more of Kaylessa Irkell’s crumble cake, the party set out. It wasn’t an overly taxing journey into the Sumber Hills, though as they drew near where they were told the cave was located they were suddenly set upon by a pair of huge, burrowing insects. Nasim’s donkey fled in a panic, dragging the bard with it. One of the monsters immediately killed Organnac’s horse and attempted to make off with it, while the other engaged the warlock and the archer.

The barbarian warrior immediately raged and pursued the giant insect, intent on avenging his steed. After a brutal battle, both creatures lay dead, though one horse was also dead and the donkey was long gone. To honor the horse, Organnac cut out its heart and ate it. He then spent some time butchering the horse for meat while the others rested.

As they were about the continue on, a group of mounted and armed men came along the road. It turned out they were a patrol from far off Summit Hall. After a brief exchange of words, the knights moved on and the party continued to the Blood Cave.

Once again, Silveno used his superior stealth skills to scout ahead. He found a beautiful cave, and much to his disgust, a small nest of stirges. He attempted to shoot shot down one of the vermin with his bow, which only served to agitate the rest of the creatures. He immediately fled did a tactical retreat from the cave and warned the others of the pursuing stirges. Thus warned, they massacred the creatures as they flew out of the cave.

The threat cleared, they investigated the cave and found it empty of anything even remotely valuable. With that, they decided to call it a night and set up camp inside the cave.

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On the Road Again
Kythorn 21-23

Morning saw our stalwart heroes heading off once again. They decided to head to Beliard, the last place where the missing dwarven delegation from Mirabar was known to have been.

Perhaps a half-day’s travel into the journey, they were set upon by oddly dressed men wielding strange elemental powers. There was much chaos, with Silveno‘s & Javonte’s horses fleeing, Organnac) raging & Javonte & Nasim almost being slain. The battle ended abruptly with the arrival of a quartet of birdmen, who dove upon the party’s enemies & helped bring them down.

The birdmen didn’t have a particularly good grasp of the Common tongue, but they did manage to communucate that the raiders were from a tower to the south. Bidding the party a fond farewell (they think), the birdmen took their leave. Being low on supplies, the party decided to return to Red Larch.

But first, they investigated the strange clothing of their attackers: tight fitting blue-grey suits with cloth “wings” stretching from arms to ankles. They were also apparently magical, giving the wearer limited flight. Each was also adorned with an unknown symbol.

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On their way back to town, they found the two horses. Otherwise, the journey was uneventful.

Back in Red Larch, they restocked & were able to get two horses on loan. They also met a shepherd who had found some mysterious graves near Feathergale Spire, a tower that served as the Feathergale Knights, a group of nobles from Waterdeep with a passion for flying mounts. The spire also appeared to be located in roughly the same spot as the tower mentioned by the birdmen.

The next morning, the party headed out to investigate this tower. At about mid-day, they arrived at the entrance to a large valley. Just a short distance in the valley was an amazing tower sitting atop a tall stone pillar: Feathergale Spire.

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Feathergale Spire
Kythorn 23-24

As the party debated how best to approach Feathergale Spire, they entered the valley. Just a short distance away from the spire, they came across a giant vulture feeding on the remains of what turned out to be a male human.

After a moment’s debate, they attacked & quickly killed the bird. That is when they became aware that there were also blood hawks in the area. After they battle, they investigated the body. They didn’t determine much beyond that it had been dropped from a height & that it was possible that others had met a similar fate in the area.

After some more debate, it was decided that the direct approach would work best for the spire. Javonte Harte took the lead, since he was a noble from Waterdeep, while the rest posed as his retinue.

They were actually greeted quite warmly. The Feathergale Knights took care of their horses & invited the group to that night’s feast. But first, they were brought before Thurl Meroska, the captain of the knights. While things were discussed, Organnac happened to look through spyglass mounted on the tower’s roof. Through sheer chance, it was aimed at a narrow ravine a couple of miles off & Organnac caught a glimpse of a robed figure disappearing through a concealed opening in the ravine wall.

Later that night, the feast began. Organnac told tales of the groups adventures, Nasim found a Feathergale Knight, named Xander, who appreciated his attentions, Silveno acted mildly paranoid & Javante spoke with their host.

Before anyone could get too deep into their cups, a sentry ran in, shouting about a manticore being spotted. Thurl held up a fine ring with a feather motif & promised it to whomever brought him the manticore’s head. Immediately, the feast broke up & everyone made preparation to hunt the beast.

Xander gave the party a quick run down on how to ride their flying mounts. as they had several available for the party to use to participate in the hunt. Javante, Silveno & Organnac chose hippogriffs, while Nasim chose a giant vulture, since that is what Xander was flying. With that, they and the knights took off in search of the beast. Organnac seemed to get on particularly well with his steed.

The knights broke up into small groups, while the party and Xander formed their own group. It wasn’t long before Silveno spotted the beast with his elvish eyes, and they moved to attack. As the other groups converged on the manticore, the party and their prey exchanged ranged attacks; arrows, javelins and spells from the party, deadly spikes from the manticore.

While not the only hunter to strike a blow, Silveno did strike the beast repeatedly with his arrows. Just as he was about to make the kill, Javante struck the beast down with his mystical blast of energy, stealing the kill from the elf. After that, it was just a quick trip to the valley floor to collect the head. Organnac swiftly decapitated the manticore with his axe, and then they all returned to the tower so that Javante could claim his prize.

After a little time to wind down some, the party turned in for the night to the quarters graciously provided by the Feathergale Knights.

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Into the Abyss
Kythorn 24-25

Come morning, the party was given a hardy breakfast. Before they departed, their host took Javonte Harte aside & suggested that the Sacred Stone Monastery might be the source of the trouble the party was seeking.

After departing Feathergale Spire, Organnac talked the party into checking out what he saw through the spire’s telescope. The party led their mounts down the gorge, seeking the opening in the wall.

Before they had gone far, two wingsuit-clad men attacked. The men unleashed magical waves of thunder, killing three out of four of the party’s mounts. The last horse ran off in terror.

The battle was brutal but over quickly. Silveno spotted a third man flying toward the spire & attempted to bring him down, failing to do so. Once they dusted off, the party quickly found the opening in the gorge wall.

Inside, they found a fissure that descended hundreds of feet. A rickety set of stairs was built into the wall, descending into the dark depths below.

After far too long a time, they came to the end of the stairs, which was still a few hundred feet in the air. An equally rickety bridge crossed the expanse to a landing from which a couple of passages expanded outward.

Far more attention grabbing than the bridge, however, was the large cavern with a glittering ceiling & walls that opened up in the stone wall. And dominating the center of the cavern was a stone pyramid. A moat surrounded it, forming a waterfall at the cavern edge & plummeting into the dark depths.

The party crossed the bridge, finding a gate cut into the rock wall off of the landing, the passage zig-zagging and arrow slits cut into the walls. There were also torches set up to provide light. As they passed through the gate, they heard what sounded like terribly off-key music coming from somewhere. Then they started to hear what sounded like cries of agony and terror.

Moving into the passages beyond, they found a long hallway, as well as a branching hallway that led to the cavern with the pyramid. Stone obelisks were lined up in that passage, with an emaciated person chained to each one. When they investigated, it quickly became apparent that the people desired this, thinking it some sort of purification ritual for a cult they were seeking to join. Moving on, they found a stone door.

On opening it, they found a pair of men whipping a group of what appeared to be slaves as they pushed some sort of great wheel. The party attacked immediately, and though the men proved to be spellcasters, they were quickly defeated. It was then that the “slaves” attacked, apparently more initiates to whatever cult infested this ancient dwarven realm. On defeating them, the party pitoned the door and rested.

On venturing forth, they quickly discovered that not only had their battle not gone undetected by the rest of the cult, but that the cult had also prepared for their departure from the room. What followed was a brutal battle that, somehow, everyone managed to survive. It was decided at that point, that while they had won the battle, it was likely best to leave and regroup. As they fled back through the gate, unseen archers fired arrows at them from the arrow slits. The party fled deeper into the dwarven tunnels, finding a relatively secure place to rest and recuperate.

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