Session 18 Summary

October 24th, 2009

Heroes: Prometheus, Bagheera, Rhinox, Kairn, Kebi Dabu, Lysandros, Dashiell, Thorgan, and Persephone

Game Date: Solisdain, Falling 26, AD1017

Another day goes by and the adventuring group remains deep under the earth. They have discovered a series of natural caves and caverns beneath the ruins they have been exploring. Here they found an Earth Node, a piece of earth that works as a gateway for natural flowing elemental energies. They also discovered the area was inhabited.

The heroes had just finished a lethal encounter with a group of troglodytes and trolls. They were grouped in a chamber with lava flowing through its middle. During the battle they learned their enemy was protected from the intense heat coming from the lava flow; a very important fact since trolls are very susceptible to fire. It was possible the Node was responsible for this extraordinary protection.

The group moved on, continuing through passages yet unexplored. A harrowing discovery was that the lava flow from the last cavern seemed to flow through this entire area. The group came to more than one passage with a wide river of lava crossing it. They devised a plan to cross and hooked up a rope high on the wall, held with spikes driven deep into the rock. Of course there were those that tried alternate methods. Rhinox got a running start and attempted to jump the 20-foot span. His friends frantically scrambled to pull him out of the lava when his jump proved to be short. Yet another near death experience for the brave half-orc.

Beyond the flow of lava was the last chamber inhabited by the troglodytes of this area. The chief of the troglodytes, Tymax the Terror, was here with his most trusted followers; including more trolls that have joined his flock. The battle was fierce and Tymax proved to be a strong adversary; certainly the toughest of the troglodytes. Unfortunately they too fell to the power of the heroes. The adventurers defeated Tymax’s followers and only he remained to face them alone. He was still a powerful opponent and his troll blood gave him an edge the adventurers were not expecting. Still, Tymax could not withstand the onslaught of the heroes and eventually fell. He surprised the heroes by standing up only seconds after he fell. He did not want to go the way of the trolls so he proposed a deal, information for his freedom. The heroes complied and learned of another area connected to this complex but Tymax could not tell them how to get there. He could only tell them his curse chanters learned of yet another possible combination among the symbols on the archways. The information was good enough to buy him his freedom.

After an extended rest, much needed by a few members of the party, the group pressed on deeper into the caves. Discovering more flows of lava, the group discovered that the dwarf Kairn was not the athletic type of dwarf. He had several close encounters with the deadly lava, one being very nearly fatal. Thorgan even risked his own life to rescue his brother-in-arms and voluntarily jumped into the lava.

The adventurers were able to follow the lava into a small circular cave where it collected in the center and seemingly drained away. The heroes decided to investigate the phenomenon and found the pool of lava to be inhabited. Creatures made of fire burst from the pool and attacked. That is when they learned there was more to this room than originally evident. The heat in the room was excessive, even for a lava pool being present. Something in the chamber made all of the heroes battling inside vulnerable to fire. This made the fire creatures extra dangerous and deadly. Taxing the group’s healers; Lysandros, Persephone, and even Thorgan, to their limits, the group finally prevailed and were able to escape the room before anymore damage was done.

They had reached the end of the cave area. All that was left for them was the clue they received from the troglodyte chieftain. They would have to climb back up to ruins and piece together the puzzle of the archway portals. Unfortunately at this time the group decided to split up. The three members with the most training in arcane knowledge decided to continue their search of the caves, themselves. As Kebi Dabu, Lysandros, and Dashiell went off on their own, that left Prometheus (the only other member that had extensive knowledge of the arcane arts), Bagheera, Kairn, Rhinox, Thorgan, and Persephone to figure out the symbols that would take them further in this exploration.

All six members pooled their resources to work over the runes on the archway. They covered every angle to eliminate as many carvings as they could. Using a wrong combination proved to be painful in the past, and could be fatal. Things got started with Kairn performing a ritual to speak with Moradin himself. He asked of the first three symbols in the combination and three were given, hopefully the three they needed. All that was left was to figure out the last symbol. Prometheus taxed his limited knowledge of the arcane to verify or eliminate choices and options. Bagheera and Persephone, with Rhinox’s help, eliminated many of the symbols dealing with nature and the elements. Kairn and Thorgan used their underground knowledge to work out any symbols that would not fit. It was discovered that all the combinations used at least one symbol of a specific element. It stood to reason that even though this combination already used the symbol representing all the elements, it would still use one element as a key. Finally Kairn blurted out Earth as the final key to the combination. After several painful attempts at other combinations, earth was finally used in conjunction with the other symbols they acquired. With the use of Arcana, Science, Elements, and Earth, the portal opened and was ready to take the heroes to yet another unexplored area. Hopefully they remained within the confines of the ruins and the complex they are exploring.

The portal turned out to be damaged on the other side and hurled each member that used it through the air. Some of the adventurers crashed into already crumbling brick and mortar. They emerged into an area that was unbelievably fantastic. At first glance the party thought they had exited above ground, Bagheera thought the stars above proved that. He decided to use his knowledge of nature and try to figure out where they were. He closely examined the patterns of stars and discovered something even more fantastic. The heroes were actually still underground. They had landed in some enormous dome carved under the earth. The roof of the dome could be a thousand feet above them and in the center was a glowing sphere that could have been a light source, an artificial sun, at one time. Now it is nothing but a black sphere giving off shadowed light. The entire dome was bathed in a dim light with shadows all around. The heroes’ light sources proved to be of little help. Bright light was dimmed somehow by an outside source.

The buildings around them gave the impression they might be in some small village of some kind. They decided to explore further. The closest buildings were setup like a neighborhood and the party tried to find clues of what this place could be. When they stepped in the center square of the houses they quickly learned it was a place of death. They were assaulted by wights and burning skeletons and insane wraiths. Whoever these people were, their remains were restless and did not like intruders.

Looking around them, seeing the nature of their adversaries, it looked like the heroes stepped into someone’s nightmare. An entire village hidden under the gloom of death and located thousands of feet under the surface, the heroes have finally stepped into adventure that would test their very hold on reality. Where have the heroes gone and what does it have to do with the complex they were exploring? Who could have constructed something so magnificent that it defies all conventional construction methods known to the dwarves? How could something so spectacular be built for this dark and sinister purpose? What will the heroes find here? More importantly, how will the heroes return home?

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