24th of Kythorn of the year 1492

With the meals and drinks mostly completed, the party began some information sharing with the two new members as well as with each other with what they had found recently.  Ace brought up that they had not seen nor heard about anything related to a fire cult but had about the other three assuming the Feathergale Knights were related to the air cult. Everyone had to pause as the sound of a huge storm outside started up.  They could hear the thunder and the bright light of the lightning was striking somewhat near.  The heavy rain drops smashed against the windows making for a loud constant noise in the background.

They also began to put together a set of questions for Dhelosk as well as where they might head off to in the morning.  Trying to figure out how small each group would break up into to cause as much confusion as possible. With those decisions completed most of the group went up to their rooms leaving Yllanys down chatting with Gwendolyn as well as Fwoosh and Ace playing cards and Dancer stayed in the dining area to see if he could catch any talk that was interesting.  

The only thing of interest he overheard was that it seems that the number of bandit attacks had decreased significantly in the last month, which made all the merchants happy because that made the roads safer, and they would be able to get their good through safely. Without any juicy gossip available, he also headed up to his room.

No matter which game they played, Ace was a horrible player and could not win a single hand. He lost all his gold, and then silver and every time he ran out of coin, Fwoosh would push over all that he had won from Ace so they could play some more. This continued for a few hours with the transfer of Ace’s coin back and forth several times until they too got tired and headed off to their rooms.

The discussion between Gwendolyn and Yllanys covered a lot of area, but she kept bringing the topic back to the Mirabar delegation and seemed less interested in the cultists that he had brought up. Yllanys was able to get a little more background on Dhelosk. Once Yllanys completed his flirting and headed over to the Helm at Highsun.

While there he got another drink and sat around listening in to any interesting conversation.   He was able to overhear some of the Dwarves grumbling in Dwarvish about Dancer and his ill treatment of the rescued Dwarves.  Nothing else seemed interesting, so he headed back to the Blackbutter and to bed.

With that everyone was in their rooms and finally in bed.

25th of Kythorn of the year 1492

Early in the morning Fwoosh, ISAC, and Yllanys headed down for an early morning meeting with Dhelosk. When picking up Yllanys he did notice that there was a set of wet clothes spread out drying in the room. With a few questions and odd answers later, they arrived at the bar for their meeting.  Dancer ran out quickly for a quick run to the bakery to pick up his order of five dozen bear claws, after which he went back to the Blackbutter Inn and waited for his magical quiver to be delivered. While waiting ho ordered some food and coffee.  His sharp eye noticed something odd bout the barkeep that had replaced Dhelosk.  When dropping off the drinks, there was an incongruency with it.  As if the person was actually much shorter than what could be seen.  When he paid, he held out the coin at a level of a very short person.  He was given a sharp look, and the image flashed to a well-dressed goblin taking the money, and then back to the barkeep.

Dhelosk led them into this back space by either opening a portal, or some type of magical door.  Going into a white corridor with several doors, they all went to one further down the hall and entered into a medium sized room with a round table and several chairs.  He gestured for them to sit down.  A little into the conversation Dhelosk gestured and the door opened with a tea serving being brought into the room, just floating across the space, and gently setting down on the table.

Dhelosk Quelbeard

He first handed Fwoosh an odd diagram of lines and explained he had spent a fair amount of time figuring it out and told Fwoosh that it was a celestial map interposed on a terrestrial map and that he might be able to align the diagram over a map and find things that are not on the current maps.

Celestial/Terrestrial Map

He then handed off Dancer’s magic quiver with a small note with the instructions on how to use it. Fwoosh then started working through the questions that Dancer had.

“How many bear claws would fit in a bag of hold?”

“Um, at least two maybe three thousand.”

“How long do you think they would last in a bag of holding?”

“The same length of time if you left it on a counter.”

“We were recently in a fight on the water, wherein the enemies were below us and we could not hit them.  Do you have any insights on what might be useful in a situation like that?”

“Magic, most spells will work, and water will not be a barrier unless it’s something specific like a wall of water.  There are also spell that will allow you to breath underwater and allow you to operate better while in the water.  If you were on top of the water, you must have been using something like a Water Walking spell.”

“Yeah, we have a friend who can cast that.”

That spell would prove to be very handy for crossing water, but not if you have opponents under the water because that would prevent you from doing much in the water.  If you had cancelled the spell, you could have swum down and attacked if you had piercing types of weapons or magic.”

Yllanys then asked about being trained by Dhelosk, and he seemed a bit unwilling, especially since their specialties were probably very different.  Dhelosk did say that he could provide spells when needed.  Finally, the meat of the conversation led to ISAC now asking his long list of things.

“Have you ever heard of orcs or trolls invading the valley and attacking Westbridge. There was a place known as Southkrypt.”

“This has happened numerous times over the years.”

“In 207DR, there was a large invasion of Orcs and a famous Dwarf died defending the Stone Bridge while an avatar of Moradin showed up to save the day.”

“In 932DR, The First Trollwar occurred, when a large population of trolls had been displaced from the Sword Mountains by orcs. The trolls attacked the city that would become known as Waterdeep. The retaliatory forces burned large parts of the Evermoors, purging it of all trolls.”

“In 936DR, the orcs of Uruth Ukrypt stream out of the Sword Mountains and attack Nimoar’s Hold, bringing an end to several small human realms clustered in the Dessarin Valley.”

“In 936DR, The Orcfastings War was a war between orcs of Uruth Ukrypt and the humans of the Sword Coast North and Dessarin in and around Nimoar’s Hold, which would later become Waterdeep. It took place in several individual battles and eventually it was won by the humans.”

“In 940DR, The Second Trollwar began and lasted until 952 DR. It was fought between the humans of Waterdeep, allied with cities of the North, and the trolls of the Evermoors.”

“In 942DR, Drow raiders plunder cities along the Sword Coast, enslaving many humans of the Dessarin Valley. The small realms of Harpshield and Talmost, which border the Ardeep Forest west of the ruins of Delimbiyran, are ravaged and burned.”

“In 963DR, the third Trollwar almost took place when the traitors Aviss and Fellandar led an army of trolls out of the Mere of Dead Men against Waterdeep. The trolls were survivors of the earlier Trollwars, and they believed the traitors could bring them victory in a third, and final, Trollwar, and so promised them power over the city.”

“It was around 1000DR that settlements started springing up around the Sumber Hills, creating roads and trails that bisected the hills.”

“In 1024DR, Uruth Ukrypt releases the Broken Bone orc horde, which emerges from the Sword Mountains bent on destroying Waterdeep.”

“In 1235DR, the largest orc horde ever sweeps from the north; many lands overrun. The orcs reach Calimshan before they’re scattered by hastily gathered wizards and local armies. Waterdeep besieged; Calimshan threatened.”

“Basically, the orcs breed like rats and their population increases push the small groups further out from their fertile area seeking good and new lands to conquer and live in.”  There is not any specific time frame, but it occurs, every few hundred years.  Not all of it goes through this valley, but also from the Spine of the World and south Waterdeep.”

“As far as Southkrypt, located underneath the mountains the dwarves called Maruutdin and the southern flanks of the Sword Mountains. It could be found east of the town of Leilon, northwest of the Stone Bridge, and north of the Kryptgarden Forest.  It has been ruins for a very long time.  There might have been Dwarves taking refuge there during any of the times I mentioned.  It was famous for being a silver and mithril mine.”

“There was a man from Westbridge named Claudius, he was very wealthy.”

“Unless he was famous for something that was historically important, or was in the field of magic, I would not know about any specific noble or merchant.  There are so many that come and go, so unless you have a specific name to go with it, I would not know anything.”

“Have you heard of a place called Drincuil ar Gurth?”

“Hmm, I remember by ex-wife had told me some of her Elvish mythology.  To the Elves, the name meant something horrible, something they would scare their children with.  To them, it represented some primal fear about having their souls stolen. It represented some sort of evil god stealing people’s souls for longevity.  But all of that is mythology thing dating thousands of years ago.  There might only be dragons left alive from then at this point, and the gods of course.”

“The man I speak of Claudius found this place.”

“And you know this why?  Especially if he was alive five or six hundred years ago?”

ISAC pulls out his broken blade and holds it aloft.

“This is a key to that place; it unlocked the door.”

“If that is the case, it is not very powerful magic.  Maybe because it is broken.  I see a bit of magic on it.”

“Have you ever seen this symbol?”

“A raven? The raven is a symbol used by many mercenaries in war torn places.  The raven is a bloodthirsty bird, a carrion eater, a battlefield scavenger, and some say, a stealer of souls.”

ISAC then drops the illusion on himself and reveals his real face and body, that of a mechanical man.

“When I was last here, I was attacked, and my body was destroyed.”

“That is what I heard and had gotten some type of impression that there had been some sort of planar instability that had been forced into the space where your group was.”

“The body that was destroyed was like this one.  When it happened, I woke up in a cave somewhere outside of Westbridge that was actually a cave that this man Claudius had discovered.”

“How do you know all these things about Claudius unless you are Claudius himself.  I find it hard to imaging you would know these things unless you found them in a book.”

“I have come to believe that I was Claudius. I have been told by a dragon that there are more like me.”

“A dragon outside of Westbridge?  It is said that the ancient green dragon Claugiyliamatar resides somewhere on the edge of the Kryptgarden forest and the Sword Mountains.  She supposedly moved there about 300 years ago.  She is well known for spying, conniving, and setting up nefarious plans to expand her influence, and to just sate her curiosity.  She seems to think she is a genius spymaster. She is famous for somewhat lack of magical talent and has wanted to turn into a humanoid for quite some time.”

‘Well, I saw her first as a young girl and then in her giant dragon form.”

“Oh, that does not bode well.  If she can now transform, or has found a way of doing that, it means she has grown stronger, enslaved a wizard, or found a source of magic items to correct her deficiencies. If you have met her, I am very sure she has marked you in some way since she let you live.  Good thing this space is isolated, and she cannot peer into here.  Be careful of what you say since she could be listening at any time.  Even writing something down could get compromised. She is known to have agents in many places.  There might even be one or two here in Red Larch.”

“So, this key sword is something important to me.  I would like to find a way to keep it or store it in some sort of extra-dimensional way like a bag of holding, but something more secure and binding.  So that if I lost it, I could summon it back to myself.”

“There are a few spells that would fit that.  One called Soulbound Strike, which is 3rd level but will only last 30 days.  A scroll of that would cost you about 200gp.  There is also Soulbound Guardian, a 4th level spell which would last for 90 days.  That one has an expensive component cost, so a scroll would cost 850gp, and then there is the Eternal Bond spell, it is 5th level and lasts until dispelled.  It has an even greater component cost, so that would cost you 1400gp.  All of these spells require the caster to make the binding to themselves.  If you are unable to cast one of those, if you purchase the scroll, I can assist you in the casting to help decrease the chance of failure, but the success or failure will all be on you.”

“You do not seem to be shocked by any of the things I’ve told you.”

“I have 300-year-old goblin Alchemist cooking meals for the Inn, why would a metal construct with a transferred intelligence surprise me at this point? We have not lived out here very long, only about five years, for some…. Fresh air and countryside rest.”

It was here that Dhelosk handed over a list of his current magic items in stock so it would be easier for the group to decide what they wanted.

Dhelosk Magic Item Price List

Yllanys used this opportunity to purchase some magic ink for his projects, while the others perused the list and the prices.

“Is there a way of making things last longer in the bag, like preserving our food.”

“There is something called a bag of colding which will freeze everything within, so there is some preservation, but it will all be frozen solid. We do have a couple in stock, they are 1500gp each.”

“Do you have anything to help disguising some one?”

“I’ll have nothing on hand right now, but I can get one in a few days.  Most of them are about 5000gp or so.”

With the three of them looking over the price list, ISAC was interested in the clothing of mending which as it is named, repaired itself if a hole got into it, or was ripped.  It is a common type of clothing the wealthier merchants buy. Asking about more dandyish clothing, Dhelosk suggested he head to the clothier, or he could order some, but it would be much more expensive than what was listed. Yllanys attempted to barter with some spellbooks he had for ink in a pawn store type of usage.  Dhelosk was not interested in that at all.

Fwoosh was quick to purchase a pillow of restful nights. Dhelosk explained several of the other items he had for sale. Once they seemed to be winding down, Fwoosh brought up the Drowish statue and tried to prompt ISAC into bringing it out and showing it to Dhelosk, but he seemed unwilling.  With everything completed, Dhelosk clapped his hands and the three appeared at the table with Dancer.

While Dancer was waiting, the rest of the party made it downstairs.  A quick bear claw and drink, and they all scattered to different parts of Red Larch leaving Dancer behind, still waiting on his quiver.  Vladimir and Angelica first went to Tantur Smithery to pick up his armor and to see if they could also get Angelicas, while Ace ran off to the sundry and general store.

With the three appearing in front of him, Dancer spit bear claw and coffee all over ISAC. They were quick to hand over the quiver and updated him about the questions they had asked for him.

While that was occurring, ISAC wandered off to the Clothier store to see if they had some nice dandy wear for him. Maegla Tarnlar was happy to assist, but when ISAC requested something a bit more special and nicer looking, she called for her husband to come back and help him. Halvor was very happy to have someone interested in the finer clothes and was quick to help. ISAC was measured up and the order was placed to be ready in five days. He then went back to the Blackbutter Inn meeting with those that had already arrived.

At the same time, Yllanys had made his way to Gut’s Full Tannery (formerly Luruth’s Tannery). He was met by the Dwarf running the place.  When Yllanys entered, the smell of the tannery almost brought him to his knees, but he was able to persevere and stay standing abet a lot whiter in the face from before. Asking about any special hides that the Dwarf might have, it seemed that there had been some, but they had been left in the vats for too long and had mostly dissolved. He did offer that if Yllanys could bring in some more exotic skins, he would happily tan them, and if they were good enough, might trade the work for the skins.  There did not seem to be any other sources nearby for skins of an interesting type. Since Yllanys was interested in this, he was given an apprentice book about how to skin different creatures in the hopes he might learn something and not ruin the skins as he was removing them.

Thastruik Oakgut

Vladimir and Angelica arrived at the smithery running through the rain trying to stay somewhat dry.  Within they saw Laefra Tantur who was behind the counter.  The doors behind her were open and the heat from the forges filled the room.  Vladimir was able to collect his armor and with a little cajoling Laefra was able to convince her husband to hurry and finish Angelica’s armor before closing. Asking about some medium weight armor for ISAC, she laid out what they had and the approximate prices.  She was pushing for them to purchase something of higher quality, but the prices were a bit more than they were willing to spend at that time.

Laefra Tantur

With their business completed, the two headed quickly to the Allfaith’s Shrine trying to not get too wet on the trip. Imdarr was inside and happy to see them. They chatted a bit and they found out that the new Dwarven smith had arrived and was setting up shop and that he was the grandnephew of Banmin Glehuruhr. The two purchased a very large pile of healing potions buying out the entire supply at the shrine. Angelica was also careful to hand a letter to Imdarr that was to be sent to her sister. Imdarr also let slip that a new priest was coming in at the beginning of the next month having traveled in from Waterdeep. The new priest was of a higher level than Imdarr, and he was surprised that such a high-ranking priest was willing to come to such a remote place. The new priest was named Gila Keneufeld.

Imdarr Relvaunder

Vladimir asked about a god of premonitions or divinations to seek help about the dreams he had been having. Imdarr was happy to tell him about the god Savras.  They did not have a shrine here for them, but Vladimir could use the general alter and offering bowl. Heading to the sundry store to fetch some additional supplies, they left the shrine. Arriving there they asked about rain ponchos, and they were offered up a chopped-up tent made into pull over ponchos.  One of the children grabbed a pair of scissors to the back room to handle the business. Also purchasing 25 days of rations, they did not have any other business and head back to the Blackbutter Inn.

At Vallivoe’s Sundry store, Ace met Endrith behind the counter with four or five young kids running around. Endrith immediately offered to sell Ace an umbrella since he arrived very wet from the storm that was still raging outside. Ace bought a second one to give to Angelica later. Ace was seeking a mortar and pestle as well as some spices, to hopefully improve Yllanys’ cooking. When he asked about reading material, Endrith offered up a selection from his spicier set of books.  As innocent as he was, Ace select a couple not really understanding the titles or what the content might contain between the covers of the book.

Endrith Vallivoe

From there he headed to the clothier in town.  As he headed out, he passed Vladimir and Angelica he stopped and gave them the few gifts he had bought for them.  For Angelica he handed off an umbrella, and for Vladimir he gave the two spicy books from the Sundry story. Arriving at the Tarnlar Clothier and going in, he was met by a dandy looking fellow. He had some fancy clothes and a fancy cane that he leaned upon. The room was filled with fine clothing of every sort. The man tried selling Ace on a doublet and hose as very fashionable, maybe include a double-breasted vest with it.  A hat with a nice tall feather would make the ensemble complete. Ace just wanted something durable, to which the man yelled for his wife and stomped off leaving Ace behind.

Halvor Tarnlar

Coming from the back of the room, a middle-aged woman approached Ace to find out what was needed. Settling for some tough linen, Ace was measured up and purchased two full sets of clothes. Ace thought that visiting the tannery next was a good idea, and into the rain he went, but the wonderful umbrella helped to keep most of the rain off of him.

Maegla Tarnlar

With an odd idea in his head, he headed back to the Sundry store. He was seeking any books in Dwarvish, but Endrith had already sold all the ones he had to the party weeks ago.  He did have an interesting book that might be fun, called “The Playwright’s Insults.”  Ace excitedly purchased that for Dancer. From there, he headed back to the Blackbutter Inn and joined a few other members of the party.

Now that everyone was finally together again at the Blackbutter, Ace used the opportunity to give out more of his gifts.  He gave some empty bottles to Fwoosh so he could smash them for the noise, the book of insults to Dancer who seemed very fascinated by them.  Vladimir handed out healing potions and ponchos.  It was then that Theldor Darkaxe came into the Inn and took Vladimir to the side for a conversation.  He handed him a sheet of paper and after a few words left the Inn.

Theldor Darkaxe

Vladimir brought the paper back to the table and showed it to the group.  It was a list of who was still missing from the delegation as far as the Dwarves could figure out.

Delegation Member List

There was some conversation about Dancer and his means of communicating with the Dwarves as well as the constable. He pled innocence and attempted to lay the blame back on those that seemed to be insulted.  It went around several times with almost everyone trying to get Dancer to back down a bit. Fwoosh was very upset of Vladimir that he ahd failed to bring bear claws to the children at the sundry store after he had so passionately told him to bring them. With his new quiver, Dancer was excited and ran to Feng’s to purchase enough arrows to fill up his new quiver. ISAC had followed to get a sheath for his broken sword. It was a quick transaction, and back to the Inn Dancer went, while ISAC went by the smithery to purchase some medium armor and settled on some a normal breastplate. As they did that, Angelica went back by the smithery to pick her armor which proved to be ready missing ISAC in all the running back and forth.

Feng Ironhead

Before breaking for the night, Vladimir told them about his new dream the previous night, but without and specific details. With all that conversation, dinner time rolled by.  Yllanys tried his luck with flirting with Gwendolyn again. That conversation went pretty the same as before, she seemed much more skilled at leading the conversation and extracting tidbits of information from Yllanys than he was from her. He was able to get out of her that she has been working for Dhelosk for many years including when he was in Waterdeep.  They had moved out here to protect his granddaughter Delillia since something had happened to her parents.

Gwendolyn Venelli

The dining room gossip was not any better tonight than it was last night.  Just merchants and their routes. When digging for more information the only real oddity seemed to be the weather, how it could change in an hour and then change again in the next hour from one extreme to the next. Those sudden changes were making it difficult for any agriculture and many of the crops were failing which could cause food issues all the way to Waterdeep since the valley and surrounding areas sent most of their food that direction to feed the massive population of Waterdeep.

With the food consumed and the conversations wound down, everyone headed to bed.

26th of Kythorn of the year 1492

While the storm continued to rage during the night it had abated mostly by the morning.  However, the sky was filled with swirling colors much like an aurora borealis. The outside was not as bright as it was normally, with the strange lights. Back inside, Ace purchased a decanter of endless coffee while the others once again pushed ISAC to show his statue to Dhelosk.  He finally relented and put it on the table.  Gesturing Dhelosk to come over and take a look, which seemed to make him a little disgruntled, but he still walked over.

“I wanted my friend to show you the statue.  We saw a portal and a portal into the water place.  We wanted to know if it did anything to the statue, but he dislikes showing it.”

“Where is this portal?”

“It is by this keep that the pirates were in charge of and there is an underground river that goes to a waterfall that leads to the giant floating portal above the waterfall.”

“That’s interesting, I’ll have to inform Dlara, she is very interested in those types of things. She has not been on this plane in a while.  She was concerned about the stability of the planes since there has been a lot of odds going on in the adjacent planes.”

“I had a vision of the other side of that portal.”

I which ISAC explained his vision.

“I usually do not give much credence to visions since any interpretation of them is very subjective.  You never know if it is a true sight into somewhere, a metaphor about something, or even a visual allegory, or even some combination of all those.”

“But at face value, it would seem you dreamed of the Plane of Water, or some very deep ocean location. A tunnel leading to a mysterious and malevolent temple sounds ominous, but again difficult to interpret.  Why would a tunnel exist to a location from the portal?”

“These are all places you have never been or know that you have been to.  I am not that familiar with the planes and will pass this all on to Dlara and hopefully she will be able to have a better answer for you.”

“The questions I have for you then, since you have been talking about elemental cultists and you found what appears to be a water portal, that would imply there are other portals hidden around the valley.  Your statue somehow seemed to have locked that one for some period of time. I would think that you would have a limited about of time before it unlocks, and the need to find the other three might be more imperative now.  Are they all linked?  Where do they lead?  Are the other portals the same leading to some temple?  Do they all lead to the same temple?”

“These are all things that you will have to search after.”

“I think that the statue absorbed some power from the portal and maybe changed the statue.  We are concerned from what you told us before. You said the artifact seemed to be awakening.”

“Well, I called it an artifact for several reasons.  One is its apparent age, those Drow symbols are very old, several thousands of years old, second was it impenetrability to identification.  Which is odd, cursed items will allow identification, it just shows an incomplete assessment until you trigger the condition to start the curse, and third its seeming ability to grow in power.  Not many magic items have this capability and any that do are very rare and unusual, and finally fourth, its apparent durability.  Magic items in general are very tough, but artifacts are nearly indestructible except under very specific conditions set during their creation.”

“All of those things implied it was an artifact of some sort, although when I saw it last, the amount of magic within it was fairly minimal and did not appear to be at the level of an artifact.  But if it had been damaged, there would always be some sort of criteria or activation to allow it to fix itself.  Your description of it absorbing something from elemental creatures matches those criteria.  Absorbing something from an elemental portal would also meet that.”

“Could it be influencing ISAC?  Possibly.  It could be nudging him to help it heal, it could be nudging him to do things that serve the purpose of its creation.  You have not seen any negative actions except for a certain amount of covetousness of the object. But then again, it might also require more growth.”

Dhelosk with his monocle began looking over the party.

“I see something very similar with the maul that Vladimir carries.  It meets the same criteria of being an artifact.  It is clearly damaged and maybe Vladimir just has not found the right activation method to start the repair.  It could also influence him in the future, but then it might now.”

“There is also his broken sword.  It has grown in a large magnitude from where it had been.  It is also physically broken, that does not seem to impede its growth. He did something to cause it to start growing.  From what you said it is a fairly new item, meaning that something caused its creation when he found it.  Gods, demons, or even some spirit watching over him.  Could it influence him in the future?  Sure.  Look at what magic it has.  I can see a lot of divination magic.  If it gives you a vision, is it real, is it true?  Could that vision influence what you might do because of that vision.”

“When I talked about influence, it was in general terms as something that could happen.  All very powerful magic items have the capability to influence their wielders.  If it is a weapon, it would tend to influence them to kill more creatures it was built for.  In the case of the statue, I can only guess.  It has something to do with the elements, it requires more to grow.  It has more magic in it than the last time I saw it, it is getting stronger, but it is still not on the level of being so strong as to be some godly magic item.”

“I see your amulet Fwoosh, it too is growing.  At a much smaller rate than all the other ones.”

Dhelosk keeps looking around and finally stops on Yllanys.

“Um…. I am confused.  I am not even sure how you did that to yourself.  I kind of understand why you wanted to talk more in private about your specialty.  Come back in a few days and we can have that chat.”

“There are many possible resolutions and more questions.  If you think it is having a negative effect, you can only attempt to stop the awakening.  Do not do what it is expecting., or you can attempt to speed up the awakening and find out what it wants if it can even get to that point.  It seems to have locked on to your group since it is only moving between you.  It would be interested to find out what the criterion for switching is, why does it choose a specific person?  As far as getting rid of it, it appears to be difficult since it auto-attunes and transports itself to wherever they are. I wonder if it could transfer between planes. Possibly, especially if it so much of an elemental connection.”

“Right now, I would suggest either attempting to feed it or starve it.  It sounds very useful in helping you at least temporarily lock down elemental portals.  It seems to have great defensive and offensive capability. It has seemed to be only useful right now.  Hopefully it stays that way for you.”

Yllanys brought up that it seemed odd that the elemental cultists seemed to be cooperating at some level since there are always pairs at odd with each other.  He suspects that there might be something guiding or directing them to cause them to work together.  He believes that this might be something the party can take advantage of in some way in the future.

When asked about the elemental planes, he explained.

“The four primary elemental planes at some point collapsed into the plane of chaos.  They all have demi-planes that separate them, but they are all much closer and connected.”

With that, Dhelosk went back to his bar while the party talked about what he said and what has happened.  They were also concerned at the complete lack of anything related to the fire cult and it seemed very odd they have been missing.  Of course, they still had to solve the issues of the possible air cult as well as the fortified earth cultists.

The party finished their meals and decided that the lure of the location called the Treasure Cave was too much for them to ignore.  Moving through the still somewhat wet weather it only took them a couple of hours to reach the location they had been given previously.  Going into a ravine they finally got to a cave entrance. It was a grand cave entrance.

As you approach the overgrown entrance of the cave, you’re immediately struck by its imposing height. The cave mouth looms nearly 30 feet above you, a dark maw set into the side of a hill or cliff face, surrounded by a tangle of vegetation. Vines and moss drape over the edges, partially obscuring the stone beneath and giving the entrance an ancient, forgotten appearance.

The size of the entrance suggests that this cave could house secrets and dangers of remarkable scale. The darkness within seems almost tangible, a palpable void that swallows light and promises unknown depths. As you stand at the threshold, peering into the gloom, the air feels cooler, a stark contrast to the world outside.

A musty smell wafts from the depths of the cave, reaching your nostrils and evoking a sense of decay and dampness. It’s the smell of earth long untouched by sunlight, of water that pools in unseen caverns, and of time itself having come to a standstill within these ancient walls.

They slowly moved in and to the left they found a small cave filled with skeletons and boxes that were rotting.

As you continue to investigate, you notice that their condition is peculiar. The bones are unusually brittle and appear to have a faint, dark discoloration. It’s as if the very life was drained from them, leaving behind these fragile remnants. Despite the clear signs of a grim fate, the exact cause of death isn’t immediately apparent to the untrained eye. No visible wounds or marks of combat mar the skeletons, adding to the mystery of their demise.

Carved into the skulls of the skeletons were different symbols of the bloody eyes.  Most had the simpler one. While one had a slightly more detailed one.

Simple Bloody Eye

More Complex Bloody Eye

When examining the skeletons, Angelica was able to determine that the black spots as well as their deaths seem to be from some sort of necrotic energy.  The more gruesome part was that all the carvings into the skulls occurred while they were alive, and time had passed when the carving had occurred.  No one had thought about skinning skulls to look for this before.

The party then moved further into the cave area.  The passageway opened up into a small lake and another cave to their left again.  At the end of the lake there was what appeared to be a large stone hand grasping a Dwarven skeleton who was holding on to a glowing great axe. The cave area to their left was filled with many more skeletons that had the same appearances as the first set.

Moving in closer a trio of greenish bird insects came out of some hidden nest and attacked the party. They proved to be tougher than expected since they would attach themselves to someone and start sucking their blood and when killed exploded into a gooey necrotic mess hitting anyone withing five feet while healing any of the flying critters that was within range. With a little effort they were able to kill them off.  

Necrotic Stirges

Without any rest or healing they were eager to get that glowing axe.  Vladimir had Benny his echo moves across the water and once at the hand, switched places with him and reached for the axe.  As he did so, the hand squeezed him and from the stone broken out a giant skeleton who then tossed Vladimir to the ground on the other side of the lake.

Giant Skeleton

And this is where the session ended.