Chapter 05: "Everything is fine... or, nearly everything..."

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Session Number: 28
Date: Sunday 1 November 2009
Venue: Alain's
PCs & Players:

Emily Ftr3/Rog2 (Tammi) (kills: none)
Enok Rgr5 (Alain) (kills: none)
Krag Clr5 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal5 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz5 (Densial) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBC

The tunnel surfaces shortly after into a thick forest, somewhere southwest of the subterranean passage's entrance. It is late afternoon.

Sitting in a tree about 60 yards away is a small winged creature. It flies towards the group, looking most unlike any bird they have seen. Enok nocks an arrow but holds it in check. The creature - is it a pseudodragon? - stops 30 feet short of the party and flits about, seemingly agitated. Enok guesses it wants the group to follow it and removes the tension on his bowstring.

The party follow the creature to the foot of a nearby tree where a female human lies. One of her arms is outstretched and a black cylinder lies just beyond its reach. The hand is blackened, as if scorched. It is Emily.

Krag casts Cure Light Wounds on Emily's hand and the burn disappears. She wakes up. She appears physically well, but utterly exhausted.

The cylinder was given to Emily by a strange, ancient traveller. Emily thinks he might have been an elf. Troll tries to examine the cylinder, but cannot lift it off the ground. Krag tries his considerable strength but it will not move… It is as if it were rooted to the ground. Enok, however, lifts it easily. "Look!" he says. "It recognises something about me… Maybe we should touch it to Rowaine."

"Don't you DARE!" says Krag, fearful of what it might do. Eventually Enok simply opens the cylinder, twisting off its stoppered end.

Darkness immediately envelops the group and a voice breaks their startled surprise. "It seems I am compelled… But even as I am compelled, there must be a price…"

"What? What price?"

"One such as compelled me cannot change… the rules…"

"What rules?"

"I have… allowed myself to be brought here to heal one lost to this world. The price to heal a child of Moradin is… a child of Moradin…"

Krag looks up into the darkness. "Is that me?"

"It is."

"Don't do it, Krag," says Troll. "There are better options."

Krag then begins to speak, but the voice is not his and the words are not in a language that he, or any other member of the party, can speak. The words somehow feel good to Krag, feel right, even though he is oblivious to their meaning.

Everybody back off NOW!" yells Troll, who counts to five and blindly looses a Fiery Burst towards the voice. There is an impact in the air and a wave of heat momentarily washes over everyone, though it does not relieve the darkness.

"Hah Hah Hah!" the voice booms. There is a pause.

"Do you accept the bargain?" the voice questions.

There is no doubt in Krag's mind to whom the voice is addressing, or his response. "Yes," he replies.

"Very well…"

The darkness disappears, as has Krag. The cylinder lies on the ground, stoppered. Enok moves to Rowaine's side. She lies still, but her heart now beats strongly.

The party continue on with Rowaine's body wrapped in a blanked, carried upon Tenser's Floating Disc. As the day wanes metallic scratching sounds can be heard. Enok does his best to evade pursuit, including getting his wolf to urinate on some spare clothing and throwing it onto the tusks of a marauding wild boar that runs off. Night falls peacefully.

In the early hours of morning Rowaine awakens with a scream.

Don't worry," Enok says in a calm voice. "Everything is fine… or, nearly everything…"

"Light! Rowaine gasps. "Please, light…"

Rowaine appears bewildered and confused, finding it difficult to grasp what has happened. The news of Krag's departure barely sinks in. "The stupid, stupid boy…" she says, shaking her head.

Emily is recovering well but Rowaine is still badly hurt. Enok helps her out of her armour and dresses her wounds. Rowaine thanks Enok, then excuses herself from the party and moves a way into the forest, far enough for some solitude yet close enough to see the lantern light. She falls to the ground and prays util weariness consumes her. She drags herself back to the campsite and collapses into her bedroll. The remainder of the party set up watch.

In the hours before dawn Enok hears more metallic scratching sounds drawing closer. He rouses the party and they set off. The following day is a tense and exhausting game of cat-and-mouse. Floating Discs, Pass Without Trace, many course changes and more than a little luck keep the party clear of the spiders as they continue to move more or less southwest. Enok moves in and around the party's path, covering tracks, keeping course and managing to forage for some well-needed food.

Evening falls and Rowaine takes her turn at watch. She hears spider sounds in the distance that gradually dwindle away. Shortly after, she hears similar sounds from another direction. This time the sound only gets louder. She wakes the others and the game continues. Three or so hours of sleep are snatched when a quiet patch occurs and dawn breaks.

Rowaine looks a little better but her wounds are yet serious. "Why do you not heal yourself? asks Enok. "I am not allowed," Rowaine answers.

The morning sun rises behind them and they set off. The land gradually rises and the forest begins to thin. When the terrain peaks Enok climbs a tree and breaks through the canopy. Ahead the land descends into a wooded valley that stretches perpendicular to their path beyond eyesight, roughly northwest and southeast. Enok relays this information to the party. Troll has a vague memory (if that is what it is) that Elondel lies north of such a valley.

The sounds of spiders drag their attention yet again. The frequency of these incidents appears to be increasing and following the path of the valley is difficult with many course changes required. Finally the group cross to the west side of the valley and the sounds withdraw.


The party continue northwest for a short distance when the forest rapidly gives way to a large grassy depression roughly oval in shape. A ruin can be seen less than a mile away, nestled in the base of the plain. Could this be Elondel?


Enok volunteers to scout the bowl and the ruin. With the only available cover being the grass at less than a foot tall, hiding is difficult…

Enok manages to crawl unseen for about 30 minutes. He is nearly half-way to the ruin when multiple metallic screams echo from all around!

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