04/05/2017

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The party continue their underground adventure in Jurth’s room, having sent Drool across the hall to the crypt Ot follows him in and attempts to coax the ogre into opening the purple shielded door. Drool panics at the thought and runs into the room with the umber hulk. Two dozen prisoners are found in a number of cells in the south end of the mine tunnels. One of the prisoners is the delegation sent from Mirabar: Bruldenthar, a Dwarven Sage. He explains that after the delegation delivered the knight’s body to Summit Hall the Earth Cult ambushed the delegation and ferried them across the Dessarin River where they were attacked by the Air Cult.

Bruldenthar tells the group that Deseyna Norvael was captured by riders on Vultures (Feathergale Knights), and Rhundorth and Teresiel were taken below to an unknown fate. The group informs him that the books they found have been sold. He is upset but relieved that they’re in reasonably safe hands. He chooses to stay with the prisoners until the party returns on their way out, as he does not want to risk a fight with the remaining cultists. The group tricks a mourning Drool into thinking that the minotaurs guarding the monastery entrance were behind the death of “Princess”, and the ogre runs upstairs to get revenge.

The group chooses to continue their journey downwards, taking a set of stairs 250 feet below into an ancient dwarven city. They approach a stone bridge with a 50 ft drop. Alton ties himself to Malark and begins to cross the bridge. He awaken the guardians of the temple: several gargoyles. The group defends themselves and retreats back across the bridge while fighting off the statues. Ot is picked up by one and thrown into the pit, but survives the fall due to his monk training. The party take down two of the stone beasts while the third one escapes across the chasm. Redkin ties himself to Ot and pulls the gnome up onto the bridge.

Across the bridge they find an entryway into the city, with two large doors shattered by some unknown force. Searching the room Malark and Ot find arrow slits looking into adjacent rooms. Malark find nothing but Ot sees the edge of a worn bed, and decides to throw a lit sconce into the room in order to see better. He attracts some unwanted attention, and a woman’s voice sends a number of guard to investigate. The group puts out all other torches and lies in wait.

Some hobgoblins appear, Malark and Ot both use trickery to snuff their torches but that scares them off for a moment until they arrive with reinforcements. A fight breaks out. The party has the upper hand until a Black Earth cultist riding a bulette bursts through the door. The massive creature charges at Ot and knocks him off the bridge, pulling Redkin to the floor. Ot is left dangling above the cavern floor while the cleric struggles to pull himself to his feet and cast his healing spells. Malark and Alton attack the rider but have trouble hitting him on the back of the giant beast.

Aerie, using druidic magicks, calms the bulette and then bonds with the creature. Allowing her to control it just in time to see a number of gray dwarves arriving to reinforce the cultist in the battle. She sends the bulette charging into them. As it turns to leap forward its leg catches on the rope holding Ot and swings him violently like a pendulum. Alton manages to keep his footing and rides the bulette as it charges the dwarves, knocking them over and eating one. Alton fires off an arrow through the skull of the standing dwarf. It is a very cool scene but lacking in critical butt action. The rider yields, defeated, and is taken prisoner by the party.

The party attempts to interrogate the prisoner, Ot tries to scare him with a threat of Cyric’s name but the man says he cares not for “false gods”, and that “Ogrémoch”, the living mountain, will destroy every village and kill every man woman and child in the are. Ot takes offence that his celestial tormentor is trivialised and decides to show the prisoner who indeed is a “false god”. Using the blood of the man and the blood of himself, the stocky gnome summons Cyric in a moment of madness, looking for answers. Malark gets a slight warlocky chub at the ritual on display. The Prince of Lies possesses the man but does little to help, taunting Ot and the rest of the party, completely refusing to talk to Alton as he’s a halfing. He asks about the group’s progress with the air cultists, and laughs at the notion of a mountain coming to life. He tells Ot that his friends are going to die, and releases information about Malark’s previous actions with burning hands to imply that he’s been watching the group longer than the gnome has been with them. Alton, feeling the insanity of Cryic’s influence overcome him, slashes the throat of the prisoner as Cryic leaves his body. The party leaves the man in a pool of blood, with no more answers from his grinning corpse. Redkin and Aerie watch the grim display in silence. They decide it is best to return when they are rested and stronger, and start moving back up the staircase to the Monastery.

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