Chronicles of Khaldun: Crux of Eternity

Seekers of the Ashen Crown, Part 11

Sunday, Reaping 9, 552 CY (50 AN)

After resting, Bezaldooz takes some time to perform some ritual magic, transferring the enchantments on the magic dagger and spear found in the tomb complex to Torinn’s greataxe and Triflik’s Blade, respectively.

With everyone rested, the group prepares to continue forward. There is a door to the southeast (the one through which the group entered the room), a door to the northeast, and a set of double doors to the west. The group decides to head west.

The cavern opens into a larger chamber. A subterranean river flows across the chamber, separating the connecting caverns from the chamber on the other side. On the other side, two ten-foot-tall ledges rise. Pale goblins in ragged clothing, armed with stone weapons, stand at attention. One hisses as the group approaches, and the battle is joined. Bezaldooz opens with a tremendous fireball, killing several goblins and wounding a few others. Emma, Peren, and Torinn wade across the river. The battle is swift; the primitive goblins are overwhelmed by the display of force, and none survive.

By the battle’s end, everyone makes it across save Bosabrieln, who refuses to get wet by wading in the river. He offers payment if someone will carry him, but Emma returns to him to do it for free.

About halfway across, Emma loses her balance and both fall in the river. They emerge a few seconds later, coughing cavern water. Bosabrieln changes as the group rests.

After checking both ledges, the group notes that the rubble in the northwestern corner appears loose enough to move. After about twenty minutes of clearing rubble, they emerge into a large cavern. Slopes lead into a larger complex, where several rotting, mutated creatures stand in reverie around a large, glowing, octagonal pool — likely the Moon Pool where Zaarani’s Solitaire may be found. The creatures on the lower level do not seem to notice the group as they enter; indeed, they are almost trance-like, listening to the occasional ravings of their leader. Peren notes that the creature wears a gem around its neck, and suspects that it is Zaarani’s Solitaire. After the group discusses their plan of attack, they move.

Disturbed from their religious awe, the mutants move to attack. The smaller ones fall quickly. Two smaller creatures bristling with spines move from their ledge to move into position; one falls and hits the ground. Both wade into the Moon Pool and begin launching volleys of spines ath the party. Two of the bigger ones — the same tentacled creatures that attacked the group earlier in these lightless caverns — move into melee. After hanging back, their leader does the same. All three fall within seconds, as the party’s gambit proves sound. A small, vicious mutant, and the two spine-throwers, takes a little longer to defeat.

When the last spine-thrower is left standing and the group prepares to advance upon it, a light bobs from a side tunnel. The group is initially nervous at the thought of another onslaught, but they are instead greeted by the Wordbearers. The two groups make short work of the remaining creature.

Everyone rests briefly. A search of the pool reveals a few precious objects thrown into it. Yeraa reports that the Wordbearers successfully recovered Lurtaan’s Cord, and Peren shows Yeraa Zaarani’s Solitaire. Her reverence for the object is obvious.

As the group continues back to the surface, they come upon an unexplored door. Finding a room with a fiery vent and several fiery ghosts, they make short work of them before continuing to the surface.

Dawn approaches as the group arrives at the surface, and Yeraa asks the rest of the Wordbearers to scout ahead. When they are out of earshot, she formally apologizes to the group for not trusting them, and says they have fully proven themselves to be brave and honorable. She asks if they would do her the honor of accompanying her to Graywall to find Murkoorak’s Orb, and they agree — right as the dead approach.

Approaching from the south are four shambling corpses and a man in plate armor made of fused bone. His face is unseen, but the beard hanging below his mask and the halberd he carries successfully identifies him as the unidentified Broken Chain captain the group met on the road to Six Kings. What flesh can be seen, however, is now necrotized, and his halberd glows with a dark light.

The onslaught of spells indicate the beginning of battle. Yeraa enters the fray first, followed shortly by Emma, Peren, and Torinn. When everyone engages the undead captain, he lashes out with dark, fiery energy. His cadaverous minions fall quickly, soon leaving the engagement between him and everyone else. Peren, Torinn, and Yeraa all lash out with their blades, but he manages to hold himself together well. Soon, however, whatever magic allows him to unleash the worst of his black energies gives out, reducing him to melee combat. He feints several times, leaving himself open to offer devastating attacks, but only Torinn is bold enough to take the bait. Peren leaps forward to slash at him, then hangs back — but a misstep gives the captain the opportunity to strike a crucial blow at the elf, sending his unconscious body flailing across the ground. However, after this, everyone redoubles their efforts, and the captain falls before the onslaught of steel and magic. The glow leaves his halberd as he does so.

Peren is given a healing potion, and the group takes a moment to catch its breath.