Unfinished Wars

The Stuff of Nightmares

With Merrix d'Cannith, there are no small favors...

Three Barrel Cove, north of Stormreach. 19 Aryth, YK 1003.

With the death of Ky Shari and the arrival of the Aereni agent Sayuri, the lives of the Loaded Dice have been thrown into chaos over the past week, but some business must go on. Alastair is eager to recover his ship and Sayuri is eager to gain the trust of this group whose actions are so entwined with the murder she was sent to investigate. In an effort to demonstrate trustworthiness, Sayuri offers to go along with Alastair and Ameron to fulfill a favor owed to Merrix d’Cannith and regain possession of the Golden Dragon.

Borrowing a skiff from Merrix, the trio heads north toward the island of Three Barrel Cove to investigate a dig site with which Merrix has lost contact. Arriving, they find the camp empty and track the dig team north through the jungle to the foot of the volcano that forms the center of the island. Not wishing to risk a sheer climb, Ameron summons phatom steeds and the party fly up the cliff to a cave opening that the dig team seems to have made for.

Inside, the party find a cave totally devoid of light. As soon as they activate their light sources, they find themselves face to face with horrific web mummies, the unfortunate dig team. In the midst of this battle, in which slain mummies burst open to produce swarms of spider hatchlings, a huge spider descends on Ameron from the ceiling. Eventually, the mummies and their creator are destroyed, and the party begin continuing the dig team’s exploration.

A few passages are examined and abandoned before a chamber containing a large pillar is discovered. After examination, the party manage to activate the mechanism to lift the pillar and reveal the staircase down into the ancient complex. However, something also triggers a trap and the party must slip under the pillar and rush down the staircase to avoid the collapse of the ceiling, effectively trapping them in the complex.

With no way back, the adventurers press on. Sayuri proves invaluable in deactivating a series of traps in the first passage, but excess focus on the floor searching for pressure plates neglects the ceiling, which hides a magnetic panel. Within moments, the weapons of the entire party as well as their halfling bard are stuck on the ceiling, and it is at that moment that the iron defenders attack along with an arrow turret at the end of the hall. Abandoning her weapons, Sayuri rushes to the end of the hall to disarm the arrow trap while Ameron battles the iron defenders. Alastair manages to retrieve his sword and joins Ameron. Once the constructs are slain, the party drag the deactivated constructs over and send them flying up to the ceiling, destroying the magnet and sending their weapons raining down for easy retrieval. They press on.

In the next room, the team encounters a gigantic orb made of a dragonshard. Ameron is able to determine that it can activate some form of connection to the realm of Dal Quor. Though they don’t know the extent of their danger, the team wisely decides to move on. They work past a locked door into a huge chamber, apparently an ancient workshop. In the center is a giant dragonshard pillar standing in a pool of water. The team spread out to explore. Ameron discovers a basin of green liquid, and while staring in it, sees horrible visions of his family being tortured. Alastair examines a strange statue of a giant warrior, out of place in a complex obviously not of giant origin, though what its origin is they do not know. Sayuri finds the whole place unnerving and waits in the shadows, alert for danger.

Eventually, Alastair finds a set of tools that allow him to extract four silver cylinders from the central pillar. The objects match the description of the schema Merrix sent them for. At the same time, Ameron discovers that removing some of the green liquid from the basin causes the hand of the giant statue to open, revealing a strange, domed silver disc studded with dragonshards. After long consideration and discussion, Ameron grabs for the item. Immediately his mind is assaulted. He resists, and the force that attacked him manifests in nightmarish imagery distinct to each viewer. Sayuri and Ameron withstand the illusion, suddenly seeing the mass of tentacles and claws unlike anything they had known. Alastair, however, is trapped in his own nightmare, poisoned by the sting of the monster. In horror, Ameron manages to destroy the creature with sonic waves. Alastair eventually overcomes the poison with the aid of his comrades and cuts the head from the creature, hoping to identify it when they return.

Meanwhile, the strange metal disc is talking to Ameron, calling itself Docent Twelve, it offers to transport he and his companions away using the teleportation stone in the previous room. Despite reservations, the party sees no other way out, and agrees. To the surprise of all, the docent is true to its word and returns them to Merrix’s workshop. Merrix turns over the Dragon after inquiring that the complex is empty for certain. He identifies the monster as probably a Quori, a monster from the realm of dreams. Whatever his true thoughts, Merrix seems unconcerned.

The session ended with Merrix dropping the startling revelation that Natasha Chevkos, the tiefling brought to him only a few days ago, bears the same dragonmark as Ky Shari.

Reward: 5,137 XP

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