The Oaken Path

From the Journal of Davina
Press the Shiny Button!
I’m not still not entirely sure what Desna’s plan is for my sister and I. I’m trying to do my best to serve her on this strange mission she’s sent us on. I know it brings much peace to my soul when I am able to return with news of a missing loved one to the good people of Torch. Sadly, the news has never been good but it seems to bring peace to these people to finally know the fate of their loved ones. I’m trying very hard not to lose hope that we will find Khonir alive. Our track record isn’t so good so far and we even almost lost Lad yesterday! There is a strange and eerie world beneath the city of Torch. I’ve never seen anything like it. We entered an eerie desolate desert landscape with a starless night. We followed the path surrounded by seemingly endless rocky walls and met evil creatures around nearly every corner. Finally we came upon a hidden entrance at the face of a false cave. Inside, we discovered a very uncomfortable room filled with cracking energy and an irritating buzzing sound. Fortunately, Calera, who is very clever, was able to stop the energy and with it the buzzing sound. We continued on and found ourselves other rooms with windows. The windows seemed to offer a view of that desert path we had taken to get here. However, instead of the dark black sky, it showed the landscape in the daylight. I’m not sure what sort of magic made this possible! In one of the rooms was a glowing column with a button on it that I simply couldn’t resist pressing. I’m glad I did, as it seemed to cause the lights in this place to brighten and also nothing tried to kill us (at that moment anyway!). I’m trying to record as much as I can to share with father when we return. I know our latest findings will fascinate him and I wish he could be here to see it with us, however I am glad he’s not having to face the creatures that dwell below. It’s already hard enough always worrying about my sister, I can’t imagine having to worry about father’s safety as well. Speaking of my sister, Desna was definitely on her side yesterday. Things were looking quite grim for all of us. We kept encountering these gruesome four armed skeletal creatures. The first few we came across weren’t too hard to kill. I even took out a few on my own! However, at one point we had entered this hidden cave and came across one of the skeletons that still had rotted flesh hanging from its bones. The four of us attacked it with everything we had and at one point I thought we were doomed. It had taken down Lad, and the three of us surviving women ran into the nearest room and attempted to barricade ourselves until we could regroup. Well, the creature found a way in and almost killed us all. Then Melarien took down the vile creature using the light of Desna. it was truly a miraculous sight to see. I have never been more proud of my sister than in that moment. Truly, she has proved herself a formidable cleric of Desna and I will continue to do my best to help her in whatever our Goddess asks of her…of us. After our battle, we decided to return to Torch to rest and come up with a plan. I’m hoping the weapons we ordered will be ready before we have to return. We also found out that the strange silver discs we keep finding are some sort of energy source for the foreign objects below. Ones that are still “full” fetch a pretty penny from the local merchants! Now it’s time for my evening prayers and sleep.
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Cave of Metallic Wonders

Having dispersed of the gremlins and being granted access to the deeper portions of the cave, the party continues their search for Khonnir. First they decided to search the rest of the cavern that they can access before heading through the double doors that had been opened for them. It wasn’t very encouraging when they discovered more dead explorers. This time it was a group of halflings that had come from Brig. They group had to disperse of some slime that was devouring the corpses of the halflings. It wasn’t the slime that killed them though, it had been the fire beetles the group had encountered when they first set foot in the Torch’s source. Lad and Davina were later blinded by an amphibious creature that attacked them. Fortunately, the blindness was temporary. Near where the frog attacked them was another corpse, this one wearing an unholy symbol. After waiting for all of their party to be able to see again, they decided to return to the surface and regroup before going through the double doors.

When they returned, Sef and her strange bladed skin cohorts did not make their presence known as the group entered the large double doors. They crossed the threshold into a strange room unlike anything they’d seen before. The room was made of inorganic material and filled with random junk and metal. Davina’s curiously gets the best of her and her exploration of the junk triggers an attack from a strange metal spider thing. It was similar to the creature that had attacked them back at Val and Khonnir’s house. Of course, they were able to easily defeat it. In the next room, were cages filled with the skeletal remains of a creature that had six legs. They continued onto a path made of sand. They didn’t get far before a strange stone plant attacked them with retracting tentacles.
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Menial Tasks

In the tunnels under the torch, the body of an orc woman is discovered. Calera recognizes her as Parta. Parta was well liked in the town of Torch and the group decides it is important to return with her body when they’re ready to leave. Melarian uses her training in healing to determine that Parta had been stabbed.

The next thing of note they come across is a room with strange drawings on the walls. Stacked in here are large crates and scattered bits of metal. The drawings feature images of the three legged metal spider they fought at Khonnar’s. There is also a four legged creature depicted that none of them can recognize. Davina investigates the crates a bit closer and discovers 7 silver disks. They collect them to sell in town.

Next, they notice a drastic drop in temperature as they approach another opening in the tunnels. The room is freezing inside and everything is covered in a white frost. The party looks into the room from the top of ledge. Slumped against the wall opposite them is a body. Calera recognizes this one as Geral, one of the members of Khonnar’s expedition party. Lad drops down to check on Geral and realizes too late that the strange mold int he room is brown mold which freezes and incapacitates you. He struggles to climb back up and falls unconcious. Melarian bravely assists him hurting herself in the process. They all back up and decide to try a different route.

They come to a valley with large metal doors to the east and strange huts down in the valley. Strange, tall, humanoid creatures with bodies made of knives surround the party. One introduces herself as Seph and says her people will grant them passage if they destroy the gremlins living in the tunnels. Seph says her people are trapped here and whatever brought them here cannot return them to their home. The gremlins are making it difficult for them to settle. The party reluctantly agrees to play exterminator for the menacing knife people.

The gremlins turn out to be very easy to kill leading the party to wonder why they were asked to do a task that Seph and her people seemed more than capable of. Seph agreed to open the doors upon their return. For now, they had to go back to Torch before they were no longer able to breathe underwater.

Back in Torch, they sold the disks and reported to the council. Davina sent the widow of Geral some money and her condolences. Calera let Parta’s people know of her fate as well and returns her body to her friend Joram. Joram happens to own the local gambling den and the group blows off some steam and tries to make some extra money at the den. Grateful for the return of Parta’s body, Joram gives Lad, Calera, Melarian, and Davina some credit at the den to start playing with. No one wins big that night but it sure beat sleeping in the tunnels below Torch!

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A Light Extinguished
Truth is the torch that gleams through the fog without dispelling it. Claude Adrien Helvetius

Prologue

The two women were surrounded. The barbarians circled them on horseback shouting angrily and pressing in closer onto the terrified girls.

“I’m out of spells!” the silver haired one exclaimed to the darker haired female.
“Only Desna can save us now!” the brunette clutched the holy symbol at her breast.

“Or we could,” said a deep voice. The speaker was obstructed by the body of a barbarian that had a sword now sticking out of it’s chest. The dead barbarian slumped over and the two woman could see a young man. He slid his sword out with a sickening “slurp” and turned to the next attacker.

An arrow whizzed past the man’s head and into the eye of another barbarian. It had come from the bow of a half elf woman. The last barbarian saw how quickly the newcomers had killed his buddies and took off on his horse.

The heroes introduced themselves as Lad and Calera. The women, sisters named Davina and Melarien thanked their rescuers and Desna for sending them. Then the four made their way back to the town of Torch.


Lad and Calera brought the sisters to the home of their employer, Khonnar. He was a well respected leader in town and Melarien and Davina hoped they could ask him for some advice on their journey. They had come to Numeria due to a vision sent to Melarian from Desna. Both sisters are devout followers and knew this meant they had to make the treacherous journey.

As the four approached the humble home of Khonnar, a loud screeching hum began ringing in everyone’s ears. Inside the house was huge spider made of metal. Lad, Davina, and Calera went on the offensive. Davina cast Magic MIssile at it. Calera deftly tumbled past its spindly metal legs. Lad approached it with his sword. Melarian stayed back asking Desna to bless her companions in their fight.

The metal spider was quickly defeated and fell in a heap of crumbled metal. Hiding in Khonnar’s workshop was his apprentice, Val. A young girl of about 14, Val was very relieved to see Lad an Calera. In rush of words, she explained that Khonnar had gone on an expedition into the torch at the center of town. He returned with this mechanical spider. He went back into the torch two days ago and should have returned by now. It was apparent that Val was worried about him.

She kindly let the part rest in her tavern for the night. After a warm meal (cold sandwiches for Lad), the party quickly fell asleep. The next morning Calera and Melarian felt unwell. Not sure what had caused their affliction the party carried on to The Town Council to seek information about the torch and Khonnar’s disappearance.

The council members seemed as concerned as Val about Khonnar. They offered the party a respectable sum if they were willing to enter the torch to look for him and any sign of what happened to his party. Eager to help Val and (let’s be honest) make some money, they agreed to help.

The torch is a large, burning beacon of purple light that shoots into the sky from the center of town. It had mysteriously gone out and parties had begun entering the source of the light to determine what happened. The entrance is underwater. With the help of a breathe underwater spell, the party was given 6 hours to head down there and see what they could find.

After emerging from the rancid sulfuric water, they were attacked by cave spiders. They were no match for the party who dispersed of them and continued on their journey into the torch.

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