Meanwhile, Kendall assisted Bertok and Dallan with the construction of Dallan’s new Inn. She formed a fast friendship with them, being both more knowledgeable and likeable than the other healer in the Town, Mika. As a vital contributor to everything that made it possible, she was given the honour of hanging the sign as the final finishing touch before the Dwarven Stout was broken out.
Erevan spent his time in meditation, sometimes accompanied by Mika (who proved to be much less annoying while silently meditating). Over time, a sense of respect developed between them. They recognised that each had the same depth of devotion, but to different gods. Van became more sure of his faith, and his ability to turn the mighty primordial weapon into an instrument of his goddess’ divine will.
Torva, well Torva went hunting.
While she was several days away from Seahaven she came across a strangely diseased, half-rotting corpse of a buck she had been tracking recently. It had fallen into a stream and despite her efforts, the corruption had started to spread through the nearby area. After investigating the immediate area to the best of her ability, she decided that getting some samples (which may have cost her some exposure to the corruption) back to her friends for immediate study was the most pressing matter to attend to.
She returned to Seahaven, but unfortunately the samples she showed to both Kendall and Erevan were beyond their experience. This, plus the rapidly approaching deadline for Officemaster Pendleton’s demand for “new settlement paperwork”, eventually made it clear to Kendall that she could not put off heading to Riva City any longer.
However, while they were in Seahaven, they decided they should really check out what was behind the door that poor Corky traded his life to discover.
Brother Vincent, being the ever curious sort, was incredibly excited to be one the first in eons to see deeper into the Stronghold. He accompanied the party to the location but then had to run back to town to get some note taking supplies. His appeal of “Don’t open the door without me!” barely faded before the door was opened and the party descended down a trap-filled stairwell. That same stairwell that nearly cost Kendall her foot, and more.
The stairwell eventually deposited them (some faster than others) in a small square room, with large battleaxe-wielding statues guarding locked doors on each side of a central plinth. The side of the plinth was adorned with several small openings and a button, and surmounted by an ornate set of scales. This entire mechanism was surrounded by Arcadian runes, which translated to “Nine are given, Eight are false, Truth lies heavy.”
By correctly arming the two southern statues with battleaxes, found lying nearby, they located a secret door to the south and proceeded to investigate.
The secret room was dominated by a large orrery, a desk covered in mould-eaten tomes and a single mirror, that was lit by a single burning candle. As Torva investigated, a secret compartment was discovered, containing multiple gems. The slow burning candle turned out to be a powerful holy symbol that illuminated more than just what light usually reveals. Using the ghostly reflection of the room, from far in the past, to guide them through the process, they aligned the planets to a celestial event that is due to happen shortly. This revealed a large necrotic force staring down at the planet with many hungry eyes.
The alignment triggered the strange figure in the mirror to attempt to communicate with them. After much mistranslation, they discovered that the upcoming celestial event was being targeted by Khirad (the necrotic entity), that it had happened before, and that there was some source of power buried beneath the complex.
Leaving the mirror wizard and his depressing warnings behind, the party decided to investigate the western room. Upon entering the room, they discovered what seemed to be an elaborate container for several keys and some more gems, but was in fact a trap containing a Gelatinous Cube.
“Well that was arduous and sticky” – Kendall
“I probably should have burnt that deer corpse” – Torva