16th of Summertide
Having just witnessed the orc fleet sailing away from Kaius, the party climbs down from their building vantage point and joins the crowd in the town square. Roan leads, pushing his way through the masses towards the town crier before an outstretched arm stops him. The man acts aggressive and haughty, but Roan’s earnest words disarm him and he introduces himself as Tristan, Lieutenant Captain of the Kaius guard. The party tells him that Verel has been captured by the sea creatures that they encountered previously. Tristan is shocked, but tells the party that they should speak with the mayor for more information about the two creatures should they want any hope of saving Verel. He leaves with several armed guards up the northern path out of the square.
A platoon of guards marches in from the southern path. Between the two lines of guards walks a very small, hunched over old man. Having seen Tristan talking with the party, they approach. The old man introduces himself as the mayor of Kaius, and asks what the party had to discuss with Tristan. After hearing the news, he has them follow him to his offices east of the town square.
There, he tells the party his family name, Melwick, and of his two daughters who disappeared decades ago after a series of unexplained macabre occurrences. Only after seeing them several years ago did he realize what had become of them. He asks the party to investigate an underwater cave off of Kaius’ shore that has been discovered by the guard. Roan asks for payment, and the mayor reluctantly offers a sack of coins after rummaging through cabinets for a bit. The mayor offers them a free stay at the local inn, and a guard gives them gold to pay for the room.
The party arrives at a nearby inn, and Roan and Kiet order the strongest the innkeep has. He fills Roan’s first tankard with a black, frothy liquid. He chugs it and it tastes incredibly strong. The innkeep gives him a second and Kiet a first. Roan chugs the second without issue, and Kiet drinks his first only to be completely wrecked soon after. The party retires to their single-bed room for the night, in various states of exhaustion and awkward sleeping positions.
Search for the Cave
17th of Summertide
Early the next morning, the party is awakened by a loud knock at the door. It’s Tristan, looking slightly impatient with them. They strap on their gear and head out back towards the town square, following Tristan. He leads them to a longboat on the beach with two sets of oars and gives the party a sack with five healing potions before wishing them good luck and telling them the approximate location of the cave. They set out in the boat, rowing for about five minutes before reaching a clearly visible sheer cliff in the water below. Roan, Quinn and Kiet dive down, swimming past the jagged cliff face for about fifty feet before seeing a huge figure in the water barreling towards them.
Roan, Quinn, and Kiet make a break for the cave entrance, which is now nearby. Roan fires two crossbow shots at the figure, which recoils but engages the party regardless. The party now sees that it’s a grotesque half human half fish monstrosity with long claws. Quinn stabs it with her shortsword and it slashes back with its claws. Taran, hearing the muffled sounds of battle, dives underwater. Kiet pummels the creature with his fists and Roan, moving past it towards the cave, pierces it with another crossbow bolt. Quinn finishes it with a slash of her sword and it floats limply in the water.
Taran now joins the party as they make their way into the narrow mouth of the cave. They see the water’s edge and climb out into the cave’s entrance, completely soaked. Roan attempts to light a torch, but it’s too waterlogged. The party makes their way forward through the only corridor, walking single-file until they reach a huge chamber. Roan and Taran see the edge of two concentric runic circles engraved in the floor. They decide to follow a narrow path to the left which leads them to a massive chasm in the floor. Only a tiny ledge to the right and left provides passage. They make their way back to the large chamber and Kiet touches the circle. He is immediately wracked with paralyzing pain and a green mist jets from the cavern floor.
With Kiet’s convulsing body in tow, the party rushes back to the chasm and Roan dries off a torch just enough to light it. They attempt to navigate the tiny ledge towards the only exit that they can see. Taran slips on the sandy surface and plummets before crashing onto a ledge below. Quinn also falls, but Roan manages to catch her and help her back up. He then extends a rope to Taran, barely able to pull her back up. They gingerly cross the rest of the chasm and shuttle through the corridor to their right.
Field of Gore
As the party jogs through the corridor, the walls gradiate outwards until they’re in another chamber, this time with pathways to the left and right. The left pathway is has a roughly hewn stone exterior. Littering the floor of this room are dozens of mutilated and torn apart corpses, human or otherwise. Blood is caked over the ground, dry and wet. The party hears a writhing, cracking sound from above and they see a multitude of porous cave openings extending beyond their vision. A disembodied arm falls from the ceiling, landing on Roan. He plants his torch in a nearby corpse’s ribcage. The party readies their weapons, Kiet still incapacitated by pain.
Two enormous centipede-like insects with squirming tentacles scurry out of two different cave openings, making their way towards the party along the walls. Roan and Quinn pepper one with projectiles and it approaches them, lashing out with it’s teeth and tentacles. Taran hacks at the other centipede with her greataxe and Kiet, now conscious, lays into the first insect with his staff and fists. The second centipede engages Taran, paralyzing her with the venom from its tentacles and tearing into her with its bite. Roan draws his sword and slashes at the centipede in front of him. Quinn fires volleys of arrows at the monster in front of Taran. Roan’s centipede paralyzes him with its tentacles and gnaws at his ankle. Kiet unleashes three attacks at the centipede near Taran, cracking its hard shell more and more with each successive blow. Quinn finishes off the centipede near Roan with a precise stab to the skull before beheading and bisecting the second.
The party regains their vigor with a short rest and a few potions before passing through the roughly cut stone passageway. Upon entering this cut stone chamber, the party sees the two hags in the center, stirring a cauldron with a mangled arm sticking out. Chained and impaled against the far wall is Verel Dawnbringer, bloodied, broken, and missing an arm at the shoulder. The green-tinged sister immediately rushes at the party, baring her claws.
The party feels the familiar horrifying aura, but shrug it off and steel themselves. Roan lets loose a crossbow shot at the approaching sister, piercing her shoulder. Kiet dashes to the green sister and throws a flurry of staff and fist attacks, crunching into the sister’s abdomen. Taran, with two whirls of her axe, cuts a deep cross in the sister’s chest, severely injuring her. The blue sister at the pot turns her attention to the party and runs over to engage them. Quinn cuts into the green sister and she collapses. The party, now covered in the first sister’s brackish blood, engages the remaining hag. Immediately laying into her with arrows and bolts, the party surges forward. Taran plunges her greataxe into the sister as she retaliates with a swipe of her claws to Taran’s face. As Quinn stabs near the sister’s heart, tiny black tentacles writhe in the wound. Kiet propels himself through the air with his staff, bludgeoning the hag with it before whirling around to kick her head, crushing her skull. He then plunges his hand into her clavicle, removing a mess of black organs and bones as she falls to the ground, dead.
Spoils and the Orb
After defeating the sisters, Roan beheads them and the party moves to the back of the room. They check Verel and find that he’s already dead. Taran wraps him in a bedroll. Roan approaches the niche on the far wall, seeing a stone statue of an elven woman wearing a robe that he recognizes as Alva, Goddess of Mercy. As he gingerly puts a cloth on its head and touches it, a drop of the sisters’ blood falls from his arm and hits the statue. The figures recesses begin to glow a bright white and a rumbling sound is heard before the statue rotates ninety degrees to the right, exposing a cleanly cut stone corridor. A gentle breeze emits from the corridor, and the party passes through it, seeing light scratch marks on the walls around them. After a short walk, they reach a small square stone chamber lit by four torches in braziers on the walls.
Scattered around the floor are a multitude of rosy gems and gold pieces, as well as a Cloak of Protection, Cloak of Elvenkind, Wind Fan, and a rust-colored Bag of Tricks. In the center stands a stone mound connected to the floor, and in the right corner lies small grey and blue dragon with silver-flecked scales chained to the wall by its neck and tail. The party gathers the scattered items and Roan pulls out a ball from the Bag of Things. A massive brown bear materializes in front of him before promptly lying down in the corner for a nap. Roan approaches the dragon in the corner and attempts to befriend it. It isn’t aggressive to him but isn’t able to communicate back as he questions it. Seeing its attempts to free itself, the party all grab hold of the chains and, together, rip out the weakened wall that held the clasps. Turning their attention to the stone mound, the party finds that its protected by a magical shield. The dragon, seeing this, rears its front arms and takes a deep breath, its chest filling with a blue glow. A torrent of icy blue flame erupts from the dragon’s mouth and the party sees the barrier around the mound melt into nothingness. They then approach it once more and Taran and Roan are able to bash their way into the mound, the stone shell collapsing under their combined force.
As the mound crumbles, an intricately carved stone basin is revealed, containing a sheet of water-like clear class which, in turn, contains a palm-sized frosted glass orb. A small blue aura flickers inside the orb as the mound crumbles. Roan breaks the glass surrounding the orb and it flies in every direction before dissolving into dust in the air. He grasps the orb and is beset by pain: first hot, then cold, then hot again. A blue glow visibly flows from the orb into his veins as he collapses, unconscious. He is resuscitated by Quinn, but as he wakes he finds that both his senses of sight and sound are gone. The orb, now on the ground, is whacked by Taran and as it moves through the room Roan feels his senses rush back to him.
Deciding to head out, the party follows the dragon out through the corridor. Thrashing around in its newfound freedom, the dragon shatters through the chains holding its neck and tail as the party exits to their left in the room with the cauldron. After a long jog down geometrically carved stone hallways, the party finds a staircase that leads up into a gazebo-shaped stone structure. They see the clear blue waters of the Meridian Ocean.