Posted by GnomeSplosion
16 Eleint (Continued)
The heroes managed to usher the Harkness family back into town and set them up at The Kickin’ Chicken for recuperation and poor maddened Thadius Markins went into Dara’s care at the shrine. The night heralded new terror as a blood red moon rose into the sky where a dark sphere should have been. Thadius Markins began spouting more tales of a Rose and that someone without shape was searching for something without form and this time they were going without the Rose. Chipper took this as a mad-mans riddle and began to search for any clues possible to solve this puzzle.
Wishing to ensure that the security of the town from the temple that rested underground, the party ventured once more below the farmlands to scout and secure the long dead halls. There was nothing there to impede them and they even managed to find a few trinkets that would be of use to them in future encounters. Jack inquired with Fritz as to the names of the lost adventurers who went below ground before them so that he could properly honor the names of the fallen.
Onyx admitted to the reason for his absence from the groups first steps into the temple of Ghaunadaur. He had managed to catch the trail of the were-rat Kuix and followed his tracks alongside the road to Scardale before realizing that the others may need him and made his return. Chipper continued his investigation of Markins’ ravings inquiring Markins’ as to what rose and bringing roses in hope of a new response.
The pilgrims for the Autumn Harvest festival began to arrive in earnest and the people of Barter’s Pass began to prepare for the festival and for the visitors. Hummut began to rush his work to make sure that the shrine to Chauntea was ready for the festival as Dara strung lights about the shrines outer posts.
Among the caravan families was a rather large group of humans, tieflings and a single goliath. The “family” of five took haven in The Kickin’ Chicken and promptly began to cause drama. The wife known as Marissa caught her “husband” Gretch in bed with a half-elven girl from the caravan named Marrelle. The tiefling woman screamed obscenities at Gretch and under the eye of Chipper and the goliath and stormed out of the inn.
Chipper gave chase for hours as the woman kicked and cursed her way down the trade road to the abandoned house. She seemed to scout the place and sat on the stoop crying before going inside where Chipper lost track of her and decided he needed assistance and contactedTegalad and led him to find the others.
Jack, Onyx, and Ixtab were awakened by Chipper and Tegalad’s arrival in their camp. They were informed of the woman’s disappearance and asked to help investigate. The party followed Ixtab as he skillfully tracked the woman down into the Kruthik hive to the spring fed pool they had encountered before. The tracks ended there and Ixtab took it upon himself to dive under to find a way through. After a failed attempt to pull himself through the piping tunnel Ixtab gave up and the group decided to rest here to keep an eye out for the woman. She never returned.
The heroes awoke to find nothing new this day and Jack made the attempt to drink from the pool only to find that it made him feel ill. This triggered another reaction in the group; worry for the pass’ well water. They all rushed above ground and back to the pass to find Fritz hauling out water stores and people ill all around. A trip was made to Hummut to inquire about the well and found that the water level had dropped drastically and was now tainted.
Chipper managed to stumble upon Gretch who was very distraught over the loss of his wife and began begging for people to help find her. He implored Chipper to help, offering gold reward. Jack approached and began to speak to Gretch about the offer and instantly picked up that the mans story about his “family” and his “love” for his wife was completely false but then managed to get 300 gold up front out of the man in exchange for their services in finding his wife.
While Jack’s transaction occurred, Chipper spoke with the goliath Barakus, and got information that he was a work-man for the families plantation. Some mundane questions followed to keep Barakus busy while Jack questioned Gretch. All the while Onyx went feral and began to search the family’s wagon finding a large sword and a holy symbol of Talos before escaping the wagon and being chased by the family’s daft son.
The party mustered their courage and began a decent into the well in order to get to the very root of the problem. Once underground they found themselves set upon by demons who were spewing and oozing vile fluids into the waters. The demons did not take kindly to the intrusion and began their attempt at ending the adventurers. As the group left the rope for the fray Jack noticed a shadow above from the well and then the rope fell to his side, cut from above. The fight was difficult, the demons healed themselves at the same time that they hurt their foes. The water was toxic and caused the group to feel ill during the fight, but the monstrosities were slain.
A search of the room revealed a bit of treasure on a rotting corpse used to poison the water and a bubbling hole became the only logical way out of the chamber. The group, dove down, finding themselves whisked away on a water-slide through the darkness and then deposited on a ledge that opened to a tunnel in front, and a chasm behind. They chose the tunnel.
The winding path grew sticky with webs and the crunch of chitinous carapaces and husks could be heard underfoot. The path opened eventually in a room lined wall to wall with thick webbing and large pillars that were topped with tents of thick web. In the center of the room was a mound of spiders and carcasses, husks of various size and shapes. Entry to the room revealed two massive man-sized spiders atop two pillars that made no hesitation in leaping onto the party as a swarm of smaller spiders coursed toward them.
The battle was fierce as the larger spiders leaped from above to tackle their prey while the swarm came from below, biting and spinning tiny webs about their lunch. The heroes would not be snacks this day though and slew all the offending arachnids. Now they look down the joining corridor wondering what is next to come.