Episode 26: Thorimfel Below
The party made camp in the cavern beneath the Stone Forest, to rest and regain strength before pushing on into the Underdark. The watch went quietly, except when a nightmarish vision of “Handsome” Henry Smalls, the Goliath ringleader of the Spectacular Spectacular, the traveling circus of which Keen was formerly a part, spilled out of his dreams and into reality. Unsettled but rested, the party set off through the tunnel, seemingly burrowed by some large creature, away and down into the earth.
As they travelled, Magnus’s behaviour became increasingly erratic, impatient with any delay or deviation from direct action on finding and retrieving the residium, and increasingly reckless in his decisions.
After hours of travel, the tunnel network led them to a cavern, at the far end of which, thrusting up out of the ground was the rooftop of a large stone building. A patrol of skeleton, apparently the remains of long-dead Dwarven guards, traversed the permiter of the rooftop, only to be quickly dispatched by the party. At the center of the rooftop they found an opening where once a trapdoor sat, the wood rotted away centuries ago. One by one they dropped into interior of the building.
Inside they found a partially collapsed residence, the wooden furniture, tapestries, paintings and other furnishings all rotted away. Half buried in the rubble Keen found an intact treasure chest, which Magnus hacked open to reveal a bag of precious jewels. In one room Levani accidentally triggered a poison trap, revealing a secret compartment with spell scrolls and supplies.
On the main floor, the kitchen contained several intact place settings of curious material, smooth and hard, but brittle, and inlaid with delicate silver filigree; several heavy candlesticks; silverware and so on.
Finding a staircase into the basement the party found a half-finished summoning circle staining the dirt floor, partially inscribed with infernal sigils and incantations, as well as a large heavy book with a magic quill that inscribed anything that was said. Reading through the filled pages Yuna discovered the book to be thousands of years old, dated millennia before the Modern Era. The author spoke of the betrayal of the Dwarven people by Moradin Kinslayer, and of a bargain, long resisted, taken up at last, a last desperate attempt at survival.
Taking the strange tome, the party found their way through cracks and spaces in the rubble to emerge up into a strange city street, the buildings all destroyed or buried, though much of the stone work survived, including the street itself which was lined on one side by metal polls atop which floated luminescent orange orbs, seemingly designed to illuminate the city after dark.
Following the underground street, Magnus brashly led the party East, eventually intersecting with a tunnel like the ones that brought them down from the surface. Throughout these tunnels were clumps of a bioluminescent fungus, glowing purple and blue, and small mounds of mushrooms of all types; here at last the fungus was found in concentration, and the ethereal, disquieting passage led them to a chamber carpeted floor to ceiling with the bizarre mushrooms and fungi, the space dominated by a giant toadstool mushroom some 40 feet tall.
As they stood in wonder of this sight, small myconid creatures dropped from the ceiling and blew clouds of spores at the party, who one and all felt their consciousness suffused with the Joy of the collective.
Loot Crates Discovered: 2
Circus Dream Rating: Creepy
Archaeological Find Level: Legendary
RP Rating: Awesome!