Eclavean Expanse

Redcap Herring

Chapter 8

Attic_Whisperer.jpgHearing singing from the haunted house, Grekas awakens the party early in the morning to investigate.

They check out the house, but find no sign of the creature. Chadwick heads out to the connected dock, however, and finds a dozen silver coins in the mud below it (he held Djekir by the tail in order to fish them up). Dazzler isn’t pleased by this, but quiets down when the tiefling gives him part of the cut. Meanwhile, Cora finds a stone that doesn’t match the others inset within the lower wall, pulling it out to reveal a pile of child-sized bones buried beneath the foundation.

Cora, Ka, and Chadwick watch over the bones while Grekas and Dazzler go to fetch the priest, Tonnai. Not being a native, he doesn’t know how the bones may have gotten to this place, but believes they may well be the source of whatever is haunting the house. He begins to say last rites over the charnel pit as Cora, Ka, and Dazzler head to the tavern to see if they can find any hints of what may have happened here at the time of their death (roughly 70 years ago, as far as Grekas was able to discern).

Cora is able to ingratiate herself with the local elder, a man named Brant, by having a drink with him and chatting a bit. When asked, he grows pale and doesn’t wanna talk about it, but, after some persuasion, tells her that a hobgoblin warlord named ‘Argtov the Decapitator’ came through the area during that time. He captured Glimmer Lake and gave an ultimatum of serving him as laborers or being cut down. The townsfolk relented, and Argtov took their children (including Brant) and held them as an “assurance of loyalty”. As the old man explains, however, none of the children knew this at the time, and plenty tried to escape, or died of illness or abuse. He begins to tear up at the thought, so Cora tells him he need not continue, thanking him before returning to the house.

Stone_Circle.jpgGrekas and Chadwick both instantly recognize the name ‘Argtov’, and the cleric tells Dazzler to give him the book of goblin poems they found in Cavarix’s library. Argtov claimed to be a descendant of the tome’s legendary protagonist, Shaarat Kor, and Chadwick finds a verse he thinks may correspond to the local druidic henge (about how the hero wrestled a demon through bright water and buried it beneath jutting stone). The party decides to investigate the circle, while Tonnai remains in the house to try and put the spirits within to rest.

Knowing that the druids have disappeared, the party is unsurprised to find that the stones have been defiled, the runes upon them scratched and chipped away at by someone or something. Grekas identifies these runes as creating a “dimensional anchor” in the area and fears the tale of a demon may be true, and that now it is free. Chadwick finds a set of heavy bootprints leading to the east, and having few leads, the party decides to follow them.

The sun begins to set as they at last come upon an oasis upon the steppe-lands beyond Glimmer Lake. A ring of mushrooms at it’s heart makes Grekas gasp. The eladrin (although raised by humans) recognizes these as being a gateway to the Feywild, although early tests show no sign of how to open it. The party waits into the night for the owners of the bootprints to return. When a pair of pale, hunched gnomes come stomping along in iron boots, disappearing into the gateway beneath the light of the moon, the heroes chase after them.

Mangrove_Forest_2.jpgRematerializing in a great, emerald jungle, the party continues on the trail of the strange gnomes. Chadwick is amazed that elderly men in what look and sound like heavy metal boots have already disappeared out of sight and hearing. He and Grekas decide to sprint ahead to try and catch up to the pair, but unfortunately, a tree branch bends out into their path and knocks them down and into the quicksand below. Fortunately, Cora is able to pull them out using a rope. The footprints continue on across the quicksand (seemingly unimpeded) and into a sizable patch of vampiric bloodthorns beyond, which the party decides Dazzler should set ablaze.

While the fire burns and Grekas works to control the blaze using his ‘Icy Rays’, Dazzler says that everyone should get to know each other better, seeing as they’ve been together for at least a week now. The bard reveals how his mother died when he was young, and his father left soon after. Grekas tells them that he was found by humans, who, not knowing what to do with an eladrin, gave him to the nearest wizard academy. Chadwick tells his companions that he was adopted by the Malatesta family of vintners, but set out on his path when they all died in a great fire. Ka, who reveals his full name is ‘Kalam’, tells them that he grew up on the streets after his parents were killed by dragonborn, and that he picked up a few skills along the way. Cora doesn’t think they need to know what’s in the past, and simply says that those who treat her well, will be treated well in kind.

The brambles dealt with, the party continues on, eventually coming to a very abrupt clearing, out of which rises a crystalline ruin that seems to hum with every sound they make. They enter the structure and using Dazzler’s musical skills, are able to open a secret passage beneath the central statue of a satyr prancing about with floating faeries.

Redcap_Smaller.jpgKa heads down and finds the pair of elderly gnomes fiddling with a bag. Cora begins to clamber down the stairs with the rest of the party soon after, causing the pair to turn and head that way, chuckling as they go. One of them, Thresh, remarks to his companion, Fallow, that it looks like we’ve gone’in caught er’selves some fresh meat! A fight ensues, with a choker living in the shadows of the chamber revealing itself mere moments after the rest of the party descends. Thresh nearly kills Cora, but a barrage of ‘Magic Missiles’ from Grekas send him flying back into a pile of rotting furniture. Meanwhile, Ka is able to defeat Fallow, wrapping him up in his own spiked chain and pouring Gubbin’s sleep-inducing venom down his throat.

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