Lanta 6: What Sleeps in the Hoards

Session III: The Shifting Caves Below

After climbing down the strange stone ledges, the party found themselves in a nest of eggs 15 feet tall, and already hatched. Two exits continued their path: one led back to Pelgryn, while the other led into area that had changed rapidly over the centuries. It seemed the quake caused by the temple of Pelgryn was one of many to shift the world below. As they traveled deeper, they came across a set or dwarven ruins and a temple of Moradin, which did not appear to be built together. They found more mines, a path that led to the top of Saichus Rock, and a room of portals watched over by four odd enities: Babble, Bolt, Hammer, and Slingshot. Together they allowed anyone who knew of any other portals identical to this to ship goods and travelers through. This particular one was built by Moradin, who wanted to see his precious ore used across Lanta.

Though the portal seemed useful, the party quickly headed back to their new home to inform the tribe of their discoveries, including a passageway that led to Slackroot Forest, a wood of petrified trees. But their arrival home was short of a welcome as the normally quiet librarian, Nolamin, demanded to know where they had their books. Jade and Roth had left their gifts from Giant with the librarians expecting them to be greatful, but Nolamin saw something else in them. Scribbled in the language of supernal were several notes denouncing all gods. The deva found them rather offensive, but the party told him nothing. However, all agreed with Nolamin that no one but librarians were allowed to read these new books.

Though the party had made plans to search the other caves, there was something else Chieftain Morzinal felt was more pressing. The dwarven farmer, Dorlok, had run off, feeling useless in the new tribe and a foreigner in one that had no other dwarves. Though he may have sought a better place, both Morzinal and Dorlok’s wife, Maluee, felt he was in danger. The party spent the night resting their bodies and set off in the morning for the disgruntled dwarf.

After traveling for three days towards Feather Eye Mountain, the party finally found Dorlok and the two hunters, Lonlon and Thovum, who had set off after him a day before the defenders did. They were all safe, but exhausted after avoiding a cult of kobolds who believe they are commanded by Alna Reynold (a gold dragon who watches over Feather Eye) and kill everything in her name. But they were not out of harm’s way yet. As the three began to clean up their camp, Lonlon spotted a bear standing in the field with her two cubs. Feeling it was a sign for the Emerald tribes to observe, she stood and watched. Suddenly, a kobold appeared and took one of the cubs. When the mother realized what happened, she ran after him, scaring the kobold and other cultists. As they charged out, the party met them in the field and killed them.

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Session II: The Warden of Halgryst

The party returned to the main chamber where their tribesmen had begun to settle in, though they could not stop to join them. The defenders quickly headed down the next cavern, worried that there may still be a threat lurking about. Once again, the path began as a mining operation that led to an open room with yet another piece of torture equipment (a device that hung the victim until they fell between two pieces of steel that would crush their body). The solitary exit revealed just how large this operation was; after traveling for 20 minutes it ended with a massive teardrop shaped vein. On the walls were the names of two buyers: The Raven King and Ithil Luthis, the High Commander of the Dragon Raiders. Below the teardrop was a hole leading into a hallway that was clearly built by dwarves. The party chose a random direction and followed it into Pelgryn, the Temple of Red Sand.

This mystical shrine was made entirely out of shifting red sand, a sight that would claim the minds of those too weak to face the Temple’s master, Asmodeus. The center room displayed ruins meant to confound those unprepared. But the party solved the riddle and ignored the warning of Asmodeus by placing the ruins as they were meant to be. Said to be a portal to the realm of Asmodeus, its completion set off an earthquake that shook the entire underdark of Sullyn Rawth.

As the party searched around they found a room of quick sand that contained a single spirit which joined with the first to enter. Denshi was overcome and turned into the same red sand, but his shape and mind remained. He was now the Warden of Halgryst, the prison below Pelgryn and would remain so until he left. As they continued their search they found two books: one that wrote the events of the holder’s life as they unfolded and the other kept a list of those killed by the holder. Denshi then used his powers as the warden and opened a passageway down into Halgryst.

The massive domed prison of Halgryst contained numerous torture chambers, prisons, but held only one prisoner, one that was not meant to be found. Hidden behind a set of iron bars, an emblem of Asmodeus, and a burning and blackened hallway, sat a 20 foot, crippled devil. Uglier than any creature in myth, this Giant, as he wanted to be called, sat chained with disfigured feet and hands, though he was able to still turn the pages of the books he stored in his cell. Giant welcomed the party and asked them to converse. The devil seemed to have little to say, especially about the one who imprisoned him, but did explain that Asmodeus had the ability to kill him instantly, should he try and escape. The chain that held the ceiling together stretched into a black and red portal. He also told them of Aruclam soldiers that visited, mentioning how strange it was for them to travel so far yet only to die at the hands of a bound prisoner. Before the party left, Giant gave Roth and Jade several of his books in the hopes they would return to discuss them.

When the party returned to their tribe, they came just in time to prove themselves defenders. A pack of 50 Orcs from the East were marching to Brukrun and there was no telling why. When they reached the basin, their leader, Champion Bolk of the Shunda Tribe, was surprised to see Emerald living in his brethren home. After a loud and uneasy talk with the party and their own Chieftain, Morzinal, Bolk jumped down into the Basin and spoke calmly about the orcs that once lived here. Tribe Ginmal once looked over the prosperous mines of Brukrun, cutting deals with forces all over the planet to send them ore for their armies. They used the numerous passageways under their home to reach other continents. The shamans of Shunda could feel the cries of distress from Ginmal and came running. Bolk now fears that a client of Ginmal came for what they thought was theirs. Above the basin, a pair of orcs found tracks of soldiers heading Northwest. Bolk took his men and they marched off.

The party then continued with their mission to search the unknown and headed into the western caves, an area significantly altered by the quake. The first cave lead into a tunnel with a gaping hole in its floor. Below, inside a room too large to comprehend, beautifully crafted stone slabs extended from the walls. Some up to 100 feet long, they looked like cold gray mushroom petals. Using rope and their light, the party climbed into the vast black hole.

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Session I: An Emerald Sacrifice

As is the beginning with many stories of Emerald tribes, the 5th Emerald Sacrifice of the Remina set a path for the newly recruited defenders Charlotta, Denshi, Jade, Korrok, Odus, and Roth. Once peaceful members of Remina, these six warriors had been chosen to protect the 30 pilgrims setting out to find a new home. And so, after a night of drinking and smoking the hallucinogenic kroom, the party and their tribesmen set off with the blessing of Remina chieftain Ebritine.

With the directions of hunter Molsik, the new tribe, Sporestone, headed to the Basin of Brukrun. Once inhabited by savage orcs, Brukrun is now rumored to be an open cavern, free for the taking. When the tribe reached the valley, they saw the long and narrow crevice in the stone floor that served as the main entrance into Brukrun. Upon entering they realized the rumors were true. There were signs of orcs that once lived here (shrines to Tiamat and Gruumsh and smashed huts) but everything had been ransacked. The one cavern most intact was one to the north; a set of three small rooms that had writings on the wall. The librarians quickly moved in and began copying what they could. The defenders, meanwhile, headed east into caves that headed deep below the surface.

In the first passageway, the party discovered the orcs were once miners. Large veins of ore could be seen and piles of mining equipment were strewn about. The cave eventually split in two with one path leading into a torture chamber and the other leading into a room with a marvelous piece of treasure. Stuck in the wall and extending from floor to ceiling was a rounded and bumpy slab of glass that held a mysterious purple liquid inside. They inspected the cold anomaly and found it extended to all four sides, but was hidden by the stone walls. Stuck in between the glass and stone was a stiff, slimy substance that resembled the fabled “green sweat” of Sidakreeth.

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