June 26th

The Cave in in the Cave and Ashabrak is AshaBACK

June 26th

Okitar leads the group at a slow pace. An hour later the group hears sounds of metal on stone which gets louder and louder. The sounds are clearly above the party. The party stops when they get to the middle of the sounds. He says the work has been going on for at least a few days. Xonan offers to scout ahead and they all move on. When the group begins to see sunlight, Okitar stops. The group without him leaves and figures they are 3.5 – 4 miles from where the party originally entered the mines. The opening is not a large or well used one. No humans are spotted. There is a distant sound of voices in Common. The group approaches stealthily. A lot of working sounds – metal on stone, metal moving through wood, similar sounds to when the group was in the smithy wood on metal. Marra moves ahead to recon then comes back with a strange look on her face. “Well I don’t think they’re mining, per se. Looks like they’re building.” Certain asks if they’re building a fort, and Marra says it looks more like siege equipment. There are also tents and large numbers of troops training. 100-150 are in chains working, many of whom are human, some half elves and halflings, as well as some half orcs. Some of the workers appear to be excavating into the mine, opening a large pit and working inside part of it. They go back to Okitar. There was a rumor that something was found that pulsed and irradiated… something that significantly increased the poison that killed the miners. When Certain asks if Xonan remembers anything about the airships, Xonan remembers other gnomes teaching him about engines with pure magical power, which used Magicite to power them, which despite being capable of many things, would still be stable and shouldn’t do anything negative unless something catastrophically went wrong. He remembers that there were clear, dire warnings about not messing with the core. They have a half life of about 70 years before they’re no longer dangerous should they leak. The engine cores were green Magicite. He also remembers a sense of community with the people who taught him, but a bit more cold, efficient than the community he feels with the group he’s in. He also remembers some things about magic, including his own magic and how it works. Xonan feels as though he understands a bit more about his powers. He also remembers the differences between divine and arcane magic. The group decides to investigate and see what the humans are after. The air starts to get a bit thicker. The air is palpably “off.” The ceiling is very low. Some deposits of iron and silver ore. Some remains of a mine cart in the middle. There is a strange, dense metal object that appears to be multilayered. Soumgra looks ahead and remembers reading about a vibrant metal cocoon that some creatures would hibernate in. She lets the group know what she sees, then moves back in. Another cocoon is suspended from the ceiling, large enough to hold a medium-sized creature. The ground is damp, but it’s not actually wet. There appears to be a small amount of movement. The group does make it through without incident, however. They go down and the next area has much denser air and more damp. Lot more rough stone about. The smell reminds Certain of when they came across the engine in the river some months past. Soumgra looks at a dead end and sees some exposed ore and the contaminant. She moves on and sees a beam of light which appears to be coming from the floor. The color seems to be shifting. Soumgra sees through her cat’s eyes and looks into the chamber and sees a sphere. Xonan walks up next and feels strange. It’s larger than an engine sphere and is running through the different colors. It appears to be rainbow. It seems to be significantly more powerful than the airship Xonan was on. It was probably there for centuries. It is broken but not inert. The group begins to go back up but hears something when they’re about to enter the main chamber. One of the creatures is walking about but is swiftly dealt with. Suddenly they hear a noise from the ramp from which they came that heads out of the mine. When they go investigate, they see the other four around a corpse, which are easily defeated, but the corpse turns out to be Okitar. In his body is a large group of larvae. They decide to bring it to the engine in the hopes the larvae will eat the engine. His body is looted for a fine short spear, a fine short composite bow, 17 GP in assorted coins and a scroll. Xonan identifies the scroll as a scroll of Resist Energy. They also find an ounce of Sovereign Glue, worth 1200 GP. (600 xp) When they get to the engine, an undead apparition that looks similar to Xonan and the undead gnomes he and the original party fought. Xonan attempts to speak to it but the rest of the party attacks it outright. It still responds to Xonan, instructing the party to leave. Xonan yells this and Certain decides to pull back. Xonan realizes that wild magic is in the air which means that anything could happen with a spell in the area. The apparition casts a spell-like ability and seems to teleport. Soumgra casts Detect Magic and faerie fire is cast around herself as well. Her cat and the larvae in Okitar’s body are both teleported to other parts of the mine. Engine is surrounded by Perigean runes. Some type of teleportation burst suddenly activates. As the only one who can communicate with it, Xonan again attempts to parlay. When the apparition asks what year it is, Xonan responds with “3728.325.” His reaction appears to not be happy, as if he’s having a hard time believing how much time has passed. He does seem to believe Xonan. Xonan asks what year does he believe the creature thinks it is and he responds with 1075.283, which is about 8 or 9 thousand human years. “No wonder you do not remember The Fall” he replies. He laughs in a fear-inducing, not pleasant sound when Xonan states he believes he is a gnome. He says that if Xonan finds their people, to tell them Dermot Ellson fulfilled his duties. He tosses Xonan a pendant, then proceeds to cause a massive cave in. They fall back to the kobold’s apartment, finding the panther en route. The pendant has an inscribed picture and some writing on the other. It’s more like a badge than pendant; a brooch that represents authority. He was a Chief Engineer. It also lists the name of the city Xonan’s people are from – Rille. The image is not a ship – it is an entire city. A potion of cure light wounds is found in Okitar’s apartment. They also find a mummified elf hand. A Hand of the Mage. (Mage Hand Amulet) Another scroll is also found. (Scroll of Hideous Laughter) The group rests without incident. Xonan has disjointed dreams but doesn’t remember them. The next morning, Soumgra decides to check out the cave in using the path the group used before. Soumgra wakes up and feels tired. She looks at a reflective surface and sees a wrinkle on her face. They make their way out and there is a path with traffic. Marra sneaks into the area and returns in an hour. She says a few dozen slaves died and the cave in only impacted the tunnel. The encampments and siege equipment are still intact. She finds Ashabrak and says that he’s giving orders, to both the slaves and his hirelings. The group decides to send in Certain alone and disguised as Ashabrak’s hireling Kaelbrak, but he is quickly spotted. Certain attempts to bluff his way out of the confrontation and while the guard doesn’t believe him doesn’t stop him either. Marra has given Certain an extremely well-detailed map, so Certain is able to find the command tent. The guard stops him, but he walks away and goes around to the back of the tent and casts a spelllike ability to see through the wall of the back of the work tent nearby. Inside the work tent is forging equipment with two people inside, one of whom is Ashabrak. There’s another partition behind a wall, so he moves to see it. Inside this is a table and workbench with a human who doesn’t appear to be a blacksmith, but the table appears to have what Ashabrak calls “rifles” and “bullets.” Also stones with contaminant, and some glowing green shards, which seems to resemble things from the engine. Some maps on a table showing Dirshire and the Aquan city, as well as the orc country and the elven country to the north with figurines on the maps. Another tent is a mess hall and a fourth is a storage tent that has a wagon and the engine the party found in the river several weeks before. He finally talks to Ashabrak and convinces him to see him outside the camp. He returns to the group and relays what happened. They plan to meet him and slightly injure him with the cat, then cast Suppress Charms and Compulsions while saying it’s a healing spell so as to convince him to not try to resist the spell. (The session ends here.)



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