Title: King Lightforger
Date: Mid Vor, 1332 Avard
Synopsis: The team heads to Fasra to investigate dwarven ruins beneath the duke's fortress, and finds the first Lightforger's tomb.
Noon of the 20th of Vor, 1332 Avard.
The team wanted to rest from their battle with the mutant… cat thing… but they had a more immediate concern. The beast's blood had flowed into Galvanus' Spring, which flowed straight into the lake of Rustos – from which the town drew it's water for drinking, swimming, and more.
Felix used the arcane to reroute the stream back onto itself. A gate opened downstream from where the blood was flowing, and then flowed over arcanely hot fires that burned away the arcanogen in the blood.
Just in case, though, Codrus felled a tree a bit more downstream. The flow of the water slowed; a dam across Galvanus' Spring would not seriously impede the water of the town, but would give Felix more time to treat the water.
Belsarius, meanwhile, dissected the strange beast. Four tails, twelve legs, two heads, four hearts… One of the heads had a standard set of jaws, with teeth that were almost transparent in their translucency. The other head had at least a dozen jaws in succession, each set of jaws with shark-like teeth, getting smaller and smaller as they went down the throat. And despite where he looked, Belsarius could find no trace of the breath weapon's source.
One of the hearts, and a lobe of the lungs, bothered the man. The heart was almost human, although smallish, with veins of translucent beast running through it. There was the same translucency running through a section of very pink lung, while the other lungs were more black and marbled with the strange light-refracting ability of the beast. While the colon and diet was definitely carnivorous, there was a segment of colon that could only have belonged to an herbivore, and that segment was pinkish.
Belsarius realized that the beast incorporated parts of its victims into itself. It's where the extra head, the extra limbs, the extra tails, may have all come from.
Greff, assisted where needed, but could really only let his companions do their tasks individually. The githzerai thought about Rustos, and what the town meant to him. He decided, then and there, to retire in Rustos – when the time came.
When Felix finally declared the water purified, the team took some time to rest and talk. Slate helped prepare a hot meal and make them comfortable, and Greff helped the young dwarf tend to Codrus' and Belsarius' wounds. Codrus' chest was savagely burnt from the beast's breath weapon, while Belsarius' forearm and foot needed stitches to close the flesh.
After resting and eating a bit, the team decided to move slowly towards Rustos. The beast's body was travoised behind Codrus' chariot, and covered with a large blanket. When the team reached Rustos, they made a grand, theatrical performance. Felix used illusions to make the story seem real, terrifying the children, showing the heroism of the team, and making sure the village knew that the beast was real and truly gone.
After the story, Codrus used Sir Turon's barn to clean the carcass while Greff talked with the town's council. Felix and Belsarius used another part of the barn to examine the blood and body parts and drawings Belsarius made of the beast, delving deeper into the mystery of the beast.
The beast's blood, when burned, showed a touch of magic teal (abjuration-illusion) and yellow (transmutation). The water that Felix had purified with fire had given off the faint touch of teal and yellow light, and it had given the eladrin arcanist the insight he needed to explore the waters, as well. The water had the same burn touch of color that the beast's blood did – waters from all over the plains seemed to have that same burn color.
Belsarius, once he was shown the pattern, remembered that a powerful mage known only as Mechanus was the great mage of the Storm Wars that created the race of the warforged, animated golems that could stride forth and do war independently. According to Graven – a living warforged that had simply walked into town one day after centuries being buried in the mud – Mechanus had made armies of the warforged, and their corpses had littered the Janis Plains.
Felix was able to supply Mechanus' real name: Krevesteka.
That night, Belsarius felt a tension in the stars, a portent of things to come.
In the morning, the team had a leisurely breakfast, and then packed up the remains of the beast. Its bones were left to be buried in the town's midden heap, though the skull and choice bones had been kept.
In Chasadan, the team arrived late in the afternoon to find a revelry going on at the Meridian Manse. Enna, Gabe, Adrik, and Cerval had returned from a mission for William when the fishermen in the wharves began to respond to a giant crab. The shell of the blue crap was twenty feet across, and hung on the trophy wall of the manse; it's claw hung below it, a massive thing over five feet long.
Gabe belched that the other claw had been delicious.
William finally realized that Greff was back, and so the remains of the light-changing beast in Rustos were unveiled. Belsarius wanted the beast's remains made not into a trophy, but rather into a tool that could aid other adventurers. Greff wanted a trophy to hang onto the wall, and the two fell to arguing, demanding that William make a decision.
Unfortunately, greed won out, and William declared the remains to be made into a tool – but Felix intervened, almost intimidating the scribe into making the remains a trophy.
Rather than make any immediate decision, William vacillated and put off a decision.
On the morn, Greff and his team was quickly sent north to Fasra – perhaps to get them out of William's way, as much as look for treasure beneath the ducal keep.
The team devised a plan to get into the keep's dungeons and explore the strange, hard black rock found there. William had indicated that the rock was probably a dwarven tomb, and an ancient dwarven prayer that might help get into the tomb. To keep everyone else distracted from the keep, Codrus would give challenge to any and all in Fasra, outside the town.
Corrin attached herself to the party, perhaps smelling dwarven history unfolding.
The cover story they devised was that Felix and Belsarius hired ME to escort them to Fasra and assist them. If, along the way, they shared business with the great Alekdanian gladiator Codrus, then that was all for the better.
That night, they found an abandoned adventurer's pack – and no sign of the adventurer. There was no fear scent, and no recent footprints. The owner had simply… disappeared. The mystery remained unsolved, and the team set out, again, for Fasra.
The next day, the team's plan went off beautifully. The marquis of Fasra was an arrogant prick that often dueled the angry men of the women he bedded. The marquis, after letting his lesser knights test the minotaur's mettle, set to kill the foul arcane-escaped beast. Codrus had other ideas.
In the dungeons, the rest of the team had unrestricted access to the dungeons. The marquis, observing protocol, set his chamberlain to attend to the needs of the mages. The mages wanted to sample the water of the well, and then perform experiments on the water. The marquis had asked the mages to investigate the dwarven stone near the dungeons – and the chamberlain even arranged for the dungeons to be deserted so that the mages could have some peace and quiet in their investigation.
William's scroll seemed to work, as Corrin – a devout follower of Galgiran – read it aloud. One of the repeating panels simply disappeared, revealing gold and gems – and a tomb. The tomb was that of King Lightforger, whose mother had been an angel, first of the line of the Lightforgers, slayer of the orc-demon Malbtrossht, vanquisher of the Kalessin horsemen.
The tomb had lain undisturbed and hidden for over seven thousand years.
Corrin was adamant that no treasure be taken, save one or perhaps two items, to prove who was in the tomb. The crown of the king of the Kalessin was taken – and it had a large dent in one side, where Lightforger's hammer had struck it off the horsemen's lord. A book made of twenty solid gold leaves, each runed with the old dwarven tongue, was also taken.
Nothing else was taken or disturbed, despite Belsarius wanting to peek into the tomb. He changed his mind, however, when he learned that the first Lightforger dwarf had died of a disease he had picked up in fighting Malbtrossht – a demon sent by the Rot Goddess, Mazripos.
Corrin spoke the words to the prayer, knowing how to reverse its powers, and the panel reappeared, sealing the treasure and tomb inside, and preventing anyone else from getting in.
Topside, Codrus dunked the marquis into the river one last time, before getting over his anger. The marquis had not seriously harmed him, but the little bastard had sure as hell tried. The minotaur had looked forward to the challenge of having the entire town attack him, but the town had seen the poor sportsmanship of the marquis, and the good sportsmanship of Codrus.
The town's thanes had even gone in search of the arcanist from Lok Magius, for, under technical law, an arcanist could arrest a marquis. Felix, after hearing what had been done to Codrus, had no problem placing the prick under house arrest, to await the return of the duke.
Later, the locked golden book proved no barrier to Corrin. Inside, she found the history of the King of the Lightforgers. He had been the last of the Black Quartz dwarves – a fact history had forgotten. The King of the Lightforgers, revered as one of Galgiran's 'great dwarven kings' had been a kinslayer with a heart blacker than onyx, until an event occurred that changed his life forever. Corrin closed the book, almost afraid to continue reading.
Noon of the 23rd of Vor, 1332 Avard.
Dinner was chili, and Bo was once again able to join us. Sommer was feeling up to a bit of a visit, too.
RPG System: Dungeons and Dragons, 4th Edition.
All characters were 15th level