Location: Mag Kivak
Date: Winter, 1333 Avard
The skeleton bounded by necrotic energies had been defeated – and the mephits stopped their attacks. Even though several of them had been slain, they were already reforming. In an attempt to broker a piece, the team immediately began running through their language options, attempting to find a common tongue with the mephits. Neveah, partially thanks to her genetic heritage, spoke the language of demons – and so, too, did one of the mephits.
The mephits did not understand time or locations as the players did, but what emerged was a tale that likely dated back millennia to the Shaping Wars. In that long ago time, the world was ruled by four great powers, and one of them were elemental masters (the others being demon hordes, dragon servants, and a human empire). The spot the team was in was a hidden spy base by those elemental masters, located in the realm of the dragon lords. The mephits had been bound to the spy base to assist those elementalists that visited. The Shaping Wars ended, the elementalists were defeated, but the bindings on the mephits remained.
Five millennia later, the Storm Wars began to play out. In that time, the world was divided by druid-mages and the theologists of Nathel (also known as the Dark God). A druid-mage teleported into spy base, though from where or how, the mephits did not know. The druid-mage died within the base, but not before demonstrating to the mephits that he had power over the elements, and was thus their master.
Five hundred years later, the War of the Undead brought many that had been dead, back to unlife. The dead druid-mage was a broken shell of his former self, enraged and embittered and without a shred of self-awareness. Despite that, the mephits did their best to obey him. He raged for five centuries in the hidden base, trapped, bound to his skeleton, unaware of the passage of time.
When the dwarves found the hidden base, they wisely left it alone. Three of the mephits, bound as they were to the element of earth, became aware of the dwarves. However, as they were bound to the base, they could not go far from it. Their attempts at communication were thwarted by a language barrier, and they were bound to obey the mad ravings of an undead elementalist who wanted only to kill the living and make them undead, as he was.
The mephits used the party as much as the undead used the mephits; they freed themselves, by bringing the living to the undead, knowing that whichever was defeated would be to their advantage.
Neveah, hearing their tale, asked how the mephits might be freed from the base. She was told that only a master of all four elements could free all six of the mephits, bound as they were to the 'pillars'.
The team learned the the pillars were located in each of the four rooms off of the central passage – one pillar for each of the four elements. They were already familiar with the pillar of fire, and exploring the other three rooms, found the pillars of earth, water, and air. The pillar of water was a column of water the fell down in a rushing and roaring torrent, straight through the middle of the room. The pillar of air was a column of air that blew straight up in a roar that would kill anyone caught along its edge – and it was a loop. Items thrown into it were trapped, going up and then coming up from the bottom, going faster and faster until they were smashed to pieces on the lip of the stones.
The pillar of earth, though, was different – and no less deadly. It was a column of slowly moving tourmaline crystal that was hypnotic, and deadly. Anyone touching the crystal took necrotic damage. The mephits explained that the crystal's power faded over time, and smaller crystals' powers faded even faster. A small crystal of such tourmaline was given as a gift to Neveah. She was warned to keep it wrapped and never let it touch living tissue. Such was how the druid-mage had died.
After querying the mephits and being given a tour, the team went through the spy base with a fine-toothed comb. Underneath the dust and debris, and with the help of the mephits, they found and divided up the following:
* A small, blackened book bound with a lock – and no key
* An axe of ebonite that dealt 1d4 cold damage – and once a day could deal an additional 1d4 fire damage per point of INT bonus
* A potion of vitality
* Split mail armor of resistance (thunder)
* A Heward's handy haversack
* Keoghtom's ointment
* A wand of secrets
* A scroll detailing how to construct a ring of elemental command (all four elements)
* An amulet of poison sensing (in the shape of an orcish 'yuck face')
* A potion of climbing
* A robe of useful items
Split between them all, with two fifths going to Anastasia because no one was paying attention, each of them got a fifth of the treasure – 120gp, 813sp, and 1968cp.
Neveah, realizing how dangerous a ring of elemental command of all four elements would be, used the pillar of fire to destroy the scroll. That scroll was likely what had led the druid-mage to the hidden base in the first place. The tiefling realized that she could not, in good conscience, leave the mephits. They had diligently served the base for thousands of years as slaves. Neveah vowed, then and there to free the six mephits of that base.
Her long time friend, Rose, was a master of the element of fire. Neveah bid the group return without her, and tell Rose of what she hoped to accomplish, but Neveah would remain with the mephits for some time, talking with them and learning from them. The team left their rations with her, and bid her luck and good bye.
Sheldrog, using a ladder to carry the boat to carry the team and their spoils and Gabbro's body, drug the rest of them out of the hidden base. The mephits gladly opened the walls for the team to allow them to leave. And Sheldrog warned Anastasia to not remove any more patched from the robes she had acquired.
DM's Notes: At the conclusion to this session, Sarai realized that her character would have to stay and help the mephits free themselves – and so began work on a new character. Sommer was no present for this session, and likely would 'slip out' until her return (not that she's all that happy with this rogue build).
None to date.