DAY 14 – 1st, Midsol 8th
After an awkward attempt at mouth to mouth resuscitation, Ander eventually makes the wounded Belarius comfortable.
A few expended hit die later and both Ander and Belarius are now stable and the big man is able to briefly examine the peculiar pair of spectacles he has found.
Whilst Marven recuperates, the others loot the cabinets dotted around the room, finding various ciphers, tools, and a strange, glowing potion. Belarius barely hesitates before trying a drop and feels somewhat sprightlier than he did a few moments prior.
A map tube containing a scroll is also discovered, a possible spell scroll which is swiftly pocketed by Belarius.
Searching the drawers of a nearby desk reveals a diary and a note which reads:
“Just in case: what has a face, two hands but no arms or legs?”
Not to be outdone by a simple riddle, Belarius confidently states the answer is “a clock”. The words have barely left his lips when a acute low rumbling echoes around the room and suddenly part of the wall shifts back to reveal a passageway.
However, nothing is as straightforward as it seems and the three members are instantly confronted by a strangely menacing, viscous black gloop which begins to seep at a steady pace out of the newly revealed path and towards the crew.
Ander retrieves one of his few remaining javelins and takes aim at the mass of clouded matter. What appears to be an on-target hit, immediately proves otherwise as the gloop splits just before the javelin makes impact, revealing bubbling stonework underneath.
The black mass takes offence to this and rises up in retaliation, attacking Ander who suffers acidic burns to his bare skin. Thinking fast, Belarius casts Firebolt and makes contact with the enemy but amazingly, the gloop completely absorbs the impact, leaving little visible degradation. Ander, now filled with rage at the seemingly never ending barrage of enemies in the tomb, or because he wasted another javelin, draws his Great Sword and swings with fiery intent at the mass, striking it hard and cutting off the tendril that had previously attacked him.
To his dismay, his Great Sword becomes dull after making contact with the mass and now inflicts one less point of damage.
Belarius now withdraws his crossbow and fires once, the bolt pierces the mass and causes it to shatter and spray up the passageway walls.
With the gloop now vanquished, the crew decide to press on through the new pathway, where the air seems fresher and more palatable than the stifling air in previous rooms.
The three come across a new chamber, and entering cautiously they notice three sacks in the corner. Upon inspection, they discover a ludicrous amount of gold, silver, copper, and precious gems.
With no viable exit in this room, the three must head back the way they came but now with the addition of heavy sacks full of money. After a brief discussion, they decide to pocket the gems for themselves but split the money between the Cask Away crew once reunited.
Lugging a sack each, the crew members retrace their steps and are soon back in the cavernous expanse, now much quieter than when they first entered.
Belarius devises a plan to build a raft to aid in transporting the money but before any construction can begin, they spot another amphibious creature about fifty feet away.
Luckily for them, they remain unseen and Belarius uses this opportunity to withdraw his crossbow once again and take aim at the creature.
The other half of the Cask Away crew arrive at nightfall back in central Faversham and at the now very familiar site of Birin‘s pub.
Leon heads inside to speak with the barkeep himself and advise him they have returned with a fallen Brother. Birin is initially aghast that the crew would bring such a person into his establishment but soon relents and allows the crew make bed for the night on the condition that Paul is taken upstairs through the trade entrance as to not cause a commotion amongst the patrons.
Leon and Marta guide Paul down the side street as quietly as possible., silently followed by Blaez. The night seems calm bar the ship horns in the distance.
However, the stillness is abruptly disturbed by scratching sounds, which grow louder and move closer to the four figures.
A swirling mass of rats emerges from the darkness and engulfs the feet of Leon, Blaez, Marta and the unconscious Paul.
Sensing a fight on their hands to clear a path, Marta first heaves Paul up onto a nearby crate then climbs up herself, withdrawing her Halberd and swinging wildly at the frenzied bodies of thousands of rats below.
The rats seem to move as one and begin climbing atop one another to reach her, forcing her to climb up higher to the roof of a nearby building.
Meanwhile Leon and Blaez attack with sword and teeth respectively, thinning the mass of rats with every swing and snap.
Whilst up on the roof, Marta casts Mage Hand and scoops up forty or so rats, hastily depositing them in a barrel and sealing them in. Having been dealt nips and bites from the hundreds of swarming rats as she climbed up, Marta casts Cure Wounds on herself to regain some energy.
Blaez valiantly continues to rip and tear at the small creatures surrounding him but Leon becomes slightly overwhelmed. Seeing this, Marta lowers herself back onto the crates and attempts to jump towards Leon and crush the rats that are steadily encircling him. Unfortunately it doesn’t go as well as she would’ve hoped and she only succeeds in squashing Leon’s toes.
Tired and now fed up, Marta removes the shovel from her bag and swings with all her might at the final pack of rats; their tiny bodies go flying into the brick wall, smearing it with blood. The calm silence returns to the dark alleyway.
Leon and Marta retrieve Paul from the crates and continue on to the service entrance of Cask Away, but now covered in rat blood and scratches.
Later on that evening, the group reunit at Cask Away. as Belarius, Ander, and Marven made it back to the tavern whilst Leon and Marta were fighting rats out back.
DAY 15 – 2nd, Midsol 8th
They wake in the morning to loud banging on the tavern door. Three guards enter and begrudgingly inform the gang that their presence has been requested at Noreak’s castle.
Author: Nicola (Marta)