Danella steps out of the cellar and find a nice quiet grove of trees behind The Broken Shield. Taking out her crossbow, she quickly puts 5 bolts into the tree that she was aiming for. Speaking to the small crossbow, "It would have been nice if you would have done that earlier today." Danella had worked hard to hide her "abilities" from the towns people in an effort to seem "less" than she is (Except of course when in disguise). "Well, I guess my friends now know, so I don't have to hide it with them." she thinks to herself. She looks into her palm as it turns a deep blue color and ice crystals begin forming. She quickly shakes her hand out and looks around to see if anyone was watching. She hurries back to her friends with a sly little smile on her face.
Danella hears from the kids she takes care of that there was some lightning that set the forest on fire. They weren't scared, but wanted to let her know.
"Oh... my F**king head". Sam Adams stumble out of the Broken Shield. The events of the day catching up to him.
Goblin Ninjas apparently with magical acumen obviously targeting him because he was the most fearsome. Sam Adams stumbles into the nearest flop house, produces a silver piece for a cot and a meal. Thinking it's best to stay near town instead of wander back to his hut. That way he can sleep off his exhaustion. With a final gulp from his Tankard, he collapses into a slumber.
Erdh talks to Kendu about the lyrics of the song. The lyrics that he sang last time are about all he remembers. He doesn't actually know the whole song. "The vigilant heroes protect the town. The townfolks are grateful and the heroes stand tall."
The Broken Shield
Maso is concerned that what is coming is to great for such a small group of heroes. "What if there is danger that strikes from the East and the West", he asks. Maso expresses some concern that his cellar is now a portal to another place. He hopes that the group will investigate the area further to understand the place we are now calling "The Nether", or is it "The Never"... we aren't quite sure with all of the accents in the room.
Everyone is discussing the song, the history, what has happened and ultimately decide to investigate the Arches Library in town. They typically have Almanacs which have basic things like when to plant crops, but they may have some other historical texts. Bigger towns might have bigger libraries, but it will take more effort to get there. Most of the group is not well read, and hasn't really been to the library.
Erdh gets excited about having a beer and Sam Adams fills a big mug from behind the bar and hands Erdh the mug and says, "Sam Adams, Always a Good Decision".
Maso points to a man in the bar as a man who might be best to assist us. The man is a scholarly-looking old coot (not Odwalt). He walks over and introduces himself as Marius. The group fills him in, and Marius gladly agrees to take them over to the library, for which he is very familiar. There are books that discuss the last 100-300 years. Older books are there, some may predate this. The current year is 1385.
The group spends some time searching for books, which is not something they are great at. Erdh found a book that talks about how and when to plant crops, but failed to predict the most recent storm (a standard Almanac).
Danella found an old book of about 500 years. This book speaks of giants, dragons, and other mystical creatures. It is written in a way that makes it seem as though they were real. Until the recent dragon sighting, nobody has seen anything like that.
Marius, the one with the most familiarity with the library, finds an 800 year old book that is falling apart. Not all of the content is readable, but what they can read speaks of heroes. Nobody has seen or heard from the heroes for hundreds of years, and it is assumed that they must have won because there isn't much evil in the world to speak of. The book does not describe specifics, but does talk about some mighty mountain ranges.
The group immediately thinks about the mountain range to the west.
It seems that we may want to go to Thimoda, the hub city on the East side of Great Lake Kemi, to investigate the books there. Meanwhile, we should go back to The Nether and investigate further.
Upon arriving back at Maso's, the group finds Maso and Odwalt discussing something. Odwalt, curious with what the group found at the library claims that he could be useful tot he group again for healing. Of course, he is not much of a contributor when it comes to fighting, but his heals have saved us from demise multiple times before.
The group travels back to The Nether through the portal in Maso's cellar. The group has decided to investigate some of the other areas if it is possible to break through.
Surprised upon arriving back in The Nether, the room is pristine, and the entrance to the room, previously a squeeze, is now completely cleared. The main room appears to be a bit cleaner near the entrance to the portal room, and even there is a flight of stairs that appears to go down to the lower level.
Samuel Adams is on high alert and tells the group, "be careful of those ninja kobolds man, they are dangerous!"
The lower level is a large rounded area, similar in size to above. There are three passages, all of which are open but not clean like the room above.
Sam Adams notices that there is some wet areas on the ground. He sticks his finger into it and is suddenly pained by the action. Danella and Herger respond with violence against the puddle immediately and Herger's axe gets covered in some gray ooze. A pseudo pod reaches out and attacks Sam. The ooze succumbed to Danella's crossbow.
Sam's finger, tender from the injury guides the group, "We should go down this first hall closest to the stairs, that way we can escape easily." Sam marks a chalk X on the wall, but Odwalt, taking up the rear, wipes it off and replaces it with a phallic sketch and snickers quietly. The rest of the group doesn't notice.
Sam lights a torch to illuminate the hall while Danella casts some dancing lights to illuminate the hallway further. At the end of the hall is a room with some fabric on the wall. There are three passages leading to the room. The fabric appears to be ancient tapestries, with scraps having fallen to the floor long ago as they gave way to the weight of ages. There is a significant amount of detritus around the floor.
There is movement! Sam and Herger notice the movement first and are able to warn the group. "Something ameliorates underneath the sheets", shouts Herger. The tapestries on the wall are moving Danella springs to attack! The team attacks the tapestries and the shadows all around the room. Erdh kicks something metal on his way to assist with the attack. Two of the shadows are slain, and the third disappears into the shadows across the room away from the torch. Erdh investigates the metal he had kicked and finds a lantern which he promptly lights illuminating all corners of the room. The shadow is revealed and slain swiftly.
One hallways leads to a chasm which picks back up after 40 feet. It is too far to jump, and the group is unable to see the bottom. The group decides to go down the other hallway which leads to another room. Here, there walls appear somewhat irregular, but under good lighting the group realizes that each wall is a mosaic depicting a knight wearing armor, a bear fighting other creatures, and other heroic heroes fighting. One of the passageways appears to lead back to the main room. Herger doesn't find any magic hallways or things on the ceiling. One of the passageways leads to another chasm, this one closer than the other but still to far to pass. The group continues down the remaining hall to another room.
This room is filled with piles of bones. Erdh attacks a modest pile of bones, but nothing happens.
Suddenly, some bones are rustling in the far corner. There are two creatures [dust mephit]. Herger hits one of the creatures and it responds by speaking a language that only Danella can understand. "Sleep... sleep", Danella translates. Several rounds of combat with dust spewing all over the room and the party is successful.
As the Dust Settles...
The group sees now a section of the chasm that is small enough to jump for most of the group. They use rope to assist Danella and Odwalt across, with Odwalt nearly cracking his hip apart on the chasm wall. Down the hall is another room that appears to have collapsed and fallen away to a chasm. There are two creatures standing at the far end of the room. It becomes clear that the creatures, when attacked with metal weapons respond by damaging those weapons with what appears to be rust. The group is able to tactfully terminate the threat and continue.
The hall is wider here and leads to a four-way junction. The group chooses to go down a short hall into a donut-shaped room with a pool in the center. Work benches covered in vials, mortars, pestles and other such miscellany line the perimeter. The group finds some berries that are a big aged, but recognizes them as the type of berries that are good for you, but aren't good. Some vials are filled with concoctions of unknown type.
As the group is searching the room, Danella begins to appreciate the the pool in the center has a green light coming from it. The pool is even with the floor and is only about 5 feet deep. There is a glowing greenish stone that appears to be at the bottom. Herger hops in to retrieve the stone, but quickly realizes that there is a presence in the pool with him. But three-ish feet tall, Herger grabs the stone and tries to swim to the surface with it, but it is presenting a significant amount of resistance.
Sam attempts to pull Herger out of the water, but fails. A creature rises from the pool (Water Weird). Herger is lifted from the pool now as his hand, still grasping the stone, is clearly penetrating the creature's head to hold the stone. The stone cracks a little from Herger's struggle.
A pseudopod of water reaches from the pool and pulls Sam into the water. Herger manages to wrestle away the stone and put it in his pocket. Sam expertly extracts himself and shortly thereafter, Herger manages to escape the pool. The creature still trying to retain the stone, and pulls Herger and the stone back into the water grabbing the stone away from Herger, but not without cracking the stone further.
The team takes direct aim at the stone and manages to destroy the stone revealing a blue glowing stone similar to the one found on the upper level of The Nether. The water monster stops fighting and lifts Herger up out of the pool. Herger cheers, pumping his fist into the air with the stone inside and the monster responds mimicking his movements. The monster appears to disappear back into the pool. Upon further inspection, the lantern reveals the water monster swimming joyously in the pool. Occasionally, recognizing that he is no longer being attacked, the water monster pokes out of the water playfully, and then pops back in.
Odwalt, after realizing that the potions are for healing and made from the old berries, proclaims that he should be able to reproduce the potions later if he had the material components.
The next room is similarly collapsed and fallen away to a chasm, except there are stalactites throughout the room. Sam shines the lantern all over one of the stalactites and is surprised to see an eyeball staring back at him! Sam attacks it and kills it with a swift blow. The remaining stalactites scuttle off the edge and disappear. There is a dead creature on the floor. It is green and lizard-like, but larger than a humanoid.
Continuing down the final hallways from the four-way junction the group enters a room with four statues along the entrance wall and bones strewn about the room. Two figures appear at the far end fo the room as the group enters. A humanoid-looking fleshy gross monster holding a large mace-like object and a horse made of only bone. The group makes quick work of these two monsters with no casualties.
There is a small notch in the wall that is the perfect size for the stone that was retrieved from the water monster. As the stone is inserted into the wall the room is instantly cleansed.
The equipment in the round donut room is all clean and none of the vials are broken. There is a mosaic on the floor in there which depicts the water monster on the floor. The monster is still swimming in the pool and pops out occasionally in a playful manner. The chasms that once separated the two areas of this level are stitched back together as if nothing happened, and the rooms that were collapsed are back to a fine worked state. The clearing did not extend up to the upper level to clear the other corridors.
The group takes the name "The Company of the Lantern of Revealing".