39th of Calsar – 42nd of Calsar
Present: Ignis, Scarloc, Puck, Gleipnir, and Nestrin
My first journey out into new territories has made me realise I need more experience in the ways of the adventurers life before I make my way to alien lands where I do not understand the customs. It was with this thought in mind that I have decided to focus my endeavours on my home land of Maephoon. What good is it for me to find a new path for my city if it falls while I leave it to fend for itself?
Excited by the recent discovery of one of the myriad vaults that litter Maephon I decided to look into the locations of some other possible vaults and the treasures held within. Although many a lead petered out into nothing or was too obscured in the mire of hearsay and conjecture I found a solid source that indicated the broad location of a long abandoned mine.
The mine was used by the Masters before Racnajel drove them away and seemed to be primarily a source of gemstones which we would later discover to be quite interesting indeed but I am getting ahead of myself. The texts also mentioned several constructs and magical traps within the mine used to deter those whom did not belong. It seemed dangerous but with the wing of Racnajel to shelter me I knew I would succeed.
I posted an advertisement for stalwart adventurers, those who have experience in these matters and preferably for a reasonably experienced caster as there would surely be a spell sealed door which would require casting ability that exceeds my own to enter.
I was not disappointed, I could tell immediately that those who had heeded my call were seasoned professionals. Gleipnir was obviously a powerful avatar for his pantheon. Scarloc a skilled bowman that seemed to walk in an aura of shadow that made it difficult to discern his outline in all but the brightest light. Puck seemed to be a caster unafraid to push the boundaries of the arts to achieve the power he had quite obviously attained. Finally there was a dragon born named Nestrin, although new to the ways of skullwalking like myself he seemed to be a capable martial artist that would undoubtedly come in handy, my people have long relied upon the adage that if you are to go out in the wilderness of Maephoon you should always bring a monk.
The first leg of our journey was swift, with the capable guidance of Scarloc we followed the fastest route to our destination following the road leading North East from the skull at bloom peak. It should be noted that the forests are now looking decidedly more lush and free from the terrible blight of corruption that they had previously suffered and the areas that still suffer the ash blight are receding rapidly.
Our intended path did bring us through the Fyr Fields. The Fyr were as curious and suspicious as ever but Gleipnir had apparently done their people a service in the past and possessed a trinket to prove his standing with them that eventually convinced them to allow us passage through the fields. It should be noted though that they were still not happy about this and it would be in ones best interest to go around their sacred grounds in the future.
After crossing the Fyr fields we continued to follow the road leading West/South-West through the mountain path and eventually set up our preparations for the nights rest there. During the night Scarloc and I heard the sound of a Quickling approaching at significant speed (as Quickling's generally do) and no sooner had we roused our party to let them know we might have company than the small blue skinned fey skidded to a halt at the entrance of our encampment. The Quicklings rarely pose any threat to travellers and are usually too busy running a delivery to even stop but Puck seemed to have some sort of affinity with him and after some conversation and handing over 50 gold pieces the Quickling chucked us a black gem, telling us not to touch any similar gems we found within the mine as they were dangerous. The stone was certainly valuable and it was becoming apparent what the Master's wanted with the mine. The gem itself was magical but it also seemed to suck all the magic out of the area around it. Any caster like myself would surely have an unpleasant time if they touched it but the potential for crafting was enormous. These stones would surely be of interest to the Magister's of Tarroket.
We set out at first light, rallied by the promise of the unique treasure to be found within the mine. It only took another half days travel to find the entrance we sought. As we approached something caught the keen eye of Scarloc whom darted off in pursuit. With a little help from Rac we found the location of what seemed to be some sort of serpentine creature made of stone and of considerable size at that. The creature seemed put off by direct conflict and continued to run away and hide amongst the other rubble with which it blended so seamlessly. We surmised that it was a fruitless task to chase the serpent further and left it. Other's travelling in the area should be careful as the creature is still out there and although it did not attack, it was definitely stalking us.
We made our way into the mine and descended for some time down the worked stone tunnels leading further and further into the centre of the mountain. We stopped briefly about halfway down in what Gleipnir informed us was a storage room of sorts but was ultimately empty and not our goal.
After finally reaching the mine proper at the bottom of the seemingly infinite staircase we began searching for any signs of either the treasure we sought or the guardians that were apparently supposed to impede our path.
As we began to move through the mine we came across some more gems, not the 'void gems' we'd been shown but strange purple crystals that emitted a faint glow. At the same time we found signs of others exploring this cave system. Scarloc noted faint footprints in the dusty floor and although it had been several months since these people had entered the mine there were no signs of them leaving again. We decided to follow the footprints along the left hand path leading further into the cave and it should be noted that we left the right hand path unexplored.
We finally reached something akin to a working mine, piles of gems lay in the centre of the first room and the unfortunate remains of a man lay crushed beneath a fallen crystal in the corner. After a quick preliminary scout of our immediate area I found a fiery sigil on the floor with several bodies immolated within it's area. Hopefully they find peace within the eternal fires of Racnajel.
Scarloc returned from his scouting to report seeing several scorpion like constructs accompanied by golems. We quickly prepared ourselves for a fight and sent Scarloc forward to initiate combat as he was most able to deliver quick surprise attacks. He did not disappoint, unleashing two arrows deep into the gem lined chitin of a scorpion. The other constructs seemed to notice the death of their own and had readied themselves out of view. The combat was drawn out and messy, Gleipnir was caught in the powerful claws of the scorpions and Puck took some heavy blows leaving him barely holding onto consciousness. I was able to hold the attention of several of the creatures for some time but their numbers continued to grow and eventually I fell to a blow that even the wing of Racnajel could not deflect. Much to my shame I had to call upon my lord to intervene on my behalf using precious reserves that I am perhaps not worthy of receiving. I got to my feet and was relieved to see the face of Gleipnir who still remained upright, thankfully Racnajel had continued to protect him long enough for us to come out victorious despite my own weakness. Never again.
We pressed on further into the mine, spurred on by the sound of bellows pumping and increasingly potent flame somewhere further in. It seemed that we had taken care of the construct denizens of the mine but the arcane traps remained. Sure enough we eventually came across a Dwarven forge, enchanted to run itself without the waterwheel used to power it. It's fires and the magic that surrounded it left no doubt in my mind that this forge was used to create magic items and would be of great interest to the Magisters of Tarroket. They of course have a similar forge of their own but production is limited and a second forge would be an enormous boon for the community.
We continued through what remained of the corrupted Dwarven mine and eventually found the vault door sealed with the magic lock found throughout Maephoon's most dangerous and valuable areas. Gleipnir was the only one of us with the magical knowledge but after our last fight lacked the basic spells to open the last lock. I broke the last seal and we made our way through the doorway. Within was a final bastion for the Dwarves. Six beds were arranged around a statue to what appeared to be a Dwarven god, much to Gleipnir's frustration the god depicted seemed to be a mishmash of Dwarven deities sculpted by someone who perhaps only had distant memories of them. In an adjacent room we found a diary that described the Dwarves plight.
It seems during the time when the Master's power was at it's zenith. Rather than seeking shelter in Tarroket beneath the flaming wing of Racnajel like most the Dwarves fled to the mine and sealed themselves in. Unfortunately the Master's took interest in the mines potential and easily took over. Corrupting it's purpose and subjugating the Dwarven miners within.
With our mission a success and valuable information for the Magister's in Tarroket, we took our leave of the crystal mine and made our way home. Luckily we weren't bothered on our journey home other than spotting a strange light floating around during one of our watches but no further danger's made themselves known.
It seems that Gleipnir has reservations about 'allowing' others to use the forge that he sees as a right only belonging to his Dwarven people. Xenophobia seems to be common amongst all Dwarves, not just those in Dorredun. Nevertheless, Gleipnir has proved himself a powerful Magister in his own right and a dutiful man. The least I can do is try to grant him an audience that will ease the burden on his mind… even if ultimately he has no say in the matter.
May you forever walk in the warmth of The First Phoenix.