As the action around the Temple of Raggok came to and end, our intrepid heroes set out for the second of the four markers on their map; the one closest was Kaer Varenna, situated along the northern flank of the Thunder Mountains.
Led by Lily and T’wainghar the Ardanyan Brotherhood plotted a course south west until they met the Byrose River, then followed its watery course south until they reached the foothills of the Thunder Mountains proper. From there they struck east, searching the crevasses of the rocky terrain for Kaer Varenna. After two days of rough travel the Brotherhood found a cave entrance that seemed promising.
After taking a cursory look around, and finding some recent tracks around, the group delved into the dark of the yawning opening. Just inside they found rune-carved rubble within, learning that the runes corresponded with those on the amulet that was given to the party in Kratas by the elf. In hindsight, they also learned that it was once the door of the Kaer, now in shambled pieces…..not a good sign.
A set of cut stairs led down into the depths of the earth, and so they followed the only path downward into the unknown. After a long descent it flattened out, before another set of stairs presented itself.. These, they found, were trapped with a sneaky trick that caused the stairs themselves to shift into a flattened state and deposit those standing upon them down to a hideous fate below. Luckily T’wainghar’s danger forged instincts kicked in and he was able to sprawl himself between the sides of the passage, grinding sparks with his buckler.
Alas, Lily wasn’t so lucky as she went tumbling down the now smooth ramp, plunging into the dark. Making his way cautiously down T’wainghar found her moaning bruised form at the bottom in a passage continuing on. Helping her up, the two then noticed a distant roaring. Raising their hackles, the pair was set on edge, until shortly they realized it was no monstrosity lying a wait in the shadows, but a constant rumble…..that of an underground river.
Finding the river in a long passage, it stretched further than their light source (Liliy’s Moon magic!), so the brave little windling took flight to take a look around…..and that’s when she spotted the creature perched on a ledge, glaring at the small flying Lily with hungry eyes. A huge worm-like creature, with enormous black leathery wings took to the air, diving for Lily as she hastily retreated back to her companions. Its large wings brought it within striking distance in near an instant, and lashed out with its tail tentacles snatching up Lily.
A furious, but brief battle was then underway, with the creature squeezing and biting at Lily like some sort of morbid jungle snake, as T’wainghar tried his best to slash the beast into letting her go. Eventually after many slashes with blade and bursts of magical elemental darts beating upon the beast, it took flight just as T’wainghar’s blade got stuck in a bone of the creature, as well as still having a firm grip on Lily.
It beat it’s wings, gaining altitude while the heroes continued to assail it, with T’wainghar swinging up and mounting it, and with a great cry he thrust his blade deep into the creatures form, as it then shook with its last bit of life, and plunged down into the dark rushing waters below. Lily now free saw her companion fall with the beast, and with no thought of her own safety she dove too, with a spell on her lips, touching T’wainghar with a magic that allowed him to grow gills like a fish just before being swallowed by the river.
After much toil, T’wainghar was able to crawl his way to the far shore and catch his breath. Lily was kind enough to whip up a hot soup as the pair mended their wounds, preparing to continue down a dark tunnel opposite to the one they entered. There they found more rune-carved rubble, and a larger procession hall that led into a grand cave, some 300 yards across. It seems they had found the market place of old Kaer Varenna. Taking some time to search the ruins, they managed to scramble together a handful of coins (120sp) for their effort, before moving onto a side passage that contained an old library.
Searching the remains of the dusty and crumbling books, the pair found a kaer leaders journal, penned by the former leader of the settlement. Two Grimoires (Illusionist & Elementals 1-4th Circles). It was just then that a noise echoing from the main cavern reached their ears….once again setting the heroes on edge……
They gained 800 LP for their bravery this day.