D&DU

The World Opens Up

The group left the cave and started the trek back to Kantaria. There they found a pit had opened and swallowed most of the town and a sizable chunk of the Barrow Wood as well. The pit was deep with some odd blue and black fluid making currents in the bottom that made no splashes when stones were thrown in. The innkeeper informed them that some of the wood elves had also jumped in, thinking it was some passage to heaven. Dalamir and Decain both felt the great power of whatever it was and postulated that it could be The Weave, the fabled source of magical power. They decided to head to the boat to find it untouched, but unable to move as the pit opening had cut off one of the water supplies to the river and eradicated the river in another spot. The group gathered their things and their remaining followers and headed down the road toward the town of Dekaram, to try and regroup. Upon arriving, the group starting buying supplies and learned that the captive they had set free came through in a rush on his way to Westcrown. Fearing he might be going to inform the government of their doings, they “gathered” some horses and fled south, trying to close the two week gap between his departure and their own. Upon reaching the fork in the main road near Westcrown and Belde, they met another group of travelers who informed them that their target had most likely already reached the city, and that another pit had opened in Belde. Defeated, they turned west to investigate this new pit. There they found hell knights stationed, but were not hassled, and they found Gaia’s cult, The Sancte. They spoke with Gaia, who seemed to have no knowledge of the dragons, but presumed they were dangerous and that, while their adventures were likely the cause of all the unrest in the world, that the pits opening was good and that the fluid inside was some form of The Weave, cast in the light of her own beliefs. During these discussions, Gundar and Aranox went to a tavern and proceeded to get smashed. Gundar accidentally let slip that he was with a necromancer, and soon an angry mob had formed to kill Dalamir. Some confusion came up, though, and many suspects, including a Sancta and Decain, were both accused before Gundar calmed the mob. Fearing they had overstayed their welcome in yet another village, the group departed for Corentyn where they “bought" another boat to continue their quest. This time their goal is the Eye of Aroden, a massive hurricane, where they believe the wind stone might be located.

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The Mountain That Sees All

The group finds themselves in the inn at Kantaria, talking with the innkeeper about local lore. The innkeeper conveniently explains to them the long told legend of the giant in the mountains who awakens once a year at the end of summer to feed before hibernating another year. He also informs them that if they step outside, they will see the tallest mountain in the world. The group decides that these must be related and head to Mount Emihym, leaving the remainder of their crew at the inn and leaving Robert, who has mysteriously gone missing, to fend for himself. They take a 10 day trek up the lush green hills that build into the mountain until they reach a mountain pass that appears to run to Mount Emihym. They can see a small farm in the distance, working the fields just before the lands give way to rock, but decide not to visit and rest for the night before finishing their trek. They find the mountain pass dead ends into one of the peaks, but it looks queer. They reason that this wall is not natural and must have been made, but a huge boulder is hiding what could be the entrance. Jariff, without counsel, approaches the rock and attempts to move it. Upon his touch, the rock quivers and unfolds, rising into a giant that towers over Jariff and quickly strikes him down, unconscious, for waking him. At this, Aranox and Shae spring into action to help their friend. Shae makes her way to higher ground to get an advantage on the behemoth, while Aranox charges him with his great axe. He swing with all his might but has a misstep on a loose rock and slams his axe down to the ground. A second later he realizes he has beheaded the unconscious Jariff. Before he can fully absorb what has happened, the giant smacks him away and starts to move. Gundar, seeing Jariffs body, moves quickly to help his friend and tries to reattach his head under a protective spell. The moving giant is mounted by Shae, who has been waiting on a small cliff, but only for a brief moment as he shakes her off and she falls on Aranox. Decain sends a shocking blast of energy at the Giant to take his focus off his friends and it works all too well. The giant lurches toward him and launches him further and further from the protection of the party with each successive blow. Gundar realizes that his work with Jariff will not work and the chase begins. Decain scrambles on his little legs as quickly as possible toward the nearby farm they saw earlier, while the giant is close behind, and the rest of the party comes after them both. Shae tries to catch the beast and slice its legs and Gundar sends spectral hands at it in memory of Jariff but both fail to slow him. Decain eventually reaches the farm to find it, to his horror, outlined by trees adorned with long dead skeletons. He makes a quick decision to climb past the skeleton and into the tree to hide. The giant quickly catches up and begins to shake the tree out of the ground. At this, all the skeletons on all the trees awaken, their binds magically burning, and swarm the giant. As the rest of the party arrives, they begin to work together to slay the giant and the party breathes a sigh of relief, except Gundar. He focuses his power and obliterates all the skeletons that helped kill the giant, as well as some that were working the fields. The owner of the farm, who has been watching these events transpire, is outraged and begins demanding money from the group to replace his lost laborers. His name is Dalamir, and this is Dalamirs Friendly Farm, a farm tended by the dead and owned by a necromancer. The group eventually talks Dalamir into joining them on their mission to the cave for a portion of the loot. As Shae and Dalamir negotiate a price for the lost labor, Aranox and Gundar return to bury Jariffs body. they place his symbol of Aroden on top to mark the grave. Eventually the rest of the group, with Dalamir, catches up and Shae points out the entrance and writing that she noticed earlier when the giant awoke. Using Decain as a translator, they see it was a warning about the giants awakenings. After some conflict about whether they would keep Jariffs symbol or leave it with the body, and some about whether or not Dalamir could reanimate Jariff, the group heads into the cave, where Aranox has been looking around.They find a sundial missing all its numbers in the center of a large chamber with the entrance at 6 and passages at 3, 12, and 9. They also find a long, cryptic message written on the sundial and decide it must be some sort of prediction of their own adventure. They decide to enter the 9 tunnel and find even more riddles, with Shae being nearly impaled by falling stalactites and full sickened by noxious fumes. Finally they get to a magically dark passage that appears to contain the 9 from the sundial and enter, only to have half the party be frightened of the darkness and run out. In the end, Aranox gets the 9 and they do a bit of scouting before heading back down. They then decide to take the 3 tunnel and find it swelteringly hot, but not so dangerous. At the end of this chamber, they fins a depression in the wall, 6 inches deep and the shape of a left hand. Decain volunteers to insert his hand without fear, and quickly finds himself missing that hand. A stone 3 appears on the wall. With some quick thinking, Shae and Gundar are able to retrieve, and reattach, Decains hand but it is retains no function. The group then heads back down to the 12 passage, where the message leads them to believe they will have safe rest. The sleep and, upon awakening, try to figure out the rest of the riddle and how they will retrieve the 12 and 6 pieces of the sundial. They have already lost a comrade, and one of them has lost a hand, how much further can they go in this death maze? And what will they find at the end? Their riddle implies it will not be good.

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Attack on Kantaria

1/28/15
After fleeing Egorian, the group heads north follows the compass north. After some debate on whether or not they should turn back to the south and head to Gaia, they head up the Sedna river, through the Barrowood, toward Kantaria and the the mountains. Decain recalls tales he’s heard of the Barrowood, a place he’s longed to be his whole life. He informs the group that the Barrowood is the largest forest in Cheliax, and has no structured civilization within its bounds. The wood is not empty, however, and he continues by telling his compatriots that it is a refuge for those trying to live outside of society and is full of clans of druids, bands of thieves, and runaway slaves trying to live out their freedom. They spend some time trying to decide where they should leave the boat, as they know the river will not support it forever, and decide that a wood full of thieves is not the best spot. Instead, they go a bit farther north and moor the boat as far north as the river will hold them, where two smaller rivers meet to make the large Sedna, about a mile east of the town of Kantaria. Decain is also familiar with the sound of its name and informs the group that it is a town for ultra wealthy families and a few taverns and inns for the traveling merchants, bards, and prostitutes that work there or pass through. The crew begins to prepare for anchoring the ship and building a camp, when Fiosa pulls Decain aside to ask where they are. When Decain informs her that they are very near the Barrowood, many of the crew decide that, although they are extremely grateful to the group, they would prefer a life of their own in the wood and the group agrees that they may leave. Fiosa would like that too, but she has something she desires more. She asks Decain to come with her and live in the wood. When Decain decides that he would rather continue his quest, she asks to stay with him and be with him and he agrees. At this point the boat is anchored, protective spells are cast, and the camp is set, Robert and Jariff are attempting to arm and train the remaining crew in combat and the rest of the group head toward Kantaria. About halfway there, they realize that the lake in the center of town is attacking the village and people are just beginning to flee. This leads Aranox to thinking that, although they always see the water attacking and violently thrashing while sailing, they never get attacked by it. They spend a minute to think about the implications of this while watching what’s going on in the town, does the dragon bring the violent waters or calm them? They feel that it must be connected. Before they can fully form their thoughts, however, the town is charged by a large band of people from the nearby wood, strange looking people with the features of wood elves and the stature of halflings. Shae and Aranox decide this is a perfect opportunity to find some loot. They break in to a nearby mansion and steal gold, tapestries, statues, and jewelry and hide them outside and in Gundars keg. In the meantime, Robert and Jariff hear the commotion and come rushing. They meet up with Decain and decide to help any people that might be stuck in the last mansion in the middle of the lake. As they are approaching it, one of the wood people runs out a full speed, carrying something wrapped in his cloak. Jariff snares him with his arm and he and Robert pry the item await find it is a small wooden orb covered in runes that has rotatable hemispheres. The capture of their friend draw the attention of the rest of the band of thieves and soon enough the three “heroes” have 50 men with weapons drawn at them. They demand the item back and are about to receive it when Shae comes pushing through the crowd and realizes what it is they have found. It looks strikingly similar to something she has seen before. The tense standoff is ended when Aranox decides he has had enough and smacks one of the men, killing him. The rest of the band fire their arrows and run, leaving the party bloodied but in possession of the orb. They then head to the mansion the orb was stolen from for answers. A man has been on the balcony hurling insults and demanding his item back. Shae confronts him from outside, insisting that she has a rightful claim to it, only to be told that he is of the family Forsword, Shaes own blood. Shae does not recognize the man, and he does not seem to recognize her either. She tells her claim that she is a Forsword and that it belongs to her, as the one she got from her mother did, to which he scoffs and informs her that it was purchased fairly from an auction many years ago. At some point he calls Aranox a monster, and Aranox responds by running in to the house and choke holding him over the balcony. The rest of the party rushes to help and Aranox releases the man as his young daughters arrive, horrified. Jariff talks them out of looting the Forsword house and the party rushes back to the ship to examine their new object. The violent lake unfortunately grabs hold of Gundar and Aranox and pulls them in, as Jariff dives in to help and Shae throws a rope to them. Robert decides to run to the ship and grab the dragon, in hopes it will rescue them, only to find that the wood men have entered their camp and are holding their crew hostage until they receive the orb. Robert rushes back with a few of them to make a deal. In this time, everyone has gotten themselves out of the water and are running back to the ship when one of the residents seizes Decain, believing him a looter, and starts rifling through his bag. He finds the leather gloves that Decain took in the water dungeon and is shocked. He informs the group that they were magical gloves of swimming and climbing that once belonged to a great Varisian king of the long dead Basladuur line, he himself is a Bastur, and offshoot of that family line and dependent of the great king. He reads the inside of the gloves, which identify them and happen to be written in the same language as the page from Trajens book. He agrees to translate the page for them in return for the gloves. The page roughly reads "The Wyrms of old world rain havoc and destruction from the sky. No calamity could be worse their reawakening will surely herald the end of days only God could ok…”. The party head back to their camp, and part with the orb, under the condition that they be able to return to it if they should learn how to open it. They then decide to try and see if the Tavern is abandoned to get a nights sleep. The inn keep is still there but has rooms, food, and ale enough for them all. We leave the party as they sit down to eat, eager to question the inn keep about the surrounding areas.

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Egorian Nights

1/10/15
The group finds themselves approaching Egorian from the south by boat, unsure of what to do. They decide to dock the boat at the nearest harbor inside the city and replenish their stocks. Immediately upon docking, they are confronted with a city guard who they quickly bribe for docking fees and for him to stop asking questions. From there the group splits up with Jariff and Robert going to pick flowers and the rest of the group going shopping. On the docks, Shae feels a tug at her side and catches a small child trying to pilfer her coin purse. She talks the boy into watching over their ship for some coin and takes his map of the city, promising to return it upon their departure. The map has several interesting features, like people who will buy stolen goods and the location of an odd monastery in the city. The group reconvenes and tries to find this monastery to hopefully get some answers about the dragon. They find a reclusive man, Banure, who refuses to speak to them until Jariff nearly kicks Shae through the door. After a bit of discussion, the party finds out that this man and his order, The Yam Nahar, believe that dragons are the only true gods and that they created the earth and brought peace to it. They also believe that Aroden silenced the Dragons and brought war to the earth. Jariff lets slip that they have a dragon and Banure demands to see it, but also gives them a sacred document written in a foreign language that looks like it describes dragons. Eventually they take him to the boat to see the dragon, being stopped along the way by guards because there is apparently a bounty on them, and he is over joyed. He implores them to keep the dragon safe in Egorian. Meanwhile, the group has been deciding how to get further north, because a bridge blocks the path, and they decide that getting a new boat that is already north of the bridge would be the most prudent thing. After switching the crew and supplies to the new boat, Decain, Shae, Aranox, and Gundar go out on the town. During this time, a man named Trajen Sinden visits the ship and demands that Banure give him the document, as it was written by his ancestor and is a family heirloom. Trajen is a researcher of ancient and mythical beasts, like most of the men in his bloodline, and wants the book that the page came from to be complete so he can translate it. When Banure refuses, Trajen fires an arrow at him. Jariff deflects the arrow and gets them to talk calmly. Tempers rise when Trajen learns of their dragon, and shares his intention to kill it, and Jariff eventually has to put Banure in a sleeper hold until he passes out. At this point the rest of the party reconvenes and they decide what to do. They drag Banures body back to his home and give the document to Trajen, who leaves. The party goes to sleep with plans to leave in the morning. When they wake, an army of hell knights with a demonic ape are aboard the ship, looking to arrest them. A feverish battle ensues, with killer faeries, lighting blasts, arrows, blades, and blows flying. Jariff almost loses himself to the water, while Shae takes the ape down with a sword through his throat. The knights are dispatched and the heroes set sail to the north, asking themselves “are we the villains in our story?”.

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Troubled Waters

The party, now with a baby dragon in it’s charge, decides it’s time to leave the dungeon of water and try to get some answers about the mystical beast they’ve found. They make their way back through the winding tunnels and corridors of the cave system and find themselves in the room that once held the small society of fish-men, only to find it mysteriously deserted. Some propose that they fled the cave when they sensed the source of the magic was leaving it. Upon exiting the cave and looking out from the high vantage point the mountain offered, the group was shocked by what they saw. The sea seemed to be alive with roiling, violent, waves covering the surface of the water, like millions of hands waiting to pull lost sailors under. Off in the far distance they saw a great kraken, a beast of unbelievable immensity, break an island and offer it to the sea, which gladly swallowed it whole. Fearing for their crew, they headed down the mountain to the beach where they had docked. Losing daylight and stamina, about half way through their trek, the group decided to sleep and continue in the morning. Robert, waking early, decided to climb a tree to get a sure direction for the rest of their hike, only to find grave danger waiting near the beach. He saw a giant, eighteen feet tall, wading in the shallow waters near the coast, holding a grown man in his hand. There appeared to be a shipwreck and men were scattered about, including two who were heading below deck on the groups own ship. They ran full speed down to the beach to see the giant pluck the legs off the man, as if he were a toy. Jariff and Decain rushed on to the beach first, with Decain hiding behind a rock and Jariff standing on top to draw attention. The giant threw the lifeless body of the man toward them, were it crashed into the sand. Shae made her way to the rock to join Decain as Aranox ran toward the boat, trying to draw the giants attention as he went. Jariff had the same thought process and chucked a stone at the giant and ran. The next thing the party knew, a boulder was flying through the air and crashed into Jariff, leaving him unconscious and dying. Robert and Decain steadily fired arrows and spells at their massive opponent, though his skin seemed too thick to notice, and Gundar laid a blessing on his companions, to aid in the battle. Shae ran to pull Jariff out of harms way, back into the trees, where Gundar could stabilize and heal some of his wounds. With Jariff taken care of, the giant set his attention on Aranox and walked onto the beach. He delivered a devastating blow with his great club, but Aranox stood strong. Seizing a moment of opening, Decain ran and shocked the giant with an electric touch. Shaken from his shock, the giant was slowed and the party took their opportunity. Robert fired arrows into the giant from the tree line, Shae ran to the boat while slicing the calf of the colossal man, and Aranox threw a hand axe which lodged itself in the huge eye of the foe. Jariff made his way down to the enemy and dealt a massive kick while Aranox threw another projectile to fully blind him. Jariff attempted a last flying kick on the giant but a misstep caused him to crash into the back of the foe, casing him to turn around just long enough for Robert to send an arrow through his throat. He tipped and fell like a great tree, as Jariff dove out of danger and into the water of the sea. The beast was dead, but the group had no time to celebrate and went to investigate the strange men below deck on their ship, save for Gundar who went to help the stranded men on the nearby island. Below deck, they found their crew huddled in a corner around a few bodies while two men beat on Baalgruf. Decain, Jariff, and Shae rushed forward while Robert sent a warning shot to the men and aranox went above deck to look after the small dragon. A fight ensued with the men, and Jariff, not knowing his own strength, left one dead and another unconscious. This was not before Decain peered into their minds to see that they meant to return Baalgruf to Westcrown for a reward. They tied up the surviving intruder and the two men on the island, who were found to be friends of the intruders, in order to interrogate them. Decain saw visions of the intruder killing their crew members for attempting to protect Baalgruf and, after much debate, he was killed. The other two were taken down to row off their guilt in the eyes of the party, bringing on more debate. They were given their choice, row or swim. One man chose to swim and was swallowed by the sea the moment he hit the surface, the other chose to row. They meant to sail to the Arch of Aroden to speak with Gaia and her clan, but changed course after seeing their magical compass point north. They sailed for a week over the choppy waters of the Inner Sea toward The Gemcrown Bay, only to find it littered with shipwrecks from the, now violently fast, river that fed it. Gundar called for a prophecy that told him the trip up the river would bring both weal and woe. And so, against the odds, they decided to sail upriver to Egorian, the capitol of Cheliax, to look for answers about the dragon. The river eventually became too much and pushed them ashore, still days walk from the city. The heroes and their crew pulled the boat from the banks and saved their journey, seeing the lights of the city growing on the river banks just as their food supplies ran out.

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The Temple of the Rising Tide III

The party awoke in the fountain room and faced another decision whether or not to drink. Gundar took a sip of the water and felt himself growing heavier by the second. The party tried to figure out why some of them had positive experiences and some had negative experiences and came up with the answer that they must offer something they value to the fountain before drinking. They hoped that if everyone sacrificed something valuable, the fountain might open a passage to the artifact. They talked Jariff into putting his symbol of Aroden into the fountain, Gundar into pouring his whiskey in the fountain, and Aranox sacrificing his mouth harp. They waited for a change and saw nothing, turning their hopes to the room with the floating water tunnel. They headed to that room and tried swimming through that passage, only to find themselves back in the fountain…except for Gundar and Aranox, who found themselves trapped due to Gundars new found weight. A couple trips back and forth to the fountain room and some frustration later, they got Gundar in the ceiling puddle. They attached a rope to him and Shae swam up through the fountain, only to find the rope bundled next to her. She, Robert, and Decain pulled the rope and Gundar magically appeared in the fountain, as Jariff wept over his lost symbol in the corner. Growing tired of waiting, the group decided to head for the dragon down below. Jariff, in true style, ran ahead and jumped down the pit into the water and began swimming to the dragon while the rest of the group lowered themselves down with ropes. Swimming down, Aranox found a plug in the floor and emptied the water from the room. As the water drained, two creatures, who appeared to be a mixture of angels and anacondas, rose from the last puddles of water. As Jariff was reaching the dragon and just touching it, one of the serpents flew to him and delivered a bite into his shoulder. Blows then came to the other serpent from Aranox, Gundar, Shae, and Robert followed by Decain sending rays of flame into both serpents. The angered serpent quickly wrapped himself around Decain in an attempt to detain him. To Decains horror, the party kept attacking the serpent that held him until he squeezed himself out. Robert took a minute to survey the situation and determined the beasts to be of celestial origin, prompting Decain to appeal to the beasts. He tried explaining the groups intentions, but the serpents only replied with cryptic remarks about how the groups actions would bring chaos to the world, how the artifact was meant for the gods only, and the death of the son of Azhi Dahaki. Growing impatient, Aranox began taunting the serpent and found himself bitten by his opponent. Aranox retaliated by trying to throw an axe at the serpent, only to find himself interrupted and pushed down by Jariff. Angered, Aranox throws a fist into Jariffs, who went down to his knees to pray after interrupting Aranox, face, knocking him out cold. All the while Shae has been sneaking around the room to the baby dragon and petting it. She finds a passage behind the altar and just waits for her opportunity to open it. Robert affords her the opportunity when he deftly fires an arrow just past the head of the serpent standing guard near the dragon and barely misses the dragon itself. The serpent rushes to Robert and constricts him while Shae makes her way into the passage to find herself drooling over a horde of gold and treasure that includes all the items the party offered to the fountain. She fills her pockets with gold. The battle continues in the room and Aranox is put to sleep by a poisoned bite. Decain and Robert deal out rays of flame and well placed arrows to finally fell their opponents and the whole group rushes to the horde Shae has found. They collect their items, gold, masks, and weapons and try to figure out what to do with the baby dragon. Decain sensed the magic of the room and discovered that the dragon had a stone in his neck that was extremely magical. The group tried their hardest to figure out a way to get the dragon to throw up the gem but Decain eventually discovered it was in his neck, not his throat, and the group decided to take the dragon with them and see what Gaia and the monks at The Arch of Aroden think of it.

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The Temple of the Rising Tide II

After a brief respite to catch their breaths, following Gundar’s outburst of rage, the group decide to scout out the north west passage way from the fountain room, which heads upwards. Robert deftly climbed the moss covered slope, while Jariff attempted to follow, and heard the sound of, what he believed to be, the fish-men. He shouted the information to the rest of the group, possibly alerting the creatures, and heard them approaching. A quick slide down the slope to hide seemed to abate the danger. Thus, the group decided to head southeast and downward, taking another pleasant swim before entering a chamber with a pool that headed down and appeared to be full of some nasty mer-mutants. The group tossed in some of their rations to appease the beasts, who maniacally fought over the food and left no scraps. Soon the mer-men were at the surface, clambering for another taste of meat. Their clambering proved fruitless, however, and they returned to the depths of their home. In an attempt to thwart the aquatic savages, Decain used his power to send a powerful blast of electricity through the water, narrowly avoiding a shock to himself in the process. This proved to severely agitate the beasts, and the group decided another route was necessary. A plan was hatched to draw the monsters out of the water and lasso them, to gain the home field advantage in the battle. Shae, using her newfound knack for illusions, sent the image of a human down into the depths as bait, only to bring it rushing back to the surface. The mer-men lept from the water, attempting to snatch a delicious morsel, as Robert let fly a lasso. Unfortunately, the lasso missed both monsters but, as they pulled to return it, the monsters instinct kicked in and it grabbed the lasso, giving the group the opportunity to pull it onto land and mercilessly beat it. Twas Shae, in the end, who felled the beast, relieving it of the terrible burden a heads weight can put on the shoulders. Robert surmised that there were at least three beasts left, and the group was left to find another way to lure them out of the water. thus, a new plan was hatched, whereby the head of the dead mer-man would be tied in the lasso and used for bait. The remaining mer-men harpooned the head and took it down to the floor of the pool to perform last rites for their departed companion. It was then that Gundar lost his patience for luring and scheming and decided to take matters into his own hands. He urinated, profoundly, into the pool to anger the beasts. It worked. He found himself staring eye-to-eye with one of them and before he knew what had happened, he had a harpoon planted firmly in his right buttock and was being pulled under. Jariff and Aranox quickly jumped in after Gundar, only for Aranox to realize that he was wearing plate armor and sinking fast. His quick thinking allowed him to pull the harpoon from Gundar and swing with all his might for the beast holding the other end of the rope but he tried too much and, in the end, only ended up slaying the top half of Gundars left ear. He swiftly sank to the bottom of the pool. Now freed, Gundar and Jariff swam to the surface and got on dry land as Robert decorated the mer-man with the fine feathers adorning his arrows. The beasts then blasted up out of the water, and again harpooned Gundar. He was pulled under again. With Jariff following again. A swift combo from Jariff left one of the remaining monsters with a broken neck, and Robert put a last arrow in another while Shae pulled Gundar from the water. All that was left was the last merman, attacking Aranox on the floor of the pool. They battled hard under the water, as Aranox stabbed over and over with the harpoon. In the end it was Gundar, who sent a specter sword through the through of the fish from the safety of the chamber above, who finished the fight while Aranox found another of the mysterious plugs. He found it emptied the room and used it to lower his friends down, and lift them back up the other side of the tunnel. There they found a chamber that had another pool floating seemingly upward. deacon recognized the celestial writing on the wall that read “The water flows to the lowest point”. They hoisted themselves up into the floating pool and swam to see where it lead, only to find themselves sitting in the magic fountain that drove Gundar berserk. Now, however, the water level in the long vertical pool was lower. Jariff went to investigate only to find a tiny blue dragon sleeping under the water. He returned to the surface to report the news. The group then explored another tunnel system which seemed to lead Jariff and Aranox back to the room with the floating pool and then, finally, back to room with the fountain, where the whole group reconvened. Decain decided to try the water in the fountain once more, and found himself imbued with extra confidence. After seeing this, the entire group gave gold to the fountain in the hopes that they, too, would reap its reward. She drank and found herself feeling strong and powerful against the aquatic beasts they had been running in to. The rest of the group decided to rest in the room and decide what to do about the dragon on the morrow.

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The Temple of the Rising Tide

After a strange, lucid, flashback brought on by the touch of the Chaos Beast, the party realizes that the missing piece of the Shield of Aroden must still exist and they might know its location if they ever chance to see it again. They returned to the ship, not quite feeling themselves, and decided to set off back toward The Great Inner Sea, having deemed passage through The Arch of Aroden too dangerous in the ship. During their sailing, Robert and Jariff got to discussing some of the unusual features of the sea and their relation to the impact point of The Star Stone. They come to realize that an archipelago was thrust up when the great comet hit the ground, and that geographers believed them to be right above the deepest waters on the planet. Consulting the magic compass they had found in their earlier adventures, they found the island of the archipelago that was farthest into the water and noticed a queer waterfall coming from the top of a mountain. They ventured up through the jungles of the island for three days to find the mouth of a cave which happened to be the waterfalls source. Inside they found strange behavior, as some water flowed uphill and gave off an odd blue glow, but in examining, and even tasting, the water, they found all to be normal. A ways inside the cave they stumbled upon a small civilization of fish people who used tools, but spoke no language the group could discern. They used their wits and came before the fish-men in a magical procession, to which the fish-men dropped to their hands and knees and worshipped the apparent god-kings. All was not so simple, though, as they soon found the fish-mens high priest and he did not seem to like the idea of being replaced. Jariff smashed his head into a mirror, verily, only to receive a nearly fatal strike from an electrically crackling staff, while Decains ray of frost froze the fish man and his guard long enough for the group to dispatch them. Gundar spent the time barring the door, as seemingly mindless fish-men tried to enter to investigate the sounds. Once relieved of the burdens of the fish-priest, the victors took their spoils. Gold, platinum, silver, and copper were shared, as well as a pair of bone earrings and a tattered pair of leather gloves. But the joy of riches was soon squashed by the impending invasion through the door that Gundar could not hold forever. Aranox and Jariff used the large stone bed in the chamber to block the door and the group looked for a way out. A waterfall in the back of the room proved to be a good solution, as the group discovered a passageway leading down to a pool and an apparently magic plug that emptied it. From there, the group split ways, with Aranox and Gundar investigating a pool that went hundreds of feet straight down and led to something that gave off a bright glow, and Jariff investigating a room under water and hidden by a trap door. Lowering the water level again from this room, Jariff inadvertently opened a new passage in the deep pool to Gundar, who went to explore it. Jariff went to explore his own new found passage and the two ended up meeting in the same chamber around a fountain. Gundar, being a thirsty man, took a deep draught from the fountain and suddenly went berserk, attacking Jariff. The rest of the party lowered themselves down the path Jariff took to find the two fighting. Decain recognized the celestial writing on the fountain, spelling out “The penitent man gives his worldly possessions to the gods/The water flows to the source/Where does the wealth go?” while Gundar snapped out of his rage. The group now has a choice to make. There are four passageways out of the chamber, two they know, and two they don’t.

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