The Ruins of Ner'ai

The Dark Places of the World - Blackreach
Discovery of the Invidia Archive

Party: Glendyn Makanin, Amelia, Addicus Crowley, Sir Derec Pendry
Date: 19th of Sun’s Tears 2e1644 (Valec Reckoning)

Lost, separated from the outside world, and grateful to be alive, our heroes recoup their wounds in a copse of the only natural light source, a stand of tall mushrooms.

Addicus uses the natural ambient energy within the “Blackreach” [as Glendyn has taken to call this area] to rejuvenate the party with his Halfing Masterpiece, the “Lament of the Highborn.” [A tribute to the ancient elves that ruled over the lands]

Glendyn and Amelia venture deeper into the heart of darkness following the haunting visions of what he believe’s may be the spirit of Glendyn’s dead sister – Merideth. After scaling a dangerous cliff face, they discover an ancient recessed door with Durdin script. Glendyn is caught by surprise while trying to gain access to this Invidia Archive, but is saved from the deadly trap by Amelia’s quick reflexes and deft hands.

As they are about to progress into the Archive, a great Blackreach spider attacks from the darkness of the ceiling intending to make a quick lunch of our heroes, but is driven away by amazing well placed shots from Amelia’s bow. They continue down a long corridor of unknown origin, noticing decay and wear through the collapsing structure. They nearly lose Sir Derec while trying to cross a large collapsed section of floor. Through Glendyn’s ingenuity, however the party manages to swing across and finally reach the deep sanctum of ancient knowledge.

The room automates with lights as the heroes begin searching for books. But the Archive’s defense system takes hold of Amelia and Sir Derec when they enter the room and they are dominated to read for the rest of their lives. Thankfully, Addicus’s interaction with the central console triggers a holographic image of the Gnome that must have built this place. It is revealed during a scan that our heroes contain the mysterious “spark” and Sir Derec and Amelia are released from the defense system. The vision tells them that they are the first souls within the archive within the past 12000 years. Addicus and Glendyn stare in amazement as centuries of esoteric knowledge begin pouring out of the Gnome’s lips.

But what might have been several lifetime’s worth of devoted study would be cut drastically short. The lights in the room begin to dim and the library begins to shake. The Gnome warns the heroes that the Ebon Sanctum has fallen and the Great Old One Nyarlathotep is free. The gnome’s finally words are that they must unite this world in order to stand against what is to come and to seek the help from the Angels. As the Archive loses power and structural integrity, the party scrambles to collect as much knowledge as they can about their enemies, their allies, and their task.

They escape the Archive’s death throws with bags piled high with ancient books and manuscripts as it collapses into the darkness below. Amelia leads the party as they shoulder their way up the dark corridor and escape into the bioluminescent glow of the Blackreach once again.

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The Fates of the Fallen
The Windego Confrontation

Party: Glendyn Makanin, Amelia, Uther, Quinn O’Connell
Date: 18th of Sun’s Tears 2e1644 (Valec Reckoning)

The following morning, Glendyn, Amelia, Uther, and Quinn trudge through the snowy storms towards the mine. They find a couple of attack sites where the windego has fed. Suffering from the cold, Quinn deliriously wanders away from the party and stumbles into the mining camp. The party tracks him down with the help of Lupe, Luke, and Snow. Quinn is nearly unconscious from the cold and our heroes take shelter within on the of the miner’s barracks. They start a fire and attempt to warm up Quinn.

With the threat of the windego looming ever closer, they elect to search through the other buildings for supplies. They take anything that might be useful: climbing equipment, magical items, and the Dwarven candles the miners use for blasting new tunnels. Amelia and Glyden arrange the equipment and they transport it into the cave. Uther has decided to use the smoking barracks as a distraction for the windego so they can move in to find the totem. As night falls, the windego storms out of the caves and through the mines without noticing the party, but they quietly cower in fear for precious minutes to ensure the windego doesn’t quickly return.

While they patiently wait, a deranged dwarf drags the freshly fed on corpse of Quinn into the mine. They attack to protect Quinn but it is too late. The feral dwarf rips the Lupe’s throat out with his teeth during the fight. Beyond reasoning, the mad dwarf is killed. Uther begrudgingly leaves Lupe’s body until they deal with the windego.

They take the lift down into the caves noting the blood and carnage at the bottom, and stumble through the caverns until they find a man, half mad from the windego, named Sir Derec. They manage to get him out from a crevasse where he was hiding and they search for his squire who was separated from him last night. Sir Derec joins the party after they find his squires corpse fed upon by spiders.

They also find Addicus, a halfing minstrel cocooned in spider silk, the spider’s poisonous fangs having failed to hit home. Glendyn uses acid splash to sever the spider silk dangling the captive halfing, but the vibration in the webs alerts the nearby spider. As the spiders attack, the party scrambles to compose itself. Arrows seem to glance off the spider’s thick hide and Glendyn has a hard time dosing it with acid. Sir Derec takes the risk to cut the halfling from its prison and then turns to fend off spider until he is disarmed. Amelia lands a distracting shot, and the spider sprays its webs throughout the room. Meanwhile, Derec manages to get free of the webs in order to distract the spider while Glendyn lands the fatal blow. Uther’s wolf, Luke, passes out due to the spiders poisonous bite and succumbs to its injuries. The loss of both of his companions pushes Uther into a depression as he cloisters himself from the party.

As they are moving through the tunnels in search of the Windego’s totem, the windego returns and attacks the party. All but Derec and Addicus flee in terror as the windego toys with them to drive them mad. Derec manages to grab the crate of dwarven candles while Addicus calms the party with the echoing ballad off pan pipes. Glendyn, free from his fear, finds what must be the windego’s totem and attempts to destroy it with a dwarven candle. But the windego retrieves the locket that was wrapped around the candle and shelters it from the blast. Feeling a moment of relief with the destruction of the windego, Uther snaps out of his depression to mourn the loss of Luke and Lupe, only to be killed by the enraged windego. Glendyn stares in horror into Uther’s eyes as his friend’s head is torn off by the terrifying creature. In desperation, Addicus takes a drought of Dragon’s Breath and ignites the Windego’s flesh with the cracking fire. The creature howls in pain and flees out of the tunnel.

Not lulled by the windego’s flight, Addicus, Derec, Amelia, and Glendyn device a trap for the windego using the dwarven candles. Darec uses his longbow to attract the hunting windego’s attention. As the windego charges the party ready to rip them all limb from limb. Addicus nails a flask of Alchemist fire atop the crate of explosives while at a dead run. The crate ignites and the initial concussion wave knock Addicus cold as he tumbles nearly 80 ft across the floor. Glendyn yanks Addicus by the collar and scrambles away from the engulfing blast. As the flames race down the confined tunnel ready to consume them all, they find an alcove that has fallen away in the wall and blindly tumble into the darkness.

And they fell… and they fell. They hit the cold water hard in the near blackness. And manage to scramble ashore with the unconscious Addicus in tow. They pass out from exhaustion in a copse of large glowing mushrooms.

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