Dungeons & Dragons

Adventure #10

Into Valashra - Craghammer Quarry

The duo could either return to Raven's Hollow with the mysterious scroll Pickles received from the Warlock Enclave or take the map that Jeremiah provided to Craghammer Quarry.

They chose the latter and found the narrow gap between two mountains that would bring them in to the quarry's location.

While shoving themselves through such a narrow nook, they spotted dwarf-like creatures high above that threw a rock with impressive accuracy at Zaburk, striking him on his forehead though harmlessly.  They disappeared as quickly as they appeared.

Continuing on, they reached the outcropping overlooking the quarry, a vast mile-wide descending cone, decorated with scaffolding for hundreds of yards.  Their first encounter were three workers: a dwarf and two humans.  When asked who they were, the duo informed them of a gift they wish to give to Jarvis Hamm, the quarry's owner.  They refuse to help thinking it be a trick to get dangerously close to the owner, but their local boss interrupts the conversation and demands the duo to come down to talk to him.

As they pass the three workers, the duo's pair rottweiler's snarl and bark at the dwarf.  Pickles ask his dog about it, and he is answered that he doesn't smell like a dwarf.  Pickles presses for more information, and Duerager escapes the dog's lips having evidently experienced the species before at the asylum somehow.

They make their way down to the local boss, who immediately asks them if they are carrying Smokewood Stout.  He goes on to say he could smell it the second they walked through the pass into the quarry and that every dwarf will be anxiously wanting to take the casket from them if they don't watch out.  It has such a strong aroma that a fragrant rose could not be detected under a dwarf's nose if the stout was within 50 feet of them.

The duo makes their way to a large hunter's lodge style building that they are told is Jarvis' quarters.  They pass several dwarves along the way, and some snarl while others inquire about the stout though it is well hidden (carried by their mannequin servant, Cedric).

They begin piecing together how seemingly "true" dwarves are those who can smell the stout beer while the ones who the dogs bark at do not detect the smell.

Meeting Jarvis is welcomed among the duo, and they are greeted with horns full of mead and ale.  Jarvis is surprised at the fact the stout has arrived since he ordered a casket some 7 or 8 years ago.  He gives them 200 gold for their journey and also a marker that can be traded in in the town of Beluxi to acquire a plot of land that has some kind of building on it.  He is unsure of the condition of the building or to what size.

After discussing the Duerager problem, they realize there is possibly more of them hidden as mountain dwarves throughout the 1,350 employees he has, many of which are dwarves.  They devise a plan to spend the next day marking those the dogs detect so that Jarvis can decide what to do with them.

While they are making their rounds, a note is brought to Jarvis informing of a Night Watch spotting his niece not long ago near the mine's entrance.  Jarvis had decided earlier of boring into the mountain laterally in search of precious mineral veins and stones to increase his profits.  However, he came across the tail of a creature that was imbedded into the stone with evidence of excavations on either side.  The creature had acid for blood, which apparently was the cause of death for numerous workers they discovered.  One of the current workers accidentally punctured the flesh and was nearly killed by the acid spray that followed.  Jarvis sealed up the entrance to the mine, paid the 3 who had ventured in a retirement stipend and sent them away from the quarry so his employees would not know of the close proximity of danger.

His niece, Sophia, moved to the quarry after her mother lost control of herself and could not raise the daughter.  Being bored living in a rock quarry, she ordered books to be delivered which contained intriguing information on arcana.  She began dabbling uncontrolled and unsupervised by a proper wizard in spells.  At only the age of 14, she was already casting spells much too powerful for her.

Pickles observed that runes were written in a broad circle on the metal slate used to close the mine.  Sophia had drawn them to channel the surrounding Leeways to amplify her spell so it would cut a hole into the metal.  As a result, the area's Leeways have now been tapped dry and little magic can be performed in the area.

The duo are about to enter with Jarvis when an outbreak of invasion occurs on the other side of the quarry through the crack the duo had come out of.  Jarvis must tend to that and requests them to find Sophia and bring her back safely.

Inside the mine, they inspect the strange purple gray cone that is jutting out of the rock.  At the rock, it is almost 6 feet in diameter.  The puncture wound is still there with clear signs of acid dropping onto the stone floor.  Based on their observations, they deduce this could be the tail of a purple worm.

Zaburk find the tracks of what he believes belong to Sophia leading to a hole the current workers cut into, which reveal a mining room to the right alongside the worm.  Clearly someone has been excavating portions of the worm out as square chunks have been removed along with some of the organs inside.  Someone left a burning lantern in this room that reflect gems mixed with tons of rocks that Zaburk grabs a few.

A short tunnel parallels the worm with a wooden door is at the end but unlocked.  Inside is a window that overlooks a large chamber where another segment of the worm's body is laying curled.  Scaffolding surrounds the creature and chunks have been removed in various areas.  The drop below is some 30 feet as the creature is nearly 20 feet in diameter at this point.

The room they are in is an empty tavern save for a zombie who is chained at the neck behind the bar counter.  He is capable of speaking slow and simply to which he offers them a beverage.  Zaburk grabs the high volume alcohol with the idea of lighting a soaked rag on fire as a weapon.

The zombie says the girl went through the door nearby that leads on deeper, but Zaburk sees two sets of tracks from the same girl coming from the door they entered.  One track goes to the window, but it terminates there and does not go further.  However, another set of the same footprints begins at the same origin as the other and goes to the right; this time it leads to the opposite door.  Pickles believes that it could be achieved by casing a Misty Step spell of teleportation, but the notion is ludicrous because the need for relocating herself only a few feet away seems pointless as well as the fact the spell is too high for her to cast.  It should have killed her.

Moving through the next door, the zombie begs them to take a ring with them to a woman named Gwendolyn who lives in Golain (Lut Golain, now called Unhallowed Necropolis) in the kingdom of Remes.  They oblige and take the ring, which is tarnished but looks of gold color.

Outside, a rickety old bridge crosses over the worm into another room that has illumination.  Four rust monsters are nibbling away at the metal brackets that chain the handrails with the floorboards.  They split into 2 pairs and attack them both.

While Pickles uses his new staff that he acquired from the painting in Du'phar's mansion, Zaburk uses his great sword.  Slashing at it with his non-magical weapon begins corroding the metal, and it nearly becomes broken.  He drops the sword for his maul to which that too begins to corrode as he attacks it.

The creatures manage to land numerous blows to them, one of which lands on Zaburk's armor and tarnishes it as well.

In the end, Zaburk's studded leather armor is damaged, and his two weapons are nearly broken and in need of repair.

They quickly cross the bridge to the next room, which is an alchemist's lab.  A mirror-looking portal is freestanding in one corner with Sophia standing in front of it.  Her arms are stretched outright with beams of energy leaving her palms and going to the portal.

She tells them to not disturb her for she almost has gotten one of Shralindria's Wands.  She seems to be reaching out to grab something and bring it back in, but at the same moment, Pickles hears his Patron speaking to him telepathically: "Push her in for me."

Zaburk doesn't hear the Patron's voice, but he recognizes the Shralindria's Wand.  He knows of the legend, in theory, of how there were 3 of them, each being able to destroy most of a kingdom by breaking it into two pieces and that the 3 used to be one single artifact, made by wizards that resulted in zapping the world's magical auras.  It is theorized that creating the original single artifact created the Leeways to form.

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Zatra

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