- Trevor (Trel)
- Jason (Quinn)
- Necati (Sokuyo)
- Courtney (Arken)
- Tylor (DM)
- Level 5
Following the lead of the gnoll Nobby captured, the Shadow Slayers continue on further into the temple. The gnoll leads them through another entrance into the temple, back outside and through a cave. Finally they arrive at what appears to be a tunnel, however, visibility is limited. Quinn motions toward the tunnel, “What can you see Arken?”
“Rock, an’ lots o’ it. Reminds me ah home.” responds Arken as he peers into the darkness.
Nobby quietly sneaks off with the captive gnoll in tow, possibly making some shady deal on the side. The rest of the group decide the only place to go is down the tunnel. Sokuyo leads and continues on down further into the earth. They follow the tunnel for some distance until it opens into a natural cave. Sokuyo peaks his head around the corner of the tunnel and is able to see inside the cave. A group of pillars similar to those at the Well of Melora stand at one side. Opposite the pillars are two flights of stairs leading up to a set of double doors. Another corridor faces Sokuyo. The room glows a blue light which seems to emanate from the center of the room. A large pillar covered in vines juts out from the floor. At the top of the pillar the vines continue to grow, though they are growing up without any support. They twist around one another encasing a blue stone.
“We’ve already tried that!” a rough canine voice protests.
“Well try it again!” a superior sounding voice commands.
Sokoyu leans further out around the corner stepping on some rocks in the process, alerting the others in the cave. “What do we have there in the tunnel?!” the commanding voice asks.
Sokoyu is barely able to make out a gnoll stand from a box of crates and walk over to the mouth of the tunnel. A sly grin spreads across his face as he bares his fangs and deadly intent flashes in his eyes. He extends his claws and enters into low crouch. “We have intruders!” it growls and it readies for attack. Many gnolls in the cave move toward the tunnel and knock arrows. One of them releases and over exposes himself to Sokoyu. Another arrow flies toward him but narrowly misses bouncing off the cave wall.
“Swords!!” Quinn yells.
Trel’s eyes fade to white and the air condenses around him until it solidifies into four whirling spheres. The force spheres spin around Trel with such speed his form is blurred. Sokuyo assumes a fighting stance and immediately launches into an attack against the gnoll. With a fierce battle cry and superior speed his fist slams into the gnoll’s face. The speed of the attack forces the air around Sokuyo and the gnoll out and away dragging the gnoll toward Sokuyo as the air fills the void left by the attack. The gnoll staggers, fighting the pull and clutching at its face as blood pours from its mouth and nose. Quinn steps up behind Sokoyu pointing his sword at the gnoll. The gnoll’s fangs and claws glow a nearly indiscernible red with arcane magic and its own blood. The gnoll lunges at Sokoyu, but is off balance and flails wildly. Arken, behind Quinn points at the gnoll and launches divine light. Failing to hit its target, the light instead shatters against the ceiling of the tunnel raining small rocks down on Quinn. Quinn turns toward Arken and glares.
The other gnolls move in closer. Another knocks an arrow but fails to take note of its footing and falls to the ground in the process. Trel steels himself for the oncoming battle. Sokoyu throws an elbow at the gnoll hoping to incapacitate it, however, the gnoll senses the attack and leans back. Sokoyu’s strike instead hits the wall. Stunned by the density of the wall he hops back and lands a knee to the gnoll’s jaw sending blood skyward and the gnoll staggers back. Quinn seizes the opportunity and lashes out with his sword eviscerating his prey. The gnoll clutches its abdomen with one hand and returns a wound to Quinn, clawing him in the face. Arken stomps up, war hammer in hand and crushes the leg of the gnoll as it tries to retreat. The sigils on Quinn’s sword activate as the gnoll attempts to flee activating the passive energies left in the wound. The gnoll falls to the ground as if jolted by some unseen force. What’s left of its innards explode from its body showering Quinn in gore.
Gnoll Huntmasters fire at Arken. One arrow flies true and impales Arken in the side slipping past his chain mail. The other arrow never comes close as it’s archer continues to fumble among the loose footing of the cave and falls down again. Two other gnolls, initially unseen by the group rush toward the adventurers. Trel enters the cave throwing one of his force spheres at the head of a gnoll. The sphere disappears in it’s head. Trel makes a backhanded gesture and the gnoll’s head is thrown back sending it’s body to the ground. He then draws his arm back and punches toward his orb. The force of the punch catapults the other gnoll into the air flipping it onto the ground. Quinn points to the gnoll Claw Fighter as it lands, “Destroy it!”
Sokoyu runs up the stairs eager to engage the archers but forgets to look before the leap and lands face first in the dust. Quinn attempts to stab the nearest gnoll on the ground. Just before the point penetrates its fur the gnoll batters it away and uses the momentum of its arm to aid the push off the floor. The gnoll savagely slashes at Quinn as it rotates on its heal while completing its rebound. The claws dig deep into Quinn’s arm as it tears flesh. The other gnoll, smelling blood claws at Quinn’s arm, but is disappointed by Quinn’s clumsy but effective sword block. Quinn presses his free arm to his side hoping to slow the blood flow. Arken steps forward and bathes Quinn and the gnolls in divine light, blinding the gnolls as the light sears their eyes.
The gnoll closest to Arken attempts to attack as its claws sail through the air missing Arken. Another fires an arrow at Sokuyo but misses as well. Trel again makes a punch toward the orb. The force of the blow manifests itself above the gnolls striking their heads. Trel then moves up the stairs toward Sokoyu who stands and runs toward the gnoll which fired at him. Quinn steps back from the battle. He tears his shirt and wraps his bleeding arm in the material. One of the Claw Fighters sensing Quinn’s vulnerability saunters up and attempts to claw his face, but the claws bounce harmlessly off Quinn’s magical wards. Suddenly the ground erupts beneath the two gnolls and Quinn, divine light radiating from the fissures in the earth as Arken raises an open hand. “Pelor’s my bitch!” he chuckles and taunts the gnolls.
The Huntmaster facing Sokoyu backflips off the pillar taking aim at Sokoyu and shoots. The arrow flies of toward the other wall as Sokoyu bends backward dodging the attack. The gnoll lands and runs up the stairs toward the door. Sokoyu pursues the gnoll jumping off the pillar and following it up the stairs. Quinn attacks the Claw Fighter racking it’s side with his sword. Blue and red rings of light detach from his bracers and encircle Arken, bolstering his defense. Deathly afraid of the radiant white light coming from the ground and attempting to hold a piece of partially severed flesh on his side, the gnoll backs away from Quinn. As it flees its side pounds from unseen force as Quinn’s sword glows. Arken seizes the opportunity and crushes the gnolls ribs with his hammer and the cracks in the floor extend further.
Sokuyo’s attacker turns and shoots an arrow at Sokuyo which again misses and continues toward the door. Trel pitches another orb at a Huntmaster knocking it to the ground as it passes through its body and explodes as it exits the gnoll’s back. Trel turns his gaze toward Quinn, Arken and the remaining two Claw Fighters. He punches toward the orb and knocks both gnolls to the ground as the force of the blow lands on their shoulder blades. Sokuyo leaps over the Huntmaster using its head to extend the height of the jump. He lands and attempts to kick the midsection of the Huntmaster but landed just out of reach. Quinn stabs at the Claw Fighters but comes up short. The Claw Fighters both flee, but Quinn slices toward one and severs its right arm. The divine light from the ground flickers and dies away, the fissures repairing and closing up. Arken is momentarily bewildered, but quickly gathers his wits and rushes the other fleeing gnoll pushing it further back. The first Claw Fighter instinctively lashes out at Arken as he passes by with its right arm, which is no longer there, spraying Arken with blood.
Sokuyo blocks an ax attack by hitting the shaft of the ax with his knee as the Huntmaster attempts to cleave him in half. A remaining Huntmaster shoots at Trel, but one of the force orbs intercepts the arrow turning it away. There is only one remaining orb surrounding Trel as he focuses on the orb and pushes the Claw Fighters below to the ground. As the gnolls fall to the ground the doors on the far side of the room fly open booming against the stone walls. One of the Huntmasters glances toward the doors, raises his arms and turns back toward the pillar in the center of the room. Bands around his arms glow green and the blue light dims slightly and a thick mist covers Arken and the Claw Fighers. Quinn, unable to see the doors clearly quips, “I’m guessing that booming sound was bad.” He sees several dark shapes, some small, two of them large enter the cave. “Yep” Quinn sighs. The others can see two Blackscale Darters and two Bruisers enter through the doors. One of the Darters shoots Sokuyo in the neck with a dart.
Trel slows the two Darters as he brings the flat of his fist down on his orb. Sokuyo jumps down from the stairs and is immediately knocked prone and thrown ten feet by one of the Bruisers. Quinn runs into the mist and beheads one of the Claw Fighters. The Bruiser which knocked Sokuyo down stomps toward him and attacks, however, the attack never hits Sokuyo. The Bruiser is teleported on to the opposite stairs and swings his club at the other Bruiser battering its skull. Arken lands a hammer blow to the head of the remaining Claw Fighter instantly killing it. One of the Darters moves between the two Bruisers, which look like they’re about to tear into each other, attempting to pacify them. A Huntmaster jumps over a Bruiser to get to the pillar in the center, but is batted away by a meaty arm. The other Huntmaster confused by the sudden turn of the battle pulls a broken arrow from it’s quiver and attempts to fire, only to tangle up in the bow. Trel, attempting to concentrate on his next attack is overcome and remains immobilized by the effort.
“Tell us if it’s Melora’s Shard!” Sokuyo shouts to the Huntmaster.
“I don’t care about you, or the lizards!” the Huntmaster responds. Sokuyo jumps toward the gnoll pulling it down the stairs in anger. The Huntmaster lands on Sokuyo.
Quinn climbs the pillar and peers into the cage of vines. The blue mineral hums and the light immediately surrounding it moves in time to the pulse of the stone, similar to the rise and fall of breathing. The Bruiser on the stairs lands a blow right on top of the Darter between it and the other Bruiser crushing every bone in the lizardfolk’s body. Trel pounds another hammer toward the orb, smashing the Bruisers. Arken glances up at Quinn and intones a spell of healing then rushes toward Sokuyo. The Huntmaster closest the Bruisers pulls its ax from its belt and sinks it deeply into the massive thigh of the Bruiser. It then turns and runs up toward the pillar in the center. Trel attempts a force punch at the Bruisers but misses. The last force orb flies at the Bruiser on the stairs washing over it. The Bruiser falls heavily on the ground shaking the entire room. Sokuyo focuses his chi inwardly and negates the effects of the poison in his system. Quinn jabs the Huntmaster who climbed the pillar.
The Bruiser on the cave floor pounds toward Trel and attacks with its club knocking Trel back and crumbling the arch beside Trel. Arken washes divine light over Sokuyo, healing him, then moves toward the base of the pillar below the remaining Huntmaster. The last Darter runs up the other side of the pillar, drawing an attack from Quinn as it completes its ascent. The Darter reaches the vines, chatters something in Draconic and spreads its arms. The vines part before the Darter revealing the Shard of Melora. Another Huntmaster on the floor attempts to scale the pillar, but Arken smashes it with his hammer as it runs past. The last Huntmaster, not willing to give up the Shard, forces its way past the vines, only to have them snap shut on its arm and neck killing it. Trel’s book floats up from his side and he reads a passage. The attack misses the Darter and Trel staggers back from the effort of reading the book.
Sokuyo taunts the closest Brusier in Draconic and launches an array of blows smashing scales and drawing blood. Quinn slices toward the Darter who sidesteps the blow. Quinn then tries to bend the mist to his will by forcing it to move and attack the Bruiser near Trel. The mist refuses to respond however. The Bruiser near Trel attempts to climb the stairs up the center pillar but makes slow progress. Quinn sees the Bruiser coming up and jams his sword down through the snout of the Bruiser as its head comes in view. The other Bruiser brings its club down on Sokuyo who dodges and climbs up the club and the Bruiser’s arm. He gouges out the Bruiser’s eye and kicks the giant lizardfolk toward Arken as he retreats down its back. Arken raises his war hammer and brings it down on the lizardfolk’s head, crushing the cranium. He then runs up the stairs around the pillar and shoves the Darter to the ground. As the Darter falls to the ground it reaches into the vines and pulls the shard free. Trel tries to pull the Darter off the pillar. Sokuyo runs around the pillar, scales the wall and drags the Darter down from the top. The Darter clutches the Shard. Sokoyu twists himself and the Darter mid-air and lands on top of it. The Darter pulls the shard from underneath itself and collapses gasping for air.
Quinn moves the mist somewhat by channeling arcane energy into it and attacks the Bruiser but his blade simply rebounds off the hard scales. He tries to attack using the mist, but is unable to grab control of the mist. He yells to everyone else, “Kill the Darter!”
The Bruiser flails with its club in a tight space attacking Quinn, but the clumsy attacks are easily parried. The Brusier looks down and sees the Darter on the floor with the shard and turns to retreat. Arken blasts the Bruiser with Divine Light. Trel centers a force hammer on the Blackscales slowing the Bruiser and crushing the Darter completely. Sokoyu kills the Bruiser snapping its neck with a reverse flip kick to the jaw throwing its head back. He lands and takes the shard from the broken body of the Darter and the room grows quiet, save the raged breathing of the triumphant Shadow Slayers.
The group exits the cave through the doors the Blackscaled used to enter. They cautiously travel further down through stairs and tunnels until they hear the sound of rushing water. They find four boats moored together. Quinn, Sokuyo and Arken begin untying the boats as Trel searches them. He finds a pack containing a travel journal. As he leafs through the pages he begins to notice a pattern. The last page has the initials “I.R.” Quinn believing this book to be the travel journal of Ilario Rostvani pulls the communicating crystal from his pack and contacts Terulai Haaken back in Vandromar. They relay what they have found and inform Terulai the search for Ilario continues and they believe him to be alive. Terulai admonishes them to continue their search and states he will inform the king.
The adventurers cast off in the boats heading back to the Koy’luka village to speak with Krisatra about cleansing the Well of Melora. They pass a gnoll camp in the late evening. Hoping to avoid detection the group ducks down into the boat. As they pass by Trel peaks over the side and uses his orb to pull one of the gnolls into the river. The other watches somewhat dumbfounded and quickly sounds the alarm. Arrows whiz over head, but the group is quickly out of bow range as the river picks up speed. They pass through a tunnel and the roar of the river grows louder and louder. They can see light up a head as they continue pick up speed. The Shadow Slayers realize they’re headed over a waterfall and frantically start pulling grappling hooks and ropes out of their packs as they continue to speed toward the fall. Sokuyo throws one and misses. Arken quickly hands his hook to Sokuyo. Trel lashes the other end to the cross beam of the boat. Sokuyo throws the second hook and grabs hold of some rocks just before the boat flies over the edge. The group rests easier and tries to think of what to do next when they suddenly hear a snap and the rope breaks sending everyone over the waterfall! Trel pulls Ilario’s journal to himself and stashes it in his pack as everything falls toward the river below. The boat explodes on the water below as Sokuyo, Arken, Quinn and Trel brace themselves. Sokuyo and Trel are able to avoid the current and pull of the water as they smash into the river. Quinn and Arken are pulled beneath and struggle to reach the surface. Arken makes his way to the shore where Trel is waiting. Not seeing Quinn surface, Sokuyo dives back into the water and helps Quinn free himself from the pull of the water.
No longer having any other means of travel, the Shadow Slayers trudge through the swamp on foot, arriving very late into the night in the Koy’luka camp. They’re greeted by the remaining guards and also by Krisatra. She looks the group over and gasps at the injuries Quinn received over the past day. She tells them all to enter her hut. All but Trel gladly enter the hut and collapse on the floor. Krisatra turns to Trel and gently asks, “Trel, will you please come in?”
Trel thinks about it for a long moment and responds, “I guess.”
As he passes Krisatra she whispers to him “I’ll do my best to make up what I have done to you.”
XP Each: 637
Gnoll Encounter: 900 xp
Blackscales Invasion: 1350xp
Recovered Shard of Melora: 300xp
Total XP: 2550