ACT 4: The Expedition
Session 20: The Expedition of a Lifetime [Feb 18th, 2021]
The heroes spend the next few days talking with Aycenia the dryad and exploring the last remnants of the ancient Zura temple. Ekebus the water mephit inform them that the sea urchin has been dealt with and offer them the three potions that it guarded. The heroes then explore the cavern behind the Zura altar and discover a magical runestone that grants additional power to Flax’s Judicator. Flax also speaks with Aycenia about restoring Ginkgo’s legs. She only offers him a temporary fix, creating tree-like legs that attached to his stumps. Ginkgo is able to walk again, albeit at a much slower pace.
The heroes spend a few days talking about the findings in Yarzoth’s notes. Gelik is able to decipher that the notes contain a route to the lost city of Sava-Xi. The Xaya who created the temple of Zura were vampires expelled from the city. The city of Sava-Xi is hidden by a magical barrier that hides it from view and protects the city from outsiders. These vampires knew they would return someday, so they laid out notes that detail a route to the Xaya outpost of Tazion. In Tazion, they describe something called the “pillar of lights” that can guide them back to Sava-Xi. Gelik, however, is unable to decipher all the notes and thus does not know the exact location of Tazion.
The heroes are then rescued by a ship, led by the Viana government. The ship is a small scout ship that was sent to find them from Viana. The heroes spend the next few days traveling the rough waters before they reach the port of Viana. The city is mostly a large harbor with some stone buildings of northern-style. A grand wall surrounds the city center with a sea of small huts outside the city’s walls.
Upon exiting the ship, the heroes speak with the local port authority who gets their names and confirms they live. Hiorvard learns that he has a debt to the Ariana Constortium for the death of Rambar Torillo. However, he believes this debt is a lie and an attempt for the Consortium to extort him. Gor learns about a letter waiting for him, however, he does not pick it up.
The other survivors say their farewell. Eilaf runs off to the Ariana Consortium, determined to sell information about the Tazion route to Sava-Xi. Sasha gloomily heads into the city and Aerys heads to the harbor. Jask disguises himself and heads to the administration buildings to clear his name.
The heroes meet with the Historical Society, meeting a man named Amivor Glaur. He takes in Gelik and chatises the scholar for selling artifacts in Rizzi. But he confirms that the news of the Nightvoice and the notes to Tazion will clear his name. Amivor tells Flax that his brother Bracken was lost on a recent expedition into the jungles. He apologizes and says he has not given up hope for him. Amivor makes an offer to the heroes to leads an expedition to Sava-Xi. However, he tells the heroes to send the notes to be deciphered by a local scholar named Tabard Novidus. The heroes bring the notes to Tabard and pay extra to have them deciphered quickly.
For the next few days, the heroes do some shopping and restock their supplies. They are also given offers by four others groups, also interested in mounting expeditions to Sava-Xi. The Crimson Blades, the Free Pirates of the Fire Islands, the Ariana Consortium, and the Viana Government all lay out offers to them. Eventually the heroes choose to go with the Historical Society and meet with their premier Xaya scholar, an aged dwarf named Dodak. Dodak mentions a strange shaman of the local Ijo tribe called the Tempest who could help heal Ginkgo and Hiorvard. Additionally, they would want to recruit this man to help as a guide on the expedition.
Session 21: Insurgent Uprising [Mar 4th, 2021]
The heroes have restocked their supplies and spent the last few days waiting for Tabard to finish deciphering Yarzoth’s notes from the Xaya temple of Zura. Gor reads a letter from his secret lover, Rogerina, finding that she is waiting for him in Kalabata. The heroes chat with Amivor Glaur and Dodak about their expedition and they believe it will take about a week to get the supplies and everything ready. In the meantime, Amivor asks the heroes to head to the Historical Society’s warehouse by the docks to get a crate with some supplies for them.
The heroes decide to head over to Tabard’s office first to gather the translated notes, however, they find some broken glass out on the boardwalk near the office. They push past a guard to enter the building and find Tabard trying to clean up the disheveled office. The place looks ransacked with numerous books and items flung about. Tabard says he was robbed the previous night and that the thieves manage to steal one of his early maps to the ruins of Tazion. Which means one of the other rival groups likely knows the way to the ruin.
Tabard, however, does have the notes translated, as they were kept in a highly-secure safe. He apologizes for his breach of security. He goes over his final recommendations for a route to the ruins of Tazion, highlighting a secret route through the lost Fzumi salt mine. Gor recognizes that name, as his family was interested in acquiring that property. Tabard suggests that the land route with the shortcut through the salt mine will be rather quicker than trying to secure a boat route to Kalabata.
The heroes take the notes and head back to the Historical Society office. On the way, they hear a crowd of people screaming as people rush towards them down the narrow street. It seems a pack of rabid dogs has been unleashed on the street. The heroes jump into action with Flax and Gor firing projectiles past the crowd at the dogs. Lox summons a war pony to strike at them as Lelandra summons a ball of fire. Hiovard decides to avoid the crowds and breaks down a nearby door where he finds a middle-aged couple sitting down to some stew. They couple are so frightened by his entrance and appearance they stand fearful in the corner.
The heroes take out the dogs as the crowd nearly tramples them to get away. The heroes then hear that a series of fires have been set by insurgents down by the warehouses. The heroes rush to the warehouses were they find a band of leather-clad, dark-skinned warriors throwing alchemist’s fires upon the buildings. The heroes charge in, with Flax cutting down two of them with quick slices of his mighty sword. The others throw spells and try to keep them from escaping. Lox is ambushed from behind, but Hiorvard charges at the man, showing his frightening visage as he claws at the insurgent with his malformed hand. The insurgents try to flee as the fires continue to expand and burn, growing each moment with the seaside breeze…
Session 22: Kidnapped! [Mar 18th, 2021]
The heroes continue to strike at the remaining insurgents, felling the last few as the fires continue to roar on the warehouses. With the insurgents defeated, the heroes notice that numerous local people surround them wanting to help with the fire. The heroes lead a bucket-brigade to bring nearby sea water from the docks to throw on the growing flames. Gor uses a heat-protection elixir to take the most dangerous final position in the heat-filled warehouses. After over an hour of working furiously, the fires are quelled and most of the supplies are saved.
The heroes peer through some of the crates with the Historical Societies label on them. They find mostly food, exploration supplies, and tools for expeditions. They also grab the recently arrived crate that Amivor asked them to retrieve. As the heroes head back towards the Historical Society office, Amivor runs towards them. He seems quite frantic as he explains that the insurgents kidnapped Dodak the Scholar. He also tells them that the insurgents have gathered at the South Arcadian Whaling Company’s office on the dock-shore. The heroes decide to head that way.
As they reach the area, Gor and Flax sneak around the building, getting a lay of the land. The company’s compound is surrounded by a high stone wall with a beach access. As Flax and Gor sneak around the building, one of the insurgents, hidden in a scouting tower, spots them and fires arrows at them. Then the leader of the insurgents, a man named Umagro, calls out to them. He shows them that he has Dodak, with a knife to the old dwarf’s neck. Gor rushes back to the others and Lox decides to perform some diplomacy to save Dodak. However, Lox forgets to call out to the leader of the insurgents and simply marches to the front door. When he opens the door, the insurgents see a well-armed man approaching them and assume they are being attacked. Combat breaks out on the compound.
Meanwhile, Flax leaps over the stone wall onto the beach and comes around, climbing over a massive whale corpse, to attack the insurgents from behind. The other charge through the front door with Hiorvard cutting down insurgents in the main office as Lox and Lelandra blast them with spells and Gor throws well-placed bombs. The heroes cut down the insurgents in the office and they rush out into the courtyard. They find a much injured Flax holding off against the many insurgents. Lelandra rushes forward to heal Flax with her staff.
Above the action, Umagro appears again and makes many unrealistic political demands, threatening Dodak’s throat with his knife. As the heroes continue to strike against the insurgents, Umagro seems to have had enough. He slits Dodak’s throat and throws the old dwarf off the roof. The dwarf’s body slams into the cobblestones below in a broken heap as blood pours down his torn throat. Gor rushes to the injured dwarf and pours a healing elixir onto the wound and bandages it as best he can, barely saving the dwarf’s life. The heroes look upon Umagro as the fight continues…
Session 23: Insurgents Defeated [Apr 15th, 2021]
Flax charges up the ladder to face Umagro and the remaining insurgent. Lox and Gor follow Flax, just as Flax cuts down the insurgent. He then charges at Umagro. The two warriors battle on the top of the roof as Lox and Gor try to assist. Umagro then cuts down Flax and charges at Lox, successfully pushing Lox off the side of the building. Lox manages to grab a desperate hold on the side, dangling there from the rooftop. The crowd of townsfolk gasp as they see this unfold. Umagro then raises his mace and slams it into Lox’s head, knocking the sorcerer off the roof onto the hard cobblestones below.
Umagro then turns towards Gor and Flax as Gor pours down healing tonics into the fallen half-elf’s mouth. He curses the Northerners with each step as he heads towards them. Gor runs from the maddened insurgent as Hiorvard reaches the top of the roof. Flax tries to rise, grabbing his sword in both hands and slamming down a desperate attack, but Umagro blocks the blade easily and slams Flax with his mace, seemingly killing Flax outright. Gor and Hiorvard watch as Flax seems to fall once more, presumed dead.
Umagro charges at Hiorvard and the two face off as Gor tries to climb down, but falls down the ladder. Lox and Lelandra throw spells from the ground now that Umagro can be seen on the edge of the roof. Gor decides to stay and fight and returns to the top of the roof, throwing his last remaining bombs. Hiorvard then strikes the final blow that knocks Umagro down for good. Gor rushes to Flax’s side and finds that Flax barely breathes.
The heroes gather Umagro and revive Flax. They are able to question Umagro briefly before the town guards arrive. They find a letter on him that suggest one of the rival groups incited Umagro and the insurgents to attack the Historical Society under the ruse that they were plotting an inland attack on the natives rather than an expedition.
I know you have found three more of your agents dead in the streets. I know who killed them. They oppose your cause. The Historical Society has ever been at the beck and call of the rich and powerful interests of the North. They will never see liberation given to what they see as the “savages of the South”. Even now they are planning an all out elimination of your followers. They want to ensure that the Ijo and Zenja remain ever loyal servants who feel blessed to receive the crumbs of your labors.
But worry not, you have allies as well. I have located their weapons cache. It is in a warehouse on the docks district. You must strike immediately, as they are gearing up for an attack. Additionally, they have an office as well where you can find their leaders. Eliminate them before they eliminate you. These animals will stop at nothing to end your lives and see your cause fade into the dark annuls of history.
– Your Ally
[ The back of the letter has a crude map of the city, marking the HS warehouse and office building.]
The guards take Umagro away and the heroes head back to the Historical Society office to escort Dodak and talk about what happened with Amivor. The heroes rest for the night and return the next day to plan with Amivor. Lelandra says her farewell, as she and Orin continue to follow the mysterious path laid by Mistress Snow. Amivor hands the others each a magical compass, called a wayfinder, as a gift for choosing the Historical Society for the expedition to find Tazion and Sava-Xi. Amivor then sends the heroes off to find the local guide, the mysterious man known as The Tempest.
The heroes head out on a rowboat along the north shore along the Pallid Bluffs, after four hours of rowing, they come to a high cliff overlooking the sea. They see a small cave opening on the side of the cliff where they believe the Tempest dwells. They are forced to anchor their small boat far from the cliff due to the large rocks blocking their passage. They climb out of the boat and wade their way through the shallow water, trying to be careful with the waves pulling and pushing them. They are then accosted by a trio of giant grabs that snap at them with their pincers…
Session 24: Tests of Wind and Water [Apr 29th, 2021]
The heroes cut and slash at the giant crabs trying to free themselves. Gor manages to get loose and throws acids at one, and tries to flee. Lox is squeezed hard by one of the crabs and is nearly killed, his limp body floats along with the fervent current. Hiorvard cleaves one of the crabs with a deadly chop and charges in at the one chasing Gor. Flax cleaves the other crab and runs into a flanking position. Gor then throws an explosive bomb on the grab, killing and cooking it in one well-placed blow. The heroes retrieve Lox from the currents and revive him. They then walk their way to the rocky beach down by the cliffside.
They look up to the dangerous rocky shelves and crude handholds that lead up to the cavern in the cliffside, nearly 200 feet above the rock-filled sea. Hiorvard and Flax bravely climb the dangerous cliff and get close to the cavern entrance. When they do, a sun-baked older Ijo man steps out and warns them not to come any closer. Hiorvard is able to convince the man to come down and meet with them, and he does so.
He introduces himself as Nkechi and affirms that he is “the Tempest” they are looking for. He seems to be a wise shaman devoted to the teachings of the Selicean deities, especially Abalassi the Skyfather and Selino the Seafather. He agrees to help the heroes on their expedition if they can appease his gods. He offers them two tasks, one of wind and one of water. The heroes choose the wind task first. He tasks them with retrieving a single feather from the stormbird named Chirok who lives on a high promontory that looks out over the sea to the north.
The heroes agree and head northward, hiking along the coast for a few hours. A storm moves in off the sea and a heavy rain surrounds them as the sky darkens. By the time they reach the promontory, the high rock is illuminated by frequent flashes of lightning. Flax and Hiorvard decide to climb up the 500 feet to where the stormbird’s nest sits on a narrow ledge up on the cliff. They are able to make the climb with little danger and stand out on the ledge where the nest resides. There are many large eggs in the nest. The two are hesitant to step into the nest, but are able to make out some feathers woven into the 8-foot diameter nest along with the branches, wood, and flotsam. Hiorvard notices a runestone in the nest as well. The two quickly enter the nest and Flax grabs a feather and Hiorvard grabs the runestone. They then quickly attempt to climb down. It is then that a massive bird screeches and squawks at them.
The two warriors scramble down the cliffside away from the bird. As they return to Lox and Gor, they find that a group of Ijo warriors have surrounded them. Gor is able to communicate with them and learn that they see themselves as protector of Chirok, whom they view as a sacred bird. Since the heroes did not harm Chirok, they are willing to let them keep the feather, as long as they can defeat their strongest warrior in a wrestling match. Hiorvard agrees, stripping off is armor and flexing. Hiovard and the warrior struggle against each other for only a moment, then Hiorvard enacts one of the many wrestling moves he learned as a young Noradrie in the mead halls of Krungar. The Ijo warrior is immediately pinned to the ground. The Ijo celebrate the victory. The warrior is impressed by Hiorvard’s strength and gifts him a magical lifting belt.
The heroes join the Ijo to their nearby camp, where they feast, dance, and play long into the night. The next morning, the heroes set off back to Nkechi. They find the shaman down by their boat. He accepts their feather and tasks them with the task of Water. They are to head to the coast up north and find a black pearl to appease Selino. The heroes head back to the Ijo camp to ask for help and learn there are some tribesmen at the coast already. They head over there and find a few Ijo fishermen diving for pearls to sell in Viana.
The heroes chat with the Ijo to get some pointers before trying themselves. Flax and Lox head out into the water. Lox tries to serve as a look-out, but can barely keep his head above the water. Flax downs a magical barkskin potion to protect his hands from the sharp coral. He then dives a few times before he manages to find an oyster with a black pearl inside. It is then that Lox looks down to see a beautiful woman made of seaweed below him. He is immediately fascinated by her and begins to swim down to her…
Session 25: The Dark Omen [May 13th, 2021]
Lox swims dreamily towards the creature in the waters depth, enraptured by the unearthly beauty. He ignores the dwindling air in his lungs. However, as he reaches the creature’s grasp, it lunges out at him to feast upon him. The beautiful visage changes to that of a monstrous shark-like bite. Flax tries to pull Lox away from it as the creature pulls from the other side. Hiorvard charges into the water swimming with his javelins at the ready, trying to throw them in the water. Gor fires crossbow bolts from the shore. By the time Hiorvard reaches the others, Lox had summoned a hippocampus to help free himself, but the fish-like horse was of little use. Lox’s lungs burned with pain as he suffocates and blacks out.
Flax is able to rip Lox free from the beasts’ grasp and pull Lox to the surface to breath. Flax then dives back down to strike at the monster with his dagger alongside Hiorvard. The two warriors are able to weaken the beast as Lox blasts it with deadly magic. Flax brings Lox to the shore as Hiorvard retrieves his javelins. Hiorvard finds the beasts den under the water and fishes out a magical tablet containing an ancient spell.
The heroes treat their wounds and head back to Nkechi in the evening. The old shaman asks to examine the pearl, and takes both the pearl and the feather up to his cave for half an hour. He then returns and invites them to his cavern, helping them navigate the handholds up the cliffside. Inside the cramped cavern, he has them sit near a smoking fire. The cavern smells of smoke and heavy incense. Nkechi makes a red paste from herbs and roots, then writes symbols all over the cavern floor, mumbling to himself. He then eats a strange piece of root and sticks a piece in each of the heroes’ mouths. Hiorvard and Lox are resistant, but find the hallucinogenic effects of the root have already begun.
The heroes find themselves having an out-of-body experience, floating over the cavern and seeing the expanse of the southern jungles stretched out before them. They see an ancient city nestled in the jungle, situated over a large lake, there are many ziggurats with massive spears at the tops pointing to the sky. The sky then turns red and dark clouds roll over the city. In the darkness, the heroes see a massive snake come out at them.
The heroes find that they are in astral projections of their inner-selves, in the form of their spirit animal. Gor is a mighty falcon, Hiorvard a tenacious wolf, Flax is a prowling panther, and Lox is a wily weasel. Nkechi is a giant crab. These animal spirits are forced to fight the dream serpent that attacks them from the darkness of the clouds. They also notice that the serpent has markings identical to Yarzoth from the temple beneath Smuggler’s Shiv. The heroes strike at the snake with their animal forms, defeating it quickly. They then awaken, returning to the real world.
Hiorvard is pleased to find the curse was broken and his form has returned to normal. Nkechi warns the heroes about the dangers to come, but he also believes that the gods wish the heroes to find Sava-Xi and protect the world from the dark clouds that are brewing there. He offers his services as a guide and seems honored to accompany the heroes that his gods have chosen for this heroic task. He gives the heroes some gifts for the travel. They all rest the night and return to Viana the next morning.
They speak with Amivor and Dodak about the expedition. It is decided that Dodak will accompany the heroes as the “trailblazing” group with the rest of the expedition a few days behind them, following their trail. They’ll travel across the land, through the Fzumi Salt Mine to the city of Kalabata. Amivor warns them not to stay at the inns there, but to find his friend Cheiton, a dwarf with a remarkable tattoo, who will provide them lodging. From there they can restock their supplies and head along the river north to the site of Tazion.
That evening, the heroes head out to the tavern and attempt to drop false information about their trip to any lurking spies. They also leave a false map of their expedition. They then set out the next morning.
Session 26: The Abandoned Mine [Aug 5th, 2021]
The heroes set out with Nkechi and Dodak. Additionally, a strange Selicean woman is joining them on the expedition. Her name is Aspira and she is a member of the Historical Society, studying the ancient Xaya under Dodak’s tutelage. She has a command over divine magic through her connection to the Selicean pantheon, especially Abalassi the Skyfather. She also has a strange curse that grants her powers over air, water, and lightning but the storm follows her perpetually.
The heroes set out on their expedition, knowing it will take five days or so to reach the Fzumi Salt Mines. Gor is particularly interested in exploring the salt mines, since the Ponga family is interested in acquiring the abandoned property. After a couple days of travel, leaving the city and the plantations behind, the heroes hike along the main road towards Kalabata, occasionally passing merchants or travelling locals.
The heroes camp off the road one night, then the next morning they set out towards the road again. As they step through the humid jungles they are ambushed by a band of ruffians. The Kalruan men demand the heroes hand over their gold. When they refuse, the ruffians charge in with brandished clubs and fire arrows. The heroes defend themselves with Gor throwing explosive bombs, Aspira blasting them with lightning, and Lox throwing fire and summoning a bloodseeker to aid him. Flax cuts down one of the ruffians and Aspira instills fear in another. Eventually the others are all killed, either by being turned into ash, or frozen on the spot. The final bandit runs off into the jungle.
During the battle, the heroes learn that their new comrade, Aspira, can take the shape of a fox-headed humanoid with five tails. The tips of her tails spark with electricity. The heroes patch themselves up and continue on. They travel for three more days, reaching the mining country. They pass numerous functional mines, with many miners and armed guards. They then reach the side road that heads to the Fzumi Salt Mine, a dilapidated sign points the way. The heroes get the feeling they are being watched, but see nothing in the jungles beyond. After a few hours, they reach the abandoned Fzumi Salt Mine as the afternoon sun burns overhead.
It is then that the heroes find a young woman named Athyra and her deinonychus companion, Jayi, following them. She steps out and Lox tries to talk to her. She speaks broken Selicean and speaks of a great evil in the cavern. Eventually Lox is able to give her a ration in exchange for some information. She says her parents entered the cavern and only dead people came out afterwards. She warns them to be careful before venturing inside.
Aspira communes with her gods and assesses that there will be both weal and woe, should they proceed into the mine. The heroes look around the abandoned mining camp, and Aspira finds an old logbook. She learns that they successfully connected their salt mine with another on the other side of the hill, but found a strange orb that glowed and pulses with a strange light. The final entry warns of “those that came from below”.
After some discussion, the heroes decide it best to try their luck and proceed forward. Before they enter, Athyra asks them to recover her father’s silver locket and she will meet them on the other side. Lox agrees and the heroes step down into the dark, damp depths of the cavern. Aspira casts a light spell upon Flax’s sword as the half-elf leads the way. They see the light flicker off the glistening walls, shimmering in the salt crystals embedded in the stone.
The heroes eventually come down to a small pool of salt water and they walk around the creamy liquid. They are then attacked by two crystal oozes that strike at them with pseudopods. The heroes take them out rather quickly, dissolving the oozes back into the salty waters. The heroes grit their teeth and press on…
Session 27: Salt Wights [Sep 2nd, 2021]
The heroes return to the surface to treat their wounds before heading onward. As they do so, they find a curious dwarf armed with an axe and heavy shield, wearing ornate heavy plate armor. Dodak seems excited and greets the stranger. He introduces him to the others as Dolgrin Bronmrok, the head of the guards for the Viana office of the Historical Society. Dolgrin has served as Dodak bodyguard for many years. Aspira nods to him, as they are quite acquainted after their many years working with the Historical Society together.
Nkechi sees that the heroes are now well-armed and ready to continue, he decides to return to the many contingent of explorers and help them navigate through the tribes. Due to the many donkeys and mules carrying supplies, he does not think they’ll be able to take the cavern route.
The heroes let their new companion lead the way, with Flax ready at his side. They continue down into the salty depths of the ice cavern, following the cramped ledges along the cerulean salt water lake. After some time, they find a rickty wooden bridge spanning the water. Gor checks it for engineering defects, and determines it is safe to cross. Dolgrin leads the way and they follow along the western shore northward along the salty lake. They find much evidence of mining work along the walls of the cavern.
The heroes then find another bridge, and again Gor determines it is safe. Dolgrin and flax head across, but soon hear a scratching sound beneath them. It is then that the undead salt wights crawl from underneath the bridge and strike at them.
The battle is quick and fierce as the heroes fend them off. A few of the heroes are struck by the wights’ attacks, which desiccates their bodies and wrinkles their skin. After the wights are defeated the heroes find a small campsite, forgotten over the years. They find some mule skeletons and mining equipment. They also find a small iron lockbox that they are unable to open, so they decide to bring it with them for now.
The heroes continue onward, finding another bridge. This time Dolgrin goes on ahead, using his dwarven cave-vision to see ahead. He turns a bend and looks onward, but fails to notice a cracking sound above him. Rocks and salt go plummeting down upon him, knocking the dwarf to the ground as more salt wights leap upon him to strike. The other heroes rush forward to help, but the cloud of debris makes it difficult to see what is going on. Lox summons another velociraptor to help strike at the undead menaces as Aspira blasts them with spells. Gor throws some well-placed bombs as Flax cuts them down. Eventually Dolgrin gets to his feet and they are able to vanquish the salt wights.
The heroes treat their wounds and continue onward. They find another bridge, but beyond it is a strange glass-like blue dome, protruding from a small island in the salty drift. It appears to be shattered on one side. They are unable to identify it, though Lox is sure it is from another plane of existence. Aspira approaches the dome and examines its magical properties, finding it exudes a powerful necromantic aura. It is then that more salt wights leap out of hiding and a strange blue-skinned figure steps out of the crack in the dome.
Session 28: Through the Salt Mines [Sep 16th, 2021]
The blue warrior and the two salt wights rush at the heroes, but thankfully Flax is able to charge in first and prevent them from reaching Aspira. Dolgrin moves in and the two warriors try to hold them off. However, down on the other end of the bridge, two more wights climb down the salt-slicked walls and leap upon Gor and Lox. Gor blasts them with some bombs and is able to pull away. Lox summons a goblin-dog to help fight them off.
Aspira summons positive energy in three great blasts that heal her comrades and injure the undead monsters. Once Lox is able to pull away, Dolgrin moves in to defend the flank, after dispatching another salt wight. Flax continues to cut down the salt wight and blue warrior, but sustains major wounds. Gor moves in to help, offering a healing potion. While this saves Flax’s life, Gor is then cut down and is bleeding out as the wight drains Gor’s life-force. Lox destroys the blue warrior with magical blasts and Flax is able to save Gor. The final wight is then destroyed and the heroes are victorious.
After treating their wounds, the heroes grow concerned about the blue orb of negative energy. They see a smaller orb inside that seems to be the source of the evil magic. Dolgrin then bravely charges in and summons the healing light of his god upon the smaller orb. It immediately shatters and the entire outer, larger orb shatters and dissolves. In the wreckage, the heroes find a number of magical items, along with the key to the strongbox. They find Athyra’s father’s locket and a deed to the mine signed away from Feran Crinhouse to his daughter Athyra.
The heroes continued forward, despite their wounds, and find the other side of the mine and the comforting light of the sun. Athyra meets them on the other side and thanks them for recovering her father’s locket. Gor then explains to Athyra how she inherited the rights to the mine and that Gor and her family would be happy to trade for it in the future. Athyra is so overjoyed by the heroes’ kindness she offers to lead them through the remaining hills and further shorten their journey.
The heroes travel out of the rocky hills near the mine out into the wide plains and savannah. Athyra says farewell and the heroes continue onto the path towards Kalabata. After another day of travel, they come across a gathering of merchants in the evening. The heroes decide to camp near the caravan and are asked to join in the revelry. An Arathian named Rickets Perga tries to get them to bet in his cock-fights, but the heroes continuously refuse, despite his negative comments. Eventaully, the heroes join the drinking and watch the cockfight. However, after the fight, Rickets seems angry that his main bird lost and he has to pay out to much of the crowd. He seems to blame the heroes, claiming they used ‘magic’ against him. He storms off and the heroes have a pleasant night sharing stories and drinks with the merchants and travelers.
The next morning, as the heroes are heading out, they see Rickets from afar pointing at them, and eight large thugs charge towards the heroes flexing their fists…