Sunday, September 4, 2016
After learning that the mongrelment have a friend (named Crel) trapped under the rubble of the collapse, our heroes offer to help and are successful in saving the man's life. Happy that they had met 'uplanders' who are willing to help, the mongrelmen guide them back to their underground city, Neathholm.
Along the way, the group encounters a wide gap in the tunnel, most likely casued by the cave-ins and aftershocks of the demon attack. Fortunately, they are able to traverse the chasm without any further injuries.
The next area they come across is one that before the attacks caused the mongrelmen great consternation for it was inhabited by a "spore-cougher" or basidirond. But when they got there, they found the fungus-like creature as well as two other humans dead. Investigation of the dead humans led to the discovery that the cult of Baphomet, The Templars of the Ivory Labyrinth, have infiltrated the crusaders and have been disguising themselves in the garb of Iomedae! In addition, the mongrelmen tell the heroes that these "crusaders" have been spotted before working withe the "bad tribe" - the traitors to Neathholm who were exiled.
After this stop, Neathholm itself was only another half-hour away and gave most of the group a welcome sight of civilization (well Horgus was still a bit disgusted but mainly kept it to himself). They met four more mongrelmen at the entrance to Neathholm - 2 large stone doors kept closed for security. But after the cordial intructions, the guards opened the doors to let the group enter:
After crossing the lake and venturing into the largest building in the "city", Lann introduces the party to their chief, Chief Sull who is a bloated and unpleasant-looking but mild-mannered mongrel with one clouded white eye. The chief is impressed with Lann's recounting and thanks the party for helping to save his people. Then he asks them how they came to be down here and if they had any information about the great shakings of the caverns. The party recounts the attack and devastation 'upland', the death of the great silver dragon Terendelev at the hands of Khorramzadeh, the Storm King of the Worldwound, and the fact that many demons are on the loose, most likely completely destroying Kenabres.
Chief Sull looks quite concerned and possibly even afraid as he tells the party a brief history of Neathholm. He tells them that they are in fact the descendants of the first cursaders - ones that were caught in the Abyssal energies and forever transformed into what they have become. They retreated here to allow the uplanders respite from the crusades by not having to be reminded of it everytime they looked upon one of the mongrelmen. But now, they are ready to stand again with the crusade and help defeat the demons. Sull asks the party to deliver a message to Kenabres that all the good mongrelmen are ready to stand with them, if they want us to.
The heroes agree to deliver the message and Sull is grateful. He indicates that the way tothe surface is near but it goes right through the traitorous bad tribe's settlement. He asks the heroes that if they are willing to take care of the traitors once and for all, that Sull will give them some magical aid for this endeavor. They agree again and Sull is even more delighted. He opens all of Neathholm to them so the can rest and re-equip by trading with the local shops. He then tells them to come back to him before they begin their journey upland.
Our heroes then go about the business of selling off the items they had recovered during their journey to Neathholm and have little use for. One of the items they have, the small bat-like carving, the shopkeeper tells them to take that to Sull before they leave. So after a good night's rest in the safety of Neathholm, the heroes are ready to venture forth. They meet with Sull and ask that their companions could stay here while they take care of the traitors as well as show him the small carving. As soon as Sull sees the carving he gets a bit sad and thanks them for bringing home probably the last part of his son that he will ever see. He then gives them a bag of several potions and his magical morningstar to help them defeat the bad tribe, and points them on their way.
Traveling for about an hour the heroes finally get to the 'bad' tribe's settlement and begin attacking their way into the caverns. They don't encounter much resistance that taxes their abilities, at first. But when the descend a rope ladder, they are effectively ambushed. Llyrana goes down first and is heavily attacked and nearly killed. The rest of the group then descends as they can but are also heavily attacked when they get to the bottom chamber. When Black Mage makes it down, he ends up in a very precarious position as Llyrana's tiger comes down and lands squarely on top of him.
Next time we see the conclusion of the battle...