(an excerpt from the journal of Auri, windling Nethermancer of the 8th Circle and Horror Stalker initiate)
We had previously reached the ruins where we believed that the twin abominations that we have been stalking are lairing, and defeated the rocky creatures outside – some manner of twisted earth elementals, no doubt.
We took a brief moment to rest before entering, and our newfound friend Ozak told us in broken Throalic that in the event of him being knocked unconscious or slain, that we would be able to activate his sword by virtue of the overly large button on the pommel. Glondorph showed great restraint in not lecturing about that design choice. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that in addition to being a Horror Stalker, he’s also a Weaponsmith. Ozak also mentioned that the sword could only be activated in this way once each day, possibly something about it needing to be recharged in the light of the rising sun? I wish I could understand him better.
Nevertheless, after a few moments, Glondorph led us into the cave, trusting to the superior sight of the elves and dwarves in the party to make up for the dim light coming in through the entrance. Since my eyesight is not as refined as theirs, I simply took out my light stone. Glondorph and Sarai thought that was pretty funny. I need to think of a good way to repay them; maybe I should look over my notes for that darkness spell – I bet it would help them to sleep at night!
Inside the cave, we find an entry chamber of natural stone, with a collapse in one corner. Glondorph is super-interested in the cave-in, no doubt because he’s a dwarf. Somehow, he managed to convince Tristryn to mess around with it, even going so far as to coax her into summoning an air elemental to slide through the collapsed area and poke around. I didn’t pay much attention to that, although she did later say something about a chamber “underneath” the cave. She also said that the elemental behaved strangely, almost like an automaton.
Also in the cave, we found a number of hewn stone doors, several of which were trapped, locked, or both. Luckily, Liandris is quite skilled at bypassing such devices, whether there’s treasure to be had or not.
The first door had some kind of cell, with what appeared to be young dragons that had been subjected to Skin Shift. Sarai used her Astral Sight and said that they showed signs of tampering from the twins, although nowhere near the level of Chumana or the baby that we encountered previously. I don’t speak Dragon, so I left them for Liandris to talk with.
The second door had another cell, but this one was empty.
In front of the third door was an area with some kind of viscous green liquid that gives off a terrible odor. Most of the party stays away, but Liandris valiantly steps up to the door, and activates the trap so that she can work on the door unharmed. This trap is some kind of spikes, which makes me wonder what the liquid came from. It’s possible that it could be from one of the dragons, or could also be from one of the Horrors we seek. Either way, this might be a useful component in crafting some blood charms; it might be worthwhile for me to collect some later and see if I could fashion it into a Horror Fend, or maybe even develop a new kind of charm. Interesting speculation, but better to stay focused for the moment. While I was lost in thought, Liandris discovered that the door was blocked by something on the far side, and shortly thereafter, we decided to follow the stairs leading downward.
As we moved deeper into the cave, Glondorph informed us (with a manic glee in his voice) that the twins are in residence, and that they greeted him. He’s very eager to move forward. The cave opens out into a small cavern, at the far end of which is a free-standing archway of some sort. Between the stairs and the archway are six elemental beings. They show signs of being Horror touched, as they do not all conform to the five elements that all Namegivers know, but represent air, electricity, fire, earth, acid, and water. When we move closer, battle is joined.
Despite the fact that several of them are capable of casting spells, the battle goes without significant incident, although Ozak, Andres, and Glondorph take significant amounts of damage. I really need to remember to suggest to Glondorph that he consider bringing some hawk hatchets or some way to deal with things that he cannot reach with his axe. Being defeated by something as simple as a Stop Right There is almost embarrassing. After the battle, we stop to take a moment’s rest before turning our attention to the archway.