Third Sunday at Eric and Chris'

Never Split the Party

...unless it seems like fun at the time.

After encountering the gnolls and goblins the previous evening, the part proceeded cautiously on the 12th of Wealsun. Travel through the wilderness was mostly uneventful, until they found themselves entangled in a thicket of viciously thorned, restrictive brush. Much of the party was able to make it through without serious injury, but there were some small injuries when thorns embedded themselves in flesh and broke off. Over the next few days, the thorn injuries would grow infected and present a minor inconvenience while they healed.

The 13th to 15th Wealsun proved to be easy traveling, ith the party making uncommonly rapid progress, but in the late morning of the 16th, the party triggered a swinging log trap that they easily avoided. Proceeding more cautiously, they found the site of a battle. The corpses of two cultists remained at the site, but there was no clear indication of who or what they had fought. Their injuries appeared to be cause by weapons, not creatures. 

Two clear paths led from the scene of the battle. One path, to the north west, seemed to be caused by injured individuals fleeing the scene, while the other path, to the north east, showed signs of human-sized creatures being dragged on the ground.

Kefrey's bow indicated she was to the north west, but the path to the north west indicated there was a lingering threat. The party was unable to decide which path was most urgent to follow, and determined to split up and follow each path for no more than one day, and meet back at the site of the battle.

Einarr, Kree, and Rardem departed in the direction Kefrey had gone, while Alina, Trastor, and Aelef took the north east path.

After a relatively short time, proceeding cautiously, Alina, Trastor, and Aelef arrived at a large, ancient tree with a tunnel entrance amongst it's twisted and gnarled roots. The drag marks  went down into the tunnel, so the party cautiously entered. The tunnel started out relatively small, forcing the party to crouch uncomfortably, but before too long, the passage widened and grew taller. The towering barbarian still had to stoop a bit, but the others were able to walk upright. After a time, the party encountered a small group of green-scaled kobolds, which they handily dispatched before proceeding on.

Gradually, the passage appeared to be more artificial and finished, until it opened out into a triangular chamber with an exit at each vertex. The room featured a number of bowl-shaped depressions, perhaps a foot in diameter and six inches deep in the floor. Scattered about on the floor were a few pieces of a hard, chalky, greenish stone. Each stone was uniform thickness, slightly curved as if part of a broken hemisphere sized to fit the depressions in the floor.

The party proceeded down the passage to the right from where they entered, and after a short time encountered a second small group of green-scaled kobolds, which they again quickly defeated, with two of the kobolds fleeing before the party. Chasing the kobolds, the party came to a secondary passage heading toward the surface, which the kobolds had clearly taken. wary of walking into a trap, the party was deliberating how best to proceed when they heard a terror-stricken scream of horror that suddenly cut off. Recognizing the scream likely came from a human throat, the party pelted headlong down the passage and into an oval-shaped room.

Enrobed kobolds stood around the perimeter of the room, motionless except for their chanting, facing a pool of water contained by a circular stone wall. On opposite sides of the knee-high wall, two bound cultists knelt, each with his upper body laid across the wall. One appeared to be dragged partly into the water, his body limp, his head submerged, and his blood spreading into the water. Enraged at this clear human sacrifice, Trastor cleaved the nearest kobold in two, but before anyone else could act, a reptilian head on a sinuous neck erupted from the pool, seizing the second cultist, snapping his neck and dragging him into the water.

Recognizing the draconic threat they faced, the party focused their efforts on the wyrmling. as they struggled with the evil creature, the kobolds continued chanting, taking no action to intervene. After defeating the dragon, the party turned, ready to sell their lives dearly, but were perplexed to see the kobolds quietly filing out of the room, their ritual clearly concluded. Recognizing that breaking the seeming truce would almost certainly lead to all of their deaths, our heroes remained alert and poised for battle, but made no further aggressive moves as the kobolds departed.

Confused, but determined not to miss this opportunity to recover what could only have been ill-gotten treasure, Alina and Aelef retrieved various items of value the kobolds had thrown in the pool as offerings to their now-deceased incipient lord, while Trastor set to removing the dragon's skin, perhaps for future use as a cloak. Maybe boots and a loincloth. Something cool, in any case.

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EKervina

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