After checking the bodies of the downed orcs, the team continued their descent into the cavern under the Monastery of the Sundered Chain. Squeezing through a narrow passage, the team emerged into a well-lit, natural cavern. A fearsome blaze raged on one side of the room, making silhouettes of the orcs gathered there. They seemed intent on something on the opposite side of the room, where they heard grunts and shouts above the roar of the flame. Many of group heard the broken common shouts of cursing and “Open the tunnel!” As the team attempted to sneak into the room, Xul stumbled and the orcs were alerted. Og, the half-orc, half-ogre leader, dropped the dying priest and charged.
Og stood toe-to-toe with the team but was eventually dropped by the silent dagger of Bree. The orc drudges died at the hand of Hurit and Xul focused on the spell caster. Once the orcs were cleared, the team went to check the dwarf. Ali gave him a healing potion and Soyala saw to his wounds. Kalad was quick to thank the team. When asked about the tunnel, he laughed and explained that he had already closed the one under Bordrin’s Watch and this one, though these were able to get through before the tunnel collapsed. Though he was ready to go, the team decided Kalad would be more effective with rest and the group would travel more effectively in the morning light.
Ali and Kalad led the team through the foot-hills of the Stonehome Mountains to the Vents. Visible several miles away, the steam rising smelled of sulfur and only grew worse the closer they traveled. Scattered across the lower slopes are numerous steaming fissures, some as small as tiny cracks in the stone with others large enough to accommodate an ogre. The rocks were slippery and aside from ropes of brow-black fungus, moss, and lichen, nothing lives here. About a hundred feet down from the lowest cracks, the team spotted a campsite. There were five horses tied up and empty feedbags hanging from their heads. Alia was able to determine that five different sets of prints led into the fissures but none led out.
Squeezing through the vents and fissures was dangerous and tiring but the team made it through unscathed with a new sense of team work. As the air changed, they could hear voices up ahead. In guttural ork, there was a fight going on. One said something about not going back through ‘there’. That was the last they heard as the team attacked. Quickly dispatching the orcs, they moved to the next chamber. Bree was quick to stop the team though, before they stepped onto the pressure plates. Apparently the orcs had not been as lucky. While the orcs had to dodge the bolt throwers in the wall, the team only had to deal with the mechanical guardians left by the dwarves.
Pushing open the heavy doors into the next room, the team stepped onto a platform overlooking an enormous chamber. A group of orcs turned to face them, growling with rage and drooling with anticipation of the kill. Behind and below the orcs lay a sunken section of the chamber, where they saw iron tubes as tall as a human running across the room. On the north side of the pit were several large beetles, their mottled hides glowing red as if aflame. A decapitated body lay 30 feet away, still dripping now thick blood through the steel grating and down below. Several also noticed a short humanoid wearing a long black cloak examining an iron wheel connected to the southern pipe. It took a few moments but as the killing started, he turned and Xul recognized the The Scarred Elf who had stolen her family’s Gal-Ralan. Dancing through the blood of her enemies, Xul made her way to the Elf and let loose. Rhayn also moved down to help with the the Scarred One but it was over all too quickly. The fight was not difficult but it took a while to deal with the fire beetles.
Eventually, the team was able to examine the Scarred Elf. He did not have the Gal-Ralan but he did have Knife Thrower Gloves, two healing potions, an oddly shaped brass key, and 120 gp. When the team moved to examine the decapitated body, Rhayn came face to face with one of her old teammates, Jen. She was a fun half-elf warlock who rode with the Longstriders. With a heavy heart, Rhayn asked Hurit to conjure up a prior for her fallen comrade. In the mean time, Kalad opened the valves connected to the two tubes on either side of the room. They took a short rest and prepared to move deeper into the Nexus.
- 750 XP for each PC
- Each PC has a total of 3,875 XP (4th Level).