DM: DGM PCs: Chase (Leader), Viran (Scout), Sneks (Trailblazer), Scorch, Thorg, Tyil, Rein, Rhoshar
Thorg drags himself into his room, doffing his heavy armor, and spends the evening tending to his wounds. Many worries and questions crowd his mind. He heads to his desk, and jots down some quick notes before he turns in for the night.
Much has happened in the last few days. I write down these notes in hopes that some day down the line, I find the answers that I seek, or that someone can continue the search, if I don’t make it that far.
It all began when a mysterious entity came into town, a creature by the name of Saa. I wasn’t there for her arrival, but from what I’ve gathered, she came to this island in search for “shards” – powerful fragments that are scattered around Sleeper Island. Flipping through the logs, it seemed like the shards have caused some trouble in the past, and we were far from the first adventurers to have went out in search of one.
Saa spoke in riddles (when I say “spoke”, I do not mean literally. To the best of my knowledge she had no mouth, and communicated with people through scrawlings on a board), but in those riddles contained some clues to where these pieces may are located. One line, in particular, pointed towards the great fissure just south of the town. A group of adventurers was already in talks to explore that area. My curiosity got the better of me, and I elected to join.
The journey to the fissure was relatively uneventful. Chase, a fiesty tabaxi and a new face to the island, lead the expedition, with Viran blazing ahead of the team and Sneks as the party’s watchful eye. It was nice to see some familiar faces in the party. Eventually, we found a way in, wading through a shallow pool of water as we made our way into the cave.
Once inside, the cave seemed to go on forever. We walked for what felt like hours. We couldn’t tell the time of day, but we knew that we soon had to rest. We looked around and found an alcove, perfect for a campsite. However, on the alcove we saw a pair of goblinoid legs on the ground. It looked like something had melted the entire upper half of its body off. The group steers clear of the bad omen, setting up camp a hundred or so feet back.
As the group settles in for the night, the first few watches find nothing particularly out of place, outside from some skeletal remains, and a faint smell of rabbit. Rein and I took the 3rd watch, and nothing seemed out of place. Right as we were about to wake the next watch up, however, we began feeling things biting at our legs. Before we knew it, the whole party was swarmed by huge, dog-sized spiders. Tired and unprepared, the party took a while to orient ourselves to the situation. Thankfully, we managed to fend the spiders off with no casualties. Shifting a short distance away from the bloodied battlefield, the group continues our rest, which was fortunately uneventful.
A Test of Faith
The next morning, we head further in to the cavern. The further we explored, the colder the air around of us seemed to become. To keep the party warm, Scorch, our resident Fire Genasi, conjured two motes of fire in his hands. However, as they came into being, the fire quickly turned a deep purple, and they seemed to shoot right back into Scorch, damaging him in the process. Using his eldritch gifts, Tyil turned on his magic sight to attempt to detect what was going on. But just like the fire, we watched as Tyil’s eyes, which began to glow a bright blue, turned quickly purple, and shooting back into Tyil’s head.
It was at this point that we noticed the deep chasm before us. I warned the party against using their arcane powers in this area, and the party proceeded with caution. Small and dexterous, Sneks volunteered to scout ahead. We tied a rope around his waste, and gave the other end to Rhoshar, trusting his Githyanki strength. As Sneks stepped onto the narrow bridge, the only visible way across the chasm, we watched in horror as Sneks started to levitate off the ground, suspended 10 feet in the air. Rhoshar rushed forward to try and grab Sneks down. As he started to leap up to grab Sneks, we saw him go weightless as well, stopping in mid air.
A booming voice suddenly erupted from the chasm – statements, a riddle almost, in deep speech. It was clear from the reactions of the party that I was the only one who understood what was being said. My time in the temple was not for nothing – the battles I’ve been preparing for clearly lie ahead. The bridge was a test, and someone had to go first. The test had something to do with power. There was a great source of power that lie ahead, and it was clear that the being wanted to test the sources of our own powers.
It was clear that those who drew power from the divine were not welcome. But those who received eldritch blessings, or received their powers through study, seemed to be allowed. I turned to Tyil, suggesting that he tried to cross. As he stepped onto the bridge, nothing happens, and he finds that he is able to make it to the other side without any problem. Scorch was the next to go, and at this point it was clear that we had passed the first test.
Wary, Rein and I stayed behind as the rest of the party moved up ahead to help Sneks and Rhoshar get down. With everyone but us two Paladins left on the other side, Rein and I tied ropes to ourselves and began to cross. Just like Sneks and Rhoshar we began to float, but with our party members holding on to the ropes and pulling us free, we were able make it across as well. Confused, and a little beaten up, we made our way further down.
The moment we crossed the bridge, the air in the cave immediately warmed up. As we pushed further in, the cavern itself also began to brighten up with a soft, blue light, which grew stronger as we moved. Scorch tried his fire once more, and this time there was no issue. We eventually walked into an opening with huge, magnificent crystals jutting out of the walls. Chase tried to touch one with a pole we picked up along the way, but the crystals seemed to burn the end of the stick as it makes contact.
Moving down the path of the cave, we see some spiders scurrying about. Unphased but cautious, the group proceeds slowly. Rhoshar moves slightly ahead of the group, but all of a sudden, two large shadows appeared next to him, striking him down with 2 successive blows. The group stops, and stars as the two abominations turned toward us.
More and more of these creatures begin advancing on the group. As fast as we were killing them, we could not make any progress towards retrieving the unconscious Rhoshar. The party watched as one of the big creatures picked up the body of Rhoshar, tossing him deep into the floor below. We pushed forward, holding onto hope that he survived the fall. However, that was all crushed as we witness the creature grab Rhoshar once more, throwing him even deeper down the slope. With a sickening thud, that little piece of hope was all but lost.
Enraged, we rushed the spiders, fueled by the loss of our party member. We eventually defeated all the creatures in the cave. As we recovered from the battle, Chase manages to recover Rhoshar’s body. However, we all knew his final wish was to be left where he was slayed, and thus we placed him carefully by the side of the cave, and pushed on.
A Fragment of Power
We head south, down a long flight of stairs, still surrounded by the same flowing crystals. A huge, 15ft by 20ft door stood before us. On both sides were large writings, but in a language that none of us could read. We pushed past the door, into a large clearing. In the middle, floating just above the ground, was a glowing, purple shard.
The opening we were in did not seem to contain anything that would harm us. As we approached, Tyil volunteered to grab onto the shard. However, the party was unsure about what might happen if someone were to touch it. We looked around, and elected to all grab it at the same time. What happened next, I can’t quite explain. There was a flash, and a sharp pain on my back. I found myself flung out toward the back of the cavern. Looking over at the group, I realised that Rein, our other Paladin, had been thrown back to. I did not have much time to react though, as I watched in horror as the shard floated up in the air, and shot itself right into Scorch’s heart.
We all hear another booming voice, different than the one in the chasm. Only Scorch seems to understand, and tells the group that it speaks of how a new champion has begun his journey to achieve power, or something along those lines. We quickly discuss what we could do next. Someone suggests bring Scorch to Saa, but the voice once again calls out. Scorch tells us that the voice told him not to trust Saa, that Saa will destroy him.
Confused, the party also begins to realise that the crystals, which were glowing a bright blue before, had begun to fade. We knew we could not stay in here for long, and thus we decided to return to the city. We grabbed what we could, and started to leave.
The Final Stretch
As the party rushes out of the cave, the tunnel behind us begins to crumble in on itself. Upon reaching the chasm, the party is able to cross the bridge successfully. As everyone crosses, the ceiling comes crashing in, and destroying the bridge as well. We make a desperate dash out of the fissure and towards the main road.
It was dark when we left the fissure, but we knew we had to push on. We collapsed on the main road, and attempted to rest, giving everyone a chance to recover from the exhausting escape. This was short lived, however, as the sounds of Gnolls in the distance drives us all awake, and we again spend the rest of the night running back to town. It’s only by the grace of the gods did we manage to make it back to the city borders.
On my way back to the Tavern, I found Scorch by the bar, still shaken from the experience. I followed him to the graveyard, where he felt like he was being drawn to. There, the voice appeared yet again, this time coming from 2 places. We find Chemist, a necromancer of some sorts, who seems to also have had gone through what Scorch just experienced.
We learn a little more of the Elder Shards, and how the shard passes to another host when its current host dies. I still don’t quite know what is going on. I left Scorch with Chemist as they seemed like they had things they needed to discuss between themselves.
A fair word of warning to anyone who comes across this log and hopes to seek out the shards themselves. Be careful with the power it holds, and do not take it lightly.
Thorg wakes up, after hearing much commotion from the town all through the night. He heads down, and upon speaking to some of the other adventurers, he rushes back to his room and scrawls a little note at the end of his log.
There are rumours of a fight in the Town Square between Scorch and Saa. Saa is gone, and Chase along with her. I don’t know what in Tyr’s name is happening around here, but something is not right. I’m worried for my friends.