The group piles out of their abode and runs around the hub of Cauldron to Minutia’s Board and finds two huge fire elementals reducing the structure to ashes. Most of the Half-Orc Mercenaries have formed a bucket brigade while the rest attempt to hold off the creatures. A Human male with blue hair directs the action.
After receiving some Fire Resistance from Bondar the party attacks the elementals. They gang up on one destroying it quickly. Adamo hears a cry from inside the building and runs in and saves the life of the scullery boy with an amazing feat of strength. The other elemental soon follows the first and the group stands down.
A nearby priest of Pelor takes issue with the behavior of the nearby crowds that seemed to be cheering for the destruction of the establishment and the deaths of the Half-Orcs. “Fools! The Flames of discord will destroy this town!” He cries.
The Blue haired man introduces himself as Zarn Kyass and gruffly thanks the party for their assistance. He then rushes off to City Hall to speak with the Mayor and other officials about this incident.
In the morning town criers call out that peace has been restored in the city and all those who were arrested during the riots have been pardoned and released. The only criminal who is wanted in relation to the incident is Maavu Arlintal. He has been tried in absentia and sentenced to death. The criers also publicly acknowledge the challenge from Alek Tercival to Captain Skellerang. They then go on to say that reliable sources have shown that Alek is possessed by demons and therefore the challenge is null and void.
There is a knock at the door and a boy delivers a message to the heroes. Jenya would like to speak with them.
Arriving at the Temple of Saint Cuthbert, they meet with Jenya. She informs them that she’s worried about Alek and asks them to find him. She knows he’s been exploring the jungles South West of Redgorge though she doesn’t know exactly where. She also mentions that he often sell things he finds at Tygots Old Things, a shop the heroes often frequent. They head off to Tygot’s place.
The only interesting item they find is a silvered plate with a map inscribed on the back. The plate seems to speak of a six armed race enslaving ogres to build a “planar travel installation”. There is a reference to an object called the “Starry Mirror” and a series of ciphers. The map on the back starts at something referred to as the “Headless Demon” and seems to end around a location called “Vaprak’s Voice”.
The party leaves for Redgorge.
They arrive at the Redhead Miners Inn. Mikimax the Innkeeper welcomes them warmly and offers them food and drink. A bard named Ekaym Smallcask (but called The Honest Minstrel by friends) welcomes them with a riddle, “Ho friends, what is it that will bind with water, sand and lime?”
The party hems and haws a bit until Whisper says, “Mortar?”
The Honest Minstrel seems pleased with the answer and invites them to a meeting in the back room. There a group of men wearing matching tabards awaits them. Maavu is also here looking a little despondent. They learn this is the headquarters of a semi-secret group called The Chisel.
The party looks at the artwork along the walls that shows the life and times of the regions founder Surabar Spellmason. It shows his arrival, an angel named Nidrama gifting him with a magical quarterstaff, the foundation of Redgorge, the magical construction of the basalt walls that protect Redgorge, The battle against the demonic hordes of the Demonskar and a Glabrezu named Nabthatoron and finally the transformation of Surabar into a mountain, symbolizing his death.
The foreman calls the meeting to order. He expresses concern with the direction their organization has taken. He feels some members have lost sight of their mission, which is protecting the citizens and craftsmen of the region and their interests. He mentions that the organization feels there is an evil influence in the government of Cauldron and they foresee a great disaster in the cities future, though their greatest prophet has not answered their summons recently so they cannot be sure exactly what that means.
It is mentioned that they believe Maavu was unknowingly used as a pawn to incite unrest (he seems rather ashamed by this and gets defensive when the Honest Minstrel derides him for it). They have also heard that, with the challenge issued by Alek, Captain Skellerang now has a personal agenda against The Chisel and the town of Redgorge. It is said he plans to use the Mercenaries to attack the town, which would be bad news for the citizens of Redgorge, to say the least. They feel if they could get Alek to rescind his challenge the threat to the town would end.
The foreman indicates that they are also worried about where Alek might be and ask the party to look for him. After a short period of question from the party they accept the mission. The foreman mentions the headless demon they are looking for is probably a statue that is found along the river South West of the town. He offers the party a boat to help them in their travels.
After traveling down the river for most of a day they spot the statue of a demon with its head knocked off. They are ambushed by Gnolls but are able to get to shore quickly and eliminate the threat.
Journeying inland, they find an old cave occupied by a large Forest Sloth. After it is defeated the party searches the cave and finds what was once a wand (but is currently just a stick) with the mark of St Cuthbert at the bottom. The party is encouraged as this probably belonged to Alek and indicates they are on the right track. The party rests.
During the night an angel appears before Whisper as she guards the entrance. It appears to be none other than Nidrama herself, the Movanic Deva that assisted Surabar. She comes with a warning.
“Powerful forces of chaos and evil are afoot. I dare not remain here long lest my presence attract the attention of those forces. Yet I could not sit by and watch you march into danger without warning you. The Lord of the Demonskar knows of your approach, and even now his minions prepare for your arrival. They shall use deceit and treachery against you, just as they have done with Alek Tercival before you. You must remain resolute; Alek Tercival must be saved.”
“I have no aid to offer you but knowledge. In ages past, I provided to Surabar Spellmason a powerful weapon to assist him in his conflict with the Lord of the Demonskar. This was Alakast, a quarterstaff infused with an undying hatred of the fiends of the outer rifts. Unfortunately, Alakast was stolen centuries ago, ripped from Spellmason’s tomb by a grave robber. Yet do not despair, for it is fated that Alakast should be wielded again against the Lord of Demonskar. It has found its way to you, and all that needs be done is for you to claim it. Seek Alakast in the lair of my false sisters, beyond the watchful eyes of the north.”
“That is all that I am at liberty to say… I wish you well in your travails, heroes, and never lose sight of your goals.”
With that she disappears.
In the morning the party continues on and finds a large, round, metal tunnel that seems to be similar to one that is marked on the map. They enter and continue to follow the map. It leads to a narrow canyon where a hot spring bubbles. A large metal gate stands to the east. A geyser erupts from the spring and there is a loud whistle. Entering the canyon they are attacked by a small creature that appears to live in the pool and a hill giant on a balcony above the gate. The creatures are quickly overcome, though Adamo would have been dead had it not been for the quick actions of Bondar and his scroll of Revivify.
Entering the compound the come to a large room with five Ettins. A long and difficult battle ensues. After some close calls, the creatures are eventually defeated.
End of Session 15.