Upon plummeting through the newly erupted breach, the party were scattered and spread out from whence they fell, with Balder Greenhammer and Peewee Pogtoganovi narrowly avoiding a second plunge into a bottomless chasm. Before the Learned Order of the Rune could gather their wits and regroup, they were suddenly set upon by a horde of enemies! Advancing towards them through the darkness were the misshapen forms of what were once Nyss Elves and their monstrous pets which were seemingly naught but teeth, legs and tails with deadly looking stingers. And thus the battle commenced!
Acting quickest, Cobb quickly closed with and dispatched one of the monstrous teeth creatures which was unfortunate enough to have been in their midst where they had unceremoniously landed. As the monsters began to advance towards them from the shadows, spellcraft could be heard coming from the far reaches of the cavern accompanied by a thunderous roar. Mistress Hellith moved quickly and moved into the central of the three openings which provided access to the party and fired off a spell at another of the beasts. causing it grevous injury. Not to be outdone, the brave Master Bayden moved up beside her and hurled one of his miraculous alchemical grenades and splashed acid upon the creature and the Elves surrounding it, badly wounding one and slightly damaging another. Balder quickly gathered to his feet and took cover behind some abandoned mining carts and began to work his magic, bolstering the party’s defenses and firing bolts of arcane energy at their enemies. Alas, amidst the confusion and darkness, they did not reach their mark. Finally gathering his wits about him, Peewee swiftly moved to the far left-most corridor to intercept a host of Elven warriors bearing wicked looking blades who had appeared but just moments ago, parrying their attempts to halt his advance and positioned himself to bar entry into the cavern.
Seeing a cadre of archers advancing upon their position, Cobb skulked down the right-most corridor stopping just short of where their hail of arrows couldn’t reach him. Finally reaching the mouth of the central corridor the the creature that Hellith had previously wounded attempted to bite her, but failed to find a way past her protective Warcaster armor. Hellith then attempted to strike at the creature, but missed, unable to find any way past it’s snapping jaws. Bayden threw another grenade past the creature combating Hellith, killing the injured Nyss and immolating the other swordsman. Then showing surprising quickness, he moved down the path and cast yet a third grenade at the foes Peewee was desperately holding bay. However, this time, his aim was off and the projectile exploded behind the surprised Gobber, narrowly missing him and cutting off any hopes he had of retreating. Next up, Balder again fired his arcane bolts from behind cover of the overturned carts, this time his aim true, injuring one of the warriors in front of Peewee. Enraged by the small being that dared block their path, two of the warriors attacked the wee thief, one of them managing to wound him. Howling with rage, the rest of the squad had no choice but to find another way around. Taking a moment to recover his breath, Peewee launched a counterattack, but was only able to just nick the injured enemy.
Evading the hail of arrows surrounding him, Cobb charged the archers and quickly dispatched two of them, but alas, he was surrounded…or was he?! It was in fact all part of his plan for as the archers attempted to fire at him, his blades whirling death, until there was but a single archer left, standing between him and the largest of the hell-beasts that had emerged alongside the warwitch that commanded it. In the other corridor, the beast attacking Hellith finally succumbed to the corrosive effects of Master Bayden’s acid. Now that the creature had fallen, she had a clear shot on the last of the swordsmen and killed him with a blast of her arcane powers. Bayden flung yet another grenade, this one again, again barely missing Peewee but killing off the injured swordsman and critically injuring his partner. Balder shot at him and missed, but Peewee was not so lucky. The warrior struck the Gobber, weakening him badly. Peewee, gathered his strength and struck just hard enough to fell him. However, his cries of victory turned to horror as yet another one of the creatures turned the corner and stopped just in front of him, it’s maws salivating in anticipation. Any thoughts of reprieve he thought he might have were dashed, when suddenly an explosion of arcane energy blasted from the creature, leaving him once again, badly wounded.
Once again, the young alchemist was there to save him as he threw another grenade, mortally wounding the fanged beast. As it staggered towards Peewee for one last snap of it’s jaws, it withered before the flames that had left it aflame. Before the thief could thank him, however, the warwitch charged into the fray and struck him with her dagger, felling the valiant Gobber. That was to be her last act, as Hellith came down the tunnel and wreathed arcane fury on the Nyss witch, killing her instantly. As Cobb dispatched the last of the archers, all that remained was the large beast which went berserk at the loss of it’s master and attacked the infamous cutthroat. But the scoundrel was too agile and it was unable to land a single blow. Converging on the beast, the party took it down quickly, again due to Hellith’s might magics.
The battle over, Balder revived the fallen Gobber using one of Professor Pendrakes potions. As the party regrouped, the body of the slain warwitch began to twitch and convulse. None of the party willing to venture forth and investigate, the brave Master Bayden carefully edged forward, preparing to use his medical skills…and began poking it with a stick.
When nothing happened, he moved closer when suddenly a voice emanated from the corpse identified itself as the master of the Cryx and demanded to know what had happened to it’s servant. The young alchemist boldly claimed that he had killed it and a conversation indistinct to the rest of the party ensued. A few moments later, Master Bayden returned and said that he had declined an offer of great power in return for fealty to the dragon. He elaborated by informing the party that there was a crystal embedded within the corpse of the warwitch that could be used to empower the bearer…at a cost.
The party carefully removed the crystal, being careful not to touch it and proceeded to gather their spoils of war. Upon inspection by Balder, the leader of the Learned Order of the Rune, he discovered that the daggers carried by the warwitch were magical. The party gathered the spiked tails of the creatures and the weapons of the fallen Cryx warriors and decided that the bodies of the beasts should be stuffed as trophies and placed in the guild hall. When all was finally ready, they called up to the townsfolk and were hoisted out of the cavern.
As Balder took the loot to be stored, the rest of the party went off to see Professor Pendrake to give their report. He was most pleased to see the captured specimens of the Thrullgs as well curious to hear of the Cryx attack and the magical daggers. Offering them a deal for two of the daggers in return for any information he could divine on them, he was a bit taken aback to find that they were unwilling to confirm any transaction without first consulting Balder. Disgruntled at being rebuffed, he curtly dismissed them from his office.
Meeting back at the guildhall, Balder decided that he would go on alone to meet with the Professor to make a full report as well as negotiate the deal with the daggers.
Meanwhile, Peewee and Cobb were sent off to investigate the rumors of black magic being performed by Lady Dashingham. As they approached the estate, the thief and the cutthroat split up and entered from separate entrances. Finding nothing but a bloodstain on the wall in one of the rooms, they met up inside the house where they saw a shadow mysteriously pass through a closed door. Investigating the room behind the door, they found a secret door hidden beneath a rug and proceeded to follow it down into a dimly lit corridor that lead to a room with a pitcher of dark liquid on a table and two more closed doors.
Again the pair split up and investigated each door separately, after making a bet on whether the liquid inside the container was blood or not. As they reached their respective doors, Peewee once again spotted a shadow…this time leaving by the opening from whence they had come. Opening the doors simultaneously, Peewee found that his entered into a small room with a man sitting in the middle of a mystical circle and frantically entered for Cobb to join him. A few moments later, after a brief struggle, the inferior strength of the Gobber was not enough to prevent Cobb from pushing him into the room. Cautiously approaching the strange circle, Peewee noted that the man did not react to his presence and waved his hand in front of his face, at which point, the man stirred and bade Peewee bring him the pitcher of blood from the other room so that he might leave the Lady Dashingham’s service.
Triumphantly, the Gobber turned back and told Cobb to pay up on the wager. As they questioned the odd looking man further, he suddenly revealed that the Lady Dashingham had just left and bestowed upon him a task…to kill the intruders in the house.
Panicking, Peewee dashed for the door successfully avoiding Cobb’s foul attempt to trip him and ran to pick up the pitcher of blood, thinking it might protect him. As the pair raced to get upstairs the man appeared out of the shadows ahead of Peewee and struck him, wounding him. Gritting his teeth, Peewee ran up the stairs where he was momentarily stunned to find the man in front of him again. The man struck again, this time felling the poor Gobber. As Peewee dropped the pitcher and blood poured down the stairs, Cobb extinguished the lantern that had shed the dim light in the corridor down at the base of the stairs.
Holding his breath, he slowly crept up the blood soaked steps and stepped over Peewee’s still whimpering form and paused at the door before bursting through and dashing for the window. He leaped through the window expertly, and ran as hard as he could from Lady Dashingham’s estate. Alerted by the sound of the window breaking, the guards saw him running out and chased him, but he was able to reach the manor of Sir Milo where his gang of thugs brusquely stopped the guards at the door. Going straight to his quarters, Cobb extinguished all the light in his room and found comfort in Sir Milo’s brandy until he was sure the apparition was no longer after him.
Finally, after quite some time had passed, he went to the guild hall of the Learned Order of the Rune and concocted a story about how they had split up when they reached the estate and Peewee never showed up at the rendezvous spot. Suspicious, Balder prodded him for more details and Cobb again lied and told him that he was searching upstairs when he heard the most bloodcurdling scream he had ever heard and bolted for the exit. Still convinced he wasn’t being told the whole truth, Balder went to see for himself and found the estate being investigated by the city watch. There, the officers told him that they heard a window breaking and they gave chase to Cobb dashing down the street. Cobb denied it all, claiming that he was always being blamed for everything. After making sure he got their assurance that he would be informed of any developments in the case, Balder and the rest of the party returned back to the guild hall.