This session was run on November 20, 2023.
15 Thawmist 4434
After catching up with Roderick and Kang, the party decided to investigate the inside of the giant dome in the White Worm village. The roof of the dome was still split open from where the giant white worm that the tribe considered to be their god had bust through during their battle. In the center of the dome, they found a large hole, 50’ in diameter. They decided to investigate it, hoping to learn more about the mysterious giant worm that they now believed was frozen beneath the ice at the Centipede Brothers village.
Stranger lowered a lantern down into the shaft using a rope.
It illuminated a ledge about sixty feet below, he could see that the shaft
continued far beyond that. He could see a horizontal tunnel intersecting the vertical
shaft at the ledge. Tying a rope around himself, the hoop climbed down to the
ledge. As he stood on the ledge, he realized that he could hear his companions’
conversation from above coming from the shaft in front of him. He chalked it up
to the strange acoustics of the dome and yelled up to the others that it was
safe to follow him down.
The proceeded into the horizontal tunnel and, after a short distance, it opened into a chamber. The chamber had another vertical shaft in the center of its floor, and they could hear Roderick and Kang’s conversation in the dome above.
They lowered Stranger down the second vertical shaft and into another chamber. This chamber had a horizontal shaft that connected back to the main vertical shaft and a pool of water in its center. The pool was twenty feet wide and four feet deep. The water was green and there was a large, eight-inch diameter, gem laying in the center of the floor of the pool.
Stranger moved along the tunnel and came to a ledge jutting out into the vertical shaft. He cast light on a rock and threw it down. He estimated that the floor was around a hundred and eighty feet below. After a few minutes’ discussion, they decided that they did not have enough rope left to make it to the floor without removing the rope they needed to make their way back out. Duycken suggested seeing if they would have more luck descending the other side of the main shaft from the top. As they started making their way back, Uggmar decided he did not just want to leave the gem. As soon as he touched the water, he disappeared.
While they were concerned about Uggmar’s disappearance, Gwythian pointed out that the last time Uggmar touched something and got teleported, he wound up somewhere nearby. Rasaz pointed out that he then went through a portal and wound up on another world and they didn’t see him for almost a year. They all decided that this weighed in favor of searching the shaft complex for Uggmar and finding him before he could make things worse. They climbed back up and began to explore the right side of the shaft.
They lowered Stranger to a ledge where he found another tunnel, which he followed until he reached a split where the tunnel divided into an upslope and a downslope. He called the others to him, and they decided to explore the upslope first.
They made their way to a chamber with a crystal statue of a nude woman in the center. The woman was holding her arms out, hands cupped, in front of her. At her feet were four clear glass objects cut to look like gemstones. On further inspection, they had the same shape and size as the gem they had seen in the pool earlier. Stranger placed a biscuit in one of her hands, but nothing happened. TicToc cast detect magic and the statue glowed strongly, but the glass gems did not. The placed one of the glass gems in its hands, and nothing happened.
They decided to leave the statue alone for now but suspected that it might be the key to getting Uggmar back. They made their way back to the split and descended to another chamber with a vertical shaft in the floor. Next to the shaft, laying in a ring of luminescent fungus, was Gorman, the missing druid.
Stranger carefully approached and could see that Gorman was pale and breathing shallowly. He appeared to be asleep with his hands folded on his chest. He poked him gently with his pole, but there was no response. TicToc mentioned that she learned about the fey while apprenticed at the Mistwind Conclave and knew that fungal circles were often linked to the spirit being separated from the body. Cayuga mentioned that in fairy tales, a hero usually had to make his case to the faerie court to get someone returned to their body. There were cases, he added, where true love’s kiss could also awaken someone from a fairy slumber.
Stranger decided to risk getting Gorman out and, with a rope tied around his waist, stepped into the fungal circle. He immediately felt crushing fatigue but was able to shake it off and carry the druid out. They attempted to wake him with goodberries, but there was no effect. They decided to continue to descend in hopes of finding a way to help both Uggmar and Gorman.
This shaft landed on the floor Stranger had earlier seen from the large central shaft. He made his way to the center and saw a large (50’ in diameter) arcane circle right below the shaft. The circle was surrounded by the bodies of twenty White Worm goblins, all had their throats slit. As he examined them closer, Stranger could see that the goblins appeared to have gone willingly since they had their weapons belted around their waists.
As the rest joined him, TicToc observed that the circle was a control circle of the type taught at the Mistwind Conclave. She had studied under the Sorceress El Grab, considered to be the foremost expert on arcane circles in the Conclave. She told them that the bigger the circle, the more powerful a being it could control. She thought that it was possible that the goblins had been sacrificed as a form of blood magic to enhance the power of the circle. A powerful mage must have drawn the circle to command a powerful being. TikToc clarified that control circles were not for outsiders like demons, those required summoning circles.
They decided that the circle must have been used to control the worm. Judging by the state of decay of the goblins, it must have been after their encounter with the worm in the spring. Further inspection of the goblins also revealed that their swords were of a higher quality than expected for goblins. The swords bore the mark of House Torval.
Lord Torval and his brother Armentgart had fled the City State after a failed rebellion in 4428. It was rumored that they were operating out of the town of Hledra to the south. Armentgart had appeared in the tournament, jousting in the guise of the Black Knight before being revealed by Sir Grant. They decided that the news that the goblins were being supplied by House Torval was important information to bring back to Byrny.
They decided to break the circle. TicToc warned that any wizard powerful enough to make such a circle could also construct magical traps. They backed away and Duycken broke the circle with magic missile. There was a flash of light and a giant explosion when the circle broke. Fortunately, they were out of its range.
They climbed back up to the pool and TicToc cast detect magic, causing both the pool and the gen to glow. They lowered Stranger by a rope from the ledge above and he was able to push the gem out of the pool with his ten foot pole. They then carried the gem up to the statue and placed it in her hands. The gem briefly glowed, then the statue, then the gem briefly glowed one more time. Cayuga raised the possibility that the statue might be recharged by the gems but was currently charged. Frustrated, they decided to rest for the night and have TicToc memorize identify the next day.
They climbed back to the surface with Gorman and discussed the possibility of waking him with Kang, Roderick, and Robert. When Cayuga asked if Gorman had a true love, Roderick blushed. He explained that Gorman could shift into bear form and had a bear mate. Unfortunately, the sow had died earlier in the winter and he and Kang had buried her in Cozsari’s cave.
16 Thawmist 4434
In the morning, they climbed back down to the statue and TicToc cast identify. She learned that the statue could be used to enchant weapons and that it could be recharged after use by special gems. They placed Vargr’s bearded axe it its hands and enchanted it. They then recharged it with the gem from the pool and enchanted Rasaz’s bastard sword.
They climbed back out of the shaft and prepared to resume their reconnaissance of the goblin tribes. TicToc also suggested consulting with the Mistwind Conclave about the control circle.