We rest for the night and then return to the mine. We continue to the second level again, back to the second bridged chasm. We face one last corridor, from which we can sense necrotic energy emanating. We send Pavel‘s glowing skull down the corridor to scout. A large dark figure with a glowing miner’s pick crushes Pavel’s skull and attacks us (Encounter 1).
After the fight we rest for 5 minutes, then exit the mine. At the bottom of the 200ft shaft Napoleon hears noises. Suspecting an ambush by paladins we speed up the shaft. At the exit of the mine there are some paladins, including Knight Commander Dergan. “The Scarred One” tells us he’s looking for Smax O’Desperation and something has told him that Smax’s soul still walks in this mine. We debate a little but he isn’t convinced and he attacks us (Encounter 2). We spare some of the paladins, as we’re not trying to antagonise them, but take Knight Commander Dergan’s body for rituals to make sure that can’t be raised again.
We return to town after the fight. Caitlin runs off but December sends Pavel the Familiar to chase her down. December threatens Caitlin and she faints. We talk to Eskerry and explain we’ve cleared everything we could find but that there was a blocked tunnel. Eskerry expresses concerns over the activities of The Order of the Hammer and asks if our business with them is concluded. She mentions in passing that our actions are well worth the 2,000gp fee (we’re only getting paid 500gp!). We then head back towards Ravensburgh for our payment, resting for the night in Bayard.
We arrive back in Ravensburgh an hour before sundown and check in to The Temple for rooms. Napoleon negotiates a discount to 4gp per night (including breakfast). December goes to see Pastor Waverley while the rest of us head out to collect payment from Cezar. Pastor Waverley offers to perform appropriate rituals to bury Knight Commander Dergan for a fee. He also asks for assistance with a problem, which turns out to be that he doesn’t see a need for separate temples when his covers all gods. He has a particular problem with Ferro, halfing priest to Avandra. December offers to be the Knight Commander of the United Church of Ravensburgh, under Pastor Waverley.
Napoleon, Théorn and Pennyworth go to The Orc’s Head to collect payment. Cezar is playing cards, etc. we overhear a tiefling woman, Brysias, at the next table, with two goliath brothers (Obb and Pob), is discussing the purchase and sale of magical items. Cezar gives us our bag of 500gp. We negotiate with him over future jobs. He wants a commission on items found that we find unacceptable and we say we’ll consider things. Moving on to other matters, Cezar knows of Malificent Blacktree and says he finds him amusing. He also says that he used to hire Bathshezella (mentioned in Lehane‘s letter) and The Band of Five, but they left without paying him commission so he doesn’t expect them back.
Pennyworth requests an introduction to Brysias as a gesture of good faith, which Cezar grants. We go to talk to her. She asks if we’re signed up with Cezar yet. We say no, and she says we can perhaps do business she doesn’t wish him to know about and asks us to meet her tomorrow evening in a village to the north-east called Trenton.
Meanwhile December talks to Thena about the nameless dwarf he summoned with the scroll. She talks about a Jeremiah. Who is Jeremiah? Thena refuses to talk of him. She asks December for help. She asks if we know Mayhew. He was an apprentice to one of The Nine. He had a study, two nights’ ride to the north, which she says was looted by The Band of Five but is currently occupied. She wants us to clear it so she can study the contents, and gives us a map.
Those of us that need to sleep for the night. Pennyworth goes shopping for healing potions and buys 5 more (1 each). December buys spell components. We then ride north-east to Trenton. After an hour’s travel we spot some gnolls to the right, about half a mile away, but they don’t bother us. Arriving in Trenton we see Obb (or Pob) waiting outside a tavern. We enter.
Brysias offers a scroll of raise dead and the weapon Théorn was interested in in return for a job. Giving us some background, she has acquired The Spear of the Endless Winter, an item originally crafted by Jakiri, one of the fair-folk, for his master in the Land of the Endless Winter. It’s been in this realm for 100 years and at least two heroes used it. For example, Denea, the First Spear of Anterea is known to have carried it. Brysias bought the spear without knowing it had recently been taken from the hoard of Korax, a green dragon. It is unusual for a dragon to make his lair this far north. She knows of him through worshippers of Tiamat.
Korax knows of Brysias and wishes her dead and beyond resurrection. She thus wants us to slay Korax. She offers us 500gp of store credit in addition to the earlier items to do so. Korax is a green dragon, with a lair somewhere to the south. It is probably several days’ journey and in a forest, but she doesn’t know the exact location. Hollan asks about defences and she says Korax probably also has kobold servants and dragonborn worshippers, amongst others. We agree provisionally to the mission as long as we can do the errand for Thena first. She agrees, albeit reluctantly as she feels time is of the essence.
To help with the time constraints we ride through the night, north towards Mayhew’s study. We follow Thena’s directions and find the entrance seemingly hidden as a cave. Théorn notices tracks that he identifies as owlbears. Entering the cave we see two magical runes, one on each side of the cave, that have been disfigured. One of these is with an axe slash and one with complex chalk marks. Further on into the cave we find a spiral staircase heading down and descend.
There are two statues in the entrance to the laboratory, which appear to be members of The Nine. There are broken statue in the middle of the room, a shabby carpet, a massive chair facing a fireplace and a couple of doors. There is also a painting behind curtains that has been defaced.
We open the double-doors to the left of the entrance and find a corridor with guest beds. We hear the noises of skittering feet and at least one with heavier footfalls. Théorn recognises it’s not owlbears after all, but ankhegs. Turning the corner at the end of the corridor we are attacked by a group of ankhegs (Encounter 3).
Character status at end of session: