Clan Caskbound, played 4.3.20 IRL, 5.23.2121 IG.
- Devron Leveller (Mark) Berserker. Chosen, Mason.
- Dandel “The Dan” Deeptunnel (Simon) Berserker. Carouser, Miner, Brewer.
- Korvask Wyrt (Michael) Vanguard. Enchanter, Scholar.
- NPCs: Helbek and Nymeer.
On the airship voyage back, the corrupted dwarf Droktho told them of Yivica, the colony Lorcrow relocated from Ryvolko after the heavy losses at Scream Peak. He gave them the location and directions to reach it, as well as the lantern codes (communicating by blinking lights) to communicate with the defenders of its airspace. He told them to keep an eye out for the Gorebug, a red airship, and its captain Prug Chor.
With Droktho turned over to the loremasters of Whiskey Forge and the archon informed of the need to send enchanters to reinforce the Seal Chamber, the Fellowship made some rapid preparations to check on the Yivica colony. The Dan discovered his signature brew, Beetlejuice, was award winning! He laid in a stock to share with the colony as a gift. Korvask prepared a book with the history of the clan’s activity since the separation, and Devron acquired a wheel of expensive troll cheese; a bit of an acquired taste, but it slowly regenerated, an excellent “cheese starter” to keep a family supplied. (Cheese is holy to Ellifino, his patron God of Ur.)
The Fellowship once again crossed the waters, a five day voyage by airship, passing over the sea witches without incident. They were intercepted by the Gore Bug, but the captain recognized the lantern code (Korvask had a knack for it) and agreed to escort them in.
Meet and Greet
They closed in on Yivica, a straightforward keep built over the entry to a quarry and mine that was used to supply its materials. The archon, Seddven, met them with his pick, Javis, at his side. After the initial introductions, they entered the great hall, geared for long-range defense, and met with the rest of the clan in a great celebration with cave strider drumsticks for everyone.
Upon discovering they were scholars, Seddven mentioned to them that artifacts from the Old World, when it was only humans and neither dwarves nor orcs had been created yet, had been unearthed nearby. Helbek was enthusiastic and torn; he wanted to catch up with the colony, but also see these rare finds, which were not extant in the Stoneshadow. Korvask assured him he would check it out, and if the find was legit, involve the elder. Satisfied, Helbek decided to stay in Yivica while the rest of the Fellowship checked out the site.
The next day the Fellowship caught up on rest after the exhausting celebration the night before, heading out in early afternoon. Nymeer cut the day-long slog to a couple hours by airship, with Javis pointing the way by air. The canopy was too thick to land the ship, and tying up was problematic since the active jungle life could pose unpredictable threats, so the Fellowship asked Nymeer to return before dusk the following day.
Lowering down to the site by cable, they met with the chief academic on site, Reskin. The dwarves had discovered the tomb by accident a month or so ago, and he had burrowed into it and found a stone box at its center. Since the fire wasps on site were easily antagonized, he drafted the Fellowship to help carry the massive stone box back to the campsite nearby, where they put it in a shallow pit they used for fires and covering things they wanted to keep away from local wildlife.
As a mason, Devron was able to concoct a solution out of the local plantain wine that dissolved the seal on the stone box. Opening it, they found a mummified corpse covered in jewelry, holding a skull-sized rounded stone. The stone had a fascinating texture and coloration, especially interesting to Reskin, who began guarding it jealously.
Korvask was especially intrigued by the jewelry, depicting (possibly deifying) a six legged jungle-lizard thing, and the numerous little statues in the box.
The Fellowship also met three orc scouts who were assisting the dwarves; Tarhun, a hulk who was a bit dopey. Ixandra, a calculating and sly jungle orc. Grell, a suspicious warrior.
In the dusk hours, as their studies continued, flaming javelins were hurled into tents. The dwarves reeled as attackers swarmed out of the treeline. The Fellowship were quickest to respond, springing into battle as the other dwarves scrambled to put out fires and gear up.
The dwarven victory was swift and decisive, leaving the attackers sprawled all over the site. With closer examination, the attackers were human, daubed in mud for camouflage and possibly religious reasons.
The Fellowship identified a dazed stone warrior and tied him up, asking Tarhun to try and communicate with him. The stone warrior apparently shared some language roots with the orc language, and mainly threatened them; when asked why he should be spared, he said he would go to his god and demand their deaths if they killed him. They shrugged and let the orc bash his head in. The orcs dragged the fallen stone warriors over to the burn pit and ate some of them.
Ixandra reported she had come across the trail of the stone warriors, so they could be tracked; considering the darkness, and the futility of killing more of them for the sake of killing them, the Fellowship passed.
The stone warriors mounted another raid in the night, this time focused on the stone, but they were easily repulsed.
Bait and Switch
Reskin was eager to get his prize stone back to Yivica. The Fellowship formed a plan with his input. Send all the dwarves and the orcs on foot, giving every indication they had all the loot from the tomb. Then the Fellowship, Reskin, and Tarhun would wait by the tomb and catch a ride back with Nymeer before dusk.
The dwarves and orcs obediently packed up and headed out. While the Fellowship waited by the tomb and the day wore on, an enterprising stone warrior managed to rope a cave king as a mount, and rode on the Fellowship. The brutal dwarves made short work of the bipedal monster and its giant jaws, killing the stone warrior as an afterthought.
The sun went down, and in the gathering gloom the Fellowship tried to rig a beacon. Using lanterns wasn’t going to be bright enough, and they tried to make a fire in the wet jungle and only succeeded in wasting The Dan’s fanny keg of the good stuff. Korvask used his blood brush to sketch out a sizable rune for brilliance, pouring life force into it, and it shone up to illuminate the canopy overhead.
Hours late, the Sea Scout limped into the airspace overhead and lowered a rope. They climbed up, distressed to see the fire wasp scoring and bat goblin corpses hanging from the carriage. Nymeer and Javis fought off several waves of attackers that damaged the airship some, but they could limp back to Yivica.
On the trip back, Korvask was suspicious of Reskin’s content contemplation of the stone; as a scholar, he should be trying to interact with it. They experimented some, to the point of rapping on it and licking it. Korvask persuaded Reskin to agree to take the stone to Whiskey Forge to look it over, provided he could go along and retain ownership and control of the stone.
Once again the Sea Scout carried them over the waves, back to Whiskey Forge. Upon presenting the stone to the loremasters, they discovered it was a basilisk egg. Basilisks had not been seen for decades at least, maybe centuries. The stone was likely two to three thousand years old, and could yet hatch if exposed to some kind of draconic royal jelly. At least, that’s what legends suggested. No one was in a hurry to hatch a basilisk.