Following the path left in the brush by the fleeing kobolds, the five quickly find the cave entrance carved into the hillside of high country at the base of Aberril Peak.
Rusty tools for excavation, pick axes, hammers, and what not, litter the ground around the outside of the cave entrance and well into the first room. There does not appear to be any light or trace of sound. Upon entering the cave, the five can see straight away the dark burn marks on the stone floor and walls that indicate that at least a few of the small shadowy creatures were slain here. This first room appears to be nothing more than a staging area for the continuing excavation of the cave. To the east, a hallway, and to the south, a passageway slopes downward deeper into the earth.
Laeryth takes the point and heads east. Sneaking around the corner, he is able to see a room in which a sliver of light appears from the eastern wall. Surrounding this are a group of twisted forms, clawing and hissing at the light. Occasionally, a spear emerges and the creatures jump back.
Wasting no time, Laeryth signals the group. The creatures gasp in surprise as Lenk hurls himself into their midst. Firrian flanks and stabs at a large creatures organs as it lunges at Lenk with a rusty mace.
Jonn hurls invectives at what appears to be a caster of some sort in the back of the room, but the creatures gets the first laugh, summoning tendrils of shadow from the ground that trap the wizard and pull him to the ground.
Lenk suffers a few blows as he commands the attention of the small horde of creatures, but Khalsig is quick to offer aid with the help of his Goddess. Laeryth and Firrian chip away at the creatures, making short work of them. Jonn brushes himself off and gathers what remains of his dignity.
Their attention turns to the light-filled crevice. They had noticed during the battle that the attempted spear attacks continued, although by the end the spear appeared to be in weakened hands. Inside a small nook in the cave wall three kobolds hide, torches in hand, appearing gaunt and pale. Encouraged by the outcome of the battle, the kobolds crawl out of the hole and lower their weapons.
“Deep we dug” says what appears to be an elder. “Wide open room, we found it, and in it the round eye. Truly, we had found our home, yes, the home we had been seeking. But soon, this would change. We dug more, we dug faster.” Pointing to the south, he lowers his gaze. “That way, we uncovered something old. Not the darkness, not the shadow, something old and foul.” He beckons another kobold forward, who reaches into his belt and produces a two small patches of cloak, attached with a silver brooch. On the brooch is the symbol of Avandra. “Humans came. Last week, this way. This was left.”
“Clement” says Firrian.
“Huh?” says Jonn.
“Clement. The young priest of Avandra gone missing from Cartha.”
The kobold hands the brooch to Lenk, who stashes it. “Did you see others? More humans, earlier today. A one-armed man?”
“See? No. Hear? Yes, perhaps. Been hiding here for days now. Sounds from down below.”
Laeryth heads south. “See what happens when you go digging into the old places of the world? A lesson perhaps, if anyone cared to listen. Let’s see about this creature then.”
To the south, a room half finished. The signs of a hasty retreat are visible, as large clusters of rock hang from crude pulleys and picks stick from the walls.
In the far south of the room, water has started to trickle in from cracks in the walls. Looking further, the group notices a staff floating in midair, and realize that a gelatinous cube has surfaced from the cracks along with the water.
Craving the staff, Jonn insists on attacking the creature, and so the party engages it. Truly, they are a force to be reckoned with, as even a creature so formidable in tales begins to fall to pieces after fierce sword blows and a thrown dagger tear off chunk after chunk. Magic missile after magic missile shoot off into the walls. Khalsig acts quickly, loosening the ropes from one of the pulleys and dropping a sheet of rock onto the cube.
The cube makes a fierce attack, knocking Lenk prone and in a single lunge encompasses the half-orc and Laeryth as well. The two start to burn with acid as the others frantically try to kill the creature. They are able to force their way out before being eaten alive, just as Jonn finds a way to land a magic missle to deal the finishing blow, and claim his prize.
After a short rest, the group heads back to the southern downward passage. Screams from below can now be heard, as well as horrible cutting sounds, a knife through flesh. Perhaps moving with too much haste, Laeryth kicks a few stones loose as a slides down a curve in the passage way, and when he looks up, the eyes of a room of horrible creatures are on him.
Blood runs on the stone floor towards a hole in the center of the room, and on the far side of the room a large shadow creature howls behind a mask made from the face of a kobold…