The Power of Suffering

Chapter 2: Heading Out

Taste of the Real World

About a week later, the party has rested up and is taking it easy at the Limton tavern. A grungy salesman enters and sells a map that shows the location of an unknown ruin North of Castle Arnon in the forbidden Crystal River valley, and a passage through the Western mountains to gain access without having to go through the castle. They set off, driven by the prospect of treasures, and stop at the town of Creekshore, about a day’s journey West of Tordnot Village, on the shores of the Great Bay. Once ready, they make their way into the West Arnon forest a little ways North of the town, and make for the mountain pass.
That evening, just as the sun slipped under the horizon, the party was walking along in the brush when suddenly voices off a ways were heard. The party spies a small camp of drow setting up an ambush for a caravan aound a fire. Our heroes begin an ambush of their own, but Kiriai the druid trips over a log, alerting the dark elves to her presence. In the ensuing battle, Persithe rogue is almost killed, and after defeating the drow the party decides to go back to town to rest.
Kiriai has a strange run-in with an odd ‘retired’ wizard at his hut (when trying to sell some magic items)…his new concoction knocks her out for a few hours.
With the wounds healed and loot sold, they trek back into the hills and find the pass, which is guarded by a large black bear. Kiriai uses her druidic powers to bribe the delusional old bear into letting them pass with some of her food. The party descends into the Crystal River valley, and sleeps in an alcove in the rock for the night.
In the morning, the party cautiously crosses the river at a fjord (royal rangers patrol the river) and make their way up the other, less steep side of the valley. In the afternoon, they make it back above the treeline on the far side of a mountain to find ancient stairs leading to a large stone door set into the side of the rock. They manage to push it open, and find an old chamber with statues and a raised altar. After much searching, they’ve found an ancient dwarven skeleton in old armour, with a jeweled glove, and a small golden statue of a tower. They use the glove to press a button they find behind a statue to make a stairase descend from the ceiling…
Awaiting them are a couple skeletons and two small earth elementals. Thay battle, and are almost crushed as the elementals easily pass through the stone of the walls to attack them from above. Somehow they are defeated, and there is indeed treasure!
Back in Creekshore, they party sees the wizard again for info on the old statue. He feeds them levitating pumpkin pie, which doesn’t work as well as he hoped….and tells them to head for the main city for info. and for prospective buyers.
In Castle Arnon, the party meets a jeweller who buys the ancient dwarven statue, saying it was a clan statue that belonged to the leader of a certain group of dwarves before man came to Hormah. He introduces the party to another merchant, who gives them a map to another ruin, stating it was free of charge if all unused loot is sold to him.
With another ruin to explore and promise of more power, they set out…



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