Rose of Westhaven #5: The Daughter of Salazaar

IC date: 14.09.1540

  • The heroes have arrived in the ^”Royalists” staging area, there are 3 of them camping by a large wooden statue of an Elven warrior holding a sword outstretched, @”Dhani” is with them.
  • @”William Of Riverhead” is scouting ahead of the others, creeping through the trees he secretes himself behind the statue so that he can listen in to the ^”Royalists”.
  • The statue is carved from polished wood and depicts an ancient Elven warrior holding out a sword as though pointing at something.
  • The ^”Royalists” are discussing how long they have to wait, their Captain implies that should @”Sage Salazaar” not live up to his side of the bargain that @”Dhani”‘s life will be forfeit.
  • There is a rumbling vibration through the ground, the ^”Royalists” begin to panic.
  • @”Barden” is accompanying the others and his attached himself to @”Sasha Of Riverhead” , he is still wearing the big floppy hat the heroes gave him.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” feels the vibration, he looks around and is surprised by the lack of normal wildlife and sounds of birds in the area.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” tells @”Sasha Of Riverhead” they need to make a move quickly since the rumbling will startle the ^”Royalists”.
  • The ground below the ^”Royalists” collapses into a cavern of some sort below, the Royalists fall down and @”Dhani” is left clinging to the roots of a tree.
  • @”William Of Riverhead” pulls out a rope and shouts to the others for help, when they appear between them they are able to pull @”Dhani” to safety.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” keeps a look-out.
  • The heroes can see the hole is about 15′ deep and appears to lead to some sort of chamber that is covered in vines and leaves.
  • As they look down they see the ^”Royalists” get pulled into the darkness by something unseen, there is a scream that terminates in a wet, gurgling sound.
  • They hear the ^”Royalists” firing their pistols from below.
  • @”Odhran Moluag” throws a rock down into the hole, there is a soft sound of it hitting the mossy floor of the chamber.
  • One of the ^”Royalists” crawls into view covered with scratches, begging for help before he is pulled into the darkness and there is a wet, snapping sound.
  • @”Sasha Of Riverhead” introduces them all to @”Dhani”, he introduces @”Barden” as a local hero (which causes the young man to beam with pride).
  • @”Maarku The Elf” notices Elvish inscriptions carved into the base of the statue, it is an ancient dialect, it reads “We place this statue as the guardian of our temple, may the sleeper warn us of any who seek to desecrate this place.”
  • @”Maarku The Elf” joins the rest of the heroes.
  • @”Odhran Moluag” says that the fact @”Dhani” was spared may be a sign, @”Maarku The Elf” agrees and says that his people do not welcome strangers.
  • @”Dhani” tells them the ^”Royalists” gathered here because they wanted to look into rumours of ancient Elven treasures to add to the Royal coffers.
  • @”Dhani” tells them that the ^”Royalists” learnt of the treasure when they captured a Bandit who claimed to have found a $”Soul Stone” in the area.
  • Peering into the hole @”William Of Riverhead” can make out a glowing green gem ($”Soul Stone”) in the chamber below them.
  • @”William Of Riverhead” shouts for @”Sasha Of Riverhead” to identify the gem, standing on the statue Sasha shines a light into the chamber, she can see–amidst a tangle of vines–a fist-sized green gem nestled amidst the vine, a green glow emanates from it.
  • @”Sasha Of Riverhead” says she thinks it might be some Elven demonic magic. @”Maarku The Elf” identifies the gemstone as a $”Soul Stone”.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” “It is an ancient Elven relic, no good will come to anyone who tries to take it. Especially in this place.”
  • @”Sasha Of Riverhead” suggests that @”Maarku The Elf” go down and retrieve the gem whilst the rest of heroes cover him from up top.
  • @”William Of Riverhead” speculates that perhaps the ground collapsed because the ^”Royalists” drew weapons and intended violence.
  • @”William Of Riverhead” locates a concealed compartment in the base of the statue, inside he can see a large flat leaf, folded up and tied with string.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” identifies the leaf as an ancient Elven form of paper/writing.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” is about to reach out for the leaf when @”William Of Riverhead” stops him and uses a 10′ pole to poke around in the compartment, he sets off a trap that discharges a thorn, luckily thanks to William’s foresight it does not harm anyone.
  • With the trap disarmed @”Maarku The Elf” fetches out the leaf and reads the hastily scrawled Elven writing on it – ‘The temple has been corrupted by the creature in the depths, I must seal the entrance off and warn the others.”
  • @”Maarku The Elf” suggests that they get the gem and leave, explaining that he believes the ^”Royalists” may have freed something trapped with the Temple.
  • Looking into the hole @”Odhran Moluag” can see small shards of bone tangled amidst the vines lining the floors and wall.
  • @”Sasha Of Riverhead” makes their rope into a lasso and secures it over the upraised arm of the statue.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” climbs down the rope into the chamber.
  • With no light besides the faint green glow from the $”Soul Stone” @”Maarku The Elf” stumbles across the mossy floor of the chamber towards the gem.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” hears one of the surviving ^”Royalists” groaning “Help me.”
  • @”Sasha Of Riverhead” shouts down “Just get back up quick!”
  • @”Maarku The Elf” hears the sounds of something moving nearby and starts climbing back up the ladder, he climbs one-handed, moving slowly but not wanting the sacrifice the illumination provided by the $”Soul Stone”.
  • Something grabs hold of @”Maarku The Elf”‘s legs and attempt to pull him off the rope, as he falls, Maarku drops to $”Soul Stone”, plunging him into darkness.
  • @”Odhran Moluag” shouts his companions for a torch or a light, @”William Of Riverhead” lights his lantern and shines it down into the hole.
  • @”Sasha Of Riverhead” pulls out a pocket mirror and uses it to shine some of the fading sunlight down into the hole.
  • The light reveals three animalistic and savage looking Elves surrounding @”Maarku The Elf”, they look rabid and have vines growing from them, beginning to circle Maarku.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” starts scrambling up the rope whilst @”Odhran Moluag” begins reeling in the rope to help him escape more quickly.
  • @”William Of Riverhead” throws some of his rations into the darkness and is surprised when the rabid Elves run into the darkness to devour them, allowing @”Maarku The Elf” to scramble to safety.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” says that they need to get the $”Soul Stone”, and @”William Of Riverhead” says that perhaps they could lure the rabid Elves into a trap.
  • @”Sasha Of Riverhead” suggests that perhaps the rabid Elves have been possessed by demons, in response to a query from @”Maarku The Elf” she reveals that she’s met demons many times.
  • The heroes decide to make camp near the entrance to the Temple and take turns on watch to ensure that the rabid Elves do not escape from the subterranean chamber.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” asks @”Odhran Moluag” if there is anything he can do about the rabid Elves, the #”Fada Siar” cleric nods and says that he can hit them with his cudgel, explaining “The gods do not work like that” when Maarku asks for a more spiritual solution.
  • @”Sasha Of Riverhead” offers around some booze, @”Barden” has some but @”Dhani” refuses saying that she doesn’t drink alcohol.
  • The heroes settle down for the evening with @”Maarku The Elf” taking the first watch.
  • @”Odhran Moluag” takes the next watch, one of the rabid Elves attempts to climb out of the hole but Odhran kills it with a mighty blow from his cudgel, the death scream of the rabid Elf wakes the other heroes.
  • Seeing his comrades @”Odhran Moluag” shouts “The demons are coming! To battle!”
  • Two more rabid Elves climb out of the hole, the heroes dispatch one of them and capture the second, incapacitating it.
  • @”William Of Riverhead” examines the rabid Elf with his lantern, it appears to be an Elf wearing tattered rags with moss growing from its skin. The light seems to discomfort the rabid Elf and cause the moss to withdraw from it.
  • @”Odhran Moluag” attempts to talk to it but with no success.
  • @”Sasha Of Riverhead” suggests they could use the light to keep the Elves at bay in the Temple.
  • @”William Of Riverhead” and @”Sasha Of Riverhead” ponder whether the Elf is affected by a disease or a curse.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” tries talking to their captive in Elvish, it snarls back but he can only make out the words ‘evil’,’corruption’ and ‘madness.’ They keep the rabid Elf restrained until daytime planning to see what effect the sunlight has on it.
  • The rabid Elf seems to recover and regain his sanity when the sunlight hits him, he discovers that the Elf is at least 300 years old, he remembers that the Temples head priest @Shalanna had discovered something in the depths of older ruins below their Temple that she believed to be a blessing of #”Shi’Narath”. The Elf introduces himself as @Dakath.
  • @”Dakath” seems to recognise @”William Of Riverhead”, referring to him as an #”Old One”, although the term doesn’t mean anything to @”Maarku The Elf”.
  • @”Maarku The Elf” tells @”Dakath” how much time has passed and then he aids Dakath in a ceremony to enter the #”Great Sleep” where he will become one with #”Shi’Narath”, the ritual is conducted and Dakath becomes a tree in the forest.
  • @”William Of Riverhead” says they should be careful that @”Maarku The Elf” does not become affected by whatever struck down @”Dakath”.
  • @”Odhran Moluag” recognises the name #”Shi’Narath” as sounding a little like the #”Old One” #”Shub-Niggurath” worshipped as a god in #”Fada Siar”.
  • The heroes prepare to enter the Temple.