In which Vestra reflects upon the situation and makes a possibly fatal choice…
We holed up in one of the many caverns to rest and re-strategize. After battling the kobolds with their large beast, we encountered an evil thaukrissi – the one the children in the pits said came daily to choose a child to be pulled from the pits. We recognized her from her bony arm. She was surrounded by minions and rat swarms. Sargh, I hate rate swarms.
The group subdued her and interrogated her thoroughly. From what I understand the plot is different than these Lady Slayers had concluded. The children are not sacrifices to summon the elemental who last graced Balekeep 10,000 years ago. No. Everything has been done to summon a great Kurztharki, one that will ravage the lands in Balekeep and beyond. More than this, the summoning is happening in a different place than the Lady Slayers had told the thaukri on the surface.
As the Lady Slayers discussed the situation, I listened and continued sharpening my battleaxe. It’s always interested me the diversity of races who will come together as adventurers but not in daily life. A Halfling, a Half-Orc, two Dwarves, an Eladrin, and more than this, a Mul — half Orc, half Dwarf — someone who would be completely shunned in Balekeep. Not only this but I compared their gear to my own. It’s been 50 years since I last adventured. My armor and weapons are familiar to me, well suited to my fighting, and have become like a natural part of me. In contrast, the Lady Slayers all have armor and weapons of the latest technology. Some even look brand new. These adventurers have much greater kriegerat than I. Hmm. I will need to depend on my experience to make the most of my armor.
There was a long discussion about where the summoning location would be, and how best to get there. Tryn, the Halfling did some reconnaissance. She seems convinced we should use some pathway along the subterranean waterway. The others want to take a front-on approach through the front door. After a lot of gesturing, map comparisons, and raised voices, the Halfling went away again. More murmelings while she was gone. When Tryn returned she reported that there was a large set of double doors at the bottom of the main stairwell. Tryn had unlocked and de-trapped the doors. But she still felt the khavitwasserbahn was a better plan.
It was clear that the Halfling would take this path alone if the others chose the stairway. A two-pronged attack had some merit, and I couldn’t let Tryn go alone. I stood up.
“I will join the small-one,” I said. I gave the others the etching I had of Harlaur. “If you see her, make sure she makes it safely home.”
With this, our party split ways.