Stranger Tides

Session Three

The Swallowing Earth (Part II)


10th of Horisal (Night)

As they head down the wide cavernous corridor, Teyla and T see coming into the light, on the ceiling, a large putrid-looking worm-like creature with tendrils all along its body and tentacles waving around a toothy maw. T draws their handaxe and attacks the creature, while Teyla bites at the creature in her arachnoid form. As the fight drags on, T gets whipped by one of the tentacles and is paralyzed. The creature takes advantage of this and continues to bite the halfling, knocking them unconscious. Teyla is injured to the point of being forced out of her spider shape, reverting back to her Genasi form. She continues to fight the creature, but then she, too, is knocked unconscious, but not before healing T, who finally breaks free of the paralysis and manages to slay the creature—they jump up, catching their handaxe into the lower body of the worm and drag the blade along the body, spilling ichor and gore all along the corridor. 

T takes Teyla and makes sure that she is still alive. They rest her head on their lap and wait for her to come to, afraid to move her too much as to injure her further. 

Meanwhile, Teyla has a dream:

Darkness impenetrable. Cold implacable. An inhuman voice hisses between the two, almost like a caress. “You have taken my coin, my dears. But you are not those miserable dragonkind. No. You have taken my coin and now you will do my work.” Then a single, slitted eye opens, splitting the darkness.

Teyla wakes, her head in T's lap. T is overjoyed. "I've just been sitting here, worrying, listening to voices in the dark, waiting for you," they say. T describes what happened after Teyla fell unconscious. They identify the creature as a 'carrion crawler.' She describes her dream and T is horrified—they had the same dream the previous night. Exactly the same. They speculate as to whether or not the coin they had collected from the kobolds was cursed and decided that they had better not spend—and that using it to pay Farington would be a bad idea.

Setting that aside, they decide to continue down the corridor to find Tramon.  Teyla regains her spider shape and they once again stalk into the darkness.

A little further down the corridor, they find the young druid—a young man with a few of Ashari tattoos on his arms. His leg is broken, and he's unconscious, but otherwise whole. The edges of the torchlight fall on a deeper chamber and glint on some metal near a skeleton in the dim light. T goes to check it out. 

They find a skeleton, tattered remains of clothing hanging off the bones and old leather armor with bite marks visible on the torso. A dented and rusted helmet hangs off the skull. In its hand is a gleaming longsword, undulled by age or neglect. T picks it up, places their hand upon the skull of the skeleton, gently, and murmurs something to themself. Then they take two of the skeleton's leg bones as well and return to Teyla and Tramon. 

"To make a splint for his leg," T says as far as explanation for the bones. They also present the longsword. It has elvish runes along its blade which name it Shadowblight and with its condition, is probably enchanted in some way. Teyla tries to ask T while in spider form whether or not they know how splint a leg, and they indicate that they don't, not really. Sighing audibly, Teyla releases her final shapechange of the day and goes to make a splint for young Tramon. As she works, she hears a male voice echo from the other end of the corridor, the end they didn't explore. "Teyla…Teyla…"

Unnerved, she asks T if they hear that. T avows that they do—it's the voice they were talking about earlier. Teyla works on Tramon quickly and gathers the man up to carry him to the rope still dangling into the fissure. T follows behind, eager to leave as well. 

When they get to the rope, Teyla hesitates. The voice still calls ("Teyla…Teyla…"). What could they want? And what if there are more dangers to the village down here? T, always practical, suggests they rest and then return if Teyla really wants to know—it's not as if the fissure is going away anytime soon. Teyla agrees and the two work together to make a sling with the rope and Teyla's winter blanket. 

Above them, villagers have gathered and help haul them out on the rope. They congratulate the two young people on their rescue and bustle them off to the healer's home for help. Teyla is uncomfortable with all the attention. Though covered in ichor and their own blood, the healer examines them and gives them a minor healing potion to help them with their wounds. He then turns his attention to the young man and his broken leg. 

With information gathered from the healer, Teyla and T find a nearby hot spring in which to clean up. T seems embarrassed about the whole operation, but Teyla is nonplused. She goes first at T's insistence. They turn around and refuse to look in her direction as she bathes. Teyla, for her part, stays below the surface of the water the entire time. Then T takes their turn. 

With wet clothes in the cold mountain air, but feeling considerably better, the two are hustled into a nearby villager's home to warm up. The man just sits in amiable silence, smoking a pipe, as T and Teyla warm themselves at his hearth under blankets and sit quietly at rest for an hour. 

Fortified, the two thank the man, who simply says that the Ashari are wary of strangers, but when ones prove themselves, as they have, they are to be given hospitality. 

T and Teyla discuss returning to the fissure tonight, now that they've had a bit of recovery time from their ordeal. As they approach the fissure, Farington and Pa'tice arrive and thank them for what they did—they're fast action saved Tramon's life. Pa'tice says the healer thinks Tramon's leg can be saved and that he'll recover over time. The other druids of the tribe are currently handling an issue at the rift and are unable to assist either the healer or Teyla and T; but if they wish to go into the fissure again, Pa'tice will not gainsay them and give them what support he can. 

Teyla assures them that the two of them can handle it and that she feels it needs to be explored. So the two head back down into the fissure—Teyla suggests they knot the rope and both of them descend into the darkness. 

Once they get to the bottom, Teyla produces a ball of flame to light their way and T draws both the longsword and the handaxe. They head left instead of right. A bit further down, they come to another turn and choose right. They see in the flickering light that the corridor widens into a large chamber full of stalactites. As they head further in, one of the stalactites descends and quickly envelops T! 

T begins attacking the creature that has enveloped them in earnest while Teyla applies her poison spray spell. T falls unconscious, but the creature is eventually defeated. Teyla waits for T to come to (about an hour) and then she hears, coming from the opposite direction, the voice she heard before: "Teyla…Teyla…Come to me…"

They continue down the corridor, passing several turns along the way, but seemingly being guided by the voice, they arrive at a large chamber dominated by a roundish pool in the center of the room. Teyla spots a glint of metal in one of the rocky outcroppings and finds another old skeleton—this one probably of a dwarf. The light had glinted off of a small silver figurine of a raven. She shows the find to T and pockets it. She then approaches the pool and descends into it after hearing the voice implore her, "Swim with me…"

In the dark, cold water of the pool, Teyla sees a blue light that grows as it approaches. It becomes the shimmering form of a man with shoulder-length hair, clean-shaven, and wearing simple robes. He introduces himself as Prynn. Prynn tells her that a storm is coming from the seas to the west—an ancient storm that has been brewing since the days of the Age of Arcanum. Preparations must be made—or all will be lost and the free races will once again find themselves shackled. "Begin your journey," he says as he fades away.

Teyla emerges from the pool and sits on the side in thought. When they inquire as to what happened, she describes to T her encounter with Prynn. She wonders why she keeps getting the same message to start a journey. T says, "When I was a…when I was younger, my Mam used to repeat things to me when I didn't go the direction she thought I should have in the first place." Perhaps she keeps getting the same message because she hasn't yet started the journey she needs to begin.

Teyla tells T of the discovery she made back near Anamn, when she was with the water Ashari, and how no one believed her. "Well," T says, "if they won't believe you, who will? Figure that out and go tell them." They encourage her to figure out who needs to know the information and approach it that way. The two decide, finally, to head to Emon and see what can be done. 

They head out of the cavern and back up out of the fissure where they are met by Farington—who has a fire and two chairs waiting for them on the edge of the fissure. "Had enough exploring?" he asks amiably as they emerge. He offers them the chairs and sits with them for a time, enjoying the night. 

Farington tells them that Pa'tice will send some Stoneguards down into the fissure in the morning to follow up on what the two young folks had found and make sure that there are no further dangers to the village to be had. He also offers to look at the items the two found in the caves. He reveals that the sword, Shadowblight, is, indeed, enchanted, to glow at will to banish the shadows and is magically keen and balanced. The figurine can, for limited times, become an actual raven that can be commanded to deliver messages for the bearer. 

Teyla asks Farington about curses and tells him about the theory she has concerning the coin they took from the kobolds in the barrow. He tells her that curses are "devilishly hard" to detect—that's how they are made. It is possible to remove them after the fact, but preventing them is extremely difficult. He agrees that having cursed coin would be problematic and that casting a Detect Magic spell might not be as revelatory as she hopes—if she detects magic, then it's probably not cursed. If she doesn't, then she still doesn't know anything. 

The three pick up their chairs, put out the fire, and retire for the evening.

11th of Horisal

The next morning, the two friends breakfast together in the hall (where they had bedded down for the night). Teyla gathers up all of the coin between herself and T and cast Detect Magic on it—and does detect a Divination spell of some sort on the coins. She gathers all of the magicked coins and places them into a separate leather sack.

They begin to gather their gear to start heading back down south to Emon. Farington comes by and offers to accompany them as far as Fort Daxio—he's needing to head in that way anyway on his way back to Kraghammer. Teyla accepts—as does T, though T is reluctant and looks to see Teyla's reaction first before acquiescing. 

They all three take up their packs and leave the hall to face the day and begin their trek to the south. 



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