The group had once again gathered for another session in the world of Ethos. Their current plans will take them to a nearby city where they want to figure out what had happened to Baron Brianus and Thane, both of which were highly suspicious. However, the group had decided to make a detour to a town marked on their maps, Hillsbane. Without gathering any information on where their detour would take them, they set off on an adventure which is unlike they expected.
Early in the morning the party make preparations for their travels. They bring along all the essentials for a few days and set off. The plan was to stop by a small town on the way to the city, locally called Hillsbane. They do not inquire about the town and decide to travel there directly without stopping. Little did they know what the supposed town actually was.
The travels started off easy, on the main road that would lead them to the city until a small sign directed them onto a small path that seemed to have no been traveled in a long time. The path took them through thick shrubs and dense forest. Blaargh decided that the path was too easy and made his own route a bout 50m away, though much thicker and denser areas. He is a badass after all.
They came up to a large mountain, the path still leading them onwards through it. This mountain was a very rocky and steep climb up, about 20m in the low areas and about 45m in the higher ones. Myriin and Azkaban, being on the easier path climb over the 20m path with only minor difficulty. Blaargh decided that the 45m climb was no problem and starts climbing with Ander in his backpack. About 10m up he slips and barely catches himself while accidentally flinging Ander to the throny bushes below. A loud crack was heard as he lands. Ander had broken his arm. He quickly casts his heal spell to mend his bone, and manages to successfully set it back with little pain. He was very lucky to have survived the fall.
After some more struggling, Blaargh and Ander both manage to reach Myriin and Azkaban on top of a small clearing on the mountain. From there they finally saw where their destination is suppose to be. Thick old forest spread through a large valley in front of them. Massive trees that seemed to defy the ages stood tall and proud. The breeze brought a sense of dread and eeriness from the forest. The town supposedly lay somewhere in the middle of the dark forest according to the map. The group pressed on, believing the town to be a good place to trade and rest.
Inside the forest felt like constant night. There were no movements, no tracks, no sounds. Just large roots and moss. The group eventually tired, it was beginning to be evening, supposedly, despite there being no change in light around them. They set up a camp with an alarm to warm them of intruders and took to a small rest before moving forward.
Being a light sleeper, Blaargh was awoken by a small ticking sensation. Spiders. There were hundreds of spiders climbing around the campsite and across the sleeping party. The group was woken up and began shuffling about to escape the spiders. Azkaban, in all his wit, took a spider and decided to eat it. His mouth turned to fire and his body failed him as he began convulsing and throwing up. The spiders swarmed Azkaban as he fell to the ground. Ander began rummaging through his belongings to quickly help his friend reduce the poison he had just ingested.
Blaargh meanwhile decided the best course of action is to stomp the largest spider, about the size of his fist, to distract them away from Azkaban. The spiders saw the brutal murder of their mother and began swarming Blaargh as he ran around and away from the others. Myrrin meanwhile set a nearby branch on fire to scare the remaining spiders, and threw it over to Blaargh to use during his chase.
Ander had found some herbs to cure minor poison and quickly made a vile drink for Azkaban to have. It was a horrid taste that was even worse then the spider he had just ate, but within minutes he began to feel better. Then suddenly, the remaining spiders stopped their swarming and started feeling as fast as they could away from the camp. The camp’s alarms when off, and a thud was heard on the other side of their tent.
A giant black spider had landed down from the trees, its webs slowly falling from the branches, and it looked hungry. The group gathered together and fought the giant creature. With each hit it oozed a green liquid that sizzled and brought death to whatever it landed on. The group was victorious, and they each gathered their belongings quickly to set out. Azkaban took some of the horrid green goo from the spider into a vial, and Blaargh ripped out one of its fangs.They quickly set forward, hoping to find the town soon.
Further down, almost near where the town was suppose to be, they had found a rather strange rock blocking their path. It was overgrown with moss, but looked manmade. They inspected it, and removed the moss from it and found what looked to be a warning. Written in old elven script, although seriously decayed, it warned of an evil ahead.
Blaargh however was not interested in the rock and had continued on without the group. He made it about 15 minutes ahead of the group when he saw a shadowy figure ahead of him. It looked like an elf, dressed in old gowns carrying an orb. The elf gestured him to stop and spoke in elvish. Blaargh did not speak elvish and tried to reply back in Common and Orc. The elf looked on suspiciously upon hearing orcish and came closer. He once again gestured for him to stop and leave. Blaargh was not having any of that and decided to stand his ground. Then he saw that the elf was not alone. All around him elves came out of the fog, holding spears pointed at him. The first elf looked onto him, and Blaargh decided to sit down to show his unwillingness to return.
The elves came closer and closer until the main elf had enough. He took his orb and held it in front of him. With a quick gesture it went translucent and grew large and was thrown towards the half-orc. Blaargh tried to quickly maneuver away from its path but was met with pointy spears that kept him in its path. The orb absorbed him, and wherever it touched he became paralyzed. The elves then slowly disappeared, and the orb took the half-orc inside of it towards the caster, who walked onwards.
Slowly the elf and orb came to an old ruin, composed of what used to be 4 buildings and a center pillar. The elf moved a large stone aside inside one of the ruined buildings and placed the half-orc into a cell underground. There he was sealed in. With his nightvision he was able to make out about 6/7 skeletons in his cell, and 3 weapons laying about: an old rusty blade, a rusty spear and what looked to be an old elven sword in perfect condition. Then he sat in silence as he contemplated his next move.
Meanwhile, the group back at the rock had decided to move on and find their friend who had wandered off. They followed his tracks until a very peculiar clearing where his tracks stopped suddenly, and his weapon was placed on the side of his last step. There was a suspicious circle around it as well, as if someone had been there. They discovered magical residue in the area, specifically where he was last standing, and realized someone had taken him.
They follow a light magical trail that slowly disappears into the same ruins. There they realize that the town on the map was actually these old ruins in the forest. The magical trail had ended here, and they start investigating everything thoroughly to find out what had happened to their friend.
They found the four ruined buildings, and each had a peculiar characteristic. One held an altar with depictions of the sun god. One had an altar with the moon god and some rituals inscribed on it. A third had a large stone slab on the floor, covered with constellations from thousands of years ago.
The slab seemed suspicious, as it had been the old thing that was not covered in overgrown moss and debris from the trees. This must be the place where Blaargh had disappeared. They all gather around the slab and push as hard as they can. The slab moves about 1cm, revealing a small staircase just below.
Simultaneously Blaargh has grown bored of his cell and had taken his spider fang, split it to remove the venom and used it to weaken the cell door hinges. As he waits for the venom to work, he hears the slab move, and a ray of light makes it inside. He hears Myriin call out, asking if he is down there. Blaargh calls back and decides it is time to break the door down. He takes a running start and smashes though. The doors come flying off and Blaargh dislocated his shoulder, but he made it out of the cell. Now there is a large block of stone blocking his path.
The party all gather around and work together to raise the stone, and use a nearby rock to hold it up. A second try has them holding it up further when Blaargh tries to crawl though without being dismembered. The party struggle to hold on and Blaargh just barely makes it through before they drop the slab. Ander makes quick healing work of the dislocated shoulder and they all sigh in relief.
The group decide to rest a bit and investigate the ruins a bit more. Ander had taken an interest in the middle pillar which had been overgrown with moss but had some pieces torn out revealing old elven words: sun, moon, stars, prayer and sacrifice. He traces the words with his hands and they began to faintly glow. Simultaneously, when the word sun was traces, the altar with the sun god depictions also began to glow. Ander notices this and quickly starts to trace off of the revealed words. One by one the words start glowing and their respective altars glow, as well as the slab. Once the word sacrifice had been traced the sword that Blaargh had found in the cell began to glow as well.
The group looked on and realized what that meant. They each cut their hands with the sword, and touched each altar. The glow had turned into a red color, and the group looked onto the pillar. Myriin realized the final missing piece. He went to the pillar, and prayed to his god, Ehlonna.
Time went still. Myriin was overwhelmed with a presence. He heard a faint sound and then the words of what he knew to be the voice of Ehlonna. She spoke to him, praising him for his dedication and asked him what he seeked. Myriin asked for aid in their quest. Something to help them figure out the strange events that had been happening. Ehlonna granted his wish and told him that she is giving him the knowledge of where to find his gift. However, he will not know where it is until he is close enough, and then he shall know exactly where to go.
With that her presence receded, and Myriin found himself back at the pillar. It seemed that no time had passed at all. The glowing on the altars, slab and pillar faded, and the sword that Blaargh had found suddenly completely rusted, resembling the other weapons he had found.
The group was confused and Myrrin quickly explained what he had witnessed. Blaargh was not very happy with his newfound weapon being destroyed so quickly. He mentioned his dissatisfaction but also remembered the elves he had witnessed earlier. He was not going to be kidnapped again.
The group decided it was time to go back and find an actual town to stay at. They set off back though the old and eerie forest and through the mountain and back onto the main road they had started off on.
On to part 5!