The wind was getting stronger in the pass up to the mountain as the adventurers headed towards the ruin.
Half a day on their way they meet two dire wolves running down the path. They are easily dealt with and they keep moving. The night falls and they camp outside the ruin right up ahead.
In the morning they enter the ruin and start looking around. It appears to be a few chambers, and some low towers. Some look like might have been kitchens or bedrooms, but it’s hard to tell after 100 years untouched. Or so it seems….
After a while they find some stairs leading down to a tunnel underground. They debate about he horses and decide to leave them outside but Nell refuses. Snowball comes in with her, lead by the brittle.
The first chamber is lit by a strange fungus glowing softly in the dark. Above there are tiny little crystals that reflect the light and look like tiny stars. There is some webs leading down-
They notice the cold creeping out at them, and some remember that it wouldn’t be natural for it to get colder further in to the mountain, but yet it is.
The tunnel leads on and the rogue Lilith sneaks up and listens before they enter. She hears a dragging sound and whispers behind her that it sounds like a snake. The group gets ready and charges in. The Naga guarding the room is ferocious but no match for such skilled fighters. Soon it’s headless on the floor. Nell skins it quickly and they move on. They find some weapons and a really fancy-looking dwarven jacket.
The next chamber is slightly bigger and before they enter Lilith again sneaks up to hear what it could be inside. She hears tiny legs tapping the floor, and guesses from the webs they have seen earlier that this is where the spiders are. The chamber is rounded with no visible doors, except for the one guarded by a huge statue from floor to ceiling. He is not moving and looks like he could do serious damage.
The spiders are dealt with swiftly and even though Lilith gets poisoned it soon passes out of her system and they are ready to go.
Aisha walks up to the statue and touches her swords to his arm. He moves to fight her but stops when she pulls away. They search the chamber and finally find a secret passage right next to the statue. They also find 2 bundles all wrapped up in web. One of them turns out to be the orc that wouldn’t have Nell in his group and one of those that came with him. They are dead. They follow the path, glowing with fungus like the last one and enter the next room.
The next chamber is bigger and has a taller ceiling. As Lilith sneaks up and looks around the corner she sees a drider, half drow and half spider. it is moving around and is soon joined by another and two drow fighters. Lilith shoots at one of them but it has felt them come down the hall and is ready. It shoots web at her and sticks her to the wall.
The others run in and try fighting their way through but they are too many and soon every one but Nell is bound by magic or in webs. One of the fighters walks up to her and says in broken common “Stop. Come with us. Stop fighting.” Some of them notices that they have not been attacked with swords or bows, the drows have only used defensive powers.
More drows have joined them and they are carried or lead by the guards forward and into more tunnels, Snowball comes with.
After a while they come to the center of the maze where a huge chamber opens up. It crawling with drows but doesn’t look like a camp. There is a throne with a powerful looking drider on it and they are shoved in front of her. She has a huge spider body and a beautiful armor and jewelry all over. She is surrounded by female warriors in fantastic black armor and long swords.
She speaks perfect common and says: “What are you doing here?” Her voice is raspy and uncomfortable to listen to.
Nell walks forward and replies “We’ve been sent by the dwarf king, he is looking for his son. Please, we just want to get him and get out. We have no interest in nothing else”
The queen considers, but Nells natural sincere look works its magic. “Just give us the prince, we won’t be any more trouble.Let’s make a deal”
The queen shakes her head. “I don’t care bout the prince, he is weak, and not important to anyone. He is here somewhere, I don’t care. But I have a….challenge in here for you. If you can help me with it I will let you out.”
The group looks around at the myriad of drows and nods to the queen.
She takes them off into a different room and shows them the challenge.
He stands 15 ft. tall and takes up a whole corner of the room. The massive statue of an ogre stands perfectly still but his club drips of blood. On the floor at least 20 drows lies broken and bloody. “We have tried everything” the queen hisses. “We can’t get past him. But in one of the other tunnels there’s a spirit, a ice myriad, and she knows. I’m sure of it. But she won’t talk to me” The Queen is clearly pissed off and not used to being snubbed of anything.
“We’ll try to talk to her” Nell says on behalf of the group. Bianca asks “What is behind there? Why are you here?”
The Queen looks at her with pure rage. “Something to help us win at last. Now go!”
Two guard take them to another chamber but leaves as they move further in. The cold is now very noticeable and there is frost on the walls. The next room has a frozen over pool and beautiful carving on the walls. There is frost and ice crystals everywhere. The next room beyond has snow falling from somewhere above and more ice on the walls. It is now freezing. The myriad stands in front of them. She is blue, and calm and seem to be made of ice. She is calm and looks like she’s waiting for them.
“I could feel you coming, are you working for the scum out there?”
she asks in a voice that sounds like falling snow.
Nell steps up and explains, her big sincere blue eyes working on the myriads resolve.
They hatch a plan to get as many drows killed as possible and get to the chamber beyond. The myriad touches their foreheads gently and winks at them before they leave.
Out in the big hall Nell tells the queen that they have found a way to help her. They have learned the key to get past the guard but they have to be a lot of them inside, to mentally force their way through his magic. So she gathers with all her best warriors and crowds the room. The dames step up to the statue and walk past into the little chamber beyond. At once they hear it starting to tear into the drows and can only imagine the massacre in the crowd outside.
In the little room they fin two pools, with writings in different languages around the edge. They find out that one says Past the other Future. The water is clear but swirls with magic.
They all drink from the future pool and see a tiny bit of their future.Spoilers!-
The pools in the ruins
Nell tries both and see back to the day she lost her family. Nell fills a bottle with the future water and Bianca protest, but has to give in.
Disgusted with this the party attacks at full speed, Nell on Snowball and he rest using all their abilities to wipe them out. It almost costs them their lives but in the end they are victorious. Thanks to healing potions they can keep moving, and as they are about to a different group runs in.
It’s the elven group from the in! They were very condescending first time around but now seem just stunned. Nell talks them smoothly around to just leave, like there is nothing to see. They are so shocked that they just turn around and go back. They clearly haven’t found the prince, but the girls have guessed where he might be. Then Bianca remembers that the first statue guard is now whacking drows and that there is an entrance they could find something in. She runs swiftly after them, makes sure they don’t pick up the webbed up prince, and follow them to the first room with a statue. There she can see that their mage has somehow made the guard move so slow they can get past and they are looking at the hole. She decides to run back to the others, she tells them and sprints like the wind back to the elves.
They are about to enter the tunnel and she walks up to the one in the back and smacks him in the back. As he turns around she hits him in the face ad he goes down. The others turn to see what is going on as the rest arrive. Aisha tries to intimidate them to leave but must be out of breath as i doesn’t work at all. They look in stunned silence at their mate and Nell sees an opportunity. She smiles sweetly and tells them that if they leave now noone will get hurt and they can meet up in the citadel and she’ll tell them all about what happened here. Thinking about it and looking at the monk ready to pounce they seem to want to get out. Aisha grabs Bianca and pulls her away so the elves can run out.
In the room beyond there is beautiful carvings of flowers, and stone roses like a garden. There is also a two ice golems that stand guard. But with the mark given to them by the Ice myriad they walk past unharmed. In a tiny room they find a shining stone and Lilith recognize it from her vision. They take it and go back in the first room. As they walk Nell sees a whole in the ceiling. But only she sees it and they others are confused. But as they pass the stone around they can all see that there is a passage hidden there.
Bianca jump up straight into it and Lilith follows. Aisha and Nell just look at each other and decide to walk around to talk to the myriad.
Bianca and Lilith is flushed around in smooth tunnels with lots of freezing water. They swoosh around and hear what sounds like waterfall. But as they get closer, trying to slow down a little, they see that the water is crashing up into a pool. They let themselves be thrown up and their head crack the ice of the pond in one of the myriads chambers.
The others arrive just minutes after and greet the myriad. She gives them each a perfect pink pearl, which means it can be made magic later.
They pick up to bundles, all webbed in, on their way out and open them up. I one is the prince, looking a bit under-dressed for the cold, and the other one of his companions.
He is not very happy, and is acting like a brat. Bianca whacks him and puts him over Snowball. The friend is just happy to get out and seem fed up with his prince. He asks how this all happened an if they found something but Nell charms him into silence.
Back at the citadel they send the prince off with some guards and get a free meal and night at he local in. Bianca cleans everything and meditated, Nell has a drink and Lilith gets drunk. Aisha also has a beer quietly with the others. Nell goes to get Bianca down and at the same time one of the elves walk in. He is a bit scared but gets sloshed and comes over to ask about what happened in the ruins. The girls just brag and smile and he gets nothing out of them.
The next morning they are called to see the King. They meet him in a big cave full of advisers and maps and plans. He is pleasant and thanks them for getting his son back.
The prince stands off to the side with a black eye, looking grumpy. The King tells them that his blacksmith, armorer and magician will help them get a price for their efforts.
Lilith talks to him privately and gets connected to some seekers that can use the stone to find the tunnel.
The group has a nice meal and bond over some dinner, Bianca telling her story. Nell gives the others some presents that she has made from the skins and they all get their pearls attached to a ring, a belt or a necklace to keep it with them.
With new armor, weapons and boots they are ready for their next adventure.