Daisios 12th Holk, 4 AR – The Year of Feathered Downs
After the week was over, the party was ready to get out and explore more. Galon, after being advised of their current situation by Tellias, decided to send the party out to the bluffs to explore for any possible sources of under-clay. They were at a point where they needed a fully functional forge to continue with the settlement.
A spring-time version, and overly hyper, of Khloe was more than willing to get out in the dirt. Valerie was a little less enthusiastic. Baelin and Jomrumir were also more than willing to have a break in the schedule to get out in the woods. Haned, who had knowledge what they were looking for, was also ready to get out and explore. Nikos, on the other-hand and after witnessing what an over caffeinated Khloe with cabin fever, decided it was best to continue what he was previously working on.
They were tasked with exploring and mapping out the bluffs that are surrounding the jungle they were in. Hopefully there would be some deposits of under-clay along the bluffs. The group decided to trek through the jungle to the bluffs and then go along the bluffs down to the sea. Once at the sea, they can make their way back to the settlement. They grabbed their gear and made their way to the bluffs.
About halfway there, they started hearing voices nearby in the jungle. At first, they were slight whispers but then the giggling started. After a few minutes, the voices started getting louder and sounded familiar …. Nikos? It was his voice but he was staying back. They branched out to find the source of the voice and thought that the mage may be in some sort of trouble.
Moments into the search, they still continue to hear his voice but then they suddenly get a glimpse of Nikos fleeting away between the trees. This lead to a small clearing where Nikos would appear and disappear in different parts of the area. Something was amiss and paranoia started to set in. Khloe used her magic to create an illusionary large cake, in the hopes of drawing him out. Weapons were readied as they began to understand that this was indeed not Nikos.
Khloe, when looking hard to find NotTheNikos, felt a slight blow on her hair from behind. She felt the body of Jinx tighten. As she turned around (in slow motion horror movie style), there was nothing there. However, when she turned back around, the ground in front of her turned into molten lava and flames. Startled by this, she let out a warning shout. The others turned to see what had appeared. When they did, NotTheNikos also appeared within the flames and molten lava. Both Baelin and Haned loosed their readied arrows … both arrows struck true, but seemed to pass through him. NotTheNikos giggled a bit and then disappeared.
If NotTheNikos wasn’t real, then is this sudden occurrence of molten lava also not real? Haned went in for a closer look to investigate it further. When branches would not burn in the flames, he determined that it was a pretty sure bet that it was illusionary magic at work. The centaur walked into the flames and lava.
This caused Khloe to freak out. She watched her group member walk into the burning zone and catch flame himself. She seen the fur on his body get singed as licks of flame caught hold and worked up the body. She watched as his skin began to melt and fall from his equine frame. She quickly grabbed her waterskin and poured the water on him. The flames went out and Haned was back to normal. She had SAVED his life and proceeded to chastise him for walking into burning flames.
Realizing that this was likely the work of something just harassing them, and since they have not been hurt, they decided to withdrawal from the situation and proceed with the task at hand. They were back on track with no further issues. When they reached the bluffs, they realized just how tall they were. It was an estimated 200ft up and the cliff face was not suitable for climbing. As they moved along the bluffs and looking closer, they determined that the bluffs consisted of basalt and granite rock. Some parts of it, where the face jutted out at odd angles, seemed to be naturally formed in a way not known to them.
When the day was close to being done, there was a small crack in the bluff that was camouflaged by other parts of the bluff. The stone seemed to overlap on itself like a loosely laid curtain drape. Upon further investigation, the crack was an opening to a cave. It was a tight fit in some cases, but the group was able to get in. Not far into it, the group found strands of extremely sticky filament lines blocking the path. When they were cut away, globs of the sticky filament substance launched at various members of the party in an attempt to entrap them. Each time, the filament was easily severed. It was out of reach, so weapons were readied for the creature to provide an opening. This came when it went to launch more filament. Arrows struck true and Haned threw his handaxe at it. Khloe was especially successful with her sling shot. The sling bullet hitting the creature just right that it lost its balance and fell to the ground in front of them. The creature was easily dispatched at that point.
When pulling the weapons out, and the smell from Jomrumir’s bloody staff, a faint whiff of dwarven ale tantalized the senses. When Jomrumir licked the bloody staff, he could taste it as well. Then he remembered stories of a creature who’s blood was used in the creation of some particularly stout ale. The filament could also be harvested and the flesh could be cooked down to be a fairly good meal. Since they were just at the opening of the cave, they decided to wrap a rope around the carcass and raise it back to the cavern ceiling to keep it away from scavengers.
They proceeded deeper into the cave, but stopped to harvest some cave mushrooms that may … or may not be, editable. They came up on a small ledge that dropped about 10 ft down. Baelin and Khloe were the first to go down while Haned started to prepare a rope to climb easier. Suddenly, a pair of stone looking octopi dropped from the ceiling and engulfed each of their heads. They found themselves blind and not able to breath. Before the others could get involved, one of them dropped an orb of pure darkness around the creatures and their victims.
One by one, the group slowly made their way into the darkness. Baelin was able to rip the creature off of his face, threw it on the ground and pinned it under his foot. Khloe, on the other-hand was not so lucky. Her attempts at pulling the creature away have failed, even with the help of Jinx. In an attempt to free herself, she grabbed her dagger and started cutting at the creature. When there was a decent cut, she was able to use the folds to tear the creature away. She now as free.
Once they were tore off their victims, the creatures were easily killed at that point. Afterwards, Haned remembered something from his past. He had seen these before. The creatures were called “Darkmantles.” These creatures would hang from cavern ceilings and drop on their victims, suffocating them to death. Yet one reason why Haned does not like caves.