Amaranthine Rift

3.3 Back inside the cave

The crew plunges back into the darkness, this time with an irritated Bellamy and an angry Storm.
“It be a cold day in Dolurrh before I takes one o’ Relic’s potions again.” gripes Bellamy.
“If it makes anything other than those little bombs, I’ll end it myself. I don’t care what Torrit wants.” adds Storm

Not long into the tunnels, avoiding the places they’ve already been, the crew comes upon a rather large cavern with the sound of trickling water in the distance. Amarill’s light shines off Arjun’s shield, creating a mirrored light throughout much of the cave. Kat’s new blade shines brightly, making much of the cave as the brightest day.
This cavern however, is different. Oh, it holds several kobolds, just as the others, except there’s a little more to it.
several kobolds with slings pop out of their tunnels, swinging their pots at the crew. A few kobolds with the wicked looking blades pop out and charge. One trips right in front of Storm. The fullblade crashes down, slicing the poor bastard in half. A hooded, robed scaly one throws a pot of stinking goo onto Arjun, hitting him square in the chest. Just then, a splash is heard as a strange looking creature rises from the pool at the far end. This six legged insect-looking beast charges Arjun, sinking its pincers in his plate. The beast, an Ankheg, tries to pull him away, back towards the pool. Bellamy will have none of that.
He races after the Ankheg, sinking his blades deep into the beast’s carapace, exposing the oozing slime beneath. Kat charges after, hacking away with her bastard swords, killing the beast well before Arjun is pulled into the water.
At the end, the crew captures the robed kobold.

“Tell me where the girl is.” growls Bellamy, as Arjun holds it off the ground by the throat.
“Never! The lord master will rise again!”
Bellamy cuts its toes off, one by one, until finally, the kobold points the way to his master, whimpering and crying.
Birdoswald stands to the side, clearly uncomfortable, but making no effort to stop Bellamy.
Bellamy ties the kobold up, and leashes him to his wrist.
“Lead the way little one” he says as they march down the tunnel.

A few minutes later, the path branches, the kobold suffers more pain at Bellamy’s hand before telling them which path to take. The tunnel opens into a large cavern, with several kobolds guarding a priest, chanting over the body of a human girl. Runes cover the floor where the girl lays, an alcove in the room’s center.
“This is a dark ritual.” mutters Amarill. Birdoswald nods his head in agreement.
“I wonder if they need a virgin for the sacrifice…” says Bellamy.
“I know how to take care of that.” says Arjun.
“There will be no raping of anyone while I’m alive.” says Kat, staring Arjun down.
“We better get moving boys, and girl, sorry ’bout that Amarill.” says Bellamy before he charges into towards the wyrmpriest.

The battle is short, but fierce. Storm and a pair of Dragonshields dance back and forth, neither making much headway. Finally, he cuts them both down and turns towards what’s left of the wyrmpriest. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew cut down the other Kobolds. Arjun grabs Katrin and pulls her out of the runes. A moment later, the runes flash, and a purplish light flashes through the cavern. A large, bony, half dead Black Dragon materializes.
The recently dead Kobolds rise, shouting “All hail Zarflax!”

Arjun pulls Katrin towards safety, throwing his body on top of her as a slinger pelts Arjun’s back with his pots. Kat, knowing this Zarflax was the great darkness within, charges in, laying waste to this half-living Dragon in a spectacular display of swordsmanship. Storm and Bellamy push the dragon back into the alcove, hacking and slashing away before Zarflax can make any way towards Katrin. As Zarflax dies, so too do his undead minions.

Katrin cries all the way out of the cave, partly in terror, partly in shock.
Outside, her father has gone, presumably back to town with Duane and his father. The crew makes way back to the town of Zozo, arriving at dusk. There is already a small celebration, for Duane has returned relatively unscathed, as has the boy Trebor. The town cheers as Katrin runs towards her father.

Bellamy saunters towards the man, saying “Not so fast there. Seems she was captured by these kobolds, and seeing as how we took her from them, she’s my property now.”
“You mean to tell me that you brought her back not as a rescue, but as slave?”
“Didn’t say none o’ that exactly. Seems like we deserve a bit o’ payment, seeing as how none of you folks could bring her back.”
“Brother, do you mean to treat her like this?” he asks Storm.
“You’re not my brother.” he replies.
“Katrin came here to wed Duane. Tomorrow will be their wedding day.” says her father, Brand.
“That much is true. I was hired to come this way, performing rites and rituals for those who worship the Sovereign Host. Joining these two young ones in matrimony was to be one of the happier celebrations of the trip.” adds Birdoswald.
“Maybe so, but we aim to leave tonight. With the girl or with payment.”
Brand stares at Bellamy sullenly. His eyes smolder with a fierce resentment. “What is it that you want, half elf?”
“Half the dowry.”
“The dowry consists of some chickens and sheep. That will do you no good on the road.”
“Sheep, no. Chickens, aye, I’ll take ’em.”
Brand gestures to Trebor and the boy runs off.
“Don’t forget a sack for me chickens boy!” Bellamy shouts after him.
“He won’t forget.” says Brand. “and neither will I.” he says, under his breath.

The crew leaves Zozo and makes camp an hour’s walk outside of town. Bellamy roasts one of his newly gained chickens and the crew sleep uneasily, close to the Haunted forest of the Harrowcrowns.

EXP: 650 each
Items: Undead Ward ritual
Last Sight Vision ritual
Lvl 7 Astral Fire Chainmail – Jared
Lvl 6 Belt of Flanker’s Bane – Nick
2 lvl 5 Potions of Healing

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