The great orichalcum doors opened, revealing a narrow hallway that led into a large, open study. Sitting behind the desk were the mummified remains of a dwarf. Laid out before her was a letter.
To veiw the letter: Niera’s Last Testament
From the study were 3 doorways, leading to a library, an alchemy lab, and an armory.
The library contained too much to properly explore. Upon cursorary inspection, many records of lineage were discovered. A tome title The White Throne (written by Aleon) was discovered, as was a 12 volume set on the history of Landis. Roland very much wanted the Landis volumes, but could not think of a way to safely carry them through the rest of their journey.
In the alchemy lab, Anetha discover a pair of grimoires and a book of potion recipes. She also found a few potions that still seemed to be good.
The armory had 5 cubiles, each with distict sets of equipment.
Cubicle 1 – A human-sized set of ornate (yet functional) plate mail and a helm. The human emblem of House Bourne was emblazoned on the left shoulder of the armor. There was a slot for a sword, but no weapon was present.
Cubicle 2 – A set of ashy grey hardened leather armor, obviously built for a female; a buckler; a spear; and a whip.
Cubicle 3 – A dwarf-sized set of plate mail and a warhammer.
Cubicle 4 – A set of grey robes and a staff.
Cubicle 5 – A set of mottled gren and brown hardened leather armor and a longbow.
The group divied up the gear and decided to spend the night in the vault.
The next day they were off again. Heavy rains greeted them outside and continued throughout the day. It was a miserable walk and everyone was soaked and tired.
That night, Roland and his watchmate (Dumond?), fell asleep durinfg their shift.
The Wayfarers awoke to the smell of roasting meat. The rain had lessened to a light drizzle and everyone’s stomach rumbled as if they hadn’t eaten in days.
A rabbit on a crude spit was over the fire, while ten more rabbits were gutted and draped over a nearby branch. There were no clues as to where the rabbits had come from, nor how long the group had been asleep. The group ate, packed up, and continued. This mystery would have to wait.
Sometime later, Stigandr found booted tracks of people moving quickly. The tracks seemed to be at least a day old and headed in the general direction the group was already headed. The group decided to follow them.
As the Wayfarer’s moved out of the woods and into a large clearing, they spotted the open entrance to a kaer in a cliff face across from ahead of them. They also noticed The Green Heart Company entering the meadow to the west of them.
When The Green Heart Company noticed the Wayfarers, they broke into a run, racing for the kaer. They laughed good-naturedly as the ran; and, for a while, everyone almost felt like care-free children again.
Stigandr arrived first, just ahead of Lady Grace and several members of The Green Heart Company.
Just outside the kaer, six Koller were tied to a makeshift hitching post. Someone had made it here before them.
As they entered the kaer, the sounds of fighting could be heard from ahead, coming from the kaer’s main chamber. From the sound of it, the conflict had many participants.
The two groups moved forward together, towards the dimly lit, dust-choked chamber.
A couple of figures emerged from the dust. Thoog was in front, running quickly. Just behind him was Grayson.
“Go! Go!" Grayson shouted in panic, "I think it saw u…” A great, oil, black tentacle sped out from the chamber and split Grayson in half lengthwise.
Thoog spotted the newcomers. “Come! We must get to higher ground!” He turned and raced down a corridor. Just as the Wayfarers were beginning to follow, Thoog hit a pressure plate in the floor and the walls slammed in on him. A surprisingly small spurt of blood stained the dirt floor before the Wayfarers.
Still confused the Wayfarers and The Green Heart Company moved towards the main chamber.
An enormous, oily-black, tear-shaped thing hung from the great light quartz suspended from the kaers ceiling. A Horror! Embedded in the belly of the beast; the old, dessicated body of a man in rusted plate mail hung, almost as if for display.
Arrayed on two different levels, the remaining Adepts of Wayfare tried to engage the creature, with little success. The Horror seemed to be out of most’s reach and those that could reach it received the brunt of the Horror’s retaliations. Already there were six dead on the floor: Sha’tina, Lurman Dost, Lomander, Grillik, Lodan, and Nalese.
The Wayfarers moved into action but found there was really little they could do.
Anetha used her power to control gust of wind to help clear dust from the air.
Lady Grace began a slow, stealthy climb up the wall to see if she could somehow break the light quartz from the ceiling and put the Horror in striking range of her companions below.
All around them, people they had know since childhood, screamed in pain and died. Simon was struck by a pair of Razor Orbs and tumbled of his ledge on the upper level; Andaluve was snatched up by a trio of tentacles and, literally, ripped apart; and Alancaro received a pair of Razor Orbs as well, that blew through him like magical, steel bullets.
The head of the body in rusted plate jerked upward, as if suddenly coming awake. It looked around slowly until its eyes found Stigandr and stopped. It peered at him without emotion.
With seemingly great effort, the now-animated body pulled its arm free of the Horror, reached behind its back, and drew a sword. Lacking the strength to throw the sword, the body sort of pushed the sword in Stigandr’s direction and went limp again.
Stigandr rushed to the weapon and picked it up. A hand-and-a-half sword. More interesting was a raised coin-like piece that poked up out of the crosspiece. It looked to be about the same size as the indentation in Eckhardt’s Puzzle.
Fumbling out the medallion, Stigandr found that it seated onto the sword perfectly. There were no immediate or obvious effects.
Hoping that this weapon might be of use against the Horror, Stigandr tossed the weapon to Roland.
Meanwhile, Lady Grace had made it to the mounting bracket. Seeing it up close, she had little hope she would be able to dislodge it, but she had come too far to not try. She pulled out her dagger and started chipping away at it.
Another tentacle flashed out and found Sendra, knocking her onto he back, where she lay motionless. Anetha moved to help the fallen ork and a scream of rage sounded form above them…
With a fantastic Great Leap, Ky cleared jumped from his position on the higher ground and landed atop the orb the Horror clung to. In his hands, he held his father’s sword, Asunder. With a mighty swing, Ky shattered the links and began to fall with the Horror.
Thinking fast, Lady Grace ran her foot through one of the massive links and let go with her hands. Now, dangling upside down, she managed to grab a hold of Ky’s forearm (leaving long furrows from her claws), keeping him from plumetting to certain doom.
The Horror crashed into the floor, with the orb landed atop it, pinning it to the ground. The Adepts, now able to assault the creature properly, lay into it with everything they had. There were a few satisfying hits, but the monster’s thick skin was still proving difficult to pierce.
From below the creature, a dry voice chanted. The words were muffled and difficult to make out.
Suddenly, the sword in Roland’s hands flashed brightly, and weak points in the Horror’s hide began to glow electric blue.
“Hit the blue areas!” Roland yelled, and everyone shifted their attacks.
In short order, the beast was dispatched, but not without a heavy cost to the Adepts. A total of seventeen of the thirty-six Adepts lay dead. Sheyzi lost her left hand in the battle, Gretta suffered a broken leg, and Nadja had been staggered by some sort of mental assault.
And thus ended the Battle of Kaer Aklar (now known as the Kaer of Blood)