02 Return with the Water Stone

The party returned to the living quarters to examine the dusty mural. It depicted the three dwarven heroes Borum, Bandig, and Zaad. Close examination revealed a rune for the word eye (or old eye), and that the eyes on each dwarf could be moved to show as open or closed. After some experimenting you triggered a mechanism that opened the wall itself to reveal a passageway.
You explored the long tunnel and found it ran parallel to Bottletown and had many hidden holes observing the town itself. Further in this tunnel branched in two directions. You first went right to find a grand chamber with a large statue and a sealed gateway to the surface. When you entered the statue moved to regard you with its lifeless face. Warily you spoke to the statue who seemed to understand dwarven. It did not answer your questions with words but instead pointed to runes in the columns to return simple sentences – it explained that the surface was not safe, the gateway could not be opened, and that something that wasn’t a dwarf had come to the chamber recently and retreated.
Next you explored the other branch of the tunnel which seemed of unworked earth. It extended upwards and you found several snaking tunnels.This was the home of countless spiders of larger and larger sizes. Just as you were thinking to turn back a monstrous arachnid-humanoid who attacked with two giant spiders. The monster retreated after receiving a vicious wound while the party struggled to fell the spiders.
Wishing to return you retraced your way back to the living quarters and closed the hidden entrance. Mayor Urus was grateful for your return and hastened to restore the water stone to use. He rewarded you with coin and was perplexed as he heard you recount your journey.

01 The Water Stone

Mayor Urus of Bottletown pleaded for your help. He explained one of the magics sustaining the settlement was a relic called a Water Stone, and that two days ago it went missing. No guards were able to provide clues, and the mayor dismissed his first suspicions about gremlins being responsible.
The party’s investigations found blotches of residue on walls, and an unnatural path free of dirt and grime that was chalked up to the effects of the Water Stone. You presumed a creature could have walked through the solid walls and secreted the relic out of town. Following the winding trail of cleanliness through Bottletown seemed to lead through the town’s wall, and far past the boundary post beyond.
The trail tracked to a small tunnel the party bravely crawled through to find a dank and dusty area that looked like the living space of a vagrant. Avoiding a crude pit trap the party crowded in and searched, finding a strange set of three holes. This seemed to be a mechanism that may have been dangerously trapped, but you worked it correctly to reveal a hidden metal ladder in the ceiling. This led to well made dwarven living quarters. Exploring the bedrooms found a few items of note and some common belongings of three dwarves. The kitchen itself was unkempt and dilapidated, with several parts of wall breaking away. One of the walls was disturbed and brought forth a horde of enormous ravenous rats that swarmed the party.The rats threatened to overwhelm you in their hunger until some quick thinking lead you to collapse and block off most of the holes. Magic was used to pacify one of the remaining creatures, and the rest were slain. You questioned the quelled giant rat and learned it feared the hearth. Examining further revealed a break in the hearth wall that lead to a natural cave. All seemed quiet as the party walked further in until you passed a pool of water. A monstrous snake was lurking and struck out, poisoning one of your companions and lashing out at a second before being cut apart. Looking at the remains showed this snake to be unnatural, with black-and-purple viscera and no bones, somehow part of the Horror creatures from the surface. You withdrew to the kitchen to recover.
Continuing to the back of the cave you were met by two bizarre dwarves. Their eyes flashed purple for a moment, and one asked “Where-do-you-live?”. They seemed to not like your reply as they then attacked. The dwarves were quite strong and resilient, and you fought hard to slay one when the second broke off and began to seep through a wall. This seemed to be a slow process and quickly grabbing it, you managed to drag it back to the fray. It lashed out while held but the party’s combined attacks ended its struggle.
As the din of combat quieted a strained voice called out for help. In the back of the cave a dying dwarf was gruesomely bound to the floor with a sort of hardened goo. Before he expired he managed to say:
“Vidar in Haskal. Tell him, tell him 27 is dead.”, and
“Did they get past the mural? YOU MUST CHECK! The town depends on it”.
You broke free his incomplete remains.


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