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.