With Telse rapidly devolving economically the group decides to discover if they can restore the Everflow. The issues further west can wait. Aamar is Telsean. Maurice is from Fort Ooshar, another community that depends on the waters of the Everflow. Doceo needs trade, as trade is his life.
Mo, Doceo, Aamar were present as active PCs.
Mansaray, Samul, Behn, Saffron and Ixnyx stay at the airxip.
The remaining characters are in Sheljar. Ajhenas and Kuda are on the Tower Island creating a military, while Telley is on the settled island with the Temple of Wisdom (where the goblins hid) helping the people make a life there. Braaz, and Els are working on restoring the two homes on the south end of the Island Inn.
Shonie is retired and remains in Telse.
Mayor Kellamon, Captain Piyu and Corporal Allison are meeting at the Mayor’s office. There they tell the Lorebook Hunters that they had gathered an earlier group in order to head into the opening where the Falls of the Everflow erupt from the cliff between Telse and Upper Telse. Aamar, Doceo and Mo take a couple hours to shop and then return to the offices.
They meet a group of clearly overwhelmed halflings. All are in leather or hide armor. Three have clubs, including Thad Trailhide, who Aamar has met in years past. Nerv Oxstorm has a dagger, but he’s easily frightened. Honora and Niras round out the Telse natives. Ursula Dustrain has a baton and studded leather. She admits that she’s an outsider, but has volunteered to help. Maurice recognizes her from Ooshar. She hangs out in the Drop, with Willan’s family. For now, he trusts her.
They climb up the stairs to the swing arm where Quar’s faithful take the pure Everflow from the falls to eventually convert it to Telse’s greatest export – bottled Everflow, a healing potion. After our heroes, Nerv and Ursula use the swing arm to get across the 20 foot gap between the stairs and the opening the arm breaks. Thad wishes them well, grateful that it did not break while he was suspended.
Pudding and gelatin
Trudging through the shallow trickle that winds through an unfinished cave the group is slowly rising in elevation.The path winds, at times there are small pools. Eventually one of those pools has carved stairs in the back. This is unnatural.
They slowly emerge into a 40 by 60 foot chamber with a central trough that is 10 feet wide. It looks that normally the waters of the Everflow surges through that trough. There are four columns in the chamber, two to each side, evenly spaced from the walls.
Nerv screams. He is covered in a black goopy acid that eats away at his flesh. Mo hides and Ursula disappears. Several of our heroes take damage from the Black Pudding and Nerv is no more.
Unable to find Ursula, who likely left through an exit during the fight, Mo sees an 18-inch blue orb with a slight glow. It is suspended a few feet in the air. The three heroes learn that it is inside a Gelatinous Cube. They fight this other ooze, eventually tricking the sorry thing into the trough. Aamar carries the orb in his pack, since the other two are tiny halflings.
At the far end of the of the dungeon room is a single exit. It leads to a 10 by 10 by 10 tunnel that slowly rises. The floor is kind of slick, and there are fine tiles on every exposed surface. The only light they have is from a spell. The journey through this darkness is long, slow and continues to rise. They are almost certainly nearing the mountain behind Upper Telse.
Suddenly Ursula rushes into them. She is screaming of of a goliath surrounded in wind and lightning attacking her. As they discuss this with her Mo challenges her about her past. She admits she’s part of Willan’s gang. Her trip to Telse was to get more intelligence about the Lorebook Hunters. She tried to escape, then she tried to smack them with a baton to free herself. There was a fight. She died.
The shadow of Willan continues to appear in Telse and Ooshar.
Nils and the Lightning Goats
This battle was much tougher than it should have been. I’d already weakened the group, especially Aamar, in the first three encounters. Nils was a custom designed Beserker/Barb-Storm of Sea (though fluffed as Mountains). His two animal companions are Giant Goats that have electricity climbing through their horns. They can use those as a breath weapon lightning bolt type effect that recharges on a five or six. It was nearly a TPK.
As the group emerges into a large glade they feel howling winds around them. This glade has a huge muddy pit in the middle with steep cliffs and dense forest backing into more steep cliffs. There is a forty-foot tall pedestal within the muddy pit.Across the muddy area are two giant goats with lightning crossing between their horns.
Aamar, with the orb, climbs the pedestal. There appears to be a spot for the orb to rest there. It takes him a bit of time to get to the top. Mo slips into the forest to provide long range cover while Doceo watches at the base of the pedestal.
Just as the Quarite cleric places the orb at the top Nils, surrounded in lightning and wind, leaps from the far cliff and the two goats charge. The encounter is at distance to begin. The pedestal starts sinking and water surges out from the orb. Two of the heroes are now standing in water as they face off three electric opponents.
After taking a bit of lightning Doceo casts fireball and nearly destroys both goats. Maurice’s bow and Doceo’s fire bolts finish them off. Nils is raging on Aamar. The large goliath is attempting to chop through Aamar. The little halflings try to aid Aamar, but to no avail. Their cleric falls.
Things get very hairy. The animal companions are trying their best to save the people, but Nils is too powerful. Doceo finally thinks to cast First Aid on the fallen cleric. Aamar is back at one hit point. He casts Hold Person on Nils, who had been knocked prone when Doceo’s warhound bit him (it took a roll of 3 or less on a d20 to fail, Nils failed). The Hold Person works as well. A prone and paralyzed Nils is rapidly destroyed.
The group of combatants is standing in several inch deep waters of the Everflow. Their only known route away is starting to fill with water.
Never take a 200-foot dive
With Nils defeated the three heroes notice the rising waters about to flow to their escape. Aamar knows Nils and respects his family. While Doceo and Maurice run the hours through the tunnel Aamar is attempting to return the body of Nils to his home. Dragging a goliath through the tunnel and cavern slows the cleric down.
Using rope and Mo’s great leaping ability the animal companions and halflings get across the 20-foot gap easily. The water is starting to flow again. Aamar stuck with the huge body feels the water rushing past him. It may be impossible to return the body to its ancestral home. Instead he retreats to the chamber, puts Nils up in the room to the side of the trough and squeezes through the remainder of the tunnel nearly surrounded by water.
When he pops out of the Falls of the Everflow he tries to leap to the platform but falls short. A large human he tries to grab his companions. Mo gets one hand on him, but Doceo fails. Hanging on for his life, 200 feet above the lake Aamar is in serious danger. He is slipping. Mo quickly ties off a rope as Aamar falls.
Thinking quickly the Cleric of Quar casts Thorn Whip catching it on the platform and pulling himself up just enough, slowing the fall. Mo ties the other end of the rope off. The two halflings pull their deeply injured friend up as Usrula’s dead body pops out of the Everyflow plummeting into the lake below.