The Quest for the Keep of the Source Part 4 - A DragonQuest adventure for Ivi the Elf
Background: the Adventurers return to Seagate
On returning to Seagate after their previous expedition the adventurers were intercepted by a number of riders identifying themselves as members of the College of Naming Incantations, who invited Pippy to the Namers estate to meet with the local leaders. Eager to see her mentor Jeneth again, Pippy left with the adepts.
At the estate she was offered refreshments and a bath prior to the meeting, which she gladly accepted. However, when she returned to her room it was obvious that her belongings had been searched while she was scrubbing off the grime (and blood) of travel.
There was no sign of Jeneth, nor any of the other adepts she had met at the estate.
Pippy has concluded that these Namers found out about the quest and want all glory and accompanying rewards for themselves. As such they were after any information she might have discovered about the whereabouts of the ancient Keep of the Source.
Fortunately for the party the scroll and other treasures found at the Namers' hidden site at '0' on the map were in the possession of Balor, Dwarf of Hill and Stone, and so were not discovered.
Not wishing to share this vital information with the adepts, Pippy told them the search so far had been fruitless, and the party would re-embark on the same quest after they had recuperated if they decided to continue at all. The original map and whatever else they had found was secured in the Adventurer's Guild.
With this information the adepts walked Pippy back to her pony and to the gates of the estate.
The adventurers decided to leave the treasures with Balor, whose cousin Var, a skilled Shaper of Magics, is visiting former comrades in Stonesboro, 2o miles north-east of Seagate. Balor had longstanding plans to visit his cousin and the party decide to get the items assessed by Var. On advice from Pippy, the gold shillings are included in Balor's trove, and Gringlebar makes the journey with Balor.
On their return, the Dwarf reports:
For a small fee, my cousin Var examined the bounty and this is what she found:
- 17 gold shillings - of no magical value
- an amulet, made of silver and containing two deep-set rubies - the amulet allows the wearer to view events in history which happened at the present location of the wearer. Apparently it gets easier to control with practice
- two rings:
** a plain white gold ring with no markings - when worn by a namer gives the adept the true names of all Demonic Princes (which are forgotten on removal of the ring)
** a platinum ring with a single obsidian feature stone - this ring apparently, if worn on the sword hand, will give any weapon held by that hand the ability to harm creatures normally only able to be injured by magical or silvered weapons
After her months of secret study, Pippy has also deciphered the meaning of the scroll found during the previous adventure:
"And when I heard Balor's report it is starting to make sense!" She says.
To enter the I, seek the blackest stone under the tallest tower and tap thrice with cold steel magic enabled.
So as to allay suspicion, Gringlebar, Balor and another Halfling (a friend of Pippy's who is being paid a small fee for the deception) have set out this morning to retrace the party's previous adventure and will return within a week), leaving Pippy laying low with Ivi waiting for a chance to recruit some new party members to search for whatever awaits at 'I'.
Much of the journey south-west can be made via trails or the Sweet Riding, depending on which course the adventurers set. If the adventurers happen upon friendly creatures, or if a spell or talent is used to communicate with creatures or plants, they will hear rumours of a growing war between Hobgoblins and Orcs in the south-east region of the Fastness of Girwyllan.
Orcs and Hobgoblins
The adventurers will soon find that the position marked on the map is at the heart of a border war between the Hobgoblins who reside to the south of the Fastness of Girwyllan and the Orcs who live in the tunnels beneath the hills east and north.
While the two races normally live in uneasy alliance, hostilities flared six months ago when the Hobgoblin clans pushed east, tunnelling to allow better access to the trail used by merchants and adventurers. The new Hobgoblin tunnels unintentionally cut into an Orc armoury and treasure vault, both of which the Hobgoblins quickly pillaged.
Ensuing skirmishes quickly escalated to all out war between the races.
The following table should replace the encounter table for all rough areas traversed by the adventurers south of the tributary waters of the Unicorn River.
There is a 40% chance of an encounter every 2 hours. If there is no encounter, the adventurers will find instead the number and types of carcasses from a roll on the encounter table (D100/2 days old). All bodies will be completely stripped of anything of value (including useable arrows).
When you tap the stone three times with your weapon, there is a loud 'click' and the stone is able to be pushed upwards. Doing so reveals a door in the nearby rock which can soundlessly be pushed open.
Inside is a large (80' long and 15' narrow) natural chamber. A small amount of natural light enters from some very small openings high in the roof (40'). A natural opening lies two thirds of the way down the south wall.
There is no evidence of habitation, or even visitation. The floor is made of the same natural rock as the walls and ceiling, with the occasional stalactite and stalagmite.
To be continued!
Photo of Dragonquest's Frontiers of Alusia map by @DrWom
DragonQuest was SPI's fantasy role-playing game. It is now apparently owned by Wizards of the Coast, but they don't give a toss.
Photo courtesy of pixabay.com