There has been some disunity in the party of late. As a ref, I could have encouraged a more unified party composition, clan, or temple affiliations..perhaps. But I didn't. So we have two followers of change, and one of stability, all with very different world views. Having brought some level of closure to the story arc concerning the property rights of to the cave, which has been at times dubbed "The Abundant Womb of Hrihayal", the parties common interests have ebbed.
They decided that it was now important to determine who holds title on the land with the back entry to the caves, so they went out to the site, and then climbed to the approximate location where the chimney exited the cave system. They spent the evening of arrival looking, but found nothing. Well, not nothing. Mriga found several small blue insects, known for healing properties, and not common to the area. This led him to also find a small, very old, very rusted, iron insignia, possibly dating back to the age of the dragon riders. It caused a bit of discussion.
That night, Suni suggested they all break open the wine, to celebrate being out camping again, but Sanjesh thought that this was a bit suspicious, as she had never suggested that she enjoyed the camping that much. He believed there might be skullduggery afoot, but, in keeping with his temples precepts that one doesn't pass up pleasure, he allowed the guards to imbibe. Which they did. What happened after dark could lead to spoilers, so,
Instructions.. Mouse over this text.. from here to the word end. The text is in white, so I think this will work..
For Sanjesh's part, he tasked a slave to keep an eye on Suni for the night.
For Suni's part, she had slipped a mickey into the wine. And the guards got woozey. And tended to fall asleep, on duty. But she also noticed that she was being watched, so she took the slave for her pleasure, and drugged the slave as well.
Sneaking past the sleeping guard, she went to the chimney.. oh, she had found it earlier, but not informed the others. Suni had instructions from her temple. They had sent a team to do an recon mission into the caves, and they had not returned. She was supposed to destroy the evidence, and, if possible, determine what had happened. First she decided to climb down and take a look around.
At the bottom of the chimney she felt a very strong flow of other planar energies. It was centered on the Stele, which, it appeared, was shifted slightly off it's base. There were smudges on the cave floor, and nearby rocks that indicated what had happened to the recon party, who had exceeded their authority , with disastrous results. And she felt she was being watched.
Suni exited, cleaned up any evidence, roused the guard on duty, and sent him to find his relief, and went to bed with precious little time to sleep.
end spoiler.. for now..
The next day Sanjesh advised his guard to go hunting, and that they would only eat what they caught, as a penalty for drinking too much on duty. The group set out again to find the chimney, and, by noon, had found it. They also found an abandoned campsite, a ways away, low enough to see the fires of their own cave site, but far enough from the chimney that they may not have been related. The chimney, for its part, seemed undisturbed and sat in amoung the ruins of a very old, and quite simple foundation, as noted by Sanjesh, whose comes from a clan of builders. Suni expressed and interest in climbing down, and, based upon her agility, she was allowed to do so.
Instructions.. Mouse over this text.. from here to the word end. The text is in white,
Then a stranger approached her. The stranger from Tumissa, though he shimmered, as if ethereal. He explained that he wasn't really there, just a projection, made possible by the brooch she had been given to trigger communications. She asked if he could see what she was up to through the brooch, and he said that, yes, he could, though he usually didn't bother. (Suni, as you can imagine, was none to pleased with this information.)
He informed her that these findings: increase in interplanar energy, the remnants of the earlier group, all increased his belief that the object he sought was, indeed, in the cave. And that it would be quite large. He also told her that she was not safe in the cave alone, and things were watching. He wasn't sure what they were, but he was sure they were there.
Suni exited and reported that things were all normal in the cave, and the party packed up and returned to the base camp.
Because there have been a few adventures since my last update, I will take them in small chunks. Expect more in a few days.