After defeating the undead remnants of a previous Adventurer’s Guild team, the PCs find an Alphai-attuned stela and a map on the remains of their cleric. Shortly before he died, the cleric managed to leave a message via a magic mouth, cast into the temple’s altar. The message explained that creatures in the forest had ambushed the party, slain a member, taken another into their lair, along with the un-attuned stela required to create a portal back to Alphai.
Following the directions on the map, the PCs made their way to the entrance to said lair, located within a ruined tower. Ellas, Quinn, and Erik all approached the tower, while Malfoy stayed safely behind and Daerron went to investigate a small pond close to the tower.
As Erik approached the tower, a strand of webbing shot out from a nearby tree and Erik was pulled up into the tree. The tree shook with the Erik’s painful cries, then Erik’s lifeless corpse fell to the ground with a sickening thud.
From out of the trees jumped three horrible-looking creatures that resembled humans, but with an extra pair of arms, and the head of a spider—including mandibiles and all eight eyes.
Within the tower, Ellas and Quinn found a Dragonborn, his arms and legs bound together by webbing. After a few rounds of struggling, the Dragonborn managed to free himself and joined the battle.
With the addition of a new fighter, the party easily dispatched the spider-people. Introductions were made, and the party made their way into the creatures’ lair.
The creatures turned out to be some strange insectoids resembling Silithids from World of Warcraft, or the ‘bugs’ from Starship Troopers. The PCs made their way through the cavernous gauntlet, fighting these… unearthly bugs who fought so fiercely their clawtips were like blurs before them.
The un-attuned stela was found in the hive’s final chamber, surrounded by hatchlings, and guarded by a giant Hive Keeper. Daerron inadvertently got the hatchlings’ attention, and lured them all to a chokepoint were every character was able to defeat them with their abilities. However, during the battle, rumblings were heard behind the group. After the last hatchling died, the earth behind the PCs exploded and the Hive Keeper emerged from the ground.
The Hive Keeper managed to take one of the party members out before it was killed. Fortunately, Ellas was able to revive the fallen member.
Now with stela in hand, all the PCs needed to get home was to charge it with the magical energies of this world. To do that, they would need a source of Magicka. The map had a notation indicating that the keep up to the north might be a source of the important crystal.
Sure enough, Magicka was found at the keep. Unfortunately, it had become a part of a young black dragon’s diet.
While the dragon slept, Daerron tried to sneak his way to the large crystal, in hopes of getting a small piece of it for Ellas to attune the stela with. However, the rubble Daerron trod upon shifted at an inopportune time, and awoke the monstrous lizard. It attacked the Halfling, searing it badly with a burst of acid, before the rogue high-tailed it out of range.
The Dragonborn, seeing his ancient relative, tried to communicate with it. However, consuming Magicka had the unfortunate effect of turning the dragon feral, and while it seemed at first that the two would be able to communicate, it was not to be. The dragon sensed correctly that these intruders were here to take it’s horde/food, and set to defend it.
It took turns perching on a covered stable and taking to the air, scorching the ground with acid bursts, and at one time, covering the stable in a thick fog of darkness. Ghesh, the new Dragonborn ally, and Daerron kept it’s attention, while Quinn and Malfoy struck it from a distance. Seeing that the dragon’s attention was elsewhere and feeling that the battle could go poorly at any moment, Ellas ran towards the Magicka and began to attune the stela.
The process took almost a minute, but when the stela was finally attuned, the dragon was almost dead. It then noticed the lone acolyte, and was about to attack, when the final blow was struck, and the dragon died.
The PCs took teeth from the dragon as a memento of their victory. Daerron also found a quarterstaff with some magicka covering the tip. This was given to Malfoy, and was revealed to be a quarterstaff of lifedrinking +1.
With both stelae charged, Ellas firmly planted them on the ground, and a portal back to Alphai was opened. Everyone stepped through the portal, eager to get home…
The portal led them to a darkened room, with a light source high above them. Standing before them, looking down at a clipboard, were Eva Houstone and her two assistants—alive! At their arrival, the blonde dwarf looked up with a slight smile and said:
“Oh. You’re back!”