Given Rokka’s reluctance (fear, even) to be sold in Dragon’s Breath, we offer him an option: join our group and potentially earn his freedom. He seems glad to agree – much less be given an option and be able to make a decision.
Not long into our journey today, we come upon an architecture most excellent – a Dwarven Bridge! It is just stunning. The stonework and craftsmanship that went into is exquisite. And, unsurprisingly, it seems pretty ancient. It’s hard to tell since it is dwarven after all, but I can tell.
On the other side of this magical example of engineering and stonework, there’s music! Dwarven music! There’s a number of dwarves tying one on around a fire, and a cave a few hundred feet away. I ask to join them, but they say it’s a private, family affair (they’re Granitebreakers). But brother, are we not all family? They agree, hard to argue with that. Speaking of family, they offer us 900g for Rokka, but I guess he’s a part of our family now, so we decline. Apparently spirits are high as they mining metals from the cave behind us, rather successfully.
But that cave, death comes from it. A foul stench. They don’t seem to notice it, but we do. And then, we hear scratching and the shifting of rocks. Someone detects defiling magic! One of the Granitebreakers goes to investigate. We hear the movement of rocks, and next thing we know, he returns. Rather, just his head followed by an armored zombie with an ancient looking sword, perhaps made of some sort of black ceramic material.
*roll for initiative*
It is a brutal battle. It kills the Granitebreakers save Zabar, and uses its green defiler magic to siphon life off us and heal mid-fight. We are eventually victorious, but at a severe cost. The dwarves should be returned to the ground, but the only safe way to truly honor them after such a death is to build a pyre and make sure nothing can return. Zabar and I take up this task, alone.
We camp, and then head to town, with Zabar and his 1 pound of ore join us. In short order we find Hogwa, the slave merchant who is accompanied by an Air Genassi. He offers us 1500g for Rokka, which would be quite the return on investment, but we feel he’s a better asset to us and decline the offer. We leave on friendly enough terms, and he directs us to someone in need of adventurers. Perfect.
So, the job: find a dwarf named Kelium. The pay? 10g each, and a drink named after us. Excellent.
Rokka, Tylorre, and I head to the library to find more information, and on our way, hear the screams of a lady in trouble. As it turns out, it’s a halfling named Aneska, who certainly needs no help. We can help though – we have a Fire Genassi and “tenderize” and cook her would-be assailant.
After talking to Aneska, we decide to pay a visit to her partner, Fiera, who is a merchant of “fine things” – much more Tylorre’s realm than mine. We chat (Tylorre talks crystals) and discuss some symbols/sigils we’ve seen – ones for Earth, Air, and “Bad Fire”. He is interested in the candlesticks and silverware we havem and sell them to 10g. Later in the dwarven stacks at the library, I come across a reference to the term “Elder Elemental Eye”. I also learn of Tyr-Besil: a dwarf city under the Alluvial Sands – a great city of the Old Dwarven Empire.