Earthquake!

The Royal Guard Amere woke up in the castle to rumors of danger to the North of Mirith. It wasn’t until he ran into Jenos, a young rogue, on the outskirts of town that these rumors were confirmed to be true. They headed out on the road towards Duldrus suspecting that the road would lead them into danger. As the armor from the pair noisily clashed against itself, they could hear trolls grumbling in the distance. They approached the rock maze, only to find footprints in the dirt leading two by two on the path.

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The trolls were formed into an assembly line of sorts, spaced evenly on the trail with both trolls and forest trolls amongst their ranks. The Noble Jenos and Amere only ran into trouble when the odd bracken or bone mage came to aid the Troll’s cause. They approached a fork in the footprints as some broke to the East, while others continued in the direction of Duldrus.

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The diverted off of the pathway and quickly saw an outpost with a cage in it. In the cage, were two of the Mirith’s very own guardsman. After ensuring the guards that they surely wouldn’t receive a demotion, they informed him and Jenos that there were many more trolls gathering in Duldrus. The guards gave the pair a token of their gratitude and Jenos and Amere and continued on the path towards Duldrus.

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As they turned onto the pathway, they ran into more and more bracken. The fighter was having to use more and more of his potions as he began to doubt that they would be able to seriously scout the mining village. Luckily for them, the Looting Jester Alidar came to their aid with his pet bear. Like clockwork, the bear and Alidar took care of any bracken or gapers, while the other two kept the attention of the trolls on them. After some time, they managed to make it to Duldrus, where everything upon quick inspection seemed fairly normal, at least as normal as Duldrus can be. They repaired their armor and stoked back up on potions and started to explore more. On the South-East side of town they ran into a sand draco which seemed out of place. As they approached the mountains the ground began to quake. Rocks and boulders fell down the steep inclines of the mountain range, bringing earth elementals in their wake. As the earth quaked there was a distinct, echoing roar that ricocheted between the mountains.

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As the small group battled the oncoming elementals a Mother of Brigobaen and two men in armor approached to aid the cause. After the short battle, they exchanged introductions and the men confirmed what Amere had suspected, dragons lay on the other side of the mountains. The man also reminded him of the golems that had made their home among the mountain range. This would be no easy task for a party without a cleric. They decided to wait for aid after a few run-ins with gapers didn’t go as planned. Jenos had to leave the party to continue on without him, as Alidar and Amere waited for Nedved II’s arrival.

The Royal Guard elected to scout the area closer to where the dragons were. To know surprise, he ended up scouting a little too closely and ran into a sand dragon. He brought it to the coast where he could remain safe while they waited for Nedved.

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Once Nedved arrived they disposed of the dragon with no real trouble, after this there were a few golems close by so they killed those as well. Finally, they were able to approach the alcove where the Duldrus portal lies. The adventurers proceeded with caution, as they did not know what awaited them closer to the mountains. Amere advanced alone, and would lure any enemies back to Alidar and Nedved. In this alcove, they killed nearly 40 trolls/forest trolls, 5 bracken and 3 dragons, as well as a handful of snakes and gapers, which are more normal to the area.

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Near the mountains was what appeared to be a portal, with runes and roses surrounding a campfire in a symmetrical pattern. Next to it, laid the corpse of female ripped nearly in half by one, or maybe two dragons. A book was thrown yards away from the runes, with the title written in Brigobaen style. The book said to place the runes in order, and the image of Valdonna shall arise from the fire. The party made note to remember this as they had no idea what it meant.

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As they approached the only traversable incline that led up the mountainside, they felt another shockwave as the earthquake resurged. Rocks fell upon the pathway and brought more elementals with them. The earthquakes continued as they ascended the peak. They fought their way to a small dungeon within the mountainside. Here there were more elementals, sewer pipes, as well as what sounded like a stone golem behind rocks that had fallen from the ceiling to block entry to the room that the golem was located in.

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They took care of what they could and descended back down the mountain. Eventually, they noticed a plateau that was on the other side of a hidden path. Here, elementals had accumulated and they used the bottleneck to their advantage. As explored the plateau, they noticed a cave tucked away that was very easy to overlook.

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The quaking finally began to subside as they entered the cave. In the cave was an oasis. Small aftershocks from the repeated earth quaking resulted in rocks falling into the small pool of water that was in the middle of the cave. Nedved found a bloody journal that was seen protruding from newly unearthed rocks. Dirt and debris cover the waterlogged pages, but the book was still intact. The cleric grabbed the book and they descended to safety and made their way towards Mirith, eager to learn what secrets the diary held.
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