As the party emerges from their battle with the Cube (see Oozius Maximus) a page comes and grabs Milo, waving Tansil off and rushes out towards the surface with the former in tow, stating he is urgently needed.
Eventually the party is informed by Dalrac that the elves have sealed the gates to the Valley, trapping a caravan out in the wild, and stopping all passage in or out of Thornwatch.
Nils and Lucian seek better accommodations for a long rest after the thrashing of/by the Cube.
After the rest:
Lucian, Tansil, William rouse and head to find the new Arch Dean to see what happened to Milo. He has been in Thornwatch for 12 hours with no word. Preparations for a siege of the monastery are beginning in earnest – albeit inexpertly. William has used the cistern as a swimming pool.
Stone hints to Lucian that an aerial scout would be helpful. Lucian’s friend scouted the sky. An army of ogres and kobolds sits outside the valley, causing Thornwatch to button up. strong magical energies are fomenting in Thornwatch. The caravan is mysteriously untouched near the evil army.
Nils gets dressed after a conversation in which he is mostly naked.
The clerics are doing a botched job of trying to secure the goods in the library damaging many documents in the process. Tansil winces.
Nils fiddles with his new Dwarvish rod.
Tansil wants to delve deeper to try to find the source of the dark forces and shut it down to assuage the elves.
At the room of doors, William tries to lift the fallen cold door, but a cave in from above opens, and a dragon man falls down, perchance hiding from something much much bigger upstairs.
An Ettin leaps down and deals massive damage to the dragonborn – a combat ensues where the Ettin is initially disoriented by the darkened room.
Nils in classic form pisses the Ettin off as the Ettin charges Pierce and Stone slaughter it as it passes.
Gems are pried from trophy skulls on the ogre’s belt – William gives one to Tansil and one to Nils. Stone then gives some torn off dragonborn scales to Lucian.
Lucian engages the newcomer – Pierce – in conversation about his lands and his purpose.
Lucian peels away layers of makeup and or sorcery, revealing the young woman, Sigrid. Reveals he is a she and use the disguise to hide her magic.
The rod (which was “procured” from the Arch Dean’s quarter’s by Nils) is manipulated by Sigrid using mage hand to first extend it and then lock it in space in the door with the bas relief of the reaving, unlocking the fallen door from the ground and ultimately revealing a Frost Brand blade beneath.
Stone uses the rod’s ‘combine’ switch to grab the ice blade to create a frost brand.
Now with fire resistance, Stone can approach the hot door, which cools down from red hot to a tarnished brass-green, with slot in the middle of the door. Stone uses the sword as a key in the slot hole to open the door.
There is tiny sun floating in the middle of the room beyond. The room is spherical, and covered with mirrors. Sigrid sends in an unseen servant and it is blown up.
Stone wants to shatter the mirror, others object. Stone shatters the mirror anyway, lessening the heat, making it possible to enter with the ice sword out.
He then falls in slices himself up on the glass. The ice blade falls out. The hilt begs for a “brand”. William tells the sword I brand you Wristcutter . The sword approves and yet begs for another ‘brand’.
Meanwhile, with out the mirrors, the stone walls start crumbling under the attack of the fire seed, threatening to bury Stone and the ice blade. Oscillating between trying to save his own skin and save the ice blade, Stone almost accidentally uses the combine function of the rod to swallow the fire seed into the rod, ending the threat of cave in. He causally in retrieves the ice blade.
He comes up and out drenched in his blood – Nils points out he is often covered in blood. Stone giggles like a child as he switches the blade between flame and frost.
Sigrid goads Pierce to touch the frost door – who becomes encased in obsidian – no saving throw! They then use a canopic jar to gather blood from the ettin – stone uses his new sword to slice open the ettin’s wrist.
DON’T USE A CURSED JAR FOR BLOOD MAGIC.
They pour the blood into an extended lower jaw of the face on the door – where there is a small basin.
The spirit of the mummy was in the jar, and sucked blood out of Sigrid too. The blood opened the door, ripping Pierce’s hand in half. We glimpsed into the room with pipes, with no immediate threat, tansil gather the obsidian shards of the hand, and does a cool mend/heal combo.
The mummy homunculus leaps out of the jar and tries to inhabit the dragonborn, but his paladin immunity shoved it back out, where the dragon’s ice breath and the fire brand beat it rapidly back. Bandages that had appeared around Pierce fall to the ground.
After briefly containing the mummy remains, Sigrid is forced to return the remains of the mummy.
Pierce definitively slays the spirit of the mummy and discorporates it. Inspiration dice fly around the table.
We enter the greased gnomish death trap – Stone switches his blade to ice form to prevent a conflagration.
Sigrid persuades Nils into look the brain scrambler citing the existence of a ‘jewel’ in the scrambler. It grabs him and encases his head in the brass sphere.
The door starts to shut and the oil rises. The ettin’s weapons wedge the door open a bit but they surely won’t hold long. Just before Stone shoves Sigrid into a helmet, she volunteers to, goads him to do the same.
Stone (much to Chuck’s annoyance) goes in also. Now three people have their heads encased in sound proof metal, and spikes grinding into their brains. The door closes faster – tansil and pierce attempt to to leave the room, pierce couldn’t make it. Tansil could, but chooses not to.
A roper attacks – lifting up PIerce and Tansil.
Stone uses wrist cutter to see what’s going on and takes some sloppy swings at the roper.
Sigrid uses her ‘friend’ to see what’s going on – and does a sorcerous blast to the beast but strikes Tansil .
She telepathically tells us to scream to raise ourselves, quoting the bones of the mountain: “As mortals expelled fearful cries,”
We scream to hasten our rise.
Pierce grapples a tentacle and prepares to ride up to the beast – an ignorant Stone severs the vine sending Pierce back to the ground.
Pierce and Tansil take turns dropping to 0 HP from the cavernous maw of the roper.
By the time the helmets reach the top, Nils has defeated the helmet mechanism and is attacking the roper directly, Stone is swinging wildly at the roper, and the oil has raised everyone up enough – the roper flees, we do not pursue. The party rests briefly at the catwalk at the top of the room.
Stone contemplates setting the oil aflame, then is talked out of it.
We open the next door, reaving a hammer in the middle of a spiked floor, Stone goes bonkers. He pins Nils against a wall reciting verse:
“Pull upon the spiked floor
To open up the final door
But once you enter
Leave no more"
Lucian/Sigrid asks where that’s from – Stone says its from the Bones of the Mountain – just a part he neglected to mention before. Stone strolls into the chamber of rune covered spikes and The Hammer at the center.
Nils says: “Don’t go in there, once you enter, leave no more!”
Stone points back the way they came: “What makes you think I want to go back to that world?”
The Hammer starts to wobble.
Stone grabs the hammer and tries to hold it still and continues speaking
“The Ancient ebon field lay fallow
Til ivory tooth did furrow form.
The brow of power’s prison rankled
As Begin’s blinding scythe bred scorn."
The Hammer of Thodish is apparently pinning an undead creature to the floor – it lashes out at Stone.
Stone: “Wait, wait, this is a prison – don’t let the hammer move.”
Nils and Pierce try to help – Pierce stumbles, destroys some already crumbling enchanted spikes and launches himself in front of Nils, just as Nils reaches the hammer.
The vampire grabs Pierce, drinks his fill and leaps up The Hammer falling to the side. Pierce is killed instantly from the force of the feeding.
The cloaked figure shouts “The Hammer of Thodesh is FREED” and flies away accompanied by a thunderclap – we hear cries of suffering and destruction from the valley below.
A second dead figure is found under the remains of the hammer – now just a pile of metal filigree with a pile of dust under it. There is a locket that implies it was Volnirda the Talamander’s companion woman-at-arms.
Stone stomps around in disgust, tears coming down his face “Where is the DOOR?!”
The Second Reaving has come.