While recapping the events of the honorable fight with Cleaver; Pathion Stardust was able to locate a hidden cache laden with supplies: 20 rations, 3 flasks of water, a quiver of arrows (20) a pouch of bullets (10). Also inside this cache of goodies were three Potions of Cure Light Wounds, and a Wand of Cure Light Wounds.
It was during this time that the group noticed the blue gem shard reacted not only to Alexander, but to the tattoos scattered across Blythe’s body, causing them to glow in a similar color. When moved away, the gem faded to grey, only to reignite when brought close to Alexander and Blythe, though the crystal did not pull to Blythe as it did to Alexander.
During a closer inspection, Pathion was also able to find a cleverly hidden switch along the wall. Carved from the rock itself the craftsmanship was very clearly dwarven, but the intricate work connecting it to whatever device it initiated was something more elven in nature. Pressing the button unleashed a power AoE spell that engulfed the rooms in a purple glow.
A quick spellcraft check and detect magic revealed spells to be Stoneskin and Arcane Lock. The bar and door behind them disappeared, and appeared solid rock, encasing the group, for all intents and purposes, inside a giant rectangular cube.
A sense of serenity came over the group, peaceful and inviting. There was no malice sensed, and this came across as a sanctuary. Some quick deductions decided that this place was meant as a last ditch effort, a last stand place, meant to separate the mining operation from the rest of the Halls.
Deciding to rest and wait out the enchantments, the group fell into a deep slumber. But it was not a peaceful sleep. Dreams of a babe sacrificed on an altar surrounded by dancing, snarling green kobolds awaited them in their slumber before the image disappeared into a fog of white haze.
When the fog cleared, three beings, unknown to the group were arguing amongst themselves; words that most of the party were able to overhear. One was dressed in all white, grizzly and aged; the other in red, alluring and sensual, and the last in all black, gaunt and haughty. The argument grew heated, but during the course of eavesdropping, the group was able to discern that they were siblings, and had, if nothing else, indirect knowledge about the blue gemshards.
Krosh asked about the dream with the baby, to which the figure in white responded that the “baby had been sacrificed.” And that the paths chosen, and the choices made had put into motion a series of events meant to invoke a prophecy.
Krosh asked about the note he found from the defeated body of Cleaver, to which the beings responded with instructions: "To go west, you must first seek out the fair of the silver hair to the east (To go left, you must go right).
The “fair of the silver hair” are known to be the mysterious elvish people of the Fallenwood; the same forest, the outskirts of which, houses the entrance to these caves that the group initially started through.
Speaking in generally vague terms the figures did impart various knowledge. The group learned that they were chosen as potentials to restore the balance of the skies. One of three groups, to date, that had been chosen for this endeavor. It was indicated that some of the first group still lived, while it was alluded that the entire band of mercenaries that made up the second group were eventually killed to the last man.
When Blythe asked who they needed to seek out, the beings informed them that they were to look for the Witch of the Onyx tower. This tower is known to reside along the Eastern edge of the Forest of the Fallenwood.
When asked about the shards the group had been acquiring, the beings became especially vague; the knowledge they did impart is that the shards made up a large gem and that gem carries the power to restore the balance.
“Slay the Errant One and restore the balance. The count must be kept. The line must be restored.”
Maud’dib during the course of this interaction, became convinced that the beings they were dealing with in this dream were Gods, likely representatives of three of the many constellations that had fallen from the evening sky.
Having had enough, the figure in black demanded a Trial, to which the figure in Red agreed, and the figure in white reluctantly acquiesced. His only caveat was that his champions would not participate, at which point Alexander and Maximillion faded from view. Though, no longer participating, they were still able to watch the scenes unfold.
Pathion and Blythe were engulfed in a black glow, their skin draining to white, becoming taut against the skin.
Maud’dib and Krosh were in turn champions of the figure in Red, their skin and clothing turning to a fire that did not burn.
Elevating to a spectator platform the figures watched, as a white fog engulfed the group and then retreated leaving behind Kobolds. Looking upwards the group noticed three large gem shards in the distance, in which Maud’dib used his knowledge of the dreamworld to try and float towards. Though he gained ground, the crystal shards seemed no closer than they had when he first begun. The party was able to dispatch the Kobolds with minimal effort.
At this time the Fog enclosed in again and began glowing a red, when it receded, left in its wake were a number of Goblins. After defeating a couple, the red fog returned, and the goblins were gone.
The figure in black, angry, brought forth a black cloud of fog, and in its wake were three large humanoids. One Goblin, One Kobold, and One Orc. Individually, they were no match, but together, the group had to dig deep and discover new found abilities within this dream world. When defeated, the Fog threatened to come forth again, but rather than a solid color, it was as if the spectrum of light was battling with itself, and the fog emanated colors of all variations.
Surprised, the beings began chanting, and it seemed almost as if they were trying to stabilize this realm. Suddenly, a being materialized, female and very seductive; her smile condescending. When she cackled, fangs flashed, and everyone knew they were seeing a vampire.
It had been known that when the Mines were first shutdown it was because a host of vampires had moved in and enslaved the Dwarven people. Could this be the same vampiric menace?
The vampire was very nonchalant, and after taunting the three beings, she left the dream world of her own accord, beseeching the “chosen ones” to seek her out, and that she would be waiting.
The last words the group heard, before they were ushered out of the dream were, “Seek ye out the Fair of the Silver Hair. The Line must be Restored. The Count must be kept.”
When waking from their dream, the rectangular sanctuary was shielded no more. The doors on either side were both open, and missing were Hazel, Nekel, along with the gem shard that Krosh had acquired from Cleaver.
On the ground in a tidy pile were three other shards, seemingly placed there deliberately.
A quick tracking by Krosh indicated that Hazel had retreated back the way they had come through. Choosing to chase her down, the group peered into the previous room, with the bonfire still going strong. It was clear of any enemies, but the remains of a mighty battle could be seen, as blood and body parts were splattered and strewn about everywhere. In the distance, they were able to make out two figures, one a tiefling, the other unknown. Upon closer inspection they saw the unknown to be Cedric the Cleric, battered and beaten; a broken shell, barey alive, and towering over him was a female tiefling they had not encountered before. She snarled at them, dropped something on Cedric’s body, and stabbed downward with her sword. He gasped one last time as life left his mangled body. Krosh knocked an arrow and fired quickly, but the arrow sailed wide and hit the wall. While Maud’dib began casting Faerie Fire…