The Amear

The Caves of Kareshar

A
s the mist woman died, we thought we heard her say “Father forgive me”, though no one saw her lips move.

A deep howl sounded all around us. A few minutes later, Shansu entered the room, concerned. Toroc asked why he left Cormyr alone and went to go help the Otter warrior.

Beomere wanted to retrieve his spear that he’d dropped into the water fighting the mist woman, so he tied a rope around his waist and dove in. A half second later he surfaced and Eirwen cast Warding of the Winterborn to help him survive in the ice cold water. Shansu went out to scout the garden and mountainside and Charon and Brightfang went up to the antechamber to keep guard. Eirwen and Usul anchored the rope.

As Beomere searched underwater, Eirwen studied the blue flame that seemed to be the center of the convergence. She felt that somehow the flame drew power from the convergence- a strange thing indeed.

Beomere came up and said that the area underwater was made by man’s hand- smooth and square and covered in writing. He dove below again to continue searching for the spear.

Eirwen tapped the convergence and replenished her power two-fold, the the excess began to bleed off in minutes. The next time Beomere surfaced, he had the spear! Eirwen healed some of the wounds he’d taken from the mist woman.

Meanwhile, Shansu had hidden himself outside of the garden. Movement in the corner of his eye was likely pixies, though he couldn’t be sure. After a while, he saw a woman with blonde hair step into a clearing. She gestured to the forest and another howl echoed all around. She pointed straight at Shansu, who took a parting shot at her- the arrow struck her but stuck in the leaves and bark she wore. Several tiny spears flew towards him, one landing in his neck, but he ignored it, running back into the cave.

Beomere and Usul decided to investigate the flow of water, hoping it would afford an escape route. Beomere tied the rope to the spear and braced it to the hole in the bottom of the flooded chamber and Usul went through on the other end of the rope.

We heard another howl and moments later Shansu and the wolves burst into the room. He described the woman he’d seen and the sounds of a horde of forest creatures coming towards us.

Usul described a pocket of air we would be able to breathe in past the tunnel, though in darkness he couldn’t see much more. We decided to risk it- not wanting to face the woman and what she might bring with her to face us.

Eirwen and Usul warded everyone against the cold and we all dove in. There was indeed a small chamber past the man-made one Beomere had found the writing on. The next area let out into a huge underground lake.

Eirwen and Usul immediately recognized this as the convergence- the strongest Eirwen had ever experienced- of weather and life and… something else. Usul was overcome and fell unconscious. Eirwen saw a human woman with straw-blonde hair, standing in front of a painted wooden post. It was her vision! She’d never seen the woman before but there was no doubt. Behind her was an endless gray sea and beside her a rack of fish drying over a fire- not the Amear method. They stared at each other and the woman reached out to Eirwen, but the wicce blinked and the vision was gone.

We found a makeshift shore to place Usul on and left the wolves to guard him as we explored the area. Of the seven tunnels in this room- for the lake turned out to be a flooded great hall of sorts- only one was above the water. Shansu explored it and found a tunnel that curved down sharply. He heard voices and felt something brush behind him- a shadow? He quickly returned to the others and relayed what he’d experienced.

Eirwen tapped the convergence and finished healing Beomere. While the Outsider continued to explore underneath the lake, she swam over and broke Usul free of the magic that had overcome him. He had not seen the vision Eirwen had, though.

Beomere dove underwater once again, having felt the rune below him. As he surfaced, Eirwen and Shansu saw a blue flame on the other end of the lake where we’d entered. They also made out a large creature forming from the water- huge, with white fur. Ice formed and broke off around it. Mist began to cloud around it.

We decided to take the tunnel Shansu had scouted. We descended into a room holding several large mechanisms. One was still moving- pumping air into the corridor like a bellow’s pump.

At the far end of the room was a door, solid and large, with the words ‘Do Not Open’ carved into it. Beomere sensed the rune he sought was behind the door, but when he moved to open it, the door didn’t budge. He swung an axe at the door but the weapon merely bounced off the door. He took his dagger to the lock, trying to pick it.

Shansu and Usul his atop the machines, waiting for the woman or the creature. Eirwen hid behind one. After a few moments, Shansu and Eirwen saw two tiny creatures dart into the room from the tunnel. Impossibly fast. We heard what we thought were children laughing from the tunnel. [I didn’t take great notes on this part- if something is missing or out of order, feel free to edit-J] Eirwen sent the Wind of the North into the tunnel to stop any more from coming in.

The tunnel filled with blue light and a charged crackling sound just as a bolt of lightning shot into the room and struck Beomere.

Two yetiahs dropped in from the tunnel and Beomere and Charon charged them. The dire wolf tripped one and tore it’s throat out. Beomere hit the other with his spear and Usul buried an arrow to it’s feathers into the thing’s leg. It screamed. [Not sure who killed it- Usul or Shansu?]

Beomere called out to the woman. She told him to open the door. He told her to enter the room and face us. He saw movement in the tunnel and reached out to catch a silver-looking key.
The blue flames in the room turned red and fire rained down on us. Shansu dodged it and Beomere’s armor prevented him from being burned, though he and Eirwen got a bit singed.
The woman dropped into the room from the tunnel and Shansu and Usul shot arrows at her. [hit? Location?] Eirwen sent two bolts of ice at her but missed. Beomere struck with his spear and hit her. She reached out and caught his wrist in an iron grasp. Her eyes were blood red. She tried to trip him but he held his ground.
The wolves went at the quicklings that had managed to enter the room.
Eirwen charged the woman with Bloodchiller, but missed- the blonde woman moved impossibly fast. Shansu sent two arrows at her, striking with one to her chest and one to her neck- spraying blood all around. Usul moved up to help break Beomere free from the woman’s hold, but couldn’t move her.

Beomere dropped his shield, drew his dagger and swung, but missed her. Shansu hit with two more arrows to her chest and abs. Usul finished her off. [?]

The woman had a wolf pendant identical to the one Beomere had given Eirwen, all those months ago. She also had a necklace of amber beads strung on a silver-looking chain, which Eirwen felt she would need to study. She also had another, smaller silver-looking key.

Beomere put the key in the lock and the door opened before he could turn it- revealing a half-woman half-snake just like the one we’d fought in Ice Falls Bastion. Alabaster, stone-like skin, coiled snake where legs would be, with four arms, each holding obsidian scimitars.

Beomere told her he was there to release her and she responded that she would not let him get what he was seeking. He rushed in at her and hit with his spear. She hit him with three of her four arms- one of which connected with his head. Somehow he remained conscious, and he stepped back to force her back to the door. He struck again with his spear but it slipped from his fingers. Shansu ran into the room and let an arrow into her abs.

Eirwen ran after her cousin, just getting through the doorway. The wolves and Usul couldn’t get past her, but Usul shot an arrow and struck the woman’s head, killing her.

Beomere found the rune and bound it to his soul, the fourth of eight.

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Genevieve

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