The group heads back to Red Larch, the Necromancer of Lance Rock in tow. We turn him over to the Constable, who admits that the old guy had been run out of town a few weeks before for trying to recruit followers. He’s locked up, and we head over to the Inn to collect our 50gp (split 5 ways) for solving the mystery of the Rock.
Father Elias wanders off to resume preaching, while the rest of the group opts to head to the Tavern. Thorgal wants to follow up on rumors of weirdness at the Wagonworks, since he’s concerned about the Earth cultist at the quarry and now an Evil Eye cultist at Lance Rock.
The Best Key is Gold
While Ander L. hits the stage for a nightly performance, the rest of the group cases the tavern looking for Wagonworks employees. We find one in a corner, a halfling nursing a lonely ale. Thorgal brings the ale company, and Chopster takes the lead in interrogating the suddenly nervous worker. While initially reluctant to talk, some gold coins loosen his tongue and he reveals to us that his boss and a handful of strangers dress in robes and disappear in the Wagonworks on some nights.
This is easily a mystery worth exploring, so a crafty plan is constructed.
Ander B and Ander L, along with Chopster, will dress in a dark robes and infiltrate the Wagonworks. Thogal will wait outside the Wagonworks, figuring that his 8’ size makes it unlikely he will escape notice, and come to the rescue should anything go wrong.
As it is, nothing does go wrong. Instead, Chopsters keep eyes notice a worn trail leading to the salvage yard behind the shop, which ends up leading to a trapdoor. Thogal joins the group in the salvage yard, and down into the revealed tunnel the party descends.
This Ain’t Your Father’s Sewer
The tunnel leads to an unexpected dwarven complex, with long corridors and dwarven statues. As the party explores, they find a room with some corpses and giant rats – the rats are swiftly dispatched. Another room contains an anti-gravity field with a hovering black rock.
But its the room with a life-like dwarven statue, 5 stone-masked cultists and a pile of loot that provides the most interest. Naturally, Chopster leads the charge, telling the cultists they’ll die for what they did to his family. The cultists put up a good fight, including knocking Chopster down to death checks. A well-timed Healing Word from Ander L, plus a sweet critical from the newly revived Chopster, turns the tide, though.
In the loot, a magical dagger is found and quickly claimed by Chopster, who discovers it glows when its name Reszur is spoken aloud. The rest of the treasure is stored away for later.
Climactic Fight … After This Break
Leaving the statue room, the group finds an elderly guard who is swiftly taken captive and questioned. He spills the dirt (pun intended) on the Black Earth Cult. Apparently, the black stone speaks to them, telling them of upcoming disasters, weather changes and events. Naturally, the running joke the party latches onto is “Did they tell you about this? *party proceeds to unload a can of whupass”.
Chopster, being a fine judge of character, establishes that the old guy is lying when he says the cult doesn’t perform human sacrifices, but that he’s telling the truth about there being just the Head Priest of the cult in the room he’s guarding.
While Thogal wants to take on the priest immediately, Ander L and Chopster advise for a rest. The captive old guard is stored in the anti-gravity field, and the party takes a moment to plan and rest. The plan is to burst into the room and unleash whoop-ass on the priest inside.
Best Laid Plans
Of course, the plan doesn’t quite work that way. The room turns out to be huge and full of menhirs, which makes finding the priest initially difficult. One he turns up, he is swiftly dealt with. The group is helped by the underwhelming effects of the evil priests Shatter spell, and the DM forgetting to deploy a Shield spell against Ander L’s Wand of Magic Missiles.
However, victory is still claimed by the heroes. But a bigger question is now raised – just what the heck are all these cultists doing around here? And how many people in Red Larch are members?