The Castle at the Edge of the World

Down in the Dark

Driven by his desire to find Kho’s Amulet, Laeoden leads the party back to the chamber of the Seamstresses. The room is in shambles; the corpses of the blind witches still lie where the party left them. Laeoden does not hesitate. He rushes to the fire place, brushing away still warm ashes and the bones of devoured children, he reaches far up inside the hearth until he finds the brick his fingers knows will be there. He pries it loose dropping it in the ashes of the hearth. A plume of ash puffs up like the breath of the dead. He pushes at the space behind the brick. Suddenly it gives way. The fireplace slides back into the wall. Beyond is a rough cut tunnel boring down ward into the mountain. The roof of the tunnel is so low; it is impossible, even for Aether, to stand up straight. Thorok must hunch to the point where his knees are nearly scraping his chest. By the time they have reached the bottom his back aches from the awkward position and repeatedly scraping it against the rough stone of the ceiling.

The tunnel they have entered has a much higher ceiling and is obviously man made. It must have once been above ground; because there are rough filled openings that could only have once been windows. The stone blocks that form the walls and floors are covered in Azlanti runes. The stale air is spiced with scent of freshly hewed stone. In the distance they can hear the tick tick of picks and hammers digging in the dark, as well as a low grinding rumble.

They follow the hall coming upon a narrow, and recently excavated, side tunnel. They can see a Stitchling, a short distance in, using a crude iron pick to dig deeper into the mountain. The Stitchling ignores them and continues to dig. The party travel deeper into the mountain. They pass other Stitchling burrows. The rumbling sound grows louder. Up head they soon discover the tunnel blocked by a massive rotating conical drill. It moves slowly toward them. They decide to move temporarily to one of the Stitchling burrows to allow it to pass. The massive machine grinds past pulverizing loose rock and sucking up small stones and dirt. Once they can safely pass the party come out of their holes. They continue down the path. They come to a side passage with feint green illumination at the end. It seems amazingly bright in the absolute darkness of the caverns.

Laeoden stealths down the hall way. He spies on a bent and crooked man dressed in a dirty loin cloth. He leans heavily on a curved staff. He mutters to himself as he wanders the chamber. The walls, ceiling, and floor are covered in charcoal writings, short notes, and scribbled maps. He absent mindedly brushes aside phosphorescent worms to examine the writings better. The chamber is crawling with them giving it it’s green blue glow. Laeoden notes that the man’s eyes have been removed and amethyst stones have been sewn into the sockets. Giving the man the appearance of being bug eyed or wearing glasses.

Laeoden comes back to the party and tells them what he has seen. They decide to try and talk to the man. He jumps into the air when they speak to him, caught totally by surprise. The man has no interest in talking to them though. He raises his staff into the air and the party can hear the sounds of every stitchling in the tunnels rushing to his aid. He throws spell after spell at the party. Thorok holds the hall from the Stitchling advance while the rest of the party kill the Stitchling’s overseer. Aether grabs his staff and quickly masters it. She orders the Stitchlings to cease their attack. Laeoden cuts out the Overseer’s gemstone eyes. Aether identifies them as Ioun Stones of blind fighting. Laeoden identifies them as Thassilonian in design.

The cast continue in the direction Laeoden’s urges carry him. They come to a room where a stair wel would have lead down but the mountains’s stone has filled it like water filing a well. Aether orders the Stitchlings to dig here. Judging by the distance Laeoden believes he is away from the amulet and the rate at which the Stitchlings dig the estimate it will take them two days to free the amulet from the mountain’s grasp.

Laeoden and Darian decide to go back to the barracks to check on their prisoner and the men. Aether stays to supervise the Stitchlings. Thorok stays to guard her.

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