Directly after the first encounters with the various slimes and oozes in the northeastern part of Blingdenstone, the crew set to rest for a good while in the Foaming Mug tavern for about two tendays – each of them pursuing something of their own interests (downtime activity)…
- Kito the dwarf, used his smith’s tools to start working on a white dragon scale mail, drawing upon inspiration from both the artisan craft of the duergar and dwarfs but also the art of stonework that the deep gnomes were unparalleled masters of.
- Rein the human delved in his usual religious practice to Ehlonna as well as helping out in the caves where the deep gnomes farmed and grew their stocks of edible fungi and underdark plants. During his practice, more and more svirfneblin (deep gnomes) started to listen to his sermons about the magic of nature that was Ehlonna.
- Siqy the tiefling made contact with Nomi Pathshutter, an highly ranked apprentice of the Stoneheart Enclave, the local sages in Blingdenstone, where she learned more about engaging in herbalism and alchemy. She also, sometimes with a bit of a struggle, managed to pursue more of her studies of Ehlonna with the help of her friend Rein.
- Melfen the dragonborn simply went carousing. Becoming a legend in svirfneblin tongues of how to properly get drunk and have a hell of a good time.
The Ghosts of old Blingdenstone
Upon setting up to meet with the Stoneheart Enclave, the crew passes the temple in Blingdenstone, and gets approached by Burrow Warden Jadger, a friendly deep gnome ghost from before the fall of Blingdenstone at the hands of drows a few decades ago, who has been observing the crew as they helped the svirfneblin.
Jadger offered them help if the crew took care of a ghost problem in the middle of the city – FInd and destroy Vazuk, a troublesome specter – some ghosts just have a hard time letting go in a good way.
The crew went on and succesfully banished the malign ghost, haunting a deep gnome family burrow in the city. Gaining some trust from Burrow Warden Jadger, he asked to find the remains of his late friend known as Udhask, who died somewhere in the Rockblight area.
The crew also met up with Gurnik Tapfinger a priest of the Stoneheart Enclave and apparently warrior Callarduran Smoothhands, a also known as the Deep Brother, a gnomish deity he talked much fondly about…
Gurnik asked the crew if they would be willing to help reconsecrate an old temple in the Rockblight region known as the Steadfast Stone by installing a special spell gem into the menhir located there. The crew accepted on one condition – that Gurnik himself would follow on the trip.
Gaze of Stone
The crew now consisting of Rein, Siqy, Melfen, Kito and Gurnik ventured forward towards the blocked and guarded entrance to a closed off part of Blingdenstone, the cave region known as Rockblight. It was known that all earth elementals being near the Rockblight region would go mad, and it was said that a malign otherworldly cloud of unknown sentience caused this. They called the cloud, Ogremoch’s Bane.
Before they are able to enter the caves, a deep gnome guard known as Sark Axebarrel asked the crew to kill a medusa located within Rockblight, in case they decide to go in there. Although he informed them no one has ever come back alive to tell the tale, he is certain it is such because she killed his brother…
Flashing forward, the crew found both the ghost and remains of Udhask in the dark ruins of old Blingdenstone and later also the dead brother of the svirfnebli guard Sark Axebarrel, petrified to stone in a large crystal cavern.
Noticing that he held a crystal shard infront of his eyes, they equipped themselves with means to gain at least some advantage against the medusa’s petrifying gaze lurking in the darkness. Dawnbringer insisted that her wielder, Melfen to light her up, letting her magical light be cast in the dark caves.
The crew walked right into her lair, showing to be nearby cave filled with idols and spider symbols, as if taken into a drow home. The medusa was Neheedra, a cursed drow that used to be a drow priestess, who probably came here during the slaughter of Blingdenstone, and stayed behind – becoming a feared medusa in the process…
Elemental Stones of Earth
A long fight with the medusa ensued, and with Rein staring death in the eye during the end of the battle, it looked grim just before the moment she was slain!
Through tactics and cooperation the crew was victorious, and brutally cut off her head to serve as evidence of their feat…
Continuing exploring the dark and caves of Rockblight, the crew found the ruins of Steadfast Stone temple.
Gurnik Tapfinger told the rest of the crew to defend him while he went on to place the spell gem in a socket and begin chanting stuff about Callarduran Smoothhands.
It became a hard and rocky fight against numerous earth elementals that came to life as reconsecration of the temple went on, with one additional ancient Galeb dhur summoned after each earth elemental killed. The Galeb dhur didn’t appear to be hostile and apparently served as the “guardians of the temple”…
Gurnik and the crew successfully managed to cleanse the temple of Steadfast Stone and awake the guardians and through magical means defend them against the madness of Ogremoch’s Bane.
They even went on and destroyed the vicious elemental army of drow stone figures, and banished the omnious sentient magic cloud it back to the elemental Plane of Earth…
Whiskers & the Diety of the Forests
Upon the crew’s return from Rockblight to inner Blingdenstone, they cleared their side quests and set up a meeting with Senni and Dorbo Diggermattock, the uncrowned leaders of the svirfneblin.
The Diggermattocks still hadn’t assembled and made ready an army strong enough to counter the threat of oozes and the critically acclaimed pudding king.
They asked the crew to venture in the north part of Blingdenstone, and try to turn the threat of the Goldwhisker clan (a lycantrophy clan of deep gnome wererats) to their senses or drive them away from Blingdenstone…
Accepting even this quest, the crew gained a better relations with the svirfneblin.
But before they ventured on, they assembled in the Speaking Stones cave, sacred area to the Stoneheart Enclave.
Within the cave, which had an ancient stone circle in the middle (said to be the remains of a gargantuan ancient Galeb duhr), the crew had made a deal to plant a seed of a large tree in the middle of it. Together, Siqy and Rein proceeded to perform a ritual of nature to conjure the magic of Ehlonna.
The ritual became powerful enough to give birth and rise to a giant tree in the middle of the Underdark!
… Momentarily, the crew ventured into the Astral Plane and walked on the Grove of the Unicorns, even witnessing an otherwordly unicorn that approached them…
They later appear to be back into the cave, with fuzzy memories of their time in the astral plane or if they had been somewhere else at all…
One thing was certain – a huge tree had been conjured, and divine nature magic could be felt in the cave.
The crew eventually ventured into the Goldwhisker territory, and made uneasy peace with the cursed deep gnome wererats… Apparently, they had suffered the same oozing problem.
On their way back to hold a council with the Diggermattocks and assemble a crusade against the pudding king, there was a presence blocking the crew’s path. An evil presence of ancient madness.
In the dark light, a dark figure appearing to hold evident traits of a fallen paladin, Siqy Barikdral comes to recognize the oathbreaker as her late older brother… Xamoth Barikdral.