The Alliance of the Crimson Tunic
Think of the Children Part 2
Continued from Think of the Children Part 1
After a few hours’ uneventful rest, the party made a surprising discovery while breaking camp: Cedric had disappeared. In his place the party found scorch marks on the stone, presumably from a fire, and scores in the ground evidently left by acid.
Not bothering to find what happened to the wizard (and really, who can blame them – he’s done at least as much damage to the party as the villains they’ve faced), the party pressed on. Before long, they reached a worked stone room, with only the one entrance and a single exit opposite. Each of the side walls bore a 4-line verse inscribed in an unknown but vaguely Primordial language; a pair of 4-line stanzas were written on either side of the exit, which was framed by an archway with elaborate scroll work all the way around it.
After translating all the verses and not seeing any immediate connection to their current situation, Brendan walked through the archway. Or rather, he walked up to it; immediately he was tossed backwards bodily has an explosion shook the room. That’s when Grundin noticed the precarious state of the room’s ceiling; too many shakes like that, and they would all be buried under incalculable tons of rock.
It was a heavy situation that weighed upon Grundin’s mind. He hoped it wouldn’t weigh upon his skull as well.
After spending some time studying the verses, the party finally noticed the apple tree hidden within the intricate scroll work atop the arch. A pair of snakes coiled up the tree’s roots, wrapped themselves around the trunk, and then poised open-mouthed near the branches. Dangling from several of the branches the party saw apples; one branch bore a pair of apples, one of them dangerously close to a snake’s open mouth. Without comprehending what they were doing, the party sent the shifter scrambling up the archway; she pressed on the two apples, and the arch’s defenses were disabled, allowing the party to slip through and descend deeper and deeper into the cave.
The party then emerged upon a narrow ledge overlooking a cavern that defied all sense of size. Looking down, they could barely make out what appeared to be millions of lillin dancing far below; it looked like they were partying like it was the end of the world. And for many, it was – as the party watched, many of the lillin simply dropped mid-step, but not before Denosia made an appearance, announcing to her children that they would be freed from this curse very soon now.
...we interrupt this monologue to go watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.