Bear Claws

31. Getting Back to Our Roots

Characters: Alton, Jak, James, Thornside, Roland, Xaladin
Level: 8/9
Location: Overlook, Mountainroot Temple
NPCs: Brak

The Bear Claws question the doppelgänger that impersonated Brak. He tells them that he is being paid for the work and is willing to cooperate if they won’t kill him. He tells them where the real Brak is being held and they let him go.

They find a secret trapdoor inside a crate in the back corner of the warehouse with a ladder leading down into a dank and moldy passageway. At the end of the tunnel is a steel door to a cell that holds Brak. He is bruised and bloodied and chained to the wall. Set in the ceiling of his cell is a trap set to kill him if they open the door.

Between Thornside and Jak they are able to disable the traps and free Brak.

While they rest and James tends to his wounds Brak tells them what is going on, as much as he has figured out from the questioning.

Hidden beneath the mountains is the Mountainroot Temple. A place built long ago as a place for all Moradin worshippers to come together. An earthquake damaged it and the priests and clerics abandoned it. Recently it has been reopened.

General Zithiruun wants to know about the Temple and how it works, specifically how to use the portals in it. One of the portals lies within the Stone Anvil temple in Overlook. Brak guesses that Zithiruun wants to use the temple to infiltrate troops into the city.

Of more concern to Brak is the Incanabulum Primeval, the book that contains the ritual of creation that Moradin used to create the world. It is hidden inside the Mountainroot Temple. If it is found by the wrong hands it could be used to unmake the world. He offers them payment if they will bring it safely to him.

He also tells them that the possessed citizens are dead. They are being controlled by Githyanki Mindbenders. When the Githyanki take control of a person the soul is completely pushed aside.

The Bear Claws decide to rest for the night — having traveled all day before finding Brak — and pawn off their acquired treasures. Thornside stays behind to sabotage the vast warehouse of Elsir Consortium goods.

Alton inters Miranda’s body in the temple of Avandra mourning her passing.

Brak leads them to the Stone Anvil and to a treasury room where he equips them items that he thinks will help them in the Mountainroot Temple.

He shows them the crypt leading tot he entrance but tells them he cannot go with them because he has made a vow not to enter the crypt.

At the end of the crypt is a silver filigree of Moradin at his forge. He asks for a parable or fable that shows understanding of his teachings in order to pass. James knows what Moradin teaches but refuses to put forth a story.

Thornside tries to talk to the filigree but Roland steps in and gives a story about a fox a crow and a piece of cheese. The filigree asks for explanation and tells them they must fight some animated chains in order to enter.

Once they defeat the chains the filigree parts and reveals two large doors. Jak opens them and they step through into another room that is in another place. There is no feeling of moving or sensation of magic about the portal.

Inside the room are many other doors and several fey creatures, including some dwarf-looking people and a couple harpies. One of the harpies talks to them and Roland tells him that they are looking for some harpies to take care of Thornside’s baby harpy — named Jerry.

They don’t really believe but Roland smoothly talks them into letting the Bear Claws explore as long as they promise not to hurt the other fey creatures.

They begin to explore and find a tea room, and a secret door leading to what was once a vault. The vault seems to be cleared out and is occupied by a couple more harpies and a few quicklings that try not to be seen.

The Bear Claws speak with them briefly then move on to a dining hall where they find some recently killed quicklings. A short Speak with Dead ritual grants them two questions and they learn that the quicklings were killed by trolls that were under the command of the general with braces.

Beyond the dining room is a kitchen and a small area with a forge where the traps of the temple seem to be very active. A radiant tendril of light blinds several party members before they deactivate the trap then they get attacked by charging anvils with legs. The anvils charge them through the walls, knocking prone anything they hit.

Jak manages to get knocked down by the anvils and can’t seem to hit them.

When the rest of the party finishes them off they explore the rest of the area, finding some living quarters that look to have been in use recently by half a dozen dwarves.

Retracing their steps they return to the hallway just beyond the chamber of doors to explore the area to the north of that.

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