Ripples In The Air
On her way to investigate rumors of a plot to kill the Fire Prince, Sy’Vah-esh noticed strange waves in the very elemental fabric of her land, like ripples in a pond. Having never felt or seen such a thing before, she followed them to their epicenter and discovered what seemed to be a crack… in nothing. Although the Land of Air seemed to continue far beyond this point, her outstretched hand could feel an invisible wall with no apparent end. Tracing the cracks, she noticed they seemed to be growing until the wall suddenly shattered away from her, violently pulling her into the darkness beyond.
She found herself falling through some sort of tunnel. There seemed to be no natural illumination, but when the elemental energy from her land came spilling in with her and came into contact with the walls, they lit up with a brilliant glow and she could see that they appeared to be comprised of gray crystal.
The walls of the tunnel parted into a massive space so vast that she could not see any sides, only darkness. After falling for what seemed like an eternity, she was swept up by an invisible force and sent careening out through another tunnel opening. Twisting and turning through a series of tunnels, she finally rolled to a stop on the stone floor of yet another tunnel. Lost and confused, she heard noises and saw light up ahead…
Can’t We All Just Tinker Along?
Happily tinkering on his next great invention in his workshop, Frank felt a tremor and heard a loud cracking sound outside. Looking out the window, he saw a great crack spread across the sky. From it’s edges bled red energy, turning the sky crimson before there was a brilliant light and then everything went dark…
Who Is Hunting Who?
Silently racing through a forest, Grizzly and New Moon were closing in on the elk stag they had been tracking when they felt a tremor and heard a loud cracking sound. Looking up, they saw a great crack spread across the sky. From it’s edges bled red energy, turning the sky crimson before there was a brilliant light and then everything went dark…
Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Prairie Dog
As Butterfly chatted with her friends, Hawk and Prairie Dog, along the edge of the Great Rift, a surprise tremor interrupted the three monks’ conversation. Sending his senses through the earth, Prairie Dog suddenly shouted, “Intruders!” and sent Hawk to warn the monk elders.
Diving into the chasm, Prairie Dog and Butterfly rapidly descended the 100 feet to the bottom and burrowed down into the ground. Emerging into a tunnel, they faced three animal miners with a mechanical drilling device. Seeing the monks, the miners attempted to flee since they were forbidden to enter this sacred area, but Butterfly sent one of them sprawling to the ground so that he could be questioned as Prairie Dog destroyed the mining device.
While Prairie Dog guarded their prisoner, Butterfly inspected the wall the miners had been excavating. They appeared to have uncovered a massive Life Blood Crystal with a large humanoid arm hanging limply from the broken crystalline structure. As Butterfly peered at the body encased within the crystal, the elders arrived and assisted with removing it from the wall and tearing it open.
Within the crystal were two Goliaths, Grizzly and New Moon, laying entwined in each others embrace. Behind the spot where the first crystal had been, the elders found a second crystal with another humanoid inside. Cracking that crystal open, they found a Tinker Gnome with a mechanical arm cradling a strange machine with a circle of blades. Once cracked apart, the crystals lost their red color and became dull grey.
Having been working in a distant workshop or hunting Elk seemingly moments before, Frank, Grizzly and New Moon opened their eyes in confusion. Mongoose, Head of the Monastery, recognized them immediately. Although he’d last seen them about 300 years ago when he was a young student at the monastery, they didn’t look like they’d aged a day. The trio had no idea how they had come to be in the crystals and had difficulty remembering what had happened to them, especially since that same day the monk had last seen them. Mongoose attempted to help them remember some of the important events that had transpired, including the raising of the gods, the aversion of a war and the relocation of the Goliath tribes to the Wildlands.
Having been drawn by their voices and the light from the smoldering excavation device, Sy’Vah-esh approached the group seeking answers about how and why she had been brought to this place, but it was as much of a mystery as the others’ situation. After Sy’Vah-esh described her journey here, Mongoose sends Butterfly to assist Frank, Grizzly and New Moon in their investigation of what had happened to Sy’Vah-esh and Butterfly glows to light the way back down the tunnel.
The party found themselves winding through numerous intersecting tunnels attempting to find the path Sy’Vah-esh had traveled. Eventually they found a tunnel coated in the grey crystals she had seen. When Grizzly touched one of the crystals, his body fell lifeless to the stone floor. New Moon rushed to her husband’s side as Butterfly attempted to connect with his mind. However, her mind was simply transported to where his had gone and she also fell to the ground.
Grizzly found himself at the edge of a forest on a cobblestone path leading up to an old cottage. An old human woman came out of the cottage and greeted him, welcoming him to her afterlife. Distrustful of the situation and most humans, Grizzly attempted to intimidate the old woman and gain some answers, but she forcefully projected him away from her cottage into the forest where he collided with Butterfly.
Meanwhile, New Moon had been calling out to her husband, and with the help of her healing magic, he managed to follow her voice out of the crystal and the old woman’s afterlife with Butterfly following close behind. Hearing of the old woman, Butterfly decided to go back into her afterlife to speak with her further and learned that the party appeared to have found the Underworld and that the grey crystals hold different individuals’ afterlives. The old woman also told her that there was a guardian of the Underworld who might have more answers, but to be careful not to anger it.
Butterfly returns to the tunnel to fill the party in when they suddenly hear a screaming sound and see a black substance shooting down the tunnel rapidly towards them. They fled back the way they had originally come but the blob was obviously flying faster than they could move so Frank turned his strange bladed machine towards it and blasted the black ooze to a halt with powerful winds.
They discovered it was an Acid Elemental who had followed a similar course as Sy’Vah-esh, and after trading not-so-friendly words with it, the party suggests the elemental touch one of the magical crystals. Instead, it throws a glob of acid at some of the crystals, destroying them. That seemed to catch the attention of the guardian, however, which suddenly and violently destroyed the Acid Elemental.
Sy’Vah-esh and Butterfly attempted to communicate with the guardian, but its powerful mind overwhelmed them. They did manage to learn that the Underworld was in danger of collapsing before losing consciousness, however.