We had just returned from our trip to the east, where we had successfully recovered a number of treasures, when we were approached by Lavren. Lavren is a broker of information and arranger of actions. It is rumored that he has lived in Aarn since before there was an Aarn.
Lavren approached us to do a job for a friend of a friend of his. We were to work with Drak again. The job involved going to a ruined city in the Verfichten Mountains. We were to look for either a riddle or map that would lead to other treasures. Our payment included anything we would find and a map to the underworld of Aarn itself.
So off we went. A couple of weeks later we arrived at the Verfichten Mountains. Loriel Linda found a useful passage through the mountains and to the ruined city.
As we approached the city, Loriel LInda discovered a destroyed encampment. The camp had been attacked by the Unburned. The Unburned are Drakine who died but were not given a proper cremation. The Unburned are some of the most dangerous undead that anyone can encounter. Apparently the Unburned had their claws and teeth full because they attacked some number of Ulronai warriors. We found the remains of two dead Ulronai . The Unburned also had dragged off one of the Ulronai bodies.
Loriel Linda followed the tracks back towards the ruin\s. There she discovered the remains of a caravan which had also been attacked. A huge number of Unburned were found ‘dead’ near the caravan. All the human bodies were well picked over by scavengers, but again one body had been dragged into the ruined city.
Meanwhile Drak had found a secret entrance into the city. Drak came to the conclusion that the secret entrance was probably someone’s escape path. After some arguing we went in through the back door.
Drak did a good job getting us past a number of locked doors and traps. But he came across an interesting problem that only Arya could help with. She worked her magical abilities and got us safely across some dangerous chasms.
Along the way we found a chamber which contained three Ulronai swords, a bastard sword and two handed sword, shield, chainmail armor and some strange personal items. All of the equipment was recently placed in the chamber.
Further on we found another chamber with two people chained to the walls, an angry young woman and a man from the Ulronai. Skyfather revealed to me that the Ulronai had an honorable heart. The woman on the other hand was neither noble or ignoble.
The Ulronai was willing to travel with us. Ithra had vengeance on his mind for the slaying of his kinsmen by the Unburned. The woman wanted nothing to do with Ithra as did Drak. But I informed them that the heart was pure and he would be traveling with us both of them settled down. We returned Ithra his weapons and other equipment. We gave the woman her chainmail armor and I loaned her my new Elven Great Sword.
We proceeded onward. We came to another chamber where we discovered the vile creatures which had caused harm to our new companions. There were five Unburned but more importantly was Darsmakul. We had encountered Darsmakul before when we were still working with the mage’s guild.
Darsmakul and a number of lessor demons had attacked the mage’s guild and had forced the guild to stop using their teleportation devices.
After insuring that Loriel Linda and Arya were in advantageous positions to provide cover fire, At this point the young woman and I walked towards the vile creatures and drew their attention. At this point the battle was begun.
Arya used her water wall to insure that the young woman and myself were not cut off or surrounded by the Unburned. Ithra was very effective at attacking the Unburned who attacked him. Loriel LInda did a magnificent job of providing the Unburned with additional “eye holes” or “chest ventilation” .
This left the young woman and myself to deal with Darsmakul. Honestly I don’t think Darsmakul had a clue what hit him. The woman seemed to go off into a rage. She used the two handed sword I loaned her and severely wounded Darsmakul. He struck back at her when he had the chance and caused her to be momentarily dumb struck. But this gave me the opportunity to use my mace to strike Darsmakul. After a number of blows between myself and the young woman Darsmakul was laying on the ground. At which point I stood on his chest and bashed his head in with my mace.
Darsmakul being a demon did not leave a corpse but rather returned to the underworld.
In the meantime all of the Unburned had been killed by the rest of our companions. No one was injured but the young woman did not have any memory of her rage. This is worrisome.
As we continued our journey we found the the riddle we were looking for and three other important items. The first is part of the shaft of the Graven Spear; the second a gem for a magical device; and lastly a seeing eye stone. Ithra insisted on taking the Graven Spear. He believes it can be used to lift the curse on his people.
As for the young woman, she is Maeven Landa Deriné, a woman who was training to be a knight but was rejected by the order she was training with. I can only guess she failed in her training due to the rage she demonstrated during the fight. She also has the attitude of someone who comes from a long line of nobles and who never had to worry about her position of the position of others around her.
We did not have horses to carry these two new companions so we had to share riding on our mules. Slightly bothersome but better than walking.
Coming back to Aarn we found the local guards did not like our new companion. I was able to convince them that he was safe. Before even got back to our inn, Lavren meet us. We provided him with information. He provided us with the opportunity to stay at a empty building for a low rent. After haggling with him we arrived at an agreement that we would stay rent free in the location. We would help set up security for a ‘safety deposit’ vault. It would be staffed with guards and guard dogs. He could easily charge more for each box than it would cost in rent on the whole building, our upkeep and the guards, while still making a tidy profit.
I am left with a number of questions. Why was Darsmakul at that location? Will putting the Graven Spear together help in lifting the curse from the Ulronai? Does Maeven Landa Deriné’s family know where she is at? Is it my responsibility to let them know? And what do we do with this map of Aarn now that we have it?