Sharn: From Antiquities to Inquisitives

Thoughts on Success

Translated from the journal of Dyer’ Mi Shaton. The original text being written in a complex cipher utilizing the languages of demons, madness, elf and dreams.

There is little time to write, and a great deal that hastens to be yet done. Yet I hope that by penning away thoughts of the past few days, I might clear my mind to progress on unhindered.

We have traveled little in distance since the last time I had a moment to enter my thoughts here, yet our position continues even now to alter from moment to moment. Less than two days we have spent in this place, but the impact of our visit here may take years to fully manifest in our fortunes. Assuming that we live to spend that time, and our fortunes do not end here as so many others have before us.

Having traveled further into the lost Cannith facility, it has become clear that this place is not a mere lab or research facility. It is, or at least was, a full Creation Forge. Much of the side chambers have been collapsed, but enough of the work rooms remain to mark this place as a singular find.

After leaving the lab we first entered, we came upon and dispatched greater than a squad of hobgoblins and bugbears who had set up camp in a storage or communal barracks. We continued exploring the complex, aided by an unwilling prisoner who we pushed ahead at spear point. He also came to inform to us the nature of himself and his fellow brutes occupying this place, as well as putting name to the leaders we should expect. The first of this upper echelon we found hiding in another laboratory further inward, behind a mixed guard of goblinkind and foul constructions of oversize warforged blended with necrotic flesh. The living guard did not succumb to Zerif and Erdirk’s morbid attempt to mine corpses, but their actions at a minimum did appear to have unnerved the guards enough to force them to fall back. They attempted to protect one of their leaders, some sort of artificer. The creature was also accompanied by an unusual beastly form of construct that attempted to protect its master. We would come to see larger variations of this thing soon, but for now it did little to deter us. It failed to keep its charge alive, but in turn we failed to collect more than notes and evidence rather than a direct source who might have been able to respond to questions. I did though impose upon Zerif’s storage thought to secure the remains, as they may prove a resource or some other worth at a later time.

My fellows and I took the precaution to barricaded ourselves in the secured lab and rested. Not held back by the same requirements for rest as the others, I spent my supplementary time looking into the research and materials that were being put to use by the Blade Bear artificer. Finding nothing that could be of immediate use, though enough of monetary value to divide up, we pressed on.

The next route we came across we were forced to bypass. A passageway whose entrance chamber was beset by mechanical deterrents. Zerif, having been incapable of handling the challenges that the House masters had built themselves, lagged behind as we moved ahead to discover what was once the main foyer to the forge. Though blocked off as a route of egress, we were still greeted there. Alas, our host turned out to be the forge ghost of this place’s now deceased foreman and Lord of House Cannith. It appears his study of nercomatic lore paid dues beyond his living opus. He was not pleased with our presence and before departing to continue is duties, the former lord demonstrated a continued jurisdiction over the residence of the forge. Even in their death, they toiled in response to his call . Necrotic flame, clouds of ashen bone twisting to display the shapes of the souls once bound to them, and a massive chain of larger bones reshaped into that of a segmented worm assaulted us. Zerif returned in time to again have much of his blood spilled about the room, but in the end we passed these challenges as well

This time, in the back room, Keyleth managed to come upon but not bisect by means of her dual swords a source of information. A half-elf apprentice, locked in as if being held against his will but otherwise unmarked. The boy was able to confirm some of the information we had gathered, as well as add in more details. Whether his stories are reliable or not, is still something unproven.

It appears he and his Eladrin Mistress had employed (and he says were later betrayed by) the gobliniods we had been killing. Taking coin as mercenaries, the boy says that they were unaware that they had in truth employed Blade Bears with their own goals. All were led to this place on behalf of the Citadel, a layer of complication unwelcome when there are so many other power brokers willing to tear into us for being here. By this time we also became aware that some sort of living construct awaited us deeper in the complex, and was making efforts to demonstrate the potential power of this fully operational creation forge. Not wanting to witness such a thing, we proceeded deeper into a magma chamber leading to the forge proper. There we were again best by the Cannith forge ghost, but this time he lingered long enough for us to put him down.

Needing again to rest, a storage room was converted to meet our needs. There we were surprised to be reunited with Fang. Judging ourselves prepared for a final confrontation within the heart of the forge, Zerif examined the doors to adjoining rooms before we proceeded. The attached chamber contained a riotous assemble of chains, waste pits, and weighty arcane apparatus. There we killed the last of the Blade beares and their military leader, who attempted to ambush us amongst the cogs and mechanics of the running forge. We turned their assault aside without pause. Fang then proceeded to demonstrate that her time away had not changed her manners, as she attempted to pull a large crystal of equal dimensions to herself out from the machinery utilizing nothing but her teeth. I think she might have intended to bury it if she had been successful. We then found the missing Eladin female artificer in the next room. Erdick set out to try and hire the lady on as an employee, with the same vain determination as Fang had with the fore mentioned crystal. In comparison though, Erdick is likely to bury his would be employee having not been successful.

While unwilling to directly aid us, the lady artificer did confirm that the remaining chamber held the forge itself as well as the grand construct that we had been warned of and whose existance was linked to the creation of the smaller drake warforged beasts that we had encountered thus far. We managed to talk her into passivity, but she intends on quickly returning to the Citadel and accounting for her misdeeds and failures. How to deal with that problem must be weighed carefully, as she may be needed either to activate the portal back to Sharn (if at all possible) or to guide us out of the Mournlands if we proceed away by foot. Yet I do not trust her, and can not be certain that even if she is honest that she will not inadvertently cause my fellows or myself harm. There is though always the option of seeking a bounty from the Citadel for this failed duo, but if sincere they may also present a great opportunity for introduction into the Citadel’s inner workings. Still, there are certainly those that will kill us simply for knowing of this place, and it may be best to leave no trace or witness to our actions. Then there are the even greater magnitude of tensions the actual lore contained here will raise should any of it get out, which will prove to quickly envelope us should my fellows fail to take the appropriate degree of care. And as I have noted before, care is not a trait my fellows demonstrate in abundance.

At last we faced the creature at the center of forge. I gave consideration to the option of being able to subdue the beast construct with some commands or by way of discourse, as it might have be shown to be useful to our various pursuits intact. Again though, upon greeting us it too did not prove to be tolerant of our intrusion or respectful of our intellect. An attitude likely not helped by Fang’s insistence on demonstrating her position as the alpha queen by hurtling herself at the far larger beast. My fellows paid for their insistence on always running deep into hostile rooms with a momentary loss of their free will to this creature. I do not know if the beast would have been able to overcome my will, but it was at least not able to outthink my cautious intellect. leaving me to continue the onslaught. Blazed arks of energy and power from the forge sizzled about the creature, and it tossed and flung most of my fellows around the room. It even called forth malformed or seemingly incomplete smaller constructs of a design similar to its own. These were ment to haggier us and act as sacrificial barriers in response to our aggressive acts. It did not succeed for long, and it too was sundered by our effort. Though Zerif again left pools of blood about. I am puzzled by which may be the lesser of him, the amount of skin left unmarred about his person or the degree of unstained cloth in his wardrobe. Still, the creature was formidable, as it even left charred marks on me in exchange for my efforts to harm it.

Now we find ourselves in a tomb of a creation forge, silent again since the death of the dire creature awakened within it’s heart. Erdick seems intent on taking possession of this place. I fear that even as well start a simple inventory, that more forces of the gobliniod factions we have faced or additional agents of the Citadel will be headed here soon. They will surely be looking for this place, and it may be only a matter of time before we are caught off guard. Even without that threat, how long before something form the surface of the Mournland comes to find out what has been causing echoes down below. I am not one to be put off by the vile research conducted here, but the horrors of the Mournland are less easily dismissed. That is not to say that I believe that the forge itself may not still be a source of theat. All possibilities considered, it is I believe best to leave as sooner rather than following any delay motivated by glutinous whims.

Now having cleared my mind of the route behind me, I must set aside this pen and begin to discuss with the others what comes next. I will offer my counsel on the most sensible actions, but first we must account for what options present themselves. I hope that there is a way of reopening the portal back to the sewers of Sharn, and that there is enough materials left about here to activate it at least once. If not, I do not enjoy the prospect of walking out of the Mournlands. But knowing the options is only half the struggle ahead, as there is also the heavy task of trying to get the others to follow a sensible way forward. These follows who have in the past always ran ahead into rooms, despite the near death it has brought them so many times. Regrettably, I can imagine what they may be wishing to do…and what I might be put in a position to do as a consequence.

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