The marked took Vericus Thain at his word. They seem to have given that word some weight for they decided that it was time to delve below once again. This time they would have to figure out a way past the city, and would have to confront… Elves, if the prophet was to be believed. All to get their hands on crystals that were supposedly remnants of the world’s soul.
Why would world’s soul would be crystalised? Why the Elves from old world fantasies be near that city, or how could they even exist, hidden for so many millenia? And why should they care? Why should they want these crystals? To help the world heal itself according to Vericus.
Was it heroism that sent the group of marked friends to the depths once again? Curiosity? Boredom? Suicidal tendencies perhaps? Whatever their motivations, they decided it was time to depart. For a third time in as many weeks they made the day long journey to the newfound water source. This time the cave was once again occupied.
In the last few weeks the group had learned something of these twisted adversaries. They’d learned of their drive to devour and they sought to exploit it. Makeshift mines, barbequed lizard, and suckling meat sounds was all it took. The creatures number was halved before they even engaged. The remainder were easily dispatched and down into the depths they went.
They were supplied for a long journey and so took their time. Every so often Layla would examine a side tunnel to try to determine if it might help them bypass the sunken city. Only a few near their destination showed any promise and they took the time to explore them. The two to the left brought them around to city level but put them out still before the city. The third tunnel, heading off to the right, seemed to be going the right away but stretched on beyond the limits of what they were willing to explore. And so eventually the group took their chances heading through the city.
While the others had been exploring Torkk had been watching… counting… determining that the southern end of the city seemed less congested with the Changed. He had the observed the cities flow and made his mental notes. Based on Torkk’s observations they entered through the south. It wasn’t long before they were found and the chase was on. It was a grueling couple of hours but in the end they made it through to the other side.
The blackness beyond the city turned out to be an underground lake. They circled around the southern side and found the elves they sought. Parley was attempted but the only response was magma to the face. The elves were sorcerers. One of magma, one of force, and one of light. Their attacks were potent but our champions were not without skill. Metal, fist, bolt, and zoid flew while Torkk sought to understand the foes patterns and aid his allies. The encounter left them injured but they prevailed. One of the sorcerer’s was dead, another unconscious, and the last… well the last had dove down a hole to what sounded like his demise. A quick glance down the hole confirmed this a changed bear could be seen having a feast.
The group caught their breath, searched the chamber, and executed the remaining elf while they waited for the bear to finish its feast. Eventually the bear did and moved off out of sight. Layla went down first to try and calm the beast but the beast would not be calmed. So soon after the last fight another was to be had. This one would likely have gone smoothly were it not for the repeated, deafening, rifle shots from poor zoidless Athen.
Even still they group made short work of this latest adversary. They searched the half eaten elf and found what they sought. Five shards of crystal. Each felt drawn to the shards and so each took one. After a few seconds in their hands the crystals disintegrated into a fine powder which swirled around their hands as if it were a snake about to squeeze the life from its prey. Instead of squeezing however powder lashed out at the hollow part of their palms, painlessly penetrating their skin and merging with them.
After many moments of stunned silence, the group knew it was time to go. There’d be time enough to figure out what the hell just happened once they reached the surface. And so they made their way back through this city, this time managing to avoid pursuit until almost all the way through. Throwing caution to the wind they left in an all out flight and found their way back to the surface. With sunlight in their faces they felt better but had no interest in lingering. Back to Corsica they went.