Gardain Glimmerstone is a a cleric of Dumathoin, god of mining, underground exploration, and caretaker of the dead. He is a member of The City State of Nexus Expeditionary Force sent by the Elders to secure a newly discovered land. He volunteered for the trip to Nexus to accompany the Dwarves assigned to explore and mine rare elements from the Island. Since arriving, the expedition has gone terribly wrong. Forced to abandon Highport, the remaining members of the Nexus Expeditionary Force struggle simply to survive in this alien landscape. He continues to pray to Dumathoin that there is a way to heal his injured comrades and escape this wretched plane to return to Nexus.
- Gardain Glimmerstone: Priest
- Fanrael Malwesal: Mage
- Krell: Barbarian
- Thoven Serpenthelm: Ranger
- Eilora Arroway: Druid
- Aeranthalus: Ranger
- Falion: Paladin
Nexus Expedition, Unknown Date. THE HIVE.
Ψ I rendezvoused with the ship as planned, and sent our faithful Paladin to escort the Bugbears bacl to the ship. We told them the story that we wished to keep them safe. However, I plan to learn as much as I can from them before taking them back to their village. Assuming that we still wipe out the village, they will be the key to gaining the Bugbear’s trust before we spring our trap. In any case, I met with the Company and explained our situation with the Farm. I suggested that we destroy the hornet hive, secure the Farm, and then use it as a bargaining chip with Spire to conclude our business.
Our Ranger and Druid spent some time harvesting the carcasses of the hornets to make an Anti-Venom. It was an excellent idea that I had not considered. During this time, Krell and his golems loaded the Honey Mead from the two outbuildings into the ship. We could save some for ourselves, and sell the rest to Spire. I was content knowing that Fanrael was supervising Krell, so I spent the time in prayer. I asked Dumathoin to reveal to me the location of the Queen Hornet, and after several minutes of prayer, I knew the exact location of the creature. This was important because our Ranger and Druid suggested that if we killed the Queen, it would drive the other hornets into disarray and chaos making our incursion easier.
Entering the Hive, we sent Thoven the Ranger ahead of us as a scout. He led us to a small cavern that containing a ruined dais, several barrels, and a pool of water. While my companions investigated in their own ways, I raised my holy symbol and called upon the wisdom of Dumathoin. I felt a surge of power enter my body. I was relieved, knowing that The Lightbringer had not forsaken us in this foreign Plane of Existence. I looked around the cave, seeing that the dais and water both glowed with enchantments. Life magic charmed the water, and Nature magic throbbed from the dais. I explained that the water had healing properties, but I would not come to the conclusion that it was the “Life Water” talked about in Spire until later.
Krell used his golems to begin loading barrels of the Healing Waters into the ship. Again, we could keep most of this elixir and use the well as an additional bargaining chip with Spire. While Fanrael supervised the loading, I used a simple Mending cantrip on the dais to repair the damage done to it. After using about ten Mending cantrips, the dais I found that it was restored. I called Eilora over to inspect it, remembering that it was enchanted with a domain of magic much like that of Druidcraft. For the rest of the time, I inspected the cavern walls, ceiling, and floor drawing on my Stonecunning and experience with mining to learn what I could about this cave and the Farm.
In time, we learned that the pool of Healing Water was not natural and that it was linked to the Plane of Elemental Water. There are places in the Planes where two Planes intersect, creating “cracks” between the Planes like this one. After some discussion, we decided to attempt to contact the water spirit that the Druid believed to inhabit the pool. As the others continued to talk about our options, I observed the bowl on the top of the dais. As I thought, the stone has noticeable traces of blood within its pores. At some point, blood had been an offering to these water spirits.
I ordered Krell to cut himself and pour his blood into the bowl on the top of the dais. The barbarian did not hesitate, and as the berserker’s blood was consumed by the dais, the pool of water began to churn, bubble, and turn red. Within moments, a fearsome creatures appeared, and demanded to know why we had summoned it. Krell and Eilora communicated with the creature, explaining that we had restored it’s altar and were seeking to destroy the hornets that had taken over the Farm. The creature extended a boon to all those who wished to accept it, and demanded that they kill the Bugbears and Hornets now living in these tunnels. I refused the boon, understanding that such things are not wise to accept. However, my comrades who claimed the boon seemed to be strengthen and resolved to complete our mission.
Our scout lead us away from the Chamber of the Pool, and down another long tunnel that ended in a series of pens stabling several Ants. It was obvious that the creatures were starving due to their Bugbear masters abandoning them once the hornets arrived at the Farm. While my comrades searched the area for anything of value, I called about the mercy of Dumathoin to provide these starving creatures with food and water. I pulled a morsel of meat and a small amount of water from my adventuring kit. Power surged through my fingers, and I watched as the small bits of food and water began to multiply almost like baking bread raising in an oven. I fed the Ants, and found that there was food left over that I was able to give them even more for later. Krell took one of the Ants as a steed, and we departed the stables, heading for the Hive.
Thoven led us to the Hive. After a few moments of observing it from afar, we talked in hushed tones as to our plan. A forward assault would be hopeless. We would have to be clever about this, using magic to attack from a distance while Krell advanced to the Queen and assassinated her. Our plan completed, we began our preparations. Thoven cast a spell that he learned to help in hunting. It essentially made us all unable to be detected by the hornets. We moved towards the Hive, stopping within about 100 feet. The buzzing was outlandish, both annoying and harmonic at the same time.
I called again on the power of Dumathoin, enchanting Krell powerful magics. I looked at the barbarian sternly, explaining to him what powers my god had bestowed upon him. “Essentially, the hornets cannot attack you without exerting great mental resolve, probably something that an insect is unable to do. Also, the power of Death has been Warded from you for a time, thus you cannot die. If you would receive grave wounds, you will still have a sliver of life within you to avoid your death.” I paused, watching the brute smile. “Lastly, my god has granted you invincibility against the energy of magical flame. Our magic – assuming it is fire-based – will not harm you.” I paused again, seeing that Krell was on the edge of his war frenzy. “So go now, Krell …. smash.” I watched at the criminal dashed off towards the Hive, shivering a bit and thanking Dumathoin that the barbarian was on our side.
As Krell rushed at the Hive towards where I had located the Queen, we unleashed the fury of Hell on the Queen Hornet and her Hive. Thoven fired several arrows, one of which passed dangerously close to Krell’s head. Lightning flashed down summoned by the Eilora with her Druid magic. Fanrael spoke spidery words of Elven magic, summoning fireballs that burned and exploded. And I called upon the Sacred Flame of Dumathoin, adding my own fireballs to the fray. Weakened and injured, the Queen tried to defend itself while attempting to coordinate her Hive to attack us. She began to release her attack pheromone to mobilize the entire nest to attack. However, Krell arrived and cut her efforts short.
I watched Krell, and found that I could not look away. The brutish man leapt on the huge Queen, and smashed his gigantic maul into its thorax several times. After opening a crack in the Queen’s shell, he literally tore the insect open, crawled inside of it, and killed it from within. It was an amazing feat, one that I hope to never witness again.
It did not take long for us to kill the rest of the nest without the organization of the Queen. The hornets frenzied, and we used the disorganized chaos within the hive to rain down spells and arrows until they were all dead. Afterwards, Krell emerged from the nest, nearly unharmed. With the hornets killed, and the nest destroyed, all that remained was for Krell and his golems to transfer items of value from the nest to the ship again. I watched my comrades working together to accomplish the task, and for the first time in awhile allowed myself to feel confident.
The original mission had failed. We were not able to secure the city of Highpoint. Our Force had been decimated by the Blue Light, including our Lord Commander. But when things looked grim, we were able to glom the Mindflayer vessel, and travel to Spire. Although our mission has provided us with twists and turns that we did not expect, it would seem that we are finding a way to survive in this cursed land. All we can hope is that our luck continues to hold. May Dumathoin watch over us.
- NEXUS: REDESIGNING GARDAIN at 7th Level (deadmanstales.wordpress.com)
- Nexus: Blood Rain (deadmanstales.wordpress.com)
- [Keep Rollin’ Sixes] NEXUS: NEW HOPE (deadmanstales.wordpress.com)
- [Keep Rollin’ Sixes] NEXUS: THE MOUNTAINS (deadmanstales.wordpress.com)