Islands of Yhb

Session 3 - The Vault

As recorded by Meklan Brightwater

We set out to explore the distillery. Fumbling around in the dark, we came upon a vertical shaft with
a built in ladder. Our path forked, up or down. The sailor [Carter] seems to be slightly paranoid being
underground, and wants to get to the surface no matter what. The dwarfs take the lead, and head up,
eventually leading us to a platform with several empty kegs and a door. Sort of a back/stock room of
sorts. Perhaps this is a tavern that brewed its own ale? Less-than-gracefully, we break through the door
and we find ourselves in a large open area. Taking some steps forward, we realize this is actually a large
stadium… A gladiator’s stadium. In the center we can see several small figures hunched over lump of
dark mass. Getting a closer look, the hunched figures were actually cannibalistic dwarfs. And they were
eating bodies. And they did not like our sun rod.

They pour out of the darkness, but we manage to easily defend ourselves. It’s apparent our experiences
are starting to come together, and we tackle these bouts with a slight synergistic touch. Poking around
the remains, we discover a ragged piece of paper. A journal entry of sorts.
__
“A strange disease has taken hold of the vault. Fever sweeps through the Low Quarter, striking young
and old alike. The constant screams and rantings of the afflicted echo through the streets, making sleep
impossible."
__
Our future is looking bright…

We head out of the coliseum, and find ourselves in a rundown neighborhood lacking any screams and
rantings. Pyro-dwarf recognizes the architecture, and informs us this is actually a Dwarven vault. A
slight orange glow in the distance casts a soft glow about the place. The houses look rundown, and
abandoned. This is so interesting! We are actually exploring a vault! Who would have ever thought
about surface folk inside one of these? We must explore! With everything seeming to be empty, a couple
of us want to take a peek inside the houses. After choosing a candidate, we let ourselves in. The place
is in ruin. It is almost as if a fight occurred here. A stairwell heads up to the second floor. Carter seems
to be rather light-footed, so we designate him to be the investigator. As he makes his way up the stairs,
he motions to us that something is up there. Something is sitting in a rocking chair. And this something
notices Carter. It lunges, sinking its teeth into his leg. After frying it, we realize this is another one of
those diseased cannibals, albeit an older looking one though, if that’s possible. She attacks the sailor.
Among the mess, we discover another tattered piece of paper.
__
“I found the blacksmith’s entire family murdered this morning. I was on my morning rounds, distributing
potions to the sick when I came across their front door lying in the middle of the street, torn from its
hinges. The scene inside was utter carnage. Blood covered the walls and ceilings, bodies were strewn
across the floor. It looked as if they were attacked by wild animals. The blacksmith himself is still
nowhere to be found."

Well this is certainly disturbing. Not too much further down the road do we the house of the blacksmith.
Or, what was the house. The sight inside is mortifying. Finding the place empty, we dig around a little bit
and encounter what must be the blacksmith’s remains locked in the basement. We do find a nice set of
chain mail though… and a third journal entry.

“The sick have begun to go mad. They rove the streets in packs, attacking anyone who comes near. The
king’s new adviser, Mordecai, has instituted a quarantine on the entire district. The only remaining
route into the Royal Quarter is over the Forge, but everyone who attempts to cross is gunned down by

Mordecai’s crossbowmen."

Perhaps there are survivors after all! Maybe we can learn the source of this disease and what happened
here. Perhaps we can lend some assistance, although I’m not so sure how any survivors will take two
exiles in their mists. Following the road, the scenery changes. This is clearly a more affluent area of town.
We take to the rooftops to gain a better vantage point of the area. Another body lies in a heap near a
small fire, no doubt a failed attempt to evade the roving cannibals. A fourth tattered page is found.
__
“Rumor has it the royal family has taken ill. Mordecai’s men are the only ones untouched by this plague.
I suspect he is using the disease as a means to seize power. Some of the bastards have taken to leading
our brothers through the streets on chains, setting them loose on people trying to escape."

Wow. The mystery deepens! Although, this Mordecai fellow must not be too bright. Seizing power of a
vault with few living inhabitants? That seems pointless.

Staying on the roofs, and find the source of the light that is permeating the cavern. A volcano lies at
the base of a crevasse. A stone bridge crosses the gap. Some of our party members are able to see that
far, and tell us there are controlled fires on the other side. These must be Mordecai’s men. Pyro-dwarf
fills us in that apparently vault dwarves are very hostile to other races, and looking back at the journal
pages to the journal pages, they certainly do not want to make friends. He also mentions there could
be a Dwarven archive on the far side. But getting there will be a challenge, as will be getting in it. These
archives are bastions of knowledge. Everything that this dwarven vault knows.

There are side paths on each side of the caldera. Heading towards one of them, stone monuments in
the town circle start to light up. Sounds of the “townsfolk” starting to stir fill the air. A few guards also
pick up on the sight of these stones aglow, and descend upon us as well. Pyro-dwarf bull rushed one of
the guards, and sent him to a fiery death. Battle ensues, and we discover that the lighted stones are a
beacon to the cannibals. Smashing the stones brings an end to the waves of infected. The battle is long-
fought however, and a sense of weariness grows. Backtracking a little bit to clear away from the bridge/
circle, we find a suitable house that seems defensible. Eradicating a couple infected that reside inside, we
find another piece of the puzzle.

“I broke into the archives on a hunch today, no small accomplishment even with all of the archivists
roving the streets somewhere. What I found was disturbing, to say the least. There was no record
anywhere of Mordecai’s birth. What’s more, he doesn’t appear on census records until two years ago.
I’ve prepared a special potion that should reveal his deception, but I fear this illness will take me before
I get a chance to use it. To whoever finds this journal: Search under the floorboards behind the counter
of my shop. Stop the usurper before he destroys the vault."

We board up the house, set a watch, and rest.

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