Hammer Faster

They just want to set the world on fire

If you can't take the heat, get out of the cavern

After a short rest to regain their breath and take care of their wounds, the party finds several keys on the corpse of the necromancer, as well as a healing potion and some coin. Hemlock announces that he had accomplished what he’d set out to do, dissolved into a swarm of lizards, and disappeared into the cracks and darkness. Graven recognizes a rune embroidered on the back of the throne the necromancer had been occupying, identifying it as something that indicates a hidden passage of some sort. After some investigation, the group finds a button on the throne and eventually uses it to uncover a spiral staircase reaching down further. Runes lined the stairs, which Graven and Lyaevel identified as meaning “portal” as well as the rune meaning “rune magic”.

Despite the heat and the darkness, the party continued down, traveling through a cavern and seeing another large room with an orange glow up ahead. Lyaevel scouted up ahead and discovered a number of fire beetles, but stealthily retreated before the insects could discover him. The group moves up, but the insects still failed to notice their presence. The beetles disappear into the glow, which appeared to be lava of all things, and the party advances onward. Despite the heat coming off the lava, Jarveth and Graven pushed onward towards the center of the room, bearing the discomfort surprisingly well. Lyaevel and Xune initially held back near the entrance of the room, waiting before finally moving forward to keep pace with the other two.

Graven notices that the object on the far side appeared to be an altar-shaped thing made of brass and indicates that he’s going to investigate. Graven realizes the writing on the object as a “recipe” for the Rune of the Enlightened Flame and manages to copy it, understanding that inscribing the rune on weapons would grant magical power of flame and heat to the attacks made with it and that tracing it on armor would protect the bearer from heat and flame. However, the skittering of the beetles returned before the party could escape. Lyaevel called out a warning and battle was joined.

Lyaevel charges in, hacking brutally at the closest beetle as he swears an oath to destroy the creature. Xune’s arcane powers finish the beetle off and it falls back over the cliff and into the lava. One of the remaining beetles sprays fire at Lyaevel, but the elf dances out of the way easily. The other beetle had better luck and sends a torrent of flame at Xune, inflicting great damage despite the tiefling’s natural resistance to fire. Jarveth and Graven rush up forward, only to be greeted with a flock of fire bats which swoop down and set several of the party on fire.

Lyaevel calls upon divine power and with a slash of his sword, hurtles a remaining beetle through space before following himself. The beetle scrambles up to avoid falling into the lava, but Xune calls upon arcane forces to blast the wounded beetle apart and severely injure the last remaining insect. The last beetle scurries after Xune, but she dodges out of the way of the attack. Graven calls forth flames of such intensity that even one of the fire bats crumpled and died. Jarveth crushes two more with a single sweep of his weapon, sending their bodies falling into the lava down below.

The bats again dove on the party and set more alight, but Lyaevel and Xune combined together to slay the last beetle before it could contribute to the damage. Graven smashes another bat to paste, as does Jarveth, leaving just a single bat remaining. The bat again swoops down on Lyaevel, but he dodges nimbly out of the way and bisects it with his fullblade.

The party returns upstairs and prepares to make a defensible camp in the necromancer’s throneroom. The party was badly in need of a long rest to recover and tend to their wounds. Lyaevel, taking the keys found on the necromancer’s corpse earlier, snuck back a short way through the monastery rooms and opened two doors that the party had skipped before. In one was clearly the necromancer’s sleeping chambers and study and the other was a storage closet of some sort. After using some rusty skeletons swords to bar the doors, Lyaevel came back to the rest of the party and passed on what he’d seen.

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jaron95

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