The Barrier

Session 5

The party decides they can’t wait until morning to try to rescue Wenda form the troglodytes. They enter the cave where she was taken, led by Normik, who is desperate to recue her, and accompanied by Goodwin and Mott.
The light from Baltus’s holy book and the glow from firebeetle spatters on Devlamin push back the darkness in the cave passage, which opens into a large chamber guarded by two troglodytes and a giant lizard. Baltus hears chanting coming from another passage off of the cavern, and soon everyone can hear it. The troglodytes attack, immediately incapacitating Normik. The stench of the troglodytes is unbearable, and during the fight, Tanis gets too close to one and is sickened, but still makes an impressive show in in the fight with his bow. Baltus manages to stabilize Normik. The enemies fall and the party rushes to the source of the chanting, another chamber, where Wenda is being held down by a troglodyte while a squat, heavy troglodyte chants in Abyssal over her. Just as the party kills the trog holding her down, the ritual completes and two bloated, rotting humanoids emerge up through the stone floor and grab Wenda. They begin to drag her down into the floor and nearly succeed before they are both wounded enough to burst them open.
Still covered in the demon’s rotting entrails, the party heads back to the first chamber, where they make quick work of an armored trog with a magic dagger. Mott and Goodwin take Normik and Wenda outside. Devlamin, Baltus and Tanis head up a flight of stairs to a third chamber where two troglodytes guard a chest. Again, the troglodytes lack of armor and Devlamin’s sturdy armor make it a pretty one-sided fight. The chest contains 80 gold coins, 400 silver, and three gems that baltus estimates are worth about 20g each.
Once back outside with the caravan, everyone rests for the night. The caravan continues along the cliffside road, which curves around a mountain with a demon head carved on one side and a stone fortress on the other. The balconies of the fortresses contain human-sized creatures jumping around. Stone bridges extend across the chasm surrounding the fortress and join the road the caravan is on. A party of five of the hopping creatures emerges from the fortress and heads for the road. From his days on the mean streets of the north, Tanis recognizes them as Kenku – birdlike creatures capable of mimicking just about any sound or voice and prone to petty crime. It’s strange to see a large, organized group of them together. The party walks ahead of the caravan to meet the creatures at the road, but they stay back on the bridge, their bows ready. Baltus begins a conversation with them, in reply they mimic his own voice to ask for compensation to let the caravan pass. Baltus returns to the merchant. Aris, who offers a few pieces of Northmen jewelry he was hoping to sell in the south. The Kenku appear satisfied with this offering and not eager for a fight.
Meanwhile, a second group of kenku appears on the other bridge across the chasm. Then a third group appears up ahead of the caravan, where the road curved out of sight. This group is made up of two kenkus directing five or six half-dead humans hauling carts or carrying stones. The group moves closer and turns onto the second stone bridge across the chasm to the fortress. Normik yells out “Father!” and runs toward the second bridge, but by the time he gets there, the kenkus from the fortess have passed the rock-hauling group as they head in.

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