After passing through the mirror, the shadowy claws reaching out to them, there was nothing but black.
Anju, a young monk who only recently arrived at the ancient Zayan monastery, awoke from a daze. It took him a moment to assess his surroundings (the courtyard of the monastic order) and he found his focus turning back to his task at hand, tending to a garden. After successful work, his attention was drawn to nearby shouts from outside the monastery walls. The courtyard overseer, Grom, was quick to react, letting in traders of varying sorts. Anju, interested, moved to investigate, only to be quickly intercepted by an overly friendly trader who introduced himself as Jim Morrison. Jim, undeterred by Anju’s cryptic phrases, gathered Anju and another young monk by the name of Jenner, to help him unload his cart.
After some misgivings with Jim’s horse, Anju began to unload the cart, when his attention was drawn to the young Jenner, staring off into the distance. The boy spoke of a hole in the sky opening up and took off into the snowy forest. Anju was quick to follow and catch-up, stopping the boy, and advising that they move slowly and carefully together. They made their way through the small expanse of a forest, and to a long rope bridge. There, they began to cross carefully.
Bright light burned the eyes of Jazzpaws as he opened them. Taking in his surroundings, Jazzpaws found himself at the edge of a snow covered cliff, atop a mountain summit. As he adjusted himself to the new sights, he then noticed 3 crumpled figures nearby. Kicking snow in the face, of the first figure, and receiving no response, Jazzpaws observed an unmoving and seemingly dead Revlon. Unperturbed, he moved to the next figure, more gently nudging awake an unconscious Debbie.
Debbie awoke in a similar manner, with painful eyes and feeling frozen. After assessing that Revlon was indeed dead with a broken neck, and gathering his belongings (including a strange orb lying near his body), Debbie made her way over to Milo, still unmoving in the snow. To her relief, Milo, the plucky halfling of their entourage, seemed no worse for the wear. The party congregated and attempted to discuss their situation and what had happened, however a disinterested Jazzpaws had other plans. Spitting on and packing snow around Revlon’s lifeless body, he began to roll his companion into a dwarf sized snowball, slowly towards the edge of a large hill.
Out of breath, Anju and Jenner arrived at the bottom of a large hill, where they saw, in horror, what appeared to be a man, rolling another figure, into a giant snowball. Some strange antics occurred, including a plume of smoke being conjured, and Jenner ran off when a large, dwarf sized snowball came careening towards the monks. Anju, intent on stopping the snowball from rolling on, swung his staff with great force. A sickening thud was heard and Anju immediately realized that he had caved in the skull of the figure inside.
Debbie was the first to meet with Anju, proclaiming a change of heart and announcing her new name as Cynthia. Joined shortly later by the rest of the party, after a flurry of questions and brief scuffle (oddly not involving the newcomer), the party agreed to continue onwards with Anju, so that he could lead them to the monastery, where warmth and safety were more readily available. Following the trail left by the boy, the party scaled a small cliff, and came across the entrance to a cave, a shout coming from deep within.
Sneaking, slipping, and juggling their way through the cave, the party was surprised to see Jenner being besieged by a strange creature that Cynthia categorized as a Darkmantle. Wasting no time, Jazzpaws raced forward, and embedded an arrow into the creature on top of the boy. Anju, swinging his staff in an attempt to collapse the tunnel on the creature, only succeeded in causing a small stalactite to land on his head while awakening 4 more of the beasts. A fierce fight began, with Jazzpaws achieving his first ever kill, taking down two of the Darkmantles single-handedly. Working as a team, Cynthia (in bear form) and Anju took out the remaining three creatures.
Concerned about the welfare of the young boy, Milo skirted past the enemies, avoiding their attention. He approached Jenner, ho had a sickly bite on his neck, and who wasn’t looking too well. Milo, spotting some blue moss that he determined to have medicinal purposes, consumed the vitality restoring fungus with the young boy. Gathering the moss in clumps, Milo then spied a weak looking wall, which stood out from the rest of the cave. Working with bear Cynthia, the two managed to break through the wall, revealing strange room behind.
This new room stood out in its strange array of statues, pressure plates, and an odd poem etched upon a pedestal. While Milo and Anju used their wit and intelligence to decipher the poem, directing the powerful bear Cynthia on where to drag the heavy statues, Jazzpaws gained some aerobic exercise as he silently jumped up and down upon one of the statues. Together, the party solved the mystery of the elaborate room, and they were greeted with a trove of treasures. After a brief discussion over who got to keep what, with an emotional Cynthia (having found a relic of her past) delivering slaps to a child and a Jazzpaws (who also consumed a potion that reduced his age by 10 years), the party left the cave and continued onwards to the Zayan monastery.
Their trek came to a halt when at last they arrived at a long and treacherous looking rope bridge, which Anju had forgotten to warn them about. With no other noticeable way around the expanse that lay between them and the monastery, the party was left to ponder their next move.
1) Dragon Chess Set
2) Darkmantle Tentacles x4
1) Bag of Holding
2) Blue Moss x7
1) Revlon’s Corpse
2) Glowing Red Prism
3) Thunderwave Scroll
4) Cryptic Note
1) Amber Orb
2) Revlon’s Belongings
3) Heavy Wooden Shield +1
4) Ornate Mirror
5) Stereo w/ Cassette Player (Uriah Heep cassette)