Taking a moment to catch their breath after the fight with the Hejkin the party took the opportunity to search the room. The majority of the containers contained foul food, but the heroes were able to locate some usable food. In addition, several healing fruits and numerous trade stones were recovered.
Crossing the entrances to the hejkin caves, the party approached the last remaining alcove, containing a sarcophagus. As they approached it, the heroes began to feel a psychic drone in their minds. Their vision began to blur and when it cleared, a human figure was standing before them, wearing archaic robes that flowed into the room like a mist. Its fingers extended into long sharp claws. With it jaw jutting forward, opening, its words infiltrated the heroes minds.
“You should not have come here. The time is not yet right.”
Gwyn attempted to reason with the apparition, but its intentions were clear. It sought punish those who had plundered and desecrated the tomb. Moving swiftly, its claws tore into Morg, freezing his flesh. When Gwyn struck it with lightning, it became enraged at her use of magic, and summoned forth additional specters to attack the party.
Morg and Vinara make quick work of most of the new specters but not before they were assaulted by their chilling claws, and Gwyn finished them off with her magic. The fight against the haunting spirit was long and painful, with all of the heroes suffering serious injuries. At last it was defeated when Morg’s axe decapitated it, causing it to disperse.
In the Presence of Another Time
A heartbeat later, two figures emerged from the ground behind the heroes: a creature with skin like stone and a living wave of water, both vaguely human.
Our wind brother became one of the defilers and brought down death and evil to this peaceful place. But no matter, the time it not right for such trifles. you have proved worthy to carry our message back to the surface to show others that not all arcanists are defilers. You can become examples by preserving the arcane knowledge our people once held. The path you have chose might one day repair the damage done. We can only wait and hope the elemental prophecies are indeed true. Go now, and show the misguided that arcane energy can be used to preserve instead of destroy.
We shall open a way for you out of the mountains, for you are still being hunted. Know too that the one who hunts you is not entirely lost; he can be reformed.
With that the spirit of earth and water moved into the hejkin tunnels, reshaping them into passageways large enough to accommodate their heroes. Exhausted the heroes took a much needed rest before venturing into the tunnels. After several days travel in the tunnels, the party emerged back on the surface.
As they approached the surface, the familiar smell of dusty air entered their lungs, but the air was was strangely cool and humid. As their eyes adjusted to the daylight, it took them several moments to comprehend what they saw – a forest of trees, lush and green stretched before them. A loud crack rung out and they glanced around for the clearing. Unnoticed at first, the party found themselves surrounded by dozens of spears pointed at them.
Their eyes trained downward to the short creature holding the glittering iron spear. Less than four feet tall, and wearing primitive masks and clothes adorned with feathers and other trinkets, their captors were instantly recognizable – halflings. One wearing a headdress of feathers and skulls stepped forward.
“You are our captives now. You will come with us.”