Four of us left Stone’s Throw: the cat-person Jade, the hairless dwarf Carreg, myself, and another newcomer, Sinj. I must admit that he and I are similar: both of us strangers to Norundra, both of us honor Tukohama in battle, I with axes and he with swords. And The Others he speaks of are surely the spawn of Kitava. But while I bear Ramako’s light, he carries darkness within him, and wishes only to send his foes to Hinekora.
We journeyed north to the one known as Mump, and were there joined by a daughter of Tawhoa, Arturia. During the night, however, Kitava’s belly rumbled with hunger, and the the earth rumbled and quaked. There were no other signs of the unnatural, and such a thing is unknown to these parts, it seems.
Following the mountains west and staying above the cursed forest, we encountered a strange man named simply “Evan”, who was enslaved by a book he carried. We decided not to slay him, and he told us of a recent mudslide that had revealed a tunnel into the mountain. He guided us there, then he ventured north, directly into the cursed forest as a terrible storm began. We instead took refuge from Valako’s fury in the tunnel that Carreg claimed was dwarven work.
After resting, we descended into the darkness. We walked for a long time, the only measure being how many times I called upon Ramako’s blessing. Eventually, we reached a chamber with four doors, each bearing a rune overhead. Carreg identified one of the runes as being of a clan of dark dwarves, and another rune Jade & Carreg agreed had something to do with giants. One of the runes I was sure I had seen, but I had to consult my prayer book to rediscover that it was the mark of the foulest of Kitava’s generals, the demon lord Orcus! The last symbol, none of us could understand. Jade and Carreg had recruited us to hunt giants, so we chose the door that they had identified.
Again, we made our way for a long time. The tunnel had many small forks, dead-ends, and smaller passages that narrowed to the point that we chose not to press on. Eventually, we found an odd chamber that held massive stone spikes piercing the floor, ceiling, and walls. It was as if Kitava, in his eternal hunger, was trying to bite into the mountain itself and we stared directly into his ravenous maw.
We did not venture further that direction, but did choose to rest nearby. During the rest, we were attacked by foul reptilian humanoids that stank of Kitava’s bile. We slew them easily, though the stench lingered long after.
There were several sleeps and much travel, and again the earth all around us shook! But this time we were deep within the belly of the beast when it quivered and growled with Kitava’s voracious appetite.
The passage did not collapse on us, and eventually opened up to a larger room with a door flanked by two winged statues. We saw there was writing above the door, but when we got close the statues awoke and attacked! Sinj displayed a truly mighty feat of strength, lifting the winged stone-beast off the ground, only to then slam it back down and pin it! I then relentlessly hacked away at its prone form with my axes. If stone can bleed, that day would see it!
Against the other statue creature, Arturia revealed herself to be a daughter of Arohongui! She skin-changed into a massive beast of dire teeth and fell claws and tore into the stony flesh! Carreg devastated the beast with the power of Valako’s roar, and Jade wove magic to confuse the creature, making its attacks clumsy and ineffective.
In desperate escape, the two stone-beasts flew away, but Jade whispered Arohongui’s call, and they fell asleep mid air, and one shattered upon the floor! The other never awoke.
To be continued…