The Lost Seas

The Claw of Peace

The Place of Forgetting 3 (revised Marauders of the Dune Sea)

Recorded by scholars studying the life of Zuri.

Now that our heroes had discovered what they believed to be the Place of Forgetting (albeit hidden behind a violent and mysterious sandstorm), they took the opportunity of a brief respite to rest and recover after their perilous battle with the Red Chord. Thus it was in the predawn hours of 9 Sorrow that further investigation of the sandstorm began.

A survey of the sandstorm’s perimeter revealed a collection of tracks and footprints leading in and out of the storm’s center, and after an initial testing of the storm’s severity using Birel’s polearm and Bost’s real arm, a plan was put into motion. The group sent in Zuri (with a rope around his waist), hoping that its Shardmind form would protect it from any ill effects of exposure to the sands. After Zuri returned relatively unhurt and only slightly polished, the party decided to brave the sandstorm as a group, using the cliff wall as a guide and a well tied rope as insurance. The sandstorm proved to be a dangerous violent maelstrom, but the party persevered and pressed on until they reached the storm’s edge.

Once the party emerged safely from the ravaging winds of the sandstorm barricade, they found themselves facing the arched gateway of a dark cavern. Some of the party were quick to notice that this arch, carved handsomely with the figures of snakes, was crackling with electricity. Something was amiss. Bost observed that the electrical energy seemed to be emanating from a Rune at the rightmost bass of the arch. “A room?”, asked Birel. “No, a Rune, R-U-N-E.”, replied Bost, as they both slowly approached the offending artifact to investigate further. Now closer to the entrance of the cavern, signs of motion in the darkness were observed. After a moments thought, Chat’G’Hak was able to deduce that this was assuredly a Rune Trap, easily bested by her thieving prowess. As the others stood guard against the unknown motions, Chat masterfully disarmed the Rune Trap, even taking a moment to glance back to her allies with a boastful wink. Success.

Upon entering the cavern, it was revealed that the mysterious motions in the darkness were in fact a pack of adorably hideous hejkin. The battle was engaged at once and the hejkins quickly displayed their mastery of electrical attacks, but the impressive light show did very little to contain the mighty assault of our noble heroes. Even brave Vilsis (tasked with guarding the cavern’s entrance) played his part by tricking one of the hejkin into believing that it had been flanked, a ruse that would surely not work again. As the final blows were being dealt, a lone bloodied hejkin managed to escape the fray retreating down a passageway to the left.

After catching their breaths above the battered hejkin bodies, the party was set to choose between the two passages that lay before them. Using their far-hearing talents Bost was able to report that all was silent down the rightmost passage, while Zuri claimed to hear what sounded like wind chimes within the leftmost (presumably hejkin filled) passage. The group chose to begin with the silent route, but all that met them there was a mysterious closed door, recently barricaded by planks and electrically charged in a manner similar to the Rune Trap encountered earlier. No rune could be seen however, nor any other means of disarmament. An apparent dead end.

The party then backtracked and continued down the leftmost path. Soon they discovered the source of the wind chime sound that Zuri had described. It was not chimes at all, but in fact a stream of water running down the wall of the cave, a sight that shocked and astounded the party who took a brief moment to fill their canteens with this amazingly fresh spring water.

The passage eventually opened into the corner of a large room, littered with refuse, and with a large open pit at its center. Across the room sat another group of hejkin, including the cowardly fiend that had escaped demise earlier. The hejkin chief called out in Dwarvish inviting the party to “parley” and accept their “claw of peace”. Bost, the only one among the party that spoke Dwarvish, carried on diplomatic talks from afar. Eventually Chat’G’Hak, sensing deception (or perhaps simply not understanding the Dwarvish peace talks), flung her chatchka toward the head of one of the advancing hejkin and the battle began. The hejkin chief struck a large carapace hanging from the cavern wall which made a sound like a gong. This called forth a vicious Chuul that emerged from the pit intending to make a meal of our brave heroes.

The battle was a fierce, but one by one the hejkin underlings fell until only the Chuul and the Chief remained. Eventually the Chuul succumbed to a barrage of attacks from all sides, putting an end to its miserable existence. The hejkin chief continued to mount his stubborn assault, but the party gradually surrounded the fiend and the writing was on the wall. Bost demanded that the near dead chief cease his attacks, offering him a swift death and a respectful burial if he would lay down his arms. The chief was unable to respond however, as Bost’s request ended not with words, but with his blade, separating the chief’s head from his newly christened corpse.

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