(Inevitably, the session naming convention set out in Session I has been defeated by a session featuring players from both groups. This session primarily featured the plot of the VT group, and was held in a VT venue, so I’m including it in that group’s timeline. – GM)
While the rest of his party was finishing up their business in Nara, the priest Ceilin was relaxing in a cozy common room reading his new book. A rough but charming individual approached him, recognizing Ceilin as a priest of some power.
He introduced himself as Hugo Zurn, and explained that he was a treasure hunter tasked by the local order of Lorekeepers with finding a voicestone – an ancient relic supposedly secreted by cultists of Hela in a nearby ruined temple known as Ingkar. Hugo needed an extra pair of hands on the expedition, and offered to cut Ceilin in on the Lorekeepers’ reward in exchange for his help. Ceilin agreed, and after leaving a message for his fellows set off on the short trip to Ingkar.
When the two arrived, they saw signs of recent occupation – below a crumbling foundation, in a half-collapsed cellar, they found a set of stairs leading down into the earth, and the clear flicker of torchlight cast along the stairwell wall. The pair delved stealthily into the recently cleared passage, with Ceilin anxiously cursing the curve of the stairwell that quickly cut off his line of sight to the darkening sky.
The stairs opened up into an old, cavernous temple hall, with dropping flagstones, a pitted stone altar, and a pair of armed orcs standing watch near a second set of stairs leading further down into the ruin. Ceilin conjured a cloud of fog, from which the two adventurers leaped, taking the orcs by surprise and quickly dispatching them.
Venturing deeper into the temple, Ceilin and Hugo got a taste of their own tactics when they were ambushed on the lower stair by another pair of orcs, led by a vicious orc commander with a large axe and accompanied by a pale man with dark robes – a priest of the dark goddess Hela. Hugo held off the orcs on all sides, while Ceilin dodged the sangromantic spells of the deathpriest and slew him with a great slash of his sword, but ultimately the militant might of the well-trained orcish warriors was enough to drive the explorers back up the stairs, and they were forced to retreat out of the temple to the realtive safety of the starlit forest.
Quickly checking to ensure that the orcs hadn’t pursued them out of the ruin, Hugo and Ceilin tended to their wounds and wondered what their next move should be, and whether they could convince the Lorekeepers in Nara to add a hazard bonus to their pay.