With Furio and Bellatrix following up on a lead about Furio’s daughter and wife’s whereabouts, the rest of the party, with the addition of Merisiel the Rogue, delved into the newly-discovered temple complex beneath Whitechapel.
In there, they encountered a whistling warrior who refused to lay a hand on Mung Kee and who summoned giant rats to help him in his fight. When he perished, he left behind the Beast Bane shortsword. This sword is capable of making short work of non-magical animals and was taken up by Mung and used effectively later on a nest of giant spiders.
The chapel where they fought the warrior featured a large copper tree as its main focus of worship. The back of the room was ringed with old bookshelves and old crumbling tomes. Many of the tomes were filled with chants and incantations to a queen, most reading:
- As many we are strong (a picture of hundreds of copper leaves)
- Together are vigilant (dark figures standing in front of a full moon cresting over a hill)
- We reach for the heavens (a grove of trees that are growing up straight and tall)
- To awaken the great one (the moon’s face is a woman’s face with her eyes closed, looking down at the world)
The group also found a weird hip flask containing a Potion of Invisibility, which was pocketed by Ezren the Wizard.
Past this room was a hallway with realistically-carved stone trees and vines decorating it, all of which found a focal point at the next door that lead forward. After some trial and error, the group discovered that when Ezren set fire to the incredibly lifelike stone carvings, that they all retreated and revealed the pathway beyond.
The room beyond was a chamber where clerics lived and rested. A decisive battle followed with the Gunnar the Paladin leaping off one of the dining tables into the head of a skeleton, crushing it into the ground. Each of the skeletons in this room wore cleric’s robes decorated with trees and branches.
In the next two bedrooms were a Wand of Cure Light Wounds in one and a small locked chest in the other. Mung picked the lock, busted it open, and discovered a cache of silk scarves with wavy patterns on solid colour backgrounds. While he looked at the scarves, a series of flashbacks occurred, unlocking a fragment of a past event he participated in.
Another room had a crumbled crane in one corner and a pair of large mahogany crates held together with copper nails and emblazoned with the Branch symbol. Inside the crates were rough chunks of copper ore. While investigating those, three giant spiders spun down from above and a fight broke out. Eventually, the fight was won (not before Mung was bitten by one of the spiders and took Strength poison damage) and Merisiel found 30 silver pieces on the body of the crane operator.
Next up was a room piled high with crates containing copper ore and piles of items made of copper (like urns, pots, sword, buckles, coins, rings, etc). There were indications that the copper was being dragged to, and dumped down a large metal grate into a void below. After Gunnar detected whisps of evil beyond the grate, Ezren kicked a pile of the copper into the chute below making a loud noise and coaxing two giant centipedes from the walls of the room. After both Ezren and Gunnar were bitten and poisoned by the monsters, the beasts were dispatched. Merisiel discovered a hidden alcove where the centipedes came from and Rauru went inside to find a Potion of Cure. The group decided that Mung should consume it to recover from being poisoned and return his Strength bonus to him.
At the end of this room was a large door that led down into the darkness.
The stairs emptied into a massive room that had Meloki chanting before a gigantic geode egg in the centre of the room. On another platform was a skeleton with a bow and near the entry door was another warrior skeleton, both of which were wearing the tree robes found on the skeletons earlier.
Combat was particularly nasty in this room. The team focused their efforts on Meloki who used the copper around the room to crack open the geode revealing a giant mantis within. The mantis was dripping copper ooze around the room as it walked and attacked.
By this time, Gunnar, Merisiel, and Mung had crossed the room and were dealing with Meloki and the skeletons he could raise from the dead. After grabbing Gunnar, Meloki looked into his eyes and said, “She is coming!”, laughed maniacally, and channelled some unknown energy dealing damage to him. Before Gunnar could find out more, the mantis grabbed the nearly-dead cleric and bit his head off.
Threatening to kill them all, and with all other monsters defeated, the group converged on the mantis and killed it which caused it to go into death spasms. A massive claw came down on Navki, leaving her at 1hp and with the other pounding Gunnar (with its reach/throe attack) almost killing his as well.
When the dust settled, the team looked in the room for loot, finding a Scroll of Detect Undead, gold coins, and an amazing magical trident known as The Defender (which the group decided should be carried by Rauru).
With one door still to go through, the team pulled some levers revealing a super-dark chamber that Gunnar, Navki, and Mung entered. Inside the team found thousands of geode eggs, some of which began to hatch being in close proximity to all of the copper pieces that Gunnar (the team’s banker) was carrying. Before all the eggs got a chance to hatch, they escaped and sealed the door up with some nearby pillars and braced it with some long candleabras and broken spears.
Back on the surface, they met Brin the Whitechapel Scribe as well as Furio and Bellatrix and shared what they had discovered beneath the town. Brin’s face went white as he began to piece together the story he was told and expressed worry for the townsfolk. As the team looked around, they saw many people carrying the geode eggs they’d bought from Tomek.
Both Brin and Furio and Bellatrix suggested the team’s next stop should be the town of Copper to the south to follow up on information on Furio’s daughter and wife, as well as to get to the bottom of the Branch and a group of mysterious tax collectors who’d arrived in Whitechapel recently to collect money.
Before bedding down for the night, Ezren persuaded Tomek to recover all of the eggs he’d sold to the townsfolk and return their money to them.