Chronicles of Bronze

Clasp Part 2

Annoyed and frustrated with the previous day’s events, the adventurers decided to head back to the alchemist’s shop to see if he could tell them anything about the false clasp. Alas, Paelias could tell them nothing more than he already knew. After a small amount of debate, they decided to return to the cave in hopes of finding the mischievous familiar. They made their way through the dark, Thorn leading the way, Airest safe behind the others. The group started to go towards the right-most path, remembering that the troglodyte had mentioned the path was a dead end the day before, after they made it to the end of the path. They then took the left-most path and they happened to find themselves in a large underground chamber. A large chasm divided the room. Along one side was a ledge that could be crossed only with great difficulty, however, bridging the chasm lay a large stalactite. Thorn could hear the sounds of something moving nearby, but could not find the source. He advised the others to proceed with caution across the stone bridge. Jiggo, the monk, volunteered to test the bridge first, to see if it would hold weight. He began to cross to the other side, and it was obvious that the stalactite could hold even the gnoll’s weight. Jiggo was beginning to feel confident, but just as he reached the other side, a slithering sound descended from the ceiling above. With a heavy crash a dark shadow fell atop the monk, throwing the sunrod from his hands. Thorn charged across the gap, followed by Airest. Jiggo struggled against the unseen creature as it writhed on top of him. Axe and spear began to bite into the to wriggling beast as it tried in vain to tear into the prey beneath it. A hatchet bit deep into its’ flank, and a familiar scream cut through the musty air. With almost manic enthusiasm, Thorn began to tear into the aberration, stopping only when the creature no longer moved. With a bit of effort, they extracted the monk from under the carrion crawler and continued with their task. Except for a dire bat who had the misfortune to try and make a meal out of Thorn, the rest of the journey went without incident. By pure accident, they discovered a short cut into a chamber which they had been in before. Airest recognized the small stalagmite the pseudo-dragon had perched on previously, luring them in with the fake clasp. After a moment of searching, Airest discovered the real clasp wedged in the rock behind the stalagmite. Relieved that the real clasp had been found, and eager to collect reward from Paelias, the monk and cleric began to make their way back into the sunlight. Thorn, however, held them back. He could hear the small pseudo-dragon splashing somewhere in the caves. Somewhere close. An incessant curiosity about the creature tugged at him. The gnoll began to mimic the creature’s chirps and squeaks, and in the gloom, the group could hear the creature begin to take notice. Thorn got the monk to follow him across the water towards the familiar, who then took off and flew across the lava and around a bend beyond the sight of the group. Jiggo began to grow annoyed and impatient at Thorn’s stalling. He insisted that they return at once to Paelias’ shop. With great reluctance, Thorn followed them. As they approached the shop, Jiggo and Airest began to debate amongst themselves as to whether they should try to ask for a little more compensation in return for giving Paelias back his clasp. When they asked Thorn, the gnoll replied in a distracted manner that they should simply give it to the poor alchemist. The other two agreed with reluctance. A relived Paelias greeted and congratulated the returning group, and promised them ample reward, once had all his stock in order once more. The group muttered but grudgingly agreed to return soon for their compensation. They had only just turned away from the shop and onto the road when a loud bang came from the shop, accompanied by the sound of swearing. Rushing to the back, Jiggo kicked the rear door open. Before them was an almost comical site. Paelias was waving and swinging his arms in the air, fending off a group of small, red, humanoid creatures. Imps darted here and there through out the shop, attacking Paelias, breaking furniture, and destroying potions. Paelias had placed the clasp on a table, and above it hung a shimmering portal from which another imp flew out of. Scrambling into a panicked action, the trio began to try and stop the invaders. The small demons easily slipped past most of their blows and strikes. It was hard frustrating work, like trying to stab at bumblebees, the imps being almost too small to hit. But gradually, they began to gain the upper hand. It was Jiggo who recognized the clasp as the source of the portal, and turning attention from one of the imps, he began to strike at it with his staff. Airest joined in to help him, accidentally throwing the object high into the air and onto a cabinet . The three crashed into each other in an effort to reach the clasp, but it was the monk who once again reached it and with a final blow, shattered it. To their dismay, the portal still hung in the air, though imps stopped coming through. Paelias quickly explained that the clasp on their plane must be destroyed as well as the one on the other side of the portal. He explained that they must go through the portal and break the clasp on that side before the miniature invasion stopped. They would then be pulled back into their own plane once this was done. Without hesitation, Jiggo, Thorn, and Airest leaped through the portal, and into the imp’s home plane. As they exited the portal, they began to realize that Paelias had left out an important detail in his explanation. He had failed to tell the adventurers that the plane they were traveling to might have a different version of ‘reality.’ The relative sizes in this plane were reversed. The imps towered over the group as they peered out from under the now massive table. The group could tell the clasp sat atop the table but could not risk moving out to strike at the gem. Jiggo and Airest began to discuss the best course of action as an anxious Thorn began to show signs of impatience. Sudden inspiration came to the cleric. She took off her necklace and whispered to it in an unknown language. The air around it shimmered and convulsed, where the necklace had snaked around her arm was now a large, lithe ferret. Airest cooed, and petted the beast, whispering instructions. The small creature seemed to understand, and it leapt from their hiding spot and scurried up the counters. Jars, and bottles fell onto the floor with a loud crash as the ferret began to knock over and break everything it could find. As one the imps turned and scrambled after the beast, knocking the clasp to the ground just out of reach of the party hiding ‘neath the table. Airest took advantage of their distraction and ran out to retrieve the clasp. It was only after it had begun to shatter under the rain of blows the group was delivering to the clasp, that the imps realized that something was amiss. Ignoring the ferret they charged towards the adventurers, but it was too late. With a final hit, the clasp broke and all three of them (ferret in tow) were pulled back into the Prime Material Plane. Exhausted but victorious, the group slowly regained their breath, and began to glare at the alchemist. Aware that one of the party members stood a good four head taller and hundred stones heavier than him, he quickly told the adventurers that he could properly compensate them for their work at that moment. He promised to return one hundred percent yield on any potion ingredients that they brought him, and would they please so graciously accept these very useful healing potions., yes thank you again for all your help, now I must get this place in order. Evening was beginning to settle on the small port city as they left Paelias’ shop. Airest returned to The Halberd, petting and cradling her ferret. Thorn began to make his way through the streets, heading towards the wilds. Curious and a little suspicious as to what the gnoll was up to, Jiggo tried to follow him. Thorn proved to be much better versed in subterfuge than him however, as he easily lost the intrusive human. Frustrated, Jiggo instead decided instead to pay a visit to the sorcerer that had caused them and Paelias so much trouble. Thorn slowly made his way through the alleys and back ways of Malteton. From behind a voiced called to him. Thorn spun around to see an elf in bone colored armor standing atop the roof behind him. The elf told him that he was not pleased with the gnoll making offers to his subordinates, to which the gnoll replied that he didn’t care if the elf liked it or not, his offer still stood. He warned the elf that the Bones could either help him with his search or they could stay out of his way, but he would burn anyone who tried to stop him. A shard of bone suddenly flew through the air, landing at Thorn’s paws, and his world went black. When he came too, it was an hour later, and the elf was gone. Thorn smiled to himself, and heaved a sigh of relief that things had suddenly become much less complicated. Meanwhile, Jiggo had found the sorcerer and was admiring his wares. Not able to learn any information of use, he purchased a stick of everlasting chalk and thanked the sorcerer for his time. As he entered The Halberd an idea came to him. He struck up a conversation with Branka, the innkeeper’s wife and he asked in which room the Thorn was staying. She replied that it was actually the room across from his. Casually the monk made his way upstairs, and after checking to see that the hallway was clear of all but himself, he tried the door across from his. It seemed to be locked, but confident in his own capabilities, and determined to find out more about the enigmatic gnoll, he proceeded to kick down the door. It was a shame that he had not inquired more out of Branka, because she might have told him that Thorn was cleric’s bodyguard. As the door crashed open, an indigent Airest sat up in bed with a scream. Surprised and flustered, Jiggo stammered out that he had mistaken it for his own room. It was then that Branka had charged up the stairs to find out what the commotion was. Both women began to scream and yell at him, as he began to offer apologies and excuses. After a ten minutes of hollering and confusion, Jiggo agreed to repair the door he had broken. Without an ounce of carpentry experience, he began to try to repair the door in vain. After an hour he realized that he could take his door carefully off of the hinges, and place it over the gaping hole in Airest’s and Thorn’s room. He was quite pleased with himself, until Branka pointed out to him that there was now no door on Jiggo’s room. Sulking and more than a little embarrassed, he convinced a local half-orc carpenter to repair the door in return for some of the prime catch from Jiggo’s nets.

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