Session Log 2021-07-22
Robin, Klaitos, and Ignis awakened to the sound of Vennat arriving in a borrowed rickety spice trading ship. Rather than carry them off immediately, he dallied with the rest of the nomad tribe. The three of them were warned against leaving without him, and so they helped the tribe finish their packing for the remainder of the morning.
Robin disguised herself as a kobold, to try and eavesdrop on Vennat and Arijat or snoop around the largely barren loaner ship. Unsatisfied, she attempted to pilfer something useful from the village, but found herself stymied both by the available pickings and by the speed at which loose objects were collected into the mass.
Ignis bid farewell to the pack reptiles and their herder and tried, but failed, to socialize with Vennat and Kortil. Klaitos helped speed along the process of gathering tents; Ignis and, begrudgingly, Robin eventually joined him.
Around noon, Vennat started off towards Twinpyre. The journey was slow - the vehicle wasn't especially swift - and dull. Vennat planned to travel back to the city through a smuggler's tunnel in the surrounding ruins, the same way he had exited. However, the Torch Militia had remobilized around the city in his absence, and by late afternoon a red dragon and several Torch ships were patrolling the area. Klaitos and Robin worked together to conceal the ship in a half-illusory storm of dust, and the ship sailed into Twinpyre unseen.
The three decided that the best place to start looking for Ekkels was with Vicriax, and the best place to look for Vicriax was the place they had encountered her twice before - the Forges, the arcanic factories filling the sky with permanent smog - so Vennat dropped them off nearby. They found tracks in the soot - some new, some old - but followed some to a recent battleground of bloodstains and burnt-black lizardfolk bones.
Nearby the battleground was a nearly-dead kobold who had crawled to relative safety in a nook of the lower Forges. Ignis was able to shimmy into the nook and heal the kobold, who shared that his name was Hix and that his adventuring team had been wiped out in an encounter with Vicriax. He credited her captive - a robed figure, whom he didn't get a good look at - with distracting her at the right moment for him to stab her with his cursed sword. He asked to be taken to a safer location, fearing that loosed Forge elementals were still about.
The party put Hix back in the nook with some food and water, promising to return once they had secured their own friend. They followed the direction he had indicated Vicriax to have fled after the battle and found themselves at the entrance to the cavern in which they had hidden previously. However, in their haste, a Forge elemental caught up to them and gave chase.
Robin used an illusory spray of water to slow the elementals' loping hurdle. It failed to stop fully, but it did look perturbed by the water. Ignis found a pressurized-water pipe for Klaitos to tear open, creating enough of a real spray to stop it in its tracks. As it climbed for a way past, the group ran to the cavern, Robin leaving an illusory spill behind them to deter its pursuit.
The thin light shining into the cavern showed them Ekkels, wrapped in heavy chains and sitting within a runed circle. Above him, brandishing his blade at the interlopers, stood the still very damaged Tireless Knight. The smooth obsidian wall of the cavern had crumbled away, revealing a broad passage deep below Twinpyre.