Shades of Shadora

Meeting the Mawla

Watch that first step

After hours of travel Roku circled back to check the map with Prospero and Arghmon. It would do no good to be lost in the tunnels. As he located the Way Station on the map he looked about and jabbed it with his finger. This way he decided, he turned and took a step, suddenly the tunnel floor cracked like a thin sheet of ice and collapsed. The party fell into a black pit beneath their feet.
The party found themselves falling down twisting lava tubes. In moments they were plunged into darkness as they lost torches or concentration on light spells. The tubes seemed more like steep chutes or slides than a sheer drop. Small rocks and ledges were all along the chutes tearing away equipment and bruising the party members. Head impacts caused people to see stars, other times members blacked out only to awaken to the seemingly endless slide. Like drowning men or women tossed about in a raging stream without control they fell. Swords and staves and backpacks full of gear spill into the tunnels as straps break, grips weaken and hands grasp for purchase on the sharp surface of the terrible tube. You hear Tenk’s confused cry, “Rokuuuuuu!” fade into the distance as he falls down his own path. Even the shouts dim as the chutes diverge. And finally the members fall stops. Rocks and random gear fall about them in the dark. Some fair better than others but all are bruised and battered. Most lay in a heap where they landed slipping into the void of unconsciousness.
Lasheur awoke when the Mawla that were carrying him tossed him against a stone column. The Mawla Clan Chieftain sat upon a stone throne. So a spy of the blighter’s among us, and then his bow spoke. A hushed silence filled the room, the bow of Zephery our hated foe, leader of the blighter’s. Entomb this spy were he shall slowly rot and die for his evil. Before Lasheur could respond he was snatched away. He was bound with bands of stone and pushed into a small depression clay, mud, and stone filled in about him and in moments he was choking.
Simon, Prospero, and Trish, weaved in and out of consciousness. Trish as if in a dream heard a deep rumbling voice “Thralls, falling from the sky brothers! Seems as though their escape attempt has failed. Judging by their possessions they have slain their masters and stolen their heirlooms. They have way too much spirit to be useful in their current state. Separate them from their ancestors and enthrall them. Then they will take well to the whip and we will present them to the Clan Chief as gifts.” In time Trish and Prospero awoke to find themselves stripped in chains wearing slave collars. Simon was still in the throes of unconsciousness but a Mawla was painting runes on his face with a noxious paint. Trish struggled to her feet and demanded what the meaning of this, a Mawla summoned a zombie that come scuttling over to hold her. She spoke the words of Artol and consecrated the ground about them, the zombie was blasted back into a wall some yards distance. The Mawla were surprised and looked in wonder, “How do you posses the magic of Artol?” Trish replied I am the Gray Lady, Rune Lord of Artol free me at once. To Prospero’s surprise they complied, belatedly she ordered her companions freed as well. “Where are my cloths”, she shouted. A Mawla rushed out and returned with the clothing and gear that remained from the fall. Once freed of the chains and dressed Trish ordered the Mawla to take them to their chieftain.
Arghmon fell and ended up dangling from the a ledge a few feet off the ground. His fear of the dark and underground and gotten a firm grip on him. When Roku found him he was arguing with himself. Roku quickly got him down and moved him to a dead end tunnel with a torch and then explored further. A short distance away he ran across a pair of Mawla. They greeted him in a friendly manner and offered him some fresh meat. He queried what type? They replied Newtling, this one was stunned on the ground most drift in through the river. He had this cool spear. Roku recognised it as the Unstoppable spear that Tenk was carrying, “That’s mine he claimed, I lost it in the fall”. “Well that thieving Newtling must have stolen it, he’s paid” one chuckled as he threw aside a leg bone and handed Roku the spear. Roku held his composure and asked them to take him to their chief. As the headed down a nearby tunnel he flung the spear killing both. Wandering about he found the Throne room where Trish with Prospero and Simon were talking to the Chief.
The Mawla had been living in the tunnels since the Chaos war. They were fighting an endless war with the Blighter’s, a band of corrupted elves lead by Zephery. Trish explained the current war and after much discussion the Mawla chieftain agreed to support the party if they would end the threat of the Blighter’s. The party agreed and queried about Lasheur, when told his fate Prospero ordered them to take them to the cairn. At the spot Prospero reached into the fresh Earth and pulled Lasheur out breaking the bonds. With the party reunited a plan was devised to destroy the blighter’s.

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