The Wrathbreakers have crushed a deepfolk raiding party and scattered its remnants across the lands south of the Fanurae Inland Sea. Now they rest in the ruins of the deepfolk camp, and investigate its mission in this area.

Securing the site

The Wrathbreakers were badly injured, exhausted and running low on supplies and luck. They did not have the energy or the time to chase down every escaped deepfolk worker and kill them before they could return to their lair and raise the alarm, but they guessed it would take days for the deepfolk to receive the message that the camp had been destroyed, gather a sufficient force and return. They first decided to secure the area, using a combination of their nature lore, magic and skullduggery.

They searched the area and found a dry creek near the dig site itself, where once beavers had made a dam. The beavers were long gone and the lodge empty, but for some reason now the creek and dam itself were dry, the water long drained away and the base of the streambed overgrown with bushes and small trees. They used the abandoned dam as the base for their own camp, setting a fire in the base of the dam and piling cut brush outside the dam for extra cover. Here, hidden from view from all around, they could sleep and recover in relative safety. While the rest of the team worked on this, Itzel moved around the destroyed camp site, setting alarm spells to warn them if any deepfolk should try to sneak towards them. Then, having secured the area, they rested a little, and prepared to dig.

Sending for help

The deepfolk had established a worksite here, with some dozens of deepfolk labourers working in some kind of dig or construction near the shore. The Wrathbreakers wanted to uncover this site but guessed they would need workers, and it would take at least two weeks to travel back to Kei, gather workers, and return. So instead Itzel used her teleportation magic to travel instantly back to Kei on the same day that they completed the defenses of the camp site. She returned some hours later, carrying a supply of potions of healing and with the news that a gang of workers with some guards would travel north and could be expected to reach them in seven days.

In the meantime they would have to stay here, searching for food in the surrounding forest and trying to uncover the dig site themselves. They did not know if the work gang and reinforcements would arrive before the deepfolk attempted to recover the site, so they decided to set to work themselves, using magic and sheer brute force, to try to complete the work at the dig site.

The Poison Eye Clan

Having secured the campsite and set up a basic plan, the Wrathbreakers began searching the loot from the battle for clues about the deepfolk they had killed and their plans for the site. Mostly they found trash and useless deepfolk trinkets, but amongst the dead goblin shaman’s belongings they found a letter, which seemed to indicate the squad’s mission. Of course it was written in the deepfolk language, but by now Itzel and Ella had begun to develop some familiarity with this tongue, and so over the next few days, in between working at the dig site, they slowly decoded it. From this letter they learnt that:

  • The deepfolk clan they had been fighting was called the Poison Eye clan, and it had been hiding beneath the western isles for hundreds of years, having given humans the impression it had been driven extinct
  • The Poison Eye clan’s leader had learnt that deepfolk clans on the main island of Hadun had begun working with humans, and that this information was being kept secret from the Poison Eye clan
  • The Poison Eye clan leader did not believe working with humans was a good idea, and wanted to either undermine the actions of its mainland brethren, or find some way to be invited into their conspiracy
  • The mainland deepfolk were looking for 7 powerful artifacts, for some purpose. Spies had provided the Poison Eye clan leader with a list, and one of the items was obviously an item that the Poison Eye clan knew about on Fanurae, a thing called “The Eye of a Dead God”
  • These items needed to be gathered within a certain timeframe, as they needed to be in the deepfolk’s possession before the alignment of a constellation the deepfolk call the “Seven Children of Rage”; if not obtained by this time, the deepfolk would have to wait another 1000 years to achieve whatever their purpose was
  • The Poison Eye clan leader wanted to obtain this eye before the mainland deepfolk learnt where it was, so that it could be used as leverage to get in on the mainland deepfolk’s plan

The letter also held some clues about the location of the other seven artifacts, and suggested very strongly that the white object that the Wrathbreakers had found in the Valley of Gon was something called the “fragment of a fallen moon” (though none of them could understand what a moon might be, even though the pictogram describing it suggested what it might be).

They kept the letter, and hastened to dig up the worksite.

The Eye of a Dead God

Over the next five days they alternated between resting, attempting to dig out the worksite, scouring the land around for food, and decoding the letter. They were able to recover some wounds and heal some of their wounds, and although they had to rely on their dwindling supplies on some days they were also able to gather local foods to supplement their rations on others.

The worksite was a hole dug into the ground, protected from the elements by a covering of rough-hewn wood and secured from the sea by wooden hoardings. The deepfolk had attempted to destroy it with explosives before they fled, and for the first two days the Wrathbreakers had to dig out the collapsed parts of the site, combining Bao Tap’s earth magic with Xu’s muscle. Now that the month of Rain had begun the site was constantly inundated with the first downpourings of the season, which seeped into the mud and made the work difficult and unpleasant. They also suspected that the inland sea would begin to rise – despite its name it was simply a very large freshwater lake, and the constant rain was likely to swell the rivers feeding into it over the next weeks – so they had to do some work shoring up the defenses against flood from the seaward side. Nonetheless, by the fifth day they had managed to uncover a large box, perhaps 3m long and 2m in width and height. With the combination of Xu’s strength, Bao Tap’s earth magic and Itzel’s levitation magic they were able to drag the box forth and bring it onto dry land.

They opened it immediately, of course, and after dragging away a covering of rotted straw and mud they uncovered the box’s contents: a huge, unblinking eye, squeezed into the box and packed around with mud. It had a slightly rotten smell but it had not rotted, and although they thought it must be dead there was something in its unblinking stare that suggested it was not fully gone. It also exuded an intense aura of the new magic that Itzel had discovered on the scrolls in Anyara’s bedroom, and which had corrupted the Beast of the Bones. Truly, they suspected, this thing must be the eye of an enormous, long-dead cephalopod deity of some kind.

After they had cleared the box Bao Tap tried to touch the eye. He was immediately drawn into a nightmare of darkness, chaos, blood and vast powers urgently seeking him from some other dimension. He tried to maintain his grip on the eye, to plunge in and learn its secrets, but he lacked the courage, and pulled his hands away before he could learn anything of its terrible secrets. Nonetheless, in its death it maintained some baleful outward-looking rage, and its power was even then too much for mortals, after untold time buried dead in the earth.

By now they had been here five days, and they began to fear that the deepfolk would return for them soon. With the work done early, before the workers from Kei could reach them, they decided to decamp and retreat back towards Kei. They would meet the expedition on the way, and gain some safety in numbers. Itzel established a levitation spell on the box to lighten the load and they set off, dragging the box over the dry ground of the land south of the Fanurae Inland sea, heading back to Kei. What unseemly horror did they drag back to civilization? And what could they do with this thing, now that it was in their possession?

And what were the deepfolk trying to do? What ghastly ritual did they have planned with the Eye of a Dead God, when the Seven Children of Rage came into alignment? What evil would be unleashed on the world if the Wrathbreakers failed to guard this monstrous scraping of a god’s flesh?