Buried Secrets

Chapters 25 and 26: The Dark Secret of Luminol

A New Expedition

The heroes returned to Sunvale with Kelsis, having freed him from his capture by the Yuan-ti. There they met up with Qu’anal and the Starwhisper expatriates to begin their expedition for the lost Elven kingdom.

When the party reached the magical shield protecting the kingdom, Qu’anal used the Star Key that had been in Princess Yelena’s dowry chest to allow them to pass through the barrier. Proceeding towards the capitol city of Luminol, they saw that the outlying country had become unusually swampy, and serpents were everywhere. When they entered a farmer’s home, they saw evidence of barricades against invaders. Something was clearly wrong.

Seeing a tower in the distance, Thia chose to scout ahead. She caught the attention of two behirs that had laired in the tower, and she retreated back to the farmhouse. The heroes and the elves engaged the behirs in a brutal battle that laid waste to the farmer’s cottage. One behir was slain and the other retreated. Not wanting to deal with a future ambush, the heroes tracked it to the tower and killed it. The heroes and the elves decided to make camp at the tower that night, reasoning that other creatures would give the behirs a wide berth. That night, they heard a distant wailing in the marsh, which they suspected was the sound of tormented banshees.

The Silent City

The next morning, the group made its way to Luminol itself. The city was surrounded by a tight wall of trees. Upon entering, they discovered that the city was a mix of stone huts on the ground and tree huts connected by walkways. There were some signs of a struggle, and several statues of terrified elves; Ragnar believed they were petrified. Moving to the centre of the city, they found the location of the wedding; here many elves statues stood. Most were on one side of the wedding isle, and appeared to be sitting or starting to stand in alarm. A few others had drawn weapons.

As the party was contemplating this gruesome scene, a pair of elves ran towards them, shouting that the hounds were after them! A few moments later, 5 figures appeared from the eastern side of the courtyard, and started spraying the party with fireballs and arrows. As battle was joined, the heroes quickly discovered that the patrol’s leader was a medusa! As the battle progressed, it became clear that her soldiers were too strong for the party. They appeared to be made of stone, and resistant to most forms of damage. As the battle progressed, their elven features became more demonic. Worse yet, some of the statues from the wedding animated and joined the attack! Wrathy discovered that mystic runes had been etched into the petrified elves, allowing demons from the Abyss to inhabit them as shells. Using powerful force magic to separate the group, the heroes and most of their elvish allies beat a hasty retreat, along with one of the elvish slaves who had escaped their captors. They exited the city to find a place to rest and plan their next move.

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