We Arrive at the bounty cave at 6:00pm. Because of the sand worms it is impossible to travel back to the village of Dahl. The dark comes at 8:00pm. We will spend the night and investigate. The Sandworms will not come into the cave, as they are too big and the terrain is not conducive to their survival.
The Mouth of the cave is darkened, and we can smell blood. Peering into the cave, Yuri perceives that the dead bodies at the entrance are Dalgrast Soldiers. Cenecia uses her first aid skills to examine the bodies, and determines that they have been dead for 2 days. Also, the do not have Guidance Bracelets. Rock communicates the information to X-9, who remains in Dahl. X-9 decides to investigate the archives, and recommends to Rock to investigate further into the cave.
Vyiet examines the bodies, determining that their equipment is too basic to be of any real value. Estelle takes a short sword.
For some reason, Perry has decided to bring Gizmo along. He cannot keep his rocky mouth shut, and so the adventuring company decides to leave him as the “look-out” at the entrance. We hear the low sound of skittering farther down in the cave. We proceed farther into the cave.
Dark, damp and cavey, there’s nothing new or interesting in the mine. Yuri calls “hello” into the shaft, and the sound echoes, reverberating until we cannot hear it any longer. The skittering has not changed.
Perry consults Rock, as this is the place of his origin. Rock reveals that the mine shaft is not as long as we think, and that we’re actually closer to the end than we think. We approach a rickety bridge. It is wooden and decrepit. It appears to be able to hold approx. 500 – 600 pounds, as long as those traversing are careful. Rock has a flashback – He remembers that this active mine has much better quality bridges than those displayed today AND this flashback is from 2 days ago.
Perry traverses the bridge, and discovers the dead bodies of the Dahl miners. Recognizing friends, he takes accounts for all of the missing miners. Interestingly, the bodies are piled up, not strewn about like they fell where they died. Looking around he discovers a new hole in the cave, leading down. It appears that the bodies have been dragged up out of the hole.
The company makes it’s way carefully across the bridge. The bridge is getting worse as people traverse. Akta, who was growing impatient, decides to try her luck with a flying leap across the the span. She takes a running start, but trips as she gets to the edge and tumbles into the darkness.
Thinking quickly, Rock grabs a grappling hook and rope and throws them down as quickly as possible, and Akta grabs it. Cenecia and Rock then pull her to safety, saving her life. Estelle then plans out and executes a safe way across and the rest of the crew navigates the span. Lanaia joins the party.
Examining the bodies, the group discovers 2 Midgar Soldiers, but they are bound. It appears that all of the bodies were killed by short sword from behind. The group search for answers, discussing the by possibilities. Cenecia uses her first aid skill to examine the bodies. She determines that the Midgar Soldiers died 2 days ago, while the miners were killed 4 days ago.
Lanaia and Vyiet use a floating disc conjured Lanaia, and investigate the chasm. Vyiet discovers what appears to be a loose boulder. Using their combined strength, the move the boulder, discovering tiled floor, and a way into the other tunnel. They also meet up with those descending into the 600 ft. Tunnel. The rest of the group decide to venture forward into the tunnel. It is gently sloped making walking a possibility.
Estelle halts at the tiled room, perceiving that it is, in fact, the remnant of what used to be an ancient elevator. Rock determines that this piece of technology is over 100,000 years old. No matter what, determining the exact functionality of the technology is impossible. Using her X-9 translator, Akta analyzes a repeated pattern of text on the wall. It says “Under no circumstance open the casing”. The rest of the text hints at “Sar-ahlora” and “Handwashing”.
Yuri and Perry have reached the base of the tunnel before everyone, but are quickly reunited with the group as they leave the elevator room and carry on. Looking around, they discover another tiled room with a ‘rune’. Again, the ancient language is written, and the group can read it. Lanaia steps onto the rune, and then attempts to detect the magic of the technology. She exits the rune, and then Rock steps in, activating it. This happens because Rock was found in these mines, and it seems as though he is of ancient technology. The activation also makes a green and red button appear. Rock consults the party to determine which button, of any, he should press.
Estelle searched further into the cave, and discovers:
3 dead Dalgrast Soldiers, and an unfinished grave site. The soldiers chests have “exploded”.
The group presses on forward, and when Rock leaves the teleporter, it deactivates. They discover a LIVING dalgrast soldier, and Cenecia rushes forward to administer first aid. Akta follows closely to provide protection. Upon closer examination, they determine that his wounds are greavous, yet he is not panicking. Perry moves in to interview, but the soldier’s message is somber. “We’re all going to die down here. Even if you don’t, this whole planet will be dead”. He reveals that the Dalgast soldiers have been down in the mine for 10 days.
He then says, “Galemagus, one of Dalgast’s most powerful sorcerers (a high sorcerer of Dalgast), and his spies discovered that the Midgar found a way to fuse their blood with ancient blood in order to use the ancient technology. We were worried about this because it gave Midgar the upper hand in the war.
Galemagus discovered the Sar-ahlora virus, and that one of the husks was buried under the mine. The Dalgast soldiers then bribed the miners with the promise of never working in the mines again, as well as riches and power. Rock was left out of the plan, and kept away while the plan was put into effect. The Dalgast soldiers captured 2 Midgar soldiers and made their way down into the mine. They discovered the casing and unleashed the virus, but the it proved to be too powerful.
Galemagus then unleashed the meteor to kill the Sar’ahlora, however it didn’t have the intended effect. In fact, it killed more soldiers than the good it could have done. We ended up killing the miners. We couldn’t have them around, and we had no intention of keeping our end of the bargain, and with the meteor destroying the ancient technology, we had no use for the Midgar Soldiers either. If you’re wondering, we dragged the bodies up to try and keep the virus from spreading. The rest of the soldiers ran away, their cowardice being their downfall. I’ve been fighting the virus, barehanded, ever since.”
Taking pity on the man, yet not dropping caution, the soldier’s wounds are healed by Cenecia. The soldier joins with the party and says “Are we going forward?”. We agree, and move forward toward the skittering. He glances back over his shoulder and says, “by the way, my name is Lance.”