The Survivors set out from the newly consecrated Temple of Torag. The quickly stumbled into a large cavern with statues of the First Crusaders carved into the walls of the cavern. Kushali identified them, and Aravashnial grew excited that his theory about the Mongrelmen that supposedly live beneath the city being descendants of the First Crusaders may very well be true.
But the statues were not the only thing present in the cavern. As Lei began to leave the cavern to scout ahead, three Darkmantles leapt out from their nest and attacked, making quick work of the gunslinger in such close range. Kethradel also attracted the attention of one of the Darkmantles, and while he tried to blast a brilliant display of colors at the creature, the Darkmantle managed to disrupt the hand gestures to cast the spell, giving itself an opening to use its tentacles to squeeze Kethradel until he lost consciousness. Tsura quickly leapt into action to defend her sister alongside Tyrael and Telchar, who stabilized the dying Lei quickly. Kushali hung back, using alchemist bombs, with Anevia and Aravashnial to defend Kethradel. Anevia used her shortbow, while Aravashnial summoned a dire rat to assist in the fighting. It was a hard fought battle that the Survivors walked away from.
In the next cavern, however, the fighting took a backseat to a moral disagreement. The group was confronted by a crazed dwarf, who had clearly lost his capacity to be reasoned with. Kushali immediately informed the group that the alchemist could sense the dwarf was evil, which sprung Lei, Tsura, and Aravashnial into readiness, wishing to quickly dispatch of the dwarf and be one their way. Tyrael spoke his misgivings about killing the dwarf, given that he was clearly not capable of coherent speak most of the time, much less making conscious choices that would dictate him being inherently evil. In-fighting quickly broke out, with Kethradel defending his brother’s view alongside Telchar. Lei took her shot after receiving a blessing from Aravashnial that her shot would strike true. This prompted Tyrael to try and disarm Lei, but without success. Witnessing the resolve by which Tyrael was willing to act against an ally to defend the insane dwarf’s life, Aravashnial decided that even in his blindness, he had to try to dissolve the situation quickly. Reaching into his bag he pulled out a bag of fine sand, which after a few words began to glow gold. He blew it in the direction the dwarf’s screamed were coming from, and was pleased when he heard the dwarf’s body hit the ground. With tensions high, Lei went on ahead to scout the path while Tyrael quickly bound the dwarf and fashioned a means to transport the body.
The found a section of the caverns that traveled upward, and began to climb and continue along the path that the slope lead to. After awhile Lei, while scouting ahead, came upon a cavern with a fallen tower that had toppled when the demonic forces attacked the city. Lei tensed up, seeing two creatures that were only villains in fairy tales up to that point in her life…Mongrelmen. Many folks in Kenabres did not think the creatures were even real. The rest of the group caught up to her and approached the tower. The two Mongrelmen quickly realized they were not alone and Lann pleaded that the Survivors help them free his friend Crel from the fallen tower. All six of the Survivors positioned themselves around the large rock pinning Crel in the tower, and with a concerted effort managed to lift the rock. The three Mongrelmen were very grateful and agreed to lead them to their city of Neathholm.
After some travel the group approached a cavern that was home to what Lann referred to as a “spore-cougher”. Kushali recognized this as a basidirond, a dangerous sentient fungus. But once the group entered, Lann informed them with much relief that the spore-cougher was dead. Tsura and Telchar examined the two human bodies in the center of the cavern, who were dressed as crusaders of Iomedae. But Tsura quickly realized that something was not right, since these two did not wield longswords, as followers of Iomedae do, but rather spiked gaunlets and glaives. Telchar found a brass bull’s head on one of the bodies, which he realizes in an unholy symbol of Baphomet. Telchar began seeking a way to melt down the unholy symbol, while Aravashnial expressed his excitement over this discovery. He has long held the belief that there were spies of the demonic forces posing as crusaders, and such proof is quite remarkable. He initially insisted that they take the bodies with them, but Tyrael quickly dismissed that notion as being impractical.
It was not long before the group arrived at Neathholm, which normally frowned upon up-landers entering the city, but with Lann and Crel retelling the noble gesture of the Survivors, they were all admitted entrance into the city. While Aravashnial and Horgus expressed their fascination and disgust, respectively, the quickly relented at the request of Tyrael and Kushali. They met with Chief Sull, who thanked them for them kind deed in saving Crel’s life. He informed them that the quickest way back to the surface is to the south, through a settlement of Mongrelmen that Sull refers to as traitors. Sull also inquired if the Survivors had come upon anyone else living in the caverns, which prompted them to inform him of their dwarf captive and the abandoned campsite they came across. Tyrael asked that Neathholm house their prisoner, which Sull agreed to reluctantely. His aprehension is born out of anger, since the dwarf had killed a number of Mongrelmen, but as a sign of good faith he agreed to keep the dwarf alive, for a time. The group then produced the brooch they found at the abandoned campsite, which cause Sull to become emotional. It belonged to his son, who had left after a particularly terrible fight. He thanked the Survivors for the token and rewarded them with his prized morningstar. He informed the group that they were more than welcome to stay in Neathholm for the night, and also asked a favor of them. Upon learning of the horrors that had occured on the surface, Sull pledged to assist in the defense of Kenabres, as his ancestors had, and that the Survivors should inform the crusaders on the surface that should they call, the Mongrelmen of Neathholm would stand with them. Sull agreed to let Lann accompany the Survivors to the surface to act as an envoy.
It was then that the Survivors once again settled down for the day, to reflect on that which has occurred, thus far the emotional and moral conflicts have far outweighed any physical danger the caverns have presented.