Chapter 01 – Blingdenstone
04 – A Walk Through Blingdenstone
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The party walks through the Silent Shrieker, an area that was the marketplace where gnomes once traded fungal spores stands in shambles. This cavern now serves only as a passage between areas the Golden Hills Hearth (which they just left) and the Trader’s Grotto (where the infirmary now is. Mialee asks if everyone can help her pick some mushrooms growing here. After about 15 minutes, they gather all she needs.
The party reaches the infirmary. Jalless and Krell, the two healers, welcome the help. Jalless had given the group mission #5 – eliminate the orcs. Everyone notices that while they are helping with the healing, Jalless and Krell do not have any divine powers – they are not clerics, druids or shaman. They help the gnomes heal by treating their wounds the natural way.
Alora asks them if they have any priests that can help, Jalless sighs and says, "Well, there’s Pingtu, and he sometimes comes to help out. Mostly, though, he’s at the Speaking Stones, listening for the old voices that have fallen silent.” (The party did meet Pingtu at the Speaking Stones [not the Singing Stones], who seemed very lethargic, he gave the group mission #4)
Kade is the first to notice a bowl of citrine and white quartz in the infirmary. Some of the stones are crushed. He asks Jalless about it. Jalless just says, "Scouts bring these from the Wormwrithings, and I know a thing or two about crystals and gems. I appraise the stones for a small share. The sand is useful as an inert part of bandage paste or cast plaster.”
She asks the group about their stay so far and KalEl boasts about their victory over the orcs. “If they are that weak, we will kill them for you soon.” Jalless’s ears perk up when KalEl mentions the orc being taken prisoner. She scowls, saying, "Fendrick is just a lackey for Kargein. Kargien just wants to wear the crown and sit on the throne, but he is unworthy of that honor. A rightful heir to the royal line should be found, but Kargien seeks power for its own sake. Someone who does that would not be a wise or beneficent king, which is what we need in these times. Frankly, there’s something weird about…”
When she says that, Krell clears his throat loudly. He rolls his eyes at Jalless and says with his voice raised a little, “Jalless! We have work to do here, can you chit chat with our guests here some other time?”
Jalless gives Krell a stern look. She’s about to say something to him but stops herself. She sighs, “He’s right. We’ll take it from here. Please go on and get your rest. I pray you’ll be able save us from those orcs soon.”
Svirfneblin refer to the area by the name of one of its long-gone buildings, a spell component shop catering to illusionists. This cavern has a supply of fresh water welling up in a pool.
The proprietor of Phantasmal Glamours, an aged svirfneblin named Henkala Shadowsong, survived the fall of the city more than a hundred years ago. She stays in this cavern, feebly trying to reassemble her shop. Lively in conversation, her face and eyes are still bright despite the decrepitude of her body.
Henkala believes that the pechs can help deal with Ogrémoch’s Bane. The adventurers’ arrival gave her the motivation and the opportunity to put her theory to the test.
She had spoken to the party before, saying “Let me tell you something Burrow Warden Kargien won’t listen to and I can do nothing about at my age. There’s an evil elemental spirit, you see, that’s haunted Blingdenstone since before it fell. Now the creature keeps to the Miners’ Hall, but who’s to say it’s going to stay there? Once it gets the idea in its gravel head to send elementals our way, there won’t be much we can do.”
“But pechs have moved into the old Armorers and Weaponsmiths Guild. They know elementals, and if anyone can help us deal with Ogrémoch’s Bane, it’s them. Talk to them. Do what you can.”
“Kargien might not thank you for it, but I will. I assure you, the gratitude of an old woman is something to be treasured.” She winked at the group.
Alora asked the group if she can take a look at what Henkala has this time around. Kade joins her. Henkala welcomes her the makeshift shop, which is just a counter and a magic chest where she keeps her merchandise. She hopes to get her building rebuilt in the near future. If the group helps fix Blingdenstone’s problems, exiled deep gnomes will hear about it and move back to the town. She’s particularly happy that the party will take on the Bane.
The rest of the party spends time outside talking and watching the barricades here for another orc attack. To the disappointment of some, the orcs are a no-show.
Wide columns of stone divide this large central cavern, which now serves as a barracks for weary gnome warriors. The Speaking Stones are on the eastern side, and the Singing Stones are to the west.
The Singing Stones was once a tavern that attracted large crowds to hear minstrels perform by altering the pitch of vibrations emitted by a specific type of crystal. Few members of other races could hear the vibrations, let alone appreciate the intricate harmonies, but svirfneblin consider it the highest form of music.
Although the tavern is in ruins, Gurmadden Stonesinger, the eager young bard, is striving to recreate the effect of the stones. Gurmadden is cheerful and earnest, and he welcomes adventurers who show any interest in his work. However, he is unlikely to get results without help.
When he saw the party the last time he explained, “Many of the stones were damaged in the drow assault and over the years since. I know where replacements can be found, but the journey is too dangerous for me to undertake. Fine crystals from the Wormwrithings sing perfectly, but kobolds infest the place.”
“Those same kobolds have moved into the southeastern caverns of our city. Kargien thinks they must have found a passage from the Wormwrithings.” Gurmadden hesitates, nervously twisting a silver ring set with a fire opal around his finger.
Then he says, “I know it’s asking a lot. But you’d be doing me and the city a great service if you’d cut your way through the kobolds, find the passage they’re using, gather at least six singing crystals, and close the passage on your way back.” He showed the party a few of the crystals he’s looking for. He offered to pay 10 gold for each one the party brought back.
Kade asked him about his ring. He said it was a family heirloom that dates back before the fall of Blingdenstone. The Stonesingers used to be important folk at that time.
Seeing the party this time around, he expresses his hope that they would be keen on taking on his quest first. He also heard stories of the fight in the Golden Hills Hearth and even the infirmary and promises to start writing songs about it.
Outside of that, the party is able to rest uneventfully.