During the Crimson Fleet attack on Farshore, Vanthus drew a fist-sized black pearl and was about to smash it to the ground. Seeing this reminded the party of the story told by Harliss Javell in Kraken’s Cove of a similar pearl being smashed by Vanthus. Breaking the blood stained pearl unleashed a tide of transformation magics that turned pirates and the local fauna into twisted, savage abominations of themselves. Had it not been for the quick reaction of Ash during the Battle for Farshore, the pearl would likely have unleashed a similar fate in the small trading outpost.
After the battle, Vanthus’ caravel – the Brine Harlot – was searched and notes were found describing the acquisition of these foul artifacts. At the pleading of Lavinia it was decided to venture to Gallivant Cove in search of the so called ‘Lords of Dread’ to find out more about the production and distribution of these terrible WMDs.
Venturing down through the underground labyrinth of tunnels the party encountered many troglodyte clerics seemingly stricken with a foul disease believed to be bestowed upon them by their god, Laogzed. Irgzid, an (un)lucky troglodyte who was not afflicted, led the party down to an underground town of mongrelfolk called Barbas.
The leader of Barbas, Headman Vertram Xapatalo, spoke of dreams where “men and women from the land of light” come to Barbas to deliver it from the dark times. He also told them stories of how Barbas came to be. Long ago – the tales say – the ancestors of the surface waged war with a city of demon fish deep below, and they drew that war to an end by casting down the tear of the god of rain down into the depths. This tear burst, and drove the waters of the flooded caverns away. The spirits of the fallen ancients now guard this region. Their presence holds the waters at bay, and as long as they persist, the demon fish cannot return.
Yet Vertram believed that something else filled the void left by the expulsion of the fish. He feared that whatever had moved into the ruins was seeking the vile secrets of the demon fish, and that if they were to discover their secrets they may become an even greater threat to the world.
Vertram then proudly took the party down to see one of these demon fish as if it were a trophy. The gigantic thing was seemingly in some sort of hibernation or stasis where the outside of the creature was tough, leathery and almost impenetrable but inside it was clearly still living.
In the room with the demon fish, there was also a shimmering blue wall that extended all the way to the sixty-foot-high ceiling. Across its surface, ghostly Olman warriors were shimmering and flickering. Just beyond it, the occasional bubble or flash of scales revealed the presence of thousands of gallons of water, their awesome weight held at bay by the shell of energy.
After dissecting the massive monster, the party continued down, led by Irgzid. Eventually they were led down to a massive worked stone underground temple where Irgzid proudly declared to his “Father” that he brought the “heroes he asked for.” Just then a ghostly troglodyte priest appeared and told the party of the Tear of Tlaloc and how its destruction would halt the production of the ‘shadow pearls’.
Travelling down further, the natural tunnels opened up into the massive underground city of Golismorga; the twisted horror of the city illuminated by an unnatural purple hue from 3 massive columns of light. After an aerial reconnaissance, the party lowered themselves down into the nightmare grotto.