Following up on Maseer’s Information, the party has finally entered the lair of the individuals linked with shipments of crystallized magic to Corvale. The mineshaft was relatively small, as far as they come. The entire area was in much better shape than any of you had likely anticipated. Typically, precious gems are gathered from these sites until a discovered vein is depleted or it becomes unsafe to continue mining. It’s hard to say how this one fell into disuse, mainly due to the renovations it underwent at some point in the past.
There were a series of four small chambers lining the halls to a central room. Each of the smaller rooms was guarded by stone doors bearing various symbols. The party discovered a Stave, a Dagger, a Sword, and the symbol of the Ironhouse Clan. Each opened only in response to the actions of a single party member, and the rooms even repelled anyone else (with the exception of Kairon, who was able to enter the room Aeson opened — perhaps due to similarities in their proclivities?). It’s unclear how this is possible, but by all accounts these rooms were made for the party.
The rooms contained a series of challenges suited to the party’s skills. After a few mishaps and a bit of accidental bloodshed, the party overcame them and unlocked the door guarding the central chamber. Each success was punctuated by heavy metallic clanking of the door’s mechanism being undone. A similar sound was heard just after one of the hooded individuals entered the mine to ‘secure the loot.’ Maybe there were other ways to open the door? Given the nature of the magic in the smaller rooms, that must have been the case.
The floor of the chamber bore the remnants of a magical circle, and that magic circle bore a box which was jarred open when the door came crashing down. It began spewing out a gas which exhausted those who took it in. Aiko’s quick thinking caused (along with a little bit of injury) the gas to go up in flames. The box also held a set of magical items that also appeared to be tailored for the party (in some cases, literally!). While it would ordinarily take time to study magical items to gain their effects, this information seemed to be instantly and intuitively presented to the party.
The party spent time examining the other crates that were present in the main chamber. For the most part, these appeared to be large shipments of magical crystals bound for various locations in corvale. The majority of them were cheaply made but nonetheless permitted within the city. Other boxes held banned contents, and some of the latter set seemed to be linked to Elder Sum! A smaller parcel in the room bore the warning “Don’t forget Sum’s other parcels! He’ll kill us, otherwise!” It may not be the most damning evidence, but it’s certainly nothing. Further research might be warranted.
One box in particular, the one bearing the Emblem of Clan Ironhouse, contained a scrap of paper and a large blue gem worked into a stone key. When the latter object came too close to the Jeweled Box the party has been carrying around, it accepted the key in an explosion of blue light! The box now holds half the keys it was designed to bear..
Shortly after the key was discovered, the party met the strange old Wizard they encountered on the top of Frath’s Tower. Much like last time, this meeting was chaotically arranged via a rift tearing into open air. In contrast to your prior meeting, the party got a chance to hold a proper conversation with the man. Everyone was present while he spoke with the exception of Kairon, who remained hidden.
To summarize his vulgar shouting and warnings: The box you hold was designed to channel the destructive force of the gems set in its keys. The gems, on their own, are enough to cause major damage. The Wizard’s familiarity with them stemmed from an incident in which his entire village was nearly brought to the ground by the magic contained in one, before he was able to stop the individual responsible for the crystal’s use.
In no uncertain terms, he warned you not to show the box to anyone, and to avoid those who show an interest in it, in particular. The destruction it could bring might mean the end of the world as you know it.
He also warned you “Not to go carelessly shoving keys into things that tear holes in reality!” in case you needed a reminder of his overall mood about the party.
How will you proceed, adventurers?