Dalton Barrowwheel wrote:
"It's possible if the ring was retrieved, we could ask our wise investor to determine where the viewer - or at least the viewer's linked ring - might be. It's the next step to ending this vile sequence of destructive people."
Toramin Gearsmith wrote:
Toramin grabs the scrying focus and tosses it into the magma.
Stoneriver looks into the magma. <<I can search for it, but I doubt it survived.>>
Stoneriver growls, relinquishing Calios's body to Bjorkus's tender care. <<I have an idea. Keep him down.>> As Bjorkus starts to release some of his anger on Calios's corpse (which is as strenuous as full combat, he really has to chop hard), Stoneriver steps over to the magma. He raises up on his hind legs and then smashes down, so hard that everybody staggers to keep their balance. Stoneriver grumbles deeply as the area starts shaking, and a large platform of raised stone comes up through the magma, ending about two feet below the surface. Stoneriver grunts an turns back to Calios, then takes the corpse and places it in the magma. The corpse begins bubbling and burning in the magma, kept under control by the intense heat. It's also easy to see because of the raised platform, so if anything started happening the party could see it.
Stoneriver turns to the door and raises up, slamming into the ground again. The collapsed tunnel shudders for a moment, then the loose rubble compresses into the walls like some sort of immensely high pressure balloon pressed them outwards. The stone seals and Stoneriver nods, laying down.
<<This abomination's regeneration is more potent than you know. You would have to lop at him with your full strength at every moment. I fear you would be exhausted before I returned, even if you shared the duty with Toramin.>> Indeed, Stoneriver has been constantly twisting and stamping his foot down this entire time. Between Calios's resiliency to damage and his regeneration, it requires a lot of constant damage to keep him down.
Stoneriver rumbles and places a heavy foot on Calios's corpse, the sound of crushing bones emenating from beneath it. Stoneriver firmly stands there with a determined look. <<The journey to the afterlife takes place in several steps, which is why different calibers of magic are required depending on how far away the soul is from the body. But if the soul is still present you can guide it back to the body before it moves on. If you are quick enough.>> Stoneriver twists his foot. <<You felling Calios gave me the opportunity. Well done.>>
Stoneriver rumbles out of the magma, settling down gently on the stone. <<My deepest sorrows ring for you, earth daughter, but the greatest concern of the gods is too directly interfering in the matters of mortals. As a personal envoy of Torag we are already treading a thin line. I would not personally look into the revelations of other deities for fear of invoking directly influence from our divine enemies.>>
<<Come, stone son. We have much work to do.>>
Toramin's intelligence and mind for engineering had always been something that had been belittled, and looks down upon by his father. It has been something that plagued the back of his mind, always there. Persistent.
Stoneriver shows Toramin the tools of the Forge, educating him in the workings of it. An awe-inspiring work of the gods, Toramin feels inspired and empowered when he grasps the tools. Suddenly, anything was possible. It only took persistence and the right idea.
Hours Toramin slaves over the forge as Stoneriver watches over him, nudging him in certain directions as the Forge guides his hand. It does not create for him, but opens up and expands on the ideas that Toramin already sees, perfecting what is already there.
The crashing of metal, the hiss of quenching, the sparks of creation. They fill Toramin's ears for hours, days, months, years. Forever. All he knows is the Forge as the metal slowly shapes itself underneath his hands...
I have some ideas for how the final product would work, but after much debating with myself I decided to let you have the final say in what everything looks like. Make appropriate craft checks, and you gain a +20 bonus for using the Skymetal Forge.
<<He came alone, but as he left he spoke of powerful allies. In my anger I was foolish and did not learn of his intentions here, once I saw him for what he was the only sounds were that of battle. I thought it would be the end of him. I was wrong.>> Stoneriver shakes off a remnant of magma on his haunches. <<There are very few mortals who can beat me in combat, but Calios managed to deal me great wounds before I felled him. I have no doubt I could take him in single combat, but I doubt he intends to come back alone. And the children of the dark forge fought with him.>>
<<My task is not yours to bear, stone son. But putting an end to Calios is. I am sure he plans to return at some point with a new approach of how to deal with me. But with our combined strength we can overcome him and his allies. This time I shall pin him in magma, where no amount of regeneration will help him escape. But he must be tempted to come back first, he must be given a reason why he must return with haste before he has time to properly plan.>>
<<The great sphere the gnomes have constructed around the Forge was once a holy sentience that only allowed the righteous and pure-hearted within. But even it was not immune to the corrupting presence of the Forge, and over many centuries it became just as dual-natured as the Forge itself. I fear it did not let you for your pure heart, but so that this trap may be sprung on you. Calios enters the same way you did, but only when I do not hold control of the Forge.>>
An ancient, gravelly voice emits out into all of the party's heads, speaking in common. <<I am Stoneriver, servant of Torag. It is true. A great evil has breached the Forge. His name is Calios, and he is a monster. I made the mistake of thinking him dead once I tore him in two and drowned him in magma, but he yet lives. I know not what he plans with the Forge, for his nature was obvious so I sought not questions, only his death. But he was here for a purpose, and the children of the dark forge have become ever more and more active in the past few months. I spend less and less time holding domain here, saving my strength for important times, such as this.>> The ancient creature looks down at Tetserine's corpse, and sorrow is felt through him in each person connected to him. <<I know Tetserine. For decades he has been the gnomish envoy to the Forge. His loss is to be mourned. But this is not the time for mourning, as enemies bang on our gates.>>
As Ianna is flown in by Bjorkus Stoneriver falls silent for a moment, then snorts and exhales a puff of hot air. <<Earth daughter. Forgive my inability to protect you from Droskar's influence. I was tricked, distracted by the assault on the stone son. If I had known of your own divine powers I would have gathered you both beneath me.>> The ancient being thuds over to Ianna, then blows out hot air over Ianna. She feels a calming protection come over her. <<He shall not tamper with you again as long as I yet live. You need not fear his influence any longer.>>