10 Kuthona, 4713 – Iobaria, Artrosa
Alabaster examines the fresco and deciphers the patterns to be Iobarian symbols of motherhood. The PCs surmise that they are now in the "Mother” statue. Following the corridor leads the party into a large chamber decked out in rugs and velvet tapestries. Pulling back the tapestries, they find a very well maintained bedroom with silk sheets with a young elven woman laying atop the sheets crying. When questioned, she accuses the party of “coming to do ”/wikis/Jadrenka/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Jadrenka’s dirty work."
After several tense minutes they are finally able to calm her nerves and she introduces herself as Marislova and explains that she is Jadrenka’s ex-lover who is presently in the midst of a conflict with her. She wants to leave but “the Warden” is preventing her from leaving and is holding her against her will. When asked why she wants to leave, she states that Jadrenka is starting to abuse her emotionally and ignore her and no longer cares for her. She agrees to help the party if they will help her leave Artrosa, which they agree to do. She informs the group that the passages leading from the room take them to “the Mother’s hand” and to a room she knows as “the children’s nursery.” When questioned about “visitors” in Artrosa, she says she has seen no others than the party in several days.
Svala, Hunter and Tacey investigate the side corridor to the north and for the first time notice the frescos along the corridor are different. Following the hall leads the group to what they surmise is the nursery. Several small children run about the room and are playing various games with a half-naked woman sits with her back to the group as she watches the children play. As the group enters quietly, she asks, “Are you here to shoot me, again?” Turning she reveals herself as the young woman which Hunter shot earlier, but she now appears as a fully mature, adult woman, as well as pregnant. It is clear that whatever wounds Hunter inflicted earlier have healed. He lowers his weapon and apologizes for his earlier actions.
Accepting his apology she introduces herself as Jadrenka, Warden of Artrosa. When questioned she confirms that the elven woman they met is indeed her ex-lover, but it was she who broke off their relationship by accepting a gift from the debased nymph, [Krisjana]]. Because she feels Marislova betrayed her, she is under no obligation to care for her or help her leave. After a woman-to-woman chat with Svala, Jadrenka, agrees to at least talk with Marislova to try and resolve the conflict. When Jadrenka leaves the room, as in the earlier encounter, the children transform into korreds who hurl insults and rocks at the group until they all depart the area.
Returning to the bedroom chamber, the group is able to get the ex-lovers to discuss the state of their relationship and eventually convince Jadrenka that the nymph’s gift was actually a trick designed to hurt her which appears to have worked. Jadrenka agrees to take back her lover as long as she rejects and discards all gifts from the nymph, which she does. With the two lovers reconciled for the moment, the PCs decide to investigate further. Jadrenka informs them that she knows why they are here and that the keys they seek are indeed located inside Artrosa, however due to the presence of other guardians … and enemies, she cannot actively aide the party as it will be interpreted as a failing in her duties as Warden of Artrosa. She must focus on expelling the enemies, but she also states that she will not hinder their progress.
As the group moves down the corridor they find a locked trapdoor in the hallway with a face. Picking the lock, they discover a long chimney with a ladder leading down. For the moment, the party decides to continue down the hall and closes the door to investigate later. Coming into a large chamber the party finds a large group of frost giants and andrazku demons. The party attempts to sneak up on the monsters, but they are only as stealthy as Ingvar is … and Ingvar isn’t.
The monsters turn to attack but the party is able to form a defense and ultimately defeat the creatures. As the group investigates the room, they discover an open window at the far end of the room looks out over the chasm where they stood earlier this morning. As Elvira described, they are literally in the “hand of the Mother.” The sun is bright and high in the sky as if near midday. Alabaster and Aiwendil surmise that once again time appears to operate differently inside the statue than outside. They have been investigating for several hours and the sun appears to have only moved a few degrees in the sky from when they entered, or it is several days later.
Having exhausted their search of the rooms in the “Mother” statue, the party returns to the trapdoor and heads down. Arriving at the bottom of the chimney chute, they discover a torture chamber around a central pit. They are set upon by three redcaps seeking new victims to torture. The heroes are able to quickly block off the paths around the room, thus they can control the fight and destroy the evil creatures. With the fight over, they notice the fresco on the wall indicates that the party is no longer in the “Mother” statue. Tacey speculates this is the “Crone” as it is different from either pattern they have seen before. With the no other visible exit from the room, the party descends into the pit. Finding a door at the bottom they find themselves once more in the “Mother” statue, but in a completely different section.