Dorn and Kalam begin their grand adventure in the Free City of Blackwall. Having decided that they wish to soon leave the city in order to pursue their goals in the outside world, the duo first visit the University of Blackwall, hoping to find guidance from one of the scholars there.
They go there immediately, and after some difficulty with the receptionist at the front desk, are brought to speak with Professor Poph, a diminutive old Gnome. Kalam, hoping to learn about his birth, asks the Professor if he might know anything about a creature such as himself, or if any other instances of seemingly spontaneous creation of new life. Poph responds by telling the two that he is a botanist, and as such can do little to help them. They continue to ask if there is anything he can do, and for their trouble he leads them to the security offices down the hall, asking the guards there to please escort them out.
Dorn manages to calm the situation down, and speaks to the Half-Elf security officer. Meanwhile, Kalam takes the opportunity to attempt to seduce the receptionist at the front desk. Ultimately, Dorn manages to learn that there is a professor who may be able to help with their cause, a Shifter scholar of folklore named Professor Smen, who the receptionist tells them is currently on a research mission in a village a day to the north. The duo leave the university, but not before Kalam took the opportunity to raise his middle finger to the guards as a sign of respect, and to defecate on the marble floor as a sign of extreme disrespect.
After escaping the wrath of the University security, the two decide that they would be better off on their upcoming journey if they had more money. To this end, Dorn suggests that Kalam whore himself out to the denizens of Blackwall for a premium fee, as they are unlikely to have seen a specimen such as himself before. Kalam reluctantly agrees, saying to himself “I was born from the mountain.”
Dorn is able to gather a small crowd in a city avenue, and shouts to the people that this is their only chance to have relations with a creature so foreign and unknown as Kalam. The people of Blackwall, well known for their sexual curiosity, produce three men who are willing to pay for Kalam’s services.
They are not disappointed.
The duo decides to spend one last night in Dorn’s old shack before they set off on their quest. The next morning, the two set off from Blackwall on the Prince’s Road for the ranching village of Wildview. After an uneventful day of travel, they arrive at the village, and immediately begin to ask around for the location of the professor. One man recognized his description, and knew him by his professorial purple robe. The man said that Smen had arrived at the village about two months ago, but had disappeared since then. After this encounter, the duo decide it would be best to meet with the village elder.
So they do. Dorn and Kalam enter the elder’s hall, and there they meet Daeren Horan, a minor member of the Horan Tribe, a humble old man. Daeren tells the duo that every week for the past few months, cattle have been disappearing from the field at night, without a trace. He informs the two that there is a reward for any who can find the cause of the disappearances, and double that reward for stopping it. He also tells them that, around the time the disappearances started, the village performed its harvest festival, which included a dance ceremony around a central totem in the village center. It was this ceremony which the professor had come to examine. He disappeared as well within a few weeks, being the first person to vanish along with the cattle.
The duo, seeing the need to both find the professor and to gain a little extra money to supplement their meager fortunes, set out investigating. They decide to first examine the room in which Smin had been staying at the local inn, the Sour Ass. Using a small pendent bearing the Village Elder’s clan symbol, the two convince the innkeeper to allow them to investigate. Once inside his room, they find it to be a complete mess, with papers scattered about, covered in incoherent scribbles in various languages. After some searching, the pair find the professor personal journal, written in the common tongue, which details his time in Wildview. It seems that while he did originally intend to study the mythology of this area, he was soon entirely bent on discovering the cause of these disappearances. His final entry in the journal was dated the very same day of his disappearance.
After searching around the room some more finding nothing more than a recipe in Elven and a few pieces of gold, our two heroes decided it was time for some dinner. After asking around, they find themselves in what must be the only restaurant for many miles around, staffed by a single Human man. After sitting down to eat, they ask the restarauntuer if he has had any other customers, to which he replied that he had only one, a Shifter in a purple robe, who had, curiously enough, ordered exactly the same thing that they had, the recipe on the piece of parchment they had brought in. In fact, the man says, he had ordered it every day for weeks. He then brought out the dish in question, a delicacy of beef and hardy vegetables, more delectable (and expensive) than either of the duo had ever eaten before. They ate their fill and left, coin sacks substantially lighter than before.
With the sun beginning to set, the duo decide that it would be best for them to simply wait out in the fields with the cattle, and hope that they could find out what has been happening to them. The Elder told them earlier that the village had attempted to put up guards to find out if something had been taking them, but looking at them now, the duo can see that the guards are hardly capable. Most of them are asleep, and those who aren’t are clearly not focusing very well.
The pair decide that Kalam will go to sleep out in the field with the cows, while Dorn will keep watch over him. Several hours pass like this, until Dorn sees something out of the corner of his eye. Once where there was a cow, a flash appeared for no more than a second, and the animal was simply gone. Dorn wakes Kalam, and the two go to where the cow once was, it examine the scene of the crime.
After some searching, Kalam is able to see that there is a faint ring, a perfect circle of land which is not growing grass. Very thin, but very distinct. Having noticed this ring, about six feet in diameter, they are very careful not to step in it, in fear that they will be pulled down next. Instead, a rock is thrown into the circle, with no effect. Having run out of ideas, Kalam volunteers to step into the circle. He carefully creeps into the circle, and-WHOOMP. He is gone too, in a flash. This time, however, Dorn is able to tell that something, some imperceptible thing, shot out of the earth in lighting speed and pulled Kalam into it, leaving no mark that anything had even occurred. Clearly, this is what has been pulling down the cattle, but now the question changes; how will they stop it? And perhaps more importantly; how will Dorn get back to Kalam?!
While Dorn considers his options above the earth, Kalam has substantially less time to consider his. It is dark, and he is bound by something, presumably some creature, which is rapidly plunging him further away from the surface. Using his great strength, Kalam is able to free himself from its grip, and while he plummets further down the tunnel he has been brought in to, he pulls a sunrod from the pack and lights it. Above him, clinging to the tunnel wall completely vertical, he can now see the threat in all its horror. A large beast, around the size of a horse, but in the shape of an arachnid, with plated scales and massive, spear-like appendages which could skewer three men each! Kalam pulls out his trust great-sword, given to him during his journey to the South, and prepares for battle!
Meanwhile, above, Dorn continues to be less than useful to the immediate cause. He jumps into the circle, but there is no response. He jumps again, and nothing happens. Dorn takes some more time to consider his options.
Kalam enters one on one combat with the dreadful beast, proclaiming his battle-cry, “I am born from the mountain!”
Dorn has an idea, but puts it aside as being useless.
Kalam lands one final blow on the beast, causing it to flee with great speed, tunneling into the earth. He has won this battle, but now must explore deeper into the cavern, for hopes of an escape.
Dorn decides to search for other circles in the field, as there must be more than one place these cattle are disappearing. And, indeed, there is. Using his keen Half-Orc eyes, he is able to find another circle, and with some hesitation, he too leaps into the circle. WHOOMP.
Dorn now finds himself in the same situation as Kalam did, being pulled down into the imperceptible blackness of the underground. He too attempts to break free, but despite his best efforts, he is simply unable to do so, and the creature continues to pull him away from safety, and into its lair.
Kalam, having made his way down the tunnel, comes to what appears to be a central chamber, some sort of large cavern with many tunnels leading out of it in all directions, being lit by incandescent mushrooms around the walls. Because of these lights, he is able to see a horrid sight across the chamber, his friend and colleague being carried by the very same manner of beast which had captured him! Kalam launches himself at the monster, great-sword in hand, and lands a decisive blow on it, freeing Dorn from its grasp! However, Kalam’s battle cry proclaiming his place of birth seems to have triggered something. The duo can now hear the sound of dozens on speared legs coming towards them from all around, and all at once!
A great battle begins, the two heroes giving it their all to defeat, in the end, five of these wretched animals, surrounding them from every direction. Once the battle has ended, with both heroes having expended their strength, they take a rest, and search the room around them. The two of them are able to identify the beasts as Kruthiks, and are able to find a clutch of their eggs near one of the larger tunnels. Kalam is also able to tell that this tunnel is the one which sees the most traffic from the Kruthiks, and it is quite likely that if they have the professor, they would have taken him there, along with anything else they may have taken from the village.
After their rest, they enter the tunnel. Only once they have reach the other side do they realize what they have walked into. A massive cavern, at least twenty feet high, the walls of which are entirely covered in Kruthik eggs! After seeing this horror, they realize something else. The sound of a massive beast, coming their way…