Journal of the Search for Connor Baine
Kyrion Thalix of Iadara
I am making these notes for use in the event that our rescue efforts meet with failure, to aid any subsequent effort. As as first and only personal note, I would request that if this unhappy eventuality occurs, my own remains be returned to Iadara if possible.
These notes chronicle our attempts to track Connor Baine through the caves and adjacent buried structure that lies beneath the titular Torch of this town.
I trust that translating these notes from Elvish has not proved too much of a burden.
Chapter 1. The Caves
The caves are home to several entities and groups of entities. It appears that these entities may move around, and may also reappear even if bested, so rather than providing an exact map I shall limit myself to general notes on each type.
The skulks: (Note: this is probably a pejorative term; it might be polite for us to enquire what they call themselves.) These are humanoids with the ability to blend in to backgrounds. During his original passage, Connor Baine simply drove them away, but we were able to come to a peaceful arrangement with them. Our companion Arianna had the good idea of opening trade with them; if this proves fruitful, they may be able to maintain safe passage through the cave to the entrance of the buried structure in future. As Connor slew their leader, we neglected to mention our purpose in the exploration, and I would suggest that the same would be the wisest approach for any who might follow in our footsteps.
The gremlins: These creatures were at war with the skulks. They can teleport a short distance, but apparently only use that ability to escape. The gremlins are adept at trap-building and stealth. Their small size makes them extremely difficult to hit, and their fey nature gives them some limited resistance to weapon damage and magic. Cold iron weapons handily penetrate this resistance. A tactical note: while their flesh can’t easily be cut by normal materials, they are as vulnerable to being tripped or disarmed as anyone else. Their small size puts them at the disadvantage when trying to respond to such an attempt made from more than a couple of feet distance.
Miscellaneous infestations: as these are less likely to return, so I shall only briefly mention them. Brown mold: radiates cold, but vulnerable to cold. Russet mold: vulnerable to fungicide; be careful not to accidentally bring a corpse infected with this foul stuff back to the surface! Fungal crawlers: look like large cave crickets, but are infected with a cordyceps variant. We also saw fire beetles and a blindheim.
Chapter 2. The structure
This buried construction is primarily built of glaucite, suggesting it is some sort of ancient crashed vessel. However, we have found technological artifacts within that seem of fairly recent construction. There is nothing in the historical record about this crash; this then remains a paradox.
There seem to be numerous workers, or as the locals call them, “robots”, in the area. At the moment these automata are unable to communicate with their lord or overseer, which communication they can apparently do through the aether when all is in order. They issue a steady litany of complaints about this lack in their language, Androffan.
A repair worker, which I sketch here (you will forgive, I hope, the crudeness of my artistic abilities) was the first we encountered. I believe you, Val, had had a similar one in your forge, which Connor brought back on his first expedition. These are nonthreatening, unless they decide you are yourself imperiling the integrity of their vessel. We established that, just like the magically made constructs “native” to Golarion, the workers cannot see through illusionary figments. They are presumably immune to other sorts of illusion. However even this limited ability can be very useful in e.g. preventing a repair worker from seeing some action that would trigger its offensive instructions.
Just inside the front door of the structure, the tracks of Connor Baine led us into what appeared to be a cave. Casual examination of the walls showed it to be but a simulacrum of natural stone, however; the purpose of this deception eludes me – possibly it served some entertainment value. More later.