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"Underdeep is the jeweled heart of Darkhollow. It's glittering caverns carved out of the bedrock by cautious Earthen hands,
every inch of earth and stone removed to illuminate the glimmering depths of its many gems and jewels."
The Present Day -- August 28th, 1762 CE The 'day' was like any other. Citizens of Underdeep woke with the 'morning bell' and the array of lantels across the city would brighten from their 'nighttime' dim aura to a bright radiance that cast soft shadows across the arcing granite cavern ceiling. The lantels were an Earthen invention: crystals bound with primal elementals of fire and light that simply enjoyed illuminating themselves as needed. A rare few would become unbound. The explosions were a sight to behold and the merry chase the freed spirits and unbound elementals were oft good for a laugh. At least so long as you weren't the one next to the exploding lantel or the poor fellow that had to go chasing after them.
Fortunately that was rare these days. Graeme, a Knight Captain in the Thunder Guard, stood atop one of the guard towers along the cavern wall. It had seemed silly to him as a newly rejuvenated Earthen to have built stone walls and towers along the granite cavern wall, but breaches in the past as well us tunnelers from above and below had proven their worth. With a heavy sigh, Graeme turned his attention to the locals and travelers gathered below. Three Rocks Morgan had brought a young lad form one of the factors in the Merchant's District. There's the tattooed Panardian that washed out of the mercenary guilds, if the rumors were true.
Scowling at the Panardian Blackguard was the Iron Warden, Ser Dermond Ewald, a Knight of the Iron Tome. The Wardens were always welcome in Underdeep. Without their aid many hundreds of years ago, the expedition might have never made it half as far as it did. The oddest of them all stood next to the knight, one of the fey folk from Thessalon. You didn't see many of the Eladrin down in the caverns of Darkhollow without dire need. Mushrooms, lantels, and rock were a poor replacement for the majestic silver and golden trees of their home above. Lya was one of a few who had been born down here so perhaps it was enough for her.
"I best get on with it," the dark granite Earthen rumbled to himself. His voice was like a small avalanche of stone. His eyes flinty sparks of pearlescent grey. He descended from the guard tower and appeared in the courtyard below a few minutes later.
"Thank you for your aid to the Thunder Guard this day, whether it be voluntary, encouraged, or you're just in it for the coin. You have my thanks regardless. One of the training warrens has been collapsed by Kobold sappers and we need you to clear them out from the other side while the diggers clear the tunnel from this side." Graeme paced across the courtyard to the Iron Warden.
"You," the Earthen said, jabbing the Iron Warden in the chest with an unyielding digit, "will be in charge of this expedition. Earns you an extra ten gold horns. The rest of you will be paid the usual sum of fifty horns. Provided you return. Should you perish, the compensation will be used to provide a proper burial in accordance with your wishes within reason." The easy to listen to rumble of the Earthen's voice washes over you with the feel of familiarity. The Earthen Thunder Guard captain could likely recite the speech in his sleep.
"We'll be sending along Helena to tend to your wounds and call on the favor of the Lord of Battle should you require his aid. Good luck and good hunting." The dark grey and white flecked granite Earthen rolled back across the courtyard and into the guard tower like an implacable boulder. A young Hume woman exits the guard tower moments later, the lightning bolt and hammer sigil of the Thunder Guard proudly displayed on shaped leather pauldrons over her chainmail.
For whatever reasons you believe most apt for your character, you have accepted a task from the Thunder Guard to clear out one of their training warrens, a winding path of narrows trails through the Darkhollow used to train young students. Discuss anything you wish amongst yourselves, deciding whether or not any of you have met already and how you know each other or anything else still.
When you're ready to move on to the next scene, please let me know with a !ready inside a spoiler.