We’re there with WanWan and the captured brigands. We untie the brigands, most of them agree to come with us, one runs and gets arrowed. There are wolves; Dimple pacifies one with meat of the dead goblin, and we escape the wolves. We get back to VRL headquarters, and convince the bandits to come sign up. Bildin is awake waiting for us; the bandits go in the brig until morning. We sleep in barracks.
Morning. Ot hits on a cute refugee, Lena. To Dr. Kappa: he thanks us, gives us 40gp and a healing potion. He is in touch with dudes in his home city: they’re being forced to build something. The starmetal “reacts poorly to magic;” similar metal in past caused disaster when people tried to enchant it. We spend a week training the refugees in all kinds of skills. Eventually, a couple refugees stop showing up: missing? But the next night Dimplefoot sleepwalks out of the barracks. We stop him: star-things are pulling people out via influence over their dreams? We try testing it by having Dimplefoot go back to sleep, and following him- but nothing happens this time.
Dr. Kappa is freaking out that the starmetal is missing (we took it at night). He heard some strange sounds in the depth of the mine we’re in now: maybe it wasn’t just closed down due to running dry. He heard sounds, felt compelled to move deeper in. Ot sneaks off, and takes the identity of one of the missing refugees… and we’re told Ot ran down into the mines, and the refugee “Jeremy” insists on coming with us. He suspiciously finds and fits Ot’s armor. Eventually, Dimplefoot and Jeremy argue; Ceri intervenes poorly, and she and Dimplefoot get in a brief fistfight. (RETCON: they only argued verbally, since Dimplefoot wouldn’t hit a girl.) We go down a secret passage, find some ectoplasm (ghost slime). Undead! We loot: heavy shield *3, longsword *3, shortbow *3.
Down long staircase. Weird crystals, translucent… people inside. Including Jeremy! Hey, Ot reappears, in his own armor that “Jeremy” had been wearing. (Official note: Ot is the sketchiest priest we will ever meet.) Mist coalesces into dwarf ghost. We fight it, blazing skeleton, zombie, 3 small skeletons. Loot: 10gp, jade magic (250gp), 2 amethysts (100gp each), Power Jewel, 3* (longsword, shortbow, heavy shield). Inside the crystals, we find the missing refugees, a few old corpses, one old dwarf Mordek. He’s been imprisoned a hundred years. Somehow he’s been sustained while in captivity, healed and drained again and again.
He thinks there should be rooms in the stairwell, but they’ve been filled in. We break through after some work, find an old storage room picked dry. Why filled up, though? We try to bring some crystal up, but it melts into ectoplasm.
We go back up, talk to Dr. Kappa; bring him down to the ghost room. Statue there: tentacled thing associated with Star Pact Warlocks, semi-intelligent thing of power worshipped by some as a god. Statue was built thousands of years ago, must’ve been dug up and found. We destroy the statue. Touching the starmetal to a piece of the statue makes the starmetal glow. We experiment; the light has a property of “change”. Ot puts his hand in the light, it gets covered with metal temporarily. Ot reveals his true name (Kelvin) and tries to put his whole self in the light, but it’s not big enough to change much of him. When he lets it change his head, he gets violent. We do take some statue-pieces, but Dimplefoot has the starmetal and no stone. Ot places some warding/sealing symbols.