Walker in the Dark/ Bleeder in the Light/ Bleed now in the Dark/ And walk with the Light.
Southern Steppes Chorus
Jin and Mara are tasked with exploring what lies beyond the ominous gates by the caravan-master. They are joined by the moon-worshipper who volunteers to go along. Within, Jin and Mara discover that the tunnels are a long abandoned Stonefast checkpoint. What’s worse, they discover that the old defenses may still be active. During their exploration they manage to trigger these defenses which most definitely were still active, and still quite deadly. The moon-worshipper, in a panic, attempts to shove one of the Starmetal Constructs that made up the defenses, and met his swift demise. Reluctantly, Jin and Mara finish exploring the tunnel and narrowly make their way through, triggering more Constructs. They decide it may be possible, albeit risky, to lead the caravan through. They return, carefully, through the tunnel and inform the caravan of the situation. The cloaked figure, Amit, offers a potential solution and joins Jin and Mara to test it out. It appears to work, and they decide to start leading the caravan through. Everyone almost gets through safely, despite a few bumps and a bout of panic, until the foolish caravan-master decides to rush things and nearly gets everyone killed. The situation looks bleak, with Constructs closing in on Jin, Mara and Amit, then, perhaps due to a combination of utter terror, will to survive and a great concentration of Starmetal, Mara let loose with raw magical power and disabled the constructs. Then, still hazy and fueled by adrenaline, she brought the mountain down on itself in a terrifying display of starmetal-infused arcane might, sealing the old checkpoint and its murderous defense system away, then promptly passed out.
The old crone managed to help Jin’s now-broken leg and shared some words of wisdom with him, while Mara and Amit talked about magic, and the life of those who wield it. After what seemed like hours of chatter, it looked as though the three had grown together, and decided to continue their travels as a group.