THE FUNNY THINGS:
Katy, when Ken's dazed character hit her instead of their adversary: Ow! Stupid Dwarf!
Bruce and Cathy, about something the party had used to great advantage during the run: Attacks of Opportunity be wonderful! - I think they suck!
Ken, as the party was rolling dice: I missed...oh, are we doing initiatives?
Bruce, about one of his rolls: That would be a natural 1 that' s unadjusted, to a 1.
The party headed out of the chamber following a southerly path. They arrived in a small, almost featurelss chamber. They caught a glimpse of campfire which showed them four Drow in elaborate armor gathered around a modest blaze. They looked tired, but alert.
Asteriskes closed and attacked, hitting a Drow critically and taking him down; Anaka closed with another Drow, but missed; the Drow targeted Felan, provoking an Attack of Opportunity from Anaka, who hit for 8 and took him down; Admiral Barky closed and attacked, but missed; Felan closed and attacked, but missed; the Drow dropped his crossbow and grabbed his rapier to retaliate, but missed the druid; the last D retaliated against Admiral Barky, having drawn his sword as well, but missed.
Asteriskes joined Felan, but missed his attack; Anaka closed with the Drow engaged with Admiral Barky, hit for 8, and took him out; Admiral Barky closed and flanked the remaining Drow, but missed; Felan continued his combat with the Drow, hitting for 7; Drow retaliated, hitting for 4.
Asteriskes attacked and hit the remaining Drow, doing 21 points slicing his adversary in half.
As there were no other exits from this room, the adventurers retraced their steps and took the other path out of the room where they'd fought the Sonic Bats. A short walk brought them to a chamber covered entirely in luminescent, smelly goo. The passage must have been recently made. A glowing mass in the shape of an enormous slug slithered through the tunnel, its antennae oozing with a strange liquid.
"That's one of the creatures Mr P wanted." Anaka said.
"It's an aberration. We should kill it." Felan replied.
"If you're going to kill it, first we need to put some fur on it." Asteriskes referring to the druid's tendency to kill small, furry creatures at meal times.
Anaka threw a spear, but missed; Admiral Barky stood by the druid's feet, growling protectively; Felan moved into the room and threw a spear, but missed - Admiral Barky followed his master; Asteriskes drew his bow and shot, hitting for 14; the Shimmering Slug began to stir, roused to attention, and the the luminescent colors on his body began to swirl hypnotically, distracting the party.
Anaka threw another spear and missed again; Admiral Barky continued to guard Felan; Felan cast Flaming Sphere, positing the spell right in front of the Shimmering Slug, who failed his Save and took 9; Asteriskes attacked Anaka, hitting for 20 - "Ow! You stupid Dwarf! What ARE you doing?!" "Uh..I slipped...? Uh...sorry....;" the Shimmering Slug slithered to close with Felan, hitting for 9.
Anaka threw another spear and missed yet again; Admiral Barky attacked the Shimmering Slug, but missed; Felan moved to a better position and then moved the Flaming Sphere to continue attacking the Shimmering Slug, who Saved this time; Asteriskes moved in closer and shot, but missed; Shimmering Slug slithered over to the wall, and exited through a secret door, which closed behind him -- but not before Admiral Barky took his Attack of Opportunity, hitting critically for 19.
While the rogue drank a potion of Cure Light Wounds and gathered her spears, the druid cast Lesser Vigor on her. Then the group investigated the wall and figured out how to trigger the secret door. Beyond was a short, dead-ended passageway. It was empty. Asteriskes used his knowledge of caves and stonework to search for the next door through which the slug must have passed.
They opened the door revealing a trail of slime leading away from them. Eventually they reached a room that glowed with gold -- the walls and ceiling were lined with gold nuggets. They also saw the Shimmering Slug burrowing into the ground, his tail still visible.
Anaka threw a spear and missed; Admiral Barky guarded Felan; Asteriskes closed and attacked, but missed; Felan directed Admiral Barky, who attacked and hit for 7, then the druid threw a spear, hitting critically for 10; the Shimmering Slug kept burrowing away.
Anaka closed and threw another spear, missing again; Admiral Barky closed and attacked, but missed; Asteriskes followed and attacked, hitting for 21 and taking out the Slug.
The party began discussing how to get such a large creature back to the museum. They did some calculations and decided to move the Sonic Bats into the bag of holding with the Neuronea. That left them one empty bag to stuff the Shimmering Slug in. It was tough work, but with the two Humans holding the bag open, the Dwarf was able to squish the Slug inside.
A very narrow passage about five feet wide headed toward a chamber with walls glistening with a metallic glow. It was undeniably pure gold. Asteriskes and Anaka studied the walls and determined that the nuggets really were gold. Just then the room shook and the ceiling fell in. Asteriskes was overcome by the falling debris, while Anaka, Felan, and Admiral Barky escaped unharmed. After pointing and laughing for a minute or two, they set to digging out their companion.
Just then, a Xorn rose silently from the floor in the middle of the room.
"I'm the owner of this cave and I would like you to leave it alone. I will give you 100 nuggets weighing a pound apiece if you will go away now."
Felan and Asteriskes argued for accepting the offer while Anaka grumbled that she'd rather kill the Xorn. The majority vote won. "Alright, we accept your offer," the druid said.
The Xorn was true to his word and passed over the agreed amount before disappearing back into the floor.
"He's gone! Let's get the rest of the gold!" Felan said.
"Hey! We made an agreement." Asteriskes
"Okay, okay" muttered the rogue and the druid.
The adventurers then headed back the way they'd come while chasing the slug because they'd noticed another passage along the way. The air was remarkably hot and humid thanks to a small, geyser-like basin in the center of the cave. The walls were overgrown with moss. The vapors rising from the bubbling water disappeared into an opening in the ceiling which might reach as high as the surface. The adventurers each took 2 points of damage from breathing in the hot air.
"That's a Belker," said Felan, noticing and recognizing the vaguely humanlike creature which took form from the steam vapors themselves.
Asteriskes closed and attacked, hitting for for 13; Anaka closed and attacked, hitting for 5; Admiral Barky moved to flank and attacked, hitting for 9; Belker shifted into smoke form and then attacked Asteriskes, surrounding him from above with his smoke and then striking with his claws, but Asteriskes made his Save; Felan moved closer and cast Frost Breath, hitting for 7 and Dazing the creature.
Asteriskes continued his combat with the Belker, hitting for 9; Anaka cast Ray of Frost, but missed; Admiral Barky attacked and hit for 10; Belker floated, dazed; Felan attacked with a dagger, hitting for 4.
Asteriskes attacked and hit for 13, the Belker regained corporeal form and slumped across the Dwarf as dead weight.
Once they had removed the corpse from their companion, the adventurers hastened to leave the steaming, hot room. Happy that they had closed the loop and now had no unexplored areas remaining behind them, the group headed back towards the gold nugget room to investigate its other exits. They opted to take the narrow path which ran along the far wall.
This cave seemed to be completely out of place in the caverns. It was furnished with a state of the art writing table with a small bookstand on it. Pieces of parchment, inkpots, and unfolded scrolls covered almost all of the table's surface. A cloak rack with some old and bleached tabards and mantles completed the impression that this must be some sort of study.
Anaka searched the desk for traps and, finding none, then began searching the drawers. As she did, one of the cloaks disengaged itself from the coat-rack and attempted to wrap itself about her. It did not manage to gain hold, although it ended up lying across her shoulder. The rogue struck with her dagger and hit the creature for 6.
Admiral Barky closed and attacked the Cloaker, but missed; Cloaker attacked Anaka, grabbing for a better grip and catching her; Asteriskes held his action, debating what to do; Felan closed and cast Vigor on Anaka; Anaka slashed at the Cloaker, but missed.
Admiral Barky attacked, but missed; Cloaker attacked Anaka, but missed; Asteriskes closed and attacked, but missed; Felan attacked Cloaker, but missed; Anaka struggled free of the Cloaker, which then hovered in the air.
Admiral Barky attacked and missed; the Cloaker took flight, provoking Attacks of Opportunity from everyone -- Admiral Barky missed, Asteriskes hit for 17, Felan hit for 5, and Anaka missed; Asteriskes drew his bow and shot at the creature, hitting for 11; Felan threw a spear, hitting for 3; Anaka threw a dagger and hit for 5.
Admiral Barky yapped angrily, unable to reach the creature; Cloaker swooped down and attacked Asteriskes, but missed; Asteriskes retaliated, but missed; Felan closed and punched, hitting for 5; Anaka threw a spear, but missed.
Admiral Barky attacked, but missed; Cloaker flew higher, moaning to Unnerve the party -- Anaka and Felan Saved, Asteriskes and Admiral Barky did not; Asteriskes attacked and missed; Felan threw a spear, hitting for 4; Anaka threw a spear, hitting critically for 13.
Admiral Barky barked; Cloaker, no longer moaning, attacked Asteriskes, hitting for 7; Asteriskes retaliated, hitting critically for 49 and shredding the Cloaker.
After taking 7 magical scrolls from the desk -- putting them into some spare scroll cases they found in one of the drawers -- the group headed back out the way they came. They returned to the large gold nugget room and took the remaining southern path out of it.
The most prominent feature of this cavern was a chasm, about forty feet wide, dividing it in two. A transparent, eaten-out shell of some huge slug or snail served as a makeshift bridge between the two sides. The ceiling was probably at least 30 feet up. Felan saw two huge bats hanging from that ceiling with their wings folded about them. The druid pointed them out to his companions.
Anaka cast Light of Lunia and began to glow; Admiral Barky waited protectively at Felan's feet; Dire Bat-1 remained hanging above the bridge; Asteriskes shot an arrow, but missed; Felan used his sling, hitting for 2; Dire Bat-2 swooped at Felan and attacked, but missed.
Anaka shot a bolt of energy from her spell, hitting Dire Bat-1 for 1; Admiral Barky continued to hold his action; Dire Bat-1 held his action; Asteriskes shot Dire Bat-1, hitting for 7; Felan slung another bullet, but missed; Dire Bat-2 returned to his spot and faced the party again.
Anaka shot her second bolt of energy, hitting Dire Bat-1 for 4; Admiral Barky held; Dire Bat-1 swooped and attacked Admiral Barky, but missed -- Admiral Barky retaliated, hitting for 9; Asteriskes attacked Dire Bat-1, hitting for 22 and knocking the bat down to the ground; Felan attacked Dire Bat-2, but missed; Dire Bat-2 retreated out of sight.
With their way cleared, the adventurers headed over the bridge, following the direction the bat went.
A curved passage became straighter and straighter. It was as long as the eye could see and definitely led to another cave system. However, there wasn't time to wonder where that passage might lead as four foul-smelling, scaled humanoids met the party at the entrance, weapons and shields at the ready.
Anaka threw a spear at the lead Troglodyte, but missed; Asteriskes closed and attacked Troglodyte-1, hitting for 13; Troglodyte-1 retaliated, hitting the Dwarf for 5; Troglodyte-2 held his action; Troglodyte-4 held; Felan cast Summon Nature's Ally and called a Dire Wolf who appeared behind Troglodyte-4 and immediately attacked, hitting for 14; Admiral Barky stayed by Felan and barked loudly; Troglodyte-3 held.
Anaka threw another spear and missed again; Asteriskes continued his combat with Troglodyte-1, hitting for 19 and taking him out; Troglodyte-2 stepped over his fallen combat and attacked Asteriskes, hitting for 2; Troglodyte-4 turned and retaliated against the Dire Wolf, but missed; Felan threw a spear at Troglodyte-2, hitting for 6; the Dire Wolf retaliated against Troglodyte-4, but missed; Admiral Barky held; Troglodyte-3 held.
Anaka threw a spear and hit Troglodyte-2 for 8; Asteriskes attacked Troglodyte-2, hitting for 22 and taking him out; Troglodyte-4 attacked the Dire Wolf, and missed; Felan threw a spear at Troglodyte-3, hitting for 1; Dire Wolf attacked Troglodyte-4, hitting for 15 and killing him; Admiral Barky held; Troglodyte-3 closed with Asteriskes and attacked, but missed.
Anaka threw a spear, hitting Troglodyte-3 for 3; Asteriskes attacked Troglodyte-3, hitting for 21 and killing him.
With combat over, Anaka searched the bodies while Felan cast Lesser Vigor on Asteriskes. When they were ready, they headed back the way they'd came and took the path that branched off just at the edge of the bridge.
The elongated and narrow cave could be compared to a hole dug out by a predatory creature. Constricted and tapered, the cavern required a great deal of care to pass through. A monstrosity of a serpentine shape darted out of a fissure, waving the four tentacles that surrounded its bloody beak.
Admiral Barky closed and attacked the Grick, but missed; Felan closed and attacked, hitting critically for 7; Asteriskes closed and attacked, hitting for 21; Anaka threw a spear and missed; Grick attacked Felan, but missed.
Admiral Barky attacked, hitting for 8; Felan attacked, but missed; Asteriskes attacked, but missed; Anaka threw a spear, hitting for 5; Grick attacked Felan, hitting three times for a total of 30, and rendering the druid unconscious.
Admiral Barky attacked, hitting for 7; Felan laid on the ground unconscious; Asteriskes attacked, hitting critically for 35, killing the Grick.
Anaka went to Felan and used Opportunistic Piety to revive the druid, who used two Lesser Vigors on himself as well.