Sundry information, thoughts and links to sort us out

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yeah, "20-Lots" Hits

Cathy and Ken, when Ken decided to move his character past two others in combat: Your friends goose you as you go by. - I clang.
Cathy, paraphrasing the module when the group noticed what was most likely a trap icon on the map square: A natural pool filled with unnatural stars....
Ken, as the party tried to figure out how to cross a pond: Water, very dangerous, you go first.
Katy and Cathy, as the party searched a room relying on clues from a previous room: Do we see any 4's? - What, are you playing Go Fish?
Cathy, about Bruce's roll: Yeah, 20-lots hits.
Cathy and Katy, after Bruce's animal companion (a dog) missed its attack: Magic Dentures of Biting + 3 - In this case, -3
Katy and Cathy, about the Dwarven zealot the party had defeated: Does he have a masterwork loincloth? - No, but he's got a masterwork something else!

The party decided to explore the tunnel whence the Yellow Musk Zombies had entered. They followed it into the undying garden. Other than the footprints left by the meandering Yellow Musk Zombies, there was nothing in the room. Next they continued into the adjoining chamber (3-8).

Three Vegepygmies were working away at digging through the wall. They noticed the adventurers arrival, dropped their picks, grabbed their longspears, and took up aggressive stances.

"What are you doing? We rescued some of your companions from the Violent Fungus?" Felan said, bewildered.

"Stay away from tunnel!" replied one of the Vegepygmies in broken Common.

Admiral Barky held his action; Anaka moved in closer and threw a spear, hitting Vegepygmy-1 for 6; Vegepygmy-1 closed and retaliated against Anaka, but missed; Asteriskes closed with Vegepygmy-1 and attacked, but missed; Vegepygmy-2 charged Anaka and attacked, but missed; under F's guidance, Admiral Barky closed with Vegepygmy-1 and attacked, but missed, then F himself charged and attacked Vegepygmy-2, punching him for 7; Vegepygmy-3 closed and attacked F, but missed.

Anaka drew her dagger and slashed Vegepygmy-1 for 7, taking him down; Asteriskes closed with Vegepygmy-2, but missed; Vegepygmy-2 retaliated against Asteriskes, but missed; Admiral Barky moved to flank and attacked Vegepygmy-2, hitting for 10 and taking him out; Felan moved to flank Vegepygmy-3 and attacked, hitting for 2; Vegepygmy-3 attacked Admiral Barky, but missed.

Anaka closed with Vegepygmy-3, but missed; Asteriskes closed with Vegepygmy-3, hitting for 16 and taking him out.

Knowing that they had now finished exploring the area, and that their cleric was injured, the group decided to head back to the secret passageway to rest. They made it safely there and secured the area. Felan healed himself, then he laid down for a nap. Two hours later, he woke up, memorized some new spells, cast Lesser Restoration on himself, and then the companions were ready to go on. They left the secret passage, headed through the mushroom village room, and eventually reached the tunnel which they had determined led further into the cave complex.

A natural pool filled with inky black water sat prominently in the center of the cavern. Rising above the dark waters in the center of the pool was a tall marble stature of a draconian archer. The archer's bow pointed toward the cavern ceiling.

Looking where the statue pointed, no one noticed anything specific, the Dragon's bow simply seemed to be pointed towards an arch in the ceiling. After a few moments, however, Anaka suddenly said, "Oh, it's JUST a bow! WE have the arrow!" And realization dawned on the party practically in unison.

"Well, how are we going to get across the water, does anyone have any way of testing how deep it is?" Felan asked.

"I have a 50' rope, if I attach my grappling hook, it will sink..." Anaka suggested.

"Good idea," Asteriskes approved.

Standing at the edge, the thief did her test, the water turned out to be 2' deep there. After some discussion, Anaka said, "Do you want me to just go?"

"Yeah, that sounds good! After all, I'm the only one who can heal so I definitely should stay behind." Felan answered.

"OK, hang on, I've got an idea. I'll tie my rope around my waist, and you guys can hold the other end. That way if the pond is suddenly deeper, you can pull me back in if needed." As her companions nodded, Anaka untied her grappling hook and affixed the rope around her waist. They navigated around the pond to the lip that was closest to the statue and the thief headed in. The water turned out to be 2 feet deep all the way across. She carefully climbed up the statue and fitted the arrow into the bow. A low ominous rumbling sound started coming from the statue. Anaka climbed back down into the water at the base of the pedestal.

There was a low, ominous rumbling sound. Suddenly images of numerals formed all around the perimeter of the pool. The archer aimed his bow at four different numbers -- 4, 7, 9, 2 -- with careful deliberation. After a moment, he did it again, before resuming his original pose with his bow aimed back at the ceiling. Anaka climbed up to retrieve the arrow, but it was now solidly attached to the bow. She climbed back down and rejoined her friends. After removing the rope from Anaka's waist, they party headed out the tunnel nearest them.

This enormous cavern had been transformed by hammer and chisel into a wondrous work of art. Elaborately carved murals of Dragons and Dwarves engaged in an epic struggle covered the walls. Faded, tattered tapestries of Dragonkin warriors flanked each of the five exits. A large, natural column of stone rose from the floor to the ceiling in the southeast corner. Standing vigilant by this column were two armored Dwarves holding crossbows that were cocked and loaded.

Anaka moved into the room and threw a spear at the closest Duregar, hitting for 4; Admiral Barky charged and attacked Duregar-1, hitting for 7; Asteriskes moved into the room and shot with his bow, but missed; Duregar-1 attacked Admiral Barky, but missed; Duregar-2 closed with Admiral Barky, and missed; F moved into the room.

Anaka moved and threw another spear, but missed; Admiral Barky continued battling Duregar-1, hitting for 6 and taking him down; Asteriskes moved in closer and shot at Duregar-2, but missed; Duregar-2 attacked Admiral Barky, but missed; Felan closed with Duregar-2 and attacked, hitting for 3.

Anaka threw a spear at Duregar-2, hitting for 5; Admiral Barky retaliated against Duregar-2, hitting for 10, and taking him down.

They headed out the tunnel immediately on their left. They hadn't gone too far when they were faced with two large black birds, flying towards them. (Fiendish Ravens)

Anaka moved in closer and threw a spear, hitting for 3 and knocking the Fiendish Raven down; Asteriskes moved in and shot at the remaining Fiendish Raven, but missed; Admiral Barky ran into the room; Fiendish Raven-2 flew towards Anaka; Felan charged and attacked Fiendish Raven-2, hitting for 1.

Anaka closed and slashed the Fiendish Raven with her dagger, taking him down; Two Duregar came around the corner; Asteriskes stepped forward and targeted one of the Duregar's, hitting for 4; Admiral Barky closed Duregar-1 and attacked, hitting for 5; Felan charged and attacked Duregar-1, hitting for 4 and taking him down; Duregar-2 attacked Admiral Barky, but missed.

Anaka moved up closer and threw another spear, but missed; Asteriskes charged and closed with Duregar-2, hitting for 8; Admiral Barky attacked Duregar-2, but missed; Felan attacked Duregar-2, but missed; Duregar-2 retaliated against Asteriskes, but missed.

Anaka threw another spear, hitting for 8 and taking out Duregar-2, she then retrieved her spears, including nipping back into the outer chamber to pick up the 2 spears she'd forgotten to grab from before.

Towering above them were piles of massive bones, some looming taller than a fire giant. The bones appeared to be quite brittle. A thick layer of fine white powder completely blanketed the entire floor. Toward the southern end of the gargantuan section of the caverns they could also see small clouds of white dust billowing between the piles.

As the group stood discussing their options, 4 Kobold Skeletons came charging out from behind the various piles of bones, heading straight for the party.

Kobold Skeleton-4 charged attacked Felan, hitting for 3; Anaka came up and flanked Kobold Skeleton-4, striking critically for 10; Kobold Skeleton-1 charged and attacked Asteriskes, but missed; Felan attacked Kobold Skeleton-4, hitting for 4, and taking him out; Admiral Barky moved to flank Kobold Skeleton-1 and attacked, hitting for 5; Asteriskes retaliated against Kobold Skeleton-1, but missed; Kobold Skeleton-2 charged and attacked Anaka, but missed; Kobold Skeleton-3 charged and attacked Anaka, but missed.

Anaka attacked Kobold Skeleton-3, hitting for 8; Kobold Skeleton-1 continued his combat with Asteriskes, but missed; Felan attacked Kobold Skeleton-1, hitting for 8 and taking him out; Admiral Barky flanked Kobold Skeleton-2 and attacked, hitting for 10; Asteriskes closed with Kobold Skeleton-2, hitting for 14 and taking him out; Kobold Skeleton-3 attacked Anaka, but missed.

Anaka attacked Kobold Skeleton-3, hitting for 7; Felan closed with Kobold Skeleton-3 and attacked, but missed; Admiral Barky closed with Kobold Skeleton-3 and attacked, but missed; Asteriskes flanked Kobold Skeleton-3 and attacked, but missed; Kobold Skeleton-3 attacked Anaka, but missed.

Anaka attacked Kobold Skeleton-3, hitting critically for 21 points and taking him out.

Searching the room determined that the bones were those of long dead Dragons, which had been so picked over or so long aged that they were no longer of any use for spell components or of any other value. The room was a dead-end, so the adventurers returned to the outer chamber and followed the center tunnel out of it. They reached a fork, one of which ended in a door, and chose to go down the open passageway, away from the door.

Signs of ancient battles filled the area and broken bones and shattered blades were strewn about the floor. A sickly yellowish-white powder covered the floor. The powder was vaguely moist and stuck to the adventurers shoes.

They returned to the path that ended in a door. Felan listened at the door, but heard nothing. Anaka searched the door for traps and found none, it was also unlocked.

As they stepped through the doorway, they realized that had indeed left the wilds of the caverns and entered the remnants of an ancient civilization. The rough, craggy cavern walls gave way to smooth, worked walls of white marble engraved with a myriad of ornate, cryptic symbols and numerals. The northwest corner of the room was filled with a large pile of rubble comprised of white marble and rough stone. It appeared that the recent cave-ins caused part of the ceiling to collapse. A Dwarven warrior stood between the pile of the rubble and a door along the western wall. He was carefully examining the cryptic symbols, but he stopped upon noticing the group's entrance, turning to face them with his sword drawn.

Admiral Barky closed and attacked, but missed; Felan closed and attacked, hitting for 1; Asteriskes moved closer and fired his bow, but missed; Anaka moved a little closer and threw a spear, but missed; D scrambled up on the rubble to gain some height and attacked Felan, but missed.

Admiral Barky closed and attacked, hitting for 8; Felan attacked, hitting for 6; Anaka threw a spear, hitting for 7; Asteriskes closed and attacked, hitting for 13; D attacked Felan, hitting for 4.

Admiral Barky attacked, but missed; Felan attacked, but missed; Anaka threw a spear, but missed; Asteriskes attacked, but missed; D attacked Asteriskes, hitting for 8.

Admiral Barky attacked, but missed; Felan attacked, but missed; Anaka missed; Asteriskes hit for 21 and took him out.

Next the companions began investigating the runes the Dwarf had been so avidly studying. They easily picked out the Roman numerals the statue had indicated to them, but no one was sure what the symbols interspersed therein might indicate. Felan asked Anaka for a piece of the parchment they'd taken from the bedroom they'd camped in a few days ago. When she handed it to him, along with a quill, he hastily scratched down a copy of the carvings on the wall for future reference.

Felan listened at the door heading west, but heard nothing. Anaka searched it for traps and found nothing. It opened into a small hallway that led to another door. Felan listened, and heard very faint rhythmic thwupping sounds. Anaka searched and found no traps. Asteriskes drew his bow and took a defensive stance, Anaka opened the door.

A large, garish stone statue of a red dragon sat against the southern wall. Piles of rock and debris flanked both sides of the statue. Its gigantic wings spanned well over 40 feet. Kneeling in front of the statue was a grizzled, muscular Dwarf clad only in a loincloth. His back was scarred and the source of those old wounds was obviously the bloody flail he wielded, striking himself forcefully as he continued his murmured prayers.

Admiral Barky charged the D, hitting for 7; Anaka threw a spear, hitting for 6; Felan charged, hitting for 7; Asteriskes moved into the room and shot, but missed; D turned around, "Smite heretic!" and attacked Felan, hitting for 12.

Admiral Barky attacked, hitting for 10 and taking him out.

They turned their attention to the runes behind the statue. Almost simultaneously they came to the conclusion that this was a sort of religious graffiti. Felan cast Lesser Vigor on himself. Anaka searched the room, but found nothing else of interest.

They moved to the other door in the room and Felan listened. He heard nothing. Anaka searched the door for traps and found none. She opened the door.

A macabre collection of skulls lined the walls. Strange symbols were crudely scrawled on some of the skulls. Most appeared to be humanoid, although a few larger ones were as tall as a Dwarven warrior -- these skulls were actually forming an archway around the doorway of the room. The party realized immediate that this was a burial chamber for priests of Xhitigal.

The group retraced their steps back to the room with the runes, where they'd fought the Dwarf on the pile of rubble. While Felan was listening at the door on the eastern wall, Anaka retrieved the spears she'd thrown in that battle and forgotten to pick up. The druid opened the door to reveal a hallway with a door at the far end. As he led the way, the party advanced. Felan listened at the door and heard nothing. Anaka searched for traps and found none, so she opened the door. Another hallway lay beyond. At the far end was a door with a pile of rubble in front of it. Anaka searched the rubble and found nothing. Felan listened at the door and heard nothing. Anaka searched for traps and didn't find any. She opened the door. They were faced with yet another hallway with a door at the end. Felan heard nothing and Anaka found no traps. They opened the door.

Most of the large room was empty and barren. The exception was a statue of a dragonkin archer, similar to the one back in the pool in the room they'd found earlier. However, this one was not alone -- it was being examined by a living, breathing Dragonkin warrior clad in red scales and leather armor. A jeweled rapier hung from his belt. The warrior was staring with great fascination at the statue's bow as if trying to unlock its secrets with his gaze alone.

Anaka stepped into the room and threw a spear, but missed; Admiral Barky attacked Cyvorak, but missed; Cyvorak used his breath weapon to blow a cone of fire at the party, only Anaka and Admiral Barky were in range, Admiral Barky Evaded and Anaka Saved for half; Asteriskes entered the room and shot, hitting for 6; Felan charged and punched, hitting for 1, plus a point of Dex damage.

Anaka moved into range and cast Ray of Frost, hitting for 2 points of Cold Damage; Admiral Barky attacked with Smite Evil, but missed; Cyvorak drew his rapier and targeted Felan, hitting for 11; Asteriskes closed and attacked, hitting for 20 and taking him out.

Asteriskes examined the statue. It appeared to be a duplicate of the statue in the pool. Among the items found on Cyvorak's body was a silver scroll case. It was empty. There were no runes or any symbols anywhere in the room.

Felan listened at the far door. He heard nothing. Anaka searched for traps and found none. The door was unlocked so she opened it.

The stone face of a dragon peered forth from the ruined northern wall of the chamber -- it was contorted in rage and anger. Although quite life-like and nearly the size of a man, it was quickly obvious that this was a carving by master stoneworkers rather than the macabre remains of a once-living great wyrm. Apart from the large face there was nothing else of note in the chamber.

Anaka searched the room. On her first pass, she found nothing, but she was sure there was something. Going back over things more thoroughly, she touched walls, floor, and the dragon head with exploring fingers. When she touched the dragon head, a cloud of gas billowed out of its mouth with an ominous hiss. Everyone Saved and avoided the Sleeping Gas which wafted away on the air. There was nothing else in the room.

The group returned to the room where they'd fought Cyvorak. They cut off his head and stuffed it into one of their Handy Haversacks so they could prove his demise to King Reginald. Anaka retrieved the spear she'd thrown in battle. Then they headed back to the room with the runes. Anaka pressed 4, 7, 9, and 2 and was heading back to repeat the sequence when a door opened revealing a short corridor leading to a chamber full of glittering treasures. Platinum, gold, and silver completely covered the room, obscuring the floor. Twin silk tapestries, each depicting a red Dragon rising triumphantly in flight, covered most of the southern and western walls and stretched from floor to ceiling. In the center of the room was a large wooden chest, its led flung wide open. A smaller, closed wooden chest was just a few feet away from the larger one.

Suspicious, Anaka continued the sequence, pushing the numbers again in the order the statue had indicated. Nothing changed and the secret door remained open. Anaka used the spikes they'd picked up from one of their victims and wedge the door open. Felan did a visual search from the doorway, but saw nothing.

"You know, "Asteriskes said, "Cyvorak supposedly stole King Reginald's gem, but it seemed like he was trying to figure out how to get in here. I'm guessing the gem is not in here."

"You're probably right," replied Felan, as he prepared to cast some spells. After a moment, he cast Lesser Vigor on himself and each of his companions. "This is going to take a bit," the druid said, "I suggest we wait here for a few minutes."

Anaka entered and performed a meticulous search. There were no traps or secret doors, even the small box (which was locked) was not trapped. In the big chest was a parchment. "Oh, geez!" Anaka moaned.

"What?" said Felan and Asteriskes in unison. The thief proceeded to read the practically sarcastic letter to her friends. When she had finished, and they had also groaned in frustration, she moved across the room. "I'm gonna check out this little locked box now, just to be sure."

Inside were 3 bottles of liquid and the jewel encrusted hilt of a broken longsword -- a few of the large settings were empty. As they were counting the coins and trying figure out what to take and how to take it, they heard the sounds of knocking and digging coming from just beyond the pile of rubble in the rune room. Several creatures of some sort were obviously trying to dig their way in. Just then, the wall broke apart and about 20 Dwarves came through -- they were all wearing the chartreuse sashes of the king.

"Stand by in the name of King Reginald of Othia!" bellowed the first guard.

When the adventurers stood up, the guards recognized them, "Oh, good, you're all right. His majesty sent us to find you - he didn't think an earthquake would defeat you, but he didn't want to leave it to chance. Well, that's quite a horde. I think we have enough extra hands to help carry it."

"Look what we found in one of the caved-in rooms back there," said another guard, brandishing the Royal Sceptre with its sparkling peridots.

"Wonder if the king is going to ask for his advance back?" whispered Asteriskes to his companions, as they all began to gather up the items in preparation for returning to Montrill.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Guy Attacking Me...IS ON FIRE!

Bruce, about some of the adversaries the party faced: Vege-pygmies?! Are they going to attack us with asparagus spears?
Bruce and Ken, deciding what to do about adversaries: I'm a Druid...kill the plants! -- Grr...argh!
Bruce: I'm not so sure we should take the Vegepygmie Threat lightly.
Ken: We're going to die *laughing,* that's what's up with this level!
Katy and Bruce, about what the party should do next: Well, maybe if we keep pursuing them, we'll eventually round them all up into one area and kill them, and then it will be just a quick cakewalk back through the dungeon to loot! -- Yeah, that's a thought.
Ken: Let's save the pygmies! Lawful Goodness, yay!
Bruce, after they faced yet another monster they'd never heard of: This dungeon should be renamed the Dungeon of Obscurity! It's filled with creatures that are not in any of the books!
Ken, about what Bruce's druid's familiar should do: Perform a coup de bark.
Katy and Cathy, when Katy suggested burning the room full of fungus: Burn, baby, burn...disco inferno! - I can just see you guys, 'ha, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive!' - Yeah, that'd be us, dancing in the doorway.
Katy and Ken, about how the party should proceed when faced with a tough adversary: Well, wait a minute, there are obviously parts of the dungeon we haven't explored yet, maybe we should go back around and finish those out and come back here later. Because maybe we can gain enough experience between now and then to level up! - I like the way you think!
Katy, during combat: OK, so I have a simple, the guy attacking me...IS ON FIRE!

The adventurers stood in the round room and looked around. Anaka searched the room and all the doors, but found no traps. Felan went to the left-most door and listened, but heard nothing. The door was unlocked so they decided to open it -- beyond lay a passageway bearing slightly southwest before angling back up northwest. The party walked along, glad of the bright glow from the purple lichen on the walls as it made the caverns almost as bright as a spring afternoon.

Tall, grassy stalks of golden, glowing lichens and fungi rose from the cavern floor - transforming what would ordinarily have been a dark, dank cave into a surreal pasture of underground marvels. In the center of this field were two small, strange greenish humanoid creatures. They were harvesting the fungi as a farmer would harvest wheat or corn. The fruits of their labors could plainly be seen toward the northwest corner of the cavern where piles of the cultivated golden stalks were neatly stacked. Upon seeing the adventurers, the Vegepygmies stopped their work and eyed them warily.

The group began making their way along the outer wall, heading towards the northern tunnel. The Vegepygmies fled out the other tunnel. After a quick discussion, Anaka, Asteriskes, Felan, & Admiral Barky went in pursuit.

They entered a section of the caverns where giant red mushrooms stood nearly as tall as trees -- some extended all the way to the ceiling above. A cornucopia of pink and lavender mosses surrounded the towering mushrooms, creating a grand underground garden that was truly a wonder to behold. Toward the northern end of the cavern they spotted three more of the Vegepygmies, diligently chopping down one of the giant mushrooms. Several other mushrooms had already been felled and were lying where they'd been cut, ready to be gathered up.

As the two Vegepygmies entered the chamber and approached their comrades, they must have somehow communicated their situation because the other three looked up and saw the party. They dropped their tools and turned with their friends and began running towards the passage heading northeast. Anaka, Felan, and Admiral Barky, with Asteriskes a little ways behind, continued the chase.

Countless fluorescent pink and purple lichens and plants hung from the ceiling of this extensive cavern covering the room in a glowing, garish hue. Partially buried in the ostentatious flora was a lone humanoid skeleton lying near the entrance to a northward-leading tunnel. The Vegepygmies were still heading north, screaming in a squeaky way as they went.

Violet Fungus in the middle of the room was catching and eating the Vegepygmies.

Anaka threw a spear at Violet Fungus, and hit for 6; Admiral Barky guarded Felan, barking protectively; Asteriskes shot at Violet Fungus, but missed; Violet Fungus continued its combat with the Vegepygmies, one of the Vegepygmies managed to break free and fled out of the room; Felan stepped forward and threw a spear, but missed.

Anaka threw a spear at Violet Fungus, but missed; Admiral Barky continued to guard Felan; Asteriskes charged the Violet Fungus and attacked with his great-axe, hitting for 17 and killing the Violet Fungus, as it fell its tentacles released the Vegepygmies who proceeded to flee out of the room.

Anaka and Felan retrieved their spears.

While they didn't find much more than colorful fungus in the room, Anaka did find a scrap of parchment on the skeleton at the base of the Violet Fungus. The page matched the one the group had found back in the bedroom where they'd spent the previous night. Next they retraced their steps and returned to search the rooms they'd previously only run through.

In the room full of mushrooms, hidden by the pile of edible mushrooms the Vegepygmies had been harvesting, Anaka found a secret door in the southeast corner. The door opened into a passageway which reached a dead-end. While Anaka and Asteriskes fumbled about, Felan found the secret door at the far end.

Drawn on the western wall of the long cavern was a gigantic image of a bright, glowing sun. Just beneath that image of the sun were the jet-black outlines of three humanoid figures which appeared to be either pointing at the sun or worshiping it. The rest of the cavern was pretty much empty except for some scattered rocks and a few broken stalactites. Anaka realized the mural was important and related to the pages from the history books. As they stood there, Felan heard something moving behind them and alerted his companions discreetly. They turned around, but saw nothing.

Anaka saw the dust moving on the ground just in front of her, she grabbed the improvised bomb she'd made downstairs, but hadn't used, lit it, and threw it at the moving dust, while she hit the spot and the oil canister broke and shattered, the wick didn't not burn strongly enough to catch the oil afire, however, Anaka did manage to get droplets of oil on the previously-invisible creature, which now shimmered in the air in a vaguely discernible shape; Asteriskes swung his great-axe, but missed; Admiral Barky attacked and hit for 10; Felan attempted to flank and punch the invisible creature, but missed; Invisible Creature retaliated against Felan, but missed.

Anaka moved to flank, struck critically with her dagger, for 14 points, and the droplets that the group could see fell in a soundless clump to the ground; Asteriskes scooped up some dirt and threw it over the area, outlining the creature's form a little better, revealing a medium-sized plant-looking creature; Admiral Barky held his action, yipping beside the druid; Felan was now able to tell beyond a doubt that they had fought a Phantom Fungus, which became visible only when dead, so the druid punched the shape, attempting a coup de gras, hitting for 10, but the creature was still invisible; Invisible Creature lay on the ground attempting to stabilize.

Anaka stabbed the prone creature for 15, but it was still invisible; Asteriskes struck with his axe, doing 47 points, but not revealing the creature; Admiral Barky wandered away and began sniffing at things in the room; Felan suddenly remembered that the creature would not become visible *immediately* after it was dead and that they had probably successfully killed it already, so he suggested this to his friends and they all stepped back to wait. Eventually the ugly creature appeared.

Felan searched the room, but found nothing. Asteriskes said that the floor seemed to be solid stone and it was unlikely that anything, much less the rumored Vault Key, could be buried in it. While most of the signs in the note were present in this mural, they were not in an "undying garden" so the adventurers agreed to move on. They headed down the southwestern passage, knowing it would take them back towards the round room they had first entered. They reached the door at its end. Felan didn't hear anything and Anaka didn't find any traps so she opened the door; sure enough, it opened into the round room with the three doors.

The party retraced their steps and entered the room where they had first met the Vegepygmies. Anaka searched the room and found nothing other than the Vegepygmy-sized scythes that the small creatures had been using to harvest the fungus. Next the party headed to the northwest tunnel -- the one they had originally intended to follow before they decided to chase the Vegepygmies.

Bright yellow lichens and mosses filled the cavern. The bright fungi completely covered the walls and floors, transforming the cave into a veritable garden of golden splendor. Amid the beauty, however, a few broken skulls were easily visible scattered throughout the unending fields of moss. In the center of the grand morass was a large yellow plant, a flower towering nearly as tall as an ogre. Even surrounded by the other yellow mosses and lichens, this plant seemed to glow almost as brightly as the sun.

The group hastily discussed their options. Although they were quite suspicious that this was the "gleaming yellow sun" beneath which the vault key was probably buried, the odds did not look good. Anaka suggested retracing their steps and exploring areas they had not yet been -- where the Vegepygmies fled to, for instance -- in case they would find something helpful. They all agreed and quickly headed back the way they'd come. They had almost reached the mushroom village when a swarm of bats attacked them.

Asteriskes swung his axe, but missed; Admiral Barky barked at the bats, but held his action being unable to jump high enough to reach them; the bats attacked Anaka, but missed; Anaka cast Light of Lunia and began to glow; Felan punched the bat swarm, hitting for 8.

Asteriskes again swung his axe, hitting for 11; Admiral Barky continued to hold his action, growling; the bats retaliated against Felan, but missed; Anaka used the Light of Lunia to shoot a ray at the swarm, she missed with her first, but struck with the second and took out the swarm. With combat over, they continued along the tunnel, reaching the mushroom village room safely. Then they headed north, into a passage they had not previously investigated.

Hanging curtains of glowing yellow fungi hung from the stalactites in this jagged cavern and filled this part of the subterranean gardens with an eerie golden light. Carpets of golden moss covered parts of the floor as well. A 20-foot wide column of stone rose from floor to ceiling toward the western end of the cavern. They could faintly see a pair of humanoid creatures shambling around behind the column, but they seemed confined to the shadows and were difficult to identify.

The adventurers realized that part of the reason they were so frustrated was surely that they were also quite fatigued. Up until this moment, they hadn't really been aware of the passage of time, but now it occurred to them that it was actually quite late. They talked things over and decided that the safest place to rest would be the secret passage out of the mushroom village. They made it safely back there and shut themselves in. Felan healed himself and Anaka. Then they sorted through the loot they were carrying and laid out anything they thought might be valuable. The druid looked at all of it to see if it was magical. Other than the gauntlets and the torch, which they already had determined to be magical, the objects were all normal, everyday items. Next Felan looked at the scrolls with read magic to determine what they were: Scroll of Cause Fear, Scroll of Jump, and Scroll of Cure Minor Wounds.

Asteriskes began the watches, with Admiral Barky keeping him company. 2 hours later Felan woke up and Admiral Barky and Asteriskes went to sleep. Three medium monstrous centipedes crawled toward the group; the druid shouted to wake his companions and took an offensive stance.

Felan moved to protect his companions as they awoke, and attacked the nearest Centipede, hitting for 1; Centipede-1 retaliated, attacking Felan, but missing; Centipede-2 closed with Felan and missed; Centipede-3 also closed with Felan, and missed.

Anaka threw a spear at Centipede-2, but missed; Admiral Barky moved up beside Felan and attacked Centipede-1, hitting for 8 and killing it; Felan attacked Centipede-3, hitting for 6; Centipede-2 attacked Felan, and missed; Asteriskes closed with Centipede-2, and hit for 17, killing it; Centipede-3 attacked Admiral Barky, but missed.

Anaka threw a spear at Centipede-3, but missed; Admiral Barky attacked Centipede-3, hitting for 8 and killing it.

Then Asteriskes, Anaka, and Admiral Barky went back to bed. Since Felan only needed two hours of sleep, he watched the rest of the night alone so the others could get enough rest. The remainder of the night passed uneventfully. They let Anaka sleep a little longer to regain her spell. When she woke, Asteriskes was sharpening his weapons and Felan was meditating to memorize some spells. Anaka began assembling improvised bombs from a few of the oil casks they'd looted out of the supply room a few days ago. When the druid was ready, they discussed their options and decided they should probably explore the rest of the area before re-entering the room with the Yellow Musk Creeper.

Along the northern wall of the spacious area were four more of the Vegepygmies -- this group was hacking away at the cavern wall with sharp, gleaming picks. Immense piles of rubble and ruin surrounded the creatures as they toiled away, obviously determined to find something important.

As the Vegepygmies had not noticed them, the party headed back towards the mushroom village, intending to go through it and up the path that led to the room with the Yellow Musk Creeper. They had almost reached the mushroom room when 4 fiendish dire rats appeared in the passage ahead of them.

Anaka moved and threw a dagger at the nearest Dire Rat-1, hitting for 3; Admiral Barky charged Dire Rat-1, but missed; Felan charged and punched Dire Rat-2, hitting for 6; Asteriskes moved into range and targeted Dire Rat-1, hitting and killing it; a Dire Rat attacked Felan, hitting for 2 but Saving versus the infected bite; another Dire Rat attacked Felan, but missed; the last Dire Rat moved up and attacked Admiral Barky, but missed.

Anaka threw a dagger at Dire Rat-4, but missed; Admiral Barky retaliated against Dire Rat-4, but missed; Felan attacked Dire Rat-2, hitting for 2 and killing it; Asteriskes shot Dire Rat-4, hitting for 6; Dire Rat-3 attacked Felan, but missed; Dire Rat-4 attacked Felan, but missed.

Anaka threw a dagger at Dire Rat-4, hitting for 6 and killing it; Admiral Barky attacked Dire Rat-3, hitting for 9 and killing it.

Anaka retrieved her daggers. The group proceeded along the path. Suddenly Felan stumbled as the rat's bite began to effect him. "I'm fine, I'm fine...." he said, shrugging off assistance from his worried companions. A few minutes walk brought them to the entrance of the chamber with the Yellow Musk Creeper. They knew they wanted to stay far enough away to avoid the plant's deadly pollen, so they took up strategic poses as safely as they could.

Anaka lit a bomb and threw it, she missed the Yellow Musk Creeper and did not successfully catch fire, although it did splash the creature with oil; Admiral Barky, having been told to guard by Felan, remained in a defensive position by his master; Felan cast Flaming Sphere, targeting the Yellow Musk Creeper, doing 6 points, which the plant successfully Evaded, although the oil on the floor caught fire; Asteriskes threw one of the bombs, but missed and the oil did not catch fire, although he did manage to get more oil on the plant.

Anaka lit a bomb and threw it, she hit the plant and this time the wick held and the fire caught, also engaging the oil already on the plant, doing a total of 7 points; Admiral Barky continued to guard his master; Felan moved the Flaming Sphere, this time the plant did not Evade and took 9 points; Asteriskes threw a bomb, hitting the plant and doing 5 points.

The two Yellow Musk Zombies entered the room from the tunnel behind the Yellow Musk Creeper.

As the Yellow Musk Creeper began putting out tendrils (because it was continuing to take damage from the flames), Anaka threw another lit bomb, hitting for 4; Admiral Barky growled as he guarded Felan; Felan held the Flaming Sphere in place, which the plant Evaded, so the druid cast a 2nd Flaming Sphere which the plant also avoided; Asteriskes threw a bomb, which missed, but caught fire as it burst open on the ground at the Yellow Musk Creeper's base; the Yellow Musk Zombies reached the Yellow Musk Creeper and began to try to make their way towards the party.

As Anaka prepared her next bomb, the Yellow Musk Creeper shriveled up, having burned from the damage it was suffering already from all the bombs, so Anaka moved into range and threw the bomb she held at one of the Yellow Musk Zombies, she hit him, but it didn't catch so she only managed to get oil on them; Admiral Barky moved up next to Anaka; Felan moved his Flaming Sphere into range of the oil-splashed Yellow Musk Zombies, succeeding in catching the nearest Yellow Musk Zombie afire doing a total of 11 points between the Flaming Sphere and the oil already on the zombie; Asteriskes moved into the room and shot, but missed; Flaming Yellow Musk Zombie closed with Anaka and attacked, but missed; Yellow Musk Zombie attacked Asteriskes, hitting for 24.

Anaka moved a little ways away from the Flaming Yellow Musk Zombie and attacked him, she threw a dagger at him, but missed; Admiral Barky closed with the Yellow Musk Zombie attacking Asteriskes, but missed; as Flaming Yellow Musk Zombie fell under the damage of his flames, Felan moved the Flaming Sphere over Yellow Musk Zombie, who failed to Evade and took 2 points before the Flaming Sphere burned out; Asteriskes swung his great-axe, but missed; Yellow Musk Zombie attacked Asteriskes, hitting for 2.

Anaka moved into ranged and swiped at Yellow Musk Zombie with her dagger, but missed; Admiral Barky attacked Yellow Musk Zombie, hitting for 7; Felan closed and cast Lesser Vigor on Asteriskes; Asteriskes again swung his axe at Yellow Musk Zombie, but missed; Yellow Musk Zombie attacked Asteriskes, but missed.

Anaka attacked Yellow Musk Zombie, hitting for 6 and taking him out.

With combat over, the druid cast Lesser Vigor on the dwarf again. Anaka searched the room. Right where the Yellow Musk Creeper used to be, under the smoldering moss, she found a patch of ground that looked different, so she called Asteriskes over. He confirmed it looked to have been dug up and filled back in. Improvising by using the Yellow Musk Zombies charred shields, the group was able to dig in the area and found a silver box engraved with the figures of flying dragons. Anaka searched it for traps and found none, it was not locked, so she opened it. Inside was a glittering, golden arrow sitting on a bed of black velvet. The arrow glowed faintly. It appeared to be the work of master craftsmen. Feathers of purple exotic birds served as its fletching and small bits of blue gemstones were embedded in the golden arrrowhead.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I'm Doomed! I Said I'd Take the First Watch and She Immediately Got Out the Monster Manual!

Ken, Bruce, Katy, & Cathy, when Ken discovered how much damage he had taken in the last run: Well, apparently I'm down 23. - OK, I guess I'll use my 4 points on you then. - Oh, yeah, 'you have a gaping wound, allow me to put a tiny circle band-aid on it!' - Allow me to pour alcohol into it!
Katy, as play began: I'm doomed! I said I'd take the first watch and she immediately got out the Monster Manual!
Cathy and Ken, during combat: You missed. - He sucks!
Ken, when Katy suggested no one in the party besides her was stealthy enough to sneak through a room: Nope, they don't call me Brassclanger for nothing!
Bruce, Ken, and Cathy: Felan will attempt to touch Asteriskes, you aren't going to try to get away are you? - Depends on how you touch me. - Right on your brass clanger! - Hang on a minute! - You want him to hold on!?!
Bruce and Cathy: Admiral Barky holds his action. - With both hands?
Ken, describing Cathy when she got slap-happy after the run was over: She's got random I-don't-know-what disease, that certain je ne sais quois disease.

Once the room was secured, the party began their preparations for the night. Asteriskes drank a healing potion and also received additional healing from Felan. Then they set watches. Anaka took the first watch. Felan took the second. Asteriskes rounded out the night, which passed uneventfully. In the morning they talked things over and decided to go in the direction they had not yet been. They exited their sheltered sleeping room and passed the corpse of the dead, bound Drow. They turned to their left and followed the tunnel which branched off to the east.

As they entered this part of the cavern, they realized that the evil Dwarves they'd found were indeed mining or tunneling somewhere in the vast, unending caverns. This particular part seemed to be a staging area for the mining work -- large amounts of picks and digging tools were propped along the northern wall. A bizarre, vaguely frog-like creature with stony skin leaned against that wall -- right next to a tunnel entrance heading northward. The creature was only as tall as a gnome and had multiple arms and legs, its mouth was on the top of its head.

"Greetings, cretins!" The creature said in Common, as it ripped a hunk of iron ore out of the wall and began eating it as one would eat a piece of fruit. "What brings you to this part of the neighborhood?"

"We're just exploring. What are YOU doing here?" Felan replied.

"I've been helping dig the tunnel to Montrill, but all the earthquakes and stuff....not much for me to do right now. I'm just hanging out. Old Cyvorak...gosh...I don't know what he's doing."

When the adventures did not respond, he supplied, "I know these caverns quite well. If you're lost, I can lead you back out of here for, say...200gp."

"We are not trying to leave. We're actually here after Cyvorak." The druid said.

"Oh, I could help you find him! He's always hanging around here somewhere."

"That's going to cost us, isn't it?" Asteriskes put in.

"Well, it would have cost you 200 to get out, it'll cost another 200 to find Cyvorak."


"Yeah, finding the way out is easy, Cyvorak's a different matter. He moves around.... You know, I don't know if you ran into that Drow prisoner, but Cyvorak was holding him for ransom. He was trying to get information out of him, something about that sword, that Blood Conciliator that Cyvorak wants. I don't think he really knows what he's doing. I don't think he has any idea what kind of stuff there is around here."

"What do you mean? What kind of "stuff" is around here." Anaka asked.

"Oh, treasure and what not. I think Cyvorak has tunnel vision. All he can think of is getting to Montrill. He kinda wants to know what's in these caverns, but mainly it's all about Montrill." The Xorn replied, casually continuing to munch on bits of metal.

"What's so important about getting to Montrill?"

"He figures once he gets there he can conquer it, but most of his people have been shut out by all these cave-ins. I think he's being foolish. He's nothing more than a cheap thief, but he thinks he's some kind of a ruler just because he's a distant relation to a king from way back when. I'm kinda got anything to drink?"

"Yeah, we have wine." Felan answered.

"Could I have some?"

"Sure." Felan, since he was not wearing any metal armor, proceeded forward and handed the Xorn one of the bottles of wine that they'd taken from the room in which they'd spent the previous night.

The Xorn attacked Felan, hitting for 12.

Admiral Barky attacked Xorn, but missed; Xorn attacked Felan, but missed; Felan took a strategic position and cast Lesser Vigor on himself; Anaka moved and threw a short spear, but missed; Asteriskes moved and drew his bow, shot, and missed.

Admiral Barky attacked Xorn, but missed; Xorn closed with Felan, attacked, hitting for 3; Felan took a strategic position and punched, hitting for 5; Anaka threw another spear, which hit and seemed to stick out of the Xorn's side; Asteriskes closed and drew his sword, but missed.

Admiral Barky attacked and missed; Xorn attacked Felan, hitting for 5; Felan attacked the Xorn, but missed; Anaka threw another spear and missed; Asteriskes swung and missed.

Admiral Barky attacked, hitting for 9; Xorn sank into the floor, provoking Attacks of Opportunity from everyone in melee: Asteriskes missed, Admiral Barky missed, and Felan hit for 2.

After a quick search of the room yielded nothing, and assuming that the retreating Xorn was in the process of alerting others to their presence, the party opted to move on. They quickly headed up the northward tunnel.

They reached an incredibly large cavern with a small side cave located just to the west. A campfire burned brightly in front of the mouth to that cave. Two Dwarves with long, braided gray beards stood near the fire -- one held his hands to the flames, turning them occasionally, while the other rubbed his folded arms and jockeyed himself closer to the blaze's warmth. A dusty pile of folded cloth was on the ground near the grizzled Dwarves.

Admiral Barky charged into the room and attacked the nearest Drow Guard, hitting for 6; Anaka moved into the room, threw a spear and missed; Asteriskes moved into the room and shot the Drow Guard not engaged in combat with Admiral Barky, hitting critically and taking him out; Drow Guard-1, seeing his companion taken out, turned to flee, provoking an Attack of Opportunity from Admiral Barky, who hit for 9 and took him down.

6 old and worn tapestries depicting the dragon Xhitigal in battle. Although no one was certain, everyone thought they were probably valuable. Asteriskes looked over the warhammers, but was not able to determine much about their quality or value. Neither were Felan and Anaka. When they were done looking things over, the adventurers decided to continue north.

A statue of an immense dragon carved from white and red marble sat at the southern end of this cavern. Its massive wings stretched nearly 40 feet from tip to tip, and its mighty forearms reached upward toward the heavens. Kneeling in front of the statue were two armored Dwarves muttering prayers. They reached for their flails as the party approached.

Drow Cleric-1 charged the party and attacked Asteriskes with his flail, hitting for 6; Drow Cleric-2 charged and attacked Anaka, but missed; Admiral Barky moved to a flanking position and attacked Drow Cleric-1, hitting for 10 and taking him down; Felan cast Lesser Vigor on Asteriskes; Anaka attacked Drow Cleric-2 with her dagger, hitting for 6; Asteriskes attacked Drow Cleric-2, hitting for 16 points and taking him out.

Anaka went to search the statue. It was very old, well-crafted. Engraved on the base was "Xhitigal - Demigod." A beautiful piece of marblework, but nothing more. After checking the rest of the room and finding nothing, the group retraced their steps up the entry tunnel and resume their northward trek.

Clouds of crushed rock and the furious sounds of shattering stone greeted them as they entered the area. In the northeast corner of the cavern were piles of rubble on either side of a rickety, wooden platform with huge wooden wheels. The platform was approximately 18 feet high. A gleaming cavalcade of gears and levers sat atop the platform. There was also a long, sharp metallic drill bit, which appeared to be well over 5 feet in diameter and 20 feet long. The turning drill bit ripped into the eastern wall of the cavern with a roaring sound. Bits of rock and ore sprayed out onto the floor. The drill suddenly slowed and stopped and a Dwarven warrior, covered in sweat and wearing dusty gauntlets, climbed out of the maze of gears and levers to glower down at the adventurers

Felan quickly asked, "Do you know where Cyvorak is?"

After pulling his crossbow out of hiding the Duregar replied, "Wouldn't you like to know?" before shooting at the druid and missing.

Anaka threw a dagger, hitting the Duregar for 6; Duregar attacked Felan, but missed; Admiral Barky held his action, growling in his throat as he stayed by Felan's feet; Asteriskes targeted the Duregar with his bow, but missed; Felan drew his sling and attacked the Duregar, but missed.

Anaka got into her haversack and retrieved one of the flasks of oil she'd filched from the supply cavern yesterday, she then began fitting it out with a wick; Duregar the mining platform to search the body. When she finished searching him, and pocketing the trail rations he'd set aside for his lunch, Anaka turned her attention to the mining platform and disabled the drill.

Asteriskes realized that the drilling was to enlarge a tunnel. The old tunnel had been blocked by a cave-in and the Dwarves were at work creating a new, alternate tunnel. With their searches done, the adventurers headed westward, out of the cavern.

They were back in the huge cavern with the pounding waterfall. This time, however, they were at ground level instead of looking down from one of the ledges above. As they looked over the room from their new vantage point they saw that there were crossbow quarrels sticking out of the cliff face. Felan saw that a Derro was lying atop the ledge with a crossbow trained on the entrance whence they had come. The druid alerted his companions, sotto voce. They continued to scope out the chamber and the walkway, discussing their options in hushed voices.

Carefully, the group began to make their way across the walkway. They had barely begun when a bolt whizzed out of the air, striking the ground near Admiral Barky. They continued to traverse the walkway. When they were slightly more than halfway across, another bolt shot out, this time hitting Asteriskes, who Saved versus the poison on the bolt's tip.

Admiral Barky continued along the path, going through the waterfall, and reached the door first of the party. Felan took a strategic position, drew his sling, and targeted the Derro on the ledge, but missed. Anaka followed Admiral Barky and reached the door. Asteriskes caught up to Felan. Derro shot at Felan, but missed.

The Derro continued to target Felan, but missed. Anaka searched the door for traps and picked the lock, then she opened the door. Admiral Barky waited for Felan to catch up. Asteriskes, having received the vial of anti-toxin that Felan handed him, continued down the path and reached the door. Felan joined them in the doorway and cast Heal on Asteriskes.

As the Derro swore behind them, the adventurers stepped into the room.

As they made their way past the torrents of water tumbling from the waterfall they eventually found themselves in a large, circular room about 60 feet in diameter. The room was apparently carved from the natural stone walls and featured three large stone doors -- each leading northward. The walls of the room were covered with images of red dragons.