THE FUNNY THINGS:
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 question..um, 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.