THE FUNNY THINGS:
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 thirsty...you 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.