After leaving behind the slug-inhabited cavern, the intrepid adventurers continue trekking down the tunnel. The tunnel now shows signs of erosion, possibly an earthquake, with fissures breaking up the otherwise even walls and ceiling, cracks crisscrossing the floor, rocks partially blocking the passage from where the ceiling caved-in. After a day travelling, as ‘night’ comes, and the party decide to stop to rest and sleep, Sindi and Calibos (scouting ahead) spot a group of four blue-skinned, white-haired dwarf-like creatures approaching in the dark. Before they have a chance to warn the others, these creatures fire bolts at the people they can see: these bolts harmlessly ping off armour and magical protection, and Calibos then just wades in and in a dance of death, decapitates the whole lot. They loot the bodies, but the only items of interest are the pair of small repeating crossbows they carried.
The rest of their rest goes without incident, as do the next three and a half days; and then they arrive at another break in the tunnel, this time a wall with a gate and a tower blocking the way.
As they approach, a voice in an unknown language calls out to them. Halmary prays to understand their tongues and translates as Calibos parleys. The creatures (derro, they later learn) demand a toll for passage through their gate: they want gemstones or magic and get increasingly greedy during the negotiations. While they talk, Sindi, invisible, uses her boots of levitation to scale the wall and investigate the other side. In the dim light cast by Halmary’s glowing warhammer, she spots a few derro, doors into the tower, the tunnel beyond and a more natural side-tunnel leading off. Sidni then creeps up to one of the gates and pulls the bolt free.
At that moment, Ungrid gets bored and decide to put an end to the negotiations by hurling grontdrengi at one of the derro on the wall: the hammer knocks the short blue-skinned dwarf off the wall, crushing his ribs, killing him instantly. Battle is quickly joined. Sindi opens the other gate, the others race through, one of the derro opens a door and releases a Chaos Hulk: a constantly shifting mass of limbs, eyes and legs. Derro attack, and are slaughtered; one flees down the side-tunnel shouting for aid and reinforcements. Halmary deals with the hulk with a well-timed finger of death, eliminating it before it has a chance to do any damage. Sindi heads up the side-tunnel, blindly firing off a lightning bolt down it, managing to kill some more derro; Calibos heads down there too, into a cave of huts; he kills a derro, then a savant releases a cloud kill, but before it reaches them, the part decide it’s not worth the effort (nor ethical) to slaughter an entire colony of derro. They withdraw, and the derro, in their wisdom, decide to let them go, since it is obvious that they are outmatched.
The adventurers continue down the passage for a another couple of hours until they are sure there is no one following them, then settle down to sleep. During their camp, a giant worm burrows out of the rock, but barely manages to bite something when Sindi and Ungrid chop it in two. They move camp, and in the ‘morning’ once again continue their long journey through the tunnel…
End of Session
Kills: 11 derro, 1 chaos hulk, 1 tunnel worm.
Time Spent in Tunnel: 13 days.