Against the Giants: Liberation of Geoff

Doom Bats
Session 211

With the deafening shriek of unseen beasts, the heroes venture into the cave, stepping cautiously on the bridge, after Halmary throws some light into the cavern and Xellos tries (and fails) to coax out whatever is making the noise with some illusions. Nothing happens until Halmary reaches the first landing of the bridge: then, from caves dotting the wall, giant bats fly out and move in to attack!

Sindi unleashes a_ lightning bolt_ that wounds a couple and Calibos blesses everyone, except Halmary who is out of range. Halmary creates a zone of silence, which has the effect of disorientating any bats that pass through the area, and everyone else finds themselves ducking and lashing out as the bats fly through them, biting and slapping with their tails, trying to dislodge the heroes from their perch on the bridge. The first giant bat is knocked out of the air by Ungrid, killing it instantly as grontdrengi smashes its skull. Sindi takes out another, flying into it with her spear leading; the others slash and hack as the bats fly overhead. Eshan defends himself, but is knocked off the bridge; but he thankfully falls only ten feet to the cavern floor, missing the chasm. He quickly turns invisible and stays out of the way.

Meanwhile, another pair of bats manage to knock Ungrid off balance, and the dwarf totters on the edge of the bridge… then plummets off into the chasm!

Xellos fireballs several bats, incinerating one, burning others. Halmary does something similar after slinging stones at them, and flame strikes some bats. More bats fall to sword and axe, albeit slowly.

Meanwhile, Ungrid saves himself by activating his boots of levitation before he hits the floor, and Sindi flies down to help as several bats dive at them; together they finish off a few bats.

Soon the bats are all dead, and Ungrid is hauled back up to the bridge. They cross the ancient bridge, back into the tunnel on the opposite side and from there spend a further four days travelling along. The days and nights are uneventful until the penultimate day, when they pass through a damp section of the tunnel, with stalactites hanging from the ceiling. Some of these drop when they pass under, wounding some of three of the party. The piercers turn out to be useless after they’ve dropped and are swiftly dispatched.

Then, on the final day, they read the end of the tunnel, where a shaft ascends up and up and up…

End of Session

Kills: 12 doom bats; a colony of piercers.

  1. days in tunnel:* 20.
Webbed Cavern
Session 210

The Heroes camp down in the crumbling tunnel on the night of their 11th day underground. During the night they are attacked by Cave Morays that squirm out of the cracks and fissures, managing to bite a few of the unarmoured and sleeping before the adventurers (even Eshan) manage to dice them. They move camp further down the tunnel, then set camp again and the rest of the night passes without incident.

They travel for another two days, truding through the perfectly straight tunnel, and come to another cavern: this one is a large chams, the tunnel continuing on the other side. Thick cobwebs span the chasm, anchored to the walls and boulders partially blocking the entry. Sindi takes flight using her Feather spear carrying the magical glowing warhammer of Halmary’s. She spots a cave high on the wall, and spots a large spider climbing out. Before she has a chance to warn the others, that spider spots Halmary and scuttles forward, letting loose a stream of webs that completely engulf the cleric, trapping him!

Another two of the spiders scuttle out, all moving down onto the webs spanning the chasm, and as the adventurers move forward, both Calibos and Ungrid are both webbed too!

Xellos manages to duck down as another spray of sticky webs heads his way, and then he retaliates with a_ lightning bolt_ that badly burns two of the spiders; Sindi follows with a blast from her shield, her lightning bolt further wounding them. Then Sindi too is webbed, leaving only Xellos and Eshan untouched. Calibos, with his girdle of giant strength starts tearing free, while Eshan starts to cut away at Ungrid’s webs. Meanwhile, Xellos finishes off the two wounded spiders with a flurry of fiery magic missiles, sending them spiralling into the chasm below. He injures the last spider with more magic missiles, and as it scurries closer, Calibos breaks free and takes a swipe at the spider as it enters his reach; the spider is cut in twain and falls twitching to the ground.

After freeing the others from the webs, Sindi, Ungrid and Calibos (using Boots and a Potion of Levitation) explore the cave the spiders crawled out of, finding plenty of loot that they collect and stow away in their bags of holding_. Sindi then uses the remaining time of her fly to ship the others all upto the cave. From there, Xellos uses a fl_oating disc and borrowed boots of levitation and ferries everyone across to the other side, where they re-enter the tunnel, camping there before they head off the following day.

After a brief encounter with another tunnel worm (that barely raised its head before Sindi and Ungrid smashed it to pulp), another couple of days travel finds them arriving at yet another cavern, with a chasm falling away before the cave opens up. Old, crumbling stairs arch over the chasm, then rise up on supporting columns to the tunnel opposite, high above the cave floor.

Sindi takes flight and enters the cave, and no sooner has she done so, then a yipping, shriekinghigh-pitched chorus ecohes around the cave, grating on nerves and almost deafening the party.

End of Session

Kills: 12 moray eels, 3 arane, 1 tunnel worm.

Session 209

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.

Leaving the Vault
Session 208

As the Heroes tend to their wounds, Xellos uses Alter Self together with a ritual scroll of Permanency to appear as a living, whole person, thus enabling him to use both legs. He then summons a hero (via a spell), and a worn and tired soldier called Reuben appears. He’s not too happy to go exploring ahead of Xellos, who turns himself Invisible to follow, but has no choice but to obey. They don’t go far, just exploring the immediate area looking for the creature that attacked them. They find nothing, but are too wary to explore through the doors yet unopened. Instead they return to the tunnel, setting up camp after wizard locking and magic mouthing the door. Reuben stands guard together with Wulsted and Xellos, and Eshan keeps an eye on the tunnel. The others settle down to sleep.

Not long after, but long enough for the summoned hero to return whence he came, Wulsted cries out in alarm as the creature returns to attack (using Passwall to bypass the door): the barbarian takes the full force of a pair of cone of cold blasts, freezing him solid. Xellos wakes the others, tries to attack the creature, but it turns its hideous alien face on him and he finds himself paralysed.

Then the battle is won when Sindi steps up and lets loose with a_ lightning bolt_ from her shield; it ricochets down the passage, blasting Wulstead into tiny pieces, shocking Xellos out of his paralysis, and finishing off the creature in one final blow.

Wulsted is dead. They mourn his death, briefly, and now they are down to one ex-prisoner, Eshan. The others are all dead now.

The rest of the night passes uneventfully, and in the morning, rested and mostly fully healed, they begin trekking down the tunnel. It gradually descends for a mile before widening into a 20’ wide, 25’ high arched tunnel that looks natural but is obviously not. They travel down the monotonous tunnel for two days, then come to a cavern where water has eroded the bedrock. The tunnel continues on the other side, and there are signs of a cave-in, the other entry partially blocked by debris. Sindi scouts ahead invisible and finds a pair of giant slugs inhabiting the cavern. Thankfully the slugs are not particularly interested in the party, so they make their way through the cavern, Sindi flying them over the river that runs through it and up to the ledge where the tunnel continues

They squeeze through the blockage and carry on down the tunnel…

End of Session

Kills: 1 Khepri Hierarch.

KO’d: Wulsted, now well and truly dead.

Levelled-Up: Halmary is now level 11.

Lighting, Fire and Ice
Session 207

They drag the dead creature inside, and dump it in the pit along with the remains of the golems– after looting it first, naturally. They set new guards and once more settle down to sleep… and the hours pass by without event, and in the morning everyone feels refreshed; except Halmary, who (although ready to adventure again) suffered from his usual nightmares and is too drained to pray and prepare his spells for the day.

After breaking camp they head back to the vault, Calibos pushing the door open to reveal a pair of the beetle-headed humanoids and yet another obsidian golem: the adventurers charge in, destroying the golem with ease, Calibos hitting it with enough force to send cracks splintering through its body, allowing Xellos to step up and shatter it with a swing of his axe. The undead Ruin guard then finds himself in combat with one of the humanoids, and gets struck by a Staff of Withering, that withers Xellos’ right leg, turning it to dust. He falls to the floor, but manages to hold himself together enough to blast it with a flurry of magic missiles, allowing Sindi to step in and run it through with her spear.

The other beetle-headed creature wields its own staff, blasting the party with a cone of cold before it escapes by means of a dimension door. The party regroup in the vault, quickly tend to what wounds they can, loot the body of the slain creature, and watch Ungrid as he begins to fight an imaginary fiend; whatever mental attack he suffered soon wears off, and he is no worse off for it. They set guards at the entry door, and Calibos checks out the other door in the room: this one explodes with fire as he tries to open it, but Halmary is able to lay on hands to ease the pain. Beyond that door lies a tunnel, heading directly east, and they decide to head down it, since it is what they were looking for and hoping to find.

They haven’t gone far, just barely started, when the from behind them the escaped creature returns, this time flying, and reveals its inhuman face to paralyse Calibos, Wulsted and Ungrid. It follows that with a cone of cold that causes some damage. Xellos quickly throws up a Ward vs Magic, and lobs his cube of frost by the paralysed party members to protect them. They drag Wulsted and Ungrid into the ward, but before they can help Calibos, and as Sindi flies in and charges the creature, it sends a_ lightning bolt_ down the corridor; thankfully, the ward protects most of the party, but Sindi and Calibos are shocked and both collapse, twitching. Halmary grabs Calibos and drags him to safety, but Sindi is too far away to help. Ungrid scares off the creature by hurling grontdrengi at it, crushing one of its mandibles in the process. The creature flees.

They check on their fallen comrades: Calibos is merely unconscious, and with a rest should be fine; same for Sindi, although she has burns to go with the scars she already possesses. They huddle together under the protection of the_ Anti-Magic Ward_ and try to figure out their next move.

End of Session

Kills: 1 obsidian golem, 1 Khepri.

KO’d: Calibos (merely knocked out), Sindi (in shock, needs a night’s rest).

The Gods that Bleed
Session 206

…and quickly retreating along with the others, Ungrid covering their retreat by hurling his mighty hammer and splintering one of the obsidian statues. The form their shield wall in the doorway, are hasted by Xellos and Ungrid and Calibos stand in the doorway, taking on the statues as they mindlessly advance one-by-one. In the hopes of making the battle go easier, Sindi unleashes her daily lightning bolt, but that proves unwise as the bolt is reflected back, shocking the entire party. This seems to invigorate the fighters though, and with the added punch of Halmary’s striking on Calibos’ hammer, the two frontline dwarfs managed to shatter the first statue. A second quickly follows, and even botched magic missiles from Xellos (also reflected back, injuring the undead Ruinguard) don’t hinder the fighters; a third, then the fourth fall under the two hammers and Sindi’s jabbing spear. And with only one statue left, the trio charge it, and smash it, Sindi’s final piercing stab sending obsidian fragments flying everywhere.

Wounds are tended to as the dust settles, then off exploring the party goes. There are more doors, each bearing the carved likeness of a scarab beetle. Calibos tries one, gets electrocuted by a glyph of warding (which he just shrugs off), and peers into a strange room with panels of crystals, a curved glass wall, another door, and yet another statue as yet unmoving. When the statue remains still, they creep in, see a corridor the ends in several alcoves, each holding what looks like a giant metallic scarab beetle, and decide to backtrack before anything happens.

They head back to the entry hall, and through the doorway where the long, long tunnel stretches off into darkness beyond an archway. Sindi goes first, invisible and scouting, and as soon as she passes through the archway, the floor opens beneath her and she plummets into a pit, too surprised to activate her boots of levitation; at the same time, the long, long tunnel is reveal to be an illusion, and a dead end lies on the other side of the pit; at the same time, two lengths of the walls are also revealed to be illusions hiding alcoves full of scarab beetles, which swarm out!

Xellos, reacting swiftly, destroys a swarm immediately with burning hands, but the other one engulfs Calibos and Halmary, the beetles crawling under their armour. They start to rend and eat their flesh! The others try their best to help, but their weapons only kill a few at a time, and each swing and jab also wounds their allies: by the time the swarm is destroyed, Halmary is lying on the floor, fate unknown, and Calibos is suffering badly. Thankfully for the former paladin, his ring of regeneration begins to heal his wounds, but Halmary is unconscious. Luckily, timely intervention with potions of extra-healing reveal that he is merely in shock, and after a night’s rest he’ll be fine. Phew.

They make camp, setting guards, in the entry hall. They shut the doors, and settle down to rest. A couple of hours later, Sindi– on guard with her back against the door– is knocked out of the way as the door is forced open, revealing two more of the obsidian statues, and something else: an obsidian-skinned humanoid, tall, dressed in ancient clothes, and in place of its head is what looks to be a scarab beetle! The new creature shimmers and is difficult to make out. It tries to grip Sindi in a choking grip, but she resists and is instead engaged by the statues. The others wake to see a battle taking place, and rush to Sindi’s aid. Xellos fells the first, shattering it after a few blows from himself and Sindi; the other is splintered and crushed by Ungrid’s and Calibos’ hammers, leaving it open for a final strike by Sindi; she follows through with a well-aimed thrust at the creature behind them, wounding it.

Then the carapace of its beetle-head opens, revealing an utterly inhuman, alien face swarming with larvae: the sight of it paralyses Calibos, Xellos and Wulsted (Eshan is keeping out of the way, Halmary sleeping off his injuries), but Ungrid shakes off his revulsion and whacks the creature, paving the way for Sindi to step in and stab it straight through its alien face, killing it!

End of Session

Kills: 7 obsidian golems, 2 scarab beetle swarms, 1 khepri.

KO’d: Halmary (in shock, gruesome scars).

The Blackened Spire
Session 205

Halmary and Eshan make their way to the wooded slope, where a tree stands burning away. There is no sign of life and in the night, there is little to see beyond the fire. They search the woods, and come across a clearing of charred earth, with a 20’ spire in the middle, surrounded by a patch of wild grass dotted with daisies. It’s hard to make out, but there seems to be a door in the spire. Leaving Eshan to watch and guard, Halmary attempts to cross the charred circle, but as soon as he crosses the threshold he feels intense heat; so hot, that his clothes begin to smoulder and his hair singes, even with the Ring of Fire Resistance he wears. He steps back, and the heat dissipates. The cleric sets his own beacon by placing a continual light on the edge of the circle, then the two of them huddle down amongst the trees and wait to see if anyone comes looking: as someone set fire to the tree and Halmary’s goddess did say that he would meet his party here (as this seems to be the place she mentioned).

Sure enough, after a few hours, he is discovered by an invisible Sindi, who scouted ahead as they rest of the party waited on the edge of the woods. After their devastating attack in the foothills, they decided to break camp and make their way to the woods where Sindi had lit a tree on fire. Reunited, they swap stories (albeit briefly and without going into too much detail), and Halmary shows them a map he found in the caverns he was trapped in, which seems to show the place they’ve now found, and which seems to be the place that the nomads told tales about at the camp; to quote:

Legends dating back to before the Suel Imperium speak of gods that once walked the land, subjugating the savages and tribes that lived in the region now known as the Sea of Dust. These tribes rebelled when they discovered that the gods bled and could die, and became hunters and slayers of their former deities. Those gods that survived did so by retreating and sealing themselves in vaults hidden beneath the earth, where they placed themselves into hibernation, waiting for the right time to awaken and reclaim the land.

One such vault is said to lie beneath The Blackened Spire, a shrine of rock, blackened as if from intense heat, that stands in a clearing of charred earth, amidst some woods on the slopes of the mountains to the east. There is said to be a tunnel leading from the vault, which cuts through the rock beneath the mountains, coming out into the jungle on the other side of the volcanic range. No one knows what lies within the vault, but the passage through the mountains is said to have been dug to allow the sleeping gods a safe egress should they ever been found and hunted again.

The Blackened Spire lies directly east. If you point towards the sun as it crests the tallest peak in the morning, after a day or two of hiking through the foothills, you come to a wooded slope that climbs the foot of the mountain. There, in the centre of a charred clearing, lies the shrine.

They settle down for the night, setting guards as usual, and refreshed and undisturbed, they awake next morning and investigate the blackened spire. After probing, levitating and throwing sticks, they quickly deduce that the spire is enclosed by a hemisphere that contains immense heat: enough to incinerate a thrown twig, cause clothes to smoulder and burn, and would no doubt cause some nasty burns to anyone who tried to walk across the charred ground. Calibos again tests it using Halmary’s Ring of Fire Resistance and quickly steps back, armour heating up and his hair smoking. Halmary tries to dispel magic, but it has no effect. They then search the woods and immediate area for alternative ways inside, or secret doors, but find nothing. They break for lunch, Halmary conjuring food & water, and afterwards Calibos remembers that he has a scroll of Ward Against Magic_. They try it out, and success! The circle of anti-magic allows everyone to cross safely. At the door, which bears an engraving of a scarab beetle, Halmary Finds Traps_ and identifies glyph of warding on the carving. They dispel it, and Halmary forces the door open.

Inside is a small chamber, tapering to a point 15’ up. Along the wall, in niches, are tall obsidian statues of scarab-beetle headed men, similar to the golem that they fought in the nomads’ camp. There is also a pit, 10’ wide, descending as far as they can see. They drop a coin enchanted with continual light and the shaft goes 120’ down before it opens into a room or corridor. Sindi and Ungrid, using their Boots of Levitation ferry everyone down, into a corridor capped by stone doors, again with scarab beetles engraved on them. Five alcoves line the corridor, each with an obsidian statue, 10’ tall, beetles for heads. Halmary detects no traps, but everyone is obviously wary of the statues; prior experience has earned them the right to be wary. The air is chilled, and as they crossed the threshold of the pit, everyone felt a shudder through the stone, their flesh and bones, that was there and gone, leaving them feeling like they were trespassing.

Guessing that the tunnel through the mountains lie east, they head to the eastern door, arranged in battle formation. Calibos opens the door: beyond it is a corridor, that stretches 30’ to an archway, and beyond the arch, the tunnel goes on for as far as the eye can see.

And as soon as the door swings open, the statues come to life and move to attack!

One of the statues punches Wulsted, but the barbarian rolls with the punch and bounces back to his feet, merely bruised. Xellos and Eshan hurry through into the new corridor, as the others cover the retreat and fail to land a blow, their weapons failing to cause a dent in the thick bodies of the statues. Then another statue pummels Halmary with both its fists, almost forcing him to his knees. Something cracks, and Halmary has to lay on hands as he struggles to stand, feeling those punches…

End of Session

No kills, but no deaths either, and both NPCs still alive.

Everyone Else
Session 204 (b)

At the nomads’ camp, Sindi observes the nomads set guards as the boats come in. She reports back to the others and they make a plan: with Xellos, Calibos and Sindi invisible and everyone else reduced to 6 inches tall with potions of diminution they sneak back to the camp, steal a couple of boats, and as the nomads react, Xellos uses his wand of illusion to cause a distraction amongst the tents (attacks by shadowy monsters), allowing the party to escape without much fuss.

They sail and row out into the darkness, tying the boats together and taking turns sleeping as they take several hours to cross the lake. Around mid-morning the next day they reach the opposite shore and disembark. Sindi levitates up high, but can’t see any sign of Halmary. They make camp, lighting a fire in case the cleric is able to see it. They spend time discussing and discarding options (such as searching the entire lake), but eventually settle on heading to the mountains and the place where the nomads said there was a tunnel; hoping that Halmary also remembers the tale. To help them decide, Xellos Contacts Other Planes and manages to get some ‘yes’ answers to the following questions: (1) is Halmary alive, (2) is he at liberty, and (3) is he making his way to the mountains.

They head off into the dunes, straight east, Sindi managing to more or less keep them on track. A dust-storm slows them down for a few hours, but thanks to Xellos and his Wall of Stone, no one suffers. After several days they enter the foothills of the mountains and make camp, lighting a fire to keep warm and drive the wildlife way. While the others settle down to sleep, Sindi turns herself invisible and scouts ahead. She finds a wood higher up the slope, a few miles east, and decides to set a tree on fire, hoping that it will act as a beacon for Halmary if he is heading the same direction. Then she heads back to the others.

Sindi arrives just as half-a-dozen ankhegs burst from the earth!

She alerts the others with a well-aimed lightning bolt, wounding two of the creatures, and allowing Ungrid to smash one to pieces with his hammer. But it is too late to help Illinoss, the last gnoll, and Dara, all of whom are grabbed and pulled below the ground by one of the monsters. Calibos too is grabbed, but Ungrid manages to reach him before he is pulled under, and crushes the monster’s head. The rest of the monsters retreat, burrowing under the ground and taking their meals with them.

Of all the allies they helped escape from the prison, now only Wulsted remains.

The set guards and settle down for the night, keeping an eye on the darkness and the ground.

End of Session

Kills: 2 ankhegs.

Losses: Illinoss, Dara, and a gnoll.

Halmary & Eshan
Session 204 (a)

After exploring the tunnels and caves (moss-lined steep tunnels, taking some effort to climb) Halmary and Eshan managed to find their way out: a stone trapdoor leading into some ruins that slide off into the dust-lake. They decide to leave the caves behind and hike a few miles north along the shore, digging a shallow pit and draping Halmary’s tent over it to make a shelter. After laying out a glyph of warding to protect themselves, the pair settle down to sleep.

In the morning Halmary waits for a few hours after setting a globe of darkness high in the air, in the hope that one of his fellow party members will spot it. When nothing happens, he divines with his goddess and asks if he will meet up with his comrades anytime soon: the goddess basically says yes, by finding the circle of charred earth and the blackened spire. This rings a bell: at the nomads camp they told of a tunnel that cut through the mountains, hidden beneath the blackened spire. If he followed the sun due east, aiming for the tallest mountain peak as the sun crests its top, then he should find it (presuming the tale was true). Eshan agrees, having no better ideas and no desire to be left alone, and the unlikely allies head off towards the mountains.

For the next four days they hike across the dust dunes and make their way into the foothills of the mountains. A dust storm almost stops them, but they huddle under the tent and survive, digging themselves out after the storm passes. A few times they have to divert off their path, but manage to reorientate themselves as they reach the hills. There they find a sheltered gully and make camp, Eshan standing guard so that Halmary can rest for his spells in the morning.

Sometime during the night, Eshan nudges Halmary awake and points to the east. A couple of miles away, something is burning. In the light of the fire it looks like a wooded area. They break camp and head towards it.

End of Session

  1. days in the Sea of Dust:* 20.
Caves of the Meenlocks
Session 203

Back at the nomads camp, Calibos (with Xellos translating by whispering in his ear, the Ruinguard still invisible) does the talking but ends up insulting the tribe when he accuses the shaman of falsely blessing them. The chief is outraged and demands that they leave, never to return. Al around the heroes, nomads draw swords, ready bows and get ready for a fight.

The heroes decide to leave, and head off along the shore, making camp a few miles up north. There they discuss ways to locate and rescue Halmary… who, with Eshan, finds himself trapped in a cave as the kraken drops them off in a cave below the lake, an air-pocket keeping the liquid dust out. It seals the entrance with giant boulders. As the cleric and assassin sit in the dark, they hear noises, whispers, scuttling in the darkness. Halmary throws some light and sees that they are in a cave littered with bones, with a moss-covered tunnel leading out. He spends some time tending to his and Eshan’s wounds, then starts to explore. No sooner has he entered the tunnel, Eshan disappears. Halmary carries on, spying movement in a cave. He approaches and is suddenly confronted by a short biped with tufts of black hair, sharp claws and strange eyes. There are more suddenly behind him, and the creatures attack!

Meanwhile, and technically a while later, the others spend an uneventful night camped out while Sindi sneaks into the camp and manages to steal a 3-man boat. She returns, gets her head down, and in the morning they concoct a plan to deal with the kraken. In the morning, Sindi, Xellos and Ungrid row out into the lake, and after half-hour the lake surface breaks as the mighty kraken rises. It immediately lashes out with its tentacles, allowing just enough time for Ungrid to down a fly potion and activate his_ Ring of Haste,_ and for Sindi to activate Hawk and grab Xellos, flying up with him out of reach of the monster’s tentacles. Ungrid, however, is grabbed by one of the smaller tentacles and lifted into the air; it squeezes him tightly, breaking a rib in the process. One of its larger tentacles then comes slamming down on the boat, shattering it into splinters and firewood.

Sindi and Xellos manage to blast it with lightning bolts, leaving it badly burned. It tries to eat Ungrid, but the dwarf, as he nears its eyes, grips Grontdrengi with all his strength and smashes it in the eye, then through the eye, and into the monster’s tiny brain. Gore flies everywhere, and the beast is dead. It sinks beneath the surface, taking Ungrid with it, but as soon as its grip loosens, the dwarf flies out, triumphant!

They fly back to shore, just reaching it in time before the spells wear off. They return to the others, and realise that slaying the kraken hasn’t brought them any closer to finding Halmary. They decide that their best option would be sail across the lake and hope that they can somehow find some sign of Halmary on the other side. Sindi sneaks off to try and steal some more boats, but as it is daylight the boats are out on the lake. She settles down and waits for night to fall or the boats to come back, whichever happens sooner.

Meanwhile, back to the previous night, and Halmary finds himself confronted by several of the small creatures. He proves himself a much more capable fighter than he gives himself credit for, and without any help from Eshan (who turns out to be invisible and keeping out of the way), Halmary manages to slay three of the creatures and wounds another, sending it fleeing into the tunnels. He imbues himself with True Seeing and sets off in pursuit, but loses track of the creature in the moss-lined and steep tunnels that lead from the cave. He retreats to a cave that looks to be some sort of lair, with crates and valuables from past victims stuffed in a corner. Eshan reveals himself, and together they loot the treasure. They then set off to explore their environment, keeping an eye out for the wounded monster.

End of Session

Kills: 1 kraken, 4 meenlocks.


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