2 Awakening 508 (continued)
Kerra brings up exploring the rest of the complex before plunging headlong into the tunnels. The rest of the party of party agrees. They make their way up one of the unexplored passageways to a door. Alun checks the door and opens it, and then shuts it quickly. There are two of the reptilian creatures in the room beyond. Rhain takes up the point position just as the door opens again to reveal one of the creatures ready to attack.
Rhain dispatches this one quickly. The other one does not advance, but instead throws a javelin into the barbarian—surprising and angering him. Rhain advances into the room, as does Alun and Kerra. It manages to drop its club in the melee but attacks effectively with its claws and bite, much to Rhain’s dismay. Kerra finally finishes it off. Lenoria gathers everyone together into the range of her positive energy to help heal them.
They eventually make their way back to the entry chamber and check the remaining the door that they had not checked before. Alun finds no traps, but does find that it is trapped. He decides to use one of the keys that they had found on creatures they had killed in the “throne room” before. It works—and seems to trip a second mechanism that he had not found. He suspects that there was, in fact, a trap that he had not found. Everyone takes a step back as he opens the door. Nothing happens.
The open door reveals a narrow passageway that leads into to another unlocked door. This door leads into a larger chamber with iron chains set into the walls and a distinct odor in the air. An archway leads into another room, also odiferous with iron chains set into the walls. This room has a hide pallet with crude metal tools set upon it. The floor and walls have coppery stains set into them. No other exits lead from the room. The area seems played out, unless there is some secret passage that has yet to be revealed. Alun searches out the room and finds nothing of interest.
The party decide to climb their rope out of the entry chamber and make camp and try the tunnels in the morning.
3 Awakening 508
The following morning, the party reenters the ruins through the entry chamber, down the rope, and then makes their way to the tunnel chamber.
The tunnel is wide enough to allow them to travel two abreast and descends at a fairly steep angle. Rhain and Alun take the lead with Kerra and Lenoria following. The going is slow as the floor is natural stone, not worked, and quite uneven.
As they make their way down the tunnel, suddenly the two men cry out in alarm as two man-sized insects emerge from a cleft in the ceiling. The many-legged creatures have venom dripping from their large mandibles. Fortunately, the foul creatures are soon vanquished, curling up in the rictus of death.
The party soon find themselves in a larger chamber filled with thin, tooth-like stalactites and stalagmites. It’s difficulty to maneuver in the room without getting caught up in the thin protuberances. The chamber winds in either direction, left or right. They decide to veer to the left.
As they lead the stalactite/stalagmite chamber, they begin to hear voices in the chamber ahead. Lenoria casts light on a sling bullet and flings it into the chamber and then begins to cast guidance on everyone.
In the light come two figures that look like dwarves, but their skin has a grayish sheen and their eyes seem to absorb the light instead of reflect it. One has a light crossbow and the other wields a heavy shield and a warhammer.
Rhain hurls a javelin into one of the strange dwarves and then hides. Everyone else hides as well. The dwarves emerge from the chamber to investigate. Rhain then surprises the dwarf with the crossbow and disarms him. Then he trips the dwarf with the warhammer. As that dwarf tries to stand, he disarms him as well. The dwarf that had the crossbow then punches Rhain in the face. Alun then throws a dagger into the dwarf that had the warhammer, felling him. The other dwarf goes to get the fallen warhammer, but Rhain trips him and Kerra strikes him down. The party then loots them for their armor and weapons and belt pouches of gold.
The party continue down the passage to the left and then hear more voices, as well as a whip snap. Once again, Lenoria casts light upon a sling bullet and flings it into the chamber, revealing three of the strange dwarves—two armored up and armed with warhammers and one without armor and armed with a whip. Before them are chained and bound 3 goblins, one of the reptilian creatures they had encountered before, and a strange dark-skinned elf.
The party move forward and engage with the dwarves, eventually defeating them all. Rhain kills the bound reptilian creature without hesitation. Alun finds keys to the chains on the dead whip wielder and tosses them to the barbarian. After a brief consult with the party, he releases the bound elf, who cautiously makes his way out of the cavern and away. As for the goblins, Rhain begins stacking various burdens upon and makes it clear that if they don’t carry them, they’ll meet the same fate as the reptile.
Deeper in this chamber, they find a pile of gear—probably the former belongings of these slaves. Lenoria casts detect magic on the pile but detects none.
Gathering the bound and burdened goblins, the party make their way out of the chamber, continuing their way through the tunnel. Alun and Lenoria stay in the back with the goblin train while Kerra and Rhain take the lead. Once again, they hear voices as they approach a chamber. Lenoria casts light on a sling bullet and flings it into the chamber, revealing two dwarf sentries, who approach ready for a fight. They are soon dispatched. This chamber has a tunnel leading away that is blocked with a. makeshift barricade. Two pikes have also been erected with the heads of two those dark-skinned elves mounted upon them facing the tunnel. The main tunnel continues on, which the party follows.
Continuing down the tunnel, it begins to take a distinct slope downward. The party also begins to hear the sound of metal striking stone. They can continue down the slope or take a side tunnel. They decide to take the side tunnel. This tunnel leads to another pair of dwarf sentries, which are easily dispatched. Exploring the two side tunnels from the sentries, the party finds a chamber being used as a storage chamber. Various barrels have been placed here. Some contain ale, some contain dried sausages and the like. Rhain decides to leave the goblins here while they explore some of the other tunnels. He re-secures them hand-to-foot and gives them some of the food they found.
Heading down another side tunnel they find a chamber mainly occupied by a spring-fed pool of water. Here everyone refills their water skins. The party then head back to the storage chamber and collect their goblin porters and decide to head back toward where they first headed “left” to check out a different side chamber.
This tunnel seems to be circling back to the stalactite/stalagmite chamber. But before it does a hideous, carapace-covered monstrosity emerges from the ceiling and flings some sort of fibrous filament at Rhain. After a desperate fight, Kerra finally manages to disembowel it.
After circling back to the entry tunnel, the party decides to head back and not explore the caves any further. There’s no telling how much deeper into the under-dark they’ll end up delving and they’re woefully underprepared for that. Besides, they have plenty of armor to sell for profit here. They back track through the ruins to the original entry chamber and climb out, hauling up the armor with the rope. Rhain drops the key to the shackles down to the goblin once everyone else gets out and the rope is hauled up “Don’t you follow us. I’ll kill you.”
They finally arrive back at Kalimsport around sundown. They pay their gate taxes go to the various markets to sell off their goods for a pretty good profit. They all then go to the Dragon’s Flagon where Rhain buys ale for the house “To a successful quest!”, winning him the goodwill of the bar patrons for that evening.
Everyone discusses their future plans. Lenoria says that she goes where the goddess wills it. Rhain just wants to go where the party is and where his gold will take him. Kerra wants to head back to Crownport at some point. Rhain asks the barkeep where people can look for work and adventure. He indicates that the marketplace is where postings are made and news is discussed, or maybe bards have news of adventure and such. So Rhain and Lenoria say that they will go to the marketplace in the morning to seek out their next adventure.