DM: Rick Smith
Hex Cade lvl 3 Barbarian lvl 3 Psion Earth Genasi – Dan Forrest
Falkner lvl 3 Barbarian lvl 3 Rogue Tiefling – Barbara Kalberg
Drachalt lvl 3 Druid Silver Half Dragon Half Elf – Tom Blossfeld
Vishana lvl 1 Rogue Pixie – Jon Rosen
Zohi lvl 7 sorceror half-elf – Ken Marin (in absentia)
A large chamber, figure-eight shaped, looms before the party. A well-worn path winds through the chamber heading ne. The rest of the chamber is jagged with loose boulders, etc. Hex cranes his insensitive ears and amazingly he hears movement in the 2nd chamber, beyond the pinch. From around the corner lopes a huge beast that looks somewhat like a lion with wings and a large spiked tail. It glares at the party with dark greedy eyes. Drac steps off the path to the left, but his movement attracts the creature’s attention. It’s tail whips out with a sharp crack and needle-like spines fly across the room at Drac, Hex and Falk. The needles snap against Hex’s glaive, Falk sidesteps but Drac is hit by one of the two at him.
There is a buzzing of pixie-wings as an arrow flies out of nowhere and sticks into the great beast’s haunch. Hex spins his glaive and concusses the creature for minimal damage. Frowning, Hex sets his glaive in case it charges him. Falk tumbles in close and slices viciously through the creature’s side… a critical hit! Zohi fires off a classic magic missile. Drac moves in, dodging the creature’s attack and giving it the final blow. “nice job, brother.” Says Earthcleaver in Hex’s ear. Hex, interested, realizes that the greatsword Falk is wielding is connected to his glaive. Hex speaks to Falk. “nurture the blade you wield, Falkner, and one day the bards will sing of the great wonders you perform in my name.” Falk rolls his eyes and asks what the hell Hex is talking about, but Hex is distant and silent in response. In the creature’s nest there is a ring of sustenance and a ruby ring.
Beyond the chamber are two exits… a corridor with descending stairs and a level passage that has a sharp turn up ahead. The path heads to the stairs, with a less-used path heading into the other passage. The heroes move into the level path, with the thief leading the way. After the bend is a circular chamber that is 25’ in diameter. There is a hammock made from a net at the eastern side of the cave. There is a mat on the floor… and there is a small crack in the floor of the chamber, from which is issuing hot air. Hex prods the mat and finds that the floor is solid below it. Falk reaches forward to move the mat aside… and realizes it is made of human flesh! Falk yells in fright and falls backwards, dropping the mat. Finding nothing else, the party returns to the stairs. A 60’ passage is followed by an open space. The party passes a cul-de-sac and then the passage turns north-northeast.
Suddenly a cone of rock shards shoots out at Falk! There is a small creature, about 4’ tall with stony protrusions all over its body and small wings. The critter flies off down the corridor and into the next room. Drac tries to speak to it, but it ignores him, so Falk fires two arrows after it, hitting with the second shot… but the arrow bounces off!
The pixie flies forward to look around the next corner and see where the critter went. Vish reports that there are three passages ahead, and she doesn’t know which one the critter flew through. Falk does a quick search through the rubble for traps or items but finds nothing. The party elects to look down the first passage. It is long and thin and bends southwards. Up ahead is a low mechanical humming or droning that all but Hex manage to discern. Drac thinks the humming is insect in origin. The chamber ahead is swarming with insects… they cover the walls, floor and ceiling. The bugs are mostly normal, except for some over-large centipedes that are up to 8’ long.
After some discussion the party agrees that Zohi will launch a fireball into the room and exterminate. The next chamber (all the insects were easily dispatched) have tapestries depicting critters made of rock and earth killing people. From the ceiling hangs a skinned dead guy. The rear of the cave has a small bed, a table with a bronze coffer and a chest. While Hex and Vish watch the corridor, Drac checks the tapestries, Zohi casts detect magic and Falk checks the bed. The lid of the coffer is apparently magic. In the chest is clothing… a leather harness, a robe, a small metal file for sharpening claws, and a fine quality heavy mace. Everything in this room smells like troglodyte.
Zohi stares at the coffer, but Falkner moves forward and, seeing no traps, tries to open it. There is a blast of cold that envelopes the two of them, giving them major freezer-burn. Looking sheepish, Falkner springs the coffer open. Inside is a necklace of proof against detection and location.
Returning to the next corridor, the party walks 40’ or so before finding another chamber, 20’ by 30’. There is another passage heading out. Drac spots another one of the little flying critters perched by the exit from this room. Unfortunately, he doesn’t spot the other one, on the right side… and a cone of rocks spits out at the bickering party. Falk shoots back with an arrow, which bounces off the critter’s carapace. His second shot also hits, and this one scratches the creature’s hide. Hex wanders confusedly for a moment, spots the nearest critter and swats it dead. Drac moves forward into the corridor and is attacked by the second monster, taking a small bit of damage. Drac attacks back, but his weapon doesn’t find purchase in its stony skin.
The critter breathes rocks on the party again and tries to flee, but Drac reaches out and pushes him against the wall, successfully engaging a grapple. Falk helps him out, joining the grapple. Hex steps forward. “I send you back to the stones so you might serve me another day.” He hits it hard with Earthcleaver, but it will take another blow. Drac pins the creature to the floor, and Falk relieves it of life. Up ahead is a huge chamber where apparently someone is being sacrificed.
Two trogs stand atop a raised platform, about 15’ above the ground. Lying on the table before the trogs is a human body… one of the trogs is holding a heart above his head… he tosses the heart forward, and a creature with three arms and three legs devours it. There are six other trogs watching these shenanigans. Vish casts politics to the side and shoots at the nearest trog, almost killing it. As she moves forward, however, she suddenly becomes visible… unnerved, Vish falls back and disappears once again. Zohi casts flaming sphere at the two on the altar, both of whom dodge. An altar trog gesticulates in a spell-like fashion and slips down off the platform to the left… drac and zohi identify it as some kind of resistance spell.
The party starts as three trogs thrust spears at Hex and he bats them away with annoyance. A single spear is jabbed at Falk as well, but he easily evades it. Beyond them, the three armed monster sinks into the ground. The last guy behind the altar pulls out a wand and gets cover behind the steps. Drac avoids a cheap blow with the spear and gives a trog a mostly deadified blow. Hex starts the gravy train, killing two trogs, jaw set for the killin’. Falk charges past the stupid trogs, avoiding four blows and smacking at the trog caster, missing at the last moment. Vish glides forward and casts dispel magic on the caster trog and company. Zohi’s flaming sphere disappears, so he casts a second one to make up for it, rolling it onto the caster… unfortunately the fire doesn’t affect it.
Falkner gets slammed by the critter in front of him. Three trogs attack Hex and one hits for minimal subdual damage. At that moment a large bat appears near the ceiling, swooping in with a wingspan of 8 to 9 feet. The guy with the wand targets Hex, whose eyes begin to cloud over, but then he manages to shake the effect off. The bat flies by Hex, who gives it a quick cut as it arcs towards Vishana! Drac spins and attempts to use Animal Defiance to drive the bat away, but he is not convincing. Hex smacks at a trog and misses. Falk strikes at his trog and misses. Vish yelps and tosses a tanglefoot bag at the bat, entangling the creature and dropping it to the floor. Zohi tosses a second flaming sphere into the fray. The caster reaches forward to touch Falk, easily avoiding his sword swing. Falk is dazed… and cannot move or attack. Three trogs swing at Hex and miss.
The three-armed nasty rises out of the ground below Hex, biting at him but Hex manages to peddle sideways and escape the attack. Drac moves along the wall and exchanges blows with a trog, both parties taking some pain. Hex slays a trog and wounds another. Vish fires an arrow at the nasty trog and hits. Zohi sends the flaming spheres around. A trog hits Hex a glancing blow, but the other misses. A trog misses Drac. The Xorn attacks Hex, hitting with two arms and a bite, which would have all but knocked him unconscious if not for his flying into a rage. The wand dude moves forward and targets Drac… and Drac flees for his life! Hex concusses the hoss trog and tries to flee, but the xorn bites him, knocking him unconscious for real this time. Zohi and Vish flee. The xorn picks up Hex and begins carrying him towards the altar.
Drac returns to the fray and sized up the situation. Vish flies back into view and takes a pot shot at a trog, killing it. Zohi quoffs a cure moderate and is healed to full. A wuss trog swipes at Drac and misses. The wand guy swings a morningstar at Falk and misses… Falk is good at avoiding blows while dazed, strangely enough. Drac bravely charges forward at the caster head priest trog, and just manages to hit him because of the charge. Vish shoots an arrow at the wuss trog, hitting it but it still lives on. Zohi returns to the battle and uses his wand of color spray on the wuss trog and the entangled bat, Drac and the head trog. The wuss trog is knocked unconscious.
The big trog and little trog swing at the dazed Falk, but only the little guy hits. Vish shoots at the wand guy, missing. Drac is hit another glancing blow. The xorn moves down the steps in order to attack Falk… hitting him once. Drac dodges past the head priest and jumps up the steps to where Hex lies on the altar. Falk, who can finally move again, flies into a rage. Falk smacks at an opponent and retreats up the side of the altar. Unfortunately the xorn bites at him as he’s trying to climb, bringing him to the very brink of consciousness. Vish coup de graces the entangled bat. Zohi hits the hoss guy with a finger of frost and then retreats. The remaining wuss trog swings at Drac and misses. The other big trog casts a spell, and some of his wounds close. The xorn melts into the ground as the badguys converge on our heroes cornered on the platform. Drac casts cure light on Hex. Hex picks up Falk and pulls him backwards from the platform, down the far side. Zohi zaps the big bad again with ray of frost. Vish retreats. A trog stabs at Falk and misses.
Drac is attacked atop the platform by one of the big bads, but he’s missed. Drac smacks him back for some damage. But where is the xorn? Hex initiates skate on Falk and runs across the room. At this point the xorn shows up atop the platform, and everybody decides to run for it. The party bravely retreats… Drac is hit by a knifespray as he runs for it. The party escapes back to the secret room near the entrance to the complex, and rests up. Hex and Falk level up.
Time for repercussions. The party powers up. Hex rises to 140% his normal size, biofeedbacks, skates and lesser natural armors. Falk barkskins. Zohi mage armors, darkvisions, see invisibility’s and protection from evil, and haste. Drac regenerate moderate wounds. Vish gets darkvision. The party is ready to rumble.
Drac moves forward and spots the reinforcements.. five more weenie trogs are now here… the xorn is hidden from sight. One of the leader trogs moves forward and casts dispel magic on the group… Zohi’s protection from evil dies, as does Vish’s darkvision, and Hex’s enlarge. Falk fires at a trog, killing it. The second and third arrows miss. Hex grows in size again. Zohi magic missiles a dude, but he survives. Vishana casts dancing lights so she can see. Drac moves up and casts creeping cold on one of the priests… he fails his save and starts to take cold damage.
Drac is suddenly blinded by a magical effect. This is bad, permanent, but he looks kinda funny. The large bat swoops down at Drac, but it misses his amusing blind stumbling. Drac is hit by a trog for a small bit of damage. Falk takes a 5’ step and shoots his 3 arrows… and two trogs go goodbye. Hex lumbers forward and kills ½ the giant bat. Zohi launches an uncomfortably close fireball, burning the whiskers off of Hex and Drac’s noses so to speak, and damaging the trog priest. Drac’s creeping cold damages the priest again… the hot cold treatment seems to be working. Drac then uses his influence animals ability to chase away the giant bat. Drac and Hex are beset upon by stones from a nearby mephit and knifespray from the evil priest. Two trogs attack Drac and miss.
Falkner tumbles forward and attacks the mephit, giving it a good smack. Hex steps forward and slays the mephit, also smacking one of the trogs a good blow. Zohi casts a second fireball, and then a third on the big bads. Vish flies forward but she turns visible… cursing, she spins and flies back into the safety of the corridor. The Xorn leaps out of the ground and bites Falk. Drac’s creeping cold does some more damage. Drac steps straight in the direction he was hit from and casts sandblast in a 180 degree arc. This hits two trogs, the xorn and Falk… none are stunned but each takes some damage from the pelting biting sands. One of the trogs goes unconscious.
Hex gets an attack of opportunity on the nasty trog priest as he moves forward and casts dispel magic on Hex. Luckily, only Hex’s lesser natural armor disappears this time. A 2nd bat shows up. Falkner flies into a rage and attacks the xorn. The first blow lands successfully, although some of the damage is absorbed. The second blow misses. Hex steps back and attacks the xorn, but his blow is also muted. Zohi magic missiles the trog priest, and chases it with a 2nd magic missile. The xorn bites at Falk and misses, but the three claws hit him, causing some trouble. The bat flies through the crowd searching for Vish… Hex hits it for a small amount of damage, and the bat bites at Vish, missing. A dangerous private airfight has begun!
The priest steps forward and casts inflict moderate wounds on Hex, hurting him something fierce. Falk takes a step behind the priest and misses twice. Hex steps backwards and thrusts and the trog and misses. Zohi magic missiles the bat, but it continues to chase Vish. His second magic missile downs the damn trog priest. Vish tries to cast the irresistible dance on the bat, but the spell doesn’t effect it. Vish draws an attack of opportunity, but the bat misses. The xorn emerges from the floor next to Falk and attacks all out, hitting with three claws and a bite, roughing him up. The blind druid Drac scares off the bat, which is killed as it flees by Hex’s might. The remaining weenie trog hits Drac for 1 pt of damage. Falk does some vicious damage against the xorn, and then he tumbles away from it, sweating bullets. Hex misses. Again.
Zohi casts flaming sphere at the xorn, which easily avoids it. Vish flies around or something, but she’s invisible so noone knows what she does so if you are wondering, you’ll just have to ask her yourself, thank you very much. Oh, and she shot at the xorn or something too. The xorn moves forward and unloads on Hex, smacking him upside the head. Drac heals Falk. Hex is trapped so he lets go of his enlargement and takes a step back, hitting the xorn a good blow. Hex feels like he might go down next round, so he grins and prepares for the worst. Flaming sphere hits the remaining weenie trog, setting him on fire. Zohi fires another fireball, smacking the weenie trog into oblivion… the xorn seems unaffected. Vish fires at the xorn and misses. The xorn attacks Hex four times… and misses all four times!!
Falk steps behind the xorn and hits once… the creature drops to the ground… but it still seems to be breathing. Hex stabs at the prone creature but fails to penetrate its horrible hide. Zohi retreats a pace. Vish finally hits the xorn with an arrow that penetrates its hide, and the terrible monster’s life seeps out. All that remains is a new bat, and the wand-carrying priest, who stands up at the altar, waiting expectantly for attacks. Drac scares away the new bat, so the trog guy is alone against the party.
Falk draws his bow and approaches. Hex spins around behind the guy, preparing to attack. Zohi approaches cautiously. Vishana seems to let go of all caution and fly right up towards the badguy. Falk shoots three times at the remaining priest, missing. Hex tries to attack the priest, but Earthcleaver won’t let him. The flaming sphere tries to hit him, but it seems to have no effect, despite the fact that he doesn’t dodge it. Vish fires at the badguy, doing minimal damage. Drac resists a magical compulsion to waste his dragon breath. Falk shoots some more arrows at him. Zohi does something ineffectual having to do with ray of frost and canceling his own flaming sphere… or something. Vish hits him with another arrow. The guy charges at Falkner and hits, knocking him unconscious.
Hex misses. Again again. Zohi ray of frosts him again, and leaves. Vish shoots him and misses. Hex finally kills the damn trog, and begins arguing with his glaive. Luckily, someone else goes and stabilizes Falk. Falk touches one of the tapestries and resists a sudden very dangerous sure of suffocation.