The Young, the Old, and the Diggers

Opening the Gate: Should the Group Abandon All Hope?

IRL Date 5/14/2016

A larger group gathered at the Reaper Game Store for the next stage in the tale, and there were additional changes. Dallas, the DM, announced that he would unfortunately be leaving town and handed the DM duties over to Don; they had both been players in my previous campaign (“The Survivors of Lemuria.”) Today they would be working together as part of the handover.

Unfortunately, Matt had to work, and so [Name] the monk was not active, although he was still with the group. Joining us for the first time were:

Jeff — Playing Tor Black, a dwarf cleric
Vincent — Playing Ellar, a dwarf paladin
Martin — Playing Varris, a sun elf wizard

Returning, we continued with

James — Playing Aevay, a dragonborn rogue
Robert — Playing Anima, a dragonborn fighter
Shawn — Playing Errs, a bard of indeterminate (but somehow fey related) race.

And myself, Andy, with 2 characters:
Thandiina, a human fighter
Varanus, a lizard man cleric

At least the party shouldn’t be short of healing powers on this expedition. Of the clerics, Tor follows the Domain of War, while Varanus follows the Domain of Light.

The newcomers had received a summons from the same noble wizard who had employed the original adventurers, and he had teleported them to the location of the group. Introductions of the new characters were made quickly, and it was time to open the gate which the troll (barely defeated in the previous session) had guarded.

Once the gate was opened the party entered into a scene of carnage. The ground was covered in the dead bodies of goblins and orcs which had apparently fought a major battle against one another. (Thandiina expressed regret that so many orcs had died without her assistance.) The friendly kobolds had told the group they would be locking the gate when the heroes passed through, as they feared what might come out. The friendly kobolds were probably wise.

From the large abattoir chamber two separate corridors led out on opposite sides. The two dragonborn heroes (possessing effective darkvision) proceeded into one, while Varrs sent his familiar (at this point in the form of a bat) into the other. Each scouting party found another troll. Aevay immediately attempted to sneak attack the one in her corridor, and battle was joined.

The first troll, with Anima, Thandiina, and Aevay flanking it, was not able to hold out for long, while the second troll, attracted by the sounds of combat, charged into the chamber to face the dwarves. Varris and Errs moved immediately as far from both trolls as they could in order to use their spells. In the meantime, Thandiina, Anima, and Aevay were engaged to the first troll, while Ellar engaged the second with support from Tor. Although several characters — most notably Anima — were dropped over the course of the fight, the two clerics were able to keep them alive, and the trolls were dispatched with much less difficulty than the smaller group had previously had with only one.

At this point the group rested and proceeded to explore deeper into the caverns. Some distance in they discovered a variety of fungi were growing; shortly thereafter they encountered an underground druid grove-cum-mushroom-farm. The druid gave the party a small number of mushrooms that might prove useful, and they proceeded on their way. Over the course of the journey, however, it became apparent that Ellar had ceased to move, and when the rest of the group discovered him he was completely paralyzed. However, he recovered after a rest from this apparent poisoning, and the exploration continued.

Eventually, the party entered into a truly massive cavern, with a river running through it and a profusion of mushrooms growing all over it. The river was fed by a waterfall, which appeared to come from an opening far above; the noise and mist interfered with everyone’s senses. As was often the case, Errs went on his own to explore, and ended up in the waterfall and being swept down the river, while the other characters found a safe way down to “ground level.” Errs managed to drag himself out of the river, and once the party found him some more verbal backbiting began between him and Aevay. Aevay suggested they fight a duel to resolve their conflict, at which point the two of them were suddenly teleported to a different space by the groups patron, who insisted they duel to the death.

[Note: At this point they began a somewhat ineffectual duel because the patron was sick of their constant backbiting; after it went on for a few minutes one of the players suggested that since there were two DM’s today we should take advantage of it and have one DM resolve this fight while the other dealt with the rest of the group. That being a good idea, Don went separately with the duelers to resolve the duel, and the rest of us only got the after-action report.]

However, further exploration of the area revealed little enough except for more mushrooms. Varanus investigated the river and determined that not even he (as a lizard manat he is a powerful swimmer) could risk trying to swim in it due to the swift current. At this point both combatants returned, having apparently resolved their issues. It wasn’t completely clear what had happened, but apparently Errs had won the duel, but the patron had returned Aevay. They joined the rest of the party in attempting to determine whether they could use the larger mushrooms to fabricate a boat to explore the swift river.

At this point the real life hour had become late, so this was the point at which the story was left.



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