The Young, the Old, and the Diggers

Slipping Through the Cracks: Maybe We Can Go Under?

IRL Date 7-23-16

Apologies for the late posting…..Real Life; I can’t seem to do anything with it.

Seven gamers met with DM Don at the Reaper Game Store on 7-23 to continue trying to dig our way through, or out of, the Underdark:

Martin, returning with Varris, a sun elf wizard.
Johnny, returning with Thorin, a dwarf cleric.
Shawn C., with Maculate, a warlock of uncertain race.
Derek, with Ginsu, a human rogue.
James, with Aevay, a dragonborn rogue.
Robert, with Anima, a dragonborn fighter.

And your chronicler, Andy, with two characters:
Thandiina, a human fighter.
Varanus, a lizard man cleric.

The slightly smaller group from the previous exciting episode had just withdrawn successfully from the hordes of undead orcs beyond the black portal; fortunately, several of their friends (Varris, Maculate, and Ginsu) had recovered from their temporary malady which had kept them from the reconnaissance-in-force-turned-into-retreat previously. After the withdrawal, several of the characters experienced an epiphany. (Thanks, Don!)

They realized that there were several ruined buildings in the dwarf town outside the stronghold that had not yet been explored. Several then determined to begin doing so. Close to the portal was the largest of the unexplored buildings, which appeared to be an old inn or tavern, so Thandiina, Ginsu, and Anima gingerly entered it. Unfortunately for Anima, she took a wrong step and began to fall through the floor! Thandiina was able to catch her and pull her out before she could suffer any injury, however. This incident led to the discovery that the inn apparently had a large basement. The trio lowered a rope to the basement (with Maculate waiting at the top ready to pull the rope back up if the three died horribly) and explored the basement. Aevay joined them.

In the basement the small group discovered a number of barrels of vinegar which was probably good wine at some point in the past, and also a door. Once Ginsu had the door open, however, poison gas came flooding into the room. Thandiina and Anima swarmed back up the rope, while Ginsu and Aevay decided to tough it out. The gas dissipated quickly, and with Thandiina and Anima returning, they discovered a small room with another door at the far end; inside the room was some loot! (This was pretty much the first loot the group has discovered.) In addition to some coins, there was a set of “masterwork” weapons (which each grant a +1 on attack rolls, though not on damage.) The coinage was safely tucked away and the weapons distributed to the appropriate characters, at which point the group opened the door and followed a passage.

The passage led to what appeared to be a small barracks room, with bunk beds, a table, some chairs, and two more doors. At one of the doors Thorin detected the definite presence of evil; this door was barred with several bars of iron. A brief discussion took place whether the group should open that door; when it was pointed out that it would be a bad decision to open it, the reply of “Bad decisions are what this party is all about” seemed to carry the day. So the door was opened, and undead came swarming out to attack the party!

For once, however, the party had luck (and dice) on its side, and the three undead creatures (later determined to be weakened spectres) were dispatched quickly. The passage from which they had come led into a tunnel in which the rock was appearing more and more fragile, and narrowing as well. Farther down the group heard the sound of running water, as though there was another underground river, but while someone threw a rock and heard it splash, the group didn’t trust the tunnel well enough to proceed further.

They therefore tried the other door. This door led to a tunnel which ended in a ladder going up; trying the ladder, the group discovered themselves in one of the fields of mushrooms outside the dwarf village. They finally made contact with the moving mushrooms (myconids) and discovered that those beings were simply continuing to cultivate the fields as they had been instructed to do long ago, although there was no one but themselves to eat their crops. They treated the party to a pleasant vegetarian meal, in which Varanus became too exposed to the mushrooms’ effects and began having interesting hallucinations without moving, while the rest of the group trudged back to the dwarf village to try to put together what all they had learned. Eventually they discovered their lizard man was missing, and returned to try to find him, but he had recovered in the interim and met the group outside the village.

The next steps would seem to be to attempt to find where the underground river runs. The group has discovered enough wood to likely shore up the end of the tunnel and perhaps build a raft; possibly the river will take them to the citadel. The other alternative would seem to be fighting through the hordes of undead. And where are the living orcs?


Location: The Cavern of the Crossroads at the Dwarf-hold of Maglor: With part of the party beat up from the reconnaissance in force and the other part recovering from an illness, the players decided to take another long rest. Recovered the players reviewed their options. Thinking hard about it they realized that they had not searched the ruined buildings surrounding the cross roads or approached the fungus men tending the fields for the dead dwarves.

Starting with the largest building ruin at the cross roads they figured out that it used to be an inn/stabling yard. Sifting through the debris the found many useful wood boards, planks, and posts that could be used for construction. Farther in one of the characters fell into a hole in the floor and got stuck half in and half out of it. Upon removing themselves they found an entry into the basement of the old inn. Looking around they found many sundry day-to-day items to help run an inn; most of which were damaged by age.

Searching the walls of the basement proved fruitful as the party found another room with a rack of weapons and a chest. The weapons turned out to be masterwork and the party quickly distributed them amongst themselves. The chest turned out to be traped by a corrosive gas that affected some of the party. Ginsu was searching for other hidden doors in the chamber when the chest was open and found a secret door in the back of the chamber. Opening it sucked the remaining gas out of the room.

Once the party recovered they investigated the passage beyond the secret door. It turned out that it was a tunnel five foot wide by seven feet tall tunnel. Lining up, the party descended into the tunnel. The tunnel went straight for a way, then turned 90 degrees to the south and steeply descended until it ended at a door.

Opening the door the party found a chamber with two double bunks, a large table, shelves full of random everyday items that were mostly spoiled, and a fire place/oven. On either side of the room there are doors.

The party decided to check the eastern door first. After checking for traps, they unlocked and unbarred the door and opened it. Finding a rough, almost natural tunnel that descended very steeply behind the door, they were then attacked by three specters.

Suffering minor damage and taking the specters out quickly the went down the tunnel. They found four dead dwarves who looked like they had died of their wounds. One of the dwarves was clutching a holy symbol of Moradin. Thorin gave the dwarves last rites and the party moved on down the tunnel until they noticed that the tunnel walls and ceiling appeared to be fractured and there was much debris on the floor. At this point they turned around and went to the other door in the bunk room above.

Unlocking and opening the door they found that it went several hundred feet straight and that they were ascending. At the end of the tunnel the group found themselves in a cleverly hidden entrance among some stalagmites and in the fungus and wheat fields. They immediately noticed that there was one of the fungus men who attends to the fields not far from them.

Deciding to attempt to communicate with them they found out that the Myconiods were not hostile to those who were not hostile to them, that they have or had an agreement with the dwarves to help tend the fields, that they still tended the fields even after the dwarves were gone because they enjoyed the work and did not want to renege on their commitment, and that they did not know anyway out of the cavern besides the ones that the dwarves collapsed. Being friendly, the Myconoids invited the party to their part of the cavern (the north eastern portion) for a meal. The meal turned to be filling and the party soon made their excuses and left.

Once the party went back to the crossroads they started trying to figure out what to do next. During this conversation they noticed that Varnuss was missing and they had last seen him at the Myconoid’s village. Thinking that they would have to go on a rescue mission to get him back, they were pleasantly surprised to find him walking unsteadily towards them. They later found out that he had succumbed to the fungus spores and was lost in his own mind for the past few hours.

The party then went back to deliberating about what to do and talked about finding the other way out of the cavern and going back down to the broken tunnel that they had just discoverd.


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