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The slightly smaller group from the previous exciting episode had just withdrawn successfully from the hordes of undead orcs beyond the black portal; fortunately, several of their friends (Varris, Maculate, and Ginsu) had recovered from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?