Chaos Abounds

Game Night 30
Day Trip to the Underdark

As told by Alissa’s cat (aka, Monsterbait), to Valthrum’s familiar (Crafty the Homonculus)

People are weird. I mean, my master is ok, but the rest of that bunch are just strange.

Yesterday they stumbled into the Underdark.

What? No way!

No really, the Underdark, no more than 5 miles from here! Seriously!

Freaky…

And then they sent me out in a rickety old boat, across a ginormous lake filled with black water. No, seriously. They put me in this boat that’s at least 500 years past it’s due date, tied a rope to it, and shoved me into the lake. And, of course, while I was out there, all alone in the dark, they were attacked by bats or something, and they forgot about me, and these big lobsters with tentacles ripped the boat apart and tried to eat me. Icky looking things.

So today, we go back to the same place, and they use some fancy magic ritual to walk across the water.

Oh, yeah, Valthrum had me fetch that one for him last night, Water Walk. I wondered what that was for.

And, of course, the big lobsters with tentacles attack them. That was kind of exciting for a bit but I just hid in Alissa’s pocket while this was going on, cause no one thought to put one of these spells on me, of course.

Yeah, tell me about it, Valthrum forgets I even exist except when he needs one more hand to hold something, or help with some ritual, or go find some scroll he’s misplaced, or get him a drink, or something.

So, yeah, anyways, they found this HUGE stone door, with a bunch of funky writing on it. And statues of dragons and stuff all around it. I’m pretty sure some of them were supposed to be Tiamat.

ooooh, really…you don’t say…

Yeah, and they tried to open the door, and that was kind of funny. I think the monk almost ruptured something trying to force it open. And then the thiefy types tried to use their little picks on it. As if! It was obviously magically locked. I mean, seriously, what self respecting arcanist is going to lock a door with magic that could be picked by a thief?

snort yeah, I wish I could have watched that

So then, after making some copies of the writing and etchings of some of the artwork, they threw their water walk ritual again, and headed off across the water. They were about halfway back across when the Drow spotted something back by the door. She said something about “icky goblins”, or something like that…maybe it was “corrupted”. Anyhooo, I honestly thought she was going to go back and try to kill them and then get stuck on the wrong side of the water. Seriously, as often as that Drow gets into trouble like that, I really thought she was going to charge the goblins…but the rest of them talked her down, and then they just came back here.

Well, at least you get to travel around. I haven’t been outside the gates of this village in over 30 years. Heck, I don’t think I’ve been farther than the Temple or the Tavern in at least 10 years.

Ooh, yeah, that must get kinda boring. But you’ve all those cool books and scrolls to look at though…?

Yeah, that’s kinda neat I guess. Just wish he’d get some new ones. I’ve read all of these at least a dozen times each.

Well, we did bring back a copy of that funky writing on the door. And I think we’re supposed to be bringing something back from that stormy mountain place for Valthrum. Maybe we’ll find something cool for you to read there too.

oooh, yeah, that would be nice. When you leaving?

Tomorrow I think, right after the people go talk to someone at the market…

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Game Night 29

Some people drop by to borrow a cup of sugar. The Rainbow Scarf Brigade stops by to investigate dark, garbage strewn holes and clear them of monsters.

Like gelatinous cubes, for example. A pair of cubes were living large, dining on kobold garbage and the occasional unwary adventurer-type. “Were” being the operative word; the party made pretty short work of them. A secret door opened into an odd tunnel that opened into an odd cave that was, oddly, part of the Underdark. The party survived an ambush by swarms of bats, but were stymied by the mysterious underground lake. Alyssa’s familiar scouted in one of the decrepit boats, but beyond getting attacked by giant crawdads, found nothing to report.

Slightly disheartened, the party returned to town.

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Game Night 28

The only good giant crawling magical cannon is a dead giant crawling magical cannon. Faced with that inescapable truth, the party decided to dismantle the artillery and hightail it to Winterhaven. Before they activated the scroll, they were attacked from above by a drake dropping a sack of disembodied hands on them. You know, like you see from time to time. The drake rider turned out to be a tenacious shadowy fellow, but he went down all the same.

They stepped through the portal, ended up in Winterhaven, where everything was strangely unfamiliar. After reacquainting themselves with everyone, they decided to help the oddly disabled residents with their endless problems.

  • Rescue slaves for Lord Padraig
  • Map the Labyrinth for Valthrun
  • See Gendar the drow merchant for Baerwyn

They planned to leave after market day.

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Game Night 27

Nothing refreshes like a short rest in a squalid cave.

Opening the door and clambering down the rocky shelves, the stealthy scouty people saw a group of ogres lumbering down the canyon. Accommodating fellows that they were, the bad guys walked right into the blast patches the Brigade laid on the ground. The ogres dropped relatively quickly, fearsome though they were. Then came the main event: a squad of orcs escorting a walking catapult.

A tough battle ensued, with much blood spilled, not least by the artillery’s barrage of shadow magic. But in the end the RSB defeated the escort and set about examining the strange magical cannon.

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Game Night 26

Time to get back to civilization. Lantern didn’t exactly qualify as civilization, but it kept the party warm and dry overnight.

Back in Overlook, the RSB explained what had happened, collected rewards and gratitude, as well as another quest: the orcs were attacking Bordrin’s watch. The party reprovisioned and set out the next morning.

At the watch, they discovered the orcs were bringing in a mysterious catapult that had the dwarfs worried. The party quickly volunteered for the suicide mission because hey, that’s what Heroes do.

Apparently, Heroes also give large amounts of blood to stirges lurking in dark caves at the bottom of a slippery slide. They eventually triumphed, though, and set about trying to open the giant door that led to the secret exit.

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Game Night 25

Nexus: closed.

Tusk: slain.

Many, many, many minions: also slain.

Party: exhausted.

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Game Night 24

“They have a cave troll.”

Not that it did them any good. It wasn’t the easiest fight the party ever had, but they prevailed in the end and finally got the rest they had been craving.

After the rest, the party found the unfortunate remains of The Slayers, who clearly came off worse in a fight with the cave troll before the Rainbow Scarf Brigade showed up.

Inexplicably, the instructions for sealing the path were on a tapestry in the chapel. The water pipes led to a huge chamber filled with catwalks, mysterious tunnels, huge pipes, and mysterious sounds.

They had arrived at The Nexus.

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Game Night 23

Janitor caught up with the party, just in time to make a series of really spectactularly bad suggestions. First was, “Let’s boldly move through the center of the trap-infested room,” followed by “Let’s try a Thievery check on this mysterious panel,” and ending up with, “Let’s open this door in the middle of combat and fight the orcs on the other side!”

So, not the best idea he ever had. Probably not as bad as the decision to attack the fire beetles, though.

But the party prevailed, despite a series of missed attacks and loads of damage. Quick treasure check and opening the hot water valves and the party settled down to rest.

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Game Night 22
Kalad's Journal

An excerpt from the journal of Kalad, Paladin of Moradin, master Smith of the Monastery of the Sundered Chain

The Massacre at the Monastery of the Sundered Chain.

I leave this journal in the hopes that those who come after will know the truth.

The morning of the massacre started like any other. After I awoke and had breakfast, I went to the forge room to focus on my work. I decided to modify my armor today, which proved to be a nearly fatal choice.

While I was working, I was joined by some of the younger students, Barlok, Grella, and Marl. We were working in silence, when they attacked. They came through the secret tunnel. It’s been closed for decades with the fake walls, but they obviously knew the secrets to opening it, for it opened silently.

Marl fell first, with barely enough time to yell a warning. Barlok and Grella fell a few seconds later under a wave of Orc Drudges. I held out as long as I could, but with just my axe, and no armor, I didn’t last much longer.

I awoke, how much later I don’t know. They must have thought I was dead, and left me bleeding on the floor. But I survived. Moradin had more planned for me.

There were still a few orcs in the room, but they were busy…eating. I dared not look at what they were eating, for fear I would recognize one of my students. I managed to make it to the emergency control panel and started the cave in to seal the tunnel. I threw myself clear of the cave in, but I don’t remember anything after that.

And, then miraculously, I awoke again. My left arm was limp and hurt, probably broken, and I couldn’t feel my legs. There was an enormous orc standing over me, and smaller, ugly crone that was closer. I guess she was healing me so Og could question me.

I don’t know how long he questioned me. I drifted in and out of consciousness many times. I don’t remember much of what he asked. The one thing he wanted most was to reopen the cave in, but I didn’t have an answer he liked.

And then I awoke to friendlier faces. Strange faces, but friendly. After a few introductions, I explained to them that the orcs were probably heading for the Vents next. They used a ritual to transfer some of their life force to me, which allowed me to heal my wounds enough to walk again, and we headed for the Vents by the old path. I averted my eyes to the slaughter in the Hall of Heroes and the Temple of Moradin. If I survive this, I swear I will make sure they all have a just burial.

We were ambushed by a hive of Kruthiks before we got out of the mountains, but my new allies are powerful, and handled them with ease.

We arrived at the Vents the next day around noon. A group had arrived before us, and had left their horses near the entrance to the Vents. My new allies seemed to think the horses belonged to the Slayers, a group I have heard of. Perhaps they will have already closed the tunnels. But I must see it myself before I can rest.

The journey through the Vents was as bad as I remembered, but we managed to get through with minimal injuries.

My fears were realized on the other side of the vents. Orcs were in the entry room. They seemed to be arguing as we entered, but I’m not sure about what. A short but fierce battle ensued. I bore the brunt of the first wave of the freaks with 2 battle axes, and the orc throwing firebombs set us all on fire. I’m not sure what happened after that, but the fight was over when I was revived with a healing potion. Moradin still has more use for me…

But, we can’t stop now…there are Orcs coming through the tunnels. The Vents must be closed. The people of the Elsir Vale will be slaughtered if we fail.

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Game Night 21

Deciding to stick with the classics, the party set up an ambush of the approaching orogs. Of course, no battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy, and the orogs ended up being a little more skillful than they expected.

But not skillful enough. After interviewing the soon-to-be deceased orog captive, they discovered that there was a dwarf being interrogated in “the furnace room.”

The “furnace” room turned out to be a large cavern a quarter full of magical fire, 10 orogs, a dwarven prisoner, and Ogg, a big honkin’ orog commander. The party cautiously approached the dwarf, keeping a wary eye on the magical blaze lighting the corner of the room.

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