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Tairn » 1531.1.4 – Mid-morning – Beneath Thistledown in Search of Troglodytes

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1531.1.4 – Mid-morning – Beneath Thistledown in Search of Troglodytes

Play Date: July 18th, 2006 

1531.1.4 – Mid-morning – Beneath Thistledown in Search of Troglodytes

The natural corridor leads away twisting out of site twenty feet down the path. The walls are dry, and small fissures are the home to spiders, centipedes and other insects. A scent of dampness permeates the air though. The cave here is about four feet tall and four feet wide. Everyone proceeds through the cave, and it descends steeply. The ceiling gets higher and the cave widens. As the party descends, they come to a fork and take the left path which becomes impassable after several hundred feet of descent. The party backtracks to continue down the right fork. Another fork is reached and the group again moves left with a general consensus that they should always turn left if possible. The group soon finds a large cave eighty feet in diameter with an indentation in the middle. The indentation is the mouth of an eighty foot drop to a floor below. The hole is five feet in diameter and looks climbable by a proficient climber. The ceiling in the room arches high overhead. Having no long ropes, the party backtracks and ends up in a maze of twisty pages that are all narrow and low. Everyone squeezes through a two foot diameter space about seven feet long to continue through the low passages. Six large centipedes flood from the walls and attack!

The close quarters mean the front and end of the party line are taking the brunt of the attacks. The bite of the centipedes causes little damage, but they  have a poison that is soon coursing through Jack’s body. Keddick attempts to dazzle three centipedes with a spray of flashing colors that he hits Jack with as well. One of the centipedes falls to the floor stunned, but two of them fall upon the now stunned Jack as well biting him visciously. Soon all of the centipedes are dead, and Jack is very angry with Keddick. He feels betrayed and threatens Keddick shakily with his rapier if he ever does that again. The poison of the centipedes has made his movements uncoordinated and shaky. His rapier point waves in the air with the palsy trembling of his wrist. Jack changes places with Varendë as rear guard.

The group continues to thread the passages and hear what sound like voices in the darkness ahead. A lattice of stone can be seen blocking the passage in the distance. Keddick invokes his arcane power to turn Malperder into a misty, insubstantial form, and the altered dwarf moves ahead slowly along the ceiling to investigate. The lattice of stone appears solid at first glance, and Malperder passes through it. He approaches the cavern beyond to see about ten adult troglodytes and thirteen adolescents and young. He notes another passage leading away from the cavern right next to him. He also sees a large waterfall cascading forty feet into a small pool at its base. He notices another exit on the left wall of this cavern  about forty feet from his position. One of the troglodytes points to him and says something in a guttural, sibilant language. The troglodytes move towards him, and he turns to retreat. He comes back down the passage, as one of the troglodytes runs down the passage adjoining. Keddick releases the spell on him, and he tells his tale. Banic decides to smash the lattice of stone with his hammer. He moves forward with Malperder behind him to begin smashing at the stone.

The large shaman seen before in the upper cavern appears beyond the lattice and assaults Banic with magic, but the stalwart dwarf is protected by Moradin. Banic calls down the Vengence of Moradin twice on the shaman, but he seems unfazed. A magical hammer appears and starts hitting Banic, striking him three mighty blows before winking out of existence. Keddick attempts to taunt the shaman about leaving his people to die. The shaman replies in Draconic (that Keddick and Varendë understand) that Keddick had said if they did not attack, they would not be hurt. Banic breaks through the lattice and moves through the small hole to attack. The shaman steps up and fights with a large stone mace. Keddick hits him with a couple of energy bolts and then engulfs him in flame. The flames seem to have no effect. A Dwarven blow looks as if it passes right through the shaman’s body. The shaman steps back and creates a wall of stone between the party and the cavern beyond.

The party decides to retreat and look for another way in. They begin searching through the caves again, are attacked again by large centipedes, dispatch them, and eventually come upon a larger cave. Malperder enters and is attacked by two large centipedes eight feet long that are clinging to the walls. One of the centipedes bites Malperder and another one bites Banic. Their powerful jaws cause lots of damage, but both dwarves resist the poison. (or was it Keddick bit instead of Banic?) Malperder lops the head off on, and Banic squishes the other with his hammer.

The dwarves feel they are now backtracking towards the original entrance to this area, but they fail to get back out. Eventually Banic asks for parchment from Keddick, and with carefully mapping and nearly an hour, the group emerges back into the upward sloping passage. The group retreats to the cavern with the shaft descending eighty feet to rest and eat. After a Dwarf-sized break of an hour and a half, the group marshals their strength and heads back to exploring. They follow another passage. A piercing shriek breaks the cave’s silence. Varendë stops everyone to explain about Shriekers, a subterreanean fungus that emits a loud piercing shriek at attack food. Some races have been known to cultivate them as warning methods.

The group continues down the cavern passage. It opens up and stalactites cover the ceiling reaching towards stalagmites on the floor. As it opens further, three large fungus can be seen in the middle of the cavern. Varendë shoots one, and it begins shrieking. It sets the other two off and soon the cavern is filled with the cacophony. Varendë continues shooting. The first takes several arrows to silence. Eventually the three are silenced, the dwarves and Keddick have advanced, and two more were just beyond. They are quickly dealt with. Just as it seems safe, a grick leaps out to attack Malperder. Another comes out shortly. Keddick deals with both quickly with scorching rays. Jack shouted that normal weapons would not hurt them. Two passages lead out of the far end of the cave.

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