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Campaign Notes from February 14, 2018 Edit
The group entered the upper cave system through an entrance in north-central Sarvoda. The entrance had been guarded by a host of animated skeletons, which the group easily dispatched before entering. They blocked off the entrance to their cave with rocks, then headed about 300 feet into the cave system to rest, recover, and prepare for their descent.
After a solid 12 hours of recuperation and preparation, they set off into the deep.
Marching order: Paul (rear, 10-15’ back), Dave, Maggey, Mirjah, Darius (Front, 10-15’ ahead).
On the Way Edit
Through the tunnels, Dave’s staff and Maggey’s technicolor scarf provided the only light, and even though several of the group had the ability to see in darkness, their range of vision only extended to 60 feet and was in monochrome. It was as if the group’s entire world was reduced to a poorly-lit traveling bubble 120 feet in diameter. The effect was eerie and disorienting.
The group made their way down a slowly sloping network of tunnels and caves. After a few hours, the had traveled almost two miles, but were only about 100 feet below the surface. Their first great obstacle was a sheer drop into a yawning vertical cavern where they had to find a way to get into a side tunnel halfway down. Paul’s trusty familiar, Zach de la Crowcha was magically enhanced so that he was strong enough to carry several hundred feet of silk cord, and then flew down a path that Dave mapped out for him. The ingenious familiar secured the cord around a stalagmite a few dozen feet into the next tunnel, and flew up to give the all-clear.
Above, the group readied their zip-line gear and then proceeded to descend rapidly and noisily through the terrifying gloom.
First Contact Edit
After setting up the rope and zipline system for magical retrieval, they began to advance further, heading generally southeast and on a slight decline. Almost immediately, Mirjah heard the tell-tale sounds of a group of humanoids trying to be quiet. In the echoing tunnels, estimating distance was almost impossible, but she was sure that an ambush was being set up ahead.
The adventurers advanced a bit, and then tried engaging in dialogue with the unseen foe. Finally a blend of Russian (undercommon) and Swedish (dwarven) seemed to get the best reaction, and the group realized that they were dealing with a band of duregar.
The voices of the duregar group kept insisting that the surface dwellers come with them back to their city, whereupon they would be given safe passage. The adventurers weren’t buying that line, and ultimately Darius, Maggey and Paul combined forces to terrify the duregar band. As the group’s final message faded into echoes, Mirjah heard hasty movement and then nothing. The duregar disappeared far down a passage leading away from the group’s goal.
A Stinky Cavern Edit
Further exploration leads the group into a slightly warmer and more humid cavern the size of a large football field. Maggey’s iridescent light doesn’t reach the top of this cavern. The cavern smells like a dorm floor after burrito night.
The group traces the heat and stench to five geothermal vents covered in thick mats of muddy-red algae. They opt not to touch them, though they notice a host of small beetles and other insects feeding on the algae.
Ominous Shapes Ahead Edit
Moving onward, the group begins to ascend up a narrower, more twisting passage. At the limits of her vision, Mirjah spots a hovering sphere with tentacle-like appendages sprouting off the top of it. Carefully moving forward and over to the other side of the tunnel, she can tell that there are a total of 5 of these hovering beings, and beyond them is what looks like a sheer drop.
Hearing Mirjah’s description, the group fears they’ve encountered a nest of beholders, holding a pinch point. They fear that they may have to turn around and try to find another way through. After some consideration, Dave casts his most powerful spell while tossing a pinch of iron shavings aloft. A hemisphere of energy momentarily sparkles around him in a 10’ radius, and he moves up to just behind Mirjah.
Now shielded from beholder magic with an Antimagic field, Mirjah, Darius and Dave fire a barrage of arrows and crossbow bolts at the beholder shapes, hoping to wound the creatures and draw them into melee range, where they will fall to the cavern floor and be easy prey for Paul’s sword and Maggey’s mace.
To everyone’s surprise, each of the floating spheres detonate into a cloud of spores and gas when the arrows connect. A noxious miasma hangs in the air above the dropoff.
A Short Rest Edit
Playing it safe, the group retreats back into another cavern with a crosswind until the spore cloud dissipates. After a few hours rest, they’re ready to begin again.
Continuing to the Next Session!