Trouble in the MooT

an unexpected turn

Geddregg was unexpectedly ill as the party entered Jengen, It looked like he was going to be out of commission for a couple days so the rest decided to do some bounty hunting.

Link had learned of a local bandit named Billious Torm that had been torm-enting travelers on the west road to Mendelhof. Patrols between the two towns had not been successful in flushing out his camp and the locals were now afraid to use the road. There was a bounty of 10 gold, dead or alive, for his capture or his body. Some in the party thought, “no problem, this should be easy.”

On the third day out of Jengen, they were talking about how they might have to travel the entire weeks route to Mendelhof before they were “lucky” enough to find Torm. No sooner said than done, they were ambushed by archers hidden in the underbrush. Sonny was well in the lead with his toy hoop and heard stifled giggles from the foliage. Looking, he saw the tips of some bows moving above the bushes. This could be it. Some of the others had also heard the noise. Sonny ran back to the group to warn them.

(More to come)

a new beginning?

It was a week of chaos and confusion for the loosely knit group of adventurers arriving in Grenzstadt. This was a town as big as any city due to the huge number of garrisoned troops here. Grenzstadt was the first defense of the Empire against any invasion from the south through Black Fire Pass. There had been many, the most recent was the start of the war known as the Battle of 100 Cannons, less than 10 years ago. There are constant patrols of soldiers, Dwarves and profiteers clearing the pass of greenskins and other denizens to make the route passable for trade to Tilia and the Border Princes.
-- Natina --
Natina approached an acolyte at the Temple to Shallya and asked to see the Mother Superior on a matter of great importance. When the Mother arrived, Natina explained her recent activity and presented the small rock of Warpstone for the Mother to dispose of. The shock of the Mother was undeniable. She quickly got a small, heavy box to put the rock in, closed the lid and tol Natina that she would need to stay for 3 days and cleanse her body and soul. She is given a ritual of things to do for at least the next 7 days.
- Gozbert -
Gozbert receives a mysterious note saying that his “gifts” have been noticed by the Fellowship of Flame. He accepts the invitation to meet and eventually agrees to join the Fellowship (rather than be turned in as an unsanctioned witch) and to work with/for the group. They have a small “Temple” in the back of the Temple to Verena equipped with an alchemy lab and library which Gozbert uses for 3 days.
- Mitiliago -
While looking for more druids to “hang out with” in this town, Mitiliago runs into a ranger and another druid which question his intentions and direct him to a druid circle around a mile outside of town. Mit accepted the invitation and went to the convocation.
- Sonny -
Sonny sought out a craftsman to make him a “toy sword” scabbard and a “toy hoop” like the ones he had lost. They were very specially made. The gnome craftsman noted the request and asked if Sonny would like to join a group of “like minded” individuals, kind of like a guild. Sonny agreed to meet them and was escorted with a bag over his head to a meeting place where he was grilled about his intentions in Grenzstadt and his future plans, finally agreeing to join as a “messenger” for the “guild”.
___ Link and Brandlin -
While others were tied up in their own chores, these two went shopping and selling goods from their meager hauls and provisioned for the next great adventure.
- Geddragg -
First Geddragg went to the Smith that Kinstaag had mentioned bearing the pouch and saying the nonsense words. Moldof seemed to know what he was talking about and produced a bundle of papers, saying the Kinstaag had left them with him for safe keeping. Geddragg took a coach back to the coaching inn only to find that Kinstaag had passed away the previous night.
After a decent Dwarven burial, Geddragg returned to Grenzstadt with Kinstaag’s hammer and armor. It seems Kinstaag was trying to return a the hammer, a family heirloom it seems, back to its clan … wherever that was. Geddragg tried to give Moldof the hammer and Moldof said that the burden was on Geddragg, for he had accepted the honor from Kinstaag.

100 Reward Points

Continuing on to Grenzstadt

Sommerzeit 6 – 9
The party broke camp after a full day of rest. It was needed to recuperate before they continued their travels. There was no sense moving on while injured and unrested, especially in hostile territory with a possible assailant tracking them. It was a good thing that they did.

The adventurers had traveled only a day. The night watches were set and it was just after midnight when Gozbert smelled smoke, a smell he was vastly familiar with. The night was black with clouds and little moonlight. Waking the camp, he saw the fires growing and encircling the camp. Their situation was no accident and orx weren’t smart enough for this. When awoken, Mitiliago started to thrash the flames nearest to him, trying to make a path out of the camp. Gozbert walked through the flaming circle to see if he could see who set the fire. Natina and Link Greenleaf gathered equipment and supplies left in the camp, Link diving through the flames, Natina (with her dog) heading for the opening that Mit had made. Brandlin Hartson quickly donned her armor. None of them observed Geddragg Bitterbrew sprout wings and fly straight up and over the fire to see if he could see the culprit.
Geddragg’s voice rang out, “He’s over this way!”
The only object that Brandlin could see “That way” was a flying figure heading away from the camp. She took aim with her javelin … and missed! A bolt of lightning erupted from the flying form and struck the ground some 20 plus yards out. “He’s down there!” Geddragg continued.
There was a pistol shot … Geddragg had been hit. Mitiliago saw where the lightning had struck and the puff of gunpowder smoke bellowed and called a thunderclap to cover that point. Another lightning strike, another thunderclap … Gozbert summoned a blazing sword to both light his way and kill a foe if need be.
Thunderbolt and lightning! Very, very frightning!
In a flash, the bandit was dead … char broiled. (Due to the two additional lightning bolts after he was already dead). There was little recognizable left of him. A few coins and a lot of charcoal. The party traveled an hour in the dark and made camp again. Being a dark, moonless night didn’t help.
Shortly after everyone fell asleep, Mitiliago saw Geddragg stand up, swatting himself all over. There was also ants crawling all over Brandlin. The campsite had been too close to an ant colony and swarms were coming into camp for “free food”. Needless to say, they broke camp early and started on their way.
Two nights later, Natina spotted a mountain lion crouched in a nearby tree, just getting ready for a midnight snack. Mit scared him away with a thunderclap … which also scared the crap out of the sleeping adventurers.
The very next day, the party crested what appeared to be the highest point of their journey. Below, to the west was a forest. There might be a way around it, but they might lose days getting to Grenzstadt. Going through the forest, on the other hand, they might lose their direction and get lost. They were deciding their path when Mitiliago heard a voice, low and gravelly. He looked around and it seemed that none of his friends had heard it. That was very peculiar. The voice said. “Do not attack. We are come.”

(more to come}

On the road to Grenzstadt

Sigmarzeit 32 – Sommerzeit 5 (early summer)
After tending to everyone’s wounds and burying the dead from the traveler’s group, it was getting too late for the party to continue very far. The two travelers did not want to go back through the path west and so decided that they would continue on to Fallenblatt while the party continued west.
On the second day, Morsleib was seen, greyish-brown in the evening sky, skittering behind Mannslieb and disappearing again.
On the fifth day, Orks were seen rummaging through a recently deserted campsite. The Orks also noticed the party. Link moved off the trail to get good bowshot on the orks and discovered more, which immediately closed to attack him. The battle was bloody on both sides when the orks retreated to the rocky hills. A search of the abandoned camp showed that it was probably one person, booted footprints, warm embers in the fire pit, a couple small vials containing what looked like “paint”. Natina said, “No, that’s makeup!” There were also some drops of red blood … not Ork blood, but no trace as to which direction the camp owner might have gone.
The very next day they were attacked from the rear by orks, Four at first, then Sonny tried to sneak up on those only to discover that he sneaked right into four more. Brandlin, the hedge knight, fought bravely and nearly died, After the third magical missile, the orks shouted something and four of the orks charged Mitiliago. Natina kept a few busy picking up their weapons (and themselves). It looked like the tide was finally turning in favor of the party when a horn sounded and all of the orks retreated into the hills. They were badly hurt and needed rest and so struck a camp for 24 hours to heal up a little (thanks to Natina).
150 RP (2850 total) … it was a good night

Off to see the .... ORKS!
Meeting new friends and acquaintences

Sigmarzeit 27-31 (late spring)
It was decided, in the morning they would start their journey to Grenzstadt. They had heard Kinstaag say that the way was not easy, nearly 100 miles, no roads and sometimes dangerous territory, but Geddragg and the rest would try to catch up to Kinstaag. It was possible that “Indus Geisse” was also trailing Kinstaag in order to hunt him down, he had been seen leaving town in that direction earlier in the day.
The newly formed, and most unlikely friendship with the tiny Halfling, Sonny, might be an asset. Sonny was fast, agile and said that he could find the way across to the Old Dwarf Road. Sonny told the rest that there was actually two routes travelled. The “safer” route bypassed the foothills, but would take a week longer … or so he heard. The faster route, through the foothills, was more dangerous. The party reasoned that Geddargg, who was in a rush to get to Grenzstadt and a Dwarf, would most likely take to the foothills. Their route was set, supplies purchased and they set out soon after first light with Sonny plotting their path, Link planning their camps and safety and Mitiliago, with his newly acquired marten companion, acting as scout.
The first few days were uneventful, passing only local farm traffic heading to town to trade. Only a few light showeres marred the otherwise sunny weather. When they came to the fork in the trail, they took the southern trail toward the foothills with the mountains as the distant backdrop. This is the way Kinstaag would have come. In the afternoon of the 30th, Mitiliago spotted a skirmish ahead. There were greenskins attacking some travelers barricaded behind a turned over cart. The travelers were not faring well and the group advanced to help the travelers.
Link loosed arrows on the little snotlings, Geddragg called down lightning, Gozbert … fire, Mitilaigo missiles of magical force. It seemed a little one sided until two orks stood up from behind their stony hiding spots and fired arrows at Link, nearly taking his life. The orks shouted something at the snotlings and half of them broke off from the travelers to charge the party members. Sonny was trying to stealthily close on the snotlings attacking the travelers. Natina’s prayers kept the orks off their game by making them drop their weapons. Brandlin waded into combat, issuing challenges as she went, one time to a snotling on the ground. (a little corruption for that one) One by one, the party cut down the greenskins, saving two members of the traveling group. The rest of the travelers, the wives, children and two mules, had been slaughtered by the greenskins.
Natina tended to the travelers and party’s wounds. Now they would have to decide what to do next. It turns out that the two families had come the same route as the adventurers, just a couple days earlier. They had been heading to Osterzell to join family on their new farm.
100 RP for the night.

A day in Fallenblatt
Farewell Salvik

Sigmarzeit 26, in the year 2522
After arriving in Fallenblatt, Salvik returned to his family’s farm about a mile outside of town to fetch his uncle (who was a Barber Surgeon). The uncle did his best on the battered party members and Salvik and his uncle returned home, saying that they would see them in the morning. Everyone took rooms in the nearly vacant Checkered Shield Inn. Salvik had joked that the locals called it the “checker board” because they would take the shield down that was hanging in the common room and play checkers on it.
Geddragg offered the innkeeper, Jendon Snoot, 1 GC for a “better room” and he yelled out to his wife, “Millie! We are sleeping in the guest room tonight! Put the good linen on our bed!”
Most fell to sleep quickly, but there were a few still awake when there was a pounding on the inn door and Jendon answered it. It must have been a late traveler looking for a room. Soon it was quiet again and there were no more disturbances.
When morning came, the smell of porridge and eggs welcomed the group to the dining table. The party was there, with the exception of Salvik, plus a human female that they had seen the night before over at “Beard’s”, the only tavern in Fallenblatt. Nobody noticed that the late night traveler had not shown for breakfast. Maybe he or she was a late sleeper. Suddenly a young halfling burst into the inn yelling, “You got to come! Salvik is missing! His uncle and family is dead and their house burnt! You’re his friends, right? What are you waiting for?!?!” There was hardly a break in the yelling to calm him down.
This apparent halfling child carried a child’s hoop on his back, had a wooden sword at his waist and was clothed in a make-shif tabard mad out of an old shirt. Millie Snoot seemed to recognize him and called him “Sonny” and got him calm enough to tell his story. It seems that after seeing Salvik in town last night as he left the inn to go home, he had promised to stop by his house and catch up.

More to come -

Fallenblatt at last
(the game continues)

The party reaches the small town of Fallenblatt, in the Moot. It is late afternoon as they cross the ferry to Fallenblatt, the waters of the Blue Reach swollen with the recent rains.
Fallenblatt is built on a hill near the river to prevent flooding during the heavy spring rains. Barstow Geer, the ferrymaster, warns you of an storm coming in and points to the dark clouds rolling in from the south. He will be securing the ferry once the storm starts. Traffic from Zell, to the south, and Dreifflussen, to the east, has been brisk today with farmers, mine goods and merchants. The tolls are small, but the amount of traffic is enough for Barstow to make a good living.
The town itself is a little larger than the last town you were at (Grunhugel), having a palisade wall with a large gate and actual “guards”. Within the walls are all of the shops, a stable with a smithy, the Checkered Shield Inn (commonly referred to as the checker board), Beard’s Tavern and Snoot Manor, home of the mayor, Jendon Snoot.

Here a spy, there a spie ....

Hironeous Stock, the wealthy farmer was dead, his throat slit. His murderer had apparently escaped on horseback crossing the river at Flagg Ford. Strange how there was no pool of blood from the wound … unless he was killed elsewhere. The loss of yet another life in this town bothered them as they returned to town. Why had Ovilar killed Sty Lum and Hironeous Stock? What had they done? Who was the skeletal Halfling in the hidey hole? Why had Geddragg arranged their bodies at the table staring at each other???

As they approached town, the townsfolk gathered to see them. Most had never seen Kinstaag in his Dwarven chain shirt. None had seen Geddragg, Mitiliago or Gozbert in their newly acquired scale armor (from the Dwarf skeletons) Scale_Armor.jpg The people kept asking questions, the adventurers kept walking toward the constable’s office. Merrybell Potsen asked what was going on and Natina asked her to get the Council of Elders together. There should be a meeting to tell ALL the elders the news.

When they arrived, Tilivan Nok, the witch hunter, said that he must depart immediately for Averheim and Nuln to report the Necromancer that had been discovered … and escaped. Kinstaag Grimmhammer said that he too must inform his kin of the necromancer <spit>. and would be leaving on the morrow. Natina and Salvil walked to the Stock pipeweed farm to notify any kin of the death of Hironeous … and to possibly further investigate his death.

As Natina and Gozbert knocked at the farm door, a female Halfling answered the door, along with her two teenage boys. Natina said that there was some bad news, so Mrs. Stock sent the boys away and let Natina in to talk. Mrs. Stock was shocked at the news and it appeared to be honest sorrow, although just occasionally Natina thought the wife was a little relieved. Gozbert and one of the boys was going to look for a possible location of the murder when the boy said he had seen a pool of red … and led Gozbert to it. Yep, this was the spot.
Back at the house, the Widow Stock shouted to the boys to get the dog cart ready. She had to go into town and pick up something. Knowing the body of her husband was beneath the stone, Natina and Gozbert rushed back to town to arrange things.

The rest put the dead bandit in the back of Kinstaag’s wagon and headed to the cemetery to burry the bandit and get Mr. Stock out of the hole before his wife got there. It would do no good for the townfolk to know about the hole. After some crafty juggling and misdirecting of town folk that had followed, They got Hironeous out of the hole and ready to be picked up just as the wife and Natina arrived. Natina hated this town of lies and secrets and couldn’t wait to be out of there. The rest were ready to move on also. Maybe they could accompany Kinstaag in his trek down toward Black Fire Pass.
At the town meeting, the elders were told about all the goings on (but not about the two secret places) with Ovilar and the Necromancer and the connection to the bandits. They also said they would be leaving with Kinstaag in the morning to head “south”. The next day they were on the road again. (The second night they ran into a couple of mountain lions, but survived quite well.)

Meet Vorrik Foulhammer

Rheinhardt poured a healing draught down Kinstaag’s throat and Kinstaag’s eyes popped open with the fire of pure hate. He got up and charged across the cavern toward Vorrik Foulhammer, the Oathbreaker. Vorrik sent the two piles of ambling bones, which formerly were proud Dwarves, toward him. “What’s the matter nephew? Yes, I know who you are … and what you are.”, Vorrik cackled, “and like many before you, you’ll take it to your end.” Another skeleton arose from the stream running through the cavern, right next to Geddragg.

Old Man Rheinhardt, with a burst of speed, rushed Vorrik with a surprisingly fast attack while Kinstaag and Salvik held off two skeletons and Geddragg and Link battled the third. Gozbert rained magical missiles toward Vorrik and Natina aided and assisted where needed.

Vorrik blinded the Old Man, but not so much that he didn’t get in one lucky last swing before he stepped out of reach. It was obvious that Vorrik, unprepared as he was, had luck on his side. Things were not going well for him and he tried to silence Gozbert as another missile stung him. Another lucky swing from the Old man as one of the skeletons was decimated by Kinstaag …. Vorrik stepped into the water at the end of the cavern, deeper and deeper until only his head showed, chanting a spell. As his head disappeared beneath the the water the final skeleton collapsed. All bones were quickly dispersed and the skulls crushed.

The lake at the end of the cavern, collected the water from the stream that flowed through the caverns, but didn’t grow larger … there must be an underwater outlet, they surmised. Natina, anchored by a rope, swam down to check out the water below the surface of the lake. A narrow underwater tunnel with strong current flowed out of the cavern. The rope was not long enough to explore far, so Natina returned, nearly drowning in the process. Geddragg and Rheinhardt scattered the bones of the fallen Dwarves, smashing the skulls of each one and gathering what little they wore. Each had brigantine scale and a war hammer, one had a single bracer which Kinstaag identified as being that of a royal guard from Karak Varn, a Dwarven hold that had fallen to the Night Goblins several years before.

Natina and Salvik explored the shallow end of the lake. Salvik finding an un-natural drop off near one cavern wall with a weak current flowing down the drop off. Natina, again, swam down and through a carved tunnel and up into a room of worked stone. There was machinery here. Gears turning, levers moving, slowly turning, their silent purpose unknown. Above, she saw a ladder leading out of the water, a table, some shelves, possibly Vorrik’s study. She swam back to inform the rest.

Upon hearing of the room, they decided to go and investigate. Natina swam back with the rope and tied it off so the rest could pull themselves along rather than trying to swim it. Salvik, Geddragg and Gozbert followed, the rest remained behind in case Vorrik returned. A metal grate separated them from a large paddle wheel of an even larger machine and a ladder anchored above let them climb up to the room. The room was dimly lit by natural light finding its way down through a crack in the ceiling that must eventually lead to the surface. The room itself was only about 20 feet square, with 1/3 of it taken up by the machine and the underwater passage opening. in the remainder was a large work desk, chair and book case. This had obviously been a natural cave at one time that had been worked into a room with flat floors and walls.

The desk was covered with papers, scrolls, maps and diagrams. Geddragg quickly set about putting as many as he could into scroll cases to transport out. Gozbert went to the shelves of books and quickly took 3 large books (one was Vorrik’s spell book, which Gozbert did not tell anyone that he recognized) into his oilcloth ruck sack and wrapped it tightly for the swim back. Salvik jammed pieces of table and anything he could into the slowly rotating gears to jam and stop the great machine. Then he managed to break one of the paddles on the paddle wheel. Geddragg saw what Salvik was doing and joined in, wedging a dagger into an area between two gears. It was time to go. First Salvik, then Geddragg and Gozbert and finally Natina, who untied the rope and brought it with her.

Fairly secure in their feelings that Vorrik would not be returning. Geddragg pulled out the scroll cases to look at their contents and urged Gozbert to do the same. Gozbert hesitated saying, “don’t you think it better that we wait until we get back to town?” Geddragg didn’t wait. He pulled out and quickly sorted into piles, letters here, maps there, drawings of machines in another pile. The maps were of the Moot, south to Black Fire Pass and east to the Worlds Edge Mountains … including parts of Sylvania. The drawings included one of a dwarven war machine, some sort of a steam powered cannon, but the ink was smeared in places by water. Another was of the machine in the cavern room that might be a pump of some type. Yet another was …..

… <clink><clink-clank-clunk> … the sound of metal dropped on stone, most likely down a steep embankment … like the WATERFALL ROOM! The party quickly positioned themselves for a battle as a flickering light grew in the passage ahead.. “HALLOOOOO!” cried a voice. “CAN YOU HEAR ME? YOU WERE NOT HARD TO FOLLOW!” The voice sounded familiar, a high pitched voice of a Halfling ….. Tilivan, the witch hunter strode down the tunnel.

“You have come a long way since last we met.”, he said. Caravan guards to witch hunter to constable and deputies. Hmmmm, (he stares at Geddragg) what is that item in your pack there, Geddragg the Dwarf? You know, playing with the winds of magic will get you burned. I am not at task to ferret out Dwarven magic, but be well warned … all magic is evil. Now, what leads you to this foul smelling place?"

The party explains what has transpired, the documents they recovered and the books, as Gozbert is again urged to unearth his find, but when the secret room of a necromancer is mentioned, Tilivan says, “It must be destroyed!” and before they can stop him, he drops his pack, pistols and powder, grabs two sealed pottery containers from his pack (recognized as some sort of bomb) and jumps into the water.

Geddragg and Gozbert quickly gather up their scrolls and books and ready themselves for a hasty retreat as the room shudders with the sound of an explosion, just as Tillivan emerges from the water. “I think it may be more prudent to go over your finds back in town”, he said. “This place is evil!”. The group explained Vorrik’s escape and possible return and Tilivan said, “Not if I drop the ceiling in on that tunnel. You get started on out, I should be right behind you.”

The party retraced their path out of the cavern with no mishaps, as they proceeded, Geddragg noticed that there was less dripping and the stream seamed smaller than when they entered. When they reached the cavern door, the sound of an explosion rang through the cavern. The door was wide open and . Not ‘held open by a log’, but wide open. Nothing was trying to close it now. Geddragg figured out that the pump below must pump water up to this door to make it shut and lock automatically. About this time, Tilivan came running out of the cavern. They shut, “locked” and blocked the door before returning to town.

On their walk to town, they told the story of Sty Lum, The false priest, the stone and grave, After being told of the grave stone that read “I’m a spie for Dwarf”, Tilivan chuckled, glancing at a tiny mark exposed on Kinstaag’s shoulder, "Looks like this town is a veritable trove of spies!. Kinstaag adjusted his stance to cover the mark, but not before Gozbert and Geddragg noticed it also. (Secret signs for the win) On arrival at the constable’s office, Natina checked the prisoner, who appeared to be asleep. Thinking he was faking, she made a few comments to the group concerning him with no reaction. Geddragg got his jail cell key (remember, only HIS key works in this lock) and opened the cell door. The prisoner was dead with a dart in his neck, most likely thrown from the cell window above.

“You folk just aren’t very good at this, are you?”, Tilivan wryly asked. First you go after a witch, who escapes. Then you arrive here and my friend dies and you let his murderer escape. Then you find out about a necromancer, and you let HIM escape!", his voice becoming more agitated. While Link and Salvik checked outside for clues, Geddragg offered to throw the runestones and ask for guidance toward the killer. Tilivan excused himself from the casting and went outside muttering about Dwarven magic.

Geddragg tossed the runes and interpreted the reading as “Beneath the stone”. They all concluded it was the Headstone above hidden room that they had been led to by a similar phrase. They all, except Kinstaag who was too banged up, ran to the cemetery and the stone. Link saw fresh prints from a horse that had been tied there. Gozbert opened the stone and looked down. There were fresh muddy prints at the bottom. Link went to follow the horse tracks toward the forge while Gozbert went into the hidey hole. A torch was still lit from whoever was recently here and on the floor was not one, but two corpses. The original one, nearly a skeleton, and the corpse of the Halfling farmer that was part of the council of elders.

Thus ends PART I of Trouble in the MooT

Those that didn’t use RP to get advancements not offered by their profession SHOULD now have finished their first profession. NOW is the time to be looking for you next profession. It will take 200 RP to start your next profession and an appropriate amount of time. If you choose now, it can cut down on the in game time to learn your new profession while you earn those 200 RP. Let me know your choices (they don’t have to be public knowledge). Also remember a couple changes now that you are past your first profession.
1) Each advance is 200 RP now
2) No party RP from here forward. You only get RP when you attend a session.

It is great GM’ing for this great group. …. Vance

… be continued!

And the rock cried out ....

Old Man Rheinhardt slowly and carefully pushed open the rock face. It swung in comparatively easy considering it most likely weighed tons. As he continued to open it, he heard a CLICK. Pausing and stepping back, he noted that after a short wait, the door started to close by itself. It took a bit of effort to counter the closing force, but they managed to force the door fully open and block it open with a freshly cut log. Rheinhardt and Salvik entered first only to see, at their feet, three skeletal figures on the ground.
Backing out and telling the rest, Geddragg Bitterbrew calmly strode in and kicked one of the skeletal heads down the passage ahead … no it wasn’t like the ones they had encountered just days before. Better safe than sorry. The passage ahead varied in width from 6 to 12 feet and had no light. Rheinhardt led with Salvik close behind carrying a lantern above short Rhenihardt’s head. Around mid-group, Mitiliago advanced with a small flame in his palm and Geddragg brought up the rear carrying a torch. The cavern passage constantly dripped water from the roof making the floor wet and slightly slick.. Water started to gather into little rivulets along the edge of the passage. They were definitely progressing downhill.

Not 30 yards went by when Rheinhardt yelled “Bats incoming!”. Swarms of bats started to attack the first light source and the person holding it, Salvik! Salvik set down the lantern and flailed at the bats along with the rest, Mitiliago put out his flame and waited to see where he was most needed. Geddragg moved up and his torch attracted the attention of part of the swarms. At one point, the bats attacked the lantern, knocking it over and extinguishing it. Mitiliago quickly re-lit it with a short prayer. Luckily they still had Geddragg’s torch to see by in the interim. The experience quickly ended.

As they moved deeper into the cave, the dripping increased and the runoff gathered into a small stream. Soon the tunnel opened into a fairly large cavern, stalagmites, stalactites and columns covered the cavern’s floors and ceiling with the stream winding its way through the center. As Rheinhardt stopped near one of the columns, part of the column separated from the rest and a glob stretched out and slammed into him. Weapons that hit it seemed to sink in and pull out with little or no damage. Kinstaag Grimmhammer Shouted, “It’s a gorram mimic! Ya gotta kill it with FIRE!” There were at least three former victims lying in a pile below the column where the mimic had attached itself. A couple of our brave troupe nearly joined them were it not for the healing draught and bandages purchased in town prior. The mimic finally ended in a bubbling burning glob on the floor and the party continued.

After looking around for “treasure”, whatever that is, they ventured further into the winding cavern. More little streams joining the main one to make an ever wider stream. As the path ahead narrowed, the stream completely covered the tunnel floor, making it smooth and slick after years of wear. The constant dripping and the distraction of their wet clothing and boots almost disguised the sound of rushing and splashing water ahead. Rheinhardt thought it better to secure himself with a rope prior to proceeding. It was a good choice because soon after, he slipped on the slick stream bed and nearly was swept over the edge of a drop off. Kind of a combination waterfall and steep, rocky waterway leading into darkness. Being the shortest and lightest, his weight was easily checked and he recovered. Mitiliago noticed a very small ledge to the left of the stream as it entered the new cavern. He also noticed carved out hand holds about 4 feet higher. These could be used to inch sideways around the outcropping to discover a possibly route down. Rheinhardt was too short to reach the hand holds, so Natina went first. (Each participant did a Co-ordination and an Athletics Test to make it.) Natina acted as anchor for the rope and the rest worked their way across until just the two Dwarves were left. The largest of the crew.
Kinstaag went first, making it through the rushing water to the ledge, but critically failing his Athletics Test and falling to the rocks below. His body lay motionless. Unnerved, Geddragg Bitterbrew wrapped the rope around his waist and started across. Maybe the ledge had something against Dwarves because he also failed his Athletics Test and dropped off the ledge, slamming into the wall below the rest of the party. He was unconscious, but was quickly hauled up to join the rest. A long plateaued winding path followed the wall and slowly went to the new cavern’s floor. Salvik was lowered to Kinstaag with a Healing Draught but had to drop the last 5 feet. Kinstaag was alive, but gravely injured. Several broken ribs would hinder any thought of travel for a bit. The rest slowly worked their way down the winding path to join them.
The sound of the rushing water drowned out almost all noises in this cavern. Even normal conversation was difficult without raising your voice. The group slowly picked their way through the rocks and spray to the far end of the cavern where again it narrowed with the swift stream flowing on the right side and ultimately into a huge cavern with the large stream flowing across the center. The far half of the cavern appeared to be a lake. Maybe it was below the water level of the river now.
Ahead, somewhere in the cavern, came a giggling, mad laughter. Rheinhardt saw what appeared to be an ashen colored figure near the water’s edge. When Salvik and Mitiliago looked, they also saw two skeletal figures rising from the ground beside him.
Kinstaag coughed, “Vorrik …. he’s alive!” and collapsed, coughing blood.


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