I found the party journal covered in slime, mud, and what appears to be tomato sauce?! Having no clear record of the last week, I took it upon myself to document the events as I remember it. Upon reviewing the filthy document, I added a bit of holy oil and tossed the corrupt thing into the fire. The drawings of such a demented mind should not be exposed to the world. There is a least one, maybe two of this group who I may eventually have to put down. But for now, I use their darker natures to lead me to the deeper darkness.
My log starts in the maze of tunnels in or near Wave Echo Cave. We had just resolved our fight with the some type of jellys. We clear the immediate area and head north toward the sound of waves crashing on the rocks. As the tunnels are old and partially destroyed, I keep my senses trained for any dead-falls.
The tunnel opens up into a cavern with a dark, still pond. The smells of rotten fish and shellfish dominate the area. Cautious of water predators, Adrik lights some stones and tosses them into the murky depths with little result.
We finally found a way to trick the dirty Halfling warlock to take a bath. Now, he only smells of rotten mussels which anyone will tell you, is much better. But the little folk are a lucky lot. He comes out of the water with two rings and a magical stick!
We climb some carved steps at the far side of the cavern and find a landing with a door and more steps going up to the left. Welby reviews the door and feels it is unlocked and safe to open as he hears nothing beyond it. We prepare and open the door. Somehow, five large bugbears must have been making no noise!
Morgan moves in and slashes the closest in a fit of rage! Adrik looks about for anything that would show a “chief” among bugbears but has time to bless most the party.
The bugbears counter attack with two cutting into Morgan’s armor. Dwarf and bugbear blood now cover the floor. A javelin finds its make in Adriks shoulder. I block another’s attack with my shield. A dart of pink light sparks into one of the bugbears, a small crossbow bolt slams into another’s stomach. Welby jumps behind me as I move to help Morgan, but unable to get past the beast’s guard. Gundron takes a tentative swing but mainly staying out of the way.
Morgan is able to get some breathing space to dig deep and roars back into the fight. Adrik moves into melee as well but stumble back bleeding after a hit from the closest bugbear. Javelins and swords fly but we avoid further hits. Cade starts babbling and jumping around as if drunk or possessed (if possessed, I will have to put him down soon that I had planned….). Welby is able to finish off one of the beasts from the shadows.
Morgan finishes another but takes another massive hit across the chest. Adrik pours his healing energies into himself but takes another hit for his efforts. Another pink dart comes from Cade to no visible effect. Welby, still in the shadows, launches another shot into the bugbears. I connect with Hewer and send a bugbear flying. Thunder crackles. Morgan chops down and takes its arm and ending its life. Gundron takes another tentative swing and only Adrik’s mail saves him from a nasty slice. I start to wonder if Gundron has handled weapons before… We focus and quickly finish off the last two creatures. Not much in the way of treasure (15 cp, 13 ep, Potion of Vitality).
As we start to catch our breath and bind the wounds, Welby screams from the back. Twin bolts have pierced his shoulders. The cry snaps Cade out of his vacant trance and he pulls his brother into the room. More bugbears rush into the door that we used. Advik, steps over Welby and launches a spell into one bugbear. Welby is able to fire at the same one, dropping it. I rush to try to hold the door long enough for Morgan to quaff a healing draught. Gundron swings but at least did not hit one of us. With the narrow doorway, we focus our attacks and take no further damage as we finish them off.
With no sign of the hidden archers that attacked Welby, we fall back into the room and make it secure. We rest and bind our wounds.
We head out of the room thru the other door in the room. This one was barricaded from this side so they bugbears where trying to keep something out. We go down a hall with at least one branch but we by-pass if for the large room ahead. This appears to be the blast furnace where ore is smelted. In the center of the room, past the furnace, floats a skull surrounded by a green fog. It is aware of our presence and warns up to leave or die. Morgan roars into a rage and charges forward, jumping much high that I thought he should be able to. He clears the furnace and strikes the skull.
While, not the most tactical of choices, I do agree with the sentiment. Glowing skulls should not be tolerated, especially bossy ones. I just wish we had been more prepared for its response. A huge ball of fire by-passes Morgan but rips into the party. It hurt.
But that seem to be a trigger, as undead rose from the around the room to attack Morgan from all sides. We fight our way to him, destroying the undead and the floating skull in the process. Morgan still remained standing, although much bloodied. A green haze hung of the area and did not disappear. I fear that we have not seen the last of that skull….
We left the room out of the far exist past where the skull was. It is interesting to note that the tunnels are larger here. These were obviously designed with humans or elves in mind. We come into another open chamber with the ruins of some buildings visible. Cade is able a magical field in this area.
We decide to investigate one of the more intact structures. The door appears to be fused. With much effort, finally, Gundron is able to open it. And again, we need better plans here. We are now face to eye with a creature that reminds me of the beholder creatures that I have heard of.