As I lay here on the cold stone floor surround by vines and a slightly luminous pool of water I reflect on what got me here.
After a week of ‘practice’ I met up with some of the gang who were still in town down in Skullport at the Haunted Hold. The clerics weren’t there, must be off at church for something, and neither was Brianne. I guess one of her scams was busted and she had to skip town. But two of my old woodsy friends were there – Cid and Rolene.
After several drinks – okay many drinks we were approached by some guy by the name of Deyv. He seemed a bit off but the boys were interested in what he was selling. A map to the entrance to the path of the Carnelian Caves. An old dwarven mine full of riches. For 20 gp a piece he would give it to us. We talked a bit and he went down to 100 now and 40 later and he’d take us to the entrance. This seemed better… Looking back now, why did we buy this map? He took us there himself? Dang we are easy marks after a night of many rounds.
A winding labyrinth below Skullport gets us to the entrance. An apparent recent cave opening. Following the path we came upon a locked door that had a rusted lock on it, even my tools didn’t help, but Barrak (or Garret) was able to persuade it open with a crowbar.
Littering the floor was dozens of bent and rusted weapons, across the room was another locked door. I checked it out for traps but apparently, these old dwarves have tricks that you just don’t learn on the high seas. 7 of the weapons sprung to life. We readied ourselves and started the vanquishing of old metal. My friends had some trouble so I beat apart 4 of the animated weapons.
It was then that we realized how exhausted we all were and it must have been closer to morning than not. We also noticed the body of some old guy who had an ornate decanter and 4 golden goblets. It appeared to have water in it. I boldly tasted it and it was just water, which was surprisingly fresh. We then made camp and threw all the rusted weaponry out in the hall and barred the door. Cid set up some alarm behind us and Barrak slept in front of the other door. The alarm never went off but I was awoken by Barrak telling us we were being attacked and then I saw a flash of yellow light and maybe purple.
The next fight was a haze but we ended up being attacked by an eye demon or something – I think Dzeph said something about a beholder. Anyways after it ripped Barrack a new one our bow team was able to take it down with Garret getting in the way. Afterwards we finally rested.
The next day – well probably afternoon, we continued on – the path split one door was open so we went through it rather than the locked door. Inside was a weird luminous mist that was like walking through water. As Garret (he had a torch) checked the next door it all of a sudden exploded into rubble and smoke. The ringing in my ear was painful. The mist started seeping out (oh I had put some into a vial to see how well it would stay luminous – minimally) and when we advanced we found out that gnolls had some sort of cannon. Damn dirty dogs. Dzeph got the idea to heat the barrel which put the cannon out of commission and we were able to vanquish a few of the gnolls before their reinforcements arrived and the cannon exploded into molten slag.
Once the gnolls were dead we found an extra ammo cache which I doused with the decanter of endless water (I mean I assume it’s endless, I drank more earlier and it just slowly fills up again). And It turned out to be endless cause I soaked all the ammunition to hopefully make it unusable.
Later we discovered a small nook of a room with a large sarcophagus – they assured me it was safe to open, but even with a few of us trying we couldn’t pry it open. Meanwhile, Rolene had noticed an open secret door – apparently there were some carvings about an ancient warrior or something – I don’t know. There were other doors off this room. The second was just a small empty room. I carved Harlow’s hideout on it. Just in case we get stuck in here you need to claim a space of your own.
We also found a black/darkness curtain – that should have been the exact opposite side of where we came in. We rolled a ‘lighted’ cannonball towards it and it just disappeared into the darkness. Gribble went to inspect it closer and once he got close – voosh! He caught sucked in. Dzeph in a display out of character, dove in after him!. We found out later –they lived after falling down a pit, there was a curtain across to connect the passageway.
Continuing our explorations, we fought some more gnolls, found a big chest of gold, silver and copper. We tried to leave with it and after back tracking found we couldn’t leave- the path was closed. Shit. Guess we are in here for the long haul. Then, we decided to leave the silver and copper in the secret room near the sarcophagus for safe keeping.
Next on our little trip underground we found a slightly illuminated spring with vines growing all over it. Seemed like a bad idea to enter so I stayed back as the nature lovers went in. Bad Idea! The vines started pulling people towards a hungry mouth in the floor! We fought hard as it kept grabbing everyone. I was able to land some crippling shots on it from afar, and in the end, Dzeph’s magical words felled the beast.
If that wasn’t enough we explored one more room nearby that was up a set of stairs – a way out! We hoped. We were wrong. Upon entering the room the ceiling was shrouded in darkness so we tried hosting each other up into it to see if there was more beyond the darkness. It was then that the screaming started. Something had latched onto Dzeph’s face and he dropped him quickly below the darkness curtain only to find the darkness followed him. We found in darkness – comedy of errors as we fumbled like toddlers picking up our weapons. Somehow after we possibly bashed, poked and stabbed each other, we killed this squid like beast that was probing Dzeph’s head. The darkness left him and we left the room to rest!
Who knows what else lays in these damn tunnels, but I am glad I am here with friends.