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Making Friends in All the Wrong Places

Valon’s Journal

Well here we are again running for our lives. With mind flayers behind us and duergar ahead of us it looks like we have attracted all kinds of attention down here in the underdark.

It all started out innocent enough with the group wanting to explore some of the other passages with the hope of finding a way around the city of fire creatures that we saw to the south. Of course things couldn’t be easy. Aramil tried to kill the climbdog that we picked up from the carnival. The dog’s wounds healed almost instantly, curious. Ghelt in a rage sliced into Aramil so hard we thought that this could possibly be the end of him. But she seemed to reign in her anger and Aramil lives on to continue his foolish ways. So we went north and took the left passage since we already new that the right led to the outside. I was more than tempted to head towards the fresh air, open sky and the dangers that awaited rather than head deeper into the earth. But deeper we went with Pockets insisting on scouting farther ahead of the group. The passage that we followed seemed to have seen extensive travel. We travelled for what seemed like an eternity before we came to a cavern with three choices of egress. We followed the passage that seemed to have the most travel, which lead us to a cavern overgrown with large violet mushrooms. When we tried to cross the cavern the mushrooms let out the most ear piercing shrieks that lasted for a least fifteen seconds. Obviously this was some type of early warning system for whatever lay ahead. With what can only be described as a moment of divine revelation, the group’s collective intelligence seemed to actually go up and we turned back the way we came.

We retraced our steps back to the cavern and decided to try another path. This one lead to another similar cavern. Unfortunately this one was inhabited by a very large and apparently hungry stalagmite which fired out sticky strands and began reeling in party members. After a fierce battle we overcame this newest obstacle. In its stony maw we found a jade figure of a humanoid with a squid-like head. We quickly continued our journey down another passageway.

This one lead us to a great chasm. Looking into the chasm we could see the river of molten rock sluggishly flowing below us and an opening in the rock face across from us. The only discernable way across was by means of a not too safe looking rope bridge. Pockets moved with a fluid grace across the bridge to the other side while Aramil did the epileptic dance of a puppet with half its strings cut on the bridge, nearly falling over the side several times to a most uncomfortable demise, before making his way back to our side. Wisely, no one else decided to make the attempt to cross as we watched Pockets disappear through the other opening and waited for the screaming to commence.

The party decided that sitting in this narrow passage overlooking the fiery gorge would be a good place to rest as Fafnir wanted to prepare a few spells. It didn’t take long for trouble to find us though as the party was hit by a volley of crossbow bolts from the direction we had travelled. We saw a group of thin, scraggly, grey-skinned duergar reloading their crossbows in the passageway. As Drusilia fired an arrow of detonation down the passage Aramil decided that firing an arrow through the party in a tight confined space would also be a good idea. After the deafening roar of the fireball filled the passageway where the duergar were they wisely pulled back, carrying off their wounded.

It was decided that being on this side of the bridge was a bad idea and through the use of a fly spell Fafnir cast on Ghelt, we were each carried across the churning chasm of toasty death to the other side. Why we didn’t do this sooner so that the party could stay together I doubt I’ll ever know. It was down this other passage that we found Pockets on a ledge overlooking a vast underground stone city. In amongst the buildings we could see humanoids with squid-like heads floating between the buildings. In another brilliant spark of intellectual mayhem the dog ran down into the city at Pocket’s urging and soon came back being followed by two mind flayers. Pockets in his infinite wisdom decided to fire two crossbow bolts at the dog thus revealing our location to the mind flayers.

Thus we are now running. Fortunately Ghelt was able to collapse the tunnel behind us hopefully delaying pursuit. When we reached the chasm we were once again met with a hail of crossbow bolts from the far side. Fafnir easily took care of the problem and in the form of a bronze dragon flew us over to the other side. His usefulness to this party is exemplary. So now we run surely continuing to make friends wherever we go.

Posted by Hugh on August 31, 2003, 11:04 | Valon’s Journal