Goblins, Wisps, Rats, And Three-Headed Dogs
We must have looked quite comical taking the luxurious carriage that was called for us this morning. 6 adventurers in their dusty, ragged dungeon clothes using transport fit for royalty. The driver agreed to take us part of the way down the road towards Rappan Athuk. I do not blame him for not wanting to travel the full distance there. We arrived safely and sent him on his way with our thanks. Sure beats walking!
Rather than make our way down the well this time, we decided to walk through the gates and ensure that areas already cleared of undead and other unsavories were still accessible to others that may not have the strength and constitution that makes up our party. We entered into a previously inhabited area and it was explained that this level used to be enchanted with a permanent maze spell of some sort. All that remained were the remnants of some minor confusion, but not enough to cause any concern.
A corridor greeted us with two directions in which to go. We left the decision up to the fates and I tossed a coin. I began scouting down to the right. Sure enough, there appeared to be some recent activity, as I was able to spot a trap. It wasn't very well hidden or constructed. I was able to bypass it completely. Perhaps some others might not be as fortunate to spot it as I was, so I thought it best to disable it for others who might happen upon it.
I moved up ahead and just barely caught the sound of voices in a nearby cavern. I used my ring to become invisible and moved silently into the next area. Soon, I spotted what appeared to be nearly 15 or so goblins. One of them wore robes while the others wore armor of some kind or another. I made my way back to the rest of the party and mentioned to Marius that they all seemed to be waiting for us to come within range for them to attack. They also were very conveniently located in a semi-circle around their mage. I thought it fitting that they fall victim to a spell of Marius' casting. A pebble was enchanted with a spell which brought a silence with it. Marius flew invisibly above the group and dropped the pebble, effectively disabling their caster's ability to verbalize any spells. Then, he flew a bit higher above them so he was not caught in the spell's effect and hurled a fireball into their midst. All but the caster fell in the first moments. A brief while later, the caster met his maker. Other than an intial burning sensation, I doubt they had time to feel much pain. Shame.
The cavern had no outlets to other areas, so we turned around and followed the corridor in the other direction. We came to a cave-in, but I was able to navigate a path through to the other side without further collapse. This room opened up into a larger portion of the chamber and we were greeted to more options in which to travel. We followed a pathway for a couple of hundred feet until we were stopped by a chasm. Well, some of us were stopped momentarily. Krom made an incredible leap across and landed safely on the other side. Others required a bit more help, but with a few more jumps and some helping hands, we all made it without incident.
A little further and we came to a red column that seemed out of place. I took some time and searched the object and found a hole on one of the sides. It appeared to extend to the core of this rock. With some maneuvering of my lantern and a polished mirror, I was able to focus some light to the middle. It was too far away to see but I did see a slight gleam reflecting back at me. We spent a few minutes going over ways we might be able to get whatever this object was out of its resting place, but came up empty. I shuffled through my pack for items that might be useful and came up with a small magnet and a roll of twine. I tied the magnet to a length of the twine and threw the magnet inside with care. After several attempts, I was able to position the magnet in reach of the object and carefully retrieved my line. I could sense a bit of a resistance, so I knew I had grabbed hold of something. Sure enough, attached to the end of the magnet was a ring! It was very finely crafted. Curious, one of the casters cast a spell and informed me the ring was strongly enchanted. It was silver and was set with 3 rubies.
Hmm... I'm starting to doze off here. I shall briefly describe the rest of this busy day. We ended up following this corridor where the column was and crossed a bridge adorned with skulls. I spotted some glowing down underneath it and saw some mushrooms. I've never seen their like. The ranger came down and looked at them. He determined that one of them would produce a strong poison. Interesting! Another may be a famed mushroom of youth. We sent them all back to Sitnalym via magical means for further investigation.
Down the way a bit more, I spotted some flashing lights. I cautiously made my way towards them and they were floating around. I described them to Marius and Flynn and they said it sounded like wisps. We were able to dispatch them with some difficulty but no loss of life.
We came across a waterfall and turned around. We climbed an 80 foot cliff via a rope I had set up. Krom climbed up around 70 feet or so and saw a rat chewing through the rope! He just managed to grab above the cut line and caught the rat and hurtled it to the ground. The rest of the party was flown up to avoid more potential accidents. Shortly thereafter, a corridor gleamed of white. It looked out of place and I wished to research it further. Marius floated in ahead and told me I was being too cautious. As we stepped in, several of us felt like something was sapping at our strength. Indeed, I feel weaker now. Brunis did as well, but he was able to cast a spell to restore his lost strength. He will attempt to do the same for me tomorrow after he has prayed for more spells from Heironeous.
We came to the tomb of a titan. Flynn was adamant that we not disturb the rest of this titan and his guardian, which he was sure resided behind two sets of doors. He was able to read an archaic version of the celestial language and determine that they were goodly beings. He felt that to investigate them would be a desecration.
Up a short flight of stairs we felt a wave of heat hit us. I moved in closer and saw a barred gate. Just beyond was the biggest, and strangest, dog I've seen! Even though I was invisible and moving very quietly, he seemed to know where I was. One of the heads was pointing in my direction. Yes, one. This beast had 3 heads! I moved back to the group and described what I had seen, just in time for the beast to attempt to attack. Krom was able to act quickly and charged the creature, nearly cutting it in twain in one stroke. That man is so very strong. I am glad I have not been on the receiving end of one of his frenzied attacks. I fear I would not survive the blow. I've learned to keep my distance.
In his frenzied state, Krom then turned his attack on Marius, who after getting cut very deeply, was able to escape out reach. Flynn stepped up and cast a spell on Krom, but it didn't seem to affect him at all. Then, Flynn took the worst of Krom's attacks and nearly died in his defense of the rest of us. To further distract us, the dog ended up getting back up after we thought it dead. Very smart creature to trick us in such a way. It took a good bite out of my shoulder before Clin was able to put it down for good with one well-placed arrow up its... well, hind quarters, shall we say? It is rumored that this was the famed Cerberus. But, due to the speed and relative ease with which we dispatched the dog, I doubt this is the creature of legend.
After Krom got himself under control, he apologized - as usual. Flynn seemed to take it all in stride. Perhaps it is because they share a bond as followers of Kord. All I know is, if Krom ever looks at me with bloodlust in his eyes, I am flying the hell out of his reach and raining arrows on his head until he drops. I like to gamble on occasion, but usually not with my life. This place is too dangerous to have to worry about the people you should be trusting to watch your back.
Further investigation of this area has been confusing. We'll take a step through a corridor only to be teleported to another area. We finally ended up walking down a long hallway. I spotted a secret chamber where, through some dumb luck, Krom ended up a bit less powerful and a key materialized in a stone column. As we left this area, several hounds and two humanoids later named to me as mind flayers attacked me. I was told I almost got my brains sucked out of my head, except for the fact that Marius was able to teleport me out of the situation and out of reach from their tentacles while the rest of the group dispatched them.
Quite an eventful day. I am hoping to be able to get some rest in this place. I long for the comfort and security of Sitnalym's tower, but I don't want to get to soft or accustomed to such a life. So, here we are resting in a relatively safe environment in one of the item-o-matic* rooms set up in some of the safer areas of the dungeon. We shall unload some of our unwanted treasures and make good use of the coin we have collected.
* One of Sitnalym's goals in having Rappan Athuk cleared of some of the more dangerous tenants of the dungeons, is being able to set up rooms with item-o-matic machines. They are attended by semi-unseen servants who help facilitate the sending and receiving of items back and forth to the tower by way of the device. Items sent are then valued and coin is sent back. Other things can be sent through the magical machine as well, such as weapons, wondrous items, etc. Of course, there is a charge for such a convenience!