Thursday, June 8, 2017

Trail of the Blacksnake - part three

Cast of Characters

  • Twofoot Small – A Hinnish hunter and trapper who is not particularly fond of wizards or magic.

  • Al Minister – Paladin of Sune, Protector of all that is bright, beautiful, and good.

  • Argyle Bloodbane – Rowdy and opinionated fighting man of the Moonshaes; has a close relationship with his 'comfort' sheep.

  • The Light Destroyer – A violet hued Dragonborn and practitioner of Shadow Magic.

  • Harkoon Beltimber – A Wizard and Sage.

  • Burr – A satyr and ex-prisoner of the Goblins of The Sunless Citadel.

  • Mirak – A strange crystalline entity from beyond our world, also an ex-prisoner of the Goblins.

  • Darkedge – A Kozokuran Shinobi.

  • Ol' Fenster II– Coincidentally imprisoned by the Goblins … (Embrace the Dungeon here, guys) … Still willing to do ANYTHING for 2 gold pieces ...

  • Morlyg, The Blacksnake – The assembler of the group; Moon Elf Swashbuckler and secretly a Harper Agent.

30th of Tarsakh, Year of the Ageless One; 447 North Reckoning, continued

The razing of the Goblinhold was swift and merciless. Here we found prisoners of the vile humanoids which quickly agreed to join our group. Curiously, one of them was the brother of Ol' Fenster … miraculously a virtual twin of him … (Embrace the Dungeon here, guys) … though this one claims that he's always been here in these catacombs and sees and speaks to the first Fenster as if he were still with us …

Soon after settling about for a short rest, a chamber was discovered with a large deep pit at it's center. A soft violet light glowed ominously from it's depths. At times, faint chanting could be heard – could this be the Dragon Cult reusing this ruin as a base again? Darkedge suggested we place our archers about the rim of the pit to cover those who would descend first, which was done. We cautiously descended into the purple unknown.

Animated Skeletons greeted the first to reach the bottom, but were quickly dispatched. It appeared as if they were tending and harvesting fungus from the carpet of fungi covering the stone floor of this level. As we continued to explore the large chambers of fungi, occasionally running into more skeletal gardeners, the ominous chanting echoed through the complex.

In one of the several large hexagonal shaped chambers, holes in the floor were discovered by Ol' Fenster. Upon closer examination, we were suddenly set upon by the angry Firesnake that made one of the holes it's home. Harkoon was scorched by the snake, as was Ol' Fenster, but it was a minor threat compared to what was to follow.

The holes suddenly and simultaneously vomited forth snakes, hundreds of them. They were launched into the air with great abandon and rained upon us like some hellish nightmare. Nearly all of us were bitten and poisoned as the last of the snakes were cleared away so that we might flee. We needed a safe haven to nurse our wounds, and there were few to be had. We settled on what was once an armory of sorts. Fenster jammed the door to the south with iron spikes and Argyle kept watch on the door to the north so that we would not be interrupted in our long rest.

It seemed strange to me that we had not run into any Dragon Cultists yet. Surely they would have sentries or guards near their base. It wasn't adding up. Perhaps we had stumbled upon some previously unknown threat here … the periodic chanting echoing in the damp, violet hued halls seemed to indicate that.

And just as my thoughts had cluttered with the potential evils of the unknown, I looked up and there he was, peering through the opened door to the north.

Please to excuse me, I implore, but might I pass through yonder door?”

His voice was smooth and dry, as if he knew something we didn't and was chiding us for not knowing. He was a diminutive being, not quite three feet tall; but his most striking features were his blood red skin and leathery black wings folded behind him. The Paladin AL stood to confront the hellish being, but I took his arm – evil it may be, it seemed to mean us no ill will.

Harkoon spoke to him, “What is your name, Imp?”

My name is one of no import; it's bland and of a mundane sort. And once again I ask of you, might I cross this room to the door and pass through?”

Just where are you going? Back to your master now that you've spied on us?” Harkoon slyly inquired.

All I wish is to pass, yet you postpone; but my diabolical business is my own,” with that he grinned wickedly.

Swear to me that you'll do us no harm nor make any mention of us to your master, and we'll let you pass,” Harkoon boldly bargained with the hellspawn.

Agreed, I swear I shall not molest, nor tell my master of your damnable quest. Explore away till you're out of breath, but beware - you may find an untimely death ...” And with that, he took flight across the room and exited through the south door, unfettered by the spikes, and left a sulfurous odor in the armory.

The rest of the night was cold, damp, and quiet.