Session #7 (5-13-12): Into the Caverns Below Quasqueton
After spending some time resting up in the woodworkers room, the group readies themselves to take on the lower levels of Quasqueton. Myra is convinced this is where the fabled Room of Pools is located and they must go there to find it. The group has no problem making their way back to the room with the staircase down into the caverns below, and carefully do so.
Below, they find a large room filled with piles of rocks, mining equipment, timbers, broken barrels and two old carts. Moving back and fourth between the carts and the pile of rocks are humanoids, which further investigation reveals to be zombies who's bodies seem to have been preserved somehow by being calcified.
One group of zombies is moving rocks from the carts to the pile in the corner and dumping them and another group is picking up rocks from that very pile and putting them back in the carts. The group finds their actions very curious and the zombies seem to take absolutely no interest in the existence of the adventurers. Brother Cadfael moves forward in an attempt to turn them, but is unsuccessful in this. Unfortunately, this action seems to definitely get the zombies attention and they set upon the party at once, bludgeoning them with rocks and fists. A few of the zombies get injured in battle, but Cadfael attempts to turn them once again, and this time is successful in causing a few to flee. Orien very adroitly dashed across the room and onto one of the old carts and used its vantage point to fire arrows at the undead. He took out several of them with this feat which inspired him to do an elven victory dance. A few well placed flaming oils do the trick of dealing with the remaining undead and the group begins to search the room.
They don't find any treasure, but they do see a corridor from one end of the room that goes to a swollen door and the far side of the room is still rough a hewn cave with cavern tunnels leading to the east and west.
They spend some time at the door and try to open it, but while doing this, Veder the man at arms shouts out as he is surprised by a grey amorphous ooze that seemed to come upon him out of nowhere. The creatures pseudopod slammed Veder to the ground and moved over him as it began to devour his body. The rest of the group set upon the Grey Ooze but soon learned their weapons were of little use to affecting the creature, so they had the porters Toldric and Finn readying flaming oil to assist in the situation. A few moments later the slimy creature was dead, but unfortunately, Veders body and most of his possessions were dissolved by the thing.
The group puts Veders remains in a large sack and ties it to the mule along with the body of the dwarf they found in the octagonal room, in the hopes of giving them proper funeral service.
Golar and Cadfael spend some time bashing open the swollen door which reveals a corridor beyond. As the group makes their way down to the end of this corridor, Orien scouts ahead to look around the corner. He sees a room beyond with a large glowing rock.
Cautiously the group makes its way to the room, checking for traps and looking about for any nasty surprises. "Surely this is some form of a trap" Orien says indubitably. Golar informs the group that the large rock is a chunk of mica, but why its glowing he isn't sure. "Magic" assures Myra. Their tests with poles and grappling hook and rope prove little help in determining anything about the rock, so a rope is tied around Orien and he runs in and touches the rock and runs back out for as he assured everyone " I am light and fleet of foot". Nothing happens when he does this, but he does notice that the rock of mica has a bunch of chunks broken off of it.
The group eventually ventures into the room, checking the walls for secret doors and whatnot, and examining the stone. Myra uses her spell to determine it radiates STRONG magic. Golar uses a pick axe they got in the last room and removes a piece of the mica. It glows for a moment, then the glowing fades and dies. "Curious- it must have some magical property that is lost if a chuck is removed but doesn't last long- I wonder what it is" Myra comments. She pockets the piece of mica.
The group decide to leave discovering the properties of the rock for other time and leaves the room and heads off down one of the rough hewn cavern passageways. After a long trek down the passageway, they come to a large round natural cavern with stalactites and stalagmites. The group decides to split up, Myra, Toldric and the mule staying at the entrance, while Cadfael, Thad and Fin the torchbearer go along the west wall and Golar, Orien and Mutlik go along the east wall. About half way into the room, a stalactite falls from the ceiling and lodges itself into Mutlik and he goes down. Another falls from the ceiling over the Mule and greatly injures the pack beast. Orien notices the bottoms of the stalactites have strange sucker like appendages on them that helped them keep on the ceiling.
"PIERCERS" cries Golar" GET TO THE OTHER SIDE QUICK". Quickly the group makes its way across the room but not before several more Piercers drop from the ceiling onto them. Finn and Cadfael help drag Mutlik's body to the other exit, but in doing so, one drops on Cadfael and destroys his shield he was holding over his head. Just as everyone gets there and tries to get through the opening, another of the strange stalactite creatures drops onto the mule and the mule goes down unconscious. Its up to Thad to help, and Myra screams for the cleric to assist in getting the mule. " What?, I'm not going back out there unless Ive got a good shield over my head, where is Finn I think he has an extra one". "We don't have time, Myra argues, get out there and help him- why the hell did we buy you that damn plate male anyway". Grudgingly, Cadfael assists Thad drag the mule to safety, and the group spends time resting and bandaging themselves after the harrowing encounter.
After some rest, the mule and Toldric are up and about, but barely. Myra asks Cadfael to use the last of his Healing spells on the mule to which he replies " I'm not using my healing on a damn mule, I'm saving it for more important members of the party, namely...myself".
Injured, the group continues their way along the passage and comes to an intersection of sorts. Golar determines with his darkvision that a large cavern opens up to the left and he can smell a strange stench from that way. The passage north has another swollen door along it a little ways up. The group decides to investigate the door, and once again Cadfael and Golar set to breaking the door in. No sooner does the door slam open, when a group of scaly reptilian creatures comes upon them from the large chamber behind them. The stench they give off is overpowering and it is all the party can do to over come it in order to battle them. "I think these are Troglodytes" Orien says. Sleep is used once again to aid in downing a few of the amphibians, and the rest are killed with Thad's help, but one of them runs off.
The group decides to move into the large chamber from which the creatures came. Golar notes that the natural cavern is quite large which extends beyond his site north and south with another tunnel on the west wall leading off. They cautiously make their way along the wall of the large cavern, but soon can hear the noise and smell the stench of the reptiles returning- this time with reinforcements.
Positions are set, flaming oil tossed and caltrops dropped to better deal with the oncoming assault. Soon enough, 10 of the green scaly troglodytes are upon them. The oil and caltrops help deter them a bit and Golar and Thad use them to their best advantage. Unfortunately, Golar has a bad miss with his axe and nearly kills Mutlik who is standing behind him with his spear, and Oriens bow strings break. On top of that the final Sleep spell Myra cast only downs a few of the creatures, but in the groups attempt to slay the helpless monsters, they accidentally wake two of them up again. It doesn't look good for the party, but they are able all work together- the torchbearers providing flaming oil, Thad being very affective with his masterwork axe ( which unfortunately got damaged in the battle), and Cadfael with his great morning star, Myra and Orien resorting to dagger throwing.
This is enough to drive the creatures off but the party gives chase, Thad and Cadfael in particular charging the creatures in an attempt to keep them from going off and bringing others. Soon enough the battle is over. Little is found on the troglodytes other than stone axes and hammers and a few coins " Sheesh, where is all their treasure" inquires Myra.
At this point the group is out of spells and greatly injured, so they cautiously make their way back the way they came, carefully skirting along the walls of the Piercer cavern as the go. Golar suggests they rest in the room with the magical glowing stone, and so that is where the group retreats to, spiking the door and rests. Several hours later, they decide they need to return to Eastbrook to replenish supplies, get their damaged weapons fixed and deal with their dead. So cautiously, they make their way up the staircase and back down the hallway of the first level, back out the secret door room and out into the wilderness heading to Eastbrook to find a nice warm bed and hearty meal.