Session 4: The Underways
Gary: Erasmus the Elf + Shiloh the Halfling
(Gator)Todd: Dosh the Dwarf + Lszlo the farmer + Rainbow the Warrior
Ian: Ms. Ironday + Feyrith the Elven Forester
Bob: Roche the Thief + Merkin the Locksmith
(Note: These 4 retainers were the Mykon slaves freed in Session 1, who eventually labored on the Lord Fitzgerald Memorial shaft.)
Session opened with 3 hooks provided to the assembled adventurers, with a 4th option to go totally sandbox. The party chose to hire on as caravan guards with a toad-man merchant named Hut-hut, who was taking a 10 wagon caravan to the underground city of Entropia. The wagons were pulled by scumback toad-men (Hut-hut and his men are of the “Spitter” tribes.) Each full party member was to be paid 20 gp upon successful completion of the mission. (Party agreed to take the freed Mykon slaves along as retainers for 1gp each). The party thought to hire a cleric, and interviewed (examined the character sheet) of Howard the Neutral, but disqualified him based on his statistics. (Poor Howard!) Instead, they were joined by a new Dwarf, Dosh the Mongolian and his acquaintance, Rainbow the Warrior.
(Before meeting up with Hut-hut, Ms Ironday followed him back to his toad-village in the swamps and observed him accessing the Ledge through the secret Toad-men entrance to the Underways).
Agreeing to meet Hut-Hut on the Ledge, they journeyed to the Lord Fitzgerald Memorial shaft, lowering themselves down and backtracking to meet Hut-Hut at the Ledge. (Presumably, he noticed that they had not used the Outhouse entrance behind the Dirty Space, but he said nothing about it, and he didn’t seem to spot the Lord Fitz Mem. Shaft when they passed it with the caravan.)
The party ventured forth with the caravan. They came across two dwarves who were hiding in a side entrance that went on into the darkness, and after some tense interrogation, discovered that they had fled an ancient Horkai city, claiming that it was beset by ghosts and the like. Apparently, they wanted to get to the safety of their brethren at the Dwarven outpost at the bottom of the nearest “Ramp” down. The party agreed to take them on for their help in pulling the wagons and extra swords.
After this, they encountered a Xorn, a bizarre earth elemental creature who insisted on eating their gems (of which they had very little.) When Dosh sniffed that one of the Dwarves had a gem, the gem was given to Erasmus the Elf who tried to fake out the xorn…. A short combat ensued and the Xorn disappeared into the stone floor, only to emerge moments later and kill one of the toad-men slaves, halting the caravan. All-out battle ensued and the Xorn leveled Ms Ironday but she was barely saved by Feyrith at the last moment. Eventually, the party was able to slay the Xorn before it retreated again, and the party recovered two gems it vomited up upon dying, as well as valuable and exotic xorn parts.
Shortly thereafter, the party encountered a high-pitched noise and as they approached it became extremely painful to pass it. This keening sound actually killed several toad-men slaves and guards, and killed Ms Ironday, although she was later found to have just barely survived. (Unfortunately, she will always hear a faint ringing in her ears). Her retainer Feyrith the Elf was slain by the terrible sound. These terrible cave fishers declined to attack, but are still lurking there and may need to built with if traffic is going to be increased between the Ledge and other parts of the Underways.
Turning right onto the Ramp, the party encountered six Sunless Elves— a race of pallid white elves who were exiled to the deeps long long ago and now make their homes there— they are the masters of Entropia. They had been enslaved by the Dwarves of the Ramp’s lower outpost and offered to secure a ransom if they were returned to Entropia. Erasmus hit upon the scheme of disguising them with the dead toad-men bodies, but when they approached the outpost, the dwarves they had rescued (Tango and Cash) betrayed them by telling the Dwarves the Sunless were hiding amidst the caravan. There was a tense negotiation in which the Dwarves agreed to let the party keep two of the hostages and return four of them— crediting two of them since the party had returned the two (treacherous) Dwarves to their safekeeping.
They came onto the main highway to Entropia and learned that the other direction led to the undeground section of the Spear (!), but went the other way toward Entropia as agreed.
Beat up and in need of some rest and healing, the party was looking for an inn and Hut-Hut had heard tell of such a place, but when they finally located it, it looked not particularly open and well-used and the party (slightly paranoid?) passed the place up.
Moving on, they encountered a sloth-storm— the tiny white insectoids attacked enmasse and were repelled but not before felling Murkin the locksmith. Erasmus tried to invoke the King of Elfland to help him in the slith battle by way of spellburn, and was required to do a pun, poem or song relating to their circumstances. His limerick did not please his lord, and he lost 12 Agility temporarily, and then also failed to Invoke Patron. They learned that the unclaimed (unenslaved) Sliths have a bounty on their heads, so they saved the heads to turn in for the bounty in Entropia.
Another narrow fissure in the wall was passed up and then a Mykon group was encountered. These strange creatures, not just the wide-brimmed toadstools encountered in the goldspice mine, but various other shapes and sizes of mykons as well, passed without incident until the last approached the party and encouraged them to worship “Oolech the Slime Lord”. They declined.
They arrived mostly intact at Entropia and were paid by Hut-hut as agreed (however, they did have to cover the 1 gp fee to enter the city). They paid their surviving retainers and ventured into Entropia, resting for a week in relative comfort, exploring the fungus markets, but not buying much as they were a little paranoid about the strange goods. Erasmus was able to sell the Xorn corpse for parts, and he shared a small pittance with Hut-hut, who looked very favorably upon the gesture.
Ms. Ironday saved one of the Xorn hands and had its claws and some Slith teeth made into 2 unique daggers. The Sunless tried to engage the party to take their special mushrooms (Black button mushrooms) and commune with the Voice in the Darkness at the Great Ebon Mirror on the wall of their city’s cavern. Roche declined, but Erasmus ascented and conversed with the Voice in the Darkness, which encouraged him to forsake the King of Elfland for his own patronage. Ms Ironday also tried one of the black buttons, and critically failed her fort save, lost for four days in an intense trance in which she conversed with the Voice. She is now addicted to the black button mushrooms, which are cheap and plentiful in Entropia but rather rare and hard to procure in the surface world. (1 button / 10gp in the surface world).
Hut-hut was willing to take the party’s help for a smaller fee to return to the Cluster and they safely returned, having cleared much of the ways of the most dangerous creatures already. They had also acquired some wax earplugs as well as cloth headcovers for bypassing the cave fisher nest.
Roche achieved 2nd level— first 2nd level character for this campaign!
Shiloh and Lazlo each achieved 1st level! (So the Mykon slaves may eventually run as full-fledged adventurers).
This was the first adventure with no death of a character first level or higher.