Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Session 3: Expedition to the Underdark

The party joined an expedition of 14 men, led by Sir Uckscot (a squire of the great Sir Alek Tercival) and Sir Shatterhelm of the Knights Morthane. They met with five goblin Bucbens at the former site of the goblin encampment, who agreed to guide them to a place of a thousand ghouls, a strong fortress of their ancient Enemy.

It took days of spelunking until the party had reached the border of the ghoul's territory. A line of scattered, gnawed bones crossed the passage, and a mural of white smudged runes marked the walls nearby. Images of a fanged mouth were common.

Midway through their third "day" of the journey, they reached a vast underground lake. Long, ropy tendrils of fungus hung from the stalactites above. Small islands of the growth dotted the surface of the green, glowing lake, connected by the tendrils to globular pods far above. A series of five great waterfalls thundered water into the cavern. Sir Shatterhelm produced a series of wooden rods from the packs, which assembled into two long boats.

The crossing of the great lake was made more interesting by a great creature beneath the water. Its long white-gray body and baleful white eyes regarded them from beneath the waters. Casorati produced an illusion of a third vessel, which was promptly attacked by the great creature. The waves created by its gargantuan inhalation of water knocked several members of the party overboard, and it was only after some frantic swimming and rowing that everyone made it onto the far shore.

Two paths were open to the party: the goblins told of a passage under the water, that would bring them into the ghoul's territory without their notice, and a more dangerous path that led to the great cave-in that the goblins had engineered to seal in the ghouls. The party decided to avoid going back into the water, instead taking the other route.

That "night", Mal and Thorne found themselves on watch when Mal noticed a flash of pale skin in the darkness. One of the man-at-arms who has accompanied the expedition was ambushed and dragged off into the darkness by a pair of long-limbed ghouls, triggering a confused melee in which five ghouls were killed. Mal, Miguel, and Thorne chased after the abducted man. The tunnel led to a deep pit, with water at the bottom. The ghoul who had taken the man had him gripped by the neck, with a claw at his throat. It spoke quickly, gesturing at the man it held. As Thorne charged, the ghoul slit the man's throat and fell backwards down the pit.

A few minutes later, the Knights Morthane and the party stood gathered around the pit discussing the ghoulish incursion. A thrown sunrod revealed the scope of the threat: a tide of ghouls climbing up the tunnel at them! They fell back to a narrow tunnel, minimizing the advantage of the ghouls numbers. Many ghouls were slain, but they kept coming. After a few minutes of brutal combat and confusion, they began to fall back.

No comments: