Lions, tigers, and bugbears, oh my! That’s where we left off at the last session. The party had just defeated a rather large band of bugbear slavers marching through with about a half dozen chained gnomes. We pick up with the party freeing those gnomes that survived the fight as well as the pair of bugbears who surrendered.
This recap is from Muse. Thomas and Rachel were missing so RJ (I believe) played Verrak while Dave played Rory and Skarr. Jubi’s comments, again, are in [brackets and italics].
The party unchains the remaining gnomes and then uses their chains to secure the 2 surrendering bugbears, while Adran speaks with the gnomes. He discovers that they were captured and were destined to be sold to the Drow as slaves. They are from Blingdenstone, a location we are not familiar with at all. They know of Pedestal, but they have no idea how far away we currently are from it. Their own home of Blingdenstone they guess is several weeks away, as that is the length of time that they have been traveling since being captured.
While Adran questions the gnomes, Skarr tries to garner information from the bugbears. They provide precious little useful information. They know only that the Drow outpost is a large cavern and they do not know anyway around it. Skarr and Meri discuss what to do with the bugbears. The gnomes ask for the honor of killing them for their crimes against the gnomes. Adran is a bit unsure, but Meri and Skarr see no issue with such an arrangement.
[Are all gnomes such good sushi chefs?]
We ask the gnomes if they wish to join us on our quest to reach Pedestal and they look aghast. They wish only to try and return home. We give the gnomes some of our rations and after extracting what information we can from the bugbears, we allow the gnomes to kill them. They then head off to try and find their way home. Dench searches the bodies and finds 66 copper coins.
We pause to rest and heal a bit as the party could definitely use it. We then continue on traveling, being cautious, with Rory and Dench taking turns scouting ahead. There is nothing of note, but the walls of the tunnel do seem slimier than we have seen so far.
We travel for nearly half a day when we notice that the tunnel up ahead shows an intersection of sorts. As we pause to discuss which way to go, a shabbily dressed humanoid figure, carrying a lantern goes running across the crossing. As we stare in shock, a strange creature squeezes out of the offshoot in what appears hot pursuit of the human. From the brief glimpse, Verrak is able to identify the creature as a hook horror.
We quickly decide to go after the creature and to try and rescue the human, hoping that he or she can provide information on how to get back to Pedestal. Rory goes first, followed by Adran and Meri, we hear a clicking clacking sound ahead of us and a softly spoken “Oh crap.” Rory is able to see that it appears that the tunnel might open up a bit.
Dench and Verrak are at the mouth of the tunnel and Skarr has decided that he is going keep watch and starts to go a bit further up the main tunnel, which seems to make a sharp curve. Suddenly he notices that coming around that curve are four gnolls. As Skarr backtracks towards the intersection he sees that another hook-horror is squeezing out of the same tunnel that the human and the other hook horror had.
A gnoll takes a shot at Skarr, who in a nimble, athletic move for a half-orc his size, dashes in front of and around to the other side of the hook horror, avoiding an attack from the creature and putting it between him and the gnolls. His plan to distract the hook horror works, but he takes a couple of hits in the process.
Meanwhile in the narrow tunnel Rory tries to attack the hook horror in front of her, but is hampered by the close quarters. Meri and Adran are hampered by the confines of the passageway and cannot move forward to assist.
Back in the large tunnel, three of the gnolls have moved forward towards Dench, while the one left behind lets out a loud bark that seems to enrage the others. One attacks and strikes Dench, while another attacks the hook horror.
[I’m so confused. Who’s attacking who? How can I tell which are the ones that I’m allowed to eat?]
Alerted by the sounds of battle, Meri quickly moves back to the mouth of the narrow tunnel, attacking the gnoll to her left as Dench casts fireball behind the three gnolls.
In the small tunnel, Adran casts a firebolt at the hook horror up ahead as he and Rory keep attacking it, and Meri, Dench and Skarr keep fighting. Skarr goes down, but Dench and Meri keep fighting.
[Don’t overcook them Rory! I like it to be nice and pink and juicy in the middle. Ask the gnomes for their recipes when you see them! They barely even heated up that last meal they made me…it was perfect!]
Skarr is revived and tries to send Meri and Dench away to join Rory and Adran in the smaller tunnel and he’ll hold the line, but the two refuse to leave, with Meri taking out gnoll after gnoll, as Skarr and Dench work on the hook horror who seems hellbent on destroying Skarr. Four more gnolls show up and follow the same pattern as before, with one hanging back and inciting the others.
By this time, Adran and Rory have killed the hook horror in the smaller tunnel and have come to join their companions. Rory immediately takes out the hook horror, but two more take it’s place, attacking Skarr! A baby hook horror appears behind Adran and attacks. Adran is able to stand his ground and we keep fighting, with Meri focusing on the gnolls and the others alternating their attacks.
Suddenly a vicious blow from one of the hook horror lands and Skarr goes down in a flail of hooked claws. The others can only watch in horror as the hook horror then proceeds to rip Skarr to shreds!!
Incensed by the death of their companion, the adventurers renew their attacks, Rory and Meri take out the gnolls while Veerak and Dench deal with the hook horrors. Verrak then caves in the skull of the cutest baby hook horror you’ve ever seen.
As the adventurers pause to mourn their fallen comrade, they see a light coming down the smaller tunnel. It is the humanoid they saw earlier. It turns out to be a male half elf, dressed somewhat poorly in tattered clothes. He introduces himself as Fletcher and tells us his story, before helping to heal the party as thanks for saving him. Turns out he has connections to Caill Dafad!
[Who’s Jeff? Can I eat him?]
Meri tries communicating with Morgil, but the sword is unresponsive. The party decides to take a look down the small tunnel that Fletcher had run into and find a hole in the floor that drops into a curve. We guess that this might have been the nest or lair of the hook horrors and decide to instead go back to the main tunnel and continue on.
We travel for hours until the need for rest has us stopping at an alcove with a narrow opening. Verrak takes first watch. As the others sleep, he hears the sound of voices coming from up ahead. They are too faint for him to make out. He wakes Meri, who goes to the mouth of the alcove to listen, while Verrak goes and wakes the others. Meri is unable to determine what the language is, but Fletcher, being something of an aficionado of languages is able to decipher it. He says they are speaking in Undercommon, and talking about a hot date with a drow that evening. Meri waits at the mouth of the alcove to see what the creatures might be. Based on their conversation, Fletcher is able to determine that they are goblins.
Jubi decides to introduce himself and starts “speaking” with them. We can tell this because their conversation takes a very Jubi turn. Jubi tells them he has friends here with him and the party decides the jig is up and that we need to rush out and take the party by surprise. We catch them unawares (Jubi has a knack for distraction, even if he doesn’t know it) and Meri grabs the goblin closest to her.
[Hey! They had a hot date! When was the last time that any of you got someone’s digits? Caill? Es Sarch? Adran? Yeah, I didn’t think so.]
The goblin looks surprised, but then he grins slyly and suddenly shifts in her grip, transforming into a rat like creature. The other two shift as well and they all attack Meri, who drops her prey and manages to avoid the attacks. The rest of the party rushes up and makes quick work of the rat-like creatures, with no one suffering any severe damage. We search the bodies for any useful items but find only some coins and a short sword and hand crossbow on each body, Fletcher helps himself to a short sword and then we settle down once again to rest.
Meri tries a prayer to her god Tyr, hoping to curry some positive favor from Morgil, but it seems only to enrage the sword even more, to Meri’s dismay. Finally she too sleeps and after a long rest the party sets out once again. After a few hours of travel, we see that the tunnel narrows and then opens up into a large cavern whose ceiling is 30-40 feet up. Thick cobwebs cover nearly every inch of the ceiling, with stalactites poking thru the webs.
[Hey Skarr, did you ask Meri for its digits? Maybe the sword is just playing hard to get. Be persistent. That’s what Tyr told me to do and I beat it worked for those guys that had those hot dates. Maybe their dates are in this big cavern…maybe we could get some rebound digits.
daHeadRat back. More Underdark travel. More lessons in that not all appears to be what it seems down here. Beholders that aren’t. Goblins that turn into rat-men. And so on. I wonder what’ll be next. 😉
Sorry…no beer log this time. This session was a few weeks ago plus Rachel was missing and she’s the one who usually notes down what we sampled.]