In our prior session, the party was hired by the innkeep of the Lonesome Drake, Bruno, to investigate a mysterious door that he had recently found in his cellar. They spent some time exploring some sort of tomb, infested with cockroaches both normal and unnaturally large, finding some interesting items including a map of some sort. Willow made a new friend in a fellow halfling, Betony, and the group learned a little more about Quail Valley from him. That’s pretty much where we ended the session…not much of a cliffhanger this time.
We pick up with that below the break. This recap is from Hannah and, I believe, we had all six regular players in attendance…RJ again played Raspin on Claudia’s behalf. Obviously, there are potential spoilers for The Vault of Larin Karr as well as “On a Lonely Road” from The Lost Lands: Adventures in the Borderland Provinces (from Frog God Games) below the break. Unlike most of these posts, there won’t be any of my GM comments this time around; I’m sure they’ll return with the next recap. 😉
The party decides to bury the skeletons that night, but also make the decision to wait to explore further into the caverns until they are all healed up. While resting from their excursion under the Drake, they head to the Green Table for dinner, only to be stared at by everyone there. The (presumed) owner of the Table, a halfling, approaches them quickly, asking if they have reservations for his establishment. He then informs them that his business is booked for the next month or so, and he is therefore unable to serve them at this time. After being turned away from the Table, they return to the Drake, where they are informed that the town is afraid of them due to their trip into the Forradás.
After resting for a little while, they return down to the caverns beneath the Drake to deal with the scarlet skeletons still trapped in the sarcophagi. Serena pours holy water on the first skeleton, which starts to smoke and fall apart on contact with the holy water. With the skeleton now falling apart, the party puts the broken remains into a sack, before moving on to do the same to the next enchanted skeletons. After dealing with the skeletons, the party starts to search the orc burial site, but they only manage to find bones and standards buried among the stones. Gathering up the scarlet bones, they give them to the innkeeper to dispose of, before deciding to rest for an additional two days before continuing on down through the unexplored parts of the cavern under the Drake.
After their time spent resting, they suddenly find themselves being congratulated by the people in town for saving the professor from the clutches of the Forradás. Later on, the Captain of the Guard comes into the Drake, and the party notices that Willow has gone missing. The party is sent a round of drinks on the house, before being informed that the drinks have come from the Captain. Winklethorpe goes to talk to him, and when he does, the Captain informs him that he knows the real story of the Forradás. After they finish talking, the halfling from the Green Table, Cereus, comes in and offers the party free fare at his establishment, informing them that his reservations have cleared up suddenly and they are now welcome to dine there whenever they please. He also informs them that Willow is currently dining at the Table, along with her halfling companion, Betony.
The party decides against accepting Cereus’ offer, instead choosing to rest up for their next excursion. A little later on, Willow joins them, crawling contentedly into bed beside Faelin. That night, after a good long rest, the party decides to return to the tunnels to investigate further down the darkened hallway they had left unexplored on their last excursion down. Thorn and Cailana lead the way down through the unexplored tunnels. For a long while, they only see more roaches, but as they continue moving through the tunnels, the amount of roaches seems to increase. They continue on until they hit a fork in the caverns, and decide, for memory’s sake, to take the right-hand fork. Another fork appears in the path soon after, and again they take the right-hand fork. This path leads them down a path somewhat damper than the last, and then, yet another fork in the cavern tunnel.
The party again decides to go right, and when they do, they realize that the floor has started to become damp and muddy under their feet. Another fork, another right; then another fork, and another right. This time, they encounter something new: a single large, purple mushroom blocking the path forward. As soon as they approach the mushroom, it begins to let out a loud, piercing shriek. The sound draws the attention of a number of massive cockroaches, which soon crawl out from the walls and ceiling of the tunnels and attack the party. Three cockroaches attack at first, and then, after they are defeated, three more attack the party. After taking out all but two of the original six, the party suddenly finds four more cockroaches attacking them. Realizing what is drawing their attention, Raspin quickly takes out the shrieking mushroom, which stops the sound. No more cockroaches attack the party after the mushroom is taken out.
Continuing on through the tunnels, the party encounters several more mushrooms, these ones different from the purple one. They hit six more forks along the way, taking right turns at all of them, until finally they find themselves at another drop-down clearing, where they can see another massive cockroach nest in the middle of the room, 30ft across by 20ft high. A door is visible at the back of the clearing, with two tunnels off to the left and one more off to the right. Traveling back through the tunnels to clear out any other potential dangers, the party destroys several more shrieking purple mushrooms, before returning to the roach nest to investigate. One of the party members throws a rock at the cockroach nest, causing the roaches to scatter, only to reform in the nest moments later, seeming to cover the rock.
A majority of the party drops down into the clearing, moving over to the door to examine it, leaving only Thorn and Winkelthorpe to stand guard on the ledge, looking out for potential danger. The only thing they notice about the door on inspecting it is an insignia for what the assume is the Birds of Prey carved into the stone of the door. Meanwhile, Raspin moves over to the tunnel leading off to the right side of the tunnel, investigating as far as he can see by the light of his torch. While he is distracted, he suddenly finds himself grabbed from behind by a giant entity, before being dragged back into the roach nest by another enormous roach queen. Siobhan and Cailana hear Raspin’s shouts of distress, and follow the queen into the roach nest, chasing after their companion. The party battles the massive queen, and both Raspin and Cailana fall before the queen is finally defeated.
Having beaten the queen, Raspin and Cailana are dragged from the nest and revived, before the party decides to return to the inn to wash up and wait for the coast to clear. Then, washed and fed, the party decide to go to bed and get a good rest before starting to adventure again. Heading down to the blacksmith the following morning, they get some oil and a prybar so they can attempt to burn down the nest and open the stone door. The Captain of the Guard intercepts them on their way back to the Drake, suspiciously insisting on a report to the Baroness that afternoon on their so-told slaying of local bandits. Deciding it is better to ask forgiveness than permission, the party decides to head back down into the tunnels, attempting to pry open the stone door with the crowbar, but they only manage to bend the crowbar in the process.
Thwarted in opening the door, they decide to head down the side tunnel instead, with Raspin leading the way. After several hours of travel, they finally get to a depression in the path; throwing a torch down into it reveals that the hole in the path is about 150ft deep. Returning to the nest, the party starts attempting to dismantle it, but they are immediately attacked by normal-sized roaches. Rather than continue with the nest, they decide to return to the inn to have a talk with the tavern owner, asking him if they can clear up the matter of the bandits with Bernhard, the Captain of the Guard. Heading over to the Baroness’ residence, they are given an audience with Bernhard, who gives them an opportunity to explain the situation, albeit begrudgingly. After revealing to him about the small handprints in the dust on the sarcophagi, Bernhard questions them about Willow’s intentions. Then, turning on Faelin, Bernhard questions him about his uncle, and his connections to the Birds of Prey.
Finally finished interrogating the party on their activities, Bernhard curtly dismisses them back to the Drake. Taking their leave of the Baroness’ estate, the party returns to the Drake, where they rest the night. The following day, Raspin returns the crowbar to the blacksmith, who is extremely understanding of the situation with it getting bent. Finished with the blacksmith, the party heads down into the caverns once more, returning to the stone door. Faelin casts detect magic on the door, and discovers that not only is the door magic, but the two rings collected from the Forradás and the earlier roach nest are both also magically imbued. Putting on the two rings they found in their travels, Faelin and Winklethorpe both touch the sealed stone door…and this time, it opens.