Now I have a name for my campaign world - Summit - I thought I might blog about the game sessions as well which I started doing here. So expect a few of these in the blog from time to time as we play sessions ;-)
Tarantio is a fourth level cleric who follows the dark and mysterious Malevolent Malice. He is accompanied by Torvig (a 3rd level dwarf), Terder (a 4th level thief), Aristcritus (a 1st level thief), Raila (a 2nd level fighter), Aeoen (a 1st level witch now ready to level up when she can train), Phluru (the unprouncable 1st level elf) and Frhurg (a 1st level gnoll shapeshifter) - a motley crew of veterans and new recruits form the party. The newest members are the elf and the gnoll who have been brought in to replace two others who died (who also were an elf and a gnoll) in the previous rescue of the cleric. Not that the two new party members were told that, of course ;-)
The party is essentially flat broke. They scraped enough money together to raise Raila from the dead (another casualty of the followers of the Druids who tried to burn Tarantio at the stake). Alas the resurrection was not perfect, as none of them ever seem to be, and now she can never learn anything new ever again. Note to Mike - stop rolling a 13 on the resurrection side effect table! So, being broke, the party decide to explore something unusual they discovered on their travels. A cave with a locked gate.
On finding the cave again, the party checked around for tracks but found only their own. Terder and Aristcritus each tried to pick the rusty padlock on the gate but neither could do it, so the nine foot tall Frhurg literally pulled the padlock apart with his bare hands and the rusty gate swung open...
Inside was an entrance hall, not a cave, with murals of dwarves on the walls. Past this was a long tunnel with a railway track down the middle of it and an upturned cart. It was clear they were in an old abandoned mine.
Within one of the rooms they spoke to a ghost who warned them of a 'great danger' and not to listen to the 'betrayer'. After a short conversation the ghost vanished.
In a locked store room, they came across a family of giant rats living off the contents of a few crates and barrels and were attacked by them!
Well, the ones marked by green poker counters are anyway - the rest are normal rats.
The cardboard circles are crates and barrels - can you believe I still don't have miniatures for those (yet!).
As you can imagine, this encounter went completely in the party's favour!
After fighting probably the easiest battle the party have ever faced, they continued exploring. At length, after passing many cave ins, they came to a room with a mural on the wall of a dwarf battling a crowned goblin. The mural depicted him winning the fight and wielding a glowing dagger. In front of the mural, on an alter, was a metal box. Aristcritus detected that there was a mechanism in the lock that was likely a trap. Terder successfully picked the lock; but how to open it without triggering the trap? They settled on using an arrow to hook onto the clasp and a rope to pull it. Success! The clasp opened and a poisoned dart hit the wall harmlessly. Within the box was a dagger that Terder, with his experience of handling stolen property (much of which is magical) could tell was magical. Torvig, the dwarf, quickly took the dagger and placed it in his boot for safe keeping.
The party discovered a lake of bubbling fire in one of the caverns, about a hundred feet below the precarious ledge that they were standing upon. This was the Magma Pits - Dwarves in Summit use these for cremation purposes and most Dwarven settlements have them. The group hurriedly headed back.
Later, they came across a spectral dwarf who said to them 'None shall pass, from either direction!' Although his form was incorporal, the weapons he wielded were completely solid. Torvig decided to paylay with him and learned that this dwarf believed he was surrounded by thieves; that everyone had been stealing from the mine and that he was going to put a stop to that and had been doing to anyone and anything. Torvig, cleverly, informed him that there were thieves near the entrance, stripping the mine of its valuables and the spectre left to find the non-existent thieves, allowing the party to continue on its path.
They passed a barricade that had been erected but was incomplete and easy to climb over, to find a cavern with strange vertical shafts in the walls. There were also two lines of gold in that they chiselled out of the surrounding rock; these were very valuable. Hammering a rope in with two iron spikes, Raila went down one of the vertical shafts a full twenty five foot to a cavern below. The rest followed her lead and into a cave system proper.
The party headed for a passage that wound downwards and came face to face with a giant ant that suttled towards them out of the darkness! Rather than turn and flee the party fought bravely but things started to look bad when Torvig had his right foot chewed off! However, the rest of the party hammered the giant ant into oblivion. Torvig realigned his foot to his leg and drank a healing potion to reattach it while Aeon the Witch brewed up twelve more. Torvig then explains how the giant ant eyes are like gems and are valuable and implores the rest of them not to smash the eyes next time!
A little further into the cave system and the party hears more scuttling ahead. Terder climbs the cave wall and peers into the cavern and is joined by Aristcritus doing the same thing. They see an unusual spectacle. Four giant ants are fighting with a giant stag beetle. As they watch, the beetle is killed but it decapitates one of the ants in its death throes.
Three giant ants carry away the carcass of a giant stag beetle.
At this point, the party decided to attack. Notice the two thieves on the walls; from their position they rain down shurikens onto the ants.
As the party decide to fight, the ants turn to kill their attackers. The thieves believe they are safe until one of the ants heads right for Terder and it suddenly occurs to him that they can climb too, so both he and Aristcritus climb back to the safety of the main group.
The giant ants surround Tarantio but already two are injured and one has been temporarily blinded! When Tarantio had shattered his shield, to prevent a critical hit, one of the splinters got into a giant ant's eye and blinded it!
After the ants closed in on the cleric, the thieves once again climbed walls and took up positions at the far sides, raining shurikens down onto the enemy.
After defeating the ants, that wrapped up our game session for the evening. What else could be down in these caves, the group are no doubt wondering....