The party’s exploration of Rappan Athuk comes full circle in today’s installment, as they explore the doom-laden natural passageways that surround Zelkor’s tomb. The stoney paladin Nioveskirian tells their tale. (-GM)
3rd day of Arodus, 4718 AR
By now we’ve figured out that we’re going to have to fight something whenever we turn a corner, so we were prepared for the black skeletons that rushed at us from the newest little chamber we discovered. We clashed for a while, but our victory was inevitable, and it ended with a crunch as a skeleton which had been slowed to a crawl by Val was put out of its misery.
There was some rubble blocking the entrance to the next cavern, so we set to work clearing it. Non summoned earth elementals to help with the big rock transfer. While that was happening, Arv burrowed through to scout the room we were unearthing. He came back in a hurry, due to the huge stirge nest he encountered. Stirges are so annoying. Luckily, we had a plan.
As a boulder was removed from the stack, an opening appeared and the stirges charged. Little did they know they we were flying right into a fiery chest, as Non had used his brazier to summon huge fire elemental. It was easy work to dispatch the rest. We found three corpses in that room, traditional adventurers who appeared to be on a tight budget. They had obviously fallen victim to the stirges due to their inability to summon fire elementals.
In the middle of the room sat a pool of unusually dark water. Arv scouted under to see if there were any hidden passageways within. The pool was hundreds of feet deep, but the bottom didn’t lead anywhere. The point of interest was a ledge twenty feet down that led into a tunnel connecting it to a similar lake. In that room there was a bunch of armed and armored zombies with mouths sewn shut. We searched for non-water passageways out of these rooms, but all we got for our troubles was a huge maze of empty tubes that didn’t lead anywhere. We had no choice but to brave the depths.
After the amphibious zombie fight, we turned to the obscure tunnels. The only one of interest was a cramped, swampy mess. As we headed toward it, this gigantic ooze assaulted us. It had purple tentacles which writhed with impassive rage. It had no instinct other than to destroy life. Several bones and other pieces of stolen flesh lay within it, proof that it was not a force to be trifled with. It was a mass of pure evil, a globule of death. The stones beneath our feet crumbled as the wave of pure gelatinous terror slid toward us, uttering a horrendous, slimy battle cry. It took us about five seconds to kill it.
The cramped swampy room held no more bouncy monsters, but it was a pain to explore. In the center of one room, a ray of sunlight pierced the dungeon. It came from a very familiar hole in the ceiling. We climbed/burrowed up and saw that our suspicions were correct. The hole was the famous well, which means those adventurers we say earlier must have gone straight down it. Noobs. It appeared the ominous “don’t go down the well” all those survivors of this place say wasn’t a herald of omnipresent doom; it was just a safeguard for
sixth graders inexperienced bravados.
Well, now we had a quicker way to get into the levels that mattered.
Arthritic Slaver, half-orc fighter 9
BlungyBooce, vanaran pistolero gunslinger 10
Death from Somewhere Really Far Away, tiefling stalker 10
The Hero of No Name, aasimar summoner 10
Nioveskirian, dwarven stonelord paladin 10
Shia Labeouf, merfolk bard 10
Valestar Ekhart, aasimar paladin 11