In 4121 AR, the desert dwarves of the Barrier Wall Mountains sealed the famed Tar-Urkatha mine abruptly, saying only that one of the richest platinum mines in history had played out. Nearly six centuries later, the truth rises from the darkness.
Despite the low ceiling and the monk looming before him, Chitleen hurls his bomb directly at the farthest Festrog. It explodes on target dissolving undead flesh wherever the alkhahest falls. In moments nothing is left of the remaining festrogs except bits of bone floating in stinking foamy puss.
Chitleen regards his work with the calm removal of an expert in his trade and gives it a cursory nod of satisfaction. Moving after Lockjaw, Chitleen is wary of more festrogs awaiting further down the tunnel.
It takes little further effort to determine the extents of the tunnel. After only about another hundred feet, the passage ends abruptly. It appears to have caved in and little headway will be made without a tremendous and well supported effort. Some of the loose rocks have been cleared from the passage to create a small chamber which by its foul odor apparently served as a den for the festrog.
You take your time searching the tunnel for any clues that might reveal what happened here or at least explain the origins of the festrogs, but you turn up nothing more. The dead end contains nothing of interest besides a vile smell. Likewise the tunnel is well shored up, but not noteworthy. Back at the entrance chamber however, a careful search reveals a pair of potion vials carefully hidden behind a rock.
Daeron identifies an emergency stash containing a potion of remove paralysis and a potion of remove disease.
The tunnel is a dead end. The dwarves believe this tunnel was an attempt to burrow straight into the lower mines, but given the loose rock material moved, it quickly collapsed. Further effort would require extensive use of wood braces that would take on the order of years and exposure to gnoll attack which was possibly the death knell for this operation.
The main entrance to the settlement and mine is at the end of the road leading to fortifications higher up the mountain.
Looking at the damage to the slope and the limited extent of the talus slopes, there was likely a lower entrance at this point on the mountain that was purposely buried in an avalanche when the mines were abandoned.
As you exit the stinking tunnel after taking some time to make a careful search, you find that the sun has nearly moved behind the mountain that you were just beneath. It is early evening as you head back through the forest of tombs to the old road up to the fortifications.
As they emerge from the mine Chitleen is thankful for the burgeoning dark taking the sting from his sensitive eyes. He then ruminates "Well we have seen some of what there is to fear here... and one thinks that our employer's thought of easy recovery was optimistic at best. Caution must be held in high regard as we continue..."
On the topic of a place to camp "If we are to rest, I would suggest among the unnamed dead. While macabre it would give us best chance to shield our camp from idle sight."
Camping or continuing? - Chitleen votes camp, just to be back towards full complement before we hit the mines proper.
Dwarf Cleric 5 (HP 35 | AC 18 | T 12 | FF 16 | CMD 17 | F +7 | R +5 | W +9 | Init +4* | Per +4* )
"If we camp it will give me the opportunity to pray and meditate and be ready for battle tomorrow. Channeling so much divine energy is strangely draining.
Perhaps we could camp in the entrance room to the tunnel we just explored. We know there is nothing beyond it so we would only need to guard against attack from the entrance, and we should be able to see danger as it approaches."
It is decided that perhaps the fortifications would be better approached during the light of day. Discussion then turns to a proper place to camp and the dwarves and earth blooded monk weigh in on the benefits of the festrogs' tunnel. At least the air near the entrance is good enough.
Lockjaw does his best to pile the biggest bits of debris at the entrance as a nod to some kind of barrier and you eat your rations and settle for the night. Chitleen takes the first watch and it is not long after darkness settles over the valley that you hear the first barking shouts of the foul festrogs prowling the woods.
Chitleen moves back from the meager barricade to his sleeping companions and waits in the darkness. The weird vocalizations of the festrog, unintelligible yet so voice-like, continue outside. Chitleen can almost make out actual words in the hoarse shouts as he listens warily. At times the noise seems to draw near and then recede for a while.
Finally, near the end of his watch and the start of Karrak's post, the noise definitely draws nearer to the entrance of the tunnel. Chitleen has no need to wake the others as only the dead would be not be alerted by the racket just beyond the barricade.
Karrak arouses quickly ready for his turn at watch and hears the undead at their doorstep. It takes him a moment to don his armor and move to the entrance with his crossbow loaded.
The entrance is a ten by ten opening with lumber, boulders, and broken equipment roughly stacked about two feet high. High enough to hinder a charge if nothing else. Beyond the tunnel, Karrak sees the furtive shapes of the festrog in the darkness. There must be a score of them hungrily shouting as they lope forward ducking from boulder to boulder.
Male Elf Wizard 3 (Transmuter-Enhancement) / AC13->17(mage armor) / HP23->full
Daeron feels himself clawed back to the present by the unearthly growls and grating noises of their new adversaries. Pulling himself to a stand he notices the others up and quietly readying for battle, the sign of seasoned adventurers as the festrog make their way to the cave opening.
Slipping his hand into his reagent pouch, Daeron readies to cast some choice spells as battle becomes imminent.
Choosing to cast Gravity Bow and Grease before commencement of battle.
Chitleen hisses with urgency "We should fall into the tunnel now. It will limit the number that can be brought against us and make them swarm together... which would be more advantageous for my alkahest."
sorry about the delay. Landlord forgot to pay the internet bill so posting will be difficult until I get home access again.
Karrak moves toward the entrance and is joined by Mankato and an unarmored Lockjaw as Chitleen calls to fall back into the narrow tunnel. Daeron's components are readily at hand as the first festrogs leap the barricade!
Having not moved to the barricade and instead remained within the tunnel, Chitleen does not have a clear line of action to the undead... and he has little intent of moving his sweetly scented elven form into the firing line. He waits for the festrog to make an appearance.