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The Lady's Light
Lester has a sex change

Knarra proposes a nap before climbing down into the black hole of the tower. We keep watch one by on e and with the everburning torch and wake after about 8 hours. Nigel ties 150ft of rope together and ties off one end to the pillar and then tosses the rope into the abyss. Kenzo climbs down and experiences weightlessness in addition to not being able to see or hear and climbs back up to tell the crew. Lester gives no fucks and climbs down without the torch. Kenzo follows. Lester sees a large marble room. The pillar statues are jumping up and down trying to get back up to their original station. The rest of the group follows. Queck detects magic coming from a sarcophagus depicting a beautiful woman with her arms crossed. Kenzo attempts to open the sarcophagus. The cover must weigh 100’s of pounds, but he manages to uncover it and unveils the woman depicted on the cover. She does not appear dead at all and looks more to be sleeping. The aura of necromancy is strong. Down a passage to the right of the tomb is a river running eastward. Theres a beach with two skiffs on it but they are too far up river so we decide to explore the other hallway we had passed. We approach another door that depicts the woman we uncovered in the sarcophagus binding various succubi in different ways. Kenzo and lester try opening the door but there are no handles. Nigel, as usual, pushes bread into the center panel of the door and the door actually opens. Magical letters appear as the entire group is taken by surprise at Nigel having actually done something with his bread. The letters that have appeared read “Someone is bound to the light for all ages”.

Lester proposes that the group gets the boats ready beyond the door. Then we open the sarcophagus, poke the woman inside of it and if she wakes up we will run down the hall, jump into the boats and get away. Queck replies “It’s a terrible plan, but lets do it!”

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The Fungi

Moving further into the room, our crew finds a large trap. Lester suggests following the cavern to the right and everyone obliges. The ground in the cavern is slimy and there are four Troglodytes arguing. They are absorbed and don’t notice us approaching so we decided on a surprise attack. Knarra strikes one with an arrow. Lester casts a spell that puts another to sleep. The others move into the cavern. Kevin bites and kills one of them. The third dude runs attempting to escape down a narrow passage. Kenzo follows him and grapples him, but quickly begins to vomit as he gets closer to the creature. Kenzo loses his control over the Troglodyte and it escapes down the passage. Lester hits #3 with an arrow. Nigel shoots wildly, narrowly missing Kevin’s ass. Thark crushes #3 and Queck ties up #1. The group having gained control over the remaining Troglodytes begin to question them for information. We learn that Ogelar is their leader who has shinies and we learn the layout of the caverns and are warned of the Fungi and shrine that lie beyond Mushfens. We form a single file line and proceed through the narrow passage. At the end of the passage is a chamber with a giant crocodile. The chamber is covered in blood with a horrible stench. Agile, a smaller crocodile is there with three troglodytes. Knarra begins the attack and uses her magic missile to strike the giant crocodile and Uggilo. Nigel strikes as well. Thark moves forward. A spiritual hammer appears as if from no where and attacks Knarra. Then the giant crocodile approaches and attacks. Thankfully both miss. Thark is surrounded by troglodytes and Uggilo. Quick crawls out from the corridor and provokes an attack of opportunity which were failures. Quick bites the troglodyte #1 and kills it. Knarra summons a dire rat but it misses. Lester swings and misses his attack. Then in desperation he attempts to bite it and misses. His spirit totems do affect the troglodytes but only do minimal damage. Agile is attacked and hit pretty hard leaving Thark grasping for life. Lester sings a song about a banana and it was so motivating to the group that everyone in the party grew stronger. Keno used flurry of blows and hit some. Queck summoned flame and burned the giant croc. Kevin bit and killed him! Knarra uses her bow and hits one of the troglodytes surrounding Thark. The dire rat misses. Nigel kills Knarras dire rat wtf. Thark slams Uggilo in the face with the club and blood spews everywhere. Troglodyte retaliates and failed miserably. Then Uggilo steps up and knocks Thark unconscious. Lester casts hold person on Uggilo and freezes him in place. Keno smacked Uggilo. Quest flamed one troglodyte and Kevin bit the other one. Then Knarra kills off #1. Nigel coup de gras’d Uggilo. Lester hit the last little dude and kills it!! Queck heals Thark regretfully. She preferred to go loot bodies. Lester heals Thark 3 times and brings Thark back to health. Nothing was found on the giant alligator. Lester picks up a scroll of moderate wounds and an exceptional mace. Knarra gets some leather armor, 5 javelins and an unholy symbol. Thark chops off the head of one of the troglodytes and finds a baby mace. After exploring another room in the cavern Nigel opens a chest and finds some pearls that Queck steals. Queck also gets some jade and other things. Down another passage we discover the fungi. There is a fence and beyond it an area where two things stand with 4 tentacles. Knarra shoots an arrow in and misses. Thark runs in and attacks violet fungus #2 with toxic tentacles and is attacked by opportunity. Thark swings and hits. Lester gets a critical hit but because he was drunk he failed and simply hit. Kenzo moves in and slashes a tentacle. Nigel shoots Lester in the back with an arrow and he is seriously damaged. then seems to feel sorry for it. Keno was attacked again. Queck approaches and provokes 2 attacks but they miss. Queck tries an attack but fails. Knarra summons another dire rat who fails to cause any damage. Thark squishes the violet fungus and kills it. Lester shot and hit one of the fungus. Nigel shoots and hits another. Queck misses and Kevin bites it and hurts ittttt. Knarra hits #1 with poison dart and then the dire rat kills it off. Thark swings and misses and then bites #3 and injures it. Lester swings and hits an hurts it. Then Kenzo finishes it off. Knarra searches the room and identifies a few hallucinogenic mushrooms… TO BE CONTINUED

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The gang bumbles around and does things
THE RECKONING

To start our day’s adventuring, the group takes a look at our guide, Lockerbee, and is forced to remark the he looks wholly like ass; more ass than man, even. We reel back in horror at his grotesque nature, but are forced to follow him into a room filled with the bones of laborers, likely some of the very kidnapped men whom we are tasked with sorting out the disappearance of. After rifling through their earthly possessions, we find and split evenly a pearl, 16g, and an everlit torch.

So as not to waste the day, we sally forth to a large room with stairs coming down from its four sides and water filling its corners. Lockerbee warns that we ought be quiet as an eel watches us from afar. Uimpressed with Nigel’s inability to be stealthy, Lockerbee asks that he wait at an edge of the room while many of the group go up a winding walkway to a balcony, below which three blue people are heard speaking in under-common. These men, our horrific and bony guide informs us, are the targets that we must slay in exchange for his help. Knowing only that we’ve made an oath and that we will do what we can to close out our deal with the monster/sherpa, we retreat and make a plan. It’s decided that akin to a circus troupe, we will repel, jump, and otherwise impressively rappel down the balcony and take our to-be victims by surprise. In an act of heroism and with a flair of drama, Knarra near-tumbles across the balcony and opts to confront the blue-devils as loudly and directly as she is able. They flee in terror as we tumble, fumble, and eventually give chase.

As we are too busy looking awesome in our mass descension from the balcony, no one bothers looking for which way we need to pursue and opt to break down the first door that we see as our best path to success. Bursting through the door, we surprise one of the blue humanoids and are surprised to find a vile abomination with it, a mishmash of creatures combined into a terrifying form, the likes of which we can only compare to the atrocious creature Lockerbee. We demand that they surrender and without response, nor the time to deliver it, opt to rain down fire and brimstone unto them (including, but not limited to a KICKASS ACID DART FROM KNARA. Said dart pierces the air like lightning through the sky, accurate like a drunkard coercing a shot glass.). The room’s air can be cut with a butter knife, so thick it is with astonishment, amazement, and abject horror from the creature reeling after its impact. The opponent’s minutes are numbered and pain is visible from its sorry blue face. The beasts continue to take blow after blow from our crusaders and Knarra, with the focus of a scholar and the cunning of a master haberdasher, conjures and unleashes a whip of spiders in a fit of rage. The entire crew quivers in fear and awe at her mastery of magic and the furor from which she unleashes her mighty rage. Then she gets a little confused, it’s windy and the sun is in her eyes, and something is poking her, and the spiders don’t do much. But it’s really fucking cool, nonetheless. Everyone thinks that she’s great. The mayor will surely present her a key to the city upon our return home, and a parade likely thrown in her honor. What a badass. The creature unceremoniously dies.

Before being able to kill the second of the enemies before us, but after murdering the first where it stands, we are surprised to find Fenster running towards us in the outer room and dimming the space via a magic rock, tossed by a broccoli’d compatriot a few steps in tow. Half of our crew is embroiled in battle and half entangled in the situation unraveling in the greater room before them. Lester seduces Fenster to sleep, to keep from injuring whom he presumes is not of his right mind. Nigel selflessly runs into the darkness and masterfully executes a mildly-inconveniencing attack from his (mighty) crossbow unto the vegetable-beast. Knarra thinks the occasion calls for empowering a tooth with the gift of light and tosses it down a staircase, possibly in an act of intimidation to the foes in front of her or possibly due to wild ineptitude in her throw. So tense is the moment that no one notices or thinks twice of the action.

Kevin kills the golem in the room, deciding that the time was finally here to do something productive. After a cry of “Hooray, we did something!” the group takes about thirty rounds to kill Broccolicious and his friend, who have since woken up Fenster and negated the last useful thing that Lester ever did for anyone. In our opponent’s final throws and in an attempt to once again be helpful, Lester knocks out Kevin instead of Broccoli and his friend. Were a studio audience present, they surely would have reveled in the moment. Nigel is forced to throw his most trusted flask at the axe-beak to wake it before it is murdered in cold blood. The flask flies true and Kevin regains consciousness. With his compatriots dead and dying, Broccoli makes a run for it and Kenzo grapples it successfully. After trying to coerce information from her, Queck tears the vegetable asunder and laughs maniacally. As evidence of our success and to steal some of Knarra’s spotlight in her parade, Lester stabilizes the leafy green, bounds it, and carries it off, slung over his shoulder.

The battle now complete and in a peculiar attempt to punch Fester (now regaining consciousness) in the face, Queck settles for vomiting on his feet. He is perturbed but appears not to mind. We decide to chase after Knarra’s light-tooth and find that it leads to an entrance to the underworld. After a collective “fuck that noise,” the group opts out of investigating it further and meanders to a laboratory that appears to have been used to perform experiments on those who were kidnapped from the town. Inside of a chest Knarra finds elixirs and alchemy ingredients that she begrudgingly tells the group about after a thwarted attempt at hoarding them all for herself. She is giddy. At the end of a corridor we find jail cells and people who are incapacitated. They’re unresponsive to our presence and we move on because we HAVE NO TIME.

Down a set of stairs we find another lab and are promptly bombed by a woman inside it. She’s the first adversary that we’ve seen who doesn’t look insane and/or utterly disgusting. We think back to Lockerbee’s grotesque visage and quiver. Many of us choke on our own vomit at the image of it. With our enemy are two winged beasts that promptly bite Thark before he has even realized that he has been directly hit with the normal looking woman’s grenade.

The woman quickly consumes a potion while being flanked and stuns our motley crew by turning herself invisible. She is the wind and the darkness, a creak and a murmor; a formidable opponent. Nigel is a burgler in that darkness and wakes up Knarra, who has taken to the hobby of napping mid-battle. She comes to, stands up, and is promptly shot in the back of the head via Nigel’s near-perfect aim. As she bleeds out, the group is disappointed by the damage done, but impressed with his acute shot. He apologizes for the inconvenience; she likely doesn’t notice.

The attacker-in-chief attempts a finishing strike to Knarra and is stopped in her place by Thark and Queck, who delivers blow after blow when the enemy tries to sneak by them. Nigel shoots her square in the face twice, all the more impressive because she is still invisible. The group does all in their power to refrain from high-fiving each other, given how awesome the battle is progressing. A revived Knarra diamond-dusts the room, blinding the woman and Nigel shoots her in the face one more time, dropping her like a sack of bricks. On her persons we find masterwork leather armor, three flasks of acid, a masterwork hooked spear, a headband of vast intellect +2 (which Knarra took and wouldn’t entertain the idea of sharing), and a keyring with some keys. After fumbling about with the keys in the nearest door, but before pillaging its contents, the group decides to rest. It’s been a long day and everyone is pretty drunk, high, and tired.

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Meet Lockerbee

go thru door to hall to door. all three creatures attack thark. one does fire damage. Kenzo moves up and punches and injures. Thark attacks and kills one of the gross deformed creatures. Knarra throws acid dart and it hits. Lester misses with 2 shots. Nigel plans to “shoot it in the fuckin face” but takes a horrible shot in the ear and still manages to kill it. Queck misses but Kevin barely hits the creature banking on the benefits it gained from the pillar. The creature fights back and fatigues Kevin but Queck is heartbroken. Thark finally kills the thing.
The room has stone tables with cages on them. Three of them appear to have been wrenched openand the others contained skeletal remains of the creatures we had just killed. Lester convinces Thark that there are shineys beyond the door and Thark tries to slam his way through the door unsuccessfully. Queck chills the door and then Thark is able to make a hole through the door. Queck casts light on a tooth and throws it through the opening to get a glimpse of what lies beyond. We see a plaque. After a long effort Thark is able to beat the door down and we pass through. We walk to another door and it is open. We walk down a long hallway covered with stalactites. We walk into the cave and encounter water. Nigel walks through the water and throws a rope back to drag Knarra back through the water. we explore the room. A gray ooze starts attacking from the water where Queck is searching. Queck is damaged. Knarra summons a dolphin to attack the ooze. The dolphin hits and hurts the ooze. Thark hits it with his club and hurts it. Queck lays flailing in its grip and Kenzo rips her out and pulls her to safety. Kevin and Nigel both attack the ooze and it gets hurt. THen the dolphin gets attacked by th ooze and it screams in pain as acid eats through its skin. The dolphin attacks back and then Knarra hits it with crossbow and it dies!!
We circle back around finding nothing else in the room. We come across double doors and open them to fins a room full of water with stas leading down into the water. Lester summons keyboards. Nigel fails to intimidate the creatures. Kenzo decides its a good ides to jump in the water and start swimming just after Knarra stifs the water up a bit. Lester warms up the keuboards. Kenzo is attacked by three creatures. He gets fucked up and is “sickened and filled with rage” Knarra uses burning hands and hits all three creatures and halves their strength, unfortunatesly Kenzo is also hit. Kenzo tries to escape and is attacked again. He floats to the surface of the water as he nears death. Finally the crew starts paying attention and plans a rescue mission. Nigel leaves his pack behind and jumps in the water and swims to battle. His armor protects him from injury. Thark sinks after jumping in the water but swings his mace under water and kills one creature and damages another! Knarra fails to hit with arrow. Nigel reluctantly drops his bow in teh water and fails to use his trident to save Kenzo. Thark becomes an epic swimmer and flies out of the water THEN he raises his club midair and comes down on the creature and blows him into particles. Lester manages to attack one of the remaining. Creature attacks Nigel and Knarra jumps in to defend him but fails. Nigel finally kills it. Thark grabs Nigel and Kenzo together and drag them out of the water to safety. Lester brings Kenzo back to life and restores health to Nigel. Knarra fails to swim afcross the pool and Kenzo saves knarra. Nigel manages to save himself although he almost ddrowned. We cross the water and enter a chamber where we hear singing. we see a sewer thing we walk around it. One of the creatures jumps in teh water as we approach. Creature talks to us and asks for a favor. He wants us to find a sunken ship with a brooch on it and return the brooch to his wife Liza Jane adn tell her her husband is dead. They’re doing experiments on people. We can get past the flammable and toxic gas via a balcony in exchange for helping him return the brooch. He will fight with us. His name is Lockerbee. Liza lives in Magnamar. The party returns to the room with the water crossing forest with Lockerbee in tow. Thark brings a corpse with him and cooks it and eats it and Lockerbee watches the people who are on watch the entire night…

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Fireballs, Poop Slugs, and a Rift Siphon

After a night spent in the kitchen recuperating, the group headed back down to the room where they had encountered the giant hell slug. Three doors presented themselves. With nothing to go on, they headed to their right.

Their progress was almost immediately halted by a 30 foot circle of runes, in the middle of which bobbed two large flames. There was no way around the circle. Knarra quickly scanned the runes and informed that party that it was a magical barrier that lawful creatures would be unable to pass. The creatures within were fire elementals.

Nigel approached the rune circle, and for no discernible reason began to yell and berate the fire elementals. They bobbed away from him, seemingly intimidated.

Exasperated by Nigel’s antics, the rest of the group pulled him back the way they had come to try another passageway.

They took the center door from the previous chamber this time, and found a set of stairs leading down to yet another hallway. The hall branched, but they kept to the straightaway, and eventually came upon a room with two pillars, one at each end. One depicted another of the women wielding a ranseur; the other showed men holding pieces of the Shattered Star.

Curious, Queck laid a hand on the pillar featuring the woman. As she touched it, she felt a thrill of strength travel up her arm. Excited, she ran to the other pillar and slapped her hand onto it. She immediately felt the extra strength drain from her. With a yell of frustration she went back to the first pillar and tried again, but nothing happened. The others touched the first pillar and felt that same strength. They were smart enough not to try what Queck had, and left the other pillar alone.

Finding nothing else in the room, the party moved on down the hall, and they eventually came to another set of stairs, one going up, one down. They headed up, and came to a room occupied by two skeletons. Surprised, the party drew their weapons and moved in.

Kevin and Queck were first to the skeletons, but couldn’t seem to do any damage. With a roar, Thark ran forward and smashed one of the skeletons into powder. Lester fired an arrow at the remaining skeleton, but it glanced harmlessly off the creatures collarbone. Knarra followed up with an acid dart, but it again found no purchase on the bone. Kenzo, seeing there was nothing for it, let fly with a flurry of blows that broke the skeleton to pieces.

Their enemies dispatched, the party searched the room. Finding nothing, they headed back down the stairs. They came to another long hallway, at the end of which stood a door. As stout as it seemed, Thark kicked it open easily, revealing more skeletons.

Thark smashed the first one through the door, as Knarra quickly summoned a dire rat to join the fight.

Queck and Kevin darted forward, and the axebeak managed to nip one of the skeletons in the ulna. Lester and Nigel fired arrows from the fringes, but again they did no damage. Kenzo unleashed a powerful attack that pummeled one of the skeletons into the ground. Thark turned and dealt with the final skeleton, shattering its bones with his club.

The skeletons dead, they paused to take stock. The room they were in was crusted with salt and smelled of the ocean. They knew they were far below sea level at this point, and the fact that it seemed like sea water had permeated the room recently was worrisome.

There was another door at the other end of the room, which Thark forced open with Lester’s help. It opened to a small room, with a door on one side and stairs leading down. They were covered in water, but with some sort of magical barrier at the very top. Knarra informed them that the barrier was there to keep the water from flooding the room, but that solids could easily pass through it. Queck experimented and put her hand through the barrier. It passed through easily enough, into the cold water beyond.

Seeing no reason to interfere with the magic that kept them from drowning, they turned their attention to the other door. As they approached, they heard wailing from the other side. Some creature must be trapped! Thark forced the door open, and the party stumbled through to a tiny chamber.

The walls were covered in ichor and what looked like crude finger paintings. The artist sat before them, resembling a large slug made of poop. He continued to wail as they approached him.

Knarra spoke to him in some language the rest couldn’t understand, but which the creature obviously could. He stopped wailing to respond. Knarra translated that he was hiding in the room from “bullies”. He offered them treasure if they could kill the bullies, who were apparently like him, but, well, mean.

Not wanting to upset him further, the party promised to do what they could, and left him alone in his room, carefully shutting the door behind them. They returned to the hall and continued on.

The hall widened eventually, leading to a room with yet another statue of a woman with a ranseur. As Queck stepped into the room, smoke started to drip from the blade of the ranseur. Disconcerted, Queck backed up, into the hallway. Knarra determined that the magic producing the smoke was of evocation, and possessed raw destructive power.

Lester and Kenzo approached the statue as smoke continued to ooze from it. As they moved closer to the statue, the smoke stopped, and a fireball erupted from the ranseur, engulfing both of them in flames. They staggered back, both of them badly scorched. The rest of the party rushed forward, concerned, and smoke again began flowing from the ranseur. Stepping into the room must trigger the fireball mechanism! And the smoke was the warning!

As soon as they realized this, they scrambled to get to the other end of the room. A second fireball exploded, again catching Nigel in its blast. The others had made it safely across in time, and Lester dashed back, grabbed Nigel, and pulled him back to the entrance to the room. He hastily cast cure light wounds on his companion, then stepped into the room and back out to trigger the fireball. Several seconds passed, and then again, a fireball erupted. Lester and Nigel immediately ran across the room to the far side where the rest of the party waited.

Shaken by their brush with such deadly magic, the party moved on cautiously. They came to a large room covered in murals that seemed to have been a laboratory at one point. There was nothing left but old and rusting tools. They passed through a door at the far end, which lead to another hall and two doors. They took the hall.

It eventually led them to another door beyond which the passage continued, but in such twists and turns that they couldn’t see very far ahead. The walls of the passage were covered in massive metal plates inscribed with runes. Knarra studied them for a few minutes before explaining to the group that the entire passage, turning around on itself, was a focus for planar energy from hell. As she spoke, they could hear scratching and growling coming from somewhere in the center of the twisting passage.

Knarra elaborated, saying that if they managed to destroy ten of the plates, then they would deactivate the entire thing. Everyone immediately started to pry at the metal plates, but they were stuck fast to the wall, and incredibly thick. Thark began bashing a plate with his club. After several minutes of concerted smashing, the plate cracked and fell off the wall with a resounding clang. The rest of the party encouraged him to keep smashing, so he turned his attention to a second, and when that cracked, a third. As the third plate buckled under his club, there was a flash of light, and a creature manifested itself in the hall.

It was a poop slug, like the poor creature who had been holed up in a room. This must be one of his bullies. It was accompanied by some sort of demonic dog, growling and slavering. The entire party turned on the creatures.

Queck and Kevin darted in for a quick attack as Knarra cast magic missile at the poop slug. Lester fired two rapid shots from his bow, as Kenzo moved in to punch it in its slimy face.

The dog slunk around the party and went for Nigel, landing a bite on his leg. Thark roared, hefted his club, and smashed it with all his might into the poop slug, reducing it to a smelly ooze.

Lester turned his arrows on the hell dog. He made one shot, and as the arrow pierced the dog’s hide, it burst into flames. Kenzo and Nigel rounded on the creature. The dog turned towards them and opened its mouth, letting out a blast of fire. Never one to stand by while his friends are incinerated, Thark unceremoniously clubbed the dog in the skull, crushing it.

Demon dogs and poop slugs dealt with, Thark returned to smashing the metal plates. As he worked on destroying a fourth, a fifth, and a sixth plate, Kenzo wound up and punched at a seventh, eventually denting it beyond repair. Kenzo and Thark trade blows on an eighth, then ninth, then tenth plate.

As the final plate cracked and sagged from the wall, there came a distant rumble from the center of the labyrinth. It built for a moment, and then subsided into quiet. Knarra informed them the magic aura had shifted; they had successfully destroyed the rift siphon.

They continued down the twisting passage, but found nothing of interest. They eventually came to the exit, but it was blocked by a portcullis, and the winch to open it was on the other side.

Thark tried to lift the portcullis, but it was too heavy. Knarra cast prestidigitation and attempted to move the lever, but her magic didn’t have enough dexterity. They spent several minutes ineffectually shooting and throwing things at the lever in an attempt to trip the winch, and finally, Lester made his shot. The lever shifted, and the portcullis raised.

On the other side they find nothing but a skeleton that had been draped over the winch. He wore old, rusty half plate. Lester, ever resourceful, cast a quick mend spell and thus became the owner of a new set of masterwork armor.

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UGH
A SLUG

Having vanquished the guard spiders, our heroes continued to explore the rows of cells. One of the hallways eventually opened into what looked like an ancient torture chamber, littered with the rusted tools of the trade. As the party gingerly stepped into the room, unsure of what they would find, Thark began to moan, and then to yell. He burst through the room and down a side hall yelling in distress. Concerned and confused, Queck and Kevin ran after him.

The remainder of the party stayed where they were. There was another cell in the room, and it was occupied by a creature like nothing they had yet encountered. As they approached, it gabbled at them and bit at the iron bars. Unable to understand any of what it was shrieking at them, they followed Thark and Queck.

The short hallway opened out into a room with large a fountain in the middle. Thark was sitting in the fountain, still breathing heavily, with Kevin making soothing bird noises as she butted her head against Thark’s shoulder. Queck was eyeing the water in the fountain curiously. She reached down and brought of handful of water to her mouth. She drank and felt somehow restored. Kevin, intrigued buy her master’s sudden vigor, ducked her beak into the fountain to take a drink.

Nigel filled his flasks with water from the fountain. The others suggested giving some of the water to the creature in the cell. Perhaps it would calm him or make him more intelligible. They trooped back to the torture room, leaving Thark and Queck at the fountain. Nigel approached the creature, offering bread. He poured some water into his hands and attempted to sprinkle it over the creature, but his approach only made it more agitated. They concluded that there was nothing to be learned from this thing, and they might as well just leave it where it is and continue exploring.

They called to Thark and Queck that they were going to move on, but Thark stubbornly refused to re-enter the torture room. Queck told him to close his eyes, and place his hand on her head and she would lead him through the room. Thark agreed. With their barbarian’s eyes tightly shut, the group approached another door at the other end of the torture room. It was locked, but Thark easily shoved it open.

There was nothing beyond but another abandoned torture chamber and long hallway. Queck nudged Thark and told him it was okay to open his eyes now. He hesitantly obeyed, and seeing nothing to trigger his anxieties, began down the hall, the rest following.

The corridor ended at a massive room, with evenly spaced columns and a statue of a woman holding a ranseur in the center. Along one wall ran a now-empty grotto. Close to the statue sat a large crab-like creature. The party immediately readied their weapons and slowly entered the room. Lester, Nigel, and Kevin snuck forward, quiet and stealthy. Queck attempted to follow, but tripped on an uneven bit of ground and tripped, rattling, alerting the crab to their presence. As she fell, she noticed something—a pouch—hanging from one of its legs. Interesting.

The crab turned to face them, and Lester immediately loosed two shots, hitting in square on. Kevin rushed forward to snap at its legs, and it scuttled backwards. It reached a column and began to climb, getting thirty or so feet into the air before pausing. Lester, Knarra, and Kenzo let fly with arrow, acid dart, and shurriken, and Lester’s shot found its mark. The crab tumbles from the column, dead.

Queck rushed forward to snatch the pouch from its prone form. It was full of stones, and something else. Queck dumped the rocks to the floor and pulled from the pouch another bracer exactly like the one she’d taken from the mite king. She pulled out the original bracer and immediately tried them on. Oddly enough they fit, perfectly.

Fitted with her shiny new armor, Queck explored the room. She called to the others from the grotto—there was a secret passage! The rest of the party hurried over and began to make their way down the passage. It ended quickly enough, and at the other end—six skeletons. The creatures lunge fro Queck, but miss. Trapped in the narrow passage with no way to attack, Lester, Knarra, and Kenzo backed up until they were once again in the grotto. Queck struck a skeleton with her sickle and then began to retreat down the passage, followed by Thark, who joined the others in the grotto.

The skeletons moved into the passage, savagely attacking Queck and Kevin. The two beat a hasty retreat back to the rest of the party, followed by the skeletons. Kenzo moved forward so that he and Thark could take down the skeletons one by one as they entered.

Thark smashed, Kenzo pummeled, and the skeletons went down. The rest of the party looked on. Lester, in an attempt to strike fear into the skeletons’ bones, summoned the ghostly sound of the cleric praying. Knarra, Queck, and Nigel let loose darts and sling bullets, but missed. Thark, almost lazily, continued to strike down each skeleton as it came down the passage. Eventually the rest of the group realized it was best to let him handle it. With a final roar and smash, Thark crushed the final skeleton into powder.

They headed back down the passage, and through a door in the skeleton room to another passage way that lead, eventually, to a large kitchen. There were ovens against one wall, and other kitchen accouterments along the others.

Nigel approached one of the ovens, and tossed a lit torch into it. There came a crackling sound and pained scrabbling. As it died down, Nigel peered into the oven. It was full of dead and dying centipedes, set on fire by his torch. He hurriedly threw a second torch into the other oven, and again there came crackling and scratching. Gross.

Finding nothing more of interest in the kitchen, they head back the way they came, eventually returning to the barracks where there had been another passage. They head downstairs.

The stairs end at another hallway leading to a large room. The floor is covered in slime, and sitting, as in wait, is giant slug-like creature.

Lester cast daze at the thing, but it failed. The slug oozed forward and slimed Thark. He shrieks as its acid begins to eat through his skin.

Nigel aimed a crossbow bolt at it and it hits. Knarra searched her vast store of knowledge for any information on this creature, and informed the group that it is a slug from hell.

Kevin moved forward to bite the hated creature, and Queck summoned a hyena to join the fight. Knarra hit it with a burning hands spell but did no damage.

Thark raged. He began howling in a strange language and as his howls increased in volume and cadence, an eerie presence began to coalesce around him.

Having no time to figure out what the hell was going on, the party continued to attack. Lester hit it twice with arrows and it emitted a squelching yowl. It dived again for Thark and nearly swallowed him whole. He staggered. Nigel shouted and pushed forward, attempting to pass some of the healing water from the fountain to Thark. As he moved, the slug attacked and Nigel was lain low. Thark grabbed the water, chugged it, and regained his footing.

Queck cast a spell to cure Thark’s wounds. Kevin darted forward and landed one final blow on the creepy slug. It gurgled, and died.

Exhausted, they retreated back to the kitchen to bake cakes and recuperate.

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Spiders
Lots and Lots of Spiders

Having been victorious over the self-styled mite king, our heroes ventured ever onward. Weapons at the ready, they headed farther down the Crow.

They entered a room, surprising even more mites and spiders. Nigel immediately took a shot at the creatures, as one of the mites muttered a spell towards Thark, who was suddenly overcome with unwarranted fear. Kenzo entered the fray behind the cowering half-orc, and crushed the skull of one of the spiders as Lester loosed an arrow towards one of the mites. The mite fell, gurgling at the arrow protruding from its throat.

Recovered from his sudden cowardice, Thark bellowed and splattered a second mite into the ground. Keeping to back of the party, Knarra loaded up an acid dart. Taking careful aim through the fray, she let it fly, critically injuring another mite.

Filled with the bloodlust born of the crushing of skulls, Kenzo attacked in a flurry of blows. He overbalanced as he flailed towards a spider, tripped, and fell to the ground. Sensing an opportunity, the remaining mite attempted to flee atop one of the spiders. As they rushed past, Kevin snapped off one of the spider’s heads. The mite screeched at the remaining spider before he dashed down a narrow hall and out of sight. The spider turned back towards the party, sinking its mandibles into Kenzo, leaving him poisoned and woozy. Knarra launched another acid dart at the pathetic creature, and it collapsed with barely a sound.

Determined to hunt down the remaining mite, the party rushed down the hallway that it had taken. The passage branched. The avenue to their side was full of webbing, and Queck could tell they were recent. The spiders, and most likely their mite masters, spent considerable time there. They proceeded more slowly through the webs, and very soon the passage opened into a giant cavern filled with even more webs, as well as a few dead albino crickets. They spotted another spider through the gloom and readied their weapons. Was there no end to these vermin? And where was the mite?

Nigel loosed a bolt towards the spider, but missed. The clatter of the arrow drew other spiders from the webs. Kevin rushed towards them, but timed her strike poorly. As Queck skirted the fray, Lester launched into song. It was another of his filthy ditties (did the lad know nothing else?), but the party felt strengthened. With renewed vigor, they continued to attack the blasted arachnids.

Knarra laid one low with a masterful color spray, and Nigel managed to hit one with another arrow. Kenzo shouted and punched through a spider’s carapace, howling with glee as he felt its exoskeleton give beneath his fists. Lester and Knarra loosed more arrows as Nigel unholstered his trident. He and Kenzo made quick work of another of the spiders. Only one remained, now, but it was no match for Thark’s Bludgeoner.

Surveying the damage, the party suddenly realized how exhausted they were. They agreed that hunting the final mite in their current condition might not end well, as they knew little of what lay before them, and what they did know suggested it would be more battles and bugs. They returned to the cavern where they’d slain the king mite to camp for the night and replenish their spells. Lester used his wand of Cure Light Wounds to take care of some of the damage from the day’s fights, and, finally, they slept.

They woke, not exactly refreshed, but at least rested. Time to continue the hunt for the mite and shard.

They returned below to where the passage branched, and took the un-webbed turn this time. Eventually, it led to what looked like a row of prison cells, opening to the left and the right. The party turned towards the right hand row of cells. Materializing as if from the cavern wall itself were more spiders. Where did they keep coming from, the blasted creatures?

Upon seeing the intruders, the spiders rushed forward. One got a lucky bite on Kenzo, who staggered, poisoned. Another sank a mandible into Thark who roared in pain and annoyance. While the others took the brunt of the attack, Knarra summoned a dire rat to even the odds.

Kenzo, running to the aid of his companions, aimed a blow at a spider. He failed to notice an uneven bit of stone and caught his foot just as he let fly with his punch. His fist took Queck in the back of the head. Stars exploded in front of her eyes. That goddamned monk could punch, though it would be even better if he could aim.

Shaking her head to clear the pain, Queck took out her rage on the nearest spider, aiming her sickle at its creepy eyes. Lester and Kevin teamed up, taking out another of the spiders.

Then Thark re-entered the battle. Still pissed at being bitten, he laid about with his club and tusks, smashing and biting and roaring. Nigel took a bite on his leg as Knarra missed a shot with her crossbow.

Kenzo, having recovered his balance, smashed the final spider into dust.

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Down and Down We Go
Killing Lots of Shit in the Crow

We last left our heroes struggling to come to terms with the brutality displayed by Thark in his rage. They still had a shard to find, however, and their quest took precedence over any lingering shock they might be feeling. Without their prisoner, they were left on their own to decipher the puzzle by which the two main doors might be unlocked.

In a stroke of utter brilliance, Knarra untangled the righthand door’s key phrase: “The eyes” became “they see”. Spurred on by Knarra’s discovery, Queck was quick to realize that “listen” anagramed to “silent”. She tapped the letters and they rearranged. She was so excited she barely noticed the burn from the infernal doors. Knarra rearranged “the eyes” and the doors swung open. They were through. Surely something epic lurked behind these doors.

Having learned from past rash actions, they crept forward. Bat shit was everywhere. They made their way around a corner and were confronted with a curious sight: some sort of underground lake had surged through the ground here, and on either side of it sat a gelatinous creature, baffling and hideous. They were slightly transparent and within could be seen bones and other detritus pulled up into the creatures as they oozed along the cavern floor. Unsure of what sort of threat these creatures posed, the party readied their weapons, but their unease was unfounded. The blobs were dispatched easily and with no untoward side effects. A few well-aimed missiles and a smash and bite from Thark and Kevin made quick work of the creatures, who made neither sound nor protest as their insides glooped onto the ground.

Their enemies dispatched, the crew surveyed their options. There were two passageways apart from the one they had come from, and with her keen senses, Queck discovered a third small passage hewn into one of the walls. Which way to go? Lester picked the hidden passage over Kenzo’s protestations that they should take the stairs downward.

Queck was first into the passage, Kevin not far behind. The others squeezed in behind her, Thark grunting uncomfortably at the compression of his massive frame. Though narrow, the passage wasn’t long, and Queck soon saw the opening at the other end. It led to another small chamber. At the back was a pool of water, and in front of the water, two large spiders dined on a disturbing repast of dead dolphin.

One of the spiders heard them, and scuttled towards the opening, clacking its mandibles in annoyance at having its meal interrupted. Trapped in the narrow passageway, the group found it difficult to organize themselves into fighting formation. Queck stepped through and past the spider, giving Kevin an opening. Knarra fired an arrow over their heads as Thark bellowed in frustration. Sick of being trapped when there were monsters to smash, Thark surged forward, bowling the spider over and pushing it back from the opening. The rest of the party piled into the chamber as the second spider joined the fray.

Now that they had room to maneuver, they dealt with the eight-legged fiends quickly. Finding nothing but bones and dead fish in the chamber, they squeezed back the way they came.

Kenzo again insisted that they should take the stairs. The rest of the party ignored him and headed down the opposite corridor. It led to nothing but more bat shit. Kenzo muttered an “I told you so” that everyone else ignored.

With every other avenue exhausted, they finally headed towards the stairway. Nigel, happily munching on his bread, offered a piece to Knarra, but was rebuffed with a sharp slap to the face. This was not the time for picnic lunches.

They had barely set foot on the stairs when Queck noticed something odd about one of the walls. Another secret passageway. Sure that this had to hide something of worth, she dashed down the revealed corridor, the rest of the party in tow.

The passage brought them to an opening only slightly above sea level. A thin wooden beam stretched out over open air, leading to a bucket suspended from a rope. Lester leapt onto the beam, bowed to his audience, and, with a nimble flip, was on his hands, walking across the beam. It creaked slightly, but held. He reached the bucket only to find nothing but dead bats inside. Queck called for Lester to toss a bat back to her, and the youth obliged before turning to make his way back over the beam.

As he strode across, the beam gave an ominous groan. He picked up speed as he felt it shift worryingly under his weight. With an enormous crack, it splintered, throwing Lester forward to scrabble for a handhold at the lip of the cliff where the rest of the party waited. Thark heaved him back onto solid ground, and the bard was saved.

Barely shaken by his brush with death, Lester led the way back to the stairwell. As they approached the opening to the secret passage, Queck held up a hand. She’d heard a cough. Something was waiting for them in the stairs.

The company charged, taking their opponent completely by surprise. He was small and blue-skinned—a blue dwarf. Could this creature be behind the disappearances plaguing the wharf?

Caught off guard, the blue dwarfie put up a pitiful fight and was soon knocked to the ground, bleeding out from his wounds. Queck recognized him for a mite, a hereditary enemy of her people. Her desire to smash his face in warred with her desire for the reward offered by the garrison for information regarding the disappearances, information that the hideous mite could provide. She sided with her greed and stabilized the creature, hoping that the Crow would offer more mites for her to slaughter. Thark picked up the unconscious creature and they continued down the stairs.

After trudging downwards for what felt like hours, the stairs opened out into a vast, dirt covered chamber, with another room beyond. The group crossed the room and approached the second chamber cautiously. It too was filled with dirt, some piled into massive mounds. Their movement into the room was mirrored by one of the mounds, which shivered and shed dirt as one of its residents appeared—a giant ant.

The party moved to the center of the room to greet the new foe. Lester pulled out a container of lantern oil and attempted to lob it at the insect to set it aflame, but his throw fell short and the oil pooled at their feet.

Closing in, the crew made quick work of the ant. As it stumbled to the ground, its exoskeleton split from head to abdomen, Kevin crowed in triumph. A rumble from one of the other mounds answered her. The party whipped around to see another large ant emerging from the dirt at their backs.

They quickly dispatched the second ant, but Kevin’s crowing attracted more from each of the other mounds in the room. Two more ants emerged, angry at the slaughter of their siblings.

Surging forward, Kenzo released a flurry of blows at one of the insects, crushing its thorax and tossing it to the ground. Thark smashed in the head of the final ant. They each stayed on their guard, waiting for more ants to appear, but it seemed that either there were no more, or the denizens of the chamber had learned it was better not to tussle with these intruders.

Leaving their weapons unsheathed and at the ready, the company explored the room. There was only one other obvious exit other than the way they had come, but that meant little in a place as riddled with secret passages as this. Sure enough, careful scrutiny of the far wall revealed an opening.

The company proceeded through, stopping just outside the entrance to another small room. Quietly, Queck indicated that she had seen something up ahead. Gripping their weapons with greater purpose, they filed forward.

A massive spider took up most of the room in the chamber. Stupefied by the size of the creature, the company paused. Ever quick on his feet, Lester threw a second container of lantern oil, and this time he made his mark. The container smashed against the spider’s carapace, drenching it in oil. Kenzo and Nigel both threw their torches, and Kenzo’s caught the spider in the head, setting the creature ablaze. It let out a chittering screech. Thark rushed forward and rammed his tusks at the spider’s multifaceted eyes, gouging a chunk out of its head. Having already sustained damage from the fire, the spider shuddered and died.

Sensing an opportunity for profit, Lester suggested harvesting the spider’s poison sacs. Very delicately, Queck extracted one, but had nowhere safe to hold the poison. The group turned to Nigel and his many clanking flasks. Unable to resist a chance to haggle and argue and generally be a nuisance, Nigel pulled out a flask and attempted to bargain with Queck. Annoyed and ready to move on, she snatched the flask out of Nigel’s hand and squeezed the poison into it, promising to pay him later.

The poison safely stowed, the group discovered yet another secret passageway. Peering through, they saw several more of the blue dwarfies. Filled with racist ire, Queck and Kevin charged down the passage, ready for slaughter. Attempting a two-pronged attack, Lester backtracked to the room where they’d battled the ants, and hurried down a second passage way to the room with the blue dwarfies. Knarra let fly with her acid darts, critically wounding one of the mites. Thark and Kenzo took down several others. The remaining two mites realized the hopelessness of their situation and attempted to escape past Queck and Kevin. As they tried to duck past her, Kevin darted her head out and savaged one of the mites with her beak. She whipped around and snapped the second mite’s head off at the neck.

The room cleared of mites, the troop headed back to the chamber with the charred spider carcass, and continued to the left down another corridor, which opened into a large hall. At the back of the room, a large mite wearing a bracer as a crown sat atop a goblin skull. He gabbled in surprise as they entered his hall. As they approached, he continued to chatter at them in Undercommon, but none of the party could understand a word of what he said. Lester attempted a question or two, but neither understood the other. Queck, having no patience for negotiation with a member of a hated species, dashed forward. Kevin beat her to the mite and began snapping at the creature. Knarra released a quick volley of crossbow fire and finished the mite off.

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July 30th

A: Sold shit in town
B: Bought a Wand of Cure Light Wounds
C: Entered the tower again
D: Discovered the open window where the tower girls were dumping the corpses of their fallen
E: Encountered two Donkeyrats and quickly killed them
F: Found two casks of Whiskey, and some boxes of spices
G: Queck gave both Kenzo and Lester a cask
H: Discovered a phallic shaped room with a double door protected by magic. The doors had the words “Listen” and “The Eyes” on them.
I: Lester stealthfully moved to another door and found the leader a Tower Girls Sergeant, a donkey rat, and another Tower Girl arguing with each other.
J: Queck and her Axebeak Kevin charged into the room and quickly dispatched the Donkeyrat.
K: Kenzo and Thark went into the room, Thark having gone Super Saiyan.
L: Kenzo hit the Sergeant Tower Girl in the shoulder with his silvered axe, just before Thark crushed her into the ground with his flail.
M: The other tower girl quickly surrendered after seeing her leader killed so quickly before her eyes.
N: Sadly, Thark was still in a mad rage and charged the captive Tower Girl, grabbing her and feeling her skull crunch in his jaws.
O: Thark then charged the magical doors, pounding on them before the pain of the magical ward snapped him out of his rage.
P: The remainder of the group discovered a secret room and Lester found a pendant that he then donned.

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The Few versus The Many

The group made their way across the open chasm to the platform and found a hidden trap door that led upwards to a previously unknown area. As the group climbed into the corridor above the platform, Nigel informed the group he would be staying behind. The group tried to get him to cross over to the platform and join them, but Nigel wouldn’t budge on the issue. With a collective sigh, the remaining four members of the party moved on and soon came upon more of the Tower Girls. Lester used his spell Ghost Sounds in an attempt to make their party sound larger and help Thark in his attempt to intimidate the enemy, but to no avail.

This failure caused Thark to go into a rage as he then ran into the room to attack the enemies he saw before him. Closing the distance quickly, Thark slammed his flail into one of the large rats, decimating the creature and sending body parts flying everywhere in a spray of blood. At this point, the error in his actions was discovered, as the two remaining visible enemies quickly became ten. The Tower girls had Thark surrounded.

Kenzo jumped into the fray in an effort to help Thark, but was too far away so only managed to close the distance a bit. “Soon,” he probably thought just before a crossbow bolt from one of the Tower Girls in the far corner critically injured him and sent him collapsing to the floor.

Queck was next into the fray, sending her axebeak companion Kevin into battle. Kevin and Thark stood toe to toe and trading blows with several of the Tower Girls.

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