The party’s foray into the Mines continues, beginning with yet another ghoul encounter. A very short encounter. A fiery encounter. Vicic’s radiant chest holds a horde of dwarf ghouls at bay through the narrow threshold onward, as Tiskus lets fly with a fireball, torching every single one of the beasties. A celebration? Kinda. Why kinda? Here’s why?
As the ghouls mass beyond the next threshold, the dwarf collective dead in ooze form slither down from their wall toward the door to their empty room, which Shadow closes and holds. But ooze don’t stop when cracks are apparent. The stuff begins slithering beneath the door. Shadow deftly leaps backward, allowing Telvas to step forward. He HITS the ooze, and promptly gets mind-fried. Like, REALLY mind-fried. Like, “I think I’ll stop doing that now and stand over here” mind-fried.
So, while the ghouls are dead, save one (which Vicic does the radiant chest dance with), the rest of the group plays slap an ooze with the collective psychic thing, which proceeds to mind fry anyone who stands in its way.
And therein lies the rub…for when Shadow rushes into the next room, and slays a ghoul with a well-aimed bow shot, the ooze goes back to its lair. Evidently, it was trying to get to the ghouls, and the party unknowingly thought it was being attacked.
Later on, the party follows a plaintive moaning sound to a buried astronomy chamber, ostensibly the one belonging to Vorsord, the Dwarf who “did this to us” (as graffiti later showed). After walking right into a nasty gas trap, they retreat to lick their wounds (if only there were a tongue big enough, for there is lots of woundage). Somehow, TELVAS shakes off the effect, and, in fact feels invigorated by dwarvish poisoned gas. So, naturally, he just walks through the gas-filled corridor, leaving his friends to continue licking themselves (as it were).
Telvas locates a YUUUUUGE chamber, complete with burnt shelving and pages and pages of ashened books, as well as a YUUUUUGE dais where the metal remains of a telescope sit. He also finds, some leathery-backed Hook Divers. These divers have been coming from a hole 60’ up, where, evidently, the telescope could be raised to look out.
As the don’t hook divers don’t like intruders, they swoop at Telvas, who promptly gets into trouble. Gets proned, actually. His buddies, hearing his cries, stop licking and charge through the gas (those bastards are BRAVE). A big ol’ fight commences, which divers whose skin is hard as mail, spreading their 8’ wings, taking aim at the stalwarts. The party fights it out, with the help of Big Tree, the Gnoll in service to Telvas. It’s a TOUGH fight, but they win the battle (highlight film: Tiskus uses his dagger to flash teleport away from a beast carrying him skyward—cool stuff, except the TP puts him in the metal mess, where his foot gets stuck).
All divers are dead (save the few who flew away). The moaning keeps on keeping on. The party finds ancient star charts, and some spells. They also find some coins. But the moaning goes on.
Realizing the source of the mines woes are somewhere else, the party trudges onward. They bypass a chamber full of beasties, thanks to Shadows keen scouting, and end up in a small, dwarf-hewn chamber leading to a much bigger natural cavern, where a winged, demonic beast, outlined in dark purple, gnaws on ghoul bones. Of course, it senses them, sniffing the air with its foul nose.
Shadow stealthily sneaks into the chamber, hides well, whips out a backstab, while his friends hide in darkness. Alas! The creature is immune to non-magical weapons. It slams Shadow across the boon-riddled floor, turning its attention to the poor thief.
Meanwhile, the party girds its loins, its arms, its legs, and everything else, as it prepares for its ultimate test—the Soul Eater of Soseth Errat!
TO BE CONTINUED