Thursday, 20 October 2011

Oozes, traps and the cutting game

"Look at all the bodies. These stairs must lead somewhere important." - Head Head
One of the goblins. They turned out to be nice.

The infamous series of caves known as The Darkness Beneath lay close to the city and expeditions would on occasion brave the depths in search of gold and glory. Herein lies an honest and truthful account of the expedition of a young halfling rogue and a good natured half orc warrior.
Head Head hefted his crowbar over his shoulder and crept down the stairs that were hewn into the natural rock. He muttered to himself about the poor recruits available for hire back in the city. 5 gold had earned the services of Boris, a down on his luck man at arms who carried the groups lantern in one hand and a rusty axe in the other. Ugh in his heavy banded armour clanked ahead. There had been some talk of Head stealthily scouting the area though the halfling had insisted that such a move would be suicide. Far better to have the armoured half orc lead the way.
At the base of the stairs they found a natural cavern. The air was humid, stalactites and mites were in abundance and water trickled from the cavern ceiling forming puddles on the floor. As they entered Boris’ lantern light sent something scurrying off into the darkness. Head dismissed the scurrying sound as ‘just rats’ though he wasn’t convinced of this. Ugh began tapping the walls of the massive cavern hoping for a hollow sound that might indicate a secret door. Head poked about the uneven cavern floor uncovering a giant sized sack lying discarded against a wall. With a number of passages branching off this cavern the pair settled on a worked stone passage that struck its way west.
The passage soon filled with mist which emerged from a bubbling mud pool at the passage edge. Ugh crept up to the pool and cautiously peered in seeing nothing but an opaque dusty white liquid. Head smashed a few stalactites loose with his crowbar and began heaving them into the muck. No one was surprised when the muck began to lurch its way out of the pool and ooze towards the source of it’s irritation. Discretion being the better part of valor the trio retreated further up the corridor and into the unknown with the ooze in slow pursuit.

The passage ended in a chamber with three exits. The most impressive was a pair of double doors bound in brass. Head tried the doors but found them locked. He delved into his pack, removed his trusty set of lock picks and set to work. Boris noticed movement at the edge of the lantern light. The ooze had followed them. Ugh and Boris had at it with bastard sword and axe landing mighty blows that seemed to have little effect on the creature. At one point the ooze lashed out with a psuedopod landing a telling blow on the half orc and spattering him with acid. Roaring in pain Ugh took the closest way out, a door to the north. Throwing it open he ran down a short corridor before stopping just short of the edge of a pit. Boris hurried up behind him and together they shimmied down the pit with the aid of a rope. At the base of the pit Ugh’s booted feet crunched down on bone. Looking about him the half orc saw he was standing amongst the bones of many dead dwarves and men. He and Boris waited anxiously to see if the ooze would follow them.
Head froze at the brass bound doors and watched nervously as the ooze began to follow his companions before changing its mind (if oozes can be said to have minds) and returning back down the passage. It hadn’t noticed the Halfling thanks to Head’s amazing stealth. Head finished with the lock before deciding to mess with the ooze. He beat the creature to its pool which he then sealed off with a weighted down giant sack. This puzzled the creature no end as it attempted time and time again to enter it’s pool without success. In the meantime Ugh had climbed out of the pit thinking the coast clear. He than began shouting for his Halfling friend fearing the worst.
The group reunited and explored beyond the double doors finding a room with six desiccated goblin corpses impaled upon bone spikes and an ominous set of stairs heading down. Head was keen to venture deeper into the caves but Ugh persuaded him to continue exploring this level. There was much still to discover. They ventured back into the pit of bones and discovered two corridors branching off it, one man made and the other a natural cavern.
The band set forth along the man made passage following its twists and turns til they reached a door. Head eagerly pushed it open to find a chamber full of goblins. The creatures were engaged in a knife game and were not immediately hostile. They seemed to think the group had been sent by some nearby bugbears to retrieve a treasure, this was a delusion the heroes encouraged. Ugh won them over by participating in their cutting game using his own bastard sword to cut his name into his arm rather than the proffered rusty dagger smeared in goblin blood. With the half orc the winner of the cutting game the goblins celebrated by getting drunk on orcsmead a notorious brew the group knew little about and surreptitiously refused to drink.
During the goblin celebrations Head spied some loose silver and a potion bottle amongst the goblins belongs which he helped himself to and none were any the wiser distracted as they were with getting drunk. The band then set off to defeat the trap which guarded the treasure the bugbears so desired. The trap proved to be a series of savage scything blades that Head defeated with a well placed boulder. The treasure was theirs a set of mastercrafted platemail armour and a matching great sword. Both where claimed by Ugh. Content with their relative success the group retreated from the caves and headed back to civilization.

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