Beneath The Mountain

The Cult of the Pit

With their immediate problems resolved, our heroes turned once more to the exploration of the ancient tombs. But alas, the party had undergone a change by the time they arrived, for Jethro had at last had enough of his near death experiences and crept away in the night. Fortunately, a replacement was convienently close at hand, and the party was soon joined by the lion-riding, gun-toting warrior XXX. They also had the somewhat reluctant support of Krak, the last surviving member of the Githyanki pirate crew they had defeated in the plane of water. They were, in other words, as prepared as they could possibly be…

Passing the site of their desperate battle with the shadows, the party plunged deeper into the tombs. Their, they encointered all manner of undead horors. A Morgh, whose lighning speed and paralyzing tounge might have spelled doom had it not been dismembered by XXX lion and Saqqua's hammer. A pack of noble Wights, whose soul draining powers proved no match for Urzoggs firepower. A ghostly wizard, ranting about "finding the door" even as he lashed out with dark sorcery. There was even an entire room in which the walls were rigged to stab visitors with spikes for some reason. That trap did some damage, but it was what awaited in the next room that presented the true threat.

A trio of deadly specters, the ghosts of past warriors, ambushed our intrepid tomb robbers while they were looting a coffin and, in  a grim reanactment of Jethros deat, laid into Saqqua. Saqquas mighty armour and prodigous steength proved useless against the insubstantial foes, and he was brought to the very brink of death before his companions could banish his enemies. It as at this point that the heroes decided to head back to the inn to regroup…

View
Adventure on the High Seas

If they wanted to pay of hier debt to Joe for the diamond used in resurrecting Jethro, our heroes would need to do a job for the mysterious merchant. Specifically, they would need to recover a rare gem that had gone missing in the elemental plane of water, en route to Joe's Emporium. The mighty planehopper ship that was carrying the gem had gone completely silent, and joe feared the worst. As a very rich merchant, he was obviously much to important to deal with the issue himself, but he did have just enough time to teleport a few expendable adventurers into the general vicinity of the ship. That done, he went back to counting his money.

Being dropped into an otherworldy sea was a rather disorienting experience for our heroes, made more so by the appearance of a gigantic shark. Still, they managed to make it the the planeship without serious injury. Once their, they found signs of a battle, and quickly established through mystical means that the ship had been raided by Githyanki Pirates.

Undeterred, our heroes plunged int the depths of the ship to face the interdimensional raiders.When at last the two forces met, a mighty battle was fought. The githyanki were well trained and well armed, and their leader, in the midst of battle, revealed his true power by transforming into a tiger. At last, however, the heroes were victorious. The githtyanki captain was slain, and his few remaining followers were quickly pressed into the service of good. But the job was still only half done, and the gem still needed to be recovered.

This would prove difficult, for the energies of the gem had begun to radiate throughout the ship, twisting the local vermin into new and terrible forms. A mighty Kraken, a deadly ooze, and, guarding the gem itself, an immense centipede, all stood in our heroes path, and quickly whittled away all but one of their new Githyanki "allies". This final guardian was the deadliest of all, spewing fire, ice and lighting as it thrashed and bit at the adventurers. Jeththro was once again mortally wounded by these attacks, but in the end the remaining heroes slew the beast and were able to restore Jethro before he slipped into death. And with that, the mysterious gem was recovered, and delivered to the mysterious merchant with all haste.

 

Our heroes had cleared their debt, but what new events might spring from the acquisition of such a powerful item by the enigmatic jeweler? Well, whats the worst that could happen…

View
Disaster Strikes

With the Hunter slain, our heroes were free to continue their explorations. The remaining creatures of the Deep Caves proved to be a formidable menagerie of horrors, but one by one each was slain until the caves became at last a safe resting place for the bold adventurers. During the course of their monster slaying tour, they had been fortunate to find the ghost of a former explorer of the mountain, who warned that the next level of the dungeon was an ancient tomb, guarded by formidable undead protectors.

Thus warned, the great bear Utha refused to go further, for all men know that bears have extremely poor Will Saves, and are thus powerless against the sinister magic of the undead. After a brief consultation, the heroes chose to leave Utha in the care of the temple of The Unicorn, a decision which would soon come back to haunt them.

After one last shopping tri to Stonehold, Jethro, Saqqua, and Urzogg finally embarked on the most perilous phase of their adventure, and entered the tomb of the Athan Kings. There they first encountered a mummy, which rose from its coffin to attack them with supernatural terror and ancient curses. Quick thinking and courage soon put down the first threat, however, and with high spirits the "heroes" began to enthusiastically loot the ancient treasures of a lost civilization.

As is often the case in such stories, greed proved to be their undoing. Jethro, in his haste to liberate items of value from the coffin of some long-dead lord, was caught entirely by surprise when the very shadows seemed to come alive and set upon him with a terrible life-draining touch. Saqqua quickly rushed to his aid and slew the shadows, but alas, he was too late. Jethro fell lifeless to the ground.

All was not yet lost, however. The heroes had accumulated considerable wealth in their adventures, perhaps enough to fund a resurrection at the temple. But here they were frustrated by thriver own overly trusting nature, for, freed from their oversight and twisted by the dire magics of the mountain, Utha had gone on a rampage throughout meadowvale. The temple was ruined, the priests slain, and all hope lost. All save one. The mad old Gnoll, Howler, self proclaimed priest of the Dragon God, offered to raise the fallen mage if the party would aid him in destroying a mysterious new foe, the Cult of the Great Pit. In their haste to revive their friend, the remaining heroes swiftly agreed, and the gnoll set about his ritual. Of course, raising the dead is an expensive business, and the necessary material components could only be acquired from Joe the Gem Merchant, who also requested the parties aid in a task yet to be revealed. 

Now in debt to both the extra planar gem merchant and an insane hyena man,the party was further rocked when their dead friend reappeared as a gnome. Howler shrugged, intoning that the dragon god works in mysterious ways, but privately the party suspected that he simply wasn't a very good cleric.

In any case, the time for a confrontation with Utha had arrived. In ages to come, legends would tell of this tragic clash between the heroes and their former companion, now awakened to the power of a dragon. Fire blazed, weapons flashed, and magic thundered throughout the night. It is said that an entire orchestras worth of Sad Violins was spontaneously conjured into being to deliver an appropriate soundtrack. At last, Urzogg delivered the final blow, a shot straight to the mighty bears heart, and the heroes most beloved and trusted ally met his end.

There was no time to mourn, however, as Joe had an errand that would not wait…

View
The Most Dangerous Game...

With the immediate threats vanquished and the upper levels explored, it was time for the heroes to travel deeper. After all, their was still a lost tribe to be found, an ancient ruin to be explored, and a unicorn horn to be recovered.  And so the party, bolstered by the entirely trustworthy additions of Abby the Aboleth, Utha the bear, and the voice in Urzoggs head, progressed to the Deep Caves for another day of dungeon crawling.

But this was no ordinary dungeon: the deep caves were the abode of the Hunter, an implacable half-dragon warrior who had filled the tunnels with exotic beasts and terrible monsters. Even these were not enough to test his skills, however, so he had recently turned to hunting the most dangerous game of all: man. And sometimes dinosaurs. But mostly man.

The heroes first encountered the hunter during a b pets, a pair of basilisks who obliged the heroes to fight with their eyes closed. During the battle, a shot rang out, and a rifle bullet slammed into Jethro's back, almost slaying him on the spot. Worse, the hunter was accompanied by another pet, a dire bear who waded into battle to engage the heroes from behind. The fight was long and hard, but through heroic efforts the adventurers eventually slew the bear and the basilisks. The Hunter was one step ahead, however, and fled deeper into the tunnels. In no shape to pursue, the heroes retreated back to town to lick their wounds.

The hunter was a cagey foe, however, and opted to strike hen his prey least expected it. Saqquas sleep was interrupted by a mighty bang, and he awoke just in time to dodge the energy blast flying through his window. Quickly spying the hunter on the roof of the building opposite the inn, Saqqua attempted to charge his enemy, only to be grabbed by the mighty claws of a giant scorpion. With the scorpion on the ground and the hunter above, things looked grim for Saqqua, but his alies quickly moved into action.

A  blast of mental force from Jethro dazed the Hunter, who was quickly grabbed by Urzoggs grappling hook and sent tumbling to the ground. Injured, he attempted to flee with Urzogg and jethro in hot pursuit, and thus began a running battle across the town. Jethro took a shot to the chest form the hunters rifle, and without his armour was unable to withstand the blow. He fell into a stupor, while Urzogg used the opportunity to engage the hunter at close range. Alas, the hunter was as deadly with a sword as with a gun, and soon felled the intrepid gunslinger. 

The two had delayed the hunter enough for Saqqua to defeat the scorpion, and the warrior came charging round the corner to join the fight. After another chase, he at last caught up to his foe, and the two lunged at each other in a storm of blades and hammers. Saqqua struck a fraction of a second faster, and with a mighty crash the hunter was slain.

After a few emergency medical procedures, the party retired once more to the inn, secure in the knowledge that the master of the deep caves had been slain. But upon their return to the caves, they faced a monster more terrifying than any they had yet seen, the hunters most favored pet – A Tyrannosaurus rex! The beast swallowed Saqqua and Urzogg whole while Jethro was leaped upon from behind by Dire Tiger, and for a moment it seemed that all was lost. But Utha the bear, strengthened by consuming the draconic flesh of the hunter, leapt into the fray, distracting the tiger while the two warriors cut their way out of the t-rexes stomach. A series of blaster rounds to the beasts internal organs laid low the endangered and majestic animal, and the party was able to focus its full attention on the tiger, which was quickly dispatched.

Wounded but alive, the party was at last able to explore the hunters abode, and found hisjournal, in which he detailed his many accomplished. Of most interest to the heroes was a reference to the passing of the lost barbarian tribe a little under a year ago. Apparantly, they had moved onto "the ruins below" a place the hunter avoided as it was infested with undead and unspeakable horrors. This, then would be the heroes next destination. Their was only one lingering question: where did a hunter living in a cave come across an advanced empowered rifle? And could it be related to the weapons used by the stormcloud goblins? Something was clearly afoot deeper below the mountain…

 

View
Final Confrontation

The Goblin God, an immense idol of bone and chains, had finally arrived in the heart of Meadowvale. Accompanied by its shamans and the most elite warriors of the stormcloud army, it roared into battle against the re-united heroes. Flames blasted, chains thrashed, and goblins were turned to pulp in as the two sides finally settled their dispute once and for all. Though the idol was strong, the cunning minds of the three adventurers quickly found its weak point: By using telekinesis to rip the chains from its body, Urzogg was able to tear a hole in the beast, through which Saqqua aimed a mighty fire blast.

It was much too early to celebrate though, for with a mighty blast the idol exploded, revealing the true form of the goblin god: a Chain Devil, conjured from the deepest pits of the Nine Hells. In fury, the beast lashed out with its razor sharp chains, driving back Saqqua with a blizzard of attacks. The future seemed grim, but, through heroic magical effort, Jethro and Urzogg were ale to temporarily drive away the whipping chains, leaving the flesh of the devil exposed. With a mighty war cry, Saqqua split the beast in twain, and the goblin threat was at last decisively vanquished. 

The battered heroes scarcely had time to lower their weapons, however, when another threat appeared: A terrible earthquake split the ground, revealing an underground river from which came an elite force of fishmen, commanded by their leader: a hideous, slimey, fishlike monster known as an aboleth!

Aboleths are masters of mental powers, and the beast used its sinister abilities to full effect, confusing and distracting the heroes. It even attempted t conquer the mind of the warrior Saqqua, which would surely have spelled doom for the embattled village. But Saqqua possessed a stronger will than most warriors, and fought of the beast for long enough for Jethro to freeze the river solid. With their master trapped, the fishmen stood no chance, and were soon routed, whereupon a few sharp blows ended the aboleth menace forever. Meadowvale had been saved from both its tormentors in a single bloody battle, and a spontaneous celebration broke out.

This festival atmosphere, coupled with the exhaustion of battle, may explain the very strange actions that the heroes took next. Lighting a fire in the street, they proceeded to cook and devour the toxic flesh of the aboleth, a decision that no man in his right mind would ever make. It is probably no coincidence that Urzogg began to hear a voice whispering in his mind shortly afterward. The voice was both intelligent and knowledgeable, but none could guess what its motives might be…

Even stranger, the residual magic of the area caused some of the cooked flesh to reform itself into a miniature aboleth. Fortunately, this creature seemed less evil than its forbearer, and was soon given the name of Abby and adopted as the party mascot. Surely, nothing bad could come of these developments.

In the coming days, the heroes decided to take it easy, revisiting a previously explored area to search for whatever treasures they had missed previously. During their expedition to the fire pits, they came upon a great treasure indeed: the mightiest of all artifacts: The Robe of Useful Items!  This incredible object stored within itself an array of  mundane  items indispensable to the adventurer, including a rowboat, a mule, and several ladders. Truly, a heroic find.

As all men know, however, the greatest treasure of all is friendship, and this the heroes found in the unlikely form of Utha the bear, a pet of the former owners of the fire pit. through the use of mystic communications and an amulet of animal friendship, the heroes convinced the mighty bear to join them on their quest. The great bear claimed to seek only "the delicous flesh of soft man-things", and thus seemed a low-cost and entirely trustworthy addition to the team.

Armed with new allies, new treasures, and voices in their heads, the adventurers prepared to explore further than ever before, into the region known as the deep caves. Surely with all these factors in their favor, the rest of the mountain would be a snap…

 

 

View
The Second Battle of Meadowvale

The time for a conclusive battle had finally arrived. The remaining goblins, led by their priests, had allied themselves with the sinister fishmen of the drowned mines in a campaign to wipe the town of Meadowvale off the map and had placed the town under a siege that would mark its final hour. Undermanned and weakened by many disasters, Meadowvale could not hope to stand alone. Thus, our heroes forged a daring plan. Urzogg D'ork, the fastest and stealthiest of the team, would sneak past the enemy lines under cover of darkness to petition aid from the dwarves of Stonehold, while the other two adventurers stayed behind to assist in the defence.

Urzogg would need to move fast, for unbeknownt to him, the enemy force also had a plan that night. The first thing Jethro and Saqqua knew of the stealthy assualt was when a squad of goblins infiltrated thier room, attempting to kill them in thier sleep.. Fortuanately, they woke up just in time to avoid disaster, but Jethro was gravely wounded in the ensuing skirmish. Staggering outside, the duo so that disaster had struck: the goblins had thrown open the ates, and orcs were pouring into the town. A series of desperate battles ensued as the heroes fought to save the town, but without reinforcements, they knew their was little hope. 

Fortunately, those reinforcements were on the way. Urzogg had successfully made contact with Stonehold, and now led a mighty force of dwarves to the relief of the town. Their first battle, however, occurred just outside the walls, where they found a force of fishmen preparing some sort of magical cannon. If it could be use, it would no doubt end Maadowvales resistance once and for all! With a might war cry, the dwarves charged, and a bloody battle ensued. The fishmen, aided by their more advanced weapons, fought jhard, but finally broke when Urzogg blasted their leader in a ride by motorcycle attack. The threat dealt with, the dwearves them moved to strike the goblins inside the town from the rear.

At that very moment, the fate of meadowvale was being decided in fierce combat outside the town hall. Jethro and Saqqua stood alone against a dozen orcs led by their new leader, a mighty ogre barbarian. Saqqua stood toe to to with the ogre, taking terrible wounds from its deadly great club, while jethros magic blasted the assembled orcish horde. At last, the forces of good proved victorious. A blast of lightning from jethro scattered the orcs, and the ogre was felled by skull crushing blow from saqqua. Their leader defeated, the remaining enemy troops were then struck by a dwarven charge from their rear, and disintegrated into panic.

The three heroes, now reunited, were almost ready to declare the battle a victory, when the enemy deployed their final trump card. The goblin shamans marched into the town square, and with them they brought a terrible idol: An immense skull, wrapped in writhing chains, its eyes glowing with unholy power. The time had finally come to face the Goblin God…

View
Discounts on Death

Joe's Gem Emporium offers the best deals in the multiverse, but the only thing on offer today…is murder.

Conjured into the middle of Meadowvale by a careless wsh, the mysterius shop immediatly disgorged a hoard of undead abominations which proceeded to kidnap the townspeople. Fortunately, our heroes returned from thier expedition to the fire pits just in time, and boldy plunged into the most horrifyimg shopping experience this side of Game customer service.

The once proud store had become a den of monsters, as the heroes soon realized when they were set upon by a pair of ferocious ghasts. Jethro hit upon the brilliant plan of attempting to read the creatures minds, and as a result spent much of the fight curled up in a ball on the ground and sobbing. Evemn worse, Urzogg was entirely absent, having been called away on Important Adventurer Errands. Saqqua thus stood alone against the creatures, and took terrible wounds from thier cruel teeth and razor claws, to say nothing of thier paralyzing touch. At last though, jethro recovered, and the dynamic duo managed to scrape through the fight to live another day. Undetered by thier brush with death, they then journeyed further into the shop.

Several more encounters with undead, these hideously enhanced with armour plating and otherworldly blades, occured before the heroes finnaly found the kidnapped villagers. They found another prisoner as well: Joe, the extradimensional being who owned the emporium. Joe explained that that his store had been taken over by a band of githyanki, whose necromancer leader was using it as a base to conduct horrifying experiments. 

As all adventurers know, powerful githyanki are rarely seen without a unique magical weapo known as a silver sword, an item of great cultural, historical, and, most importantly, monetary value. Inspired by the promise of such a reward, the eroes breached the very heart of the emporium, where they faced a mad mage, a powerful warlord, and a horde of undead and githyanki warriors. Through skill, daring, magic, dumb luck, and good old fashioned determination, Jethro and Saqqua won the day, rescuing in the process another adventurer who had come to investigate mount more but instead found herself kidnapped by the interminsional raiders.

Seeing an oppertunity to offload her own task on some gullible schmucks, the mage aurellia asked the noble heroes to investigate deeper into the mountain in search of ancient ruins, a task they were happy to accept in exchange for the promise of an appropriate reward. Joe meanwhile, lavished praise, and magical gems, upon his saviours, promising to stay in town for a time to handle all of thier gem related needs… for a price, of course.

A succesful day of adventuring behind them, jethro and saqua were looking forward to a good nights sleep. This was not to be, however, for no sooner had they left Joes Gem Emporium  than they were beset by desperate townsfolk begging for rescue once again. An immense army of goblins and fishmen were camped outside the walls, and looked ready to attack at any moment! Could this be Meadowvales final hour?

View
Deception, Deceit, and Diamonds

As the three heroes followed the trail from the ravaged corpse, Jethro suddenly remembered some important wizard errands he had to run, and mysteriously vanished from the adventure. Now reduced to too, Saqqua and Urzogg none the less pressed onwards, soon arriving at another entrance into the mountain caves. Here they found a group of barbarians deep in conversation with a woman they recognized as Serrela, one of the adventurers from the tavern at meadowvale. 

The barbarians it transpired, were of the Moruhdain tribe, which lived near the mountain. They too had been tracking the heart-stealing monster, but were unable to follow it into the mountain, which they believed was cursed. Thus, they asked Saqqua and Urzogg do to slay the beast, promising blessing from the tribes shaman in exchange. Serrela had also come to  track a monster, this one a powerful fire giant. She soon pressed the heroes into service on this quest, and ventured into the dungeon with them.

This entrance led to the fire pits, a realm of stifling heat and bubbling lava. There they found a strange monument covered in barbaric script. Returning to the barbarians with a copy, they found that the writing had been left by the "lost tribe" of the morudhain, who had lived within the mountain but vanished about a year ago. According to the message, they had ventured deeper into Mount Moru. The barbarians were very excited by this, and begged the heroes to look for them on their adventure.

Firstly, though, Saqua and Urzog would need to survive the myriad deceptions of the fire pits. They found a captured centaur who claimed to be a princess, but who was in fact a disguised Lamia, the creature responsible for the brutal murders and heart thefts plaguing the area. Fighting through her illusions and tricks, they put the monster to the sword.

Further in, they met an efreet, queen Saitara of the fire pits. She sent them on a quest to destroy one of her subordinates, a fire giant and Serrelas target, who in fact proved to be a monstrous giant Hag. Again,magic and illusion were overcome by the application of violence, but not before the Hag revealed another secret: Serrela, their companion and quest giver, was also a Hag, and the entire charade was part of a contest organized by the efreet queen. Whichever Hag proved herself the most cunning, ruthless, and evil, was to be granted a wish and become an apprentice to the queen. Stunned by the deception, the heroes nonetheless destroyed Serrela before heading back to Saitara to claim their reward for eliminating the "fire giant".  Though their journey was interrupted by an encounter with an immense giant guard, the heroes managed to survive by the skin of their teeth and made it back to the throne room.

Each of the heroes was granted a wish, though Saitara naturally intended to twist the wisher to ill effect, as is the way of efreets. Saqua fist wished, very specifically, for 25,000 silver credits worth of jewels in a suitably portable form. To this, Saitara responded by giving him a single massive diamond, which he would never be able to sell in such a small town as meadowvale. Urzogg, however, proved to be one step ahead, immediately asking for a gem merchant to appear in town to whom they could sell the diamond.

This accomplished, the adventurers realized that the evil efreet would surely seek revenge when she realized that the adventurers had in fact killed all of her prospective apprentices, and so launched a surprise attack. though the efreets flames were hot and her magic was powerful, she could not stand before both heroes, and was slain.

Congratulating themselves on a job well done, the two adventurers headed back to meadowvale. But Saitra was to have the last laugh after all, for upon arriving they found that several building had been wiped out by the sudden appearance of "Joes Gem Emporium". Worse yet, hideous screaming and eerie ;laughter echoed from within the building. What horrors had been unleashed by the careless use of wishes? Could they be overcome? and how many disasters could a small town like meadowval possibly survive? Find out next time.

View
The End of the Stormcloud Empire

Upon returning from their expedition to the drowned mines, our heroes found Meadowvale in flames. Quickly rescuing the civilians, they soon learned the cause: The stormcloud goblins, enraged by their previous defeat, had launched a much larger raid on the defenseless town, carrying away many of the townsfolk for sacrifice to an entity they called "The Goblin God".

This was unacceptable! Without a town, who would the heroes extort money from? Who would run their trivial errands? Who would give them that most important of resources, Quest Experience? These goblins had to be taught a lesson, and the heroes would ensure they didn't forget it in a hurry.

Storming into the goblins underground fortress, they began anj epic battle against impossible odds. Orc mercenaries attacked in waves from all directions, armed with weapons that were now a match for the heroes own. Goblin assassins ambushed them from hidden corners with poisoned knives, and even a few human swordsman, much more skilled thn the common rabble, fought under the stormcloud banner.

Fortunately, the heroes rose to the occasion. Jethro used his magic to coat the floor in ice, sending orcs and goblins tumbling to the the ground. Urzogg kept up a hail of fire that cut down whole squads in seconds, and Saqua stood on the front lines, his mighty armor deflecting even the most powerful attacks. In the end, goblin corpses were stacked knee high on the ground, and the heroes were free to explore deeper into the fortress.

The first thing they encountered was a gnoll,  going by the name of Howler. Dressed in rags and presiding over a crude alter, Howler claimed to be a priest of something called the Dragon God, though he seemed more crazy than divinely inspired. Still, the heroes humored him, and accepted his offer to induct them into his priesthood. After all, the favor of a god of strength and violence, even one who might only exist in the fevered imagination of a gnoll, was sure to come in handy. But what was the Dragon God? And could he possibly be the final boss of the dungeon? These were questions for another time.

Of more immediate concern were the captives, who the heroes quickly found and freed. In addition to the citizens of meadowvale, they also found a dwarf from Stonehold, who informed them he had been working  in the mines when the goblins had attacked. By freeing him, they gained the gratitude of the stonehold dwarves, giving them access to the fabled dwarven smiths, who were much more adept at creating empowered items than the human of meadowvale.

With the captives freed and the goblin army slaughtered, there was only one thing to do: Dispose of Akkal Tor, the bugbear king. Though distracted somewhat y the traps and guards that remained in the fortress, the heroes, soon made their way to the bugbears lair. The throne room soon became the sight of a mighty battle, with Akkal Tor going toe to toe with Saqqua while his pet, a powerful firebreathing lizard, distracted the others. The battle was long and hard, but at last the bugbear king was overcome, and attempted to flee down a secret staircase behind his throne. Saqqua pursued him crushing his skull with a mighty hammer blow, and the threat of the stormcloud goblins was ended forever. Or was it? As Akkal Tor fell, a mighty roar could be heard from deeper in the fortress. Th Goblin God was angry, and would need to be faced in due time. Worse yet, before the fight Akkaal Tor had mentioned something about allied even deeper in the dungeon who provided him with weapons for his troops. Who were these allies, and what were their goals?

All these questions would have to wait, for the heroes were at the end of their strength. They returned to meadowvale, where they were greeted with a heroes welcome, and then visited stonehold, where they purchased new weapons and armor of dwarven make. Thus replenished, their thoughts briefly turned to the fishmen of the mines, before they were distracted by yet another quest. A dead body lay upn the ground, its heart torn from it chest, and a set of bestial tracks stretching away from it. The tracks led, of course, toward mount Moru, and to an adventure more treacherous, and more profitable, than any so far.

 

 

 

View
A Watery Grave?

With the guardian statue defeated, our valiant heroes were free to continue there explorations of the hidden caves, which turned out to be an abandoned Dwarven gold mine, in search of the missing villagers.

Heroics would need to wait though, for the bold and noble adventurers soon found something much more important: a seam of gold! Grabbing a rusted pickaxe, the mighty Saqqua led the team in an impromptu mining effort. Unfortunately, no one involved had any relevant experience or training, and mining is a rather more difficult profession than looting the corpses of biologically improbable species, so it wasn't long before they brought down a cave in on their heads.

No serious harm was done, but the noise attracted unwanted attention, and the crew were soon confronted by  a patrol of hideous fishmen spawned from a cheap imitation of an H P Lovecaft story. A tense confrontation followed as the fishmen angrily demanded the surrender of the party. Jethro, proving oce again that his magical ability greatly outweighed his common sense, attempted to read the minds of these alien beings, and picked up a few   useful pieces of information. It seemed that the fishmen had been kidnapping the villagers in preparation for a hideous ritual of transformation which would turn them into more fishmen, and that the awful creatures served an even viler being they thought of only as "The Master". The party naturally assumed that The Master was an aboleth, because every adventurer knows every creature in the monster manual, whether or not they have any plausible way to possess such knowledge.

Unfortunately, the strain of immersing himself im the alien minds of the mutants proved too much for Jethro, who fell unconscious in the middle of negotiations. Assuming treachery, Saqqua and Urzogg charged the fishmen, defeating them after a brutal and deadly battle in which the empowered weapons of the civilized races proved barely a match for the sinister armaments of the lovecraftian abyss below the earth.

This battle attracted yet more attention, but this time of a friendlier sort: An earth elemental named Ground materialized from the walls to (very slowly) beseech the parties aid against his foe, a  vicious and evil water elemental dwelling deeper in the mines. Though initially skeptical, the party was soon won over by Grounds ability to create large chunks of gold, and gladly accepted the quest.

The dangers of the drowned mines were many: Fishman guards, swarms of centipedes, and unstable walls all threatened to undo the heroes, but each hazard was avoided or overcome until the heroes reached the lair of the water elemental, where they found their most deadly foe yet. A swirling vortex of water, fueled by hatred and howling curses, towered over the unfortunate adventurers, and battle was joined with barely  word of the usual posturing. Sweeping across the room in a matter of moments, the elemental submerged all three heroes within itself, quickly battering the mage and the gunslinger into submission.

Saqqua, the warrior of the party, was made of stronger stuff, and the creature soon spat him out to duel one on one. The two foes exchanged many blows, slowly wearing each other down until they were both inches from death. In the end, Saqquas heavy armor proved decisive, and his mighty warhammer was able at last to break through the enemies defenses and slay the elemental.

Observing his two unconscious comrades, Saqqua realized that further exploration was impossible. After collecting hiss reward from ground, he therefore set off for Meadowvale with his companions to rest and recuperate. 

Alas, tragedy had struck once again, for by the time they arrived, Meadowvale was burning…

 

What had become of Meadowvale? Would the kidnapped villagers survive another day? What revenge might The Master exact for the death of his minions? And most importantly of all, when would the heroes find the time to buy bigger guns? Tune in next time to find out.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.