Session #91 – Twain-Split by an Undead Worm

On the 4th day of Snake, the party sent by Ferris to investigate the cave on Lionerdhon’s Farm felt well rested and ready to continue their exploration. Among them were the elf lass Yari, a druid; the cleric Stoyk; the dwarf Raffi; and the scout called Tenren. Urgesh and his snarling hound were unexpectedly missing. They hollered in all directions, heard no reply and departed without the extra muscle.

Raffi’s sketch of the caves and tomb

Through the cave they went, climbing down a rope once again into the circular chamber. Pausing again at the first locked door, they considered how to gain entrance. They had no key, nor were any skilled in the thieving arts. Raffi delivered a blow that severed the padlock and sent it crashing to the floor. He repeated this feat on the second padlock and the the door swung open.

Inside they found a small room filled with mining tools. Mosaics on the walls showed human slaves cowering before giant worm creatures. Raffi grabbed a hammer and chisel. Yari grabbed a shovel. Crossing the hallway, Raffi easily removed the two padlocks with swift blows from the hammer. Painted on the plaster walls were scenes of man-sized worms cavorting with demons. A gutter around a waist-high basin led to a drain in the floor, the entire course stained black. Water poured on the stain mixed to produce unidentifiable goo. As a precaution against evil, Yari poured holy water over the basin.

They follows stairs down from this room into three small rooms, each connected by narrow passages. More horrifying scenes painted on the walls communicated the utter evil of the worm monsters, including the eating of humans. Braziers on pedestals held black dust. Yari touched her torch to a brazier, which belched a tower of flame and then filled the chambers with acrid smoke. They coughed violently, then felt intense fear. Yari, Tenren and Stoyk fled from the dungeon, climbing up the rope in a panic. Raffi followed more cautiously.

Exhausted, they rested for two days until the coughing subsided. Stoyk offered healing touches. The half-orc did not return during these two days, so on the 6th of Snake, they entered the cave again, this time with a few sacks acquired from the farmer. They filled the sacks with the strange black powder from the braziers.

Next, they followed a narrow passage to arrive in the tombs they’d explored several days before in their first foray into the dungeon. Three chambers from this central area contained stone sarcophagi held closed with many steel braced. They crowded into the northernmost chamber, only 10′ across, while Raffi began hammering off the rivets holding the braces in place. The echoes of hammerfalls bounced around the ancient tomb.

Presently, three goblins arrived. Tenren, closest to the chamber entrance, spotted them as they descended stairs. A hurled flask of oil bathed two goblins in fire who curled into fetal positions as they died. The third took an arrow in the shoulder but was able to flee. They gave chase but could not catch the goblin.

Returning to the tomb, Raffi resumed his work. The rest of them braced for another interruption. As the last braced clattered on the floor, the container gave up a brief puff of air, then they pushed the heavy lid away. Inside, they found a mummy accompanied by gold coins and gems. Yari grabbed the gems greedily. Raffi tore away the mummy’s wrapping to reveal large worm of the type portrayed in the murals.

As expected, another monster interrupted, this time it was an animated but clearly undead worm monster. As it slid down the narrow passage, it leaned forward and paused. An obscene wave of pain blasted over them. Raffi felt his limbs stiffen. He was paralyzed!

Stoyk noted the plain glow of evil around the undead worm. “The power of the Anointed One protect us!” he declared. Yari and Tenren dove past the worm, allowing Stoyk to step up to it. They bent to prepare flasks of oil. Stoyk struck at the monster ineffectively. The worm lunged to bite the paladin who deflected the blows with his shield.

Tenren and Yari both hurled flaming oil that burned worm flesh ferociously. As Raffi felt his paralysis abate, the worm let loose with another psychic blast. The next moment, it whirled to attack Yari. Gruesome jaws clamped down around her thin waist. The sickening sound of crushing bones filled their hearts with dread as the elf was split in twain. Her two halves flopped to the ancient stone floor.

Despite the evil worm’s horrendous act, the destructive power of the flaming oil charred away it’s desiccated flesh. It tipped over and lay motionless. With the foe defeated, the three of them gathered up the gold and gems as well as the two pieces of Yari. They made a quick retreat.

Outside of the cave, they gave Raffi the gems and 100 gp each to Stoyk and Tenren.

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