Session #120 – Worm Violence at the Doukreg Vault

While Jerker, Aderian, Tienarth and Ferris contemplated the mysteries of the vault, Chadwick discovered he desired to join them but knew only that they’d left for Slateholm. A day behind them, they arrived in Slateholm and began asking around for them. The city was busy with soldiers from the empire, and many crowded into the Dancing Toad, clambering for ale. A kind stranger send Chadwick over to Nebula’s Stable, knowing she was once a member of Tienarth’s Raiders.

At the stable, he found Nebula, the female dwarf who retired from adventuring years before with hands on hips, only able to glare in frustration as soldiers led away her horses. They were conscripted to be shipped across the sea to aid in the ongoing civil war. When Chad explained he was searching for the group, Nebula offered to accompany him to Hammerstone where she knew they’d gone. Along with them came a young cleric, Legis.

In Hammerstone, they found Grubbycheek who relayed instructions for finding the mine. The next day, they set off down the underground trade route and then turned to head into the natural caverns that lead to Doukreg. They noted the chalk marks left by Jerker and were assured they were going in the right direction. After many hours stepping between boulder-strewn floors and climbing through low passages, they came upon a snake.

Chad, took the first opportunity to turn to flee. Legis raised his staff over his head and advanced. Before Nebula could react, the snake slithered away, out of sight. Chad returned just as quickly and explained he’d somehow encouraged the snake to retreat by giving a good example of such. They traveled on and eventually came into the muddy mine. Soon they were outside and climbing up the walls of the canyon.

Reuniting in Doukreg

They came upon the other four as they discussed dropping large rocks down the shaft to break off the many blades. This might fill the bottom of the shaft with rocks, so the idea was discarded. They also fetched the zombie corpse left near the mine entrance. They began lowering it down by rope and abandoned that approach when it was obvious that the blades would quickly cut the rope.

Ferris mused that his flying potion might be of use, though he had only one. Tienarth, for this part, sat quietly, working out the problem in his head. Jerker and Aderian still felt quite weak. Whatever curse they triggered by removing the eyes from the statues did not go away. With diminished mental capacity, they reasoned a chain would be proof against the blades. Chad and Ferris argued for a rig of some sort to keep the chain centered over the shaft, rather than spilling over the edge, which would expose any climber to the blades.

After a night of rest, they began the journey back to Hammerstone. Still, Jerker and Aderian had not recovered, but they were strong enough to walk the distance. Along the way they met a group of dwarven bandits. Jerker offered one of the gems taking from the statues as a bribe to warn off the bandits who eagerly agreed. A few hours later, another band came upon them, but these dwarves wisely chose to avoid a fight with Tienarth’s Raiders. They were well aware of the reputation of the dragon-killers.

Shopping in Hammerstone

In Hammerstone, they purchased 100′ of light chain. Jerker’s magical girdle made carrying it a simple task. They also purchased a rig meant for mine elevators, an A-frame of sturdy timber. They disassembled the parts and ported them back to Doukreg a day later. They pursued no gambling or other recreation while in Hammerstone. The arrived back in Doukreg on the evening of 5/2.

The next day, they found that the vault had closed up, but were able to open it once again by combining their strength to push aside the huge block. Next, the rig went up and the chain went down the shaft. Ferris carefully climbed down. The shaft was 9′ square and 100′ deep. There was ample space around the chain such that Ferris could keep away from the 1′ blades that jutted all around the inside of the shaft. The powers of the glistening liquid seen on the blades was unknown and they were determined to keep it unknown.

As Ferris let himself down to stand upon the transparent floor of the shaft, one face of the last 10′ of the shaft suddenly pushed forward, sweeping Ferris into the downward slanting chute. Unable to grasp anything, he fell into a spike-filled pit, which opened up a nasty gash on his side. He looked around, using his rock enchanted to project light. The floor of the 20’x20′ room was covered in a debris of many failed vault-robbers.

Ferris produced a hammer and spikes and constructed a series of hand- and footholds in order to reach the top of the chute and a door which had now swung down to close off the shaft. Meanwhile, Jerker, Nebula and Chad made their way down into the mine to grab several large worms. They carried them back to vault where Jerker promptly hurled one large worm down the shaft. It landed with a splat, immediately triggering the sliding block. The worm shot past Ferris and landed on the spikes.

Ferris carefully pulled the door open and told them to wait while he climbed out. Not understanding, they tossed another worm down. Ferris let it pass by, then the quickly jumped to the chain and climbed back to the surface.

Breaking Through

After days of quiet contemplation, Tienarth described an elaborate plan that included he and Jerker flying down the shaft along with two floating discs. He intended to enter the treasure room via a Passwall spell. Unfortunately, when they’d made their way down into the pit room, they found that the spell immediately fizzled. Perhaps out of frustration, Jerker began digging with a pick he fetched from the mine. Unlike the stone at the surface level, the stone of the chute seemed vulnerable to his blows, greatly enhanced by his giant strength. After some work, he opened up a fist-sized hole into the treasure room.

While this toiling was going on, the vault began to reset itself. The lead plate began to slide forward. Ferris and Chad pulled the rig away and let the chain drop into the shaft. The weight of the chain caused the sliding block to push it down the chute where it caught on the many spike Ferris and Jerker had hammered in.

Sensing danger, Tienarth attempted a Dimension Door spell to escape. It, too, fizzled. They seemed trapped, but fortunately, those who remained at the surface were just strong enough to push the large block away again to allow opening the lead door. Meanwhile, Jerker kept working the hole larger. When it was large enough, he pushed a giant worm through the hole. It seemed to fall down into the treasure room uninjured.

Now they concluded that they needed only to pull the treasure out and transport it back to St. Orlan. Ferris offered to walk back to the homestead to fetch the wagon.

End Notes

  • Treasure: none
  • Combat: none
  • Characters
    • Chadwick
    • Ferris
    • Jerker
    • Legis
    • Nebula
    • Tienarth
  • Days: 3 / Ending on 5/2

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