Session #152 – Ollie Versus the Beetles

From 5/11 through 5/18, the adventuring party relaxed in the mine as the miners working for Grubbycheek hammered at hard rock. Soon, they became accustomed to the strange flavor of the worms which were plentifully generated from the magical crystal. During this week, Urgesh and Azrak showed up unexpectedly with four inexperienced fighters in tow. On 5/19, they resolved to investigate the hole at Molokatu’s feet.

They climbed up the slope of the canyon and entered the ruins of Doukreg. The shadow of the 100 foot tall golem draped long over the city as the sun slowly pushed up from the eastern horizon. The sharply angled light accentuated the chiseled patterns of the Dwarven stonework. As they passed through the breach in the walls that surrounded the castle before it was stomped to rubble, they spied a tall figure pacing before a line of eight others.

The tall figure wore a flowing robe of crimson and long, black beard. He clutched a staff as strode back and forth before his line of henchmen. They were ogres, well-equipped and stoic in manner, somewhat unusual for their brutish kind. As the party approached he took noticed and called out to them a warning, “Back away, intruders! I claim this pit as my own!” His words carried the slap of a challenge to the martial-minded party members. Hands moved quickly to weapons.

Tienarth urged caution. Eight ogres were no simple challenge and the human had all the features of a powerful wizard. “I am Turgon Ogremaster,” the wizard continued. When asked to explain his being there, he glibly explained it was the compelling dreams that drew Tienarth’s Raiders, the dreams of the bugs and the lady trapped in a metal cylinder deep underground. It was obvious to both sides that a dangerous battle would begin soon without a deal being struck.

“I will give you three days!” offered Turgon. “Three days, and then I will return to make my own attempt.” Azrak began a retort, a counter-offer that was likely to be something along the lines of surrender-or-die. Tienarth’s harsh stare cut him short. Turgon let the offer stand as more of a statement than a negotiation. He and his group moved off, and as they did, he was heard saying he intended to investigate the vault he’d found in the Doukreg. Tienarth and the others instantly knew he meant the vault they’d partially looted where even then some treasure seemed too-well protected by magical orbs.

The prospect of losing valuable treasure weighed heavily on Tienarth’s thoughts. Jerker for this own part wondered if fate meant for them to fight the black-bearded wizard. In the end, they all agreed to delve into the pit. Azrak lead the way, making use of his ability to see in the dark. Ferris held a glowing stone for the benefit of all the humans.

Into the Pit

The way was a steep slope, almost a natural stair down in the hard rock. The tunnel with roughly 30 feet across and high. Halfway down, Azrak spotted the same of a humanoid coming up. It was a halfling in leather armor who looked bedraggled. He was Arlock, the last of a party who’d recently followed the dreams into the pit. He told of many more bugs below, including wasps, beetles and ants, all of giant size.

Arlock explained the worst of the challenges down below was a mechanical man of iron that breathed a cloud of gas. Two of his companions dropped dead instantly. He and another adventurer then fled. His companion was lost along the way. The party attempted to convince the halfling to turn and lead them into the depths. He explained he was injured and not sure he wanted to continue the adventuring life after losing three comrades. He did recognize Turgon whom he considered evil. The party suggested he find Grubbycheek in the mine where he could rest before going on. Azrak escorted Arlock back up the tunnel as the rest of them moved down.

As they moved down, they noticed the hard rock change to a gray sandstone flecked with shiny bits. Ollie took interest in one and stopped to chisel it out of the soft stone. As he worked, sending loud thuds down the tunnel, a buzzing emerged from below. A group of giant wasps buzzed overhead, going past them and up into the surface world. Ollie extracted a half circle of steel perhaps an inch long. It resembled a section of pipe. He puzzled over it a moment then stuffed it in his pocket.

Considering the idea of an iron golem, they almost turned back. A long debate ended with Tienarth once again becoming a dragon.

Beetles and More Beetles

Eventually, the tunnel delivered them to a large chamber with several exits and a small pool. They debated a next move while a swarm of beetles surged out of the pool towards them. Immediately, flasks of burning oil were hurled, creating four patches fire. The beetles avoided the fire while still moving towards the brave advtenturers. Urgesh and Ferris, both immune to normal fire, poured oil over themselves and ignited it.

The beetles crawled over the floor and up the walls and the legs of anyone left standing in the room. Tienarth in dragon form beat this wings, which pushed the beetles back momentarily. Saul and his lion retreated up the tunnel, soon followed by everyone but Ollie. He suffered a few minor bites from the bugs but pushed onward into another room. There he saw more beetles of a giant variety with glowing eyes. He braved the crawling bugs to go up the tunnel where the rest were staying safely away from bug bites.

By this time, Azrak had returned. Together, the two dwarves convinced most of the rest of them to charge through the small beetles to fight the bigger variety. Urgesh remained with the four young fighters who likely would have died from the beetle swarm. The giant beetles were quickly squished by a rain of blows, though three motionless beetles remained. Ollie bent to examine them and noticed they were actually containers. When he touched of them, a spears shout out from four directions to skewer him. Tienarth provided healing via his Haderaxian spell. Nate also provided healing through his faith in Nebro.

Inside the beetle containers were many coins and a ring, which Ollie placed on his finger. It was a golden ring with a motif of a knotted rope. As he slipped it on, a brief glow spread from this finger to cover his whole body. It seemed to be a Ring of Protection.

They took a look at a chamber to he south where a metal panel stuck out of the sandstone wall. It had two holes at waist-level for a human plus a kind of hood over where the head might go. Handles were seen inside the holes. They reasoned it was meant for humans to use but had no trust in it being safe. They turned around and tried a chamber to the north. This second chamber smelled of ozone. A skeleton lay at the midpoint of the room. They had no appetite for testing this room, either. In the end, they decided to retreat from the caverns and return to the surface.

Soon, they found themselves back in the mines with Grubbycheek.

End Notes

  • Days
    • 5/11 – 5/18 Resting the mine
    • 5/19 Exploring the pit
  • Treasure
    • 200 cp
    • 1,500 ep
    • 300 gp
    • Ring of Protection +1 (taken by Ollie)
  • Combat
    • 6 Giant Fire Beetles 150 xp
  • Characters 11 xp each
    • Azrak 111 xp (bonus for aiding Arlock)
    • Ferris 12 xp
    • Hocuspo 12 xp
    • Jerker 12 xp
    • Nate 12 xp
    • Ollie 111 xp (bonus for moving the action)
    • Saul and Lion 12 xp
    • Tienarth 11 xp
    • Urgesh 11 xp
    • Four dudes named Geliz, Gerlich, Ashy and Ashubo 12 xp

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