The Cabin Sessions

Sessions Index

Deep Crossing

Friday, January 21, 2000


GM: Mark Thomas

13 day of Tormai, 1347 aka Tuka of Dimlot, Shokas in Tormai. City of Ume

The party is called to a meeting at the bequest of Captain Wicara Nonala (the same captain that arranged the group's last trip). The meeting is held at the Inner Gate Tower, which is known to be used by the Imperial Legion.

The party arrives and is provided food and drink as they desire. Shortly after the last party member arrives, Migan Kesmin, aide de camp of High Marshall Rodia Malesta, arrives, with a Dwarf and a Gnome in tow (rumors have been circulating for several tridays about the Dwarven Embassy recently arrived from the Compact).

Note on Kesmin: She is certainly the strongest woman any of the party has seen. She wears heavy, expensive plate mail like it was a light cloak and has more muscles than you really want to count. As she sits, several people note a greenish mist dripping and slithering from her sword.

Kesmin gets right to the point. Contact has been lost with a newly opened mine about 8 days journey to the west. Two previous Legion patrols, one the normal resupply, the other an explorative expedition have failed to return. The Legion officially asks the party to investigate under an agreement similar to the previous trip. The Legion will be providing two Legionarres as additional muscle, and the Compact Embassy has offered two of its members (Thraggalix and Zmar, the Dwarf and Gnome present) as additional members of the expedition.

The party agrees, and is provided with sufficient mounts and gear to make the journey. They also receive a map of the path to the mines and a rough map of the mining compound itself.

Tormai 14

Party departs the city in the PM, planning to travel in the cool of the night as is usual in the Burning. Travel about two miles west southwest on the main road, then turn off on a western trail.

Tormai 15

During this night's travel period, the party is attacked by a group of skeletons (12 or so). Thyme slays two with magic missiles, Nasir turns three to dust, Father Bo shatters one with arrows. Nasir tramples another with his camel, and the rest are slain by melee forces. (Note that Fasheen fumbled during this battle).

Examining the remains reveals that several are wearing the remains of Legion uniforms. The party burns the remains and buries the ashes.

Tormai 16

Camp in the AM. As travel begins tonight, the party notices they are heading into rougher badlands like country. Low hills, rough stone and rocky ridges as opposed to the sandy desert common near Ume.

Tormai 17

A quiet morning of travel and day of rest.

Tormai 18

A quiet morning of travel. During the day Zippy's sword begins to glow and moan (indicating undead are near). The camp is attacked by three skeletal giants. Zippy invokes the power of his sword to attack the undead (Fasheen fumbles again). Zippy and Father Bo kill one of the giants, Thrag kills another. Galian (the Legionarre) and Zippy finish off the third.

The party remembers to burn the remains. The rest of the day and the night's travel are uneventful.

Tormai 19

A quiet morning of travel and day of rest.

Tormai 20

Late the 19th/early the 20th, the party notices a thick fog forming ahead, just as they are entering a narrow chasm in the desert floor. Rather than advance they elect to circle the odd fog to the south. As they travel through the rocky terrain, they are attacked by a large force of skeletal creatures. Nasir manages to turn one, and Fasheen (not fumbling) fries one with an electrically charged arrow.

Just as the party was growing in confidence, Thrag is attacked from behind by another skeletal creature, something much more than a mundane skeleton, as the creature drains him of energy and staggers him. Another skeleton approaches and Thrag, stunned is quickly fighting to save his life. Not only that, but the odd mist seen previously is obscuring Thrag from the rest of the group.

The rest of the party is now fully engaged with the skeletons, and though Thyme is magic missiling one after the other and Nasir manages to turn a few more, the party can't get to Thrag. Finally, Nasir manages to cast rock to mud around Thrag, just as Thrag kills one of his opponents. Unfortunately the other creature managed to leap free and vanishes instantly (magic? illusion?) The party gathers itself and heads off (much later realizing they failed to burn the remains of the skeletons).

Tormai 21

Early in the morning the party gets back on the main trail, and Thrag is starting to feel himself once again.

During the day, Nasir casts a spell and detects a large creature ahead (approximately 4 miles NW). The rest period is otherwise uneventful.

Tormai 22

Early in the AM, the party spots the line of a wall and a low building ahead. Thyme casts fly on Father Bo and himself. Both fly forward to investigate (invisible, but each holding a small lightspelled item).

They scout (fairly thoroughly) and see:

The party camps til midday, resting.

That afternoon the party advanced into the compound. Nasir, Fasheen, Thrag, and Galian advance into the barn and put the camels into stalls, then investigate the back room. They are surprised by several large scorpions, which attack. Luckily Nasir managed to neutralize poison on those stung.

The rest of the party explores the barracks/quarters. Zmar managed to pick the lock on one of the window shutters and the party enters through the window and the door. Thyme immediately throws up at the sight of the obvious massacre that must hagve taken place. The main room is scattered with bits and pieces of bodies and sprayed with blood.

As Thyme recovers, Bo advances up the stairs with the others and is surprised by a deranged human (apparently a miner from his garb). Bo thinks quickly and casts a hold spell on the man. A quick search reveals two coffers in the room and a map of the mines (obviously the mine's main office).

The group exits the building with the map and coffers.

Back in the barn the other group ascends to the upper level of the barn and discovers more giant scorpions in the hay mound. A fierce struggle ensues, complicated by both the precarious ladder to the upper level and Fasheen's fumble. Eventually the party manages to kill the scorpions (with the aid of Thyme, who heard the commotion and came to help).

After all the fighting is done and the party is healed and satisfied the area is relatively safe, Zippy and Zmar pick the locks on the two coffers. The first contains Imperial coinage (obviously payroll funds), and the second contains sacks of rock, which Thrag identifies as high quality silver ore and rough opals.

The insane miner falls under the care of Father Bo, and Nasir managed to forage some spike weed which he uses to brew a calming potion. After consuming the potion, the man calms enough to tell the party his name is Fenris.

The party camps outside the compound for the night.

Tormai 23

Fasheen, Zippy and Thrag spend the day scouting the surrounding area on camel, while Nasir sends his hawk circling the camp. Thyme decides to fly down the mine shaft (invisibly), spots a number of humanoid creatures, and wisely flees.

Fenris comes around enough for Father Bo to question him a bit. Apparently he was a miner (notes lack any info on what questioning revealed).

Tormai 24

The party establishes Fenris and Galian in the compound (after Galian bravely cleans up the gore). They are instructed to return to Ume if the party does not return in 6 days.

Down the shaft!

As the party carefully begins to explore the first level of the mine, lighting wall mounted torches as they advance, Thyme once again forages ahead. He finds the same creatures he saw before and launches a magic missile flurry. Unfortunately this just pissed off the creatures which attack en masse and whack the mage REAL GOOD. Thyme flys away at full speed and gets back to the party just in time to fall unconcious from blood loss.

The undead creatures are quickly dispatched (Nasir turned most of them to dust), and the rest of the first level is explored. Little of interest, but a crevice leading downward, complete with a spiked rope is discovered. Zippy's sword begins to glow and moan.

Below the party encounters another group of undead that are quickly dispatched (despite a fumble by Fasheen).

As the party debates direction (several possible passages), they hear noise from the east (including a loud, crashing BOOM!). They quickly move forward and walk straight into a running battle between a group of humanoids (retreating to the NE) and a group of odd creatures. There are two large (15') wormlike creatures, and two four-armed, six-legged, stone-shelled, centaur-like creatures. Most of these creatures pursue the humanoids, but one spots the party and advances towards it. Father Bo knocks and fires a quick arrow, but the shot (luckily) goes astray. The creature approaches and studies the group for a moment, then addresses the Dwarf. Apparently they are a race of elemental stone creatures, and the creatures they are pursuing have stolen something they refer to as the heart stone from them. The creature asks the party to wait (which they agree to do), then the creature charges off after the others.

After a wait, the creatures return, phasing up through the solid stone floor to stand before the party. After more discussion, the party discovers the humanoids that were fleeing sealed the passage behind them with a magical wall, and that they were actually Dark Elves (gulp!). The creatures ask the party for help, and the two priests of the Earth Mother (Thrag and Nasir) agree to assist, with the somewhat reluctant acceptance of the rest of the party.

The four creatures lead the party deep (over 1/2 a mile) beneath the earth and bring them to a large circular chamber containing many of the creatures (30+). Near the center of the room is a large, glowing stone, with two empty pedestals nearby. As the party approaches, one of the centaur like creatures collapses to dust nearby. The party learns that the heart stones keep the creatures alive and they will all die if they are not recovered.

The creatures tell the party that the first stone was taken by 'those from above', not Drow. The second stone was taken by 'those from below', the Drow. Apparently the creatures had an agreement with the Drow for peaceful coexistence. The creatures seem to indicate that something recently changed in the upper passages that freed something previously contained. They also indicate the Drow are probably the stronger of the groups.

The party heads back up the passage to the lower mine area, following one of the stone creatures. They turn southward from the rope ladder and discover a stone wall set with a massive steel door. There are many symbols associated with the Night King, Zulos inscribed in the door, and there is a broken seal upon the floor. Thrag notes the stone used in the wall's construction is granite found far to the north (more than 2000 miles!)

Thyme knocks the door (which was magically held) and the party sees a large rectangular room with another set of doors across the way from the first set. Also in the room are eight crystal and steel humanoid figures and a number of skeletal figures.

Nasir turns the undead, dusting several of them. Thrag then steps into the room, which causes the golem-creatures to animate and move forward. Thrag retreats, and the golems close the doors!

The party holds their position and rests for a bit, but as they sit there, the doors open and a thick obscuring mist rolls out, followed by a stinking cloud. A horde of undead creatures pour out, and several of the party run screaming in terror!

The remainder of the group mounts a hasty defense, but Zippy is felled by a terrible blow to the throat. Nasir pulls Zippy from the fray and Nasir casts a cure on him, while Father Bo and one of the stone creatures wade into the fray. Father Bo manages to down his (already wounded) opponent, while the stone creature spews a cloud of glowing liquid (?) that disintegrates its opponent. The doors slam shut from within and the party retreats back to the heart stone room with the creatures.

Tormai 25

Back to the steel door.

Once again Thyme knocks the door and Thrag opens them. Thyme then casts a wall of ice into the room, bisecting it. Thrag Fashee, and Zippy advance, followed closely by Nasir. The golems animate and attack. Man do they suck. Thyme is dismayed when his magic missiles bounce off the creatures with no effect. The party is hard pressed, but manages to kill off the four golems, but just as they do, Zmar the Gnome on rearguard yells "Oh Shit!" (really). A dense fog is rolling towards the party from behind.

Thyme manages to dispell the fog (second attempt) while Nasir attempts to stone shape the walls to force the doors open (walls unaffected). As the party rallies they realize the ice wall is being battered down by the golems on the other side.

Now, with Thyme Zmar, Shaalk and Zippy in the rear facing off against the weird undead creature, and the rest of the party up front facing the golems coming through the wall, things get interesting. Thyme falls to a sleep spell (undead casting sleep spells?) and the Shaalk manages to kick him awake. The group manages to get a few stabs into the creature, which suddenly turns and bolts. The party tries to find it, but no luck. Either its very sneaky or uses magic.

Meanwhile up front, the party manages to slay the last of the golem creatures, and when the stone centaurs figure out the party wants the doors held open the stoneshape the floor in to force the doors wide.

The party regroups (much battered) at the second interior set of doors. Thyme knocks them open, then allows Thrag, Fasheen, and Bo to advance. The party discovers a four way intersection, the passage they entered, and three seperate chambers, each holding a sarcophagus. Nasir indicates the heartstone is straight ahead, but the party decides to use the right-hand dungeon method and turns south.

A skeletal creature appears in the room to the south and casts a stinking cloud up the corridor. Fasheen falls retching. Bo and Nasir advance through the cloud, Bo commanding the creature to flee and Nasir turning undead. The creature turns and runs, vanishing.

The stone creatures have advanced straight in towards the heartstone. Thrag follows. Thyme is luckily standing rearguard at the intersection when a horde of undead pour out of the northern passage. He calls the alarm, backpedals, then lightning bolts the undead. Several fall. One of the worm creatures slays a few others.

In the heart stone room, a plate mail and longsword wielding undead advances and hacks the arm off one of the centaur creatures. Thrag casts heat metal on it, then moves to engage.

Nasir tries to use a dust devil to disrupt the stinking cloud (no luck), and together with Bo pull Fasheen free. Just as Fasheen comes to, a group of undead attack Bo and Nasir, paralizing them both! Fasheen leaps to his feet and attacks.

Thrag and the stone creature are outclassed by their opponent. The centaur spews its liquid light, damaging the undead thing, but also wounding Thrag. Thrag returns the favor by accidentally killing the centaur on his backswing. The other centaur advances.

Meanwhile Zippy advances to help Thrag and runs headlong into the creature previously turned by Nasir (invisible no less). Zippy attempts to attack but sucumbs to the fear aura and runs away screaming. The stone worm kills the creature shortly thereafter (wounded in the process).

Shaalk advances to help Fasheen, Bo and Nasir, but falls to the stinking cloud. Thyme runs forward and helps pull Shaalk and Nasir free of the cloud. Fasheen continues to hold off the remaining undead.

Together Thyme and Fasheen manage to hold off the last undead near them while the stinking cloud vanishes and Bo and Nasir recover. Zippy and Shaalk engage the (formerly) invisible creature and Shaalk manages to slice it in half with a massive blow.

The worm slams itself against the floor of the chamber and causes a minor earthquake, which brings down both Thrag and his opponent. The worm charges foward and manages to crush Thrag. The worm fights for a bit, but is affected by the fear aura of the creature and tries to flee, only to be blocked by the CLOSED inner doors!

The party is feeling really unhappy about now.

The remaining stone centaur causes another earthquake that collapses the center of the complex. At the same time The worm and the creature phase into stone, holding both the Gnome and Dwarf in some sort of stasis field. The rest of the group are trapped in the southern chamber, but the creatures return with their companions and dig passages out from the chambers.

The party recovers the heart stone and the longsword the heavy hitter was using (magical). They also discover a secret panel in one of the sarcophagi (Zmar), which contains a pair of scrolls and 60 Zulos era mint condition gold coins.

The party heads back down to the big heart stone room below to rest and recover.

They rest a while, then several party members head to the surface to fill in those above. They return about 5 hours later.

Tormai 26

The party heads down towards the Drow caverns (shudder).

About 1/2 mile down the northern branch they come to a large chamber crossed by a wide stream. A bridge crosses the stream, and on the far side the chamber is closed by a freshly built stone wall. Fasheen launches a light arrow near the wall, and an alarm is immediately raised. Thyme casts invisibility on Zippy who advances and scouts the bridge (trapped). Nasir, Bo, and Thrag are made invisible, and Bo walks on water to the other side of the stream.

Zippy removes the traps on the bridge.

The continual light arrow goes out.

Zippy makes it to the game, Bo to the wall. Thrag casts silence near the gate. Thyme casts a phantasmal force of a friendly worm near the gate. Faerie fire suddenly outlines the invisible characters up front, and several crossbow bolts are fired. Fasheen is struck and paralized by poison!

Bo (also struck but still able to move) casts obscurement, and Zmar casts a low stone wall to defend the rearward group.

Black tentacles spring up from the ground and grapple Zippy and Bo. Thyme casts a wall of ice across part of the wall, clogging the arrow slots, while Bo casts protection from fire on himself.

Zippy, Thrag and Bo fight free of the tentacles, and Bo prepares a greek fire to burn them. There is a low WHOMP sound and part of the wall sags (those stone centaurs do some nasty shit to stone).

Bo tosses the greek fire into the tentacles, then the party falls back, Fasheen in tow. Thyme uses a wizard eye to view behind the wall, and sees a dozen orcs plus nearly 20 Drow.

Bo (invisible again) uses waterbreathing and finds a cavern and passage into the cavern beyond the wall just upstream.

The party retreats to the heartstone room to rest and plan.

Two groups

A: Bo, Thrag, Zippy invisible and water breathing advance ahead of the others. They are completely surprised by a group of Drow in the upper mine levels. They are quickly realize carrying continual light objects while invisible defeats the purpose of invisibility. The Drow hit them with faerie fire, grease and the black tentacles. All take serious damage. Then Thrag is hit by a blindness spell and things look really grim. Missile attacks from the Drow follow, but they do not stand to fight. Bo and Zippy try to follow, but are cut off by a wall of ice.

The party regroups and heals up. Thyme dispells Thrag's blindness.

The group asks the stone creatures to scout, and they send the worms ahead beneath the earth. No Drow near. The party advances.

The Gnome casts a stone wall in front of the party to provide cover as the stone creatures advance and attack the gate with their wierd stone fire powers. Nasir follows up with a rock to mud spell and much of the wall collapses (unfortunately covering the cont. light arrow in a foot of mud). The party advances to the crumbled wall and crosses as they can. Thyme flies ahead and fries a pair of Drow.

Thyme is magic missiled in mid air as he attempts to grab Bo's cont. light dagger and bring it past the wall. He attempts to bring Bo over the wall, but only manages to drop him.

Thrag is paralized by a crossbow bolt, Thyme is missiled again, and Nasir neutralizes poison on Thrag. Galian is attacked on the flank.

Thyme finally realizes that flying ahead of the group is bad (more magic missiles) and retreats to the group. Bo searches a group of small huts, Fasheen goes to help Galian, who falls to his two weapon using opponent (plate mail too). Nasir blind shoots into the mushroom patch (magic missile source), while Zippy heads towards Fasheen. Another Drow attacks Fasheen and Zippy gets into the fight.

Fasheen realizes he is getting his ass kicked. Thyme starts to fly over to help, Thrag gets hit by magic missiles as he covers the nearby light arrow.

Father Bo goes pyro and lights up one of the huts with greek fire. Nasir heads back to the lights.

Thyme magic missiles Fasheen's foe and Thrag casts heat metal on him as Zippy kills his opponent.

About this time someone decided they didn't really like the flying mage and nailed him with a flame strike. Thyme is completely toasted.

Zippy and Fasheen continue to fight the plate mailed Drow, who is NASTY. Nasir heals Galian to conciousness, and most of the party begins to (wisely) retreat. Bo grabs a Thyme's charred remains and bolts, Galian helps out. Fasheen and Zippy (both really wasted) FINALLY kill the Drow. They grab the corpse and "run". Nasir grabs a lantern and after the party crosses the bridge casts a rock to mud on the span, collapsing it into the stream.

Back in the Drow chamber, all hell breaks loose as the stone creatures reach the heartstone. Huge bolts of light and earthquakes bring down most of the chamber. The party decides to run like hell.

The party makes it back to the heartstone chamber early on the 27th.

Tormai 27

After a day of rest, the eldest of the stone creatures formally thanks the party for their aid in retrieving the heartstones. They offer to help the party's friends (i.e. the Empire) secure the mine against the Drow and bring the party several interesting items they found in the collapsed Drow chamber. They also give the party a large pile of gems, and using the combined power of the heart stones raise Thyme from the dead.

Tormai 28

The party rests in the heartstone chamber.

Tormai 29 - 37

The party travels back to Ume. Aside from a snakebite the trip was completely uneventful (read "out of time").

The party reports in to Kesmin and turns over the Drowic weapons/armor (which decay in sunlight). The party receives compliments on their performance and is rewarded. They keep all items except the Drowic gear and receive some coinage.

Items in the group's possession (some of these may be distributed):