Forgotten Realms: Cauldron
21st of Kythorn (mid-afternoon):
With all the stuff we had acquired I figured it would be a good idea to go back to town and resupply. After all it seemed like every fight we got into was almost life or death and if that was the case then yours truly didn’t want to continue without more ways to heal myself. Having a cleric along is all well and good but he can only take care of one at a time and while I think I am an integral put of the group I hold no illusions as to if it comes down to me or someone else (Randal not included) it will probably be the other. Plus after traipsing around down here for the last five days I needed a bath and even if the others didn’t realize it they did to. Shit the smell coming of this group could kill the next group we run into. While that might be a good thing it was still more fun to run my rapier into someone and see the look of surprise in their eyes than to see them lying on the floor gagging and choking on our smell. I also wouldn’t mind trying to get a little action off of Toreen either. It has been two whole weeks since I had some and you know what they say; Man cannot live on bread alone. Well it was to no avail anyways. We all decided Randal and I would go back since Merlo and Alistair needed to re-memorize their spells and Tharag and Roksharr would pull guard. Quite frankly I think that if I had to do it with either of them I would have ended up snapping and one of us would have ended up dead in the ditch before we returned and I don’t like my chances against either one. Roksharr is deadly with that bow and Tharag would wipe the walls with me in a toe-to-toe fight. Anyhow… if we weren’t back by the time they were ready to head out we would just catch up with them. Tharag has a real stiff one up his backside. The ‘ol tunnel vision has really set in and he feels we gotta go go go! Unfortunately for all of us he won’t share his reasons. Come on dude I am not so thickheaded (unlike a couple of people in this group) as to not give in to reasonable demands. Well Randal and I were about to set out when Merlo and Alistair decided to drink from this pool of water and it completely rejuvenated them, spells and all! Tharag just acted like it should have been known to all. We could have saved a lot of time and wasted breath if he would have just said something, I mean shit Randal and I both drank from it and we told the group that it healed our wounds but neither of us are spell casters. So as far as we knew magic shit is completely different. Throw me a fucking bone here man! We are definitely going to have to work on our communication as a group if we are to overcome the “bad” guys. If you know something that is beneficial to the group then let them in on it (unless I can make a profit then fuck ‘em). Well with that all figured out and going back to town out of the question we prepared to set out. Randal and I figured the best place to put the stuff we had acquired that was currently taking up residence on his beetle, since it was pretty loaded down, was back in the tomb where we had acquired the magic items. So he went back and did that while the rest of us moved forward.
We went down a short corridor and it opened into a large cavern with stone pillars stepping down into darkness and the sound of water flowing far below. The first one was just a little jump so Roksharr jumped across and I followed. While the rest figured out what to do Roksharr went to the next one. It was about ten feet over but fifty feet down and had a knotted rope leading down to it so he grabbed ahold and climbed his way down. By then Tharag had thrown Merlo, his dog and Alistair over to my perch, and Randal had rejoined the group. He was attempting to coax his beetle to follow us, but along the outer edge of the cavern. Tharag had tied a rope to Alistair and lowered him down to where Roksharr was waiting and Merlo was doing the same to his dog. Tharag then did the same to Merlo. That is when the Lurking Stranglers chose to attack.
They cast a ray at Roksharr but he was able to overcome it and he sent an arrow in return streaking into it. Alistair sent some of his patented green bolts of love into it also and it floated back behind a pillar out of sight. Meanwhile the other one had floated into view with me and Tharag in its sights. Tharag dropped the rope that was helping Merlo down and luckily he made it to safety. The floating eyes targeted Tharag with a ray and he sunk down into slumber. I pulled my bow and shot it soundly into the veiny cord connecting the two eyeballs together and it started slowly dropping. I then moved over and gave Tharag a sound kick in the ribs (to wake him of course- but I must admit I put a little extra into it out of sheer spite). The eyes floated into Alistair’s view and he sent some green flame and they exploded into a gory blast. That left only the ones that were wounded in the initial encounter and they soon reappeared and were dealt a swift death. Alistair figured since the pool was just a little ways away he would return and refresh his spells. So he had Tharag pull him up and throw him over so that he could do that. Should have expected that from a Halfling, gluttonous to the max, but hell if it keeps him shooting that green shit into the baddies then I am all for it. Tharag told him he wasn’t going to wait for him so he had bettered hurry and he wasn’t joking. The rest of us had made it to the other platform and Randal’s beetle decided it could navigate the ropes as well as climb along the wall so it climbed on down and joined us. Alistair got back and there was a couple of intense moments for him but he made it back to the group. I guess all that time studying magic doesn’t leave much time for practical shit like jumping and climbing. The next platform was about twenty feet away and ten feet lower so Alistair flipped his belt over and slid down to the next one. We all followed suit except Randal and he climbed down onto some sandy area and saw a dead beholder and one of those eyeball things. The last platform was about fifteen feet away and the rope was cut. I gave Roksharr my rope and grappling hook and he was able to hook the spike sticking out of the ground. Tharag was the anchor and Roksharr and I shimmied across tying the other rope back into place and taking up point. He and I pulled our bows and set up a defensive position while the others came across.
We moved on further into what seemed like a maze. As I moved into what appeared to be the main chamber we were beset by a pair of fiendish dire weasels. One took a chunk out of Tharag’s ass and Randal thought that was the funniest thing he had seen. I must admit whenever he gave him a hard time about his ass pussing up I had to hold back a little chuckle. We dispatched the two without much ado and continued on. There were glowing runes etched on the floor in a couple of places and Merlo made the comment that the whole area was magical. Great just what I needed. Stuck in some magical maze and with a bunch of people who feels the need to discuss everything let’s just get the hell out of this place. Well I proceeded to do just that walking down a corridor and when I turned the corner I hit a brick wall- with my mind. The next thing I knew I was back down the hall way next to Roksharr and there were a couple of fiendish dire wolverines nipping at my nuts. They took a little more work but again we got them without much lost on our part. Looking back I am still not sure if it was a timing issue or if it dealt with people and their proximity to the runes on the floor. Out next popped a couple of fiendish dire boars. We engaged and took them out, Tharag and Randal did the most damage on that encounter. Next was a magma mephit and was giving us info. Although it did seem like it had its own agenda. Never can trust them Chaotic guys-hehehe! Then came the icing on the cake. A glowing flash of light and there appeared a fucking Lantern Archon. Great just what I needed, as if the bobbsie twins Tharag and Roksharr aren’t enough fucking good in the group we are getting input from more goody goodies. At least we could trust what it was saying and it pointed us in the other direction than the mephit had. Great so let’s get the fuck out of here already, but no we had to fuck-off some more and out popped a fiendish monstrous spider! We all blasted into it and took it out quickly and finally moved on. A couple of us, yours truly included, had to be physically taken across some invisible line. The same type that blasted my mind earlier. Maybe it had something to do with the way I am or who knows after all it is “magical”.
The next set of corridors and rooms had more of those fucking runes on the floor along with a large pool of water. We could see a water line on the outer walls that showed about another ten feet up. I don’t know about the others in the group but I grew up mainly in a city and we city folk don’t do much swimming. So I figured we should just move the fuck on through before high tide arrived. Unfortunately that was determined magically and when it happened it was all at once. One minute I was standing on the floor the next I was floating in water trying to keep my head in the air. Everyone was caught in the pool and as if that wasn’t enough these fucking huge leeches were slithering across the surface of the water trying to make us their next meal. I was floating next to Roksharr and Alistair the others were about twenty to thirty feet farther down. Even Randal’s beetle had got sucked out into the pool, and I must say it didn’t look too pleased. It was spewing acid all over the place. Now I see why he always has it pointing toward Tharag. Ah yes, I like the way your mind works you devious little bastard. Well continuing on, two of the big leeches were heading towards my little group along with a small swarm (I later learned they were called stygian leeches). One of the large leeches attached itself onto Alistair and proceeded to start sucking out his life force that is how he explained it seems a little melodramatic if you ask me but then again it was about half to three quarters his size. There wasn’t much anybody could do except get out of the water so that is what we all were trying to do. The smaller swarm made its way over to Alistair, Roksharr, and I and started biting and sucking on us but thankfully Alistair managed to drop his rocks from the heavens down on them and pounded them into mush. Alistair obviously spent as much time learning to swim as he did climbing and jumping, which is to say none at all, and shortly after I got out he went under. He did manage to take out two of the small swarms (with his rocks) and one of the big leeches (with rocks and his little green bolts of love) before he went under but there were two on him when he went down. Randal threw a rope to him but it just went slack when it hit the water. Needing to think fast we decided that Roksharr had the best chance at getting him and returning safely back to shore so we sent him in. He came out with a sputtering Alistair in tow and he still had the two leeches pasted to his back and arm. We were able to remove them without causing further harm but he was very pale, white as a ghost I think is the expression. Randal then did a surprising thing and brought out a potion of lesser restoration and gave it to him. I imagine it was mainly done as a gesture to help the two suspicious ones accept him better. They probably didn’t even catch the underlying meaning behind the gesture. Then again I could have misread it Alistair is a pretty powerful ally to have when the shit hits the fan. We decided we needed to move and quickly. I knew that there was no way we were going to go back thanks to Tharag’s stick up his ass, not to mention the fact that it took us long enough to get out of the previous rooms to begin with. Taking into consideration that Alistair was out of spells and would be no use to us if we ran into any more bad guys or more of these fucking rooms with the glowing runes on the floor and the fact that at any moment the water may just as well rise again we got the fuck out of there. Tharag then decided to let us in on a little bit more info and said we would meet an ally ahead so of course we moved forward. He did mention that the ally was another cloudy person so I figured it could be someone else to help tip the balance in Randal and I’s favor.
We made it to the room and I grabbed Roksharr’s ever-burning torch and moved to the corner of the room where there was a pit at the bottom lay an unconscious woman. Randal immediately recognized her as Leera one of the bards that he was with in the original group. We lowered him down and he got her and we brought them back up. She explained that she was with the main group and was trying to find a way to get away from them when the opportunity presented itself and she accidently fell into the pit and was knocked unconscious. The bruises on her indicated at least that much of her story was accurate I just hope the rest ends up on the level also. She did give us more info on the bad guys their strengths and numbers. With the story we got from Randal and hers they both cross checked good also with the only discrepancy being Randal’s name, I think she called him Oust or something like that. Can’t blame a guy for using different names in our line of business. Tharag said that this would be a good place to rest so we shall (Oh thank-you mighty one do I also have to have your permission to take a shit). We seriously needed to have a talk about party leadership. I think that Randal, Leera, and I need to have an interesting little conversation in private as soon as we have a chance.