Ozzie and Tol wake up suffering slightly from the effects of being in the caverns. Not quite as refreshed as we would like to be.
We discuss with Gor Liggs what we are trying to do, and outline our aims. Tol outlines that we need to collect the keys to deactivate the guardians and get up to the control room.
Gor Liggs tells us that each key will shut down one of the guardians, but the control room will shut down the other traps. The guardians are roughly man sized constructs. Tol asks if we can get hold of the constructs. Gor Narogg has already gone down to the lower levels to try to get some of the constructs together and bypass the trogs and the beasts upstairs. We are not keen to go down to the lower levels.
We learn that the guardians are programmed to stop people getting into the gate chamber, but they will generally let Galeb dhur past. The gate chamber allows passage between here and the elemental plane of fire. This allows a power conduit which is used to power much of the Galeb dhur. The gate is surrounded by a pool of lava.
We also surmise that Grishenkachanged shape into a Galeb dhur to get through the gate. We also surmise that we need to stop the flow of energy which should also stop the Volvagia.
Gor Liggs goes on to tell us that if you hold the key the guardian will wait for you. The central control room controls the rising rooms and the traps in the final room and the main place where the other overseers will more than likely head to hide.
We now have four Galeb dhur and it is suggested that they scout out for other Galeb dhur which are in hiding. This is agreed although Bal Goro is going to stay with us to assist our passage.
Before our three weaker Galeb dhur depart to find their brothers Gor Liggs warns us that the power coming through the gate is now more random and uncontrolled, which may cause it to shut off completely or explode. A manual power turning off is quite a long process, over a couple of days.
It is agreed that we will meet Gor Liggs in a day at the control room. He and his two colleagues depart to look for more Galeb dhur. a short discussion as to which way we should go is ended by Switch heading off west, with Tolscurrying to catch up, the rest of the party fall in.
5 mins later we pass our exit. 30 mins there is junction to the south
Tol notices small grey worms living in the caverns and takes one as a sample.
Bal Goro taps out a message to his colleagues to see if there are any hiding down here. Nothing comes back.
10 mins later another wide passage heads off to the right. Bal Goro taps out a message – nothing. We push on.
Tol keeps a look out but doesn’t notice any tracks
30 mins later there is an opening to the south, which we take.
The turning goes down to where there a lot of tools being stored and it is recognised as a good way to go. We head south for 10 mins and then west for 15 mins. We head toward the cavern which is dark. The scouts sneak up and listen carefully. Bal Goro believes the place is empty
I cast Mage Hand and light into the hand which is then moved into the area and illuminates it we see nothing, including no tools. I then get the Mage hand to start lighting up the light cubes in the walls. Ozzie senses no magic in the area. Memnnon strides into the area, Tol and Switch sneak in around the walls, Kathra keeps our rear covered. Ozziecalls the Mage hand back and picks up the stone of light for future use.
After a long search we find no tools, but some rust, which suggests the tools have been eaten by rust monsters. A closer inspection shows a pair of rust monster tracks heading out of the cavern back to the main passageway.
Bal Goro taps out and senses another Galeb dhur. Memnnon goes around the corner to find a badly injured Galeb dhur, which has been cut up by trog weapons. Memnnon calms it down, heals it and we give it a flask of the mineral mixture.
We discover that the rust monsters haven’t been here for several hours. We head back to the main passage following the rust monster track.5 mins later we find a passage to the west with the tracks of the rust monsters heading down there. We head straight ahead. 5mins later we get back to the main trail and head west, whilst the young Galeb dhur heads east.
10 mins later there is intermittent lighting and Bal Goro is alarmed to see that there is a red glow ahead, which may be fire or lava. Switch scouts ahead to see what’s up. The corridor ahead opens up, we’d normally expect to see stairs winding around a shaft, but the stairs are gone and in their place a huge chasm of lava and bodies lying around – both troglodytes and Galeb dhur. The gap in the floor is about 50-60 feet across. On the edge, surveying the gap is a Galeb dhur. Kathra suggests that Bal Goro does his tap, he is part way through but there is no reply, although a tremor in the rocks, possibly drowned out the message. We move into position before sending in bal Goro as a decoy. The area is breaking up with fissures of steam coming out.
She turns around and Bal Goro moves into greet her.
Ozzie moves forward and confirms his suspicions that it is Grishenka. He cries out greetings to Grishenka, as she calls back telling him he is a thief. She gestures at the dead bodies which start to rise. Grishenka passes through her female elf form before becoming an insubstantial vapour cloud and drifts across the chasm. I feel that the hag isn’t enjoying the amount of heat.
However we have more pressing matters than wondering about Grishenka’s comfort levels. Zombies have got up and are surrounding us. Tol shoots the closest zombie.
I take out the eye of light and uses its radiant energy to change the damage of my orbmasters burst to hurt the zombies more. There is a dull crump as it goes off, knocking 2 over of them and creating a large zone of radiant energy which cause additional damage to the zombies.
Switch moves over and back stabs the prone zombie which is now bloodied. Memnnon and Kathra both land telling blows.
The zombie next to Memnnon attacks him with a mighty strike which knocks the tiefling prone. Bal Goro does his rolling attack and knocks one of the zombies over and then hits the last zombie, also knocking it over. Which then stands up and does its own rolling attack which I just manage to avoid as Bal Goro shouts at me to watch out.
The zombie on the ground tries to attack Switch and Kathra retaliates hitting so hard that she shatters its skull. I am not so lucky a second time as I am knocked over by another rolling Galeb dhur which smashes Tol to the ground.
Over on the other side we hear Grishenka laughing as she reforms and saunters off down the corridor.
I get up and activate the eye of illumination and then send a stream of arcane whispers flooding into the zombies empty minds, distracting and slowing them down. Switch slips behind a zombie and flails wildly at the zombie trying three times to hit it before landing a mighty blow on the third swipe. Memnnon gets to his feet and issuing a divine challenge,heals himself and then turns undead, sending two zombies over to the edge of the cliff, although one manages to hang on and clamber back up.
One of the zombies gets up and slowly moves back into the fight before falling over again. The jet of steam shoots out and hits it pushing it back towards the cliff. The other can only get up, before Bal Goro tries to knock it over again. Tol twin-strikes with his sword and axe which sinks deep into the side of the zombie. I cause a rend in space as I teleport one of the zombies further away from me and move away to give my allies space to move.
Switch repositions himself for a clear shot at a zombie trog. His aim is true and the death of the zombie climaxes with a fiery explosion. Memnnon moves over to blast the prone zombie with lance of faith as the wall of steam behind him goes off, while Kathra steps between the zombie and Tol, smacking it with a crunching blow, killing it.
The last zombie gets up and runs towards Memnnon, as bal Goro rushes in and pushes it back towards the cliff killing it and causing it to explode in flames. Fortunately Memnnon and Bal Goro both avoid the explosion. The battle is over – phew, it was a quick but very vicious battle – those zombies were stronger than they were when we last met them.
But then the zombie next to Kathra gets back up AGAIN!
It hits Kathra hard knocking her prone, Tol steps over her prone body and swipes with his sword hitting hard. I move over and throw my colour orb which fizzles and fails- so nothing new there – been happening all my life. I hang my head in despair, will I ever make this pesky spell work?
Memnnon calls down daunting piece of nothingness as his spell also fails. Kathra gets up and hits the remaining zombie as bal Goro rolls in and hits it with his rocky fist, taking its head off which sends the head flying over the head of Tol. That’s them done with then.
We then gather the remainder of the bodies and hurl them over the cliff, to prevent Grishenka gathering a further army of undead. Memnnon says a few words entrusting them to the care of the immortals, and then heals the injured members of the party.
The original battle there had been a large battle and then after that the staircase came down. The side corridor leads to a door for the rising room which only goes down. The stairs should be where the chasm is now, as was the rising room. The chasm goes all the way up, which we can actually see the next level.
We wonder for a short time why was Grishenka here? Has the power influx gone wrong or did she have the corpses to use to slow us down?
A quick look at the options to go up to the next level are discussed. We decide to route march back to the other lift and stairs which go up.
The march takes two hours to get back to the other door going up. Kathra checks the stability of the area, confirming it is now stable, but another major hit will be catastrophic. As we go through the big cavern with all the dead trogs I make sure they can’t be raised by using my or masters detonation and burning them all with an arcane fire. Bal Goro notices that Gor Liggs has left notes for any Galeb dhur to rendezvous at the Control room.
90 mins later we get to the stairs and rising rooms to go up. We go up the stairs cautiously looking for any uncertainty. Switch and tol sneak up the stairs to see that there is an abrupt change to iron clad walls and a big iron door with a smaller corridor before it. We carefully check to see if there are any arcane or physical traps in the area. Switch peers around the corner and sees a glint of eyes about 50 feet away drawing its bow and letting loose an arrow at him. Tol shouts a warning, enabling Switch to dodge back in time to avoid 2 arrows whiz zing past him from either side.