Benders

Avoid the Nest

Ice started across the room and almost stepped onto one of the fake floor coverings. Right before he put his foot down, he realized what he was doing and hopped to the side, effectively alerting everyone to the presence of the trap. On the other side of the room, the passageway went south and then turned east. There were more small holes in the walls along the north side of the passageway.

Ice guided the group around another trap where the passage turned to the north. After another 15 or 20 feet, the passageway dumped out into a large room with about a dozen insectiles of various sizes skittering about.

Mark encourages the party to slowly back way from the nest, “knowing” from Entomology in 4H that ants have no hearing he can encourage his friends verbally, “uh, guys, let’s slowly with as little vibration as possible back our asses out of this place” He has no desire to re-enact Starship Troopers!

Ice nodded and followed Mark’s advice by signaling the rest to keep noise and movement to a minimum while backing out.

Insectile 001

Two of the insectiles rushed down the hall after the Benders and attacked the warriors with their front two legs, which resembled scythes. Both of the creatures were able slice past defenses (-7 hp for Ice, -3 hp for JohnE).

Linora wasn’t able to do much from her position.

Bex backed up to make room for others to move, if necessary.

Amidst the jostling and swinging, JohnM steadies his crossbow and lets fly at one of the insectiles (G3). The bolt finds a joint in the armored carapace and buries its steel head deep in the ugly thing (-8HP crit – no second hit).

CB readied her staff but there was nothing to do but watch the guys at the front for the moment.

Insectiles came zipping out of the small holes in the walls. One came out at Linora’s feet at bit her ankle (-4 HP). Four others came out of holes behind the Benders, two of them attacking the rear flank but both missed.

JohnE kicks a bug in the head hoping the his finely tuned and weaponized toes tear the fucking head off of one of the bugs (Attk:13+AP:5=18, Dmg:5). Sadly, the bugs head stays attached to its body.

Insectile defense varies by size:
6 Small – Def 14
3 Medium – Def 15
1 Large – Def 16

;;; It’s a long story so here’s the short version: Mark blackmailed me into not only getting the game going but also in setting a crazy pace where inertia will just carry the game forward. So, new picture and post momentarily.

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Inseptile? Repsect?

The Benders are able to put distance between them and the pink slime. Ice takes them back to the T intersection and goes down the other branch. The passage goes about 100 feet and looks to open into a room. However, Ice stops before entering the room. Just ahead of him is a 5 × 5 × 10 pit, which looks to have been roughly dug to block part of the passageway. At the bottom of the pit are pieces of what may have been a thin flagstone to cover the pit. Pieces of the flagstone are resting on and around the unmoving body of some kind of lizard which looks to have six legs.

Kitty corner from the Benders, there is an exit from the cavern which continues to the south.


“Hmmm, heya, Bex, JohnE?” Ice turned to his friends. “Any idea what that thing is? Perhaps you guys came across some book on local fauna sometime back?” The knight then peered more closely at the lizard-thing, being careful not to fall into the pit.

“I may be able to make it across, given a running start. What do you guys think? Some rope would be handy as well.”

;;; Correction: 5 × 5 × 10 feet deep. That leaves room around the edges to walk around.


“Ummm, maybe we should leave those holes alone. I wouldn’t want to think of what other nasties this place is hiding…” Ice said.


;;; PPD Friday 5/18/12 @ 10am MST.

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Slime Time

At JohnM’s prompting, Ice took the left route. A massive cave-in had occurred in the past but someone had cleared a path toward the east. The Bender’s had to move single file to walk along the path but it widened back out after 10 or 15 feet. The cavern went back to the south opening up into a rather large area that seemed empty at first but then the group saw motion directly south of them and really not that far away, maybe 15 feet from Ice. Oozing its way around stalagmites and sometimes dividing itself around a stalagmite and then coming back together was thick pool of red slime.

“Huh?” was all Ice could say as he saw what can only be described as ‘evil strawberry Jell-O’. Rolling his eyes, the knight unceremoniously dumped Splug onto the floor, drew his sword and moved towards the murderous dessert. The knight’s sword slashed downwards, but the blow was easily dodged by the slime-thing.

“Great,” Ice muttered. "Looks like I’m in for more trouble again… "

Bex was a little perturbed by slime that could dodge such a well-placed hit… so he decided to see what a Ray Of Frost could do to it. A whopping one point of damage, woo hoo!

JohnM took a step back yelling, "Run away!” He was thinking the group was going to need their firepower for the necro dude intent on ruling this plane.

Linora backed up with JohnM. “My spells are meant for creatures with arms and legs,” she said in explanation. She was ready with her staff but seemed to shake her head after watching the slime split apart to avoid the knight’s sword.

The Pink Slime (Def 18) seemed to gather in on itself before exploding toward Ice. The slime was completely deflected upward, splattering in a shower, which came back together once the globs of slime were back on the ground.

JohnE says, “Fuck this! I’m getting the hell outta here.” If Splug is not up and moving, he grabs him by the back of the neck and runs for the East(Can always throw him at the slime to slow it down if it comes to that..Assuming of course that there is an east to run for?

;;; The slime was in a dead end so you can retreat.

CB wasn’t going to argue with anyone on the point and backed away from the cavern.

Mark does his best French impression and runs away.

;;; Roll initiative to be stored for next encounter.

;;; PPD Thursday 5/17/12 @ 7am MST

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Rous R3

JohnM Struggled back to his feet, managed to dislodge his scimitar from the stones, and then concentrated on fending off any rats in his vicinity. (Total Defense, +4 to defense)

Seeing the icky ratblood on his sword, Ice opted to follow JohnE’s example and brought a crushing boot down on one of the scurrying nasties. The rat was patiently waiting for the big human to make his move, however, and made a horrendously loud squeak that caught Ice unawares. Ice wavered just before his heel came crashing down on stone, bringing tears (of pain) to the knight’s eyes. (ATK: rolled a 1)

Bex fires multiple bolts again, but the little (rat) bastards are too dang small, and too dang quick.

The remaining rats darted off into the darkness from whence they came.

JohnE grabas a retreating rat and swings it by the tail and chucks him into the nearest wall(Attk23: Dmg:8) killing it.

;;; What are you going to do now?

Ice frowned a bit at the thought of leaving Splug defenseless. “I’ll carry him around,” he offered. “It isn’t too much trouble for me anyways, and he could still be of use to us. Who knows, maybe he’ll feel indebted to us once he regains consciousness. If not and he decides to run off again or attack us, I’ll personally wring the wretch’s neck.” Ice then searched Splug’s inert form for any hidden items/weapons before hefting the gobbo up in a fireman’s carry.

“Alrighty, off we go then.”

PPD: Monday 5/7/12 @ 7am MST

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ROUS R2

JohnM aimed for the ROUS that got away last round and had it dead to rights. But when he plunged his scimitar down at the thing, it danced easily out of the way. He had thrown all his weight behind the blow, and when the blade dug into the dirty soil between the floor stone and lodged, his chest slammed into the pommel and left him floundering and gasping for breath. (Rolled a 1…)

Ice, upon seeing one of the rats take interest in JohnM’s impression of a fish out of water (or, rather, a winded Bender out of his native plane), made a quick swipe with his blade towards the distracted pest. The rat was stretched out whilst sniffing at JohnM, and consequently took steel to its underside (ATK: 16, DMG: 14) making it a rat-ka-bob.

Despite being the rat-b-q master a moment ago, this time Bex is unable to hit anything in the current swarm of vermin… but at least avoids a fumble!

The rats (Def 15) continued to dart in and out of stalagmites nipping at people. They were trying to keep them confused, which seemed to be working, while wearing them down. CB and Splug were bitten. CB shrugged it off (this the first time she’s been injured!?!) but Splug had been bitten several times before the Benders started their rescue attempt and with this one, he slumped to the ground giving in to the weariness and blood loss.

Mark fires again, emulating the rat-ka-bob but with a nice bolt. All the while thinking that “rat on a stick” TM just wouldn’t go over well at the state fair. (att 17, dam 9)

CB made a wild swing and hit a stalagmite.

Linora whipped the three-section staff around and crushed the skull of another rat.

Splug laid on the floor and bled.

As a rat tried to run past JohnE, the martial artist launched a powerful front kick to the underside of the rat’s body. The kick broke some ribs and launched the rat into the air. The creature, gasping to regain its breath, came down on top of a stalagmite, making another rat-ka-bob.

PPD: Thursday 5/3/12 @ 10am MST

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ROUS

With one of the rat bastards in his personal space, JohnM let the crossbow hang in its shoulder strap, drew his scimitar and tried to skewer it on his scimitar. But the vermin dodged out of the way and he just stabbed the ground (rolled a 5…).

PETA would so be breathing down our necks should they hear of what we’re doing here,” Ice mumbled as he struck at the vermin closest to him. But the knight’s swing once again went awry. Inside Ice was crying…

Bex

Rats darted in and out of the Benders nipping here and there. Most of the bites missed or didn’t penetrate clothing and armor. Mark was bitten twice (-6 hp) during the frenzy.

SCREW PETA!” Mark yells nailing a ROUS with a bolt from his cross bow (9 dam). “DIE VERMIN, DIE!” The rat yielded to Mark’s power word command.

CB whacked another one on top of the head, killing it.

Linora whipped the three-section staff around but missed everything.

Splug made another wild kick but miss again.

With a running start JohnE punts a rat across the room (Dmg 9)

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Rat Bastard!

From the north, where you came into this cavern, you hear cursing and some sort of struggle. It may be your ex-prisoner.

The Benders moved to the north to find the source of the struggle. As they rounded the corner of the room, they could see that the escapee had been set upon by four giant rats. Poor bastard was getting all tore up and he was only about five feet from the stairway to freedom.

JohnM pulled his crossbow around, steadied himself (it would be shame to hit the goblin by mistake [-1 action point]) and let fly with a bolt that caught one of the rats solidly in the midsection (-6 hp) killing it. “Looks like you’ve got one avenue with moderately better survival odds, goblin. Take your pick.”

The knight leapt into the furry melee. Ice swept his longsword downwards like a flyswatter. The rat, however, had the reflexes of those darned flying pests, and so was able to dodge the attack.

Rats seemed to appear out of thin air, darting out from behind rocks and dropping from stalactites. There were dark shapes, sharp teeth, and lots of chaos as the ROUSs darted about nipping at people. Splug, JohnM, Ice, Mark, and Bex (X2) were all bitten (-3 hp).

Time to play “whack a rat”™
mark takes aim at one of the ROUs and let’s fly….missing horribly…(a 6, yes a miserable 6)…watching for weaknesses for his next shot (exploit weakness).

CB swung her quarterstaff with her might and thumped a rat on the head, killing it. She tried not to look too surprised since she never fought with the quarterstaff and wasn’t very good with it.

In contrast, Linora whipped the three-section staff around deftly and struck out with one end catching a rat that was dashing past her in the side of the head. Its legs buckled and it skidded to a dead stop.

Splug kicked wildly at one of the rats but came closer to hitting a stalagmite than the rat.

JohnE flails about wildly at the rat, but alas, ’tis on flailing. Attk:11

Bex pulls two arrows from his quiver, and in quick succession creates two rat-kebabs (22 and 14).

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Acid Hole

Ice grabbed the flask and the wooden cylinder and made a leap for the shore. The water exploded upward and mixed with the water was some kind of blue slimy stuff that Ice travelled through on his jump ( -9 hp ). Ice fell a little short of the edge with a splash and a loud thud, his feet and knees in the water and his torso up on land.

Bex and JohnE both grabbed an arm and started pulling Ice up on the beach, hoping the acid hadn’t eaten away the bottom half. Luckily, Ice’s legs were still attached when he was pulled out of the water.

For their trouble, a couple blue tendril-like appendages shot out of the water. The tendrils didn’t taper like normal tendrils but were blunt and rounded instead. Bex was hit in the side of the head by one of the tendrils, which was like getting hit with Tyson’s hook (-12 hp). JohnE briefly gave some thought to the strategy of blocking the punch with his face but ducked instead.

JohnE and Bex helped Ice to his foot and pushed him forward with the rest of the Benders following them up the stairs. Mark fired a bolt into the water between the tentacles hoping to hit whatever body was host of the tentacles before backing out of the room with the rest of the group.

Once they were outside the pool area with the doors shut, JohnM tried to treat the acid burn on Bex’s face with stuff from his medkit but nothing seemed sufficient to the task. So he pulled on the magical energies around him and was gratified to see some of the worst of the injury lessen and disappear (+6hp).

The door closed and nothing tried battering it down, although with acid tentacles, maybe the creature could go under the door. Ice checked out his treasure. The flask contained some kind of liquid that when he held it out for Linora to smell was announced to be a potion of healing. The wooden cylinder was a heavy duty map or scroll case. Inside the scroll case was a map of the area around Winterhave keep that showed the locations of this destroyed keep, the dig where the boy was rescued, and the waterfall lair. There was also a parchment that read:

“Remember, don’t wet the nodule — unless Kalarel is not receptive to the offer. Then, wet it only from a distance, and then, turn and run. Water will bring the creature out of its dormancy, and it will consume anything it can reach.”

There was a second parchment that read:

“Greetings, Kalarel,

I have recently learned of your activity in the area and have an offer for you. During your time in this region, if you should capture any humanoids, we are eager to buy them. We have duergar allies in Thunderspire in need of slave stock. If you are interested, send an envoy back to me. My messengers will show the way.

Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers"

Area map

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Watering Hole

Fungus-coated stairs lead down into a natural cavern. Much of the chamber is filled with a stagnant pool of brackish water. A patch of land rises from the foul water at the pool’s center. On this little island, bones, spilled coins, and other small objects are visible among the carpet of fungus.

Water room

Ice used his sword to test for the bottom of the pool. At the edge of the pool, it appeared that the dry ground he was standing on dropped straight down to a depth of about 8 – 12 inches. Tapping the bottom of the pool moving out away from where Ice was standing, the slope seemed to be pretty steep but it probably wasn’t more than 3 or 4 feet deep between Ice and the island.

Looking around and seeing nothing out of the ordinary, Ice made the jump to the island, landing amid the scattered items and fungus. He turned around and smiled at the group.

A couple of large air bubbles popped at the surface of the water near the north wall.

“Errr…” was all Ice could say as he noticed the disturbance in the water. He quickly scanned the island for anything of use. There were silver and gold coins mixed in the fungus, bones that looked humanoid but not human proportioned, a flask, a shield, and a wooden cylinder. Ice glanced at the west wall but didn’t see any openings or doors.

Large air bubbles came to the surface near the island and popped, letting loose an unbelievable stench like the Kraken had let one rip. ;;; Ice roll Will save, DC 13.

Ice’s brows furrowed at first as the first few wisps of gas hit his nostrils. But just after a few seconds of taking in the full force of the mystery odor, his eyes rolled up to their whites as he began to gag and retch. (Will Save: 1, burned 6 APs: 14) At least the mushrooms benefited from the knight’s most recent meal. Ice wiped his mouth a moment later as his head cleared; his empty stomach seemed to bother him more than the noxious gas swirling around him.

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Cavern

East leads to a large area that appears to have nothing interesting in it beyond the stalagmites and stalactites. It looks like there used to be a passageway to the south but a cave-in blocks the way now.

Ice lead the group around the natural caverns while everyone looked for signs of danger or anything of interest. Ice went back to the west and then to the south where he found a set of double doors, which obviously didn’t seem like a normal part of a natural cavern.

Working map

@SW Do the doors look like they have some kind of keyhole/locking mechanism,? Anything unusual?(Aside from being situated underground.) Signs of recent activity?

The double doors are made of bronze that are green with age and stained blue and purple with a thinck layer of fungus. Scratched into the fungus is some writing. Linora reads it out loud to the group.

“Stay out! No, really. Stay out.”

The doors do not appear to have any type of locking mechanism. No sounds come from within.

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