The Khyber… it calls us…. sssss
The Party ended the last adventure with the tunnel behind them literally on fire. Hrun with no healing surges, and 600 burned, hacking, gasping, coughing, smoke-inhalation suffering refugees. The Dwarves are quite certain the tunnel we are in is of Dwarven make, since it is very smooth and has good joins that followed the grain of the rock. Looking for a way out, Hrun, Kyren, Char, a Goliath Sunspeaker named Tim advance forward to scout the way, leaving Oris, Kang, the rest of the Goliaths, and the Dwarves to guard the refugees. Oris is really racking up the people points by curing them of nearly fatal burns, and then losing them from drooling on them. Win some, lose some.
Further along the tunnel becomes very familiar in feeling to the party. Sort of.. breathing, and moist, with strange forks that look like they erupted out of the wall… as if something hatched from them. Hrun is careful to put chalk marks on the wall, so we don’t get lost, and Char leads the way with his creepy newly acquired low-light vision.
They eventually end up in a dead-end room that seems perfectly safe, and there is a scrumptious looking mushroom there as well! It looks mighty tasty, but before Char can take his 1 dungeonearing check out for a spin, they are attacked! By.. troglodytes. All three of the initial attacks target the surgeless Hrun. In a fit of extreme concern, Char charges one enemy, and then action points to charge the other set of enemies clear across the room, marking all of them! But wait! In the process he ran by the mushroom, which attacks everyone in a burst 3! Including one of the bad guys! Thankfully the Mushroom does Poison Damage, and while Kyren and Char are both hit and take 10 ongoing poison damage, they have resist 10 poison! The poison spores gravely injure one of the troglodytes, and Char is convinced the mushroom is safe for him to eat.
Tim proves his worth in this fight, recharging his recharge power nearly every round and attacking, then hiding in the corner, thus taking very little damage. Hrun follows his example till the first enemy is dead, then charges in. Net result: Hrun has 5 HP when the fight is over. Thankfully, as we dig up a rock fall we find both a map and a Fey-Blessed Circlet. Now Hrun has 5 HP and 1 THP! We ignore the dire warning of finding a whole dead low level adventuring party, and continue on our way. Char cuts down the mushroom from a distance and pokes it into the pit, finally convinced it is not safe to eat.
Moving along, we find a Dwarf cowering in a corner, totally freaking out. Some plants apparently killed all his miner friends, even though they were in a “safe place.” This isn’t the Underdark or anything, safe places are everywhere, and they really are safe. He agrees to show us a tunnel heading toward (Dwarf town) if we help him get this magical hammer back, and a huge Khyber Shard but he’ll let that slide. Sounds like a good deal. Off we go. Leads us to a mostly hidden shaft with a rope going down. Char drops straight down the rope and then calmly gestures everyone to follow him. There was something strange about that shaft.. but then he is distracted by half a dozen floating tadpoles and quite a lot of plants. They don’t look happy to see him, thankfully there are some narrow choke points for their approaches! Away Defender!
Kyren follows Char down the rope and begins to aid him. Hrun, fearing death and being quite restrained, attempts to brace himself in the bottom of the shaft and fire his bow. He feels quite safe, since the shaft ends 15ft up from the ground. Tim gets down as fast as he can and starts AEing everything to great effect. And then! A spore dies! And heals everything in burst 3… but worse, harms enemies! Oh no! Hrun is in the burst. Will he live….. somehow he dodges the burst of poison spores! Which Kyren and Char are, again, immune to. Whew. There is something.. strange though. The spores are healing the plants when they die, but it seems like whenever you hit them, another one gets injured… oh no. They can split damage via their roots! A brutal war of attrition ensues, where, finally, all the enemies dies in basically the same round, having had to reduce their total health pool to zero collectively to start getting rid of them. Ouch.
The room is full of many dead dwarves… and absolutely no metal. Knowledge check Hrun. A Rust Monster prowls amongst us… fade to black, as our heroes take an extended rest.
Waking up and continuing along on our quest, we stumble across both the magical hammer the Dwarf wants us to recover and… the Rust Monster trying to eat it! Having none of them, we quietly discuss the best way to take economic advantage of this unique opportunity. Do you think we could raise them and.. oh no, he’s climbing the wall. Char bravely charges the Rust Monster with a Quickcurse Rod as an Improvised weapon. He hits! It rusts! Yes!
And then Char notices the room is full of quite a lot of plants. Whoops. Another epic battle ensues, where the plant leader does more damage to his followers then to his enemies. Yes! With Hrun not handicapped, we clean up the enemies easily until.. the Rust Monster tries to escape! Char successfully chases him down, distracting him a crowbar and critting him on an OA to slow him a mere 20 feet short of the next room, which sounds quite crowded. Char has one again proved he is the finest Thief-Taker around, because he always gets his… monster. He passes his stealth check to quietly drag the Rust Monster back to the previous room, and guts it for the digested Residium.
Then everyone takes a break, because that shit was scary.