A wisp of fresh air beckons you to follow its sweet scent to a more pleasant place. Its intoxicating aroma cannot be ignored and it leads you to freedom from the darkness and the perils that lurk there. You stumble and tramp past the remaining rocks and rubble and find sunlight steaming in from the world beyond the cave. You quicken your pace and trot around the final turn.
A bath of warm rays wash over you even while the brightness of the sun blinds you for a moment. A burst of life and energy fills your body and your aches and pains lessen as you slump to your knees to enjoy the warmth that spreads through your limbs for the first time in many days.
You close your eyes and fall to the ground when you finally accept that you indeed survived the evils of the mountain cave. Drow and grey dwarves, dragons and ogres are behind you. They will not dare to venture into the light to threaten you. You are safe. For the first time in too long you are safe.
Minutes pass as you bask in the bright glow of the world and the freeing sense of safety that fills your soul. You snooze like a babe safe in its wrap. When you awake it is as if you have been born again; been given new life.
You open your eyes and look upon your new world. It takes more than a moment for you to adjust to the brightness but at last the landscape comes into focus. Your smile slowly fades and the warmth of the world begins to feel hot. A wind blows by and no longer smelling sweet, the air instead carries a hint of despair.
You scan the land before you but it appears dead. There is little but rock and sand. Desolation rules this new alien world. Far from the rivers and trees of your homeland you find yourself faced with an endless, harsh desert.
At least you are free from the belly of the dark mountain. Or is that a good thing?
The heroes, with the blessing of Moradin, escaped the drows’ clutches. The elf witch once more fell in battle but the dwarves dragged her free from the wicked dark elves. They retreated to a safer location and upon noticing that the drow did not pursue them they rested. The priest of Moradin was content to let her bleed to death but the monk did not tolerate it and dressed her wounds. She awoke to an interrogation by the group and was made to explain why she seemed to continue to lead them into, or perhaps better said, keep them from, danger.
The group discussed options and decided that they would have to push past the drow. The only other option that was floated was to dive into the river which plunges into deeper depths of the mountain. Of course the dwarven sword mage suggested trying to fight the drow once more and felt like the heroes could win a war of attrition with them even while their own numbers were static at five party members. Others did not warm up to the idea and it was decided to try to turn away from the drow at a fork in the cave.
As expected the drow were not in sight and rather than try to find them, this time the party moved in a different direction. They meandered around some turns and ultimately found a group of grey dwarf with hands shackled mining. The Priest of Moradin suggested negotiating with them again in spite of the fact that they are sworn enemies of shield dwarves and Moradin. It was wondered whether the air was getting to thick for him and affecting his thinking.
The heroes took good account of the scene and then attacked. They did not hesitate to slay the weak miners and then focused on the stronger and more dangerous Duergar who seemed to guard them. The battle began well for the group and with luck they will prove victorious.
With Ferdinand the Bull fallen in battle and the rest of the party badly wounded, the group of heroes retreated to a remote location, attempted to cover their tracks and fortify a position and rest. The dwarven thief Guter went on a recovery mission to reclaim Ferdinand’s body if possible. He silently crept along with night vision goggles and located their favorite Minotaur. His body was located among a mess of slain drow all stripped of equipment and weapons. Guter pulled him from the mess, tied a rope around the Bull’s horns and then proceeded to drag the fallen friend back to the safe location. It’s not entirely clear why Guter didn’t simply carry their friend but the powers that be (me) chose not to add damage to Ferdinand’s already lifeless body or argue about taking corners while dragging something from a rope.
With Ferdinand back the party hunkered down to rest. They forgot about the vengeful Earth Elemental that has recently been name Rock Hudson for his earth connection and flair for dramatic appearances. Rock once more assailed the party and before they fought him off, Rock killed the half-elf witch. No worries though as the party managed to rest up and Priest Thoradin resurrected Ferdinand. Somehow Moradin blessed the bull in spite of his pagan belief and the really poor rendering of Moradin’s holy symbol on Ferdinand’s horn. With the party alive though weakened they decided to press on.
The group chose to assault the drow head on. They approached with some caution, examined the area for suspicious things and found some traps. The first was found by stepping direction on it and the others through more intelligent means. The Half-Elf guide was quite sure that it was an ambush but kept that suspicion to her self. Ferdinand was upset when he noticed that the guide was no where to be found when the battle began but nothing came of that either.
The party encountered some drow in the cave previously inhabited by trolls but inexplicable the drow did not follow the party to the area in which they hoped to fight. So the party elected to wait and see what happened. At this point the witch was entirely convinced that they were in an ambush but yet again kept the information to herself. Indeed a significant number of drow arrived at the party’s rear closing them off in a narrow hallway. Some initial attacks weakened the drow but they inflicted plenty of damage to the party as well.
The situation is dire.
The heroes were feeling good and moving on with their adventure through the mountains in an effort to reach lost kin on the other side. They became somewhat transfixed however on “cleansing” the caves in which they roamed and this may indeed cause their undoing. With nearly half of the mountain tunnels clean and blessed in the name of mighty Moradin the adventurers looked to complete the cleansing and at last reach daylight.
Traveling into yet another troll tunnel they sought to dispatch the foul creatures. While doing so however they began to receive some harassment from drow warriors. Now the drow are not to be trifled with. They are evil creatures that know nothing of loyalty or mercy. They are murderous and violent. Few come into contact with them and survive. Why the heroes have found them in the mountain, they are not sure. Like the confident group that they are however they immediately engaged the drow. Taking damage yet pushing though the pain they chose to follow the drow when they pulled back. This of course revealed more of them and after tripping a rather deadly trap they pushed into the drow territory. The battle was bloody and brutal. The heroes were at last compelled to retreat away from the dark elves after enduring many critical blows.
Even retreat seemed unlikely when the dark elves pursued the group but bravely Ferdinand the Bull, the Minotaur monk who wanted little more than to be free from pursuit of slavers and to meditate the day away, stood in the way in order to afford his allies enough time to escape. Ferdinand fell to the wave of dark elf aggression as his friends fled to find sanctuary and rest.
The heroes hurried to a more secure corner of the caverns in order to rest. They narrowly escaped the wrath of the drow yet were only more determined to overcome their wickedness and also to retrieve their fallen mate and with Moradin’s blessing restore his life.
The party was feeling good about life after defeating the stirges. In the mess of past victims they managed to pull out a nice looking suit of armor which was determined by the priest to be especially holy in spite of the fact that there were no religious marks present. They then had a discussion with their half elf witch guide (using the term loosely) about damaging the party while attacking enemies. There was some murmur about the witch’s loyalty. The witch with confidence exclaimed that it would not happen again and the subject was dropped.
Moving on the heroes brushed by some simple cave ogres though Ferdinand the Bull did attempted to gain passage in a more diplomatic manner. Unfortunately instead of asking if they may have permission to pass he asked if they had permission to have their way with their mothers. The ogres did not respond well and the brief battle that followed allowed them to die defending their mothers’ honor, if an ogre has any.
Moving right along to where they are not sure, they scouted ahead and readily agreed to explore the area which had the most noise and most danger. Some cave trolls inhabited the section of cave and the heroes set about ending their miserable existence. While doing so however some Drow ambushed the party and complicated matters. Fighting a two front war has never been easy and the party was pressed to endure the assault. Sneaky drow continued to pester the party while they dispatched the trolls.
In the end the drow were held and the trolls downed. There was a tense moment during the battle when the witch cast a spell that injured a troll with an acid arrow. Unfortunately that spell happened to splash acid on the Priest of Moradin and he did not appreciate it much having received more than minor injuries from the attack.
The party retreated into the troll cave deciding that it was a safe place to rest. There was some disappointment that the drow did not simply follow them into the ambush which was set for them and a little name calling. Alas the drow did not follow and the party was left to rest with as much peace as one can have knowing that drow are watching you.
Successful day of adventuring. Enemies bested, treasure found, and just a little friendly fire.