Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Jungle of Stonehell

Bazil the Dancing Sorcerer's Journal - Entry 2

Dwarves are heavy, especially corpulent ones who are dead drunk. Nain lie unconscious after that last ounce of alcohol. Most of the party was happy with leaving Nain to a(forseen) pool of vomitus, but for better or worse, he is our faithful healer.

We spent some time attempting to wake the dwarf but decided it was best to backtrack and wait out his ‘alone time’ with Agradelous. Luckily our persistent barbarian, Bloodmallet, is very strong and was able to heft Nain’s person along. We locked ourselves within the storage room and barred the door with that ever useful bar.

During their watch, Solmil and Ozmo complained of piercing screams which nearly made their ears bleed, but that was nothing compared to what slid under the door shortly after. A slick puddle seemed to pool from under the barred door but quickly we realized the danger.

The grey ooze shot out a mass of itself and attempted to envelop poor one-legged Twitch. We quickly began to try and burn the thing off of him but it seemed to dodge away preternaturally. The ooze seemed to be burning into Twitch’s skin and armor and we tried to douse it in oil and then light it again (which succeeded, to a degree), tried to shoot the main mass of it with an arrow, scrape it off along the wall, blast it with magical energy...finally Bloodmallet scraped the last large mass of it off of Twitch and we managed to save him with only minimal horrific scarring.

Crisis averted, we healed, kicked around Twitch’s smoking armor, and attempted to finish our rest. Memorizing my spells for the day the group complained of some other noises during the night but mentioned nothing interesting. Finally Nain returned to the land of the living and we determined to set out towards the domain of the Plated Mage.

We reached a room dominated by a large stone shield design in the floor, a statue, and a small group of hobgoblins. Pretty excited to finally fight something that wasn’t grey ooze we lay into the poor beasts and dispatched them. We puzzled over the statue for a bit and eventually decided to topple it to see if there was anything interesting inside. Sadly there was nothing of the sort.

Finally we had found the stairs down that we had been looking for. These would lead us almost lead us directly to the area where the Plated Mage’s experiments could be found. Unfortunately we were soon to be disappointed.

Descending the stairs we felt the air grow hot and humid. Solmil and Dan Ger commented aloud that they caught the unmistakable smell of a forest or glade. Intrigued, we found emerged from the stairs into a room choked with greenery and dripping pipes. A large machine was installed in one side of the room with a multitude of tubes and pipes heading off along the ceiling. These pipes seemed to be dripping with condensation or steam. We fiddled with the levers on the machine a bit but nothing interesting happened so we continued.

Following the rough map we had we continued through these corridors but were soon prevented with an obstacle. A collapse had blocked the path we had planned out and we were forced to take an unknown detour deeper into the heart of the plants. The party came to a room with a lovely statue of an elfish maid or priestess, choked with vines. Solmil felt at peace here so we quickly ushered ourselves out. Another room we ran across held a gigantic cabbage the size of which we’d never seen before.

What was all this plant life doing so deep in the earth? Something related to that machinery or the statue of the elf certainly. We had come into large hallways, hundreds of feet long, with planters built into their length. Exploring these we noticed full grown trees and ferns reaching towards the ceiling, we moved along and explored a small room.

So far our travels in this level had been pretty peaceful, but then the plants started to attack us. I’ve read of the exotic plants of the jungles, known to eat whole cows and mules; I never expected to find them hundreds of feet below the earth in an ancient prison. But this is Stonehell and all preconception must be thrown to the wind.

Within the room we had entered were a few walking mushroom men known as ‘myconids’. They seemed to be shoveling manure and were startled when they saw us. Not knowing any better we tried to communicate with them, everything seemed really peaceful at first as we stared at eachother for a moment. Then the little bastards bombarded us with spores of gas.

Nain and Bloodmallet charged into the room and engaged the myconids in melee. Before we knew it however the myconids threw another spore and a wall of vines separated the party in two. Those on the outside attempted to claw their way in as our friends fought the myconids inside.

As we attempted to re-open the doorway Dan Ger noticed that one of the ferns we had seen earlier was much closer than we remembered it. Moments later it’s branches shot out and assailed us with dagger-like leaves. Having dispatched the myconids, and hearing our screams of panic, the few inside attempted now to extricate themselves from the room and aid us. Luckily we were able to defeat the animated fern and soon cleared the last of the vines.

I remember clearly looking inside, seeing the last of the vines pulled away. Within was Nain happily eating away at one of the myconids. He actually attempted to dip a piece into some of the manure they were moving, eating it as one would a hummus. Disgusting and certainly fatal, one would naturally assume. Alas, something is magical about this dwarf’s constitution, he survived his appetite once again.

Our attempts so far to reach the Plated Mage’s whereabouts had been unsuccessful but we kept heading in the direction we believed they lie. At the end of one of aforementioned massive halls we found a large rounded room, greenery was extremely abundant here but the most notable feature was a giant mushroom at the far end of the room. Standing before it was a female elfish form festooned with thorns and vines, protected by a dozen more of the myconids. We were instantly confronted by what we called, the ‘Thorned-one’.

Knowing that our resources were already depleted some, we decided that a peaceful route was appropriate. The Thorned-one demanded what we were doing within her territory, bristling at our intrusion. We simply stated that we were to find the Plated Mage, and had no quarrel with her (she didn’t see the myconid crumbs in Nain’s beard). After pondering this for a moment she ushered us out of her territory with myconid guards to watch over us.

The guards led us out of the Thorned-one’s territory, reaching it’s boundaries we noticed a number of giant myconids guarding the last room; the lush vegetation had ended and we continued on.

Our search in the new area, on the opposite side of where we entered the Thorned-one’s territory, revealed a room full of gigantic frogs. Using our best judgement we shut the door. Continuing on we started to recognize some of the layout, we had found what we believed to be the ‘apprentice’ section of the Plated Mage’s domain!

Of course it was to be inhabited by something, foul bugbears which we dispatched quickly. We searched the rooms but found nothing of interest. We were much closer to our goal though, or so we thought.

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