While talking to Ceresaii the Druid in the Mug and Pot I overhead a band of men discussing a map one of them had been left by his grandfather showing caves full of riches in the area. They all seemed rather keen to find these caves and from the conversation I heard they clearly had no idea of the situation outside the town.Ceresaii and I introduced ourselves and invited the group to join us in a drink. We explained to them the trouble we are having with the Goblins and Orcs. I mentioned the Dragon and Troll, they did go a little pale at this point. They showed us the map and it clearly showed some cave about a day’s walk South of the Dalewoods Inn in the woods. Despite the situation they were still planning to explore, I knew they would be dead within an hour if I did not go with them. We arranged to meet the next day and headed out of the East Gate, the guards seem to have increased and they are definitely watching more closely than before.
We went South of the bridge and made it to the Inn towards the close of day. They wanted to camp in the clearing, after reminding them about the dangers, we went South into the woods. We made camp and set up watches. Early into the watch we found ourselves surrounded by very large centipedes that appeared out of the ground. The situation was not good and rapidly became worse. While not strong, their bite was full of deadly poison. Three of our party died and I survived by the skin of my teeth because I had an anti-venom handy. These Southern woods are getting very risky, I think I prefer Goblins and Orcs to poisonous creatures.I was too sick to carry on so we returned to Enonia to rest, my fever lasted three days. By the time I had recuperated the gang had picked up three more adventurers and persuaded Sal to join us.
We headed out East again and the night by the Inn was uneventful. The next morning we headed South and before the end of the day came across a crystal clear lake, we spotted a hamlet to the East. As we approached the hamlet we could see it was almost totally destroyed, it seemed that the earth had been pushed from the lake like a wave. As I looked in the lake it seemed like a cone had been pulled from the bottom, I suspect this is where the Floating Tower came from. The earth had crushed all but three of the houses. We searched for a while there was nothing of note other than a rift leading through the hamlet heading East.
We camped for the night in the houses and the next morning followed the rift East. Shortly we came to a crevasse across our path, it was maybe 30-40 yards long. The Western side was a sheer drop, but the Eastern side sloped down underneath us. We walked around to the other side and tied several ropes together and two of our party went down. After an age Ceresaii went down to investigate and then shortly returned with them. Seems there were sounds of flapping wings further down. We decided we should explore further so all of us went down, two by two using the rope to steady ourselves, the slope was not steep, but was tricky.About 300’ down we came to what was effectively a fork. We picked a direction and entered a cavern and I heard Kobolds chattering, suddenly a few screeched at us and told us to go. We (wisely) held fire and talked to them, they definitely seemed scared of us and hungry, but there appeared to be a lot of them. We tossed in some rations and basically left them alone, one did warn us to be careful if we went below.
We headed back and took the other branch and entered another cavern (if only it had been full of Kobolds). At first we thought they were bats on the ceiling. As we moved forward we saw some large fungi. They stated to scream and suddenly there was a fluttering of wings above us, no bats here, it was those blood-sucking beasts from HELL. I cast sleep and they all fell, ahh so satisfying. Then more came we fought for a long time, they liked Sal, he was gorged upon and dropped, another of our party almost died. Finally we killed them (nothing like the sound of willow against a BLOOD SUCKING BEAST FROM HELL). Short work was made of the screamers and the wounded were given first aid, Sal brought our man back from the brink. About now we noticed we were walking on moss and skeletons. A search revealed a flask, dagger (glowed blue briefly when drawn) and a corroded tube, which I have.
We decided to press on for a while, what fortune we did… we found the Crystal Lake! Yes, it is a Crystal Lake. Down the passage we came upon another huge cavern, almost filling it was this mass of crystal, around the edge were broken chunks (Ceresaii and I collected quite a lot). We walked all the way around and found nothing of interest. The crystal was solid and after we had circumnavigated it someone suggested we go to the middle. With some trepidation I joined the exploration. The crystal held and we came upon a set of stairs that descended to the depths below.
The stairs came stopped at the intersection of two passages. We were a little disoriented at this point, no-one had a compass. Each corridor ended in a portcullis and about half way down was a statue. Investigating the statues we found them to be solid and appeared to be made of silver. Each was carrying a sword aloft. Ceresaii decided he wanted a long sword and promptly hacked (very noisily) at the first. He succeeded in breaking off a hand with sword. The hand looked to be encased in silver or something similar, the inside was brittle. The sword on the other hand was solid silver, Cerasaii chose wisely. Unfortunately he got rather greedy and decided to get more. As he was smashing at another statue four fire beetles arrive. Fortunately the other mage put them to sleep. We decided at this time to leave and head back.
We reached Enonia without incident, thankfully. The guards noticed our somewhat disheveled appearance and made some snide comments but we ignored them, how much fun a sleep spell would have been…….