Netal the Elf (2), and his enraged pit-bull Sweetiepie
Gutboy Barrellhouse the Cleric (3), his dog Rufus, and his henchman Serlo the Elf
Mongo the Fighter (2), and his henchmen Leroy Brown the Cleric and Jimgar the Elf
The adventurers convened in the City of Denethix. Netal had a pocket full of gold that he was looking to burn, and after tossing aside the dead hobo draped over him, he found Mongo and Gutboy and asked them to join him at the Bazaar Incomparable. Once at the Bazaar, he made his way back to the gunsmith, once again seeking shotguns. "No! No! I will never sell you a shotgun! Away with you!"
Disappointed, the party marched back to the Street of Temples, to check in on the booth containing the devotional to Nisus. The door to the booth had been left unlocked, and a hobo had crept in during the night, defecating in the booth. Disgusted, Gutboy scooped up the turd and cleaned up as best he could.
Hobo-turds not being particularly satisfying, Netal grabbed his gruesome mirror and headed back to the Bazaar Incomparable. First, another trip to the gunsmith - this time to purchase a pistol. The smith, delighted that the obnoxious elf was no longer simply browsing, pulled out a massive hand-cannon, its ivory grip etched with images of a man getting his head blown off. On the underside of the handle was written the gun's name, "Molly." Impressed by the craftsmanship, Netal spent the vast majority of his cash to purchase the weapon, and also purchased a number of lead, silver, and solid gold bullets for the revolver.
Six-gun in hand, the party searched for a place to unload the accursed mirror. They stopped in again at "Tasteful Curios of the Forgotten Age," a tent filled with unusual artifacts from days long past. The proprietor was still reluctant to purchase the mirror, as last time, but Mongo's simple eloquence convinced him. "You buy mirror!"
Gutboy then asked to see some of the artifacts for sale, and was shown:
- A large porcelain toad, with smaller porcelain toads nested within. "Marvel at the toad, each having a smaller cousin within! There is no end to them!"
- A collection of peryton figurines, each dressed in fine clothing, drinking tea, holding umbrellas, etc
- An ancient bronze box. Gutboy opened it to find it contained a still-beating heart. "Who knows what creature this heart came from many thousands of years ago! Buy it, and the mystery may be yours!"
Deciding not to purchase these marvelous artifacts, the party wandered back into the bazaar in search of exotic animals, particularly large insects. Approaching a vendor of exotic pets, they inquired.
Pet salesman: "No, no bugs, they don't domesticate well. They always bite the children's arms off. Then everyone wants a refund. Stopped selling 'em. How about a baby grunky? Look! They do little handstands!"
Netal: "Do you have any dogs?"
Pet salesman: "Why, of course, of course. Errr... here's a great one, right here!" Presenting a muzzled pit-bull, growling ferociously: "He's got a wonderful disposition! I call him Sweetiepie!"
Netal (as pit bull strains at its muzzle to maul him): "I'll take it! Here's 25 gp"
Pet salesman: "That'd get you twenty-five baby grunkies! Sure I can't interest you in any? No?"
Murderous pit-bull in hand, the party began discussing the hideous red mist and the hobo deaths that plagued Netal. Netal finally confessed that the hobo deaths were due to the bronze amulet he was wearing - during the night, it would steal life from the weak and give it to him. If not worn, however, it would steal life just the same - but no one would get the benefit.
Netal decided to store the amulet in the Bank Inviolable, and they headed to the fiduciary fortress. Inside, a teller took the amulet and headed to the vaults - she returned ashen-faced, and asked Netal to step aside and wait for a manager. The bank manager approached gravely, and informed Netal that the mirror he had placed in the vault had inexplicably disappeared. Gutboy feigned outrage, and the manager quickly informed Netal that of course the bank would credit his account the appraised worth of the mirror - 1,000 gp. Well content with this fraud, Netal and the rest decided to gather their henchmen and head off to the dungeon and seek a large bug for sacrifice to the goddess Nisus.
Stopping in Chelmsfordshire, Gutboy purchased several hundred more feet of rope, while Mongo sought out a pig to bribe the morlocks.
Farmer: "I have a very special pig for you! Look, a spider wrote his name right above his stall - Wilbur!"
Mongo: "Hmm. Maybe less special pig?"
Farmer: "Sure, I got Phil over here! He's only got three legs, I just had to have a haunch off him. But the rest is still good! Plenty o' back bacon there!"
Mongo: "Too hard to pull pig. I take Wilbur."
Wilbur turned to look back at the web and the spider within as he was dragged away, a tear in his eye, but Mongo had no remorse - morlocks need ham, too.
The trip to the dungeon and to the well at the end of the wide corridor was uneventful. The party stopped at the morlock lair on the way, knocking on the door.
Morlocks: "Mongos! You bring food? People?"
Mongo: "Bring pig!"
Morlocks: "We take pig!" - and they did so, immediately, slamming the door in the party's face afterwards.
This rude exchange over, the party headed to the well. They had 300' of rope in total - enough to tie off to a pillar in a nearby room and run down to the bottom of the well, leaving only 10' to spare. Then the party began discussing what to do once they had captured a giant insect, as they were now entirely out of rope.
A few light bulbs went off, and the party trudged back to the morlock lair - they hunted down below, and surely must have rope.
Gutboy: "How was the pig?"
Morlock (with bloody mouth): "Squeaky pig delicious! We bite as soon as we get to see what taste like! Pig taste like people!"
Gutboy: "Fantastic. Look, can we have some rope?"
Morlock: "Yes, yes, mongos can have rope! We bring good rope, just made from people you give last time!"
The morlock retreated into the lair and came back with a 50' length of rope, made from poor Krogo's innards - it was a length of dried small intestine, reinforced with sinew. The morlock pulled on it to demonstrate its strength, and handed it over to the party.
Thus equipped, the party came up with a plan: Netal, Mongo, and Gutboy would be lowered into the pit, while the three henchmen and two dogs stayed up above, waiting to haul them back up. They would then search out a giant bug, cast sleep on it, tie it up with Krogo's intestines, and haul it back up the well.
Netal was first down. The first fifty feet were through a stone shaft - after that, Netal found himself dangling within a massive cavern, 150' tall. The walls and ceiling were coated with a glowing red substance, and occasionally clouds of the red stuff would break off and float about the cavern. Below, the cavern floor was covered with giant cave ferns, and the blue and yellow glow of various subterranean fungi could be seen between the fronds. From his high vantage point, he could also see a large opening to the north leading to another cavern, a marble building in the middle of the cavern, a pit filled with gray nothingness, a rockfall, and most interestingly - a herd of giant pillbugs.
Once Netal reached bottom, he found that the 10' tall cave ferns were thick enough that he could only see 30' ahead. Mongo and Gutboy were soon at the bottom with Netal, and they headed towards the herd of pillbugs. On the way, they passed the marble building - it was covered with a blue fungus-vine, and it had only a single door leading inside. They looked inside, saw it was empty, and decided to not get distracted - they would stick to the mission and grab a giant bug.
As they reached the pill bug herd, the cave ferns thinned out. The bugs had chewed the ferns around their nesting area down to the roots. There were over a dozen full-grown adults - each 10' long, and 5' high. The resembled gigantic armadillos, and sported a pair of nasty looking horns on their heads. There were also large numbers of smaller juveniles, and countless fist-sized infants.
Netal cast his sleep spell upon the closest pill bugs, and three adults succumbed. Each looked to weight between 500 and 1,000 lbs. Close examination revealed that the only weapon the bugs had were their pair of horns - the mouth was tucked low underneath their heads and useless for anything but chewing plants and fungi.
Mongo prepared to tie one up - but how? He had no idea how to get the Krogo-rope underneath the creature. Gutboy urged them to try pulling the creatures by their horns - surely Netal's magic would keep them in a deep coma. Sadly, Gutboy was mistaken - trying to drag the bug around by its head did, in fact, wake it up.
Mongo pulled out his two-handed sword, and aimed a blow at the creature's horns - but the tough chitin horns easily resisted his blow. The creature was armored far better than Mongo had imagined, and it thrust its horns into Mongo's side, bellowing angrily. The other adult pillbugs bellowed in response, and the party decided that running like mad was the better part of valor.
They took off as fast they could towards the marble building. At the entrance, they hesitated to enter - but the door was narrow enough that the bugs couldn't push their way in, and reluctant to face the herd, the party entered the building.
Once inside, the three felt a strange pressure in their minds - and then the horrible voice began inside their heads. "BRING ME SORROW! GO FORTH AND BRING ME SORROW!" it roared from within their own skulls, inescapable and horrible. Their noses began to bleed, and the pain was overwhelming. Netal maintained presence of mind enough to cast another sleep through the door at the pillbugs, and the three closest collapsed, barring the rest of the herd from getting closer to the building. As the demands of the voice seethed within their brains, the trio squeezed out the door, staying between the building and the three slumbering bugs.
Outside, the voice faded away, and their minds were once again clear. A quick discussion on what to do - and the party made a break for it around the corner of the building, running towards the rope and safety. With the pill bug herd close on their heels, they made it to the rope. Gutboy began scrambling up the rope, and the henchmen above, feeling the tugging, began hauling the rope up.
Netal and Mongo were left behind, and began running through the cave ferns as fast as they could, trying to evade the angry herd. They ran past the strange pit they had seen from above - it descended at least 20' deep into the cave floor, and then began fading into a formless gray void. Running past the pit without stopping, the pair realized that there were no longer any sounds of pursuit. The pillbugs had grown tired of the chase.
They made their way carefully back to the rope, using the natural rock pillars that supported the cavern ceiling as a guide. Gutboy had made it safely to the top, and the rope was waiting for them below. The two ascended, one at a time, and the reunited party left the dungeon in defeat.
The trip back to town was marred by a goblin attack in the deep of the night - Mongo was too busy staring at the fire to notice the four marauders. A spear flew into Leroy Brown's gut and pinned him to the ground, bleeding, as Mongo drew his sword and prepared to fight. His blade swung mightily, and a goblin head was sent flying, convincing the remaining goblins to retreat into the darkness and find easier prey. Gutboy, roused by the sounds of combat, used his divine magic to heal Leroy of his wound.
The remainder of the trip back to Denethix was unremarkable. Next session is Wednesday, 8/24/2011.