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
Richard "Dick" Dock the Thief (1), and his baby grunkie Bunkie
Having put three to sleep, one with the pink gas, the party began wondering about how to move the one-ton insects. Mongo, fearing for his safety if the bug should awake, hacked off the horns of the bug under the influence of the gas - this savagery didn't wake the monster, though. Feeling a bit more secure, he then tried to figure out how to actually tie it up.
Remembering that the morlocks would just roll the bugs, the party decided that putting a few arrows into one of the other sleepers would make more sense. Dick Dock climbed to the top of the marble building, while the other party high-tailed it back to the rope dangling from the ceiling. Once they were out of sight, Dick let an arrow fly - it struck true, piercing one of the other sleeping bugs between its chitin plates. The creature woke up angry and charged at the building.
Unable to climb the building, Dick let arrows fly at the thing until it curled up into a defensive ball. Once this was done, he called out to the party to come back - fortunately, nothing hostile was nearby to hear his excited shouts. Netal, Gutboy, and Mongo returned, and they tied ropes around the bug to keep it from uncurling.
The bug was rolled to the rope, the party climbed up, and they let the morlocks know that the time for hauling the bug up had arrived. The morlocks came and stood around picking their noses as the party tried to figure out if the ropes would hold. Finally, they asked the morlocks - "No, need more rope, more guys." "Can you get us some?" (eye-roll) "Fine, morlock get rope and more morlocks."
After some struggle, the bug was hauled up, the party bade farewell to the morlocks, and everyone began rolling the pillbug out of the dungeon. A fine plan, until the first stairway.
There was much arguing about how to roll a 1-ton bug up a 10' stairway. Finally, it was agreed that Gutboy should go ask the morlocks for some more help. Mongo, Dick Dock, and Netal stayed to guard the bug while Gutboy, the dogs, and the henchmen headed back to the morlocks.
Gutboy followed the 30' wide corridor back to the morlock lair, and asked for more help. The morlock who answered the door was extremely surly.
"No! Where pigs? Four pigs you say! Pigs now!"
"We'll give you more pigs! All the pigs you want!"
"No words! More pigs! Or people! You bring people?" (eyeing the henchmen)
"Yes, people, we can get those later. We'll get you whatever you want later."
"No! You go away and bring pigs!"
The frustrated morlock slammed the door, and Gutboy and his crew began to make their way back. As they came closer to the side passage that led back to Mongo and company, they ran into eight hungry fire beetles. Gutboy tried to bless them in the name of Nisus, but the hungry bugs cared little for his piety. They slashed Sweetiepie the pit bull into ribbons, and Serlo's sleep spell only put three of the bugs to sleep - so Gutboy and henchmen ran for their lives, deeper into the dungeon, hoping to reach the presumed safety of the morlocks. Running by the door to their lair, Gutboy pounded on it, and then ducked into the next door after. Not quick enough - the beetles savaged poor Jimgar, and he fell to the floor, bleeding.
Gutboy slammed the door shut, and listened in horror as the beetles savaged Jimgar outside. As he stood there waiting for rescue, hoping the morlocks would come out and deal with the fire beetles, the door at the other end of the corridor opened and three corpses shambled in - blades protruded from their eyes and hands. They began slashing at Bad Leroy Brown, while Rufus whined piteously in fear. Gutboy dismissed them in the name of Nisus, but only one of the corpses took heed - and Bad Leroy Brown's attempts to dispel the dead were completely ignored. In a complete panic, they ran back out and past the fire beetles, fleeing for their lives. Fortunately, the beetles found the scent of decaying flesh more to their liking, and engaged the walking corpses while the Gutboy and friends escaped.
Meanwhile, back at the bug, Netal, Mongo, and Dick began to suspect something was wrong. Netal and Mongo decided to go searching for Gutboy, while Dick was adamant that he would stay behind with the bug. He hid behind a pillar in the pitch black while Mongo's torch receded into the distance.
Netal and Mongo found the sleeping bugs next to Sweetiepie's savaged remains, and quickly put them to the sword. They then saw a torch coming towards them - it was Gutboy.
Reunited, the party returned to the beetle. Short one dog and one henchmen, they tried to puzzle out how to get the bug up the stairway. Eventually, they settled on a scheme that involved wedging it up the stairs using poles as levers, while other party members pulled it up with ropes. With much effort, this succeeded, and they continued rolling it through the dungeon, to the next challenge - the 100' long staircase that led up to the gatehouse level.
Once again, there was much heated discussion - despite his miniscule intelligence, Mongo hatched a plan involving sliding a pole through the center of the rolled-up pillbug to act as an axle, and then tying ropes into a bridle looped around the axle. Again, with much effort, the bug was hauled up, and the shorter sections of stair after that proved to be no problem.
Outside, the party began the long trek back to Chelmsfordshire, Retennis, and then Denethix. The pillbug made traveling slow, and they were forced to make camp in the woods twice. The second night, they were interrupted by a pair of bumbling moktars. The moktars managed to knock Bad Leroy Brown unconscious, but they both stumbled in the remains of the campfire and were handily slain by Mongo and Netal. A few prayers from Gutboy healed Leroy's wounds, and the party safely made it back to civilization.
Once in the village of Chelmsfordshire, the guards questioned the party about what they were doing - "A quest from the gods!" "Figures. Just like a god to want a giant bug." There was some haggling with a farmer to purchase a cart and mules to move the bug, various insults involving the mules and the farmer's daughters, but after an exorbitant fee the party were en-muled and en-carted, and soon back to Denethix.
Next session is Tuesday night Sept 27th.