Day 22 (Part One)

on October 30, 2013 in Jessup's Journal

What a day this was.  We rested from our prior adventures and struck out at the dawn of a new day rest period.  We all felt refreshed and invigorated.   We set out to go explore more of this new area and promptly came across, guess what?  A trap! It was a room that had a white marble stripe that ran from here to there to a pedestal with dark granite to either side.  It was obviously a trap.  But seeing as little Alexis was so intimidated by her failure to find the trap last time she held back.  I stepped up and defeated the lock before I thought to check it for traps.  There was one, but I did disable it before it had a chance to spring on us.  On the far side of this room there was a golden idol with two emerald eyes and a large pearl in the navel.  We debated how best to preceded.  I figure that since there was a pressure plate on the door and another along the floor that there was one on or rather under the idol.  Various ides were put forth including tying a rope around Alex and tossing her in the room, via Jack the almost giant.

As it turned out we decided to argue more. Jack tired of the back and forth decided to run and grab it as Walnert levitated it.  He got there, grabbed it and turned back and a fulsaide of darts flew from the far wall at us. Alex, Walnert and I were in the door way and saw them heading to us.  We all dodged and some took a dart or two but some none.  Jack and Sméagol (that damned cat of Walnert’s) both got hit.  The cat twisted and was hit hard, but not bad.  Jack on the other hand took 6 of the things and as it turned out there was some sort of poison which I later identified as Giant Wasp venom.  Jack acted sluggish and had trouble on his feet and indeed handling objects.

After this room, Walnert decided to go to a room we had peeked into.  There were 3 giant iron links, of 30 pounds if they were an ounce on the center of the floor.   Walnert’s cat went in first, followed by Jack and his pet and myself.   As soon as I entered the dammed door slammed closed and we were trapped.  Alex, Walnert and I all concluded that the links were but a simple part of a magical trap.  To get out of the room we had to solve it.  Walnert tried, and he saw that it was indeed a trap.  I looked and could only conclude that yes, it was a puzzle to solve before we could escape.  As Walnert and I looked at it, Alex, bless her, looked at it, cocked her head like a pet dog and began to describe how to move the links to unlock the puzzle.  It would have succeeded but for Jack.

As Jack listened to Alex, you could just see the comprehension melt form the simpleton’s face.  He looked at Alex, with whom I suspect he is smitten and then at the links.  The beast couldn’t do the complex tasks assigned by the beauty so he reverted to type and grabbed the links and bent them straight.  I ever more must remind myself never to be on the receiving end of Jacks anger.   The   links…now iron bars, were stowed for some yet unknown purpose upon Walnert’s command and we set off again.

We then went back to a room that we had been to the day before.  It contained a large hole in the floor with a lot of pick axes splayed about.  Someone had dug up the floor and there were gold flakes all over the stones that the room was carved out of as well as the rocks in the hole.  I estimated it was a very large vein of gold and wanted to go collect it lest some underhanded cad come and abscond with it.  But yesterday we had been too battered and bruised to go on so I did the next best thing.  I fiddled with the lock and secured the room as best I could.  A little too well as when we came back I couldn’t unlock it again and indeed broke one of my picks in the damned thing.  At that point it was decided to explore another room.

Alex handily defeated the lock and opened the door.  Jack led the way in down a long hall with a couple of 90 degree angles but opened into a vast and unusual room.  I say it is unusual in the fact that the floor was split right down the middle north to south.  Each half of the floor was against the east and west walls revealing a pit some distance below.  It was difficult to see the bottom.  However I could discern that there were both large spikes protruding from the floor and the floor around them writhed with snakes of all sorts.  We could clearly see a door on the south wall and some sort of a button next to it.  And a very narrow ledge was the only platform.  Alex deduced that the floor trap had malfunctioned somehow and could not reset.

I figured that if she was very careful she could use the edge of the floor as a ledge to get to the south side and then down to the switch.  Walnert had another idea.  He levitated her and she used her hands to push along the wall slowly and did indeed get to the other side.  She pressed the button and a bridge started to play out from under the door headed directly to the hallway where we were standing.  However, the contraption malfunctioned yet again with a loud squealing noise and shuddered to a stop about 12 feet from us.    Alex unlocked the door as we debated what to do.  Then she noticed the wall between the switch and the door way was a false panel.

She went to work on taking it off and found a clock work of gears, springs, pulleys and pistons.  She found a rat crushed in one of the gears and figured out how to get it out.  As soon as she did that the narrow flimsy bridge started moving again and came to rest just inside the hall making the bridge at least more stable and less bouncy.  She tossed the rat to Sméagol, Walnert’s cat who was most appreciative.

We crossed one at a time.  While I was fearful Jack and Antler’s great girth would strain the little bridge too much, but my fears were unfounded.  The doorway led to a 5 foot by 10 foot vestibule.  Alex again opened the door which led into a room with a well in the center.  Walnert looked into the well and couldn’t tell how deep it was.   He wanted me to cast light on a small object and drop it down the well.  In what turns out not to be one of my best moments, I turned and asked Antler if I could borrow his penis.  Laugher ensued though I do feel ashamed for making the base joke.

The sand that we had found earlier was in a small sack, so I cast the light spell on that and tossed it in.  In doing so I disturbed the rope which seems to have the spell Alarm cast on it.  A loud wailing noise emanated from it for nearly 30 seconds and then short bit shouted that she heard foot steeps thundering down the hall way that we hadn’t explored.  Jack took off like a bolt and then Nickoly said he had someone coming from the hall way across the bridge.

A nasty battle ensured on two fronts.  Jack, Alex, and Walnert took the long hallway to the west and Nickoly took the ones coming from the east across the bridge.  Antler cast Enlarge on Jack yet again enlarging both Jack and Alex who was riding on Jacks backpack.  I stayed in the vestibule and chanted a blessing on all of those in my group.  I figured that both the bridge and the hall were too narrow for me to be of much use so I stayed where I was and kept an eye on the health of our groups.  Nickoly was doing very well with his bow and halted them cold, forcing them to come at him one at a time in the narrow hall.  They were throwing Javelins at him but he was able to avoid them all.  The creatures were Bugbears.  Nast 7 foot tall and hairy, they pose quite the menacing sight.   The first one soon resembled an ugly pin cushion due to the arrows flying his way.  He looked unhealthy and was bleeding profusely.  I guess the one behind him was enraged that he hadn’t gotten into the battle and so he kicked his brethren into the spike and snake covered pit.   He threw his javelin at Nickoly who dodged it easily.

Soon this one fell over in pain into the pit and the third stood to.  He was larger and meaner looking and I’m not sure why But Nickoly charged him. The beast kicked Nickoly who in turn dropped his bow as he fell off the bridge.  Luck and I dare say due to my blessing, He managed to grab the ledge and hold on.  I was about to head that way and help when Nickoly reached up and grabbed the foot of the hulking creature and yanked causing him to fall into the pit.  Nickoly then dropped down on top of the three dead Bugbears and retrieved his bow and climbed back out of the pit.

While all this was going on over the pit, Jack, Alex and Walnert were battling at first three and then three more of the things.  Walnert cast a web across the hall limiting them and trapping on.  As soon as he could Walnert then cast burning hands on them setting the web and the bugbears on fire.  A nice touch if I do say so myself.  Things were going well until the other three joined in.  Javelins filled the hall and Jack went down with a nasty wound to his chest.  Alex managed not to be crushed by him an indeed carried the fight to the one in front of her.  Between Walnert and her, they managed to hold them back enough for me to move up and lay hands on Jack and return him to consciousness.  He jumped up and was mad.   A mad Jack is a frightening sight to behold.   Between his raw brute strength approach to combat, Alex’s slower but much more precise strikes with her flying daggers and Walnert’s bombastic spells the remaining bugbears went down in a few moments.    I backed off carefully pacing the distances and channeled positive energy and healed just about everyone in our group without the enemy gaining any of the energy.  We fell back to the well room to rest for a few and eat lunch.

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