Summary LXVI: Better-Left-Undisturbed Treasure? or, Escaping the Pit with Our Lives

Presenting.... the Stone Soules Final Summary! No, thank you, you're too

This adventure was sponsored by the evil dwarves, and a hole o' fun!

The intrepid adventurers downed the Treasure Finding Potion as promised,
and moved swiftly in that direction. Apparently the potion may have been
obscured, or just wore off, but the distance to the treasure was unclear
and shifted semi-randomly, though the direction was constant.

We eventually came upon a clearing with some vultures in it, and a large
hole in the center, bones strewn about its sides.

Talking to the birds, we deduced that a large worm had taken up residence
there. We decided, naturally, to kill it and grab the loot. We were
expecting a quick grab the items and run, so some of our spells were
detection spells rather than combat, which proved unfortunate.

Upon approaching the hole we discovered that a spiral staircase ran down
the hole into the darkness. So much for the worm hypothesis. We went down
for about a thousand feet and reached a dug cavern with many passageways.
Using the we go right rule, we went right repeatedly, turning back once at
a chasm. An occasional rumbling noise would occur and that made us nervous
but did little more.

Then we noticed that we were going downward. We continued until we hit
what we later noticed was the bottom of a depression. At that instant we
heard more rumbling, and spotted fast gray things approaching from front
and back. Eli threw a Wall of Ice in front, and we prepared to receive the
charge. Then we realized they were huge boulders. Everyone scrambled for
cover, some up walls, others just crunched against the sides, and Ceydric
and Theo, who had Fly spells on them, flew up to the ceiling. Amazingly
only one person really got trashed by the rock-- Raven. He was flattened
with a 4x wound-- our second ever (the previous one was Theo vs. the
Dragonbear, last adventure). We brought up to low positive hp when a
Cloudkill appeared in back of us. Clerics started throwing dispels at it,
and then we discovered that a Wall of Force was in front of us, trapping
us. Eli cast Rope Trick and put many of the low level people in it, and
Ceydric, Theo, Mordrick and Eli charged through the cloud. Eventually the
cloud was dispelled, but by the time the people in the Rope Trick got out,
this next section was over.

As soon as they passed through the Cloudkill, crossbow bolts and a
Lightning Bolt hit Ceydric and Theo. In addition Theo was mesmerized by a
Hypnotic Pattern that suddenly appeared.

Ceydric, Mordrick and Eli continued, spotting a Passwall up ahead in one of
the walls. Ceydric and Mordrick dashed in, seeing a dark dwarf on the
other end. Eli hit him with a Magic Missile barrage, but at that moment a
Repulsion-like effect knocked the two warriors out of the Passwall, which
was promptly dispelled by some other dwarf.

Having lost any chance to continue the pursuit, we regrouped and headed out
as quickly as we could to prepare for a more successful return. As we
headed back through the corridors we heard the rumbling sound quite
frequently and feared boulders at every turn, but none were being launched
at us.

We reached the circular room under the stairwell and discovered that the
doors to the stairs were shut. Thieves climbed over the wall while Ceydric
and Theo flew up, and opened the doors from the other side. Eli cast
Monster Summoning II and summoned three volts. The rumbling got louder and
we began heading up the stairs. Unfortunately we were only about 40 feet
up before the giant grey worm appeared! 20 feet in diameter and extending
FAR back into the caves, it was quite a monster. It beat up the volts in
seconds and turned on the party, who was showering it with missile fire and
spells. Aria cast Precipitation, which made its mouth more moist then ever.

Now for the fun part... Ludo tossed 15 coin weights of vitrioli into its
mouth. Now, swamp conditions are the ideal for these little creatures, and
a wet mouth full of rainwater, in an earthworm, is pretty fantastic. The
results were spectacular as 57 vitrioli appeared and blew it to kingdom
come, or so we thought. The vitrioli did approximately 400 points of damage!

The giant worm thrashed violently for a moment. The party was elated.

Then it grabbed Sean the Ranger (Alegra's henchman) in its mouth and popped
him in, though he managed to nail it with his spear first. Horrified, Aria
shot at it with increased anger, but to no avail as he disappeared down its

Meanwhile the worm had taken about 800 points of damage so far from various
internal wounds, external as well (thanks to Ceydric and Theo primarily).
But it was far from gone. Next it smashed into Alegra, hurling her into
the wall, leaving her unconscious and barely alive. She was healed enough
to stand and continued firing.

Ceydric was next. The worm did JUST enough damage to kill him instantly
without any chance to escape, and gulped him down. Increasingly desperate,
Mordrick downed a Potion of Levitation and attacked with his melee weapons.
The monster struck again, at the unfortunate Alegra. This time she was
pasted against the wall and gore flew everywhere. But since she has an
extra life, this didn't panic everyone (everyone remember she has a
deathservant-- it has been used).

Next Raven was crushed, though not digested. He fell over dead from the
combination of the previous boulder damage and the viciousness of the worm.
Things were going extremely badly, and Xavier whipped out the Wand of
Wonder. It promptly spewed out four colored spheres, different colors
each, which struck the creature with an explosion. It was not clear
whether they actually damaged it. He used it again, and lots of spikes
started spilling out of his left ear, tearing through his helmet. He aimed
them at the monster for a bit. Finally, he used it a third time, and
received a Monster Summoning VI spell. A hideous undead, invisible,
trollish level-draining crossbreed appeared and said, "What is your
bidding, master?" "Attack the worm!" was the predicatable response.\

It got to work, doing minimal damage, but double level drains!

The 2000+ damage appeared to be having no effect as the worm killed Rangorn
(also by one hp). Ludo, pulled out his potion of Firebreathing and belched
at it. The next segment, with over 2300 damage on it, it finally died.

We cut it open and retrieved the two bodies. Fortunately Ceydric was
recoverable, and was raised on the spot by scroll, as was Rangorn. Raven
was saved with the elixir of life. Alegra, meanwhile, reinflated after a
few rounds and rejoined us.

We retreated out of the hole and set up camp an hour away. Everyone was
completely trashed, many people just barely standing. We decided to get
revenge. We knew the dwarves would follow after us, but only at night, so
we took a spellshift and brought everyone to at least a sturdy life total
(mid-20s mostly), and then pretended to be asleep. Meanwhile, Eli was in a
tree waiting to bombard the attackers.

The main group was spotted by the bobcat familiar, and we prepared for a
major battle. The dwarves had sent out a war party of 22, including two
savants (wizards). Mordrick slid silently toward one of them. Ludo
noticed an invisible person near the top of the camp, but he moved back.
The dwarves split up and sent a group of 8 south, thinking to surprise us
from two sides. Our main fear was a Cloudkill, so the wizards had to go
down first. Mordrick absolutely butchered one with a backstab (76 points
of damage!) and then took on an entire group of 8 dwarves. Raven came
dashing to the rescue and started massacring dwarves at close range,
Ceydric, Claude, and Theo following. While Ceydric never actually joined
the fight, it was still a slaughter as Theo began cutting them up.
Mordrick was healed by Star and returned to the fighting.

Meanwhile the group that had gone south was ambushed by Eli from above.
Beginning with a Slow on all of them, he then Magic Missiled the savant in
the group, who cast an Ice Storm. Eli swooped in and all 9 of them were
hit by the spell. Eli's Protection From Normal Missiles protected him from
a half dozen crossbow shots. On the ground, Rangorn, Alegra, Aria, and
Ludo approached the doomed group. Eli threw a Stinking Cloud, totally
stopping them in their tracks. One emerged from the cloud to meet a
furious but extremely unlucky Rangorn, wielding Gruntender ogreslaying

The polearm dwarf hit Rangorn a few times and actually held him at bay
before he and the crossbowmen finally took him down, though no serious
injury was done.

Ludo sneaked around the cloud and prepared to shoot anyone attempting to
escape. Eli through in a Cone of Cold for good measure, then waited for
the cloud to disperse. What was left was one wretching frozen beaten up
and slowed dwarf. We shot him.

The recovery of loot was unprecedented. Of course there was the obligatory
broadsword+1 (we needed yet ANOTHER weapon the party doesn't use). There
was another Potion of Firebreathing, and an Elixir of Life! Finally there
was the Short Sword of Quickness +3!!! Easily the best magic weapon we've
ever recovered.

The Stone Soules trekked back to Cromwell without notable event (Sean was
Raised earlier)and kicked back to relax-- and of course to discuss our

And among future adventurers, many will remember this final titanic battle
as the Stone Soules removed another evil thing from the map.

It was a great year! Now we get to discuss some plans for the future, and
of course I hope everyone will follow the hapless adventures of our next
party-- wherever it may be (we're thinking of Koralgesh).


"Ok, the orcs attack the party and the fire giant goes after Rangorn."
"Why does everything nasty come for me? And I thought the ceiling was only
10 feet high!"
"Ah, he's standing in a low area that leads straight for your character."

- A paraphrasing of a section of the Catacombs Guide


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)