The same five gamers met me at the Reaper Game Store to continue their adventures: Dallas, playing Barlyn (Dwarf CLC) and Anallia (Elf CLC/RGR); Steven, bringing Alexander (Half-elf FTR/Acrobat) and Cain (Human M-U); Matt, with Darthos (Elf FTR) and Dathos (Elf THF); Don, playing Barton (Half-elf M-U/THF); and Ray, playing Vorrk (Human MNK).
The story began with the return of Barlyn, Dathos, Darthos, Vorrk, and the crew of the Razorwind to Kajalla, where Alex was recovering from his recent assassination attempt. Most of the characters had business in the city to complete, including Barlyn paying a significant amount of money to get a wand enchanted so he could store healing spells in it, Darthos beginning to equip the ship he had recently acquired, and Barton doing some research and obtaining some trade goods. After some time with those activities, the group determined to sail back to Nabor, where they would meet up with Anallia and see if Barton could turn a profit in Jamsin. In addition, the group is attempting to recruit enough personnel — both colonists and soldiers — to turn the base they captured from the pirates into a going concern.
This trip passed without incident, and the group rendezvoused successfully with Anallia, after which Barton suggested searching for the tribe of Hooja, the barbarian they had met some time previously, to see if his people might be interested in helping to secure the base.
While searching for Hooja’s village the group, led by Anallia, was ambushed by three extremely large minotaur lizards. They fought a fierce battle, in which Darthos was severely injured, and Anallia was somewhat injured, but toward the end Vorrk leaped onto the back of the sole surviving lizard and “bulldog’ed” it to the ground. This move enable Darthos to slit its belly open, dispatching it. The group healed their wounded and soon encountered a warrior of Hooja’s village. The warrior escorted them to the village, where Hooja had recently become chief (following the defeat and exile of Terkoz, the were-smileodon). Hooja, after some discussion (he had to have the purpose of the shiny metal disks explained to him again) agreed to allow volunteers to assist the party’s base security, and he also agreed to try to settle any conflicts with the colonists by negotiation.
The party then set off to find the dwarf village they had assisted before, in order to obtain specific directions to the ruined temple. They had an uneventful march to the village and obtained the information, and Barton also obtained 4 dwarves to volunteer to assist in the copper mining operation he is getting set up at the cave of Azufallalaz. Having accomplished this much, the group set off for the dwarven temple.
They arrived at the location again without incident, and discovered it appeared to be a simple cave opening. Upon entering, with Alex and Dathos leading the way, they were immediately set upon by a guard force of 4 troglodytes. Alex and Dathos each managed, by getting a boost from the characters behind them (Barlyn and Darthos respectively) to leap over the troglodytes, and, having surrounded them, the group was able to take the guards out fairly easily. Of course, they discovered the troglodytes’ secret weapon at this point: a truly nauseating stench which sent Barton to find a place to lose his lunch. Entering the cave further, the group found a large chamber, apparently empty, but which actually held 8 more of the troglodytes; these were dispatched with minimal effort, and the band explored further. They discovered a small side chamber in which a single troglodyte sat, smoking a pipe — a fact which fascinated everyone. Behind that was a large chamber with a large number of the creatures (some 60 of them). As the group had been using stealth to obtain this intelligence they crafted a plan by which Dathos would put an arrow with a silence spell on it into the pipe smoker, who was suspected of being a shaman, and Barton would cast grease onto the floor at the entrance to the larger chamber. The group would then use arrows and spells to dispatch as many as they could.
The shaman fell without even being able to act in his own defense, and the slick entrance, with burning oil flasks cast upon it, and webs and wyvern watches put onto the creatures charging toward the entrance, took most of them down. Then the chief of the troglodytes arrived…..
Alex planned to rush toward him, slide through the grease, and gut him. The slide worked, but the gutting didn’t, and Alex found he had gone between the chief’s feet and was sprawled behind him. At this point Cain and Barton each sent a lightning bolt into the fray, taking out the remaining normal troglodytes and injuring the chief. A final arrow from Anallia finished him off.
For some reason, the group remained fascinated by the pipe, and had to go through a roll-off process to see who would get it. Cain won the roll-off, then proceeded to sell it to Barton for 300 gp. At this point Dathos managed to steal it from Barton and actually try it. Fortunately for him, he made his save versus the toxic weed the shaman had been smoking. In addition, Darthos had decided it would be a good idea to harvest the scent glands from dead troglodytes, and went through a dissection of a number of them, once almost filling the room with the noxious gas, and put his collection in the portable hole Alex carries; they plan on being able to weaponize them.
At this point their attention was drawn to the opening in the floor of the large chamber, and they dropped in a bead with continual light on it. Some forty feet down they saw another floor, but it appears the stone is more dressed there. Time running a bit short, this seemed like a good point to call it, so the next adventure will be a continuation of this one. First they must find a a way down the opening, and who knows what is down there?