Chapter 04: Power Cut

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Session Number: 27
Date: Saturday 24 October 2009
Venue: Craig's
PCs & Players:

Enok Rgr5 (Alain) (kills: 1 metallic spider)
Krag Clr5 (Fergus) (kills: 1 metallic spider)
Rowaine Pal5 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz5 (Densial) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBC

The party are led to large subterranean room and directed to a dwarf in charge. Based on their appraisal of these strange creatures, the dwarves know their defences will not nearly hold long enough… but are adamant that they will not evacuate their mine and their home. They too have spoken to old Troll and believe the besiegers are after the young version of him. The party are urged to make a quick, observed departure. They are told of a cave tunnel not far away that passes under the river canyon. A dwarf is seconded as guide; he hands Enok a lantern and half a dozen flasks of fuel.

The party are led through a bewildering network of tunnels such that even Enok barely knows which way is up. Natural light can be seen ahead and they are led to a crag that overlooks the canyon. The dwarf says that they are about 600 yards downstream of the gatehouse. There is no sign of the spiders. The party decide to attract some attention. Troll directs a Fiery Burst upward. Seconds after, a very familiar scream is heard. The party stay long enough to see a group of 30-40 spiders appear, heading in their direction. "This way!" yells the dwarf, indicating a narrow ledge following the canyon wall southwest. It is dangerous work - the left edge of the path is a sheer drop. Their going is not as fast as they would like. Thank Moradin that the canyon separates them from the lethal creatures.

Ten minutes later a large spider comes into view, easily keeping pace with the adventurers while the smaller ones struggle to keep up. The large spider pauses briefly to skewer one of his smaller cousins and devour it. And then another. The party are pursued for a further 20 minutes, after which the large spider stops. The adventurers stop also, wanting to keep the attention of this dangerous group and draw them as far as possible away from Minehome. Enok looses an arrow at the giant spider, then another. It pays the missiles little heed. Minutes later it stoops and deposits a load of metal on the ground behind it. The pile then begins to move, unfolding itself into two distinct metallic creatures. Creatures similar to the small spiders, but with hooked front legs. Very useful climbing hooks…

"Move!" cries Rowaine. The others need no further encouragement.

Around 20 minutes later the ledge passes a cave entrance. "Your way lies in there" says the dwarf. "I will head back to Minehome."

"Not that way, surely?" asks Rowaine, pointing back the way they have come.

"By the stones, no! I will take the long way, farther down this pass."

"Moradin's speed to you, good dwarf," says Rowaine. Troll looses a last barrage of Fiery Bursts to signpost their position. Enok lights the lantern and the party enter the cave, leaving their guide to his fate.

The tunnel descends for a time before intersecting another passage with a small stream trickling along its floor. The party choose the path that leads down.

Farther down, the tunnel floor abruptly steepens. Troll leans against the wall and ponders on magical means to get down… Perhaps another Tenser's Floating Disc, with some form of Shield? Rowaine climbs down. Enok ties his rope around a nearby stalagmite and hands the loose end to Krag, who climbs down. Troll gives up and takes the rope in hand. He slips half way down, injuring himself at the bottom.

Enok is minding the tied end of the rope when he hears a noise. The noise of metallic appendages traversing stone… It is still distant, but gets louder as time passes.

Enok all-but kicks his wolf down the slick slope, releases his rope and scampers down. "They're coming - we'd better get moving."

A little while later the passage meets a sinkhole that plunges down beyond what the lantern can illuminate. A small opening leads off to the left. At Troll's suggestion, Enok empties one of the oil flasks at the lip of the sinkhole where the path circumnavigates it. "Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll slip in," he says hopefully.

The new passage is uncomfortably narrow, especially for Krag. It soon opens into an oval chamber about 20 ft wide at its middle, full of stalactites and their respective stalagmites. The narrow passage continues at the other end, about 30 ft distant. The group prepare an ambush.

The sounds of pursuit grow louder - and louder. The ticking of metallic legs sounds like white noise - can this be but a handful of the creatures? Troll concentrates on the illusion of a stony wall across the opening. Rowaine stands near the subterfuge while Enok nocks an arrow at Troll's side.

The noise increases and a spider comes into view through the illusion's misty extent, its legs drawn up awkwardly to navigate the small gap. The creature rears up and investigates the falsehood and another can be seen following behind.

"That's it, we're leaving!" says Rowaine. Troll aims a Fiery Burst down the entrance, hoping to catch a few of the spiders. The detonation shakes the cavern and a rumbling begins. Enok and Krag exit via the far tunnel as Troll aims another Fiery Burst at the cavern's roof. Stalactites fall around the spiders as they march through the illusion. The rumbling increases.

"Get down the tunnel!" Rowaine yells to Troll as she tries to maneuver between him and the spiders. She chops at one of the two spiders, damaging it. They both hack at her with their sharp hooked legs, one of which opens a deep wound in her thigh.

50 hp becomes 40 hp

The far cavern ceiling caves in. Troll turns and races down the tunnel. Rowaine again slashes her waraxe across the face of the wounded spider, not nearly so effectively this time. The momentum of the stroke carries her around too far, exposing her flank. The enraged creature impales her with one of its hooked forelegs, which first pierces and then rips a ragged gash in her side, lacerating her kidney. The other spider's two stabs bracket the first. Blood and gore spray onto the cavern wall as Rowaine collapses, unconscious. The spiders continue after their true prey now that the bloody mess at their feet poses no threat.

40 hp becomes -1 hp

Probability of losing 41+ hp in 1 round: I dunno, but I'd like to think it was considerably less than 50%. Say 40%

Craigo becomes a little distracted at this point so some help here please - facts are hazy. Somehow the remaining three escape detection while the spiders pass by. I think Troll may have cast Invisibility.

Enok is the first to return to Rowaine's side 45 seconds after she fell. He attempts three times to stem the flow of blood, but cannot.

Probability of Enok failing three Healing checks: 9.1%

Rowaine's soul departs.

Probability of Rowaine failing nine Stabilise checks: 38.7%

Enok scrambles through Rowaine's pack, finding a potion. He hastily uncorks it and pours the contents down her throat. It does not revive her.

It is a Potion of Eagle's Splendour.

Krag arrives. Enok yells "Heal her!" Krag's Cure Light Wounds spell is ineffective.

Probability of all three events happening: 1.4%

Krag falls apart.

Craigo falls apart. The only consolation: at least Rowaine died doing what she should have been doing - protecting her charge.

Troll surveys the cave-in. "Only one way out now…" Once Krag is able to stand, he hoists Rowaine's body upon his shoulder and the group continue down the narrow passageway.

Craigo does not know how the party finally kills the two spiders.

As the spiders rush forwards, Krag turns and gently places Rowaine's body behind him protectively. He then bashes a spider twice.

Fiery Burst?

Krag bashes off a leg for Troll as a trophy.

Large circular cavern with stalactites and stalagmites. Much more water rushes into this place. Enok ties rope and goes down. Krag lowers Troll, then Rowaine's body. He drops Rowaine, breaking her arm.

Probability: 10%

Two exits from the bottom of the cavern: one directly ahead, too small to traverse, where the water drains. One to the right, large enough to squeeze through.

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