Loose Ends – Chapter Twenty Five:

6th Day of the Claw of Winter: (February):

The Treasure Monster:

The guerilla attacks by the diminutive Goblins cease almost as suddenly as they started, giving the party brief moments to consider the new surroundings they find themselves in. This new Goblin Gallery is in the starkest contrast to those that lay behind them.

Monster - Goblins
Monster – Goblins

Ranged about them are eclectic arrays of bizarre plants and mushrooms in forms and shapes and hues that beggar the known laws of botany – a Druids dream of unknown material perhaps.  Dotted across the Goblin Gallery are several small inky black pools of unpotable water, a strewn morrain of boulders and large rocks. Perhaps accidently fallen or excavated by unknown magic’s.

Several tunnel entrances can be made out to the 1 North, 1 North East, 1 East and 2 North-West.

Thora stands alone atop the North-East raised mound.

Thora: “Kerful noo! Git yiselfs ready fer mer of yon snekky arracks!”

Mirafir casts ‘Fly’ upon himself when suddenly the hillock that he, Galan, Alita and Frimly are stood upon bursts into an explosion of ‘Plant Growth’. An impenetrable thorny thicket bursts forth from all around them, trapping them within the deadly bower.

Off to the North-West Thora spies’ movement, perhaps a fleeing Magic User!?

While near to where Sigune stands 4 Goblins appear from beneath another camouflaged hide, losing a flurry of Poison Arrows towards her noble heart.

Monster - Goblin Archer
Monster – Goblin Archer

Beneath the thicket Galan wields his Swords in a desperate bid to escape. Progress is slow. Frimly uses the cover to descend down the 45’ foot tunnel that the first Goblins attackers escaped down on the South-East.

Silent and camouflaged by his ‘Cloak of Elvenkind’, Frimly finds a series of extremely narrow tunnels stretching off in four or five different directions. The walls are dry and unnaturally smooth; not unlike the tunnels beneath Torleth’s shoppe in Gillian’s Hill and the Bandit Lair too.

After several minutes Galan hacks his way clear of the Magical undergrowth.

Sigune and Thora engage in mortal combat with their ambushers, killing two apiece with ease.

Thora peaks down the Eastern tunnel, which veers first South-Eastwards and then directly and unnaturally straight towards the East.

From behind Sigune three more Goblins appear. One of the Goblins steps forward and along with a hand gesture, utters a single syllable:

Goblin: “‘Boo!”

Static ripples around the statuesque Paladin but she suffers no ill effects in the Goblin Gallery this day.

As one danger recedes a globe of ‘Continual Darkness’ nearly engulfs Sigune. But somehow she escapes this peril too, choosing to join Galan who she finds nearby.

Sigune: “I heard ze soundt of somzink glass breaking bevore ze darkness.”

 As Sigune moves Northwards towards cover she triggers a ‘Glyph of Warding’ that had been cast on one of the boulders, She yelps with pain and shock.

Frimly also sets off another ‘Glyph of Warding’ at the beginning of the underground network; his gasp of pain must surely bring unwanted attention. The Thief uses his ‘Cloak of Elvenkind’ to secrete himself in the shadows and waits to ambush the first hapless Goblin who happens his way.

Over in the North-Western corner of the Goblin Gallery, Mirafir ‘Flies’ upwards, in an effort to see who is behind the casting of the ‘Continual Darkness’ Spell.

Spell - Continual Darkness
Spell – Continual Darkness

Close by, Thora spots more movement from her hillock upon the North-West hillock. As it moves away from her, she follows, but is attacked by four more Goblins who emerge from yet another hide. Their Short Bow Arrows miss her and she rushes forward to engage, and with lusty strokes of her ‘Silver Dragon Headed Mace’ she crushes two skulls to a pulp. Galan takes out a third with a Bowshot from his Magic bow.

Out of the corner of his eye, Mirafir spots movement heading towards 1 of the 2 opening in the North-West corner of the Goblin Gallery. A ‘Lightning Bolt’ streaks out and strikes something, while the rebound hits the target again. Whatever the creature was it is now a pile of smouldering debris.

Frimly’ first thought is to emit a powerful blast from his ‘Ring of the Ram’, which within the constricted passageway could prove lethal for all concerned!

Frimly: “Phnaaar!”         

While Mirafir floats some 50’ feet above the ground, four glowing streaks of light race towards him, from behind a vast pile of treasure that lay to the far northern end of the cavern. The distinctive metallic odour that accompanies a ‘Magic Missile’ attack alert Mirafir to his unavoidable fate. It is a hefty and unwelcome blast of his own medicine.

Unnervingly one of the ‘Magic Missile’ attacks is aimed at his last remaining ‘Ioun Stone’ which imparts another Level of Spell-craft for Mirafir.

But mysteriously, there is no sign of a Spell Caster behind the treasure horde. Is this devil behind this egregious assault invisible!?

Mirafir: “The impertinenth! They mutht feel my wath!”

The enraged Wizard fires off his ‘Fireball’ before he thinks and engulfs the treasure in searing blast that undoubtedly destroys some, if not most, useful ‘Magical Items’ that lay amongst the mound of precious metals.

Below ground, back with the Thief, a Goblin cautiously treads its way down the tunnel towards Frimly. The Rogue strikes as his enemy passes him, an ambush that leaves an inconvenient gap between the Goblins neck and body.  Quickly two more Goblins emerge from the side tunnels, but the constricting passage allows only one to attack at a time.

Sigune, in a moment of rare intellect, follows Frimly into the tunnel and casts her Double sized ‘Web’ from her Magical ‘Cloak of Arachnid’. Some half dozen pursuing Goblins have now become static prey to be despatched at will.

Magic Item - Cloak of Arachnida
Magic Item – Cloak of Arachnida

Mirafir, meanwhile, is assailed again, this time by a noxious ‘Stinking Cloud’ that for once, cannot be blamed on a frightful blast from Frimly’s tight passage. Resisting the malodourous effects he flies beyond the Spells radius.

As Thora runs towards the huge pile of treasure, another ball of ‘Continues Darkness’ appears from nowhere, enveloping the Dwarfess within it. She hears the sound of someone moving across the treasure and thus moves towards it; but alas, a Spell is cast upon her and, unable to resist, she falls, prone and helpless, to the floor.

The Goblins and Frimly:

Frimly embarks on a killing spree within the ‘Web’ as he is unaffected by the adhesive strands. Then he sees a torch approaching from further up the Western tunnelway. An attempt to burn the ‘Web’ it would seem.

He moves forward to intercept.

Monster - Goblins
Monster – Goblins

Sigune, realising that she is too large to be of aid in the narrow tunnels, has moved towards the new globe of ‘Continual Darkness’, drawing the dagger with ‘Continual Light’ cast upon it. With this invaluable tool she mitigates the darkness. A loud slithering sound greets her, accompanied by the sight of the Thora’s lifeless body being dragged away by an elephantine, muscular tentacle.

Mirafir cast ‘Minor Globe of Invulnerability’ upon himself and creates a Magical sphere that is impenetrable to lower level spells.

Galan hidden behind a boulder looks up at the wall at the Northern end, above the treasure and its slithering inhabitant. Set into the rock face are numerous openings and from two of these he perceived signs of movement.

While out of the Eastern running passageway 12 more Goblins appear, 6 armed with bow and poisoned arrows, the other 6 with Short Swords and small Shields.

Sigune takes a surprise blow from a Magic Sword that is being wielded by another tentacle. She is also struck by ‘Poison Arrow’ fired from a hole in the wall above her head.

Galan’s Magical Longbow whistles with the sound of Arrows whipped from taut bowstring. He kills two of those Goblins lurking in the holes in the wall.

Mirafir unleashes a ‘Magic Missile’ attack on a tentacle, it withers, but another appears from the mound of coins and treasure. One of tentacles is holding a wand and from this several ‘Magic Missiles’ are launched at the luckless Sigune, which is hit for a withering 13HP of damage. She strikes at another tentacle and destroys it. 

All our heroes are now involved in fearsome combat with Galan completely surrounded. 2 goblins jump atop Alita and soon overwhelm her.

Monster - Goblins
Monster – Goblins

Mirafir is attacked by yet another Magical Spell and by an Arrow; thankfully both fail to harm the Wizard, who unleashes another ‘Magic Missile’ counterattack on those surrounding the valiant Ranger.

Between that and Galan’s whirling swords, 4 more Goblins lay slain within the Goblin Gallery.

Unfortunately, Alita does not fare so well as she is pulled unceremoniously into a festering pool, the same pool that Thora have avoided a rope trap that would have dragged her under, of unwholesome liquid and who knows what else!?

As Sigune struggles with the powerful tentacle that is set on abducting the Dwarfess, yet another globe of ‘Continual Darkness’ engulfs her. However, she succeeds with a mighty effort of will and strength to outmuscle the obscene tentacle and drags her friend into the subdued light of the cavern.

Whoever they are battling they are indeed cunning foes, more cunning than any Goblin should be!

Monster - Beholder Evolution
Monster – Beholder Evolution

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