Loose Ends – Chapter Twenty Four:

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

The Goblin Gallery:

Saint Cuthbert’s Holy Chambers of Sacrifice and Peace, The Divine Palace:

His Mighty Holiness, Saint Cuthbert, sits before his dressing mirror in his private chamber. His demeanour: morose. He appears to be deep in discussion with his reflection and fails to hear the soft knocking at the door, which then opens to reveal Zagyg, who continues to silently observe the Great Saviour unnoticed. What Goblin Gallery?

Cuthbert: “I hate these cursed balls. Why must I, God of All Faerûn, even have to attend them? Surely I may do as I please? I cannot endure the laughter of those handmaidens any longer! It was not my fault that my attire did so revealingly burst while dancing at the last waltz! I should never have agreed to use Zagyg’s tailors!”

Discwolrd Gods - Goblin Gallery

(Zagyg coughs to announce his presence)

Cuthbert: “Zagyg!? Accursed trickster! Can you not knock? How long have you been observing me?”

Zagyg: “Forgive me, my Lord, I did knock but it was not heard. Thus, I deemed it pertinent to check on your well-being. The handmaidens sent me to inquire of your readiness? The ball is almost upon us, and I am certain this year’s festivities will be entirely to your taste! The handmaidens are literally fighting each other to be the first to dance with your Lordship!”

Cuthbert: “Curse you Zagyg!!! I am a Saint and not a Lord, by all the vigour’s!”

His Saintliness sweeps all cosmetics and accoutrements from his dressing table before smashing the mirror with his cudgel. Zagyg does not move his expression remains calm. The fury in Cuthbert’s demeanour gradually recedes, as the scarlet tincture pales to a softer hue. His piercing eyes trace a path through the shards of shattered mirror until they fall upon the face of his old friend and tormentor.

Cuthbert: “Have the Norns repaired the web of fate? Is there a reprieve for this ball-weary Saint? Last year was such an… Inconvenience. Surely a God of my standing must put other duties before such … pleasures? Yes, that’s it! Zagyg, you must tell them! The Mighty Heroes, their entourage and the handmaidens! I have Earthly matters that must be settled! The Heroes of Runedardath, Under Mount Illefarn! They are in need of my attention!”

Zagyg: “Hmm. I feel the sad duty pressing upon me to inform you that the Heroes of Runedardath, Under Mount Illefarn, are currently lost to us. They have passed into the Underdark – beyond our vision, and even that of the Norns – even if the web of fate was rewoven – which it is, sadly, not! My Lord, this matter would not be sufficient to excuse your holy presence from the festivities. Especially since a special waltz in your honour has been prepared. A waltz which you are to lead, my Lord. However! Perhaps there is an alternative. Shall we call it a seed of hope?”

Cuthbert: “Speak, Jester! What trickery do you propose?”

Zagyg: “Indeed, some ‘trickery’ is required! By the use of my mighty ‘Illusionary Powers’, I would simply disguise myself as you. A perfect copy in almost every detail! I would then lead the waltz in your stead. There is just one catch…”

Cuthbert: “Out with it, Trickster!”

Zagyg: “You’ll have to lend me … the Cudgel…”

Cuthbert: “Nonsense! Stuff and nonsense! Just tell them I left it in my chamber!”

Zagyg: “Impossible, my Lord. The Handmaiden’s Ball, cudgelless?”

Cuthbert: “Then make an illusion of the cudgel!”

Zagyg: “Let me remind you, my Lord. The highlight of last year’s ball? Ahem, with the exception of your minor, Erm, indiscretion…”

Cuthbert (resigned): “Can you feel it… Can you feel the power of the cudgel…?”

Zagyg: “Precisely… An illusory cudgel would be somewhat… disappointing. But the choice is entirely yours, my Lord. I would be equally happy to observe the evening’s entertainment from the comfort of a booth with a glass of divine claret.”

Cuthbert (even more resigned): “Very well, Zagyg. Very well. Clearly, I’ve lost control. I trust you have a head for heights, my friend, for the ballroom floor is no place for vertigo. And those handmaidens, Zagyg be warned, as those girls do it just for fun.”

Gods - Gods of Greyhawk A - Goblin Gallery
Gods – Gods of Greyhawk A
Gods - Gods of Greyhawk B - Goblin Gallery
Gods – Gods of Greyhawk B

The fearless Adventurers enter a large cavern with pools of magma intermingled with other pools containing some insipid grey mixture. Some of the holes in the floor look like they have been burrowed by some monstrous creature. The tracks came out of the tunnel and headed Westwards. Galan pauses, kneels and sniffs. Eyes narrowed, he looks up before taking a pinch of dust from the Cavern floor. He stands resolutely, his bearing betrays his purpose: he has found their tracks and they are on the right path.

Location - Underdark Lava Pool - Goblin Gallery
Location – Underdark Lava Pool

Galan: “Why do I seem to spend so much of my time underground?”

Galan, at the head of the party pursuing the tracks of the Troglodytes, Humanoid Reptilian creatures, that had managed to escape the assault previously, was not a happy Elf. The days (and nights) he had now spent below the surface of Faerûn were taking their toll on him. Perhaps this was the reason why he wasn’t paying as much attention as he should have been? Whatever the reason, the result was swift.

Something sticky and elastic suddenly slaps around his ankle, for a brief moment he tries to pull himself free, but resistance is useless, he loses his balance, twists awkwardly and falls painfully and in an instant is dragged from sight down a steep, slippery shaft, descending at a 45° angle. The shaft is 4-5’ in circumference. It is pitch black.

Galan gets dragged 150’ feet down; there are lots of off-shooting tunnels of varying size that he is dragged past. Galan has his Short Sword in hand. He sees that there is a thin glistening filament wrapped around his ankle dragging him! It looks like water or glass? It is as if it has become one with his leg. It is sticky. He tries to hit the strand with his Short Sword further down from his leg as he is being dragged.

He is dragged into a Chamber before he can strike. What await him within the chamber can unfortunately be recognised thanks (or no thanks) to his Infravision. Bleached white insectoid legs and exoskeleton are crowned by a monstrous rounded skull-like head with no discernible eyes, just several small vacant holes, which may serve the purpose of eyes…?

Below these dead sockets, a strange proboscis extends just above a huge set of multiple hook-like teeth. The hideous scorpion like creature has dragged him down using the clear strand coming out from a strange kind of proboscis from its mouth.

Galan strikes and severs the proboscis!!!

It shoots out another tentacle, which ends at a barbed tip, and misses!

Monster - Cave Fisher - Goblin Gallery
Monster – Cave Fisher

The Cave Fisher is a large insectoid that has adapted to life below ground. It combines many of the characteristics of a spider and a lobster. The cave fisher has a hard, chitinous shell of overlapping plates and eight legs. The 6 rear legs are used for movement and traction on stony walls and corridors. Because of these limbs, the fisher has no difficulty in moving up and down vertical walls. The front pair of legs are equipped with powerful pincers, which are used for killing and dismembering prey. The most unusual feature of the cave fisher is its long snout, which can fire a strong, adhesive filament. The monster can also use its adhesive to anchor itself in place on walls and ledges.

The filaments of the cave fisher are highly prized by many Thieves’ Guilds, for they can be made into thin and very strong rope which is nearly invisible. The filaments are wound onto reels and then specially treated to dilute the adhesive. The resulting strands are made into ropes, while the diluted adhesive is turned into a special solution, which when applied to gloves and boots, which greatly increases traction for climbing.

Galan jumps up and tries to flee and yet another tentacle comes out, missing again. The Cave is slimy and slippery as Galan tries to flee, managing to put another 50’ feet between him and the creature. Another tentacle shoots out of another cave, catching him; he cuts at the strand again with his Short Sword! Frimly meets him and upon hearing their description.

Galan tells Frimly what happened and what he saw. The Troglodytes tracks went down the shaft.

Mirafir casts ‘Fireball’ down the tunnel.

The blast almost comes back out to Mirafir, stopping just 5’ foot in front of him!

Frimly listens and hears the sound of Creatures moving around as if startled or hurt by the ‘Spell’!

Alita is given the ‘+1 Ring of Protection’ and the Barbarian Clerics gnarly ‘Magical Staff’.

Magic Item - Barbarian Cleric's Staff
Magic Item – Barbarian Cleric’s Staff
Magic Item - Ring of Protection +1
Magic Item – Ring of Protection +1

Thora, Sigune, Galan, Frimly, Mirafir and Alita move into the shaft. At the first cross roads, the Adventurers notice that everything is burnt and scorched in the Shaft. Thora at the fore sees nothing on the floor in front of her. The second tunnel on the right smells disgusting. Thora enters, and follows the tunnel for about 60’ feet before returning to the party.

The next junction also emits a fetid smell. The Creature at the end of it appears to be dead! Thora investigates and discovers a pile of humanoid bones behind the Cave Fisher’s nest… She finds nothing of value there but chops off the creature’s claws as a handy source of food for the Adventurers.

Thora calls Frimly a thief!!!

Thora: “Hey thief, come here!”

The Adventurers move up to the tunnel Galan was dragged down and Thora moves ahead to take a closer look.

The monster has barricaded itself in its chamber with the large rocks it was sitting on.

Monster - Cave Fisher - Goblin Gallery
Monster – Cave Fisher

The party decides to ignore them and move ahead, with Galan firstly checking for Troglodyte Tracks.

Galan can see there has been movement but can’t be 100% sure it is the Troglodytes.

Continuing, there are lots of Stalactites but no Stalagmites. A T-junction lies ahead.

Galan looks again for tracks. His best guess is that the creatures have continued North, and that is the direction the Adventurers go. The passage turns sharply west and then North again.

Thora sees another crossroads ahead, with a narrowing corridor to the east and a wider corridor to the West. Galan tracks again and assumes that they continued North. The Ranger looks for secret door in a strange alcove but finds none. The party continue North and the passage narrows. The tracks reveal that the Troglodytes increased their pace. Were they being pursued?

Sigune moves to the back in case something nasty attacks them.

Much further ahead the tunnel bends and heads Westwards.

Mirafir sees 2 Spheres Glowing: we’re being scried upon! Suddenly, several Stalactites fall on the party, some hitting (Thora, Mirafir) others missing but they all are actually some horrendous larvae monster! They then begin to secrete… Alkaline, not acieeed!

Monster - Piercer
Monster – Piercer

Piercers resemble stalactites found on cave roofs. They are actually a species of gastropods that, without their shells, resemble slugs with long tails. A piercer climbs onto the ceiling of a cavern and waits patiently; when it detects prey beneath it, it drops from the ceiling and impales the victim with the sharp end of its shell.

Piercers look like limestone growths on the ceiling of a cavern, just like ordinary stalactites.

Mirafir casts ‘Sleep’ and three of the worms are affected.

Galan kills one that is still awake, Sigune misses and Thora kills another.

The Worms emit a Poisonous Alkaline Gas that blinds Frimly.

Mirafir casts ‘Magic Missile’ and kills the one fighting Sigune and one of the sleeping Worms (Piercers).

Galan completely destroys his one (20). Now there is only one of the piercers left.

Only one Piercer is left and Mirafir slaughters it with another ‘Magic missile’.

Monster - Piercer
Monster – Piercer

Water is poured into Frimly’s eyes to relieve his burning eyes.

The narrow passage ahead veers West and the party follow it.

Shortly after that, the tunnel then turns Northwards again. Thora feels air ahead – an expanse of it: a Large Cavern is up ahead, she suspects.

The passageway is slightly wider but the ceiling is low. This way forward is very awkward for the taller characters.

There appears to be a Light Source ahead.

Galan senses that there may be organic plants ahead.

Galan: “I smell Green…”

Location - Goblin Gallery
Location – Goblin Gallery

Frimly ‘Moves Silently’ ahead to the opening to see where the passage opens out to… Frimly sees fungal trees, lakes and foliage (moss, lichens and various types of mushrooms). He hears nothing beyond the normal sounds that would emanate from such a chamber. Later to be called the Goblin Gallery.

Frimly gets the rest of the party to floowing him into the Goblin Gallery.

Frimly: “Alita, do you know what’s edible here? Maybe we can make a seafood salad?”

Galan checks the floor of the Goblin Gallery for tracks but is unable to find anything substantial.

We’ve lost the Troglodytes.

Moving North directly down the middle of this Gallery, Thora steps on a Spiked Pit Trap which she is able to avoid but in that moment the party is attacked from the bushes on top of one of the South-East Mound, with lots of Arrows flying past them!

Alita starts screaming and pointing up to the hill!

Galan shouts: “Goblins!”

Monster - Goblin
Monster – Goblin

Galan fires a Longbow arrow, Mirafir casts ‘Sleep’ and Sigune charges one of the Hills.

Frimly: “The Arrows are poisoned!”

Frimly shouts.

Sigune reaches the South-West hill of the Goblin Gallery and there are no Goblins there, but the floor is springy…?

She sticks her Long Sword into it and it goes right through. So she hacks at the floor to see what is underneath.

In this Goblin Gallery there is a tunnel beneath and the whole thing is Camouflaged. A trap or Skirmish Tunnels?

Sigune jumps down but the tunnel narrows. She backs out.

Sigune: “I haf found a tunnel! Vee are right on vun matey!”

Thora meanwhile has found a giant pile of Treasure at the far Northern end of the Goblin Gallery!

Item - Treasure Pile
Item – Treasure Pile

From the Ballad of Galan Tara

Cave Fisher, the Underdark phenomenon

Only for the headstrong

Makes you want to excrete,

Sweeps you off your feet

If you thought it was a bug,

Now you know you’re wrong

It looks like a spider

Or a scorpion?

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