Loose Ends – Chapter Twenty Seven:

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

The Deepspawn Rises:

Our Heroes are about to discover, thanks to Sigune, that the Monster under the treasure pile is in fact a Deepspawn. Will their Gods have mercy on their souls?

The Grand Ballroom, Upper Palace, Echelons of Righteousness:

Golden undiluted sunlight streams into the ballroom, its path split and refracted by intricate mirrored constructions to fall in rhythmic patterns that rotate and spin with the delicate movements of the multitude of handmaidens, clothed in equally but miniature, delicate and intricate constructions that refract the dancing lights into yet more complex and hypnotic movements and patterns, bewildering to the naked mortal eye.

Not so the divine presence of His Holiness Saint Cuthbert of the Cudgel, Righteous Defender of Justice, who, framed by the throng of fair maidens, is anything but bewildered; indeed his Holiness seems unusually animated as he cavorts, cudgel in hand and with absolutely nothing left to conceal His modesty, with the possible exception of a Gold Dragon’s bladder from which streams a claret of the finest and darkest blood red into the back of His throat.

Cuthbert: “Stand back! Fair maidens! Now ye shall witness the unbridled power of the mighty Cudgel! Four hillocks lie before me! From one shall emerge the head of a Goblin! Fear not, my ladies, none shall be harmed, they are mere manifestations of my will! Yet I must be swift – and I must be true! The Norns will decry the fate of this matter, I shall merely administer – in the swiftest manner – justice in its purest and most indisputable form!”

Monster - Female Nudes
Monster – Female Nudes

(Hysterical, high-pitched screams and whoops of laughter from the maidens)

Cuthbert (continuing): “However! I cannot do this alone… I will need your help, fair maidens … Tell me from which hole the first Goblin shall appear! The winner gets to kiss the Cudgel! It’s time this palace learned how to party!”

The hysterical screams are almost impossibly notched up a couple of octaves as the naked-but-for-a-Cudgel demigod prepares to strike. The scene switches to a luxurious yet pious chamber; a large mirror displays the chaotic Dionysian mayhem unfolding in the Ballroom. A figure sits slumped before the mirror, despairing head clasped firmly in despairing hands.

(The real) Cuthbert: “No, no, no, NOOOOOOO! What has Zagyg done? What have I done? I should have known this would happen! If only the Norns had been there to warn me! No one will believe it was not me! Heironeous and Pelor will mock me for all eternity! And I shudder to think what Luz and Vecna will make of this… I must do something. I must stop this madness! Yes! Therein lays my redemption! There is no time to lose!”

The zealous Saint rises purposefully and strides from his bedchambers in the direction of the mighty and magnificent ballroom in the upper palace. His demeanour is grim and entirely focused.


Meanwhile, far below the Divine Palace of Justice and Righteousness, several miles beneath the surface of Faerûn in the Underdark, events are taking place beyond the sight of the Gods, but of no less significance to those insignificant mortals, whose lives are less than a blink of an eye in the spiralling eternity of universal time.

Mirafir can now see that there are Magical ‘Glyphs of Warding’ either side of the ravine in the centre of the chamber. The whole area is just one big trap. Glyphs, Lasso Traps, Hidden Hides and Large Rocks. All plants seem to have turned into deadly thickets. All paths lead to one form of trap or another. And then there was the Deepspawn Monster too.

Mirafir (to himself):

Mirafir: “They only theem to try and really flee through the North-West opening. That must be where they come from. And that must be where we can find their weakneth!”

Is this a perversion of surface organic life? This cavern might as well be on a different planet as far as Galan is concerned. It is so utterly alien to him that his lungs would prefer to reject the very air he breathes.

Mirafir, still flying, descends to the party and takes a ’Potion of Extra-Healing’ (25 points back) and then casts fly on Frimly.

Frimly descends into the tunnel he previously emerged from and Mirafir follows after the Wizard casts ‘Alter Self’ on him to resemble a Goblin as closely as possible and reduce his size to allow himself some degree of manoeuvrability in the narrow tunnels. Frimly also magically alters his appearance so that he looks like a Goblin by using his Magical ‘Hat of Disguise’. Frimly and Mirafir ‘Fly’ to the tunnel entrance to the East of the hillock.

Monster - Frimly The Goblin
Monster – Frimly The Goblin

Frimly: “They are in these tunnels: we just need to find the Goblin Shaman and then we can get back to the Treasure Monster under the treasure.”

The tunnel runs North-South with many tributaries and is gradually descending. The pair head North along the main tunnel, going past two tunnels on the East to one heading West.

Meanwhile Thora and Alita notice that they have had ‘Faery Fire’ cast on them! A Priest Spell, Galan and Sigune are both still Held, by the ‘Hold Person’ Spell cast when they were near the large pile of Treasure, Thora can’t see anything, neither can Alita.

The tunnels lead to where Sigune had cast ‘Web’ from her ‘Cloak of Arachnid’ so Mirafir can no longer continue.

Frimly the Thief then continues on his own.

Frimly: “Wait for me here – back me up if you hear anything!”

Mirafir is sceptical:

Mirafir: “I’ll go back to the others.”

Frimly: “No! Wait for me here, if anything happens just burn the Web!”

Mirafir gets a torch, lights it and then sets light to the ‘Web’ once the Thief has had enough time to get beyond its sticky grasp.

Frimly’s ‘Lens of Ultravision’ reveals the path ahead he must follow. He turns first left, then right. Dead end. Back to the previous junction: left then right, then left again. An empty Chamber. Back to the junction?

Right, right, then left. Left again.

A vortex of tunnels begins to unfold in his mind as he attempts to navigate his path and understand the path taken by his foes. With each turn, with each twist of the tunnel, every empty Chamber, every dead end, the labyrinth begins to blur as if in a dream. At each turn he expects to encounter his foe, yet is confronted only by a flat tunnel wall or empty, trackless chamber. Eventually he finds his way back to the Wizard.

Frimly: “He couldn’t come this way because of the Web.”

Mirafir: “I thuthpect he went down the tunnel to the North-West. That’s probably where their living quarters are.”

Frimly: “But they all came from the East at the beginning…”

The pair head back North. They pass the tunnel heading West into the main chamber and ‘Fly’ round towards the West. This way just leads back to the North Chamber. The pair flies across the Northern edge of the main chamber and go down the North-Western Tunnel where Mirafir fried the unfortunate 1HD Goblin previously.

Frimly goes first and notices that there is a stone barrier about 15’ feet in. It is about 3.5’ feet high: Goblin Arrow shooting height.

The Deepspawn Rises:

Meanwhile, Sigune and Galan recover from the effects of the ‘Hold Person’. Back in the main chamber of traps, Mirafir gets hit by a ‘Magic Missile’ from the pile of Treasure. 7 damage.

Monster - Deepspawn
Monster – Deepspawn

He suspects it is an ‘Illusion’ was used, to show the Deepspawn escaping the treasure pile, and the Wizard ‘Flies’ back to the tunnel. He finds tracks, mostly normal Goblin tracks but some heavily booted tracks – coming out but not coming back in.

Mirafir does not see anything with his ‘Detect Magic’ Spell up to 60’ feet down the narrowing passage.

They ‘Fly’ back out and look back towards the pile of treasure where the ‘Magic Missile’ came from, unbeknown to him it came from the Deepspawn.

Mirafir casts ‘Invisibility’ on himself, flies to the West of the pile of Treasure and tries to ‘Detect Magic’ on it. Frimly descends down the hide on the North-West Hillock by himself.

Below, the network of tunnels is a labyrinth. Frimly then gets hit by Electrical damage from a ‘Glyph of Warding’ which gives him 8 points of damage and briefly lights up the whole corridor.

Frimly ‘Hides in Shadows’ waiting for someone to come and investigate.

Meanwhile Mirafir sees another Stalk Eye, belonging to the Deepspawn, and moves in closer, 40’ feet closer to try and get a better look at the creature under the treasure. The Wizards ‘Detect Magic’ reveals weak Magic from smashed Potions, burnt Scrolls (most destroyed) and from the myriad of Weapons.

Monster - Goblins
Monster – Goblins

Back in the Western tunnels, Frimly hears the sound of feet pattering down the passageway towards him. It is 2 Goblins that have come to see what set off the trap. Seeing no one there the 2 Goblin’s talk to each other and rush back in the direction they came from. Once they leave the Thief continues to search the network of tunnels, which really is a maze. He heads North. At the end of a long narrow tunnel there is another low wall blocking a chamber. Frimly hears the sound of more Goblins beyond.

Returning to the pile, of Deepspawn Treasure, Mirafir has moved in closer to it to see if he can spot the Treasure Monster. The Eye Stalk is still there. The Wizard casts ‘Mirror Image’ on himself and then ‘Magic Missile’ on the Eye Stalk which explodes. Mirafir’s become visible and a Javelin destroys one of his ‘Mirror Image’ copies.

Galan sees the Tentacle, having thrown the Javelin at Mirafir, and shoots an ‘+2 Magical Arrow’ at it. He hits! The Tentacle, with another Eye Stalk, is cut down by the Longbow Arrow.

Galan then uses his ‘Ring of Jumping’ and jumps from the hillock, still landing on the spikes but just takes damage. Galan charges the Treasure and has to once again make his saving throw versus ‘Hold Person’ Spell and attacks!

Galan attempts to kick Treasure out of the way to try and expose the Deepspawn. An arm-like appendage ending at a mouth with shape teeth grabs a ‘+1 Magical Long Sword’ and attacks Galan!

Monster - Deepspawn
Monster – Deepspawn

The Ranger is struck by the Treasure Monster for 7 damage. Mirafir fires another ‘Magic Missile’ attack at the Treasure Monster! 2 hit another Eye Stalk that has appeared, not killing it. 3 hit the appendage with the mouth and destroy it!

There is a giant whoosh and the Treasure, Deepspawn, and everything else in its vicinity just spills “down the plughole”! A quick getaway of the most cunning sort! Leaving only a small percentage of all of the piled treasure and ‘Magical Items’.

The Adventurers are still trapped by the thorns on the North-East Hillock. Mirafir ‘Flies’ over and searches the body of the dead Half-Orc Wizard. She has ‘3 Rings’ on her, a Belt with ‘5 Darts’, ‘2 unopened Potions’ (one a wooden receptacle with a wooden cork-stopper, the other of beaten metal and a very tightly fitting stopper, a ‘Cloak’ and ‘Boots’.

Mirafir ponders the predicament of her comrades and casts a variation of ‘Ice Wall’ so the Adventurers can escape over it from the North-Eastern Hillock.

Alita starts looking around the Treasure for apparently useful items. Mirafir explains to Thora that Frimly disappeared down the hide on the North-Western Hillock and into the tunnels.

Thora: “Aye, Wizard, thaen we should nae wait aroond here like two wee Goblins for a lightning bolt up oo-er jacksies! The Thief may be in a wee spot o’bother!”

Alita suddenly starts cheering – she’s found an emblem!, her Holy Symbol. She puts it round her neck. It appears to be a Tree with many Branches. She points at the 3 injured characters and restores, with ‘Healing’ some hit points.

The restoration appears to also have jogged Sigune’s memory who suddenly recalls a text she read while searching the library for Dragon Cult clues.

She recites:

Sigune: “Deepspawn. Zis Treasure Monster is an infamous horror of zee Underdark. It can make a vast area dangerous, even for alert, vell-armed Adventurers…”

Monster - Deepspawn
Monster – Deepspawn

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