The Chosen of Gorum, being among the first that Celia teleported back to the caverns, has been keeping an eye on the improved defenses of the caves. The increase in guards seems minimal, with a handful of them roaming the corridors. Celia and Kayleth scout a head and find a large cavern with high ceilings. This 150 foot by 100 foot, brightly light room, holds four stone giants.
After a brief bit of planning, Celia announces their presence by conjuring her evil tentacles by the opening against the far wall of the cavern, trapping two of the giants in its grasp. With half the adversaries out of the fight, the odds are now in our heroes’ favor. As the two giants fight to escape from the clutches of Celia‘s unholy trap, Aria, Kayleth and Asmarck move in and attack. Celia puts one to sleep, and Asmarck trips the other, giving Aria and Kayleth easy targets, who are dispensed with post haste.
As the first two giants are thwarted, a third escapes from the tentacles and rushes at Asmarck. Aria runs past and tries to contain the final giant on her own. Asmarck takes the whooping like a man, then trips his opponent. The helpless giant receives the full brunt of Kayleth‘s wrath: the barrage of three hits reduces the stone giant to a pile of pebbles.
The final giant breaks free of the tentacles and pushes past Aria, landing a solid attack on the Chosen of Gorum. The heroes converge on the final enemy, but it’s Korenn that pulls the beast’s attention from Asmarck: she draws her whip and strikes the monster squarely in its nether-regions. This is just the distraction Asmarck needs to land his killing blow.
Exploring the emptied room yields 50 gold pieces, but not much else of value. Kayleth finds an adjacent room, wherein he discovers a female giant, presumably cooking something. Since he is so well hidden that even his companions don’t know where he is, he doubles back into the main cavern and yells to his companions for assistance, knowing full well that this would also alert his adversary. He makes short work of the giant lunch lady after Celia uses magic to put her to sleep.
No sooner than the final giant is dispatched, yet another one emerges from one of the corridors. The stone giant, who introduces herself as Kanna the Wise, offers the heroes her assistance in their quest to defeat the mighty Mokmurian. The group is understandably skeptical of their new-found “friend,” but Kayleth has a good feeling out this particular giant, and he reassures his companions that she can be trusted. She invites the adventurers into a nearby room: the walls are covered in brown, black and yellow paint, depicting dwarves being crushed by giants. She walks to a small alter on the far side of the room which contains several small offerings upon it. As she places another offering, she explains that her husband was murdered in this very room, a result of Mokmurian’s treachery. Holding a position of authority in the dark one’s entourage affords Kanna considerable insight into his routine. He has apparently fallen under the influence of a powerful and ancient being, Karzug. Together they have enslaved the giants the heroes have been battling to fashion Mokmurian’s personal army. She senses the possibility that these adventurers might be strong enough to defeat the evil Mokmurian and finally set her people free. To this end, Kanna explains Mokmurian spends a lot of his time in his library downstairs. There are several entry points to this secluded room, each fraught with its own perils: two dragons, hill giants, pine bears, and Mokmurian holds the only key to the one door.
“You can’t worship a sex goddess and only have sex with half the population.”
Following Kayleth‘s demise, resurrection, and the slaying of the Lamias, the group retreats to the spider cave where Celia teleports the group back to Fort Rannick. While Kayleth recovers (with Korenn‘s aide), the non-creepy girls make out at length. After an eight day sojourn, Celia teleports everyone back to the spider cave to continue the fight.
From the shadows of the explored passageways, after scouting ahead, Kayleth plays a prank on Aria: he pretends to be her deity, ensuring he will be by her side, protecting her in her noble mission. She strikes Kayleth Soundly in the solar plexus upon discovering the ruse. The heroes make short work of the lone ogre working in the tannery, moving on to a long, dark, previously unexplored tunnel to the north. A curtain of furs covers the entrance to the next corridor, furs which conceals Kayleth as he investigates the next chamber. The fight with the stone giant is brief, but dramatic, with Kayleth landing the killing blow. The group collects the loot from the room and the monster: a +3 heavy pick, potion of heroism, potion of gaseous form, oil of darkness, +2 breastplate (too large for any of the adventurers to wear), +1 light shield, cloak of elvenkind, 19 platinum, 18 gold, 13 silver.
The recently cleared room contains several macabre and grisly trophies, including the severed head of a frost giant in a jar (which Celia quickly claims), hundreds of tufts of hair from dwarf beards hanging from silver loops and hooks in the cavern wall (which Celia also collects). Parts of a marsh giant’s elastic, tattooed hide, old armor, and a collection of neatly sorted shields labeled with names are also located in the room. Anstanjeggare, a name on one of the shields, sounds very familiar to Celia.
The heroes move to the right, the first rule of dungeoneering, after all.
Kayleth quietly moves ahead. A sizable room, with glittering walls, reveals four stone giants peacefully slumbering. Given Asmarck’s history of trigger happy hack and slashery, Kayleth cautiously pulls Aria to one side and proposes a plan: slay the monsters in their sleep. The more beasts slain in their slumber, the fewer they’d have to battle. With Aria‘s support, Kayleth quietly stabs each giant in turn. His stealth and skill help slay all four before any have a chance to wake or defend themselves.
Moving to the right, the heroes descend down a stone corridor lined with hanging furs. Kayleth breaks away to explore a smaller tunnel. He can barely make out a familiar three-eyed jackal and several spiral paintings on the wall through the thick smoke of the unpleasant blood incense. Returning to the group, Asmarck is yelling his own praises as he strides down the corridor. As Celia follows, she is attacked from hidden openings on the tunnel wall. Asmarck rushes to the creepy witch girl’s aid, blindly attacking the unseen assailant through the opening. Kayleth‘s amusement at the scenario is evident:
“Does Gorum got this?”
To which Asmarck triumphantly replies, “Yes!”
Hearing hysterical laughter from the other side of the wall, Asmarck rushes down and finds an opening hidden behind the fur tapestries. As the Chosen of Gorum engages the the dirty, rancid troll, Kayleth locates the hidden passage and moves in to aid his companion. When Aria moves to their aid, she is attacked from the opposite wall, in a very similar trap to the one that Asmarck fell prey to just moments before. As Kayleth and Asmarck wail on the monster, Korenn heals her wounded team-mates.
The second monster enters the corridor to face the intruders. While Aria and Cici keep it busy, Kayleth defeats the first. The beasts are looted once the area is secured [filthy, high quality, large breastplate +2, +2 spear of rancor, and a bag of rocks]. The clanking of the bagged rocks must have been annoying, as Korenn asks Aria for a closer look at them after a few minutes’ travel, discovering that they are, in fact, just rocks.
After clearing the corridor, everyone doubles back to the room Kayleth explored earlier, which appears to be deliberately hewn from the rock, unlike the natural, cave-like feel of the previous rooms. Celia conjures a dark, ominous cloud inside the center of the new room, presumably either to neutralize any threats hiding within, or to warn them of our coming (either is a possibility with this particular witch). As the noxious cloud dissipates, the heroes hear growing screams and cursing in a bizarre language within.
Two very large, very angry lamias stand emerging from the smoke. Each draws a falchion and extends its claws. Before all hell breaks loose, several heroes take note of the large, blood-covered, carved stone at the far end of the room.
Asmarck and Aria rush in and attack the first monster. Kayleth attempts to sneak into a flanking position, but the foul creature stops the noble hero in his path with a solid, and painful, attack! Korenn and Celia chant a safe distance from the main action, and several sets of large tentacles materialize behind the monsters. Ignoring the initial assailants, and the tentacles that are restraining it, the lamia unleashes all it’s fury on the cautious, and peaceful, human geologist who is just out for a refreshing morning walk in these rich catacombs, seriously wounding him with the barrage.
Asmarck and Aria try desperately to draw the beast’s attention from their helpless companion, and Korenn continues pumping healing energy into the heroes. Aria falls and gets an uncomfortable mixture of dirt and blood in her eyes, blinding her indefinitely, as one of her attacks fails. Kayleth lashes out uncontrollably at his assailant as he attempts to flee, but to no avail: the second lamia chants in it’s bizarre language, causing everyone to convulse uncontrollably, vomiting and pooping all over themselves and each other. The first creature takes advantage of the weakened state of the heroes, assess the threat levels of each, in turn, and then unleashes another brutal barrage of hate and fury on an already bloodied Kayleth, pummeling him to a barely recognizable pile of paste, leather and intestines until he is well and truly dead.
The battle rages on for some time, with Korenn keeping the noble and brave warriors healthy, until the foul lamias are finally, and dramatically, bested.