Party: (Myself) Cade (with Patrick Star), Xell, Theris (with Barry the Hawk), IronAle (with his six pack), Taishina, and Kavor
It was supposed to be just a road building job…..go South, protect the workers while they travel, sleep, and build. No problem! I’ve done it in the peak of Winter; Spring should be a piece of cake! Heading to the job site was pretty uneventful; though we did run across a small grave near which stood a doorway with a red flashing light. The grave was marked with Gnomish writings identifying who was buried there…. I didn’t really care; our mission was to get roadway built! We also met a strange little character named Jerry riding atop a large wolf. He was quite confused….or maybe drunk? He asked if we knew Valorean; as Valorean and a previous party had promised to retrieve some Beholder parts so he could revive a friend….he also mentioned delivering someone named Brock(?) to the Bloodeye Clan. Again, I could care less….we were here to get a road built!
The night before we were supposed to start building, the workers started dancing. Our watch thought nothing of it. However, when I came on watch, it appeared that they were being compelled to dance. I shook one of the workers and felt a slight compulsion to dance myself. Realizing that something fishy was going on, I woke the party, and we were able to make the workers snap out of whatever charm or bewitchery had befallen them by smacking them with shovels. We determined that they were under some form of enchantment, and before we could fully identify its source, it flew away into the night sky. We were also ambushed by some pretty ballsy sneaky gnolls who were quickly dispatched.
The next morning as the workers were beginning to go to work, we were approached by a woman who told us that we were trespassing on sacred ground. She had come from, what we thought was a deserted building to the Southwest. We tried to persuade her we meant no harm, haggle with her, even engage in diplomacy…. She would have none of it! Her mistress did not want us to desecrate their land with a road, and would not even speak with peons such as us. She rudely directed us to go back to our masters and send someone back who could make a real decision. We were left with a choice of taking aggressive action and completing our task (possibly creating an enemy in the process), or returning to WMC to report what we had found. One would think that this problem should have been detected during the road planning phase…. Once we determined that we were surrounded by numerous invisible fey folk, we relented, packed up the tools, and headed back towards WMC. Poor planning on an employers part should not mean I don’t get paid! We better receive at least payment for our time!
On the road back to WMC we passed the grave with the door and red flashing light again. Tempted by the possibility of making this fruitless trip profitable, we entered the door and found ourselves in a twisting/turning dungeon. By the status of many of the doors, and the blood stains on the floor, we figured that we were not the first group to enter this dungeon. While Barry did most of the scouting, our party filed into the depths…. We came across some marks indicating something had been dragged across the floor and behind a door. Opening the door revealed a chest and what appeared to be a stalactite on the ceiling. We had not heard nor seen any sign of inhabitants in this place so we became somewhat lax in concealing our presence…some of us were rather loud in discussing what we should do with the chest.
The next thing I knew I was wrapped up, restrained, and grappled by a spiked tentacle. Before I could act, I was being lifted from the ground and felt the nausea of poison flowing through my body…. As my life drained from my body, my faithful companion Patrick sacrificed himself in Nameless Love and restored just the faintest of health back to me….. Floating 20 feet in the air, grappled and restrained, on the brink of death, the only thing I could do was utter the words for Misty Step; teleporting and dashing to safety. I used my only healing potion, topped myself off with fiendish vigor, and cautiously moved back towards the sound of battle; badly bruised, but not beaten….. As I looked across the room, one of the aberrations had Xell pinned in the corner. Unfortunately, in my poisoned state I was little help, and the beast had to be put down by one of my companions (either Xell or Kavor, I don’t remember which). As I made my way into the next room, and even more abhorrent vision faced me….most of my party were restrained, grappled, and even hanging 30 feet in the air from an even more grotesque creature that resembled a stalactite but had whirling tentacles that attacked with impunity; grappling, dragging, and lifting the other party members with ease….. IronAle looked to already be unconscious and dying while Taishina was just able to provide a touch of healing before she went unconscious.
Even in my weakened state, I was able to use Cosmic Conduit to cast a spell originating from IronAle; I missed the creature holding him, but I granted him a small reprieve. It didn’t last long, as the creature dropped from the ceiling slamming IronAle and Taishina on the floor and began dragging them away. As my poisoned body feebly attempted to damage the creature, Kavor, Xell, and Theris valiantly battled the beast with thunder, sword and arrow. But the thing was armored like nothing I have ever seen….it seemed to have no weak spots….. Just when it seemed forgone that IronAle and Taishina would forever be lost, fate struck! I made, what had so far been useless efforts due to the nasty poison running through my veins, an attempt to strike the creature with an eldritch blast. My patron must have been looking down upon me as the blast flew into the gaping maw of the beast and exploded like never before rendering it dead on the floor.
We were able to stabilize IronAle and Taishina. We loaded them and their gear on our backs and hightailed it out of there before some other foul creature found us in our weakened state. The chest, and whatever it contains, still rests upon the floor. In retrospect, as I was able to think more clearly, I believe we may have stumbled upon one of the dungeons of Ezekiel Slowden. Could the grave site have been his murdered brother Snaggletooth? Ezekiel is known to populate his dungeons with abominable creatures; he is also known for his strange doorways and a penchant for red…..