Who let the gnome out?!?

Darkness Falls Across the Land...

It's all fun and games until somebody pokes an 'Eye' out

We lay in witness to an evil rite. At the end of the room is a monstrous Eye. Around the eye, we see a foul creature (Demon) leading both orcs and humans in a daemonic rite.

“I’m your best pupil…get it?” whispers Avanta <snicker>. “Now is not the time,” Kerric mutters.

We maneuver into position and execute our surprise attack.

Kerric lets loose with a Twin strike and drops two humans (H7 and H5) with an incapacitating arrow through the kneecaps. Because we knew that they were “innocent” we aimed to merely render them unconscious or unable to fight.

The movement attracts the attention of the Golden Eye. It gazes upon Kerric and casts a bolt of energy. Kerric is blasted by the eye and gets dazed [critical hit for 9 damage + dazed.]

Noname charges the Orc Warden (OW1) and swings his greataxe into it. The axe takes a chunk off of the orc, but its armor absorbs the initial swipe. [Hit for 6 dam + and additional 6 from the horned helm attributes.]

Peleous unleashes his daily power and infects the demon (D1) with Contagion.

Erich casts his grasping tide against three of the humans. H3 and H4 are knocked unconscious, but H2 is quick enough to avoid the tide. Unfortunately, the tide herded H2 into Avanta’s kill zone. “You pose as a bad-ass cultist, but you’re afraid of water…how sad” H2, feeling really bad about himself, collapses upon his haunches and cries. His self esteem is shot.

Our surprise attack, however, is not enough to escape the gaze of the Eye. It evil orb intuits that Noname is the greatest threat and so zaps him. Noname takes minimal damage, but the dazzling energy spray dazes our fighter.

Our adversaries do not remain surprised for long. The demon casts a “Warped Flesh” spell to Noname and hits him. Fortunately for Noname, the magical enchantment of his armor dispels the impact of the spell so we are saved from the ghastly site of rotting flesh. However, the spell unfortunately immobilizes our warrior in addition to his already dazed state. The contagion spell cast by Peleous continues to wreak havoc. H1 and H6 succumb to debilitating sickness, and the Orc can be heard hacking up a lung. Capitalizing on the opportunity, Kerric looses a Twin Strike against the Orc. One of the arrows imbeds itself into the Orc’s side, yet the Orc still stands defiant. Noname attempts a brute strike against the Orc, but because of his condition, misses. Summoning his warrior’s focus, Noname finally shakes off his immobility and in no longer dazed. Peleous attempts to continue his warlock’s onslaught and casts the Shared Agony against the Dolgaunt. Unfortunately, Peleous botches his ministrations. He attempts the spell again, but the spell has fizzled. The Dolgaunt suffers collateral damage from the shear force of the spell, however. The Orc trades blows with Noname. It is too slow with its greataxe as Noname easily sidesteps the swings. The Orc unleashes an heretofore unseen attack as, what initially seemed to be a horribly disfigured growth upon the Orc’s shoulder, suddenly comes alive and lashes out at Noname. Thanks to his dexterity, Noname is able to avoid this entangling attack as well. The Orc attempts to shift to a more superior position. In doing so, Noname takes his opportunity attack, but misses the free swing. Erich successfully casts his wind prison against the Dolgaunt. He takes another attack and aims his frost flash against the Orc. However, the Orc is able to avoid the chill. Avanta garners his strength and invokes a Stirring Shout against the Dolgaunt. The Dolgaunt, despite taking his beating from Erich is able to shake off Avanta’s battle mew.

The Eye is drawn by the energy unleashed by Erich and unleashes its unholy gaze. Erich takes the entire blunt of the force. [Critical hit]. In addition to getting pulverized, Erich is subdued by the hypnotic gaze and is now dominated by the Eye’s will. The Dolgaunt casts a Maddening Whisper blast against the heroes. Erich, reeling from the Eye’s blast, takes additional punishment from the blast as he is unable to dodge. Erich is pushed back. Avanta, Peleous, Noname, and Kerric are all successful in sidestepping the Dolgaunt’s spell. The Dolgaunt attempts to move to gain better ground. However, the effects of the wind prison take effect, and the adjacent Orc is thrown to the ground. The Orc flips back to its feet and delivers a cut to Noname. Kerric deftly maneuvers around the battlefield and looses another two arrows into the Dolgaunt. One arrow buries itself into the creature. Swords and fists swing, yet Kerric evasively avoids all oncoming attacks. While in motion, he knocks another arrow and sights the Dolgaunt. The arrow is loosed and finds its mortal mark between the eyes. The Dolgaunt falls lifeless. Noname and Erich attack the Orc, but the creature is able to parry their blows. Not realizing that their ally is not the Eye’s minion, Erich casts a grasping tide against Peleous, Avanta, and Kerric. Only Peleous is swept by the tide. Seeing his companions in a world of hurt, Avanta casts his healing word to Peleous and magically we see his wounds knit themselves together. To the Eye, Avanta yells, “It’s all fun and games until someone looses…an eye!” We guffaw in disgust at both the awful jest as well as the Avanta’s ineffectiveness at goading the creature.

Having just felled the Dolgaunt, Kerric identifies himself as the new threat. The Eye sees this and launches a bolt at him. The deft elf ducks, weaves, and maneuvers around the bolts. The Orc continues his “dance” with Noname but keeps missing. Kerric remains a mobile killing machine and buries another arrow into the Orc. Kerric strategically moves into flanking position behind the Orc. Despite his flanking advantage, Noname continues to miss the Orc. Peleous finds his footing amidst the deluge of Erich’s tide, and casts the Shared Agony against the Orc. His spell finds its mark and the Orc falls dead to the ground screaming in absolute, excruciating pain. Erich regains his composure and girds himself for the next attack. Little Avanta, seizing the opportunity for the obvious quip, shouts, “Hey, did you know that Visine gets the ‘red’ out?”…and spits into the Eye.

The Eye attempts to zap Peleous and misses. Kerric unleashes another Twin Strike. One of the arrows buries itself deep into the Eye (critical hit). “Hey, watch it,” shouts Avanta, “you’ll poke an eye out with one of those things.” Noname successfully hits the Eye as well. (Apparently, he has better luck with enemies who cannot move.) Peleous realizes that brute strength alone cannot destroy the Eye, so he attempts to discern the true nature of the creature <arcana>. Avanta also performs an Arcana check and successfully discerns that since he is wearing the amulet, that he won’t be attacked. Knowing this, Kerric runs to the Orc and steals his amulet. Kerric then attacks the eye but misses.

The warriors race around and don each the amulets worn by the fallen creatures. They, in turn, attack the Eye and eventually crush its vile jelly. As it implodes, a trap door opens.

We comb each of the creatures for spoils. A slimy creature wrenches itself free of the Orc. Disgusted by its vile appearance, Kerric steps on it and kills it. Little did we realize that it was a symbiote, an entangler.

TOTALS: XP: 773 (154/ea) Treasure: - Amulets (1 for each) - Glass daggers - Platinum Bracelet with inlaid eyes: 110 GP (22/each) - We are all wearing amulets. - Gold: 60 GP (12/ea)

After composing ourselves, we gather up our gear, recover arrows, sharpen our swords and head into the trap door. We look down a narrow passage and notice that the walls are inlaid with glowing gemstones. The walls and floors feel “spongy”, almost organic. We are forced to march single file. Having learned from our mistakes, we proceed more cautiously and quietly. Avanta peered around the corner and signaled to us that there were two Goblin-looking creatures guarding a pool. Each goblin had two mouths and four arms. Avanta successfully identified them as Dolgrims.

We rushed into the room shouting and tried to intimidate them, but failed. The Dolgrims strike first and unleashed a volley of crossbow bolts at us. The first catches Peleous in the forearm as he attempts to protect his face.

Peleous casts his Shared Agony spell and shares his pain with the Dolgrim 2 (D2). Noname focus his attention to D2, who is reeling from Peleous psychic attack and thrusts his sword into it. His mighty swing cleaves into Dolgrim 1 (D1) for minimal damage. Two additional Dolgrims join the fray. D1 fires another bolt at Peleous and misses. D3 rushes Noname but swings wide with its club. D4 fires a bolt at Noname, but he easily avoids being shot. Kerric launches a twin strike at D2. Despite his successes against the Eye cultist, his luck has finally run out. This time, he missed his target. And, he missteps while knocking his second arrow, slips, falls prone, and is stunned <fumble>. Avanta mocks D2’s ungainly appearance and adds more psychic damage to the creature. Finally, Erich casts his grasping tide against the cadre of Dolgrims. D2 Dies from the combined assault . D1 fires its second crossbow against Erich, but misses. Both D3 and D4 fire their crossbows against Noname, but his shield deflects both of the bolts.

Peleous strikes a pose with his Spiteful Glamour spell and causes both D1 and D4 to endure the psychic pain of his dirty dancing. Noname swings his mighty axe at D1, but misses. He winds up for another cleave <burns> and hits D1 with this second attempt. He swings with such force that his axe cleaves into D4. D1 tries to club Noname, but the abominations two brains must have been at ends with themselves; and it ends up clubbing his teammate. D3 isn’t as clumsy and comes down upon Noname’s shield. The blunt force causes him to wince in pain. D4 follows the attack with a club to Noname’s exposed side. Avanta, having seen D1’s previous mishap, mockingly says to D3, “Two mouths, four arms, but all thumbs!” The Vicious Mockery spell really hurt D3’s feelings. The pressure from its anger caused an artery in its leg to burst. (CRIT and +1 bleed from thigh/round). In the same motion, Avanta utters a song of healing toward Noname to soothe our warrior’s tired and clubbed soul. Erich shifts into his badger form and claws D3. Kerric stands but is still stunned from his fall.

The Dolgrims close ranks upon us and successfully flank Noname. There is a flurry of arms as D3 and D4 land blows to both Avanta and Noname. D1 misses altogether. Peleous tries to distract the Dolgrims with another Spiteful Glamour spell, but their focus is not shaken. Noname scores a critical hit against D3. D1 feels the passing slash of his blow as well. D3 attempts a riposte, but cannot hit the fighter. It attempts to shift away to prevent further damage to itself, but Noname takes the opportunity to strike again. The fighter’s axe continues to hew off large chunks of Dolgrim flesh. And, unbeknownst to the creature, the effects of Erich’s previous tidal spell causes the Dolgrim to lose its footing and come crashing down. D4 and D1 each attack Noname and cut into the fighter. Kerric, now unstunned, looses another two arrows into the Dolgrims. Both arrows missed and one of the arrows sailed off into a direction opposite of the melee (another FUMBLE).

The Dolgrims press their attack. Avanta suffers a club to his leg. Kerric takes a crossbow bolt to his shoulder. Peleous invokes his questionable battle cry of, “Touch me, touch me,” as he passes by D3. D3, not to miss the obvious opportunity, bludgeons Peleous. The blow knocked Peleous back, but not before his Dark Spatial Aura zapped and fried D3 [DEAD]. Peleous attempts another Spiteful Glamour to D4, and misses. “You are lady Gaga,” quips Avanta. Noname moves into position and incurs an opportunity attack from D1, who catches Noname in the back of the head. Noname attempts a cleave against D4, but misses. D1 continues its assault to Noname’s flank and strikes him across his back. It attempts to shifts its position, but falls prey to the unstable ground caused by Erich’s previous Grasping Tide spell. Kerric positions himself for a Thundertusk Boar Strike. The first arrow misses, but the second imbeds itself into D4. D4 is pushed back. Avanta sees an opening an follows Kerric’s attack with a Warsong Strike, and causes further damage to D4. “Hey, do you guys go ‘clubbing’ much,” asks Avanta mockingly. Erich rips D4 apart after pouncing upon it in badger form. D4 lays eviscerated and dead upon the floor.

D1 whips around and clubs Kerric. Peleous runs around the Dolgrims, hoping to be touched by them. They are onto him and do not fall prey to his seductions. Peleous Spiteful Glamour spell to D1 has no affect either. Not to be outdone by his comrade, Noname performs his Dance of Steel, and runs D1 through with his blade. D1 is immobilized. Kerric weaves in and out of the battlefield and releases an arrow to D1. The arrow misses, but Kerric is not to be disheartened. In one swift motion, another arrow is knocked and loosed. This second one finds its mark through D1’s eye socket. The dolgrim falls over…DEAD.

TOTALS: XP: 700 (140/ea) Treasure: - Gold: 60 GP (12/ea) - Khyber Shards @ 100 GP (20/ea

We discern that the pool is known as the Blood of Khyber. We drink of the pool and are refreshed by its coolness. We fill our flasks with its waters. After nursing our wounds, we press on.

We approach a very dark cavern. The light is faint and continues to grow darker the further we go. We continue to creep forward, with Noname at point. All of a sudden, Noname and Kerric are attacked. Noname is swept away, but Kerric’s reflexes save him. “It a living darkness,” screamed Avanta.

The cavern is so dark that we can barely see 5 feet ahead of us. Kerric runs forward and plants his torch into the ground. Nothing is seen. However, we can hear Noname’s futile attempt at freeing himself. The darkness attacks and attempts to engulf Peleous and Avanta. Both dodge the attack. Peleous ripostes with a Shared Agony spell. Though successful, the Darkness appears to ward off the major affects of the spell. Its insubstantial nature renders our weapons nearly useless <1 />. Avanta attempts a Stirring Shout, but his voice is lost in the void. He tries a second time <burn>, but his second attempt also results in failure. Erich casts a Grasping Tide into the darkness thinking that nothing can escape the deluge. Indeed, very few things can, as the Darkness is pummeled by the force of the tide.

His elven eyes rendered useless by the absolute darkness ahead of him, Kerric drops his bow and draws his blades. He stabs into the Darkness and rips away part of its inky cloud. Noname struggles against his living prison, but again to no avail. The Darkness strikes! Avanta avoids the nefarious cloud, but Erich gets engulfed. Peleous summons his Infernal Wrath and recalls his Flickering Venom Spell. He spits his venom into the creature and misses. He attempts a Spiteful Glamour. The absolute darkness causes the spell to backfire <fumble>, and Peleous gets slammed from the failures recoil. Avanta thrusts with a Warsong Strike and hits the Darkness. From within the Darkness, Erich fails to free himself.

Kerric tries a Thundertusk Boar Strike. His first strike is clumsy and he almost loses his weapon <fumble>. The second strike misses. Kerric follows his attack with an Evasive Strike, which does hit the Darkness. Noname stops trying to free himself and fights from the inside, causing the Darkness some pain. The Darkness changes its tactic, becomes ethereal and moves through us. We feel as if parts of our soul are ripped away. Our flesh begins to sizzle. Again, Peleous summons his Infernal Wrath and flick venom into the Darkness. This time, his loogie finds its mark and we can feel that the Darkness is threatened. Avanta tries another Warsong Strike. Avanta slips on a rock and falls down <fumble>. Erich shifts into badger form and pounces within the Darkness. But, like any creature pouncing in nothingness, Erich misses.

Kerric lost track of the Darkness when it passed through him. He is using his elven skills to reacquire his quarry. Noname continues his feeble attempts. The Darkness slams Noname as if trying to subdue his meal. Noname is tumbled. Peleous, too, looks for the Darkness. Having not found it, he takes a moment to catch his breath <healing>. Avanta stands up. Erich, can be heard engaging the creature. We continue to hear him pounce, but we discern that the attack is for naught.

Kerric once again engages the Darkness. He drops his bow and swings his longsword. He only swings at air. Noname, not to be digested easily, stabs at the Darkness from within, causing it much indigestion. Peleous uses his daily Spell <contagion>. He misses, but the after effect of the spell still causes the Darkness to suffer. Avanta, never giving up, uses strikes again and hews another wispy tendril from the Darkness. Seeing his comrade suffering, Avanta casts a Majestic Word to Peleous. Erich attempts to freeze the Darkness from within with his Frost Flash…but misses.

Kerric continues to hew into the darkness, and hits the Darkness. Noname summons his fighter’s strength for a Brute Strike attack. The Darkness reels in pain from the not-too-easily-digested human. The Darkness sees Avanta and slams the gnome. The gnome is visibly shaken, but is able to compose himself quickly. Peleous tries another Spiteful Glamour, but misses again. Avanta lands another successful blow with his Warsong Strike. Erich exhausted from his bout from within the Darkness dies and is spit out.

Kerric elven ears no longer can hear his friend. Fearing him dead, Kerric moves toward his last known location. Kerric stumbles upon the lifeless form of his friend and administers the healing potion. Noname continues to fight from within and cleaves into the Darkness. The Darkness attempts to slam Avanta, but the clever gnome is able to feign his position. The Darkness is stunned after slamming into the cavern wall <fumble>. Peleous Spiteful Glamour spell is successfully casts and bores into whatever psyche the Darkness may have. Avanta’s retaliation after the Darkness’s fumble misses. Erich, having been brought forth from the brink, takes a swig from Kerric’s waterskin. The refreshing liquid from the Blood of Khyber pool renews Erich’s spirit.

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darkholme

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