Who let the gnome out?!?

Mad call I it for to define true madness, what ist but to be mad!

Hey guys...look at my crown!!!

After our battle with the Dwarven Ghosts and their skeletal minions, we exited the hall to inspect the area just outside. This barren area seems devoid of any natural formations. We sense an aura but the lot of us failed to identify the arcane “pull” of our surroundings. Avanta, still feeling elated from our last battle affixes the crown more snugly to his head.

We decide to descend the staircase into the submerged caverns.  Erich transforms into a fish and swims in first to reconnoiter the area.  Erich comes back and reports that there are rooms below to check out.  We all jump in to swim.  Thulland stays back to guard the gear.

We spend the next few seconds exploring the rooms below. We are not natural swimmers. For instance, on his first try, Kerric stubs his toe on falls in. In a panic, the elf gulps in water before composing himself. Even more comical is that Erich cannot seem to get back into the water despite 1) his fishy form, and 2) the fact that he just emerged from the depths. After a minute (8 rounds), whatever phobia momentarily affected him passed, and he was able to jump in again.

We all spread out to investigate the many submerged rooms. During the swim, Kerric again misses a stroke and impales himself against an underwater stalagmite. He cuts himself and is stunned for a few seconds (2 rounds). Avanta discovers a miner’s quarters and Noname opens the door to Thelad’s quarters. Inside Thelad’s quarters, Noname and Erich find a chest. Erich opens the chest and finds some coins.

Money / Treasure: SP: 2 CP: 17

Our oxygen begins to deplete and we all swim back to the caverns. Kerric misses another stroke and is dazed. Peleous and Noname begin to drown, and lose some of their vitality. Despite our apparent lack of aquatic skill, we all ended up safely back on shore.

We compare notes and decide that there was nothing of value in the rooms. We decide to make for the other side of the pool.

The water begins to shallow and we emerge into an underground cavern. The ground is covered with stalagmites. There are several pools along the way. We warily make our way further into the caverns, noticing a slight downward descent.

We follow the caverns around a bend and come to what looks like the end of the cavern. The ground is very difficult to tread (difficult terrain). Against one side of the cavern is what looks like a pit with no discernable bottom. Against the other side was a yellow pool. We recognize that the pool to be the same as the one we saw in the picture in the Dwarven Hall, which depicted two dwarves taking a red stone from the pool.

As Avanta neared the pool, we hear two blood curdling screams from behind us. We turn and find 2 wraiths materialize and 3 dark creepers which apparently crawled from out of the pit.

The Mad Wraith screams and causes 10 damage to Kerric, Erich, Peleous, and Noname. Avanta was lucky to be out the reach of the Wraith’s scream. Dark Creeper #1 (DC1) attacks Peleous. In doing so, it incurs an opportunity attack from Erich, but Erich misses. DC1 hits Peleous for 11 damage. DC2 moves in to attack Noname. Noname takes an opportunity attack against DC2 but fumbles. Noname loses his focus and is weakened. DC3 strikes and hits Avanta for 11 damage. Avanta fades into the darkness. Erich begins the counter attack and casts a chill wind against DC2 and DC3. DC2 takes a hit from the chill wind and gets pushed back into the pit. We hear it screech as it falls to its death. Noname attacks a Brute Strike against the Wraith and connects with his blow. However, due to their ethereal nature, the wraith only takes half damage. The wraith hits Noname for 9 damage and weakens him further. Peleous runs to a more advantageous ground, and DC1 misses his opportunity attack against him. Peleous casts his Shared Agony spell and critically blasts the Mad Wraith for 28 damage. Much to our dismay, the inflicted agony is only half. However, the MW is dazed for one round. Kerric looses his Twin strike and both arrows find their mark against the MW. With the half damage, only 8 damage is incurred. Kerric takes another action and looses an additional two arrows. Both miss. Avanta, now invisible, runs away.

And so the battle continues. The valiant warriors are facing their fiercest battle yet. The range of the Mad Wraith’s scream affects our party to its core. We feel life force draining with every second. We try to move away, but the difficult terrain makes it difficult to get distance on the wraith. Our ranged warriors are held in place and cannot employ their most effective attacks. Noname performs his role to attract our foes and absorb their attacks. However, the effect of being weakened coupled with the wraith wispy natures diminishes his attacks by 75%. Meanwhile, the madness and panic seem to grip the other members of our band. Peleous misses with his flickering venom. He attacks again and misses a second time. Both arrows from Kerric’s twin strike sail wide. Luckily, Avanta has moved out of the Wraith’s mad circle. The little gnome utters healing words to keep Noname healthy for battle. Then, Avanta summons forth his small but mighty courage. His Stirring Shout shakes the foundations of the cavern and the echoes of it bores deep into the Mad Wraith. The damage is slight, but the Mad Wraith is visibly altered. It glows with an eerie aura, and every hit we score seems to add vitality to our souls. Avanta, basking in the glory of his strike, viciously mocks the wraith. Despite its undead visage, the rage exemplified by the wraith seems to steal away some of its form.

Spells are cast, arrows are loosed, venom is spat, and swords are swung. The damage we are doing is slight. However, the creepers, wraith and mad wraith seem to have no problem hitting us. The Mad Wraith scores a critical hit against Noname. Again, Noname is weakened, and now is bleeding out. DC3 goes to the pool and picks up the jeweled crown that Avanta discarded. Avanta casts his last word of healing to Noname to keep him in battle. DC1 attempts to move to more advantageous ground. As it tries to move, Erich scores a critical hit against DC1. The creeper is dazed by the attack. Noname is bloodied beyond belief. He takes a second wind and takes a defensive stance against his foe. Unfortunately, it is not enough because the wraith’s next attack knocks Noname unconscious. Peleous snorts up some massive tiefling mucos and hucks a venomous loogie at the Mad Wraith. This time the venom does its work and dissipates the Mad Wraith. With the mad wraith gone, and its zone of madness lifted, Kerric is able to maneuver to Noname and stabilizes him. With the Mad Wraith down, DC1 tries to move away. Its shifty movement allow it to weave between Kerric’s and Peleous opportunity attacks. But, once again the littlest of us, Avanta, leaps upon the creeper and takes a slice from its side. The creeper screams and is visibly bloodied. DC3 sees Kerric tending to his fallen comrade. Kerric doesn’t see the vile blade that is driven into his back. Kerric falls and is dying.

Both sides continue to exchange blows. Erich casts another Chill Wind and attempts to blow DC1 over into the pit as was done to its vile brethren. The raging wind blows through the creeper, but DC1 was able to hang on. Avanta moves to Kerric and tries to stabilize him. The gnome’s little hands are insufficient to stop the bleeding. The call of our desperation is heard as the remaining wraith and the creepers flee into the pit. The cause is unknown, but some divine providence must have been at work. Erich successfully resuscitates Kerric, and the elf awakes.

As the party mends their wounds, Erich investigates the pool of water and notices that there is a hole at the bottom of it. He comes to realize that we probably needed to take the jewel out of the crown and place it back into the hole. It’s too bad that the dark creeper made off with the crown. Meanwhile, Noname looks into the pit. The pit seems to go on forever, and Noname sees nothing. Erich notices red veins begin to emanate from the oculus and Avanta notices that the ground begins to shake. The quakes intensify. The party exchanges looks and all come to the same conclusion…RUN AWAY!!!

As the party makes their way out, Erich notices a pit where a pool of water used to be. He sees a warrior’s accouterments at the bottom. “Hey, that’s mine,” announces Noname. Erich jumps into the pit to assist Noname recover his once-lost armor. Meanwhile, Peleous, Kerric, and Avanta (not to be distracted by shiny objects rush past. The violent shaking of the room has begun to shake the stalactites loose as they begin to crash down around our heroes. We all release that we have seconds before the caverns collapse around us.

Erich and Noname realize the dire nature of their situation and begin to climb out of the pit. During the first few seconds, Erich and Noname are about halfway out of the pit when the stalactites crash into the pit and pummel Noname [he can’t hit a monster but easily crits against himself <rolls>].

The other heroes are making their way to the exit. The underground lake has vanished as the tremors must have opened a crack in the earth. The ground is solid, but the remaining puddles and mud do little to speed the band of heroes’ exuent. Little Avanta, spry though he is, is bludgeoned by falling debris. Noname gets out of the pit before Erich [“Duuuude…a little help?”] But, his selfishness is rewarded as he get clobbered by another rock [rolls another “1” on the DC check].

The caverns begin to shake much more violently. Everyone’s footing is shaky, and the volume of rocks and stalactites that are coming down has doubled! Peleous, Avanta and Kerric, having had some good sense not to worry about the shiny objects were the first to clear the caverns. However, a huge boulder clips Avanta as the little one exits the caves.

Erich gets clipped by a rock. And, as he stumbles to the side, another rock finds its mark against the druid’s skull. Noname and Erich skillfully dodge the falling debris as they make their way back to safety. Peleous, Kerric, and Avanta continue to cheer their comrades on with the intensity such as that seen at the “The Fool’s Olympiad” [<special>]. The last two make it out, collapsing upon the earth as the roof of the cavern collapses.

The group takes a moment to dust off and gather our breath. Kerric and Noname spy a crack that had newly opened…most likely from the violent tremors of the quake. They peer in and find a treasure chest with the following: - 1 small vial (grants healing surge) - 2 sapphires worth 50 GP - 1 magical helmet. This was part of Noname’s missing armament, so we gave it back to him.

TOTALS: XP: 425 (85) / GP: 10 / CP: 7

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darkholme

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