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AtD 020: Heroics in the Deep

Tthe unconscious paladin who had discovered—much to his chagrin—that gravity is a harsh and unforgiving mistress.
AtD 020: Heroics in the Deep

With the initial threat crushed, the party moved swiftly to help the lost and the fallen. Balasar healed Bodrum while Harald moved to the tilted graven skull trap and called down to Thonn.

When no reply was forthcoming, the doughty paladin—shortly thereafter joined by Gromm and (surprisingly brave) Ozloc—slipped, climbed and fell into the passage below. It transpired the burial vault had once laid beneath the tilting skull but that an underground stream had broken through destroying much of the crypt’s floor.

The stream ran to the west. Gromm realised Thonn had gone that way after investigating the various splash marks on the walls. While Saeldur, Balasar and Bodrum searched the room above and secured the party’s rear the heroic trio forged onwards in search of their companion.

In short order, the three came to a series of waterfalls dropping into gour pools that seemed to descend for some great distance like the stair for some ancient, subterranean giant.

The three started their perilous, slippery descent. Gromm was the first to make out Thonn lying motionless on the third of the waterfall’s “steps”. Each step was between 40 and 50 ft. from the next and so the party began to rapidly run out of rope and, they feared, time. Gromm and Ozloc had reached the step above Thonn, when disaster threatened—the spectre banished by Bodrum several minutes ago had returned. Hungry for life force it reached out its hand and caressed the unconscious half-orc. Thonn visibly grew greyer and more indistinct at its touch. Ozloc shot the thing with a bolt of pure force and then tied a rope around his waist before shouting to Gromm to let him down. This Gromm did. Once Ozloc was down, Gromm quickly climbed down to aid in battling the spectre. Harald, fearing for his friends’ lives, then started a disastrous series of climbs from the top of the waterfall that culminated in the paladin’s battered and broken body lying prostrate on the waterfall’s second step.

Luckily, fate was with the party, for the spectre could not stand before Ozloc and Gromm and it was quickly destroyed. A quick spell saved Thonn from death—the half-orc lay at death’s very door—before the heroes climbed back up to tend to the unconscious paladin who had discovered—much to his chagrin—that gravity is a harsh and unforgiving mistress.

Eventually, Ozloc and Gromm managed to drag their badly injured companions back up the waterfall and to the crypt above. Here, they discovered their fellows had uncovered two magical treasures—the magical lightning javelin and a potion. However, several members of the party were badly injured and they could tarry in the crypt no longer.

The heroes retreated to their normal lair atop the mausoleum to rest for the night. The night passed mostly uneventfully although Ozloc did report sounds of much movement from the main building to the north. It seemed that perhaps the bulk of the goblins could be found therein. However, the party’s next move remained unclear: they could assault the main building or return to explore the last step of the waterfall and the passageway leading away to the west at its base…