The Acts of the Lords of Rannick, XXVI

Things to remember for next time:

– It is 5.30pm when you get up from your disco nap to head down to the cave.

– No-one in the party except Arradin can wear that full-plate armour competently and even then, she’d need it resized. You know… bikini-ized.

– I always thought Dagfinn wore Mithril Chain Mail, but now I think he actually wears a Mithril Chain Shirt: if that is the case, he doesn’t have an Arcane Spell Failure chance. That’s my fault for not being able to remember what Dagfinn was wearing and Mike’s fault for not knowing his class features. Since ASF% is a real pain in the arse and I’ve inflicted it unnecessarily, those two healing spells that fizzled can now be assumed to go off successfully. Mike won’t be there next week, but we’ll assume that two people who need healing from Healbot Dagfinn, get it.

Black Valley Base Camp to Deathweb Cave.

Torgor and Don found Tersplink and the horses at the base camp. I keep saying that the base camp is very well hidden, but the way people just stroll up and find it kind of makes me wonder if this can possibly be true.

The party decided to remain in their snug base camp after returning from killing the Taiga giant and Ettins, rather than move it and as Torgor kept watch, they rested and healed. Torgor saw a patrol of giants make their way up to the watchtower and after some investigation, they picketed two guards there and returned to the fortress.

Torgor and Don were fresh and raring to do something useful, so while Torgor kept watch over the sleepers, Don turned into a bat and went scouting. Sounding out the cliffs, he found two caves, one 50ft from the top of the cliff, the other about 50ft from the bottom. He didn’t learn much about them, but popped up top to  check out the gatehouse. Then everything went kind of fuzzy.

There was a Batman villainess called The Harpy. Don claims that his memory loss was something to do with the song, but looks like it could have been some choking games going on.

A few hours later, Batdon realised that whoever was singing that song had stopped. He was hanging from a rafter in a tower where three harpies were resting. The beautiful song had ended as one of the harpies had fallen asleep and another took up watch and the song. Finding the will to resist their alluring lullaby, Don departed the way he’d come in, hopefully not drawing any attention to himself. He returned to camp early in the morning.

Once everyone was up and about they eventually decided to have Torgor lead them through the western ridge of the valley and down to the lip of the cliff. He did, guiding them along the backside of the ridge without exposing them to view from the fortress. At one point they saw a Roc fly from the spire in the middle of the fortress and while they hid, it circled, then flew off to the north.

Dagfinn cast Invisibility Sphere on himself and then they all ran along the cliff’s edge, to the area above the highest cave. Affixing some rope, they each climbed down to the cave entrance. The cave crawled with insects and spiders, every inch of the walls and floor a dense mass of all manner of centipedes, beetles, cockroaches. The sound of so many tiny moving bodies and legs created a susurrus that grated on the nerves. Dagfinn and Albedon were the last to descend and due to perhaps some confusion about who was doing what, Dagfinn and the grappling hook fell off the cliff. Quick thinking on the part of Don and Kerplak allowed them to hang on to the rope and bracing themselves – Kerplak apparently being an old hand at this sort of thing – they managed to arrest Dagfinn’s fall without pitching over the edge of  the cliff themselves.

Battered, but not 400ft-fall-battered, Dagfinn joined them in the cave. Albedon didn’t go to Hogwarts just so he could use rope like some kind of sweaty stevedore, so he cast Feather Fall and floated down to the cave entrance, cool as a cucumber.

Pressing further down into the cave, they found that the rear of the cave widened out considerably and was choked with thick, sticky strands of web. Trying to burn webs, because everyone always does even though it really doesn’t work, a few of the party started getting an inkling that something was moving above them. Through the stalactites of the ceiling, Kerplak and Torgor spotted a gargantuan spider moving and shot at it. Two arachnids descended out of the gloom, but they were no ordinary spiders. Long dead, these massive spiders had been reanimated, their vast bulks cracked and dried through time. They played host to swarms of lesser spiders, bloated evil looking little buggers that pounced and skittered all over Dagfinn, Torgor and Don. The very air around the undead spiders was a thick poison too, foul odours from their split and decaying corpses.

One spider flung a wad of webbing, but it landed harmlessly on the wall. Not harmlessly for the insects on the wall, I suppose, but harmless to anyone we care about. The spider didn’t land many hits, but its presence and the presence of the biting swarm of venomous little spiders continued to hurt the guys in the front line. While others provided missile support and Dagfinn sang, Don cast Flaming Sphere and used it to burn the spiders while Albedon cast Scorching Ray to also burn the Spiders. After the first Spider fell another rushed in, but it too was burned and shot to death before Dagfinn finished off the last with a shot from his fancy bow.

Being attacked by dead spiders is way worse than being attacked by a dead Spiderman.

Don began clearing webs away with the Flaming Sphere and Kerplak rushed on to search the cave. While everyone else established the outline of the cave, (closed), Kerplak began finding bundles of web that clearly weren’t just dead birds and dried Shoanti. The first contained a very nice Longsword (+1) but others revealed more nice stuff; a suit of full plate armour (still occupied, but easy enough to shake the desiccated remains from), some warhammers, a +2 Halberd and a druid’s Spellstaff with Rusting Grasp stored in it at a surprisingly high level. It was like opening birthday presents, if birthday presents still had most of a dead guy attached to it.

So that was all great. Thing was, they’d been kind of counting on the cave leading to some deeper part of Jorgenfist, but found nothing of the sort. So now they were stuck in the cave. Torgor arranged a bug-free camp near the lip of the cliff cave and everyone rested for the rest of the morning and afternoon. And by rested, I mean bickered about what to do next. The options were to go back up, exposing themselves at the top of the cliff; or to head down and across to the second cave that Batdon scouted. They opted for the second, but have no real way of doing that. They have 250ft of rope to descend 300ft and traverse 80ft.

Quick, someone cast Mass Goat Form!

I’m interested to find out how they do that.

The Compleat Adventurer this week goes to Don. When asked how they were going to make their way into the tower, Don, presumably a little down after realising how boned they were being stuck in a cliff cave, answered “As prisoners.” That cracked me up. I guess you can put the JIM in the Lonny, then change the Lonny to Don, but not take the Lonny out of Don, because it’s got too much JIM in it. Something like that.

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