11th Day of Meloramensis – Part II

Hogar’s Journal (Translated from Giant)

Year 781 of the founding of the City

11th Day of Meloramensis – Part II

Thunderspire Mountain – The Chamber of the Well

After another trudge through the darkness the tunnel opened out into darkness before us.  In the gloom I could make out floor tiles and a column supporting the ceiling carved with the likeness of a minotaur.  From our perspective it appeared to be casting a sidelong glance towards us, charged with an almost malevolent intent.

In the corner off to my left a shaft of light penetrated the thick darkness to glint off the surface of water, a well.  As Vic moved forward to investigate the deep rumble of a minotaur’s voice emanated from the column, speaking to me in Giantish.
            Greetings, seekers of Bahamut’s boundless glory.  Those who prove unworthy of his attention Shall be claimed forever as his slaves. Those who prove worthy Shall be granted power beyond mortal reckoning. Mask, bell, blade, and tome.”

As the speech came to an end I noticed movement in the depths of the chamber.  A figure came to a stop behind something, a darker shadow in the gloom.  The reflective gaze of undead eyes held mine for a split second before the ghoul unleashed a soulless scream and charged at us.

Vic positioned himself between the rest of us and the ghoul and halted it’s progress with a bolt of energy from his wand.  As he did so the whole chamber began to quake violently.  Debris fell from the ceiling as some of the floor tiles at the edge of the darkness shattered.  A huge many toothed worm erupted from beneath the floor accompanied by countless lashing tentacles.  One of the tentacles lassoed Vic and lifted him into the air.

I began sending arrow after arrow at the creature as the others rushed in to aid Vic.  In their haste they failed to notice as lithe four legged creatures dripped from the darkness into the half-light.  My shouts of warning were engulfed in the din of battle as the demonic creatures fell from the ceiling, flowed from the walls and emerged from the well.  As they closed in on my unsuspecting comrades long forelimbs flashed out in attack.  Their fiercely clawed hands grabbed the throats of Minron, Eligos and Rodney.  Rodney’s attacker was hanging from the top of the Minotaur pillar and hauled the mage from his feet to twitch in helpless suspension.

Minron, Glen and Eligos managed to free themselves and take the fight to these “chokers”.  The ghoul having recovered from Vic’s attack immediately focused on the most vulnerable member of our group, Rodney.  In the confusion of the melee no-one could reach the suspended mage before the ghoul launched himself at the mage and bit savagely into his neck.  Instantly Rodney went limp, hanging listlessly from the choker’s iron grip.

A cry of effort from Vic pierced the din of battle as he tried but failed to break free from the grip of the tentacle holding him.  The worm raised the warlock high into the air and lowered him towards rows of razor sharp teeth in its gaping maw.  Just as his death seemed certain the half-elf simply disappeared from creatures grasp only to reappear at my side.  The worm roared in frustration and its tentacles swirled and lashed around the chamber in a deadly dance.  Those in the chamber threw themselves to the ground and managed to avoid being grabbed by the beast.  Minron sprang to his feet and charged at the ghoul still gnawing away at Rodney’s neck.  The minotaur’s charge sent the ghoul sprawling on the ground, Minron then placed his hand on Rodney.  His healing touch was sufficient to revive the mage who immediately assaulted the choker grabbing him with a thunderous burst of energy

The creatures paused in their assault, perhaps awed by the mage’s sudden ferocity.  This bought Eligos the time she needed to summon forth a miasma of noxious gas around the mouth of the worm before stepping forward into the cloud and savaging it with her flail.  I would like to think that the many arrows I had sunk into the creature contributed to its fall.  But whatever the cause the beast could not stand before the paladin and sank back beneath the ground with an anguished wail.

Everyone in the room, friend and foe alike stood transfixed by the disappearance of the worm.  Minron was the first to recover his senses and used this advantage to dispatch the ghoul with a well placed swipe of his sword.

Three of the chokers remained to menace us.  Glen quickly dispatched one with two flowing blows of his ugrosh and I another with an arrow to the heart.  The one remaining beat a hasty retreat to a crack in the wall just large enough for him to hide in but to small for any of us to reach.  Eligos was his undoing though.  Like an angler casting a line she whipped her flail into the crack.  With a wet thump it caught in his flesh and Eligos ‘reeled’ him in.  As the hapless creature emerged reluctantly from his hiding place we fell upon him as one and ended his miserable existence.

Our enemies dispatched we quickly searched around in the dark for an exit.  There were two doors exiting the room, one to the south and one to the east.  I put my ear to the southern door and could hear the unmistakeable guttural, animalistic laughter of gnolls, probably the sound of our quarry.  We have decided to venture through the other door first to clear any other hostiles from our backs before facing the beasts.

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