Just as they were finishing, the approaching sounds of deep, booming chanting could be heard echoing through the rat tunnels. Even more rats were coming.
Chesh quickly doled out healing pills to her wounded companions, but they quickly decided that retreat would again be the best option and fell back to the secret door. Yona opted to stay behind and watch from the shadows, to see what the Ratmen had left. She didn’t have to wait long.
A quartet of ratbrutes surrounded a tall, lanky human in brown and black robes. He used a weird Chaositech scepter on a ratling (Yona thought it might be one of those who’d run away from the last fight) and she watched in horror as it spit a gray sphere that completely melted the ratling!
She got out of there in a hurry, and her vivid description made the group decide that maybe it was time to leave the Rat Folk alone for a while…
The delvers decided it was time to go back to the surface. Once there, everyone went their separate ways:
- Aendir went home to get cleaned up and see his family.
- Chesh went to her temple to do the same. So did Nethwen.
- Yona, Mos and Thorzin ended up at the Row Bathhouse. Details are sketchy, but someone with a soapy sponge may have been seen chasing a screaming dwarf through the place.
With an agreement to meet at the Delver’s Guild Office the next morning, everyone did their own thing for the rest of the day. Loot was sold, supplies were purchased, and drinks were had. Mos found himself bemusedly officiating a drinking contest between Yona and Thorzin at the Ghostly Minstrel. The rogue made a decent showing for herself, but she was up against a professional.
They did have to pause the contest when a familiar blonde mercenary walked into the tavern. She wasn’t very happy to see us and dodged all attempts to learn where she’s staying or where she could be found, despite the best efforts of Yona and Thorzin. (Aendir and Chesh later gnashed their teeth at the missed opportunity.)
And then, to add further insult to injury, the trio overheard the story of a loudly celebrating group of delvers. They’d found a valuable golden statue… in the Kobold Slaughterhouse!
Meanwhile, Nethwen learned from her great aunt Fransin (and her gossipy neighbor) that Anton Khatru, the asshole-ish heir of House Khatru, has been reported as missing! Nethwen kept her lips zipped, especially when it turned out that she was the last person to have seen him alive…
The next morning, everyone met up at the Delver’s Guild Office, and Yona suggested that we go talk to a guy who might be able to get us more information about Chaositech. It sounded like a good idea, so off we went to the North Market.
The proprietor of the Book Wagon, a smug and cocky, well-dressed fellow wearing tinted glasses, is Darthalis Temester. He was happy to agree to help locate some information about Chaositech, and for only 400 gp. He asked for 24 hours to procure either a tome or the name of a person who could help.
The next day, he handed over a book entitled “The Fall of Darkness: An Account of the Ghulwar”.
And then it was back into the Dungeon.
There was no resistance at all. The troglodytes in the Lost River Caves West knew better, and we didn’t see a single ratling, all the way from the first secret door in the Lost River Caves East to the Bone Pile secret door. Apparently the Ratmen have now abandoned that particular tunnel.
Moving through the secret tunnel towards the cultist waystation, those strange murmuring voices could still be heard down a side passage. Yona Note decided to take a peek, and snuck down to investigate.
She almost didn’t come back.
Around a corner, she found a horrifying amoeboid blob covered in eyes, fanged mouths, and pseudopods. Its mouths were gibbering and babbling incoherently, but there was an oddly soothing quality to them that nearly captivated the rogue’s mind. Yona caught herself just before she stepped out of hiding to get a better listen!
The very disturbed rogue retreated and reported what she’d found. Nethwen recognized it as a gibbering mouther from the description, though she’s never seen one. They chose not to mess with it, and moved on.
The cultist waystation seemed to be untouched since their last visit, and they quickly snuck out the secret door on the Ogre Stairs – successfully, for once! – and down to the Marble Hall waystation. It also seemed undisturbed, but Nethwen was pretty sure Anton Khatru and company left the waystation through the western exit.
After carefully checking their Delver’s Guild maps, the group headed west into new territory. Unfortunately, someone else had definitely been there first – all they found for the next eight rooms were long-dead corpses and obviously looted rooms. They moved on, ready to go down to the next Dungeon level, but to their dismay they found a completely collapsed tunnel just past the fountain! This caused some concern, but they quickly found an alternate route on their maps and – after a quick scan of the other totally looted rooms in this area – headed south toward the Pit of Insanity.
The only rooms along the way with anything significantly interesting were one with a strange, mist-filled archway standing in its center (completely left alone), and one whose door was an impenetrable thick stone slab with a brass-handled lever next to it. Nobody was brave enough to mess with the lever.
The Pit of Insanity was a very strange place. Moving closer, they could see a faint, flickering illumination from somewhere down in the pit. The light gives glimpses of insanely strange walls – there are patches and striations of bizarre colors and materials in the walls of this huge vertical shaft roughly 150 feet in diameter. Pinks, nauseating greens, golds, and so many other colors clash with section that appear to be ice or crystal. The wall next to them had a patch that looks like it’s actually made of fur. Looking up and down, they could see a spiraling stairway that has been carved into the side walls. Another tunnel and ledge, unconnected to the one they stood on, could be seen on the other side of the pit. The crackling electricity is coming from a piece of wall about ten feet below; they could see small bolts of lightning zapping and snapping in a section roughly 5 feet across. There were a few other places in the walls that glow with their own light; the shaft goes up into darkness, but below it was at least 100 feet deep.
Worried about the warnings of being near one of the Pits, they quickly scurried past and headed for the stairs down…
Only to find another (or perhaps the same?) cave-in.
Tune in next time, true believers!
End of Session.
LEVEL UP! Welcome to Level Five!