Chapter 9

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When last we saw our heroes (and heroine)...

          Navero, male human cleric, 2nd level
          Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 2nd level
          Rourk Ravensbane, male drow cavalier, 2nd level
          Kortul, male human fighter, 2nd level
          Razuli, male human fighter, 1st level
          Arlor, male dwarf thief, 1st level

... they were in the large cavern just beyond the staked barrier in
the Orc cave.  There were exits in the north-eastern and eastern
walls, with the entrance to the west.  The cavern was dry, dead, and
uninteresting.  We decided to continue north-east.  We trekked a short
way north-east to another cave.  It had no floor; in its place was a
large pit filled with molten lava.  The heat was quite intense, and
the sulfurous gasses were almost unbearable.  The only other feature
of note in the room was an entrance about fifteen feet to the left of
us, on the western wall.  The lava looked very dangerous and was very
uncomfortable to be around, but some people felt they had to see what
was on the other side anyway.

Arlor: "You want me to what?"

Razuli: "C'mon!  It's simple!  We just tie a rope around you, and you
     climb over on the wall until you reach that exit!  Then, we
     follow you over on the rope."

Arlor: "Um... climb a smooth wall over boiling lava?"

Rourk: "Whatever is on the other side is sure to be very interesting.
     Else, there would not be any lava.  Surely you do not believe it
     could have occurred naturally in these regions!  Or perhaps you
     do.  But that does not matter; I will not allow a dwarfish coward
     to keep me from glory and renown."

Kortul: "Too risky.  Go other way."

Navero: "I don't want Arlor to go.  We should go the other way.  It
     smells very bad."

Dania: "Right.  Come on."

Rourk: "I see.  As I am outvoted, I shall go along with it.  Don't say
     I am insensitive my companions fears."

Razuli: "Why don't you go in, Rourk?  Maybe it's just an illusion and
     you can walk right across."

Rourk: "Superior vision is an attribute common in my family.  I would
     not be fooled by some craven spell."

Dania: "Riiiiight."

     So, we went back to the entrance cave and went east.  This
passage was much narrower, and it seemed best to go in single file.
Again, the problem of marching order was resurrected.

Rourk: "I do not believe that such a large blade would be of much use
     in such a small passage.  This requires a delicacy and agility
     you obviously lack.  Besides, with you guarding the rear of the
     group, there is less likelihood the enemy will smell us coming."

Razuli: "Kids, kids!  We've been over and over this before.  Can't you
     just go in?"

Kortul: "Elf incompetent."

Rourk: "Incompetent?  You have managed to impress me; that had four
     syllables in it, and I had thought that such was beyond you.  But
     then, you would be familiar with a word used so often by those
     around you."

Kortul: "Yes.  Been around you a month."

Dania: "Oh, Christ.  Will somebody get the fuck in there?"

Razuli: "Get my fuck into where?"

Dania: "Shut up."

Rourk: "I shall lead." (Strides off)


Dania: "Do you think we should follow him?"

Navero: "Well, he might meet something that might try to kill him.
     And we should be there."

Razuli: "Yeah.  Then we can all sit and laugh."

Kortul: (Grumbles)

     We all went down the eastern passage after Rourk.  This passage was
different from the big cavern, which was hollowed out of limestone; this
passage seemed to have been a crack or tunnel formed in cooling lava.  A
short way down the tunnel, we could see a dim glow coming from a small
chamber up ahead.  The glow was coming from a small pool of luminous liquid,
which was in the middle of a small cave with two exits.  On the ceiling
above the pool, there was a cluster of luminous fungi; every so often, a
drop of the glowing, gummy liquid would drip off and PLOP into the pool.
The exits were in the east and south.

Rourk: "There you are!  Humbled by my example?"

Kortul: "You make good scout."

Rourk: "I am the advance guard.  Come here and see this discovery of
     mine.  These mushrooms are obviously magical; what do you know of
     them, mage?"

Dania: "Nothing.  Why should I bother with funguses?"

Navero: "They look more like slime mold than mushrooms."

Game Master: What's a slime mold?  How many hit dice?

Navero: "Uh... I was a gardener at the monastery.  They're harmless
     fungi.  Please don't kill them."

Razuli: "Aw, you take all of Rourk's fun away."

     We quickly discovered that the sticky glowing fluid would cling
to most anything dipped into it, a notable exception being leather;
coating a torch with it produced illumination that easily equalled the
lantern.  Navero made a glow-torch, and several of the others dipped
their minor weapons into the fluid; now having a better light source,
we put out the lantern and continued on to the east.

     The eastern passage was wide enough for two at this point, and so
there was little argument abut marching order.  We went down the dark
passage, which curved gradually northwards and became very dirty as it
did so.  It also began to smell strongly of mold, so we guessed we
must be going upwards towards the surface.  As we went on, we saw a
little light up ahead, and heard a kind of croaking.

Rourk: "Frogs.  I have not come here to kill frogs.  Where is the
     great beast which I came to dispose of?"

Dania: "Just a minute." (Casts Dancing Lights, sends lights up ahead.
     A large lizard leaps into view and tries to swallow one.  Another
     lizard becomes visible as well.)

Navero: "Some big lizards.  They look hungry.  Do we have anything to
     give them?"

Rourk: "We had best remove them from our path before continuing.  They
     would otherwise be a great nuisance." (Strides forward.)

Navero: "Wait, maybe we can..." (Rest of party moves in.)


Razuli: "Well, that was fun."

Navero: "Did you have to do that?"

Razuli: "They had big teeth and claws.  C'mon, let's go."

Game Master: Besides, think of all 26 experience points you got.

     The party continued past the lizard bodies, which twitched as they
lay on the floor.  The light was coming from a smaller colony of the glow
fungus, also on the ceiling.  As we progressed northwards, the upwards
incline of the tunnel became more noticeable; the smell of damp and decay
was also getting stronger.  Then, all of a sudden, the dirt beneath our
feet burst open, and something leaped out and attacked!

Rourk: "Cleric!  Keep the light up!"  (Cuts, hits main body.)

Navero: "I got dirt in my eyes!"

Dania: "FuckingshitgodamnbastardwhatISit" (Casts Magic Missile)

Kortul: (Chops.  Hits.  Crunch.)

Razuli: "A tunneler worm!  I saw one in a farmer's field!"

Navero: (Shoves glow-torch between its mandibles.)

Razuli: "Keep out of its way!" (Shoves Navero into wall.)

Navero: "OOF!"

Thing: (Sprays acid, torch dissolves.)

Rourk: "GLORY AND DEATH!  GLORY AND DEATH!"  (Cuts into a leg.)


Thing: (Dives back into the ground.)

Kortul: "Not dead."

Razuli: "Quiet!"

Rourk: "I refuse..."

Razuli: "We can hear when it comes back!"

     We waited, still and listening, but it did not come back.  We
never did find out what it was.  We did have to go back for another
torch.  Further up the tunnel, we discovered a large quantity of
animal bones, crocodile and boar and such.  Nothing here was very
interesting, so we continued on.  The passage was running almost
straight north at this point, and began to narrow.  Kortul, in a rare
moment of quickness, took the lead, and so was the first to notice the

Kortul: "Big spiders."

Rourk: "You are afraid of insects?  Very well then; stand aside."

Razuli: "Navero, light a torch."

Dania: "We don't need more light, Nav."

Arlor: "You wanna burn 'em?"

Razuli: "That's what you do with spiders.  Roast 'em.  To a nice
     crackly crunch."

Dania: "It would be better if we kept open flame to an absolute
     minimum, you know?  I mean, we might hit a gas pocket, or catch
     somebody's clothes on fire, or something."

Razuli: "What are you so worried about?  It's just a torch, wizzerd."

Dania: "Fuck you.  It's too dangerous."

Razuli: "It's too dangerous to fuck you?  Well, I..."

Navero: "Please stop that."

Razuli: "Huh?"

Navero: "Please stop saying things like that to Dania."

Razuli: "Well, EXCUSE ME!"

Dania: "You're excused.  Bye."

Rourk: "Will you all stop this annoying bickering.  You try my
     patience enough as it is.  Priest!  Light a torch."

Navero: "Dania thinks we shouldn't."

Kortul: "Torch."

Dania: "But fires are dangerous!  Fuck the torch..."

Razuli: "You're the only one here who can do that, Wizzerd."

Dania: "Say that again and I'll blast your face off."

Navero: "Uh..."

Arlor: (Appears from tunnel ahead of us.) "Um..."

Rourk: (Jumps a bit, recovers.) "What is it?"

Arlor: "There are big spiders in there, yup.  Big as me."

Dania: "Oh, that's no problem, then."

Razuli: "See anything else?  Money?"

Arlor: "Um, nope.  Nope."

Navero: "Perhaps we should leave them?  They're not hurting anything."

Rourk: "I agree.  There is little honor in slaying bugs, particularly
     if they have nothing of value.  Let us return, and go another

Dania: "Aye."

Razuli: "I what?"

Dania: "Shut up."

        We all returned to the glowing fungus cave, prepared another
couple of glow-torches, and set off to the south.

Dan Parsons        "Why can't we find something simple, like a dragon?"

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