Borderland of Adventure #45: Delving Deep

At the end of last session, we left the party heroically returning to Roake after helping the necromancer hermit Dunstan Wymer throw off the curse of lycanthropy that have bedevilled his life.



The villagers were delighted with the news of their success and the party were further cheered by the arrival of Klara and Maban in the village. Although Hemgor was not keen to return to the hermitage and explore the sunken cave under the waterfall the rest of the group began to plan their return.

Thus, after a good night’s sleep and some planning, the party (minus Hemgor) returned to Clear Pool. A cursory search of the area around the pool did not reveal signs of any cave and so Tzaran (reluctantly) assumed the form of an electric eel and swum into the pool. He quickly found a narrow passageway below the waterfall that led to a muddy cavern.

He returned to the party and after a discussion, the whole party dared the sunken passageway. They emerged in the muddy cavern without incident and struggled up the muddy bank into the cavern proper. Exploration revealed three passageways leading away into the hill and the deep tracks of clawed humanoids in the mud. The tracks led down two of the three tunnels and so the party chose to explore the third way first.

A long, twisted tunnel eventually led into a largish chamber dominated by a waterfall at one end and a swiftly flowing river. Across the river, a niche high up on wall provided further opportunity for exploration. The passageway was very narrow and covered in some kind of viscous slime. In the passageway’s tight confines lingered the stench of something “wrong.” Undeterred Ulmo investigated and discovered a natural chimney at the end of the passageway atop which another passageway led away.

Oreal – the group’s best climber – scaled the chimney, but as he approached the next passageway he was attacked by a tentacled horror (later identified as a grick)! The creature slightly injured him and consequently he bravely retreated back to his companions. Then Klara stepped forward and drinking a potion of levitation ascended the shaft to do battle with the horror. Her defences were stout and the creature could not injure her. A lucky shot from Oreal and a sound burst killed the first creature and stunned another lurking behind it. Klara quickly slew it and the party discovered a bone-filled nest in a small dead-end chamber beyond. Nothing of value lurked in the bones except for a battered and dented copper amulet decorated with a writhing tentacle design. (Maban later identified the bones as likely coming from troglodytes).

With nowhere else to go, the party backtracked to the muddy pool chamber and picked another corridor. A long natural passageway sloped slightly downwards into the hill. After some time travelling, the party came upon two mine props supporting a large boulder partially wedged into the ceiling. A faint breeze blew into their faces and the party surmised they have discovered some of the ancient dwarven mine workings reputed to riddle the area. Worried the area beyond might be unstable, they again backtracked.

Taking the last passageway out of the muddy chamber, they began to descend – gently at first, but then the passageway began a steeper descent. Eventually, the passageway descended into a large chamber empty but for disturbing murals on the walls depicting tentacles, water and – above the only other exit – a depiction of a high-sided island atop which rested a squat, alien building of sorts.

Intrigued they continued on the downward sloping passageway until the passageway met a large chamber. A chasm dropped away from the PCs but before they could investigate further several huge troglodytes rushed around the corner to attack (another fled down a sloping ramp leading down to the chasm’s base). The two attackers were quickly dealt with and although Tzaran was injured Klara was able to heal his injuries easily. The party decided to pursue the fleeing troglodyte as its companions had told it to fetch reinforcements. They reach the bottom of the ramp to discover a huge lake – its surface broken by many rocks rearing out of the water.

Hurling magical fire into the waters failed to determine the lake’s full extent, but Oreal’s last flaming arrow did illuminate the suggestion of an island perhaps 800 ft. away. As they searched the landing area they occupied the sound of many swimming creatures drawing closer became apparent. The party hurriedly retreated to the top of the chasm and waited. Once they heard the swimmers emerge from the water, they illuminated the scene with magical lights and unleashed death on their attackers – a dozen troglodytes! Ulmo crushed them with magical rock falls while Oreal and the others unleashed a deadly barrage of missile fire into the hapless attackers as they rushed up the ramp. Only half the attackers reached the party and those that did were torn apart by Tzaran’s ape companions.

As the sound of slaughter diminished and finally faded away the party took stock. Oreal – and some of the others were very keen to investigate the island lying far out into the lake. How to get there, though, was a matter of some discussion…

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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

3 thoughts on “Borderland of Adventure #45: Delving Deep”

    1. Thanks, Jason. We played these a couple of years ago, but I’ve really enjoyed going back to my old blog, re-reading the entries and then reposting them here. It’s good to go down memory lane every week!

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