- The party killed the trolls, one of them fled into the darklake, talking about Blidoolipoop.
- The party decided to follow Hemeth, going left and toward Gracklstugh.
- They encountered a hoard of stirges and, as a tsunami approached them, Arizira shattered the wall, which caused a large stone to destroy the ground beneath.
- Everyone jumped down the hole and Ten froze it shut, preventing the water or stirges from raining down on them.
- The party continued onward until they came to a large spherical cavern, the walls were covered with a tongue-like fungus. Four passages faced them, Hemeth didn’t know where they were and which was best to take.
- During their rest, Alaer saw what appeared to be a beholder. He roused the party, and they confirmed his sighting. They saw up to a dozen beholders, and fled.
- Upon waking Linwe, he broke into dance uncontrollably, and had a sudden fit of amnesia.
The party engaged the trolls in combat, trading blows with the creatures in spells, blades and fists. The claws and teeth of the trolls seemed to hit nothing but air, however, and the monsters were infuriated with their lack of success. Blades colliding with the trolls resulted in deep wounds, but they only seemed to heal again! Gwyn connected with one troll and tried to convince him to flee, telling him of Leemoogoogoon. The troll called back that Blidoolipoop would come ravage them “herself”, and he roared before leaping into the water. The second troll was being pelted with guiding bolts from Linwe and the fists of Alaer before he was commanded to run backwards by Arizira. The Half-Orc cleric called to Thor, and shattered the ground underneath the troll, which was then wedged into the stone. Alaer saw an opportunity, and tried to sunder the ground further, causing the ground to collapse and the troll to fall some sixty-odd feet to the ground below, though Alaer caught himself on the cavernous crust of the shattered stone floor in time, Hemeth pulling the monk to his feet.
The party then debated as to whether they should head right, which Ten insisted was in the direction of Blingdenstone, the glorious Deep Gnome city that he didn’t truly believe to be destroyed, or left, where Hemeth said Gracklstugh and a dutiful award awaited them. They decided to go left, much to the protest of Ten, who shut up abruptly when Linwe reminded the Svirfneblin that he owed his life to the party but they owed him nothing in return, and that they had no reason to trust Ten. Gwyn laughed at the name, reminding everyone that every time they counted they’d have to say his name.
The party started marching, and they did so for several hours. They left their repaired longboat behind, but they started to hear a distant thumping… flapping? Banging? It seemed to be getting louder, and it came from all sides. Confused, the party tried to get a sense of what was going on. As they looked off into the distance of the darklake, it seemed like the horizon was rising. The situation started to feel disorienting, as the party began to feel like the ground was tilting as it rose in the distance. The banging became more rapid and loud, thundering repititiously until it was near-deafening. It was then that Faelookon saw a mass of Stirges flapping fervishly, approaching the party at breakneck speed, their wings beating the air with the noise they had heard!
The party readied themselves and frantically tried to think of an escape. They thought to dive into the water, but then saw that the horizon wasn’t just rising… it was an incoming tsunami! The panic became real and they drew their weapons, preparing to fight their last battle. Gwyn ran forward and fired off blasts into the cloud of stirges, killing one of the hundreds that approached. Desperately searching for a safe place to hide, Alaer dipped into a small rivet in the wall, which did no real good – and called for the rest to do the same. Arizira shook her orcish head and called out to Thor, aiming to shatter the wall to create a cave or hiding spot. A massive line of cracks sprouted through the wall and small to medium sized stones began to fall, revealing nothing, until a massive fourty-foot shard of the stone wall broke and fell, violently colliding with the ground and leaving a trail of smoke.
Hemeth tried to dash through the smoke as Gwyn started to feel the first onslaught of the stirges, who bit into his flesh and sucked at his blood, several of them attaching to his torso. Hemeth didn’t make it through, though, as the party heard him scream, his voice growing fainter, before hearing a thud. Arizira followed to a similar consequence, and the others began to realize that there might be a hole in the ground! Ten fell, then, before Linwe blew a gust of air that threw the dust and smoke toward the encroaching cloud of stirges that surrounded Gwyn, who desperately fought to surface from the stirge smother.
Each of the other members of the party then dove down the hole, landing 60 feet onto the stone – some gracefully (Alaer) and others not so much (Everyone else, thankfully Faelookon was raging). Gwyn then made a break for the hole as the water approached closer and closer, a wall of watery death now towering overtop of the warlock, who was covered in bloodsucking beasts. It seemed as if oblivion would finally claim him; but Gwyn decided it was not the end… at least not if he had anything to do about it! He lept headfirst down the hole and collided with Hemeth, falling unconscious and splattering the others with blood from the attached stirges. He laid in a crumpled heap, barely breathing and inches from death, before Linwe quickly crawled toward him and spared his death. At the same moment, Ten burst up and shot a ray of frost toward the hole above, sealing it with ice just before the onslaught of stirges and watery mass could burst through the hole onto the fallen companions.
And all was still. All was quiet.
For a moment, they had rest, quiet and safety. The party passed the hours catching their breath and asking Hemeth about their location. He didn’t seem too sure, but he said they were “definitely not going in the wrong direction”. Hours later and they continued their march down the tunnel, which began to fall deeper and deeper at a 30 degree angle toward the blackness of the underdark. After a half-dozen hours of marching, they came to a massive chamber full of some tentacle-like mass writhing along the walls. As they got closer, the party saw that each writing red thing resembled a human tongue. Revolted, but deciding that the display was ultimately harmless, they decided to rest there. On the opposite side of the cavern were four tunnels which continued into the darkness. Hemeth didn’t know which was correct, and needed time to commune with the stones.
While the others rested, Alaer back-tracked to check that the icey patch in the ceiling had held, and that there were no more monstrosities sneaking upon them. He noticed a small trickle of water, and after some minutes, saw a strange, grey pullsing bulb on the stone floor. Carefully, he continued forward to investigate it, and saw a few dozen more. He turned back for a moment to check behind him, and as he returned to the pulsing bulbs, aiming to investigate them further, he saw a massive Beholder blankly staring him down. Reflexes took over in the place of panic, and Alaer flew at top speed back to their makeshift camp. He awoke the others, and as he awoke Linwe, who had been investigating a carving of Leemoogoogoon the party took from a Kua-Toa, Linwe stood up and began to dance uncontrollably, shouting that he didn’t know anyone, didn’t know what was going on, or where he was. The chaos that ensued was pure insanity as everyone heard of the Beholders and tried desperately to rouse Linwe from his dancing lapse of memory. After several minutes, Linwe eventually stopped and came to his sense, having no clue what exactly had transpired. When hearing about the Beholders, he joined the discussion about what should be done.
Hemeth refused to go back, while Gwyn and Alaer suggested investigating further to be sure that the Beholder hadn’t followed him. The party agreed and even Hemeth and Ten reluctantly followed their new companions back up the tunnel in the direction from whence they came. After marching half an hour, the party ground to a halt as Alaer recognized the trickling stream. Carefully and slowly, they made their way forward. As they did so, they noticed the pulsing grey blebs, and not just one beholder, but at least a dozen, each above one of the grey pulses.
Frozen in shock, the party stood in silence, as Gwyn tried to connect to the mind of the first Beholder. The scaled creature and all his eyestalks did nothing, and did not answer, only stared motionless into the soul of the warlock.
“Well,” Hemeth said, “It’s time te run!”
“Yeah,” Alaer whispered back, “Or time to TPK…”