Saturday, May 9, 2020

Forest of Wyrd Session #10 - The Bee's Knees


Gnarl (Wood Gnome 2)
Ranza (Changeling 1)
Hobbs (Hedgefey 1)
Thrax (Fighter 1)
Jonesomon (Specialist 2)

With Jonesomon walking point and Gnarl carrying the lantern behind him, the party moved along the narrow passage. They first came to a side passage exiting to the left, and noted a second one on the right a short distance away. Just ahead the main passage opened up into a larger chamber. Checking first the passage on the left, they found it led to a small room, empty except for a statue. This was a crudely carved image of a great tribal warrior waering a cape decorated with bees, and covered in some sort of thick yellowish translucent layer. Like dried sap or amber. Attempts to scratch or break it were unsuccessful, and when Hobbs tried to burn it with a torch, the material crackled and popped, leaving an odor of burnt sugar. Suspecting it was honey, Gnarl tasted a tiny spec and confirm it's identity. He also felt a little giddy and euphoric, so Hobbs proceeded to lick the stuff for an even loftier high. But thankfully no ill effects. Knowing now what it was, the party started a bucket brigade using Thrax's helm to ferry water from the lake to dissolve the material. But just at the floor where it glued the statue down. That allowed them to move the statue and search below and behind it. But found nothing. 

Leaving the statue for now, the party moved on to the next side corridor. Along the way Ranza, who was at the back of the column, tripped a lever at floor level. This caused the ceiling behind her to collapse, and a massive collection of skeletal remains rained down, barely missing her. A cursory examination uncovered nothing of interest, so a few of the party simply cleared a path through the remains to leave a clear route for fleeing should that prove necessary. Meanwhile those at the head of the column proceeded to examine the branch to the right, which led into a small room full of skulls. These were piled on the floor, on plinths, and in alcoves and on shelves. Each was marked with a blue "X" on the forehead, and most showed some form of head trauma. Some shifting of skulls was done, but when nothing interesting was found everyone moved on to the next location, the large chamber at the end of the north-south corridor. 

This chamber was roughly lozenge shaped, and in the centre was a 3-4' high pile of large stones. Moving in to explore, the party found that that was pretty much it for the room. Nothing else of note to see. Hobbs climbed up on the pile and started to shift a few stones, uncovering nothing more than more stones. So he started rolling away more, until suddenly a blue skeletal arm shot out of the pile, immediately followed by the rest of a large blue skeleton. It swung down the rusty axe it held in one hand onto Hobbs skull, laying the little critter down for the count and bleeding out.  The rest of the party charged forward to engage, and the unnatural foe was soon dispatched. After a quick examination of the axe and scraps of armor/clothing (which all proved worthless), the party started to pull apart the stone pile while Thrax administrated first aid to Hobbs. This work was interrupted once when two skeletons pulled themselves out of the pile in the corridor, lunging forward to attack. These were, however, dispatched with ease. Eventually, enough stones were moved to uncovered a 5' square patch of the same translucent yellowish material covering the statue. Another bucket brigade brought in enough water to dissolve it, revealing a shaft with a stone ladder built into the side. Gnarl dropped his torch, which fell 40-50' feet before going out with a hiss, indicating water below.

Before going further though, the party hauled Hobbs out into the sunlight to see if he would recover. Someone got the idea to try giving him some of the donkey's milk. And miracle of miracles, it brought him back from the brink. Feedbag was apparently more than just a normal donkey. 

While waiting for Hobbs to recover, the rest of the party decided to clear out all the skeletons and skulls and dump them in the lake. Didn't want anymore undead surprises. They also went to haul out the statue, thinking of dumping it in the lake to dissolve the hardened honey layer. Manhandling it must have disturbed something, for suddenly a swarm of bees broke through the honey covering the statues eyes and swarmed out to form a short humanoid figure. This lashed out with it's arms, and when it hit delivered a hundred bee stings all at once. Unsure of how to handle it, the party fled out into the sun while Thrax kept a rearguard. It followed them outside, but once out in the sun and warm air, the bees that formed it's body dissipated and buzzed way. Going back inside,m they now found the statue was essentially an empty shell, which they proceeded to haul out and also dump in the lake. 

Setting camp overnight to let Hobbs recover, the party arose the next morning and headed back into the barrow. They decided to enter the stag-eye secret door. It entered into a steeply sloped  spiral passage, which soon dumped them into a small antechamber. The ceiling here was of the same hardened honey material, supported by large oak tree trunks in each corner.  The walls themselves were bare earth covered in thick roots, while at the opposite side of the room was a wooden door-frame leading into another passage. Gnarl examined the oak trunks but observed nothing of significance, while the others examined the door frame. It was carved with half-naked, tattooed human warriors bringing offerings to a lithely muscular sylvan figure. 

Moving on, the party started down the corridor until Jonesomon in the lead noted a glowing blue blob undulating along the wall towards them. They retried back into the antechamber, and the thing followed. Gnarl tried to engage it in conversation, and in response it sprouted a pair of pseudo-pods and lashed out at them. So they responded with missile fire until it was dead. After poking a the remains for a few moments, they once more moved off down the passage. It led to a narrow chamber,  along the right wall of which were four masks. These wooden masks were carved in the stylized likeness of animals; bear, stag, bear, wolf. Out of the open mouth and eyes of each drifted a blue mist. Cautious of the mist, Thrax torn a strip off his cloak to cover his face before entering the chamber and lifting. Nothing happened to him, but Hobbs and Gnarl decided discretion was the greater part of valour, and used their bow/spear to knock two of the masks off the wall and haul them closer.  Each noted the blue mist seem to emanated form the interior of the masks, which made them wary of putting them on. Thrax meanwhile took the stag mask and Ranza the boar. but each likewise did not put them on. But everyone did jury-rigged a filter for their faces before following Thrax into the room and down the opposite corridor ...



1 Woad Skeleton
2 Regular Skeletons
1 Cerulean Plasmid


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