|Original image by jes872148 at Pixabay (CC0 Public Domain)|
As always remember you may find spoilers, so if you are playing the campaign or think about playing it you probably do not want to read more beyond this point (or perhaps you want, who knows).
Characters have already recovered from the fright which meant "the incendiary idea" that ended the previous session (if you had followed their adventures you will know they are fans of playing with fire...) and have the idea of continue exploring the complex serving as refuge for the evil Penumbra clerics.
The options available to the group and Daryn Jadegris (the dwarf acompanying them after the deal they achieved after freeing Thoin Hojafuerte) were various: they may descend the stairs already discovered at the level's northwest, follow the adjacent tunnel or go to the upper level using the stairs of the northeast side.
Dwarf.jpg by Rotox at Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)
At the northwest tunnel they glimpsed some unusually large fungus not which didn't inspire them a lot of confidence and which Grognak correctly identified as "shriekers", creatures starting to moan as little children if you get very near (pretty noisy and obnoxious it seems), so they decided not to go there.
At level's northwest, and after not daring to go into a lateral cave with a strange hiss coming from it (and with a pair of antenna coming from darkness...) characters began to ascend the stairs leading to the upper level, and face a guard of 4 orcs and 3 ogres. In the following combat they managed to finish them (thanks, among other things, to one of the toxic logs they had discovered in previous sessions in cleric's chambers), although one of them escaped.
Kai, Meler and Luna went on and after going upstairs they found a chamber with bloodied remains of some sacrifices scattered over some pretty strange drawings of unknown and erie intention at the same time. At both sides of the chamber there are also a pair of statues covered with garments and staring each other...
What happened then was certainly dangerous, because while they were investigating the statues they blocked the line of sight between them, so in the chamber appeared a white dragon God knows from which place or dimension and, although weak, could attack them before they fled in terror before such apparition (and here Meler barely escaped an attack with a critical hit by the dragon that almost ended his life, so the player for a moment was thinking about getting a new character...).
Grognak, Aradum and Daryn, after seeing their mates coming back completely scared describing the beast they had encountered and nearly killing one of them, they thought it was better to take the chance of the stairs going down to the depths, so they went downstairs and discovered a group of caves and tunnels which began to explore.
During these first steps in this level the first clashes with the inhabitants happened, like some orcish guards and a Penumbra cleric which at one point seemed lost in thought and later began to attack the orcs (something that happened in other occasions, isn't it?... ).
After dealing with these enemies they continued the exploration and wandering the tunnels they discovered another two chambers: one with strange chants coming from inside they dared not to investigate and another one, near a chasm glowing with lava from inside the volcano, with a series of mirrors making a labyrinth-like structure whose walls one could reflect.
Characters were doubting for a while about what to do and Grognak decided to send his pet, a monkey, inside the apparent maze of mirrors to see if something strange happened (yes, they certainly have affection for their pets...). The monkey obviously began to be reflected in the mirrors but something disturbed Grognak, the perception that something strange was happening, so he ordered his monkey to come back and the group went back to investigate the cave of the strange chants.
Popping in to see the inside of said cave they discovered a scene which prompted them to act: some clerics of Penumbra were about to sacrifice a beautiful and naked young lady with her belly daubed with strange signs while some orc warriors were looking. And here the events rushed because suddenly a deep and throaty voice no one knowing where it came from said
which obviously caused confusion among the clerics (even beginning to argue among them with accusations of sabotaging the ceremony), giving characters the chance of beginning the combat with the orcs, killing two of them, and Grognak climbed the wall to be above the chamber entrance to surprise anyone deciding to go outside. However all of these couldn't avoid the cleric guiding the ceremony to use one of his spells to paralyze Kai without her being able to do anything about it...
What will happen in the next session?
As is customary to say:
To be continued...
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