Waking up the next morning, it suddenly struck me that we hadn’t checked to see if the goblin hordes had anything note-worthy on them. A quick search or the stinky bodies showed that for the most part all they had were scraps of armour and broken weapons. The biggest Goblin had a sizable diamond on him though, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time checking.
We travelled on for a while, until we could smell stagnant water. Stepping forward carefully, Izkin started to report on what he could see. It seems that Kobolds have a far better vision range underground, which kinda makes sense I guess for a race that lives in caves most of their life.
He saw a small lake, with a stone bridge crossing it. A number of crates and barrels floated in the water. He advised us that it looked like out path joined with the bridge further down the corridor, and that there was no need to enter the water. (I’m glad we didn’t… You’ll learn why shortly!)
Following the passageway round, we found another dead dwarf. Knowing that this was a great spot for an ambush after our last ambush (who says we don’t learn) I cast a spell, allowing me to see invisible creatures. Finding nothing hiding and waiting to ambush us, we checked through the body and pushed on. A few steps more, another body, this one chewed, and spots of a strange liquid surround it on the floor.
This is the point where normally you’d have the narrator flash back to his/her youth, where a parent figure says “Don’t touch strange substances!” but in my youth I was the one tasked with cleaning the strange substances off the floor. So I didn’t touch them, because Eiuw.
Instead I scouted ahead a little, hoping to use the benefit of my magically enhanced sight to spot whatever was lying in wait.
Turns out our potential ambushers weren’t magically hidden, they were underwater.
I stepped out over the bridge, marvelling at the scale of the cavern I’d stepped into. The small lake didn’t seem to have a run off, so the water was pretty stagnant and non-moving. As I reached the middle, there was an almighty explosion of water, and from underneath the bridge two massive trolls exploded.
I glanced behind for a moment, at my friends who’d not even started out onto the bridge yet. Well, this was a mistake. It was a mistake with claws and teeth, and within an instance the troll to my left (who I shall refer to as Lefty) slammed me left and right, and sunk his teeth into my arm.
I’d like to say “I’m no creatures chew toy!” but at this point, I very much was. Screaming in pain, I responded with a burst of fire, that sent the troll reeling backwards. Unfortunately for me, this also caused him to bleed a poisonous liquid, one awfully similar to the undefined goop we found near the dead dwarf.
This Troll, in one instant, had hurt me so badly that another blow could possible end my tales forever! You’re reading this though, so don’t worry! Maeb rushed in to help me, removing the poison from my system, and surrounding me with a protective aura. I was still badly hurt, but I might just pull through!
Arn stepped up, and pulled out his heavy crossbow. I was halfway through yelling “If you hit them, the bleed on us, and it hurts!” when he released two bolts at lefty. Both bolts caught him high in the chest, and the responding gouts of poison splattered across both Maeb and myself.
Drax cursed quietly, and changed his plans. He muttered the words we’ve heard him use before, though this time he pumped more power into it. Both Trolls froze, held in place by his outstretched hand. Not being one to waste an opportunity, I grabbed Maeb and teleported to the other side of the party.
I think you know how the fight goes from here on out. Izkin pours on magical booms. Arn fires bolt after bolt. Drax does some damaging spells, Maeb throws a firewall gem. (yeah, firewall, not fireball this time) and I drop back to using minor spells, after seeing these trolls pretty much explode from everyone elses attacks.
I’ve never met poisonous trolls before. I guess that’s one to cross off the bucket list.
Both trolls slumped back into the water, and for once we passed on searching the bodies.
Instead, we headed over to investigate the large domed building on the other end of the bridge. Drax (with a little help from a summoned Phillip) fished some of the crates from the lake. It seemed like a stack of weaponry and armour. Whilst he was doing this, Izkin stepped inside the building.
There was an almighty zapping sound, and the little kobold was thrown backwards, his skin crackling with lightning.
Yay, magic traps. We live for magic traps.
We tried a series of things to bypass this trap, all ending in us taking a large amount of damage. In the end, Izkin remembered he could dispel magic traps, and we stepped through the doorway. We took a brief rest to get our breath back, then headed in to the armoury.
I’m not sure what I expected from an armoury if I’m honest. Boxes pack with magical weapons wasn’t really it. Every grabbed armfuls, and lined up for me to identify them. I think I worked non-stop for several hours before deciding that enough was enough. Not before nabbing a nice suit of studded leather for myself though.
The one item that confused us though, was a large metal barrel. We spent a good hour trying to work out how to open it, before I used my identify spell on it.
This, this wasn’t a barrel. This was a vehicle! (maybe it was bigger on the inside?)
Knowing what it was now, we continued to hunt for a level that would open it. This took a good fifteen minutes and when we found it, it was a button that pushed became a lever.
That’s not important though, what’s important is what happened when I pulled the lever.
There was a grinding and whirring sound. Metal sliding on metal, and the barrel tilted sideways. Metal legs sprouted from the sides, eye stalks popped up and lit up. From the front, two massive claws emerged, and in the side of the barrel, a door opened.
When I described this as a barrel, I perhaps gave the impression that it was a standard keg sized barrel. That is, perhaps, an oversight on my part. This barrel was really quite large. Looking inside the door, I realised that we could probably fit two of us inside. (One, if it were Arn or Drax). Izkin and I jumped inside to try it out, before Izkin hopped back out.
It was then that we realised the purpose of the nine barrels in the corner. Nine barrels of black powder. This was what we’d come for, and now all we needed to do was work out how to transport them to the forge safely.
Luckily, each goliath could carry two at a push. That’s 4 down. We strapped two to Mr Krabbs, and I’d drive him. Maeb could carry one, but that still left two. With a little discussion, we decided to summon our mounts, and have them carry the last two barrels. The caves down here weren’t as restrictive as the earlier network was, so it should be fine.
We made slow progress carrying the barrels towards the forge. They were bloody heavy, and required lots of stopping (obviously not for me, as Mr Krabbs did all the work, but I’m a team player, so we planned breaks when needed.
As it neared evening, or at least what we considered to be evening, we decided to rest for the night. We found a suitable series of linked rooms, and set up for the night. On Izkin’s watch(again), the sound of screaming caused him to wake us. Drax had set a guardian to protect us, and it had encountered a threat.
The threat, it turned out, was a naked dwarf.
Not what I’d expected if I’m honest, but I set about trying to calm him down, and explain why we were there. It took a while, but eventually we were able to get back to sleep with a new friend in tow.
Tomorrow we go to blow up the forge. I’m not sure how this is going to go, but I foresee shenanigans.