Campaign Log: 1.18 – Return to Gemma’s Cave

Campaign Log

Gemma's CaveWhat happens at Pawn & Pint…may get shared on this page.

Last Wednesday, the party, began the evening by undertaking the journey back to Gemma’s Cave. They traveled for many days and on the way, they encounter a man named Cinder who was also hunting Senzar. The larger party head south and then west along the river until they were back into the hills and climbs of the Grey Mountains. They moved through valleys and over ridges until they once again found the entrance to the cave.

The outer cave was much as they had left it, a fairly nondescript natural chamber with rubble from the ceiling and a few stains where the dead had fallen. At the back of the cave, the narrow, horizontal opening was concealed with loose stones remained undisturbed. Howl recovered the coins he left hidden in the rubble, and they all quickly slip into the deeper cave that few had found before.

After covering the opening again, they crossed the wide expansive cavern, found where Gemma had carved everyone’s names, and followed a stream deeper into the mountain. The cold stream led the party through several chambers, past the desiccated corpses of spiders, and finally to a chamber where another stream merged with the first.

This second stream cascaded out of an opening in the wall about three feet above the first stream. The water issued from an oval opening that is roughly three-feet wide and disappeared into the side of the cave wall. The base of what might be called a drainage culvert was ribbed and uneven from differences in the density of the stone that the water had eroded over many years.

Daring and fearless (because the party had already been through the tunnel) they climb across the stream and into the opening. They crawled for several hundred yards until they emerged into a tall, vertical chamber that stood more than sixty-feet high. A waterfall cascaded down upon them, soaking them with water. Fortunately, there are many footholds in the walls of the chamber and they climb up to a narrow ledge above the falls.

The ledge leads them to a passage that is anything but a natural cave. This passage, with clay packed floors, leads in two directions. One toward another waterfall illuminated by magical lamps and the other toward the remnants of a forgotten city. Since they fought a ghost near the falls the last time, they head back toward the grand market hall and the city.

They pass out of the huge hall, past the small market nooks, and through what appears to be series of lower-income homes. They eventually come to a passage where the floor and walls appear much more upper class. The walls, solid stone with no seems, has swirling patterns of multicolored stone embedded in it. The floor is equally ornate with markings and patterns that speak of wealth.

The eventually come across a section with doors made of stone. The passage in this part of the underground city is littered with crumbled stone and has been smashed and scattered over the floor. Skeletal remains are littered among the debris. Coins and rusted out weapons lay with the dead.

Rowan moved ahead to check the passage and examine the remains. The destroyed stone appears to be the remnants of statures. The gold coins are from an unknown stamp. Evidence of battle mars the walls and the debris.

Elrik has followed behind Rowan invisibly. Quai, interested in what exists in the rooms kicks open a door on the left-hand side of the wall. On the other side of the door, in a darkened chamber, he sees upscale living quarters with multiple rooms and furniture. In the middle of the room sits a large stone cat on its haunches. The stone statue stands three-foot high.

Before Quai can react, the stone cat comes to life and charges the fifteen feet to the door and tries to rip and tear the flesh from the monk. The stone surface of the cat moves as though it had life and was covered with real hair and muscle.

The monk uses the shadows to dodge behind the cat and he tries to use his staff to beat the creature. He swings three times, but only one hit leaves any mark on the surface.

Unferth, now seeing the tail end of the cat through the door charged forth, but does not come into range as he has to maneuver through the debris strewn hall.

Howl covers the opening of the doorway with grease in the hopes of disabling the stone creature, but Elik, not expecting the grease slips and falls in the doorway. Cinder throws bolts of energy at the stone, striking it in the rear multiple times.

Wilby uses his magical bow to shoot the rear end of the creature, but all three arrows either miss entirely or skip off the stone skin. Rowan, on the other side of the cat dodges these projectiles.

The cat, having spun around to face Quai who had moved into the room, rips and tears flesh with its stone teeth and claws. Quai retaliates, accelerating his attacks to get in four strikes, landing three blows.

Rowan, having dodge Wilby’s arrows, moves closer, survives the grease, and strikes the back of the cat with his magical sword before dodging around the cat and into the room.

Unferth, suffering the fate of Elrik, also hits the slick ground.

Howl, seeing his companions being impacted by the grease, dismiss the substance and attempts to draw life from the cat, but misses as the cat moves deeper into the room.

Elrik, angered by Howl’s grease, turns on his party to extract revenge. He drops his invisibility to whisper false beliefs into Howl’s mind, making Howl believe the cat has turn and attacked him.

Cider, not aware of Howl’s vision, flings a ball of fire at the cat, but the throw goes wide and misses the stone creature.

Wilby fires his bow once more, but the arrow bounces off again and he decides his arrows may not be effective against this creature so he blasts it with holy fire.

The cat, seeing the man on the floor suddenly appear behind him, bites and rips Elrik with tooth and claw. The damage distracts the man from his revenge against Howl.

Quai tries three more times to hit the creature and makes contact twice, the last blow being square against the creature’s back.

Rowan moved past the skeleton of a dead child that the cat appeared to be guarding and tried to hit the cat with his sword, but the blade skips over the stone surface.

Unferth, angered at the creature before him, slams his magical sword into it twice, sending chunks of stone to the floor.

Howl, confused by the halucination, focuses again on the real threat and hopes the cat, which has the appearance of a real animal, might get distracted like a real animal and rains down sparkling lights.

Elrik, significantly injured, turns invisible again and then moves to investigate the dead child skeleton. The larger eye sockets and oddly shaped head makes him think it may be the body of an elf.

Cinder again throws a ball of fire, but misses.

Wilby, uncertain if his attacks are useful, chooses to heal Quai as the cat bites and claws Unferth.

Quai, attempts to hit the cat three more times, but two blows skip off the stone beast. Rowan and Unferth continue their sword attacks, but only Unferth, with Howl’s attempt to distract the cat, manages to break off of bit of the creature.

Elrik, his curiosity satisfied, aids Unferth while Cinder calls forth a cloud of flying daggers that chip away bits of stone.

Wilby, wanting those that are willing to fight in close to survive, heals Unferth.

With the daggers and Howl’s distractions, the cat misses Unferth. Quai lands one blow out of three and dodged the flying daggers. Rowan and Unferth, also trying to avoid the daggers, both miss their sword thrusts, but the daggers continue to cause damage and soon the cat slumps to the ground as many pieces of stone are chipped away.

After the cat threat is gone, the party takes some time to rest and scout out more of the area. For those that search the rooms, many coins with markings they have never seen are found.

Additionally, many strange bits of magic are found, but these are not portable. Floors, sinks, and surfaces in the kitchen glow with power. Howl then takes the time to cast his glass eye afar and searches for more threats and treasures. As he does, he find a massive city about a mile further in the cave system.

This city is entered through a pair of massive stone doors, each over forty-feet high and thirty-feet wide. One door is pushed open while the other is ripped from the wall and cast to the ground. Beyond the doors is a cave that is over a couple hundred feet high and perhaps more than a mile across.

Behind a three-foot high wall is a city that sprawls across hills and valleys. Points of magical light on polls illuminate a palatial stone city that would make even Antar look poor. However, a path of destruction runs from the outer doors, past the wall, and through the city to the ruins of a castle.

A massive six-legged creature with no real head lay under the ruble of the castle. Skeletal remains are scattered about and piled up throughout the city. Near the motionless creature is the skeletal remains of a woman in feminine plate armor that covers only her shoulders and upper body. A helmet covers her head and a tattered cloak lay under her. A glowing great sword sits on her chest.

Howl also finds what may be the remains of a great library and he informs the party of the treasures that can be found, but omits the glowing sword and skeleton.

Using Quai’s ability to shield the party, they venture into the city and sneak past a pair of stone cats that were hiding behind the large door that was pushed open. Happy with not having to deal with the cats, they continue on toward the library. However, as they move through the remains of the city that does not appear to have seen life for many hundreds of years, they suddenly see a famine figure in the remnants of armor with a glowing great sword coming their way. Skeletons scattered around them in the massive cave start to rise up from the ground.