Dungeon Nights: Mushroom Village
We had half the players from last week and two new players, so this was a good exercise in working new characters into the story and explaining why the earlier characters are not in the party. Fear not! Rook and Wolfric are not dead, they are just in a tight spot. They will be able to rejoin the adventure, but they’re going to remember what happened here.
The party decided to move upstream, following the water (and the breeze). As they set out, the goblins launched their ambush. Rook went down under a net and a surge of goblins, and Wolfric turned back for her, only to be swarmed by goblins. Tsafnur ran for it along the stream, while Chameleon turned into an eagle and dove into the goblin frenzy to grab the locket off of Rook. The necklace held for a moment, then broke and Chameleon flew off with it, but not before meeting Rook’s eyes as she took the locket and left her companion under a pile of goblins and flew off.
After putting some distance between themselves and the goblins, the two remaining adventurers followed the stream uphill. The way grew steeper and the stream was rushing white water, and as the breeze picked up, the horrible smell grew stronger. The way grew narrower, then the stream went underground but the path continued on. A faint green light shone ahead.
The passageway opened up into a large cavern (smaller than the earlier one). The roof and walls were covered with slimy, dripping phosphorescent moss, with tendrils and strips of it hanging down. The air was putrid with the smell of rotting corpses. Black, tumescent, fleshy flowers virtually covered the cavern floor. Huge bees went from flower to flower gathering pollen and flying up to a small passageway high above the ground to the left. Also to the left, but on the opposite side of the cavern, was narrow passageway sloping steeply up. Closer and to the right was a low, wide passageway, which the companions made for, attempting not to touch the flowers or draw attention from the giant bees. They did get some of the horrible pollen on them as they went, but drew only curious attention from the bees before making it to the passage, which sloped gently downwards as they followed it.
Meanwhile, in another large cavern, two other adventurers are having the time of their lives. Clovis the dwarven barbarian heard about mushroom people and mushroom beer and wanted to find out whether the mushroom beer was made by mushroom people or of mushroom people, so sought out the mushroom village to find out. She brought her friend Enkirash, an elvish wizard, to have adventures together. The beer turned out to be made by the mushroom people, and pretty vile stuff, but Enkirash turns it into a kind of beer soup, tasting faintly of parsley, which goes down well enough. They have a grand time, and Enkirash performs a magic show which charms the mushroom folk, who reward her with a small bag of medicinal mushrooms.
They eventually stumble away happily from the mushroom village, but take the wrong passageway and as they are climbing up it, they encounter two people coming down who smell horrible, like rotting corpses, as Chameleon and Tsafnur are coming down As fellow adventurers far from home, after some initial caution they introduce themselves. Rather than continuing up to the giant bee garden, they all return to the mushroom village, Enkirash helps clean the corpseflower pollen off them by magic (leaving them smelling faintly of parsley), they drink more mushroom beer, Enkirash attempts another magic show, which fails to impress the mushroom people now that their expectations were high.
After resting up, they say goodbye to their fungal hosts, and Tsafnur asks what passes for a mayor among the mushroom folk if there is anything they can do to repay their hospitality. It says that if they want to help, they could retrieve their mushroom idol from the stonewings, which are apparently some humanoid creatures that fly, and occasionally raid the mushroom village, stealing their children and taking their holy idol, a mushroom statue. They agree to take this task on and are guided to a narrow crack in the wall of the cavern where the stonewings have been seen to come from.
The way is narrow and treacherous, with deep crevasses (not wide, but forbidding), sharp rocks, and broken rock everywhere. Eventually it opens into a small, but obviously craftperson-finished room. Bits of broken chains are on the floor. There is another cracked and broken passage to the left, like the one they followed here, and sloping down. There is a steeper passage forward on the right of finished stone, although dusty and covered with pebbles and vermin dropping.
They decide Tsafnur will scout ahead up the finished passage, while Clovis sharpens her axe (“Bitey”), and Enkirash explores the room, trying to sense if magic is present. The passage is quite passable, despite the decay and some loose rocks that have fallen. There are sockets along the walls where torches were once placed. As Tsafnur walks on, he feels a paving stone shift under him with a click and jerks back just as a huge blade scythes across the passage. He tries to jump over the blade as it is swinging, but flinches back with only a minor cut. He kicks at the blade in frustration (he will claim he was trying to disturb it’s arc to stop it), but misjudged the timing and cut his foot quite badly. He sang a healing song as he limped/ran back to his companions, and on a whim insisted that there were monsters coming down the passage behind him and they should flee into the other crack in the wall.
While he was gone, Enkirash searched around the room using her sense of magic to explore. As she passed the cracked passage, a hand reached out and grabbed her ankle just as she registered a feeling of magic. She screamed as strong clawed fingers dug into her calf. Clovis rushed to her friend’s aid, seeing a gargoyle reaching up from one of the wider cracks in the passage’s floor, had grabbed Enkirash. Enkirash fired a spark of energy at the creature, and Clovis’ axe finished it. After pulling the claws out of her leg, Enkirash used the medicinal mushroom to heal, but it mader her lightheaded as well. At this point Tsafnur came in claiming he was being followed by monsters and they all headed into the cracked passage.
At one point they had to jump across a couple of crevasses, and while doing so the gargoyles sprung another ambush. Tsafnur and Enkirash were the targets again. Tsafnur managed to throw off his attacker, and Clovis clove it with Bitey, while Enkirash fired a more powerful spark this time, strong enough to kill the gargoyle holding her from behind and still carry through to give her a small shock too.
Soon the passage came to a small cave. Ahead were three cracked passages, two quite narrow, one a little wider. There was also a ledge following a crevasse to their left. They decided to follow the ledge, which slowly narrowed until it was impassable. There was another ledge, on the other side of the crevasse and down a bit, but the crevasse was wider here than the ones they had crossed so far. Still, Enkirash leaped across it so gracefully that he surprised the two gargoyles who were waiting on the other side to push off anyone who tried it.
Four more gargoyles crawled and dropped from the walls above the first ledge. Chameleon ran one through with her spear, and Clovis split another. Enkirash popped one in the face with a spark, but didn’t kill it, although she did draw the attention of the two gargoyles crawling up from below them. Clovis swept those two off the ledge with her axe, while stabbing the one Enkirash had hurt in the face with her dagger.
The two gargoyles on either side of Tsafnur grabbed him by the arms and flew off, banging him against the walls as they clumsily flew up into the cracks of the ceiling. Chameleon transformed herself into a bat and followed them. The last remaining gargoyle clawed Clovis once across the back and flew off after its companions (and behind Chameleon).