Clan Rumbleseed, played 4.25.20 IRL (in real life) and 10/25/2121 IG (in game).
- Miraeg Dunn (Jonathan) Leader, Performer, Mechanic.
- Ivo Flynt (Imre) Support, Gunsmith, Engineer.
- Cagroot Hopstrider (KC) Skirmisher, Brewer, Delver.
- Thoreson Grimeater (Anders) Berserker, Chef, Healer.
Loaded for Bear
The Fellowship left the vent in the hillside and returned to Lebrim Manor’s construction site, performing battle haka and armoring up. They equipped themselves with the best climbing gear they could, including a climbing harness Ivo was experimenting with that could support a human. Ivo asked Justicar Trays to go with them, and he agreed.
As the Fellowship was grimly headed out of the camp, they were met by Magistrate Lyrin. The dwarves swore they were going to prove there were monsters under the hill; the magistrate agreed they would do just that. Unfortunately, that proof wouldn’t shift the growing human conviction that the dwarves were perhaps responsible for the monsters. Frustrated, the dwarves went to take out their feelings on the nest below.
They found the vent, following it to the chasm, then to the pit. Cagroot, the best climber, anchored the rope so Miraeg could climb down first. Halfway down, Miraeg was ambushed by a cave pouncer. Thoreson leaped to his aid, rappelling down fast, and Ivo supported with gunfire. The pouncer was slain, and Thoreson and Miraeg reached the bottom of the shaft to face off with more cave pouncers–after the fear drinker psychically assaulted them and left them vulnerable. Concentrated fire from above, blades and brawn below, and the timely intervention of the justicar won the day.
Ivo earnestly persuaded Cagroot and Miraeg to arm themselves with his pistols. Then the Fellowship pursued the fear drinker further in.
The Sprawling Lair
The Fellowship and the justicar came to a more open area with a vent to the sky far above, and some faint bioluminescent nesting filth. The cave pouncers hung back, and a massive “breathless” monster charged the Fellowship as the fear drinker redoubled their panic. A combination of Ivo’s explosive bullets and Thoreson’s massive sword brought the breathless down, and Thoreson dug deep with the blade, imbduing it with the breathless’s dissipating life force.
Cagroot scrambled up the uneven slope towards where the fear drinker lurked, fighting his terror. Miraeg joined him, and was inspired to fire the killing shot that took the fear drinker down. Cagroot climbed up to verify, and he was spotted by the queen of the nest.
The hideous bulk reared and hissed, and Cagroot snapped off a couple hollowpoints and blew it away. The Fellowship surveyed the mounds of jelly with basketball sized eggs embedded within, feeling some trepidation. Fortunately the dying queen vented chemical signals that didn’t enrage the cave pouncers, a symbiotic species, so the opportunistic predators began eating the jelly and eggs and ignoring the dwarves.
Thoreson enlisted Cagroot’s help to harvest the queen monster glandular tract to make rare spices, avoiding the gut parasites filling the torso cavity. Miraeg plucked the golden orb eyes from the breathless to keep as glassy trophies. Ivo contemplated how best to bring down the cavern with the few explosives he had on hand; there was a fissure, high up, and he climbed towards it to wedge the grenades in just the right spot. His climbing skills did not match his engineering analysis, and he took a bad tumble, banging his way down the craggy slope to squash into a wad of egg jelly.
Cagroot noticed a hole behind one of the egg wads, and he had a waking vision where the ghost of the baroness hiding in his life energy retreated to him, begging for help, as the wavering meat forest trembled with the approach of a predator. The echo fever infection in him was nearing a merging point once again with a corrupt psychic field like the one that the baroness’s ghost escaped from in the first place. Cagroot could eject the ghost into that starving field, or shelter her in his own life force. He chose to shelter her.
Cagroot told the Fellowship to face what was down the hole, and he retreated to protect his refugee ghost. Linking up with the justicar, Cagroot found the man babbling non-stop as his stoic silence was shaken apart by supernatural fear.
Meanwhile, fresh terror tore through the rest of the Fellowship as something in that hole trembled the earth. While Miraeg resisted, and Ivo clamped down on his sanity using his resolve, Thoreson embraced the inexorable sensation and retreated into his berserker fury, diving down the hole.
He confronted the corrupter worm writhing below, noting its bite radius matched the victims in the wreck of Lebrim’s Manor. He charged the foul thing, and the world went red.
When Thoreson regained his senses, seven minutes had passed and he was climbing out of the pit covered in blood not his own. He announced the thing was slain. All of the Fellowship felt the echo fever evaporate. Cagroot saw a dead gleam in Thoreson’s eyes, once again reminding him of the stare of a cave moray.
The ecology of the underground could be complex, and the echo fever projected by the fear drinker had been flavored by the worm thing in the pit. Their fields had interacted, probably boosting each other. It was not a surprise that the two forces had reached some kind of uneasy chemical truce, and settled near the queen nest and the cave pouncers attracted to her service. Still, knocking apart the alliance greatly diminished the threat of the nest.
The Fellowship returned to the surface and hefted their monster trophies back to Lebrim Manor’s construction site. They had a terse exchange with the magistrate, then loaded up the wagon and prepared to leave.
Baron Lebrim came to see them off. He assured them they could come back anytime. The teeth in his smile seemed much too sharp. With that, the Fellowship departed.
Legendary Weapon: Breathless Blade
This two-handed blade can be activated by its bearer by spending a Resolve and a defend action. All foes in melee range count as being targeted by a successful defend action.