Okay, here’s the bigger after-action report: Tarthon (minotaur barbarian), Graaver Stormcry (longtooth shifter druid-fighter), Kheiron (githzerai seeker), Grumhorn a.k.a. “Grue” (dwarf invoker), and Daanith make their way west along the coast away from the Dragonspire Mountains, where they recently finished up some work as caravan guards and probably set fire to a couple of villages.
On the road, they come across a stupid bastard, or, more appropriately, his corpse, since the stupid bastard had just been ambushed and slain by a pack of goblins who now attack us. Goblin snipers fire alchemical bombs that trigger explosions near us. The vibrations soon draw two massive burrowing insectoid beasties – ankhegs! – who are just as happy to chomp on the goblins as on us. Combined attacks from Daanith, Grue, and Kheiron take out one sniper, while Tarthon dives into the pack of goblins and Stormcry gets into a “Who Hugs the Best?” contest with one of the ankhegs. Things get REALLY dicey when a bulette (!!) is also attracted by the vibrations! It’s pants-wetting time! (Rick scaled down the Land Shark from its “standard” form, but still DAMN NASTY.) Daanith, who was knocked on his tail by the bulette’s ground-breaking eruption, narrowly avoids a devastating chomp, thanks to the shadows clinging to him from his Shadow Walk. Fortunately, the bulette is soon drawn to attack the heavier and thus more thumpy ankheg near Daanith and Grue. Kheiron summons a wide cloak of bats to blanket the area around the battling Rodan and Mechagodzilla while the rest of the party focuses on the remaining goblins and the other ankheg. The last goblin successfully flees as we polish off the other ankheg. We then move on tippy toes across the battlefield so as not to draw the attention of Mr. Tremonsense Bulette, and we collect the body of Stupid Bastard and scoot out of the area quickly.
Stupid Bastard had a torn note, written by someone telling him of clues to mysterious and highly valuable items belonging to Captain Longshanks, a pirate who sailed these waters many years ago. The clues were at a spot named Wyvern Rock, along the beachfront two hours back the way we came. It’s still early afternoon, so … off to Wyvern Rock!
A thorough search of the beachfront reveals nothing, but someone (Grue?) spots a glint in a cave, located in a cove. The only way to get there is to swim. Since four of the five guys are wearing light armor, this is not a problem for anyone except Grue. :-) Reaching the cove, we’re attacked by two giant crabs. Stormcry, Daanith, Grue, and Kheiron see danger. Tarthon sees tonight’s dinner. The crabs have other ideas, and Stormcry and Tarthon are grabbed and nearly eviscerated. This makes Stormcry and Tarthon bloodied, which makes Stormcry and Tarthon happy. Kheiron attacks with a power that causes one crab to attack the other, leaving both dazed. This key move frees the party’s two bruisers, and the combo of melee and ranged attacks soon bastes the crabs. (Mmmmm…. basted crabs… ahhhhgglllll….!)
Stormcry assumes wolf form and, as the only one with both great Perception and low-light vision, scouts ahead into the dark passageway. [Note to self: Must avoid this “useful” and death-attracting combination in future characters.] Green slime pops onto Stormcry and starts to eat him! As Stormcry’s urging, Tarthon strikes the goo, even though he knows that his friend will take half the damage. Tarthon gets a critical hit. OUCHIE. (Stormcry is bloodied again. Yay. See above.) Grue discovers that the radiant damage from his Sun Strike is very effective against the slime, so he pours it on, and Daanith also tosses an eldrtich blast. The green slimes sloughs off the acid-chewed wolf, who smells really bad. More green slime is spotted on the ceiling, but these buggers are cleared out after multiple attacks from Grue and Daanith.
The passageway leads to a wide cave containing a lake, created naturally by water running through the passageway at high tide. It appears too deep to wade through, so Stormcry swims across the narrowest part with a rope, setting up himself as an anchor (with Tarthon on the other side) for the other guys to move across. First up: Daanith! The awkward warlock gets entangled in kelp! Dammit! Stormcry goes back in the water to assist—and then the aquatic undead emerge! Kheiron fires off an attack that damages the main target and, with its supplemental damage, destroys two of the adjacent undead. (Yay, minions!) Grue’s attack pushes two of the undead away from his allies, and Stormcry destroys one with a druidic attack … but Daanith is ripped into and embraced by one of the undead, who shoves the tiefling’s face into its vile chest and starts to drown him! The retaliatory fiery strike of his tiefling heritage does little damage. He’s going to die!
[Commence furious perusal of Felix’s character sheet. Did he take a damn teleportation power?! No! Wait, what’s this? Ethereal stride? Bing!]
Daanith teleports 15 feet away from the deadly embrace and onto the far side. Phew! Have some fire, sweetie! Uh oh, a second wave of undead emerges, advancing toward Tarthon, Grue, and Kheiron! The minotaur happily welcomes the close-quarters combat, and after several strikes – especially from Grue’s radiant attacks and a Rebuke Undead – the disgusted creatures are wiped out.
We all make our way across to the far side and find treasure chests! Woo hoo! Oh, not so woo hoo—as soon as one chest is opened, all four split open to reveal four more undead! Fortunately, they’re dispatched quickly, with the big blow coming from Tarthon, who slams one undead so powerfully that his backswing destroys another creature adjacent to him.
One side passage leads to a small cave, containing a rusty sword, useless old grain, and barrels of wine long turned to vinegar. However, there is literally a message in a bottle! It said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Yorell [Longshanks’ second mate] kept the location of the treasure in his head. I vow to do the same.” Hmmm. There’s a second passage still to be explored, and that’s where we left off.