Of Stone and Shadow

Of Bloodless monsters and Bloodsuckers

A Concise log of Adventure 4

It was a gently snowing morning when Liryl met with her other adventuring companions. The plan was to visit the Dwarven ruins, and for once nothing had come up to deter them from that objective. They headed out of town on the north bound road. There were no other people or creatures to encounter this time, and so they made relative haste to the ruins. They did become distracted by some other abandoned buildings. Liryl remembered having been told that some of her companions had encountered skeletons here previously. Determined to discover what the skeletons were protecting, Liryl convinced her allies to accompany her in ridding the place of the undead present there.

There was nothing in the first chamber, but the second did not prove to be so empty. Liryl raised her symbol, determined against the foulness of moving bodies with no gears or flesh and chanted her praise of gears and the miraculousness of life. The skeletons fled from her power, scrambling to get away, but trapped by the walls of the room. As she continued chanting, her partners quickly dismantled the unnatural creatures. Everyone was dismayed to find nothing in the room the skeletons had been in. They went back to the main chamber, and went into the other room. In the center of the room was a pedestal with a grotesque dome with appeared to be dedicated to some evil deity from times long past. The pedestal had a compartment on it which Liryl was sure could contain the things being protected by the skeletons. Cautious, everyone retreated after Liryl cast a protection spell on Sturbin to prevent any evil spells from taking hold on him. Sturbin carefully opened the compartment, standing back and using a long stick. An oily, evil tinged mist curled up the stick but stopped short of the aura granted by Liryl’s spell. The entire trip seemed to have been a waste, as there was no treasure even in the trapped and hidden compartment. Liryl however, was quietly satisfied to have gotten rid of the undead, even if there had been no other reward to gain.

The party continued on their way, temporarily pausing to consider the idea of traversing the side of a canyon to spy on others that may come through from the ruins, but that scheme was quickly discarded after a short attempt proved unproductive. Upon reaching the ruins the party tried another fruitless endeavor of scaling the side of the dwarven face to enter through the eyes which were raised off the ground and not a typical entrance. However, also getting a large cat to scale the side of the flat face was not something any of them wanted to attempt so they went into the typical entrance only to be promptly attacked by a bunch of crazed deformed goblins. The cat leapt into battle and quickly dispatched a goblin, but was then turned upon by the remaining misshapen monsters and went down under their ferocious assault. Fortunately, the cat’s sacrifice was valued, as the other goblins went down quickly due to the distraction the cat had provided.
Their victory was short lived however, as two bugbears came charging out of a door to the side. However, the cat’s gnomish owner summoned a host of elves to quickly dispatch the bugbears. One died swiftly while Liryl kept the other alive to question. That was fruitless however and he had to be slain before he could warn others with his sudden keening noise. The creatures had some few small treasures on them which were quickly taken as compensation for the injuries received by the dead’s previously vicious hands.

Liryl decided and was supported in her decision, not to investigate the direction from which the bugbears had come, due to a concern that surprise may no longer be on their side as well as the unknown factor of the size of forces in that direction, the crew decided to go upstairs instead, with hopes of finding the eyes that had been their intended entrance, since hopefully there would be treasure where there was less travel.

They entered what had at one time been a weapons room. The weapons were still there, but so was another pair of bugbears. Fortunately, these proved to be just as easily dispatched as the previous pair, this time with the assistance of a few giant rats, again summoned by the wizardy gnome. And again, questioning proved useless as the bugbear left alive began a loud high pitched noise, seeming to be a warning for the other bugbears or their queen. Liryl was beginning to get very annoyed at her lack of ability to find out more about the bugbear forces that may oppose them searching the ruins. They took the dwarven weapons that had been safeguarded as their rightful reward for slaying the beasts that had guarded over them.

The small group found one of the eyes, and after surveying the land from a lovely vantage point, continued on their way. As they did, a strange buzzing filled the air. Members of the party with previous experience with the noise knew it to be the sound of stirges, large mosquito-like bugs. It was with confidence and conviction that the party made a plan to summon some more creatures to distract the bugs, while the wizard cast a spell that would hopefully effect most of them and disorient them, making quick work of the creatures. It was unfortunate the bugs proved to be much more than normal stirges.

As the wizard and summoned elves stepped forward to enact the plan, darkness prevailed, overriding the light from the torch and preventing even the darkvision the group had from functioning correctly. Screams filled the air and Liryl, unable to see who or what it was she was attacking, scrambled back down the stairs and to the safety of the light. Sturbin made it out before her, and the wizarding gnome and drow stumbled out long enough for Liryl to see with horror the strange creatures attached to them with a long proboscis inserted through their flesh draining them of blood and energy. Then everything went dark again. Unable to fight in the dark and concerned to hit her allies, Liryl fled again. Sturbin made it out alongside with her and moved to slam the door behind him. Fortunately the elves dragged their other two companions out of the room before he managed to close them off. Some stirges were still attached to them, but they flew off without causing further trouble. The wizards were barely conscious and Liryl had to look over them quickly to determine the summoner was much more grievously injured. She quickly applied her magics to him to help stave off some of the pain, and the crew had to leave the ruins to heal and recuperate from their encounter with the strange stirges.

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