|Ah ancient TSR art - sure loved its fungus!|
Pahvelorn - The Buried City, Early Winter.
The iron entry door to the buried metropolis of Pahvelorn stands ajar, as a group of men desperate enough and blase about supernatural horror from long exposure back slowly through it. The adventurers (laden with weapons and strange gear) are shouting back into the chambers at someone, a discussion about who has attacked who in the past, and if the groups have mutual enemies rages. As the men back towards the crumbled stairs away from Pahvelorn a group of hunched and hooded figures follow them out, the hooded figures speak with hissing accents as the groups slowly edge around each-other. The threat of violence is heavy in the air, but never quite breaks to the surface and the hunched man things retreat towards town while the adventurers again enter Pahvelorn.
It is unclear if there is now a cease fire between the lizard cult and the party: Beni (the rat catcher), Sarin (Priest), Higgans (Warlock of dubious virtue) and Satyvati (Destitute conjuror). The band and their henchman (a pack of crossbow toting hoodlums, and one small dog) have been battling the lizard cultists for the last few weeks, but recently discovered that while reprehensible the cult is not behind a rash of kidnappings and forced mutations around town.
Heading into the pit and across the roofs of the buried city, the band notice a strange insect-man feeding a pack of giant rats in a courtyard and a giant scorpion patrolling the boulevard below. Sneaking past both of these terrors, the adventurers again enter a mansion with huge bat winged statutes flanking its ornate metal doors. Within little has changed, and the party's strange ally, 'Tangle' an otherworldly foot soldier from an ancient invasion patrols the room he was left in.
Nothing else has changed in the week since the party visited the mansion, and only when the band ventures into the chambers beneath the mansion do they begin to discover unexplored and seemingly occupied areas. The first room to the West of the main cavern is covered in sparkling crystal, and contains an iron platform with a threatening pentagram atop it. Tangle states he is worried about the platform, and the summoning circle on it. Higgans feels echos of ancient magic in the air, and the party decides to avoid the thing as much as possible. Beneath the platform, embedded in crystal, Beni discovers a large chunk of uncarved jade. After a long discussion and efforts involving iorn spikes and daggers, Tangle tears the stone free with his unnatural strength and huge claws.
The next room to the West contains another summoning platform with a cage on it. Inside the cage is a lumpy sack. As Beni moves to hook the sack with a pole, there is tittering on the ceiling and Beni, followed by the rest of the party, looks up to see a large number of tiny crystalline creatures that outwardly resemble tangle. Beni grabs the sack (filled with coal) and flees as the creatures bound from above. AS the party runs into the narrow passage between the rooms, Satyavati lights a wall of oil between the band and the pursuing crystal things. The things don't follow, but a vial of some orange liquid bounces of of Higgans and falls to the floor, miraculously undamaged. Beni scoops it up and the group retreats to the cliff above the entry to the Mansion's caves. After twenty minutes, nothing arrives to trouble them, and the party descends again to investigate the Eastern corridor, choked with fungus. Fire won't burn the slimy stuff, and when Beni removes a pair of rats from his capture sack they disappear into the fungus and shortly a squeak of pain and a squishing noise are audible. Deciding that the rat eating fungus is still less of a threat then the crystal chameleon imps the party begins laboriously cutting the fungus back using long weapons and a 10' pole with a folding knife that Higgans has specially constructed.
A tentacle is seen in the fungus and Satyvati puts a knife into it before it disappears. Sarin's Henchmen (the dub physically astonishing one know for wrestling lizard men) rushes forward and begins hacking the fungus intent on getting into a fight. He needn't wait long as the fungus creature in the room beyond reveals itself, a huge beast with multiple man sized tentacles and a central eye. A tentacle is severed by the aggressive henchman and the rest of the group pours forward to attack. On a whim Beni flings the vial of orange goo at the creature and strikes it forcefully in its open maw, shattering the crystal.
The creature dissipates! It's gone dissolved into air and where the tentacled monster stood is an ancient cauldron spilling out fungus and several finely made wooden boxes. A brick shed in the corner attracts Beni's attention and he rushes to find it locked, but with miraculous luck manages to pick it and inside discovers several carved crystals and a set of six scroll tubes. Within the boxes is more treasure, loose gold coins and a wealth of strange spices. A mysterious ceramic toad is also discovered. While the party is looting the chamber and Higgans scribing the runes from the cauldron (too large to carry and revealed to be a "cauldron of greater creation" when read magic is cast on it) a misty shape seems to be reforming in the air. the shape too closely resembles the tentacled beast, and the party gathers their equipment before fleeing. Loaded done with treasure and without immediate areas to explore the band leaves Pavelorn and returns to the crumbled town of Zorfath to plan their next expedition.