The Adventures of BearTunnel Cave

Session 3
The Siege on Holy Grounds

Summary

Ellam Goldnight’s last memory was one of pain. Searing agony roused him from a deep slumber, and he found himself bound by shadows, their mere touch causing his body to ache. However, his abrupt recovery seemed to surprise the shadowy tendrils which had entangled his body, causing them to lose their grip and allowing Ellam to escape their painful grasp. Being pulled almost against his will, Ellam found himself hurtling towards a bright light, the agonizing shadows in tow.

The party awoke suddenly as screeching and howling filled the night sky, and an earth-shattering booming resonated from outside the Zayan monastery walls. Wasting little time, Milo made his way to the courtyard, alongside many young ascetics, to investigate what was happening. Jazzpaws, seeing an opportunity to be useful, promptly made his way further into the temple in order to avoid any responsibility.

Cynthia, deciding that she had had enough adventure for the day, lazed in her tub, wistfully hoping that whatever problems that seemed to be coming forth would all go away on their own, but her reprieve was short lived. Anju, worried for his brothers, burst into Cynthia’s quarters, begging for her help in his strange, philosophical speech. With a resigned sigh, Cynthia quickly dressed, and joined Milo in the courtyard, passing a curious looking Jazzpaws on the way.

Now together on the monastery grounds, Cynthia and Milo decided to climb atop the walls surrounding the temple, in order to obtain a better look on what seemed to be causing such a commotion. Taking note of the swirling ethereal nature of the sky, the two peered over the wall’s edge and were shocked to see dozens of demonic Dretch and Darkmantle in the woods, their attention drawn to breaking down the gate to the temple. While the two briefly discussed abandoning the monks and Jazzpaws to their fates, large boulders began crashing into the wall and the gate, finally bursting the doors to the courtyard open, allowing the creatures to storm inside.

Initially, Cynthia and Milo waited atop the wall, hoping to go unnoticed, and watching as the young monks defended themselves from the demons. As the young were slain in battle however, some of the flying Darkmantle saw the two, and charged forth. Defending themselves, the party made quick work of the creatures, and the monks managed to drive off the remaining demons, quickly closing and reinforcing the doors to the monastery. While Cynthia and Milo discussed their next course of action, the wind began to whip around crazily, and a hole opened up in the sky.

Shimmering forth, bathed in a halo of white light, Ellam appeared in the sky, promptly plummeting head first towards the ground. Some of the monks, acting quickly, started to push a cart full of hay to break the elf’s fall, however, slightly overshooting their mark, they only managed in softening his still painful landing. One of the young monks, helped up the injured Ellam, and led him over to a bushel of vegetables which, when consumed, seem to heal all injuries he had sustained. Wasting no time to stay and speak, the monk rushed off to help in reinforcing the gate from further attack. Cynthia and Milo, interested in this new arrival, made their way over to Ellam, to introduce themselves.

While stealing some of the monk’s reserves of healing corn, and not helping the Zayan monks in any way to protect against further attack, the party found out quickly that Ellam knew of their home, and was from the same land that they too were from. While discussions were held (with Ellam trying to reinforce morality upon the party), Jazzpaws, now covered in soot and burn marks, returned to the courtyard, ignoring his companions and crawling under a nearby cart. Shortly after, demons began banging on the gates once again.

Milo, having recalled the “Staff of BAAAAA” he had picked up from the corpse of a Sheepmancer back in his own land, pulled out his magical staff and bellowed a confident “BAAAAAAAA”, summoning forth 3 sheep to help fend off the coming onslaught of demons. He ordered the sheep to stand before the gate, however the 3 sheep couldn’t hold their ground against the might of an Ogre and a team of demons, who managed to burst open the doors. The sheep flew through the air, 1 breaking it’s neck on impact, and 2 landing safely near their new master.

The party fought doggedly with the demons as they besieged the Zayan monastery, surprised to see the sheep tearing into the flesh of the Dretch surrounding them. Though they took down many of the lesser demons, and force fed their remaining sheep alcohol, the party saw immediately that the true threat was the large Ogre slowly hewing down monk after monk. Cynthia, (now in Bear form) began to push a cart filled with hay towards the Ogre, while Ellam (and Jazzpaws to a lesser extent) continued picking off the Dretch that stormed the grounds. Milo, wielding a torch and wand, waited for Cynthia to hurl her cart full of hay at the beast, before coating it in a magical web, and setting it aflame. The party (sans Jazzpaws), worked together to defeat the Ogre, though they could only stare in horror as more of the demons rushed into the courtyard not long after.

Skidding to a halt, the demons all froze in place, staring up into the sky, twittering and howling excitedly. Shadows began to meld together above the temple, and all trace of moonlight disappeared behind another strange hole opening above. Though instead of a helpful figure, bathed in a reassuring white light, there was nothing but a black maw, with a deep and dark growling coming deep from within. Around them, the lifeless bodies of monk and demon alike began to float slowly off of the ground, being pulled upwards, into the strange hole.

As the party watched the strange occurrence above, Cynthia’s pack began to glow, a bright amber colour. Opening her pack, the amber orb that she had found near Revlon’s lifeless body floated before her. The party stared in awe as a beam of golden light shot forth, from the orb, and into the ominous black hole. The deep growling began to howl in agony, and the demonic beasts around them began to shriek in anger and fear. The hole closed in of itself, and the orb fell lifeless back into Cynthia’s hands. The demons around them scuttled off, and the bodies that had been floating in the sky, began to plummet back to the ground (one of them landing on Cynthia).

The siege from the demonic entities seemingly over, the party began to recollect themselves, and assist the remaining monks in tending to their wounded and dead.

Rewards

Everyone is now level 4!

Cynthia:
Inspiration (x1)

Milo:
Inspiration (x1)
Corn of Revitalization (x6)

Ellam:
Inspiration (x1)

Jazzpaws:
Dretch corpse (x3)

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Session 2
Friends of Goblins and Breakers of Bridges

Summary

Having arrived at a long and decrepit looking rope bridge, the party began to discuss the safest way to cross, to ensure that they wouldn’t plummet to their deaths. While Cynthia attempted to figure out a way to fashion a harness, Jazzpaws, throwing caution to the wind, simply raced across the bridge at full speed, managing to safely make it across.

Emboldened by Jazzpaws’ success, the rest of the party began to cross together, albeit a bit more cautiously. Midway through their crossing, Anju, having lost his footing and nearly falling to his death, accidentally bumped the young Jenner off of the side of the bridge. In an attempt to save the child from certain death, Cynthia tossed a looped rope, managing to only snare the boy’s neck, causing it to snap as if hung from a noose. Milo, trying to save Anju from slipping off the bridge, leapt along the wooden planks, his landing causing one side of the bridge to finally snap. Gripping on to the remainder of the bridge, Cynthia, Milo, and Anju found themselves dangling above a drop that would surely mean death.

After a bit of struggle, the three worked together to climb their way back up the bridge, and to the cliff summit, where Jazzpaws waited unhelpfully. Passing a moment of silence for Jenner, and recollecting themselves, the party continued onwards, towards the Zayan Monastery.

Having finally arrived on the main road, and with the Zayan Monastery not far off in the distance, the party came to a halt when they spotted a locked wagon, being escorted by men with strange smiles. After being denied answers to their questions, the party attacked the men and attempted to besiege them. They dispatched the men on foot, and then began to chase after the wagon, with Jazzpaws being dragged face first by a horse. An injured Milo hung from the edge of the wagon while fending off it’s driver. A quick thinking Cynthia aimed for the wheels of the wagon, successfully destroying them and causing the wagon to crash, impaling the driver on a nearby tree.

The party questioned the driver as life slowly faded from him, learning that he is a Goblin slave trader. Opening the back of the wagon, Jazzpaws befriended three Goblins (as the only inherent speaker of their language). He convinced the Goblins to finish off the slave trader, and to return home. The Goblins happily obliged, before bowing to Jazzpaws and bestowing upon him the title, “Friend of the Goblins”. The party then finally made their way to the Zayan Monastery.

Anju arrived to a warm welcome, and introduced the party to his temple. Grom, the courtyard overseer, greeted the group and showed them around, before eventually beckoning for Anju to report on all that had happened to their temple’s Master. Meanwhile, the party met with Jim Morrison, and began browsing his wares while purchasing some magical goods.

Soon, the time for supper arrived. Jazzpaws, uninterested, layed down to sleep in the courtyard, while Cynthia and Milo were led to the canteen. Cynthia, testing out her new flame resistant shirt, crawled into a hearth and burned away her pants, parading inappropriately naked around the Acolyte’s dinner tables. After finishing their meals, Milo and Cynthia were then led separately to their quarters.

The party’s rest was short lived as they were all awakened by a loud booming noise from outside the monastery gates. A crescendo of howling and shrieking filled the night air as the courtyard began to fill with curious faces. More booming noises pounded against the large wooden doors, and a loud cracking noise was heard.

Rewards

Jazzpaws:
1) Light Crossbow +1
2) Enchanted Backpack

Milo:
1) Wand of Web – 7 charges
2) Horse

Cynthia:
1) Wet Shirt
2) Throwing Dagger of Subtle Return

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Session 1
A Wintery Awakening

Summary

After passing through the mirror, the shadowy claws reaching out to them, there was nothing but black.

Anju, a young monk who only recently arrived at the ancient Zayan monastery, awoke from a daze. It took him a moment to assess his surroundings (the courtyard of the monastic order) and he found his focus turning back to his task at hand, tending to a garden. After successful work, his attention was drawn to nearby shouts from outside the monastery walls. The courtyard overseer, Grom, was quick to react, letting in traders of varying sorts. Anju, interested, moved to investigate, only to be quickly intercepted by an overly friendly trader who introduced himself as Jim Morrison. Jim, undeterred by Anju’s cryptic phrases, gathered Anju and another young monk by the name of Jenner, to help him unload his cart.

After some misgivings with Jim’s horse, Anju began to unload the cart, when his attention was drawn to the young Jenner, staring off into the distance. The boy spoke of a hole in the sky opening up and took off into the snowy forest. Anju was quick to follow and catch-up, stopping the boy, and advising that they move slowly and carefully together. They made their way through the small expanse of a forest, and to a long rope bridge. There, they began to cross carefully.

Bright light burned the eyes of Jazzpaws as he opened them. Taking in his surroundings, Jazzpaws found himself at the edge of a snow covered cliff, atop a mountain summit. As he adjusted himself to the new sights, he then noticed 3 crumpled figures nearby. Kicking snow in the face, of the first figure, and receiving no response, Jazzpaws observed an unmoving and seemingly dead Revlon. Unperturbed, he moved to the next figure, more gently nudging awake an unconscious Debbie.

Debbie awoke in a similar manner, with painful eyes and feeling frozen. After assessing that Revlon was indeed dead with a broken neck, and gathering his belongings (including a strange orb lying near his body), Debbie made her way over to Milo, still unmoving in the snow. To her relief, Milo, the plucky halfling of their entourage, seemed no worse for the wear. The party congregated and attempted to discuss their situation and what had happened, however a disinterested Jazzpaws had other plans. Spitting on and packing snow around Revlon’s lifeless body, he began to roll his companion into a dwarf sized snowball, slowly towards the edge of a large hill.

Out of breath, Anju and Jenner arrived at the bottom of a large hill, where they saw, in horror, what appeared to be a man, rolling another figure, into a giant snowball. Some strange antics occurred, including a plume of smoke being conjured, and Jenner ran off when a large, dwarf sized snowball came careening towards the monks. Anju, intent on stopping the snowball from rolling on, swung his staff with great force. A sickening thud was heard and Anju immediately realized that he had caved in the skull of the figure inside.

Debbie was the first to meet with Anju, proclaiming a change of heart and announcing her new name as Cynthia. Joined shortly later by the rest of the party, after a flurry of questions and brief scuffle (oddly not involving the newcomer), the party agreed to continue onwards with Anju, so that he could lead them to the monastery, where warmth and safety were more readily available. Following the trail left by the boy, the party scaled a small cliff, and came across the entrance to a cave, a shout coming from deep within.

Sneaking, slipping, and juggling their way through the cave, the party was surprised to see Jenner being besieged by a strange creature that Cynthia categorized as a Darkmantle. Wasting no time, Jazzpaws raced forward, and embedded an arrow into the creature on top of the boy. Anju, swinging his staff in an attempt to collapse the tunnel on the creature, only succeeded in causing a small stalactite to land on his head while awakening 4 more of the beasts. A fierce fight began, with Jazzpaws achieving his first ever kill, taking down two of the Darkmantles single-handedly. Working as a team, Cynthia (in bear form) and Anju took out the remaining three creatures.

Concerned about the welfare of the young boy, Milo skirted past the enemies, avoiding their attention. He approached Jenner, ho had a sickly bite on his neck, and who wasn’t looking too well. Milo, spotting some blue moss that he determined to have medicinal purposes, consumed the vitality restoring fungus with the young boy. Gathering the moss in clumps, Milo then spied a weak looking wall, which stood out from the rest of the cave. Working with bear Cynthia, the two managed to break through the wall, revealing strange room behind.

This new room stood out in its strange array of statues, pressure plates, and an odd poem etched upon a pedestal. While Milo and Anju used their wit and intelligence to decipher the poem, directing the powerful bear Cynthia on where to drag the heavy statues, Jazzpaws gained some aerobic exercise as he silently jumped up and down upon one of the statues. Together, the party solved the mystery of the elaborate room, and they were greeted with a trove of treasures. After a brief discussion over who got to keep what, with an emotional Cynthia (having found a relic of her past) delivering slaps to a child and a Jazzpaws (who also consumed a potion that reduced his age by 10 years), the party left the cave and continued onwards to the Zayan monastery.

Their trek came to a halt when at last they arrived at a long and treacherous looking rope bridge, which Anju had forgotten to warn them about. With no other noticeable way around the expanse that lay between them and the monastery, the party was left to ponder their next move.

Rewards

Jazzpaws:
1) Dragon Chess Set
2) Darkmantle Tentacles x4

Milo:
1) Bag of Holding
2) Blue Moss x7

Anju:
1) Revlon’s Corpse
2) Glowing Red Prism
3) Thunderwave Scroll
4) Cryptic Note

Cynthia:
1) Amber Orb
2) Revlon’s Belongings
3) Heavy Wooden Shield +1
4) Ornate Mirror
5) Stereo w/ Cassette Player (Uriah Heep cassette)

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