Surprised by a pair of shield guardians and a stone golem, the party fought a pitched battle against the constructs. When the constructs put a temporary halt to the fighting by pushing a set of heavy crates against the hallway entrance where the characters were located, Ugagn used a blade to cut through the wooden crates and create a sniper nest. Then, he climbed into a crate. From that position, he thought he would be able to shoot arrows at the constructs with impunity.
Sadly, he was mistaken.
He fired one round of arrows at the nearest stone golem, which only upset the machine. As Ugagn scrambled desperately to escape from his roost, the 2,000-pound pile of mobile rock smashed through the wooden crates as though they were matchsticks, battering the helpless gnome within.
At this point, the party’s designated meatshield, Daukua, stepped into the fray to save his vertically-challenged friend. But the Paladin also underestimated the power of three golems, and was subjected a flurry of relentless blows from the golems’ unforgiving fists. After losing his sword in the battle, Daukua summoned his horse and fled. Finally, Pall-Bar Wodahs transformed his bird into a nine-headed hydra and put down the three uppity golems.
The party took advantage of a long respite from combat to explore the caverns and workshops occupied by the golems. Gilia Stoneforger’s theory, that the golems were responsible for the preservation of Iskandar, seemed to be accurate, as the party discovered forges, glassworks, construction and masonry equipment and even a golem lab, where smaller worker golems were busy constructing new guardians.
The group also found two metal rods and a curious white orb being held in a forge. Thanks to a handy “Identify” spell or two, the group deduced that the rods could be used to control the golems, and the orb, once properly charged, could be used to bring new golems to life.
The intrepid party moved through the cavernous complex, but in a room flanked by two boiling oil pits, one party member snapped. Ugagn‘s paranoia had been growing since entering the underground complex and witnessing the death of Yivellor Sa’Kaasv. Suddenly, the gnome spotted a honey badger swimming in the boiling oil pit on one side of the room.
The gnome tried to convince his incredulous companions that the animal was actually there, then Ugagn attempted to capture the animal. During the ensuing ruckus, Pall-Bar Wodahs decided to play a trick on his delusional friend. The wizard created the image of a second honey badger in the room. Ugagn tried to catch this badger, too, but was brought up short when the wizard made the image disappear and slapped him.
The destruction of the illusion proved to be too much for poor Ugagn, who drew his bow, and then shot Daukua. Just before the Paladin could smite the problematic gnome, Pall-Bar Wodahs brought the fight to an end.
Continuing on, the group found an obsidian hall, complete with lava flows and a giant, obsidian golem constructed to resemble a bull. Despite its fearsome appearance, the bull proved to be an easy target for our adventurers.
The group moved down a set of long stairs and came to an open, unrefined cavern studded with stalactites and stalagmites. At a chokepoint between two lava flows, the group encountered a wall of force that impeded any progress. Searching for a way to deactivate the wall, Pall-Bar Wodahs teleported to the other side.
Busy searching for a means to dispel the wall, the wizard was caught completely unprepared when a nearby stalagmite came to life—striking tPall-Bar Wodahs with barrage of long tentacles. Two of the tentacles latched on, and the creature began dragging the wizard toward a large and very toothy mouth.
But on the other side of the energy wall, the plucky Pall-Bar Wodahs
had come up with a solution of his own. With one hand free, the wizard turned himself into a massive black pudding ooze, weighing in at 18,000 pounds and capable of dissolving flesh and armor.
Who will win in the fight between the ooze and the fiendish cavern creature? Stay tuned for the result.