The Only Constant

Puffballs and Whirling Blades of Death
by Solanjey, Chaos Sorcerer and Snappy Dresser

So what happened next? Usually, I’m the last person to ask about goings on, since much of what I see is only happening to me, and sometimes it really isn’t. But someone’s got to keep track of these things, and far be it from me to be a grumpy goose.

Mushrooms! A whole room of them. And not the fun kind, either. Too big for a magic stew, and what was more, Adar said that they were definitely poisonous. We had to get past them. At first, we tried climbing along the slimy wall, but that didn’t work very well. I may be a little more athletic than I used to be (for some reason) but I’m still not the best at that sort of thing.

So we slid to the floor. The mushrooms shook, and some of them burst when we tried to move through them. Poison spores! What will those wacky mushrooms think of next? I bet it’ll have something to do with hats.

Then I realized that I could turn into water, so I did it. I oozed through the mushroom fields, Patryn turned into bugs, and Adar and Theork somehow got through the rest without hurting themselves too badly.

Up ahead, there was a crack in the ground. Or maybe I should say a fissure. Even though we were not sure about heading even further down, Theork laughingly assured us that this is where we wanted to go. I wasn’t sure what he was so amused by, but I guess orcs have a lot to laugh about. Or at least he did, before he got shredded. But that part’s coming next.

We ended up in a long hallway with clickey plates in the floor. Theork said he knew which clicks not to click, but before he could get us all the way across, a big glowing hole opened up in the ceiling and a dwarf fell out. “Sorry!” said a voice. Not sure what that was all about.

The dwarf was named Dain, and even though he had just been in a pub, drinking ale with his friend, he was very enthusiastic about the prospect of tromping through a smelly sewer with us, killing little lizard people and getting caught in traps. And everyone says that I’m the one who’s crazy!

No, really, they do. A lot.

We barely had time to talk to Dain before everything got dangerous again. A few dead orcs not only attacked us, but they also set off the clickey traps. Talk about careless. So now we had a whirling column of blades bouncing around the hallway, too. Luckily, we managed to prevail against it all (though Theork didn’t; see above) and we moved on.

The hallway split, and we headed towards the right, only to enter some kind of altar room with a bunch more cranky kobolds. We fought! And when it was all over, we were left with more dead kobolds and another room to explore. It’d be nice if there was a way to the surface through here…

The Rising Tide

The tale begins as few stories do, with its heroes already dead. And not just dead, but long gone, forgotten by the world for nearly a hundred years. Over the last century, everything has changed. The Weave is gone, its death throes triggering the terrible Spellplague whose effects continue to linger even now. Nations have vanished, incinerated by blue flame, ground under by natural disaster or hurled out of the plane by magic. Ancient and alien kingdoms have arisen from the ashes, some to reclaim their lost heritage and others to forge new empires. Through all of this, the heroes have slumbered, the memory of their deeds worn away like sand in a storm.

Not everyone has forgotten them, however, and loyalties of the past rise once more to save them. The group is reawakened, released from their prison by a familiar face: Kiree Amikier. Although she seems rushed, she gives a cursory explanation of their situation—how long they have been gone, some of what has happened to the world and why she is there.

Time or imprisonment has changed the heroes. Adar, previously a cleric of the god Shaundakul, no longer feels His presence, instead finding himself haunted (and aided) by the spirits of those whom he has killed over his life. Death seems to have maintained some of its grip on Patryn, and he returns only half alive, with fragments of his memories and new shapeshifting abilities. Jey, formerly dangerously insane at times, has kept some of his lunacy, but seems almost… at peace. Castor is missing entirely.

Kiree implores the group to hurry, although she does not have the time to explain to explain the reason for her haste. Her suggestion is punctuated by the appearance of a dragon (who turns out to be an ally of Kiree’s), followed by creatures much more horrid. Lacking the power they possessed in their prior lives, Jey, Adar and Patryn follow Kiree’s advice and flee up the tunnel to which she points. Not a moment too soon either, it turns out, as an explosion brings the tunnel crashing down behind them.

They find themselves in an unfamiliar cave, a quick exploration of which yields some equipment from the bodies of another (even deader) adventuring party. The caves, as Kiree mentioned before their departure, are the home to kobolds, and the group has their first encounter with the diminutive folk, leaving a half dozen bodies in their wake. Obviously there are some things that have not changed.

Further into the cave system, they battle their way past another choke point set up by the kobolds. In the process, they rescue an orc by the name of Theork. Surprisingly (and quite the opposite of their previous experiences with orcs), he states that he owes them a debt of honor, and ends up agreeing to help them make their way to the surface.

He steers them away from the main entrance to the kobold warrens, instead taking them down a foul smelling passage to a chamber reeking of garbage and filth. After sliding down to the bottom, they find a field of giant puffball mushrooms. Adar investigates them and determines that they are linked together, sensitive to touch, and very, very toxic. And they thought bypassing the kobold’s main gate would be easy…

The Story So Far...

Coming Soon…


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