Pacific Northwest Marches

Adventure 2: Discharge Lake (attempt 2)
Slimy Boogaloo

Hail and well met.

We rallied together a team of adventurers, consisting of myself (Sir Levosh Argden), Astor, Lothar, Rook, and Thistle. Our mission as simple: Re-enter the cave we exited from last time, and discover the secret of the damnable lake of corruption.

As expected, the cave was overrun with Kobolds. The daughter of Erno was in these caves trying to prove her value as a warrior, which seemed ill-advised, but she was fortunately rescued mostly unscathed. However, something else was amiss: it was far too warm, moist, and smelly for a Kobold cave. It didn’t take long for the dragon hiding behind them to reveal its scaly hide and shovel-less claws. It didn’t take long for this beast to demonstrate how powerful and frightening it was, immediately ripping off half of Rook’s arm. I believe my compatriots would be better suited to describing the actual melee, but suffice it to say I stood in the face of the beast and escaped not only with only scratches and bruises, but the rest of my compatriots were alive. I’m still scraping dried dragon blood of my shovel’s blade.

We found an interesting crown immediately after. Not quite the hoard of wealth we’ve come to expect from a dragon (though I’m sure there is one hidden in the caves now), but a priceless find regardless: a new suit of armor, several excellent shovels, a small plot of land to tend to a garden, the possibilities are endless.

We returned to the keep with our lives, the grown, and Erno’s daughter. I was rather confused and dazed by this point, having fended off two dragon’s blows with my face, so I don’t quite remember what happened beyond Rook vandalizing a kind Smith’s sign, me making it worse when I tried to help, and then Rook attempting to rob an innkeeper. We’re going to have to keep an eye on that one. But for now, I must rest. I think I’m slightly concussed.

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Adventure 1: Discharge Lake (attempt 1)

Hey fellow adventurers,

So Thistle (Bushbro), Astor (Sunbro), and I (Shovelbro) just got back from a pretty weird outing in the wilderness. We had noticed there was some smoke about a mile due west of the keep, and being lovers of nature, wanted to make sure there was nothing suspicious going on.

Through a combination of Bushbro’s shapeshifting abilities and my extremely heavy armor (mostly the latter), we found ourself facing down a splinter group of one of the local orc tribes, feasting on the remains of an utterly massive boar. Not one to interrupt their dinner, we wanted to let bygones be bygones, but when one of those thugs attacked Sunbro, I couldn’t help myself and had to make an example of one of them. The remainder went back to their dinner.

Meanwhile, Bushbro had successfully convinced a local fox to tell us a little about these giant animals. Apparently there is a lake nearby (I would estimate perhaps another quarter mile away from where we found the orcs, though I lost track of direction, so it’s hard to say. Perhaps north-west?). Said lake, however, has foul waters that bewitch those who drink from it and cause massive increase in size, in addition to erratic behavior.

Once we stumbled across the lake, we saw two things: a goat drink from it and start to increase dramatically in size, and an island in the middle. Naturally, Thistle decided to sample the waters and started choking on his own vomit. Being a protector of my friends, I offered to help, taking his illness into myself. The foulness of this lake could not be understated. Its waters were thick, viscous, and almost stringy, like, well, we’ve all had colds before.

After burying myself in a contemplative hole for a few minutes (quite literally, might I add), I decided to embark on a grand quest to discover the secret of this horrible body of… fluid. Astor summoned the might of the sun to sanctify some of the putrid water, and it had the most startling reaction. It separated into a greenish powder (which was left in Astor’s hands), and a less viscous fluid that seemed to move on its own, toward the island. At around this point, we noticed that our goat friend was looking rather bloated and waddling its way through the lake toward the island in the middle.

Using a nearby log and one of our ropes, we fashioned the finest vessel we could in five minutes: A log that I would pull through the murky waters for Sunbro (while Bushbro conveniently flew overhead). Part way through my journey, I grew weary and sank, but driven by my divine purpose kept marching forward. Once I emerged from the murky depths, Sunbro’s warhammer had been infused with the power of the sun and a small wiggling ball of slime was squishing by my feet (which is nothing a solid thwack with a shovel can’t fix, of course).

By this time it was getting dark, and we needed to find shelter. Unfortunately those orcs we mercifully did not slay in cold blood earlier had other ideas and started showering us with a hail of arrows, forcing us into the ruins. In the ruins, we found the strangest thing: the goat we saw earlier was oddly no longer goat-shaped and more of a blob shape. Not only that, but upon approach, a pseudopod of some sort shot out and latched onto my leg, which started to go numb (and is still numb to this day, might I add). I severed the pseudopod with my spade and stepped back.

Sunbro at this point remembered that he had once heard rumors of slime and oozes, which must be destroyed with fire, magic, or by being consumed from the inside. Once again summoning the fury of the sun (Praise the sun!), he launched his warhammer at the foul beast, which lit ablaze, filling the chamber with thick, noxious smoke. Sunbro immediately succumbed to the smoke, as did I. While I was choking for air, I saw Bushbro, with a rag over his nose, dragging Sunbro to safety. I turned around and crawled my way up the stairs, only to find that the orcs were still on the other shore, peppering us with arrows. We found a collapsed little cave with a small ledge that would protect us from arrows and the elements, and set up camp for the night. I couldn’t help but notice at some point during this exchange that Sunbro lost his shield. I lent him mine, as his safety was far more important than my own.

As luck would have it, this chamber was full of ooze-encrusted bats that would have other plans for us. I can’t quite recall what happened, but I nearly fell off (and lost my backpack), Sunbro found another lost soul’s climbing pitons to use as makeshift weapons, and Bushbro assumed the form of a massive owl. At some point, however, the ledge caved, and I found myself clinging to my shovel, which was buried in the now vertical surface. I could just barely make out the sounds of a scuffle above, as one of Astor’s pitons fell down. Seeing my chance to help and protect him, I pushed off the wall to catch it, and confound my clumsy fingers, I missed and plummeted to the depths below. Astor decided to jump to escape his enemies, and I made sure to catch him. We found ourselves in a dank chamber full of slime and bones, and being showered with arrows. We ran for a nearby tunnel, which began to collapse as we entered it. The way back was sealed, it was dark, dank, smelled terrible, but by the luck of my shovel, I had managed to salvage a single torch from my lost pack.

Astor began to tell us about the kinds of creatures we could expect to find in caves like these and guided us in the construction of some basic fortifications to allow us some respite. After a good night’s (I can only assume) sleep, we set out for the long trek back. The walk up from the cave was mostly uneventful, except for maybe half a dozen kobolds. We dispatched them quickly and messily, and found among them a few coins and some ragged spears. Once we saw the light of day at the end of the tunnel, we looked around and saw east and a little south, only about a mile away in the distance, was the keep! We hurried back to lick our wounds, but we will return to the horrible lake of DIscharge and uncover the foul secrets it holds.

Until next time,
-Sir Levosh Argen, Knight of Shovelry

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