Our brave adventurers had something of a quandary before them. What to do in regards to the fallen John Willow? Surely, they wouldn’t abandon their companion and leave him tot he mercies of demon-crazed gnolls who had been whipped into a bloodlust by the “Undercow” they were feasting on.
I mean, that would be a dick move, adventurers.
Surprisingly, the general consensus was to abandon John Willow and save themselves. Sarith – being Sarith – was all for that idea. Buppido, too, had no major objections to this course of action. And even Ront appeared to grudinginly agree withi this plan. Shuushar, the peaceful kuo-toa hermit and Derendil, the polymorphed quaggoth/gold elf prince seemed as though they were upset with this course of action.
…there seemed to be more than a hint of a threat in that comment, and it seemed to remind our heroes that they should not let the inhumanity of this place rob them of their own humanity. Besides, dwarves don’t abandon their allies.
Our adventurers, having rediscovered their
balls fortitude, went about the task of saving John Willow. They came up with a plan using the innate stealth capacities of some of their more nimble allies in concert with the unparalleled darkvision of another. As they approached John Willow – and the gnolls – they discovered the latter were so wholly distracted by their feasting on their subterranean snack that they scarcely noticed the adventurers as they approached.
As they moved closer, though, one of the advance party saw the grisly scene for the first time: The yipping, giggling, blood-crazed gnolls feasting on that bovine creature. And the horrific sound of rending flesh, crunching bone, and the thick and heavy smell of blood in the air proved to be too much for one wood elf. For as he locked eyes with the Undercow and saw his suffering, he found himself afflicted with madness.
This presented a new challenge for our heroes. They had to rescue their fallen companion, but they also had to rescue the useless, gibbering fool that wood elf had become. Jimjar pointed out the irony in this situation, as that wood elf had been one of the strongest proponents of the “Abandon our ally” scenario.
As they moved to recover both companions, one of them heard a roar in the distance.
Eventually, though, they were able to recover John Willow. And the elf. But as they moved away, that roar repeated, sounding closer. They thought nothing of it, just anxious to break away from the mad gnolls.
From out of nowhere, a minotaur exploded on the scene, greataxe in hand. With no preamble, the minotaur charged at the gnolls, who were already rushing to attack it. They tore at each other, fang and horn, axe and glaive. The gnolls had the numbers, but the minotaur had the size and strength. The monsters seemed to have all but forgotten our heroes, providing them with a convenient chance to escape.
But let it be known that our heroes were in desperate need for a show, or something; it is difficult to discern precisely what guided their next course of actions. For whatever reason, they stayed to watch the battle between the creatures.
The minotaur tore through the gnolls, then turned its attention to our heroes. One can only wonder what was going through its mind. Bloodlust? Rage? Confusion at the audience that seems to have gathered to watch it like some kind of Underdark Masterpiece Theatre? Whatever was going through its mind, the minotaur wanted one thing to go through the minds of our heroes: A greataxe.
The battle that ensued was vicious and bloody. More than one of our heroes collapsed before the barbaric bovine, but in the end, they were triumphant; though one warlock fell to longbow arrows fired by the (still-living) gnoll because he opted to attempt to remove a piece of the minotaur horn.
Our party fled, and made their way to a relatively safe area of the Underdark. Not since the Velkynvelve have they taken that kind of punishment, and their aching and bloodied bodies were in dire need of repair. After securing their position, they all but collapsed, taking a much needed long rest.
A long rest that passed uneventfully…until they arose. As they stretched their arms and stirred, a sound thundered across the caverns, a familiar voice that immediately made their blood run cold. A voice they immediately recognized, though they could not see the source. Even without seeing it, they could almost feel the disdainful, cruel gaze upon them. Panic gripped their hearts, and their minds were filled only with thoughts of escape. All from two words spoken, for no more were need. Two words, only.
Mistress Illvara said “Ignorant cattle”.
Players: Quiddie, Vardos, Jobe Cainan, Dwight, Wimia
Enemies Defeated/Dealt With:
Minotaur (Minnie) – 1
Potentiality For This Next Session To End Up With Us Ending The Year With A Bang And Reminding People Just How Dangerous The Underdark Can Be: Boom.