Hive Day 4 (Uath 16)

Back to The Hive

Back to Hive Day 3 (Uath 15)
Ahead to Hive Day 5 (Uath 17)

Uath 16 – midnight – 5 hours infravision

Carnail leads the party a short way down the hall, to where the next hole in the ceiling is. Leaving the Team beneath, Carnail has Lee lift her up the shaft. [12-12:05am]

The large chamber above is deserted, although there is a tunnel out high on the wall. There are shelves along the walls holding strange devices, but nothing of immediate interest. Across the ceiling is stretched a net, as seen in a previous chamber. Carnail wonders if tyrants sleep, and if they float when they do – perhaps the net constrains their movements, since it seems to be well-fastened to the ceiling, with no mechanism for dropping it on intruders.

Image: Tyrant Chamber 5

Carnail and Lee move up and into the side-tunnel. [12:05-12:15am]
Light comes from a chamber at the end of the tunnel. Carnail and Lee approach slowly. The tunnel curves down, widens out, and drops into a large chamber.

Image: Tyrant Chamber 5 tunnel

Carnail and Lee pause at the lip before the drop becomes precipitous. The sloped drop-off opens to a lavishly decorated room, full of fine sculptures, wall hangings, and brightly colored crystals. A combination of luminescent mosses, fungi, fire beetles, and strange colored lanterns lights the entire place. An open book rests on a low stone block, while what appears to be some sort of workshop is set up on a large stone table in the corner. In a second corner is a pile of various things that seem to form bedding. [12:20am]
Carnail has Lee lower her to the floor of the chamber.

Image: Tyrant Chamber 6

As they look about, a voice from nearby and above rings out, “So, you are the…adventurers that Qeqtoxii believes will kill me. I believe the poor creature underestimated my power. Well, Qeqtoxii’s mistake will prove to be fatal to both you and that fool. Unless…” the voice pauses. Carnail looks about carefully, but sees no trace of a creature. “…Unless you could provide some further details about Qeqtoxii’s operations outside this city, so that there is a smooth transition when a new leader takes over.”

Carnail turns slowly around, addressing the air in general. “Yes, he was a fool. He did manage to provide me the location of your hive, though. My reward to him was my fist through his skull. As far as this being a city, well, frankly I am not impressed.” Carnail motions to Lee to be ready to switch on the whip.

“It is true we have a lot of rebuilding to do,” the voice responds menacingly, “but someone in your position would do better to use a more deferential tone.”

“Tell you what,” offers Carnail, “you tell me all about the glorious history of your reign, and I will tell you how it ends.”

“Gazriktak!” the voice snaps. “They are not cooperative. You may attack!” The voice is only half through this when Carnail says “Now!” to Lee. Lee ignites the whip while Carnail jumps away and draws her spear. From under the stone table a small tyrant emerges and Carnail heads straight for it. Lee takes out her bow.

Round 1 [12:25am]
Hive mother hits Lee with AM ray, but the whip is already on.

Init. 10 – Gazriktak shoots a Flesh to Stone at Carnail. She makes the save.
Init. 9 – Lee shoots her bow, hitting Gazriktak for 4 points of damage. She is now visible.
Init 8. Lee misses with her bow. Gazriktak hits Carnail with a Cause Serious Wounds for 11
points. Carnail was at 77hp from the last fight, now at 66.
Init 5. The Hive Mother closes her AM eye and shoots a disintegrate at Lee. The whip stops the disintegrate.
Init 4. Gazriktak hits Carnail with a Slow. Her ring of free action prevents any effect.
Init 2. Carnail hits Gazriktak twice with her spear for 27 and 11 points.
Init 1. Carnail hits Gazriktak with her spear a third time, killing it.

Carnail attacks the tyrant emerging from under the table. It shoots eye beams at her as she thrusts at it with her spear. When it is finally dead, Carnail turns toward Lee. A huge tyrant, larger than any she has ever seen, is hovering over her friend. This must be the Hive Mother. Rather than eyestalks, it has large eyes embedded in its body, going all the way around, and there is no obvious central eye. It has an enormous maw with hard, beaky lips. Some sort of tail or tentacle hangs down beneath it.

Image: The Hive Mother

Round 2 Above [12:26am]
Init. 10 – Hive mother turns her AM eye on Carnail.
Init 8. Lee misses with her bow. Hive mother closes her AM eye and shoots a disintegrate at Carnail. Carnail makes the save.
Init 7. The Hive Mother shoots a fear at Lee. Lee is inside the AM of the whip.
Init 6. Lee misses with her bow. Hive mother opens her AM eye on Carnail.
Init 5. Carnail throws her spear at the Hive Mother; hits, 7 points damage (13 total). Carnail runs to Lee’s side, entering the AM shell of the whip. She calls for the spear to return to her, but it does not respond as she is in the AM shell.
Init 2. Hive mother closes her AM eye and shoots her slow at Carnail. Carnail is inside the AM shell of the whip.

Lee is shooting at the Hive Mother, but is a difficult shot from directly beneath. Her arrows bounce off the horny hide of the creature. Carnail throws her spear, impaling the Mother, but not doing much damage – Carnail must be in the anti-magic of its Eye, because she has no giant strength and the spear is not as powerful. Carnail runs to Lee’s side – if she is going to fight in an anti-magic zone, she would rather it be a continuous one rather than one that can turn off at will to target her with disintegration. Carnail calls for her spear, but it does not respond.

Meanwhile, the team members waiting below are set upon by another tyrant and two doppelgangers. At this point they are sixty feet distant and in missile range, only. Jizam shoots a lightning bolt from his wand and Awn throws her hammer. Digger uses his wand to try to fill the corredor with fog, but a sweep from the tyrant’s Eye dispels the vapors that had only begun to form. The doppelgangers run forward to engage the party, both of them shrinking and turning into copies of Digger.

Round 2 Below [12:26am]
Init. 10 – Sikrewxes uses disintegrate on Digger. Displacer cloak – first attack misses. Jizam uses lightning bolt wand – one charge used (unknown remaining). 21 points; Sikrewxes fails save. Awn throws hammer and misses.
Init 9. Digger uses wand of fog. 93 charges remain.
Init 8. Sikrewxes opens its Anti-magic eye and dispels the fog beginning to fill the hall. Note: On the round it is cast, the fog is magical and can be dispelled. Any fog remaining at the end of the round is no longer magical.
Init 4. Sikrewxes closes its Anti-magic eye and shoots a Charm Monster at Split Lip – he saves. Sikrewxes shoots a Flesh to Stone at Reamer. He saves.

Round 3 Above [12:27am]
Init 10 Lee shoots bow at Hive Mother, misses.
Init 8. Hive Mover uses its telekinesis eye to pull out the spear+3. It moves it in front of the disintegrate eye.
Init 6. The Hive Mother shoots a disintegrate on the spear. The wooden shaft fails, the metal blade makes the save.
Init 3. Lee shoots bow at Hive Mother, misses.

Carnail jumps and grabs on to the trailing tail of the Hive Mother. She climbs up hand over hand, continually calling for the spear and hoping to get out of the antimagic field of the whip. Meanwhile, the Hive Mother has pulled out the spear by using telekinesis, and then shoots a disintegration ray at it! The wooden shaft is turned to powder; the metal blade is tarnished but intact and drops to the floor. Lee continues to shoot ineffectually at the tyrant.

Round 3 Below [12:27am]
Init. 10 – Awn draws her sword and moves to protect Digger and the other Team members from the doppelgangers.
Init 9. One doppelganger misses Digger. The three figures are now engaged in melee and are indistinguishable.
Init 7. Sikrewxes shoots a Flesh to Stone at Reamer. He fails and becomes a stone statue.
Init 6. Digger puts away his wand, draws his sword, and defends himself against the Doppelgangers.
Init 4. Jizam uses lightning bolt wand – two charges used (unknown remaining). 21 points; Sikrewxes makes save, takes 10 points, total 31 damage. Fogey draws his sword and moves to defend Digger.
Init 3. Split Lip attacks the Doppelgangers, but misses the real Digger.
Init 2. The second Doppelganger misses Digger.
Init 1. Sikrewxes shoots a disintegration at Digger. Digger makes his save. Sikrewxes shoots a Charm Monster at Split Lip. Split Lip fails his save and is charmed. No commands are given; he will not attack the tyrant but is otherwise free to act.

The hive mother twists and turns, but cannot see Carnail with any of her eyes, since Carnail is holding tightly to the base of her tail, in the blind spot under her body. The Hive Mother starts to rise, taking Carnail out of the antimagic of the whip. Carnail feels her giant strength return, and can easily hold on with one hand while she begins to pummel the body of the Hive Mother with the other. In response, the Hive Mother begins to rock back and forth, swinging Carnail’s body like a pendulum – eventually she is able to snap at one of her legs, catching it in her beaky, toothed mouth. Carnail grimaces in pain but maintains her grip and continues punching. They are about 25 feet off the floor of the chamber. Lee runs out from beneath the Hive Mother, taking up a position half-covered by the stone pedestal with the open book. She continues to shoot at the tyrant, but her arrows fail to penetrate its hide. The Hive Mother blasts rays and beams at Lee, but all are stopped by her antimagic.

Round 4 Above [12:28am]
Init 8 and 3 Lee shoots bow at Hive Mother, misses.
Carnail does 39 points of pummeling damage to Hive Mother – total 52 points.
Hive Mother does 12 points of biting damage to Carnail – Carnail at 54hp.

Round 4 Below [12:28am]
Init. 10 – Awn plunges her her sword into the one of the doppelgangers that looks like Digger and slays it.
Init 7. Sikrewxes opens its anti-magic eye and fixes it on Jizam and his wand. Jizam retreats to behind the cover of the statue of Reamer and watches carefully for an opportunity to cast. The remaining Doppelganger misses the real Digger.
Init 6. Fogey retreats down the hall until his glowstone comes on, indicating that he is out of the AM eye. He casts a Prayer spell. Digger attacks his twin with his sword but misses.
Init 4. Split Lip attacks the real Digger but misses.
Init 3. Sikrewxes closes his AM Eye and shoots a sleep at Digger (no save allowed) – Digger falls asleep. Jizam quickly begins his gaze reflection spell, taking advantage of the closed eye.
Init 2. Sikrewxes shoots a disintegration at Split Lip. Split Lip fails his save and is reduced to a pile of ash on the corridor floor.

The Hive Mother continues to rise, now about 35 feet off the floor of the chamber. She bucks and twists, but Carnail’s feet escape her bite for the time being. Carnail continues to bash the underside of her body mercilessly. One of Lee’s arrows finds its mark. The Hive Mother continues to shoot ineffectually at Lee.

Round 5 Above [12:29am]
Init 5 and 6 Lee shoots bow at Hive Mother, one hit, 1 point damage, total 53 points.
Carnail does 18 points of pummeling damage to Hive Mother – total 71 points.

Round 5 Below [12:29am]
Init 9. Jizam steps out from behind Reamer’s statue and uses the lightning bolt wand – three charges used (unknown remaining). 21 points; Sikrewxes makes save, takes 10 points, total 41 damage. Fogey moves forward into the melee, grabs the body of Digger, and pulls it back behind the statue. He checks it quickly, and is relieved to find that Digger is merely sleeping, not dead. He shakes and slaps the gnome until Digger awakes.
Init 8. The remaining doppelganger faces off against Awn. It misses her, and by the end of the round it looks like her, not Digger.
Init 7. In the relative darkness, Sikrewxes has not yet noticed the gaze reflection cast by Jizam. The tyrant blasts the party with an antimagic, but this is reflected off of Jizam’s barrier and does not bring it down, nor Fogey’s prayer.
Init 6. Awn strikes a mighty blow against the Doppelganger (13 points).
Init 2. Sikrewxes shoots a Sleep ray against Awn. She is ahead of Jizam and not protected by his gaze reflection, but is of too great a level to be affected by the sleep. Sikrewxes shoots a disintegrate at Jizam. This bounces off his reflection and strikes the tyrant! It makes its save, and now realizes that the mage has the protection up.
Init 1. Awn strikes a mighty blow against the Doppelganger (11 points).

The Hive Mother manages to grasp one of Carnail’s legs in her jaws and savages it. Carnail closes her eyes, attempting to ignore the pain, and continues to rail on the Hive Mother. Another of Lee’s arrows hits. The Hive Mother continues to rise, now about 45 feet off the floor of the chamber, and is at the point of disappearing into the exit. Lee turns off her antimagic and activates her levitation.

Round 6 Above [12:30am]
Hive mother bites Carnail for 19 points, Carnail at 35hp.
Carnail does 28 points of pummeling damage to Hive Mother, Lee’s arrow does 2 – total 101 points.

Round 6 Below [12:30am]
Init 10. The doppelganger’s attacks on Awn grow wild and desperate, but it misses. As Digger stands by himself, Fogey nods and begins a Chant spell.
Init 7. Jizam uses the lightning bolt wand – four charges used (unknown remaining). 12 points; Sikrewxes makes save, takes 6 points, total 47 damage. The tyrant, cautious now that it is aware of the gaze reflection, rises toward the ceiling of the hallway even as it advances. It seems to be trying to avoid the team and make for the hole above them.
Init 6. Digger casts a Protection from Evil spell; this might not hedge out the doppelganger, which is already involved in melee, but at least it will give him a bonus on his saves.
Init 4. Awn runs the doppelganger through with her sword, and it falls to the floor, dead.

The Hive Mother passes into the corridor above her chamber, going out of Lee’s sight even as Lee rises to 20 feet above the floor of the chamber. Carnail has not been able to jerk her leg free from its vicious teeth, and it continues to bite her even as it travels. Carnail is bleeding freely from the leg. She punches away, hoping to do enough damage to the creature to kill it before she loses consciousness herself.

Round 7 Above [12:31am]
Hive mother bites Carnail for 13 points, Carnail at 22hp.
Carnail does 16 points of pummeling damage to Hive Mother – total 117 points.

The tyrant below has begun to move into the vertical shaft, either fleeing or rushing to the assistance of the Hive Mother. Jizam fires a last lightning bolt at the retreating orb, and the creature splits nearly apart, its cleaved form now drifting listlessly above them. Fogey continues to chant, turning in a slow circle to see from whence the next tyrant will appear. Awn stands still, panting, over the body of the doppelganger. Slowly her own features fade from its form and its natural nightmarish appearance returns.

Jizam uses the lightning bolt wand – five charges used (unknown remaining).

The Hive Mother passes along the corridor, nearing the entrance to the antechamber before hers. Lee rises to 40 feet above the floor of the chamber but is still out of sight of the Hive Mother. Carnail snatches her leg free, and with her fading strength continues to pound her fist into the skull of the Hive Mother. Slowly its rocking lessons, then stops. Carnail continues to pound, but the creature she clutches desperately is now drifting aimlessly.

Round 8 Above [12:32am]
Carnail does 20 points of pummeling damage to Hive Mother – total 137 points – Hive Mother is dead.

Carnail pounds one last time – her fist penetrates the cracked, splintered hide of the tyrant and plunges into its internal organs. Blood and other fluids spill out, drenching her. The orb above her does not react, not even quivering. Carnail loosens her hold and drops clumsily to the floor below. She examines her gauntlets – the right one is cracked and useless for protection, so she removes it. She has two more – but not with her. And, she muses, she now has plenty of tyrant hide to make more, should she desire. At the end of the hall, Lee rises into view. [12:33am]

Lee strides over to Carnail, who indicates that they should be checking on the rest of the team. Lee carries Carnail down to the floor, where she is confronted with stoned Reamer and disintegrated Split Lip. Her jaw clenches, but she says nothing for the moment.

Carnail tells Lee to move Digger into the Hive Mother’s chamber while Awn and Fogey heal her.

Hive xp (18)

Awn CMW x2 (+ 8, Carnail to 30hp)
Awn CLW x2 (+ 8, Carnail to 38gp)
Fogey CMW x2 (+ 20, Carnail to 58hp).

When Lee returns, ten minutes later, Carnail tells her to next take Fogey to safety, while she stands watch with Awn and Jizam. [12:35-12:45am]

Lee takes Jizam next, then Awn, and finally Carnail, so that everyone is in the Hive Mother’s chamber. Carnail is reluctant to leave the statue of Reamer behind in the open hallway, but figures he is as protected as he can be. [12:45-1:10am; 6 hours infravision]

Image: Tyrant Chambers 5 and 6

Carnail takes out the ioun stone and starts it circling her. While the others rest, she and Lee search the chamber. The sculptures, wall hangings, and crystals are fine and valuable, but not extravagantly so – they would bear eventual removal and sale, like the furnishings of the Eye, above. The book on the pedestal is large and much-written in – but the language is unrecognizable to anyone in the party. The implements on the stone table Jizam recognizes as a basic alchemy set – valuable, but not excessive.

“There has to be more treasure than that,” says Carnail, “this was the Queen.” She and Lee start looking for secret chambers or compartments, places of concealment. Lee notes that the stone pedestal for the book is made of different stone than the floor. Together, Carnail, Lee, and Fogey tug at it and manage to slide it across the floor. Underneath there is a hollow space in the floor, slightly smaller than the base of the pedestal. In the hollow are four potion bottles, three scroll tubes, ten gems, a trove of several hundred platinum pieces, and three works of art: a composite metal sphere, a fine tapestry, and a crystal sculpture – of a tyrant. [1:10-1:30am; Carnail at 60 hp]

Carnail gives the scroll tubes to Fogey and Jizam. The first is the clerical spell Locate Object. The second is the clerical spell Cure Serious Wounds. The third is a long scroll – Jizam counts seven spells in total. He cannot read them without casting read magic. Thinking of scrolls, Carnail removes a scroll from her bag of holding – one with stone to flesh and feather fall on it. Jizam has read both of these, in preparation for this adventure. Carnail tells him to practice the stone to flesh – she may be asking him to cast it on Reamer, though she knows that even if Jizam is successful, Reamer would need a week of rest before he could be moved.

Carnail then calls for the box. It takes too long in arriving, but does arrive intact. They take out an extra fifty feet of rope and tie that to the existing rope they already have. Carnail takes off her girdle and has Lee put it on. Lee ascends to the corridor above the two chambers, drops down the rope, and has Carnail, Awn, and Fogey climb up. [1:30-1:35am]

Lee descends to the corridor floor and ties the rope around the statue of Reamer. The other end of the rope is held by Carnail, Fogey, and Awn. Lee, with giant strength will be attempting to haul the statue up, but the other three are there as a safety measure should something go awry. Lee brings the statue up, walks it across the corridor, and then uses the same method to lower it into the chamber of the Hive Mother. [1:35-1:55am; Carnail at 61 hp] The others all follow.

With everyone, including Reamer, in the chamber, Carnail bids Jizam attempt the stone to flesh spell. She reminds everyone that if it is successful, they will be spending a week here camped out. The mage reads the scroll, seems to give it his best, but in the end there is a disappointing fizzle. The spell is of a higher level than he is able to understand at the moment. He begins to apologize to Carnail, but she shrugs it off. “Better a failure at this stage than success with Reamer dying. We will deal with it later.”

Carnail thinks for a while and then tells the team, what is left of it, that with Reamer stuck in statue form their next priority is checking to see that all of the tyrants have been slain. By her count, there were five passages up off the center ring, and two passages down. Of the three passages up they have explored so far, they have found five that seem to have been tyrant chambers, but they have slain only four tyrants. It is entirely possible that there are more out there. She admits that the temporary loss of Reamer and Split Lip (she emphasizes “temporary”) was in part her fault – she allowed the party to become divided and thus attacked on two fronts. She will not let that happen again. She tells them that they are to rest a bit more and then be ready to go. Reflecting on the number of tyrants reminds her that they need to be collecting eyes – she tells Lee to get the ones from the normal tyrant near the stone table. [2am; Carnail at 62 hp; Infravision at 7 hours and now done]

Ten total eyes collected (1 tyrant)

Carnail puts away her stone. Lee levitates up to the upper corridor and steadies the rope for them, then does the same thing while they repel down into the main corridor. Everyone has their glowstones out, but low. [2:05am]

At the base of the upward passage, they collect the eyes from the tyrant killed by Jizam and the other Team members.

Twenty total eyes collected (2 tyrants)

Then Carnail tells them to wait, while she and Lee move quickly back and collect the eyes from the tyrant slain in the previous upper chamber before returning to them.

Image: Tyrant Chamber 8

Thirty total eyes collected (3 tyrants) [2:20am]

Carnail sets the new marching order as Carnail, Fogey, Jizam, Digger, Lee, Awn, in single file. She tells them to walk along the edge of the walls, not in the center, and to keep her about 30 feet in front. They head clockwise around the main corridor, and go about 150 feet until the next up passage. [2:35am]

Image: Passage Up

Lee levitates Carnail up the tube, which goes a full 80 feet before curving over a narrow neck and then dropping into a chamber. [2:40am] There is not enough room in the neck, not even a ledge, to bring the others up, so Lee first lowers Carnail into the chamber by means of the rope, then pulls the rope up and lowers it to the floor of the main corridor. As Carnail explores the chamber, the others arrive one at a time.

The room has hundreds of shelves carved into the walls. A few battered or burned scrolls and texts lie on some of them, but it is mostly empty. In many places the shelves have collapsed and there are scorch marks on the walls. At the floor level, a round passage leads into another nearby chamber. Torches, burned down to the nubs, are set in sconces along the walls.

Map: Library Chamber 1

When everyone has gathered in the first chamber, Lee comes down and enters the passageway with Carnail. [2:50am] At first, it seems like a replica of the previous chamber, but upon closer inspection the details are different. There are more books and scrolls here. They are not damaged so much as ravaged by time – rotten, moldering. One large, prominent scorch mark on the wall is the only sign of struggle. A passageway leads to another chamber.

Map: Library Chamber 2

Carnail has the others come in to the first passageway, while she and Lee advance to the next one. [3am] There is no exit from the last chamber. It is the same as the first two, but the walls and torches are intact. There is no sign of damage anywhere, though there is lots of dust. Several dozen books and scrolls, in relatively good shape, have been placed on the shelves.

Map: Library Chamber 3

Finding nothing else of interest, and certainly no sleeping nets on the ceilings, Carnail has everyone return to the first chamber. Lee sets herself up and they climb first up, and then down. The one hundred feet of rope are just enough to handle the drop from the entrance to the first chamber to the main corridor floor below. [3:10am]

The Team continues clockwise around the main corridor. When they get to what Carnail has taken for prison cells (3-12), in the floor just beyond the entrance to the “library”, she increases the light of her glowstone to maximum, and bends down to peer carefully into the cell. Only when she is sure that nothing is hiding down in the shadows of the well do they continue to the next, and then the next.

Image: Tube 4

They ignore the large opening down and continue to the next set of cells. Done with these, they return to the ceiling opening, directly above the only cell missing its iron grating. [3:20am]

Image: Tube 6

Lee levitates up into the chamber above (3-2), carrying Carnail. They find themselves in a very large, oval room. Decorative columns that support the ceiling fill the entire place. These columns are quite unusual in that they are surrounded by many different species of creature. Some of them are human, while many of them appear to be elves. A few even more bizarre varieties exist as well, such as a mind flayer or a portly kuo-toa. Overhead, they spot five separate connecting passages to other places.

Image: Tyrant Chamber 2

Lee shivers. The place is eerie, and from past experience she knows it is likely that many, if not all, of the “carvings” are, or were, actual creatures. She thinks about Reamer, alone and adorning the Hive Mother’s chamber.

Carnail carefully explores the gallery while Lee steadies the rope and the others begin climbing up. In addition to the columns that fill the hall with an almost grid-like precision, there are special constructions along the walls in places. These are humanoid forms, primarily dwarves and gnomes. They have been sculpted in walls themselves, massive flat piles, so that it seems that they are all climbing on top of one another in an effort to reach the top of the pile.

The columns themselves are incredibly detailed. Each is perfect in its depiction of the species involved. Their expressions are primarily those of fright, with exquisite, realistic, facial features. Some appear downright terrified, a few resigned, or others more surprised as if caught in a sudden, horrifying realization. The whole thing is quite disturbing to look at. Awn gasps when, after her strenuous rope climb, she reaches the floor of the hall and looks about. As soon as she recovers, she immediately casts a protection from evil on herself. [3:30am]

Carnail and Lee arrange the Team defensively at the base of one of the passages above. They ascend. The chamber above is smooth and cylindrical. Tiny gemstones adorn the walls and ceiling so that the whole room reflects their light and multi-colored specks and sparkles dance about. The chamber has no exits and is otherwise bare. [3:40am]

Image: Gallery 1

The second chamber is similar in size and shape but there are no gemstones. Instead, the walls are rough, with many different patterns. Swirls, peaks like in a fresco, undulating lines, parallel ridges like sand. Each area of the walls has been carved into a different texture. This chamber is empty. [3:50am]

Image: Gallery 2

The third chamber is alike in form to the previous two. Superficially, it seems smaller because of a latticework false wall that runs all the way around the true wall, at about five feet distant. Narrow openings in the latticework allow access to the encircling space at several points, both low and high. The delicate stone lattice work has collapsed in many places, or been blasted – there are scorch marks here, like in the library.

The fourth chamber doesn’t have the flat walls of the others – instead, it is covered with innumerable convex surfaces of different sizes. The smallest are the size of grapefruit, the largest are bigger than full shields. No area of the walls is actually flat. The glowstone light creates multiple patterned shadows of different sizes. [4:10am]

Image: Galleries 3 and 4

The fifth and final chamber has bare, flat walls, and nothing else.

Image: Gallery 5

Extensive searching has resulted in no threats, but the team is still grateful to leave the creepy area. Lee and Carnail hold the rope while the team climbs down, careful not to fall into the open prison cell at the bottom of the main corridor.

Carnail checks her sketches of maps. “Well, I think that is all of the upper passages,” she says. “Now we just have the lower ones.” Fogey clears his throat pointedly. When he is able to catch Carnail’s eye, he points discreetly at his stomach. Carnail continues, “It seems there is one downward passage left on each side of this wheel. AFTER we have done the closer one we can retire to the Hive Mother’s chamber and rest for a bit before tackling the last one.”

Fogey sighs but says nothing. Carnail leads them around the main corridor until they reach the next down passage (to the left of 3-1).

Carnail has everyone else take one end of the rope, while she ties the other end around herself. At her signal, they begin to lower her into the downward passage. [4:35am]

Image: Tube 7

The shaft descends about sixty feet. There is one side-branching passage about halfway down, and another at the bottom, flush with the floor, on the opposite wall. Carnail calls up to keep lowering her. She peers into the first opening on her way past, but does not see much besides the fact that it is lit by a soft green glow inside.

Image: The Shaft Descends

When Carnail is about fifteen feet above the shaft floor, the Team above is suddenly enveloped by a fiery explosion. Digger is bowled over by the blast and lies on the floor, unconscious. Awn is stunned and momentarily drops the rope. Jizam, Lee, and Fogey maintain their grips – Carnail does not fall.

_Surprise Round: Khuxrustul takes a 4HD globe from his necklace and sends it into the party using telekinesis. Because the party is using dimmed glowstones and the tyrants are in darkness at 60 feet away, they can see the party but the party does not see them. Missile explodes for 7hp damage. Everyone in the party fails their saves for damage and takes 7 points except Jizam, who succeeds and takes 3hp; Awn fails a dex check and drops the rope.
Lee -7 is at 31 hp.
Fogey -7 is at 30.
Awn -7 is at 20.
Jizam – 3 is at 14.
Digger -7 is at 0hp and is unconscious but not losing hp._

Round 1: Zulnethrac releases the centipede he had charmed and sends it at the party. By the end of the round it is at 40’ away and inside the radius of light from the glowstones.

Carnail sees the flash of light from above and feels a blast of air. “Hold the rope!” she shouts and begins climbing as fast as she can. The team is momentarily deafened from the blast, but Jizam has his hearing return first – from the hall behind him he hears the sound of dozens of scurrying insect legs rapidly approaching. He drops the rope and pulls out the slow wand. Awn recovers her senses, and, seeing Jizam with his wand out, draws her sword. Fogey and Lee plant their feet and hold the rope steady as Carnail climbs – with her girdle she is ascending rapidly. At the edge of their light, a giant centipede, like the two the slew in the undercity, emerges into view. Jizam shoots his wand and the creature slows its advance.

Wand of Slow now at 7 charges.

Round 2: Khuxrustul and Zulnethrac remain at 60 feet away while the centipede approaches.

Fogey and Jizam move to Digger’s side. Fogey administers to the gnome Digger’s own potion of healing, while Jizam takes Digger’s wand of fog. Awn advances on the centipede and it on her – at round’s end they are just out of melee range. Carnail manages to climb out of the shaft and springs to her feet. “Sword!” she shouts and Lee tosses her her blade. Carnail takes off after Awn. With both Carnail and Awn going that way, Lee turns to look down the other hallway, getting out her bow.

_Round 3: Khuxrustul and Zulnethrac remain at 60 feet from the shaft and watch the fight. Carnail and Awn engage the centipede midway between the tyrants and the shaft. Digger is healed by the potion to 2hp and regains consciousness._

Carnail pushes past Awn and with two mighty blows slays the centipede. Jizam, Fogey, and Digger take up defensive positions around the shaft, while Lee continues to look down the other hall. She switches out her ring of recall and puts on her ring of fire resistance.

_Round 4: Khuxrustul takes a 6HD missile and drops it on the floor in front of them, primed to explode – Zulnethrac puts it into his anti-magic ray, so that when the ray is turned off it will explode. The tyrants retreat ten feet, so they are now 40 feet from Carnail and 70 feet from the shaft._

Carnail turns her glowstone to full brightness and at the edge of the light she can see the forms of two tyrants – floating globes in the hallway. She calls for Lee to activate the whip and charge to her side. A second later, her glowstone goes out.

Round 5: The tyrants retreat ten feet, so they are now 80 feet from the shaft. By the end of the round, they are 10 feet from the missile, 50 feet from Carnail and Awn, 55 feet from Lee, and 60 feet from Jizam, Digger, and Fogey, keeping them all in antimagic.

Carnail can see the tyrants retreating slowly with her infravision, but she is unwilling to charge them in the darkness without the whip, so she waits for Lee. Lee sprints forward and by the end of the round is just behind Carnail and Awn. She is trying to ignite the whip but receives no response – her glowstone is out, so she is likely in an antimagic from the tyrants and cannot activate anything. Jizam, Digger, and Fogey advance more cautiously, keeping behind Lee and the hoped-for shelter of the whip.

Round 6: The tyrants retreat ten feet, so they are now 90 feet from the shaft. By the end of the round, they are 20 feet from the missile, 35 feet from Carnail and Lee, 40 feet from Awn, Jizam, Digger, and Fogey, all in antimagic.

Lee reaches Carnail and trades places with Awn. “No whip yet,” she says to Carnail, but keeps trying. The two begin to advance together down the hall, with the rest of the Team close behind them.

_Round 7: The tyrants retreat ten feet, so they are now 100 feet from the shaft. When Carnail and Lee are ten feet from where they left the missile, Zulnethrac closes his antimagic eye. The missile detonates. Carnail and Lee at 10 feet, save for half damage. Awn and Jizam at 15 feet, save for half damage. Digger and Fogey at 20 feet, save for quarter damage, half if failed. 6HD missile does 26 damage base, 13 half, 6 quarter. (20 base to Lee with ring of fire resistance_).

Carnail saves – 13 damage. 62-13 = 49 hp.
Fogey saves – 6 damage. 30 – 6 = 24 hp.
Lee saves – 10 damage. 31-10 = 21 hp.
Awn saves – 13 damage. 20-13= 7 hp.
Jizam saves – 13 damage. 14-13 = 1 hp.
Digger saves – 6 damage. 2-6 = -4 hp: unconscious and losing hp.

_After blast, Lee brings up whip antimagic – third use today._

Lee and Carnail are easily gaining on the tyrants, though only Carnail can see this with her infravision – Lee is trusting Carnail and moving ahead in complete darkness. Suddenly her glowstone flares to life, and she can see the orbs – just 25 feet ahead of them. Lee reaches for the whip, has her hand on the handle switch, when a massive explosion erupts, filling the corridor with flame. Lee is knocked against the wall, but keeps her hold on the whip and manages to activate the antimagic. From behind her comes Fogey’s voice: “Digger’s down!”

Image: Two Tyrants

Round 8:
Init 10 (Carnail and Lee at 13 feet from tyrants)
Init 9 (Carnail and Lee at 11 feet from tyrants)
Carnail has an attack but is not yet in melee range – attack lost since her boots of the running warrior are currently in antimagic. Zulnethrac shoots a slow and a death spell at Carnail – both are stopped by the antimagic of the whip.
Init 8 (Carnail and Lee at 9 feet from tyrants)
Zulnethrac opens his antimagic eye. It is blocked by the antimagic whip.
Init 7 (Carnail and Lee at 7 feet from the tyrants)
Khuxrustul shoots a disintegrate at Carnail. Spoiled by both antimagic effects.
Init 6 (Carnail and Lee at 5 feet from the tyrants – may now engage in melee)
Carnail and Lee square off against the two tyrants. Lee puts an arrow to her bow and Carnail readies her sword.
Init 5 (Awn now behind Lee and Carnail. Could be in melee but is blocked by the women in front of her.)
Carnail hits Khuxrustul – does 14 damage – Khuxrustul at 44.
Init 3 – Fogey, Jizam, and Digger, left behind at the scene of the explosion, are now out of Lee’s antimagic, and the shell of the whip is blocking the antimagic ray of Zulnethrac. Thus, they are in a magic-active zone and note it by the activation of their glowstones. Fogey casts a Cure Moderate Wounds on Jizam for 6 points. Jizam now at 7hp.
Init 2: Zulnethrac closes his antimagic eye.
Init 1: Lee drops back a rank and allows Awn to move up into melee.
Khuxrustul shoots a blindness at Carnail, blocked by Lee’s antimagic.
Zulnethrac shoots a cause serious wounds on Lee, blocked by Lee’s antimagic.
Awn swings at Zulnethrac, but the creature is floating too high in the corridor to hit.
Jizam completes his Gaze Reflection spell.
Digger drops to -5hp.

Round 9:
Khuxrustul and Zulnethrac both realize that their attacks are being foiled by some sort of antimagic effect from the party. They decide to separate. Khuxrustul (being attacked by Carnail) moves forward, toward the party. Zulnethrac (being attacked by Awn) moves back, away from the party. Lee slowly backs up, keeping ahead of Khuxrustul and next to Carnail so that her antimagic can continue to protect Fogey, Jizam, and Digger behind her.

Init 10:
Lee shoots at Khuxrustul, hitting for one point (Khuxrustul at 43).
Khuxrustul bites at Carnail, hits for seven points (Carnail at 42 hp).
Init 9 and 8:
Zulnethrac drops down close enough to bite Awn for 4 damage. Awn misses the return strike with her sword.
Awn at 3hp. Jizam uses the fog wand to fill the hall behind himself with fog, creating a place for Fogey and Digger to retreat if necessary. Fog wand now at 92 charges.
Init 7:
Fogey uses a Cure Light Wounds [15xp] on Digger for 4 hp. Digger at -1hp but stable, not losing any more.
Init 6:
Carnail takes advantage of the round walls to run up the wall, up and around Khuxrustul, dropping down and attacking the orb from behind, and giving Lee a clear shot at its front. She hits for 6 points – her attacks are weak in the antimagic, with no girdle and no magic sword bonus. Khuxrustul now at 37hp.
Init 3:
Awn hits Zulnethrac for 9 points, Zulnethrac at 63 hp.
Init 2:
Lee misses her bow shot on Khuxrustul.
Carnail hits Khuxrustul for 6, now at 31hp.

Round 10
Carnail is making good, if slow, progress on the tyrant she is fighting. She is worried that Awn will soon be out of Lee’s antimagic with the growing distance between the two. She tells Lee to move to Awn and start targeting the other tyrant with her bow. Fogey grabs the body of Digger and pulls it inside the fog before beginning a spell. Jizam secures the fog wand and takes out the lightning bolt wand.

Init 9
Fogey completes his Chant [30xp]. As long as he stays chanting, all his allies are at +1 to hit, damage, and save, while the tyrants are at -1 within a 30’ radius.
Init 8
Awn misses Zulnethrac.
Khuxrustul shoots a flesh to stone at Carnail, who is now outside the antimagic of Lee. Carnail makes her save.
Init 7
Lee’s bow shot misses. Carnail feels a surge of power as her girdle returns to effectiveness. She hits Khuxrustul for 23 points – Khuxrustul now at 8 hp. Zulnethrac shoots a Death spell at Awn, but is is spoiled by Lee’s antimagic.
Init 6
Lee’s bow shot misses Zulnethrac. Zulnethrac uses a cause serious wounds on Awn, spoiled by Lee’s antimagic.
Zulnethrac tries to bite Awn, but does not penetrate the dragon hide.
Init 5
Khuxrustul tries to bite Carnail, but misses due to the protection of the Chant.
Init 4
Carnail hits Khuxrustul with her sword, just as Jizam sends a lightning bolt over her shoulder and straight through the center of the beast. Khuxrustul takes 15 points from Carnail and 21 from Jizam for 36 points – Khuxrustul at negative 18 and very dead. Khuxrustul was wearing two necklaces draped around its body, but they both make saves vs. the lightning bolt.
Init 3
With her boots now active, Carnail spins and runs back up the hall to attack Zulnethrac. Her power fades as she enters Lee’s antimagic, but she manages to hit for 7. Zulnethrac now at 56. Zulnethrac shoots a slow at Awn, but it is spoiled by Lee’s antimagic.

Round 11
Jizam holds his position – there are three people fighting the tyrant now, and he doubts he could miss all of them with his lightning bolt. Awn in particular is badly off and would not survive an accidental hit. Fogey keeps chanting in the fog, unaware that it is not helping anyone since all combatants are now in the antimagic. Carnail and Awn press the attack with swords, and Lee continues to shoot arrows.
Carnail hits with one sword attack and misses with one. Total damage 5, Zulnethrac now at 51.
Lee hits with one bow attack and misses with one. Total damage 3, Zulnethrac now at 48.
Awn misses with one sword attack, but before she can make a second attack, she is bitten for 8 points. Awn is at -5 and sinks to the floor, unconscious and bleeding. All of Zulnethrac’s magic attacks are foiled.

Round 12
Carnail sees Awn go down. “Get her out of here and get me out of the shell!” she shouts. Jizam runs forward and grabs Awn’s body, starts to drag it back to Fogey. Lee keeps her bowfire up, but begins taking steps backward until she is at the edge of the fog. Carnail feels her power return and she presses the attack.

Init 10: Two sword hits from Carnail and a bow hit from Lee. Total damage 39 points, Zulnethrac at 9hp.
Init 9: Sword hit from Carnail for 16, Zulnethrac at negative 7 and slain.

Awn drops to -6 by rounds’ end, then Fogey uses a Cure Light Wounds [15xp] for + 9, Awn recovers consciousness at 3hp but will need 6 days of rest before anything strenuous.

Hive xp (19)

Fogey bends over Awn’s body, where she is fluttering her eyes and trying to sit up. He gently pushes her back down to rest, and stands up. “Is it over?” he asks the fog.

“Yes,” says Lee, “it seems to be over for the moment.”

“Fine then,” he huffs, “These two need to rest before we do any more exploring. And for the love of the Brightmantle, can we finally get something to eat?” [4:55am]

Carnail rapidly collects eyes from the two tyrants. She notes that one of the two, the one that had the necklaces, does not have an intact central eye – instead it just has a dry, scarred eye-socket.

Fifty total eyes collected (5 tyrants)

Carnail and Lee carry Digger between them, with Lee in the rear forming a barrier with the antimagic shell. Ahead of them, Awn is able to walk on her own – slowly, and leaning on Fogey. Jizam, far enough ahead so his gaze reflection still active, is in the lead, using his glowstone to light the way. He notes to Carnail that they seem to have explored most of this place, with just a few down-passages left to go. [5am]

Image: Tube 8

In just a few minutes they arrive at the entrance of the chamber of the Hive Mother. Lee reluctantly shuts off the whip, not knowing when she will be able to activate it again. She levitates Awn up to the horizontal passage, and then the unconscious Digger. Once he is lying on the floor, she lets down the rope and the others climb up – first Jizam, then Carnail, and then Fogey. [5:15am] The same process is then repeated, in reverse, for lowering people into the Chamber itself. [5:20am]

Awn agrees to give her potion of healing to Digger, but administering it produces no effect (in fact, it was dispelled when Awn was hit by the tyrant’s antimagic in the second fight, under the chamber of the Hive Mother).

Carnail pulls six meals out of her bag, the first they have eaten in more than ten hours, by Fogey’s approximation. She sets her ioun stone circling above the form of Digger, flat out on as soft a bed as they can arrange. Before they are done eating, he has recovered enough to sit up himself and eat some. [5:50am]

Carnail 42/88
Fogey 24/37
Lee 21/38
Jizam 7/18
Awn 3/27 but will need 6 days of rest.
Digger 20 minutes with stone is now at 1 hp/7 but will need 5 days of rest.

After this, Carnail and Lee return to the horizontal passageway above to stand guard, while the others rest below. In particular, they are relying on Fogey to regain all of his spells, and he plans on switching most of them out for healing spells. Carnail takes uses her stone for herself and prepares for a long wait. They wait in silence and with no light beyond the faint glow coming from the chamber below and behind them.

After some six hours, Fogey calls up to Carnail that he is rested and ready to begin praying, but that first he would like to eat again. Carnail pulls forth another six meals from her bag, fulfilling its use for the day. [12:20pm]

Carnail 81/88
Fogey 24/37
Lee 21/38
Jizam 7/18
Awn 3/27 but will need 6 days of rest.
Digger 1 hp/7 but will need 5 days of rest.

Carnail and Lee then return to their guard duty while Fogey begins praying. He voluntarily forgoes the Bless and Remove Fear he had prepared and instead prays for five Cure Light Wounds. He replaces the three Cure Moderate Wounds he had cast. Instead of Prayer, he takes as a third-level spell Create Food and Drink.

1st level = 15 minutes x 5 = 1 hour 15
2nd level = 30 minutes x 3 = 90 minutes, total 2 hours 45 minutes
3rd level = 45 minutes, total 3 hours 30 minutes

In the first 70 minutes, Carnail has healed to full, leaving 2 hours 20 minutes.
Carnail lets Lee use the
stone for the remainder.


Carnail 88/88
Fogey 24/37
Lee 35/38
Jizam 7/18
Awn 3/27 but will need 6 days of rest.
Digger 1/7 but will need 5 days of rest.

His spells prepared, Fogey casts five Cure Light Wounds and three Cure Moderate Wounds. He heals Digger and Jizam to full and improves Awn’s condition. He creates enough food and drink for another day.

First CLW to Digger: + 6, Digger 7/7.
Second CLW to Jizam: + 2, Jizam to 9/18.
Third, Fourth, Fifth CLW to Awn: + 1, 5, 2, Awn to 11/27.

First CMW to Jizam: + 5, Jizam to 14/18.
Second CMW to Awn, + 9, Awn to 20/27.
Third CMW to Jizam, + 7, Jizam at full 18/18.

After all casting:
Carnail 88/88
Fogey 24/37
Lee 35/38
Jizam 18/18
Awn 20/27 but will need 6 days of rest.
Digger 7/7 but will need 5 days of rest.

Hive xp (20)

Lee, Awn, and Fogey are still somewhat wounded, and Fogey has few spells left. Carnail tells Fogey to rest more and recover spells again, but while he does so, she shares her stone with those still wounded.

Fogey needs to rest 4 hours to recover spells of first and second level.
30 minutes – Lee is at full, 38/38
70 minutes (1 hour 40 total), Awn is at full, 27/27
130 minutes (3 hour 50 total), Fogey is at full, 37/37

Four hours later, Fogey is again ready to pray for spells – but by that time, everyone is at full health. Digger and Awn still need days of rest without any strenuous activity, but they are otherwise alert and in good condition.

There follows a general debate about what to do next. Carnail is prepared to wait a week, if necessary, until everyone has recovered. Fogey, Digger, and Awn are all comfortable being underground, but Lee and Jizam feel the place to be dark and oppressive, and long for sunlight and fresh air.

Jizam suggests helping Awn and Digger to the surface, and then returning to finish the job. Carnail vetoes this – she doesn’t want to leave Reamer behind, and she doesn’t want to leave the place itself until they are sure that it is cleared.

Lee suggests that some of them stay here while the others finish searching. She points out that they have resting in the room for the better part of a day and have not been found by anything. Surely if there are any tyrants left, she says, they would have been set upon by now. If there is any intelligent opposition left, it would realize that it can’t allow the party to rest, heal, and recover spells. Even a “hit-and-run” attack every few hours would keep the spellcasters from recovering spells. Thus, she reasons that while there may be monsters left, none of them are intelligent and surely there are no more tyrants. Given that, she feels that a smaller away party should be able to finish exploring while a few others remain to guard Awn and Digger.

Carnail says that she is open to this possibility, but who would stay and who would go? Lee says that Jizam should stay – he is the most capable of facing a tyrant alone, between his gaze reflection and his wand of lightning , but he is also the most vulnerable to regular monsters if part of the exploration team. Lee says that she herself is open to either stay or go, wherever Carnail wants the whip.

Carnail goes back and forth a bit but finally decides that if Jizam is staying, Fogey should stay as well. Carnail and Lee will leave and be back as soon as they can. Carnail asks Awn for her sword so that Lee can have her own back. They take the whip and the grapnel with 100 feet of rope.

Carnail talks with Jizam and tells him that she will wait for him to prepare his alarm spell. She wants him to fill the chamber with fog and then place the alarm as high as he can, to detect anything coming in from the top of the chamber.

Before Jizam begins to study his spell, though, Carnail asks for all of their attention. She knows that she has not had the chance to talk about this, but she is sure that the fate of Reamer and Split Lip are on their minds – it is weighing heavily on hers. Reamer will be brought back – she knows they know that is possible, having rescued him from that once before. Carnail knows Split Lip is gone, but she is not willing to let him go either. He is part of this family, and has fought alongside us with honor and unquestioned loyalty. He is their Friend. Luckily she has considered her own death and its implications many times. She realizes there is a Way. It will take some doing and some time. She can’t tell them how it can be done, but they should know that there is a probability he will return. She tells them not to mourn Split Lip, and assures them that she will do everything in her power to return him to the Family.

[8:30pm – WoF lasts 11 rounds – Fog wand now at 91 charges.]

Carnail and Lee leave the chamber, and Jizam casts the spells as directed. Hive xp (21)

Carnail and Lee return to the down passageway they were at when they were ambushed by the last two tyrants. [8:35pm] Lee grabs hold of Carnail’s waist and lowers them both all of the way down the shaft to the bottom. Together, they walk through into the chamber beyond, with glowstones on full.

Image: Tyrant Chambers 9 and 10

This eighty-foot high cylindrical chamber is full of research equipment. The equipment is spread between eight different tables, each occupying a ten foot long curved section of the wall, with four tables at the floor level and another four about sixty feet off the floor. All of the tables are covered with alembics, beakers, crucibles, inkwells, mortars, vellum, vials, weights, and so forth. Hanging from the underside of the upper level of tables are bunches of dried herbs and other spell components. There are several scattered books on each table.

Images: Tyrant Chamber 10 detail


Carnail carefully inspects the first table, which has a number of alcohol burners on it. The burners are all cold, but there is no dust on the table, or anywhere in the room that she can see – even under the tables. The tyrant has been gone a day or two at most.

“Books are the new gold,” she tells Lee, and then asks her to fetch all of the books from the upper tables. Lee tosses them down and Carnail catches them neatly, arranging them on one table. Then they go through them together – bestiaries, herbologies, alchemy tomes, theoretical works on magic, anatomy, etc. Only a few are in languages recognizable to Carnail. Three of them might be spellbooks – she takes these. [8:45pm]

Carnail and Lee leave the chamber, return to the shaft, and levitate to the other chamber, whose entrance is halfway up. They dim their glowstones, for the room beyond is lit with the soft green glow of phosphorescent lichen. At the end of the entry tunnel, Lee steps out into space and prepares to levitate gently to the floor. Instead, she and Carnail experience a sudden disorientation and are thrown to the ceiling, falling in a nasty heap on the hard stone floor.

Carnail – 12 points damage (to 76). Lee 10 points damage (to 28).

They take a moment and stand, upside down, on the ceiling, although it sure feels like the floor to them. There are no furnishings or sleeping net – the room is mostly barren, but here and there are a few cabinets set into the walls. Lee examines these but finds little of interest in them – strange tools lying flat between narrow shelves.

Lee takes them out of the room. She is prepared for the change in orientation, but even so they fall to the floor of the passageway and get further bruises.

1 more point each. [8:55pm]

Carnail and Lee return along the passageway to another down shaft, near the up shaft of the Hive Mother. Distinct of all the shafts in the complex, this one looks like it was made for ground-using creatures. It is narrower than the other passageways and the slope accommodates them walking down, if a bit steeply and uncomfortably. The narrow passage spirals and corkscrews down into the rock below the hallway. After a short distance there are cubicles on either side – little more than cubbies in which one or two human-sized creatures could step out of the hallway and rest, or perhaps even sleep, if they could sleep on cold stone. Farther down there is a long, level gallery with a bench-like row pierced with holes. The smell indicates it is some sort of latrine. Below the latrine, the cubicles are filled with stone items, some large but most small. Examining them, Carnail thinks the large stones look like petrified tyrants, but Lee looks carefully at the eyestalks and says they look more like gas spores to her. The numerous small stones look like cuts of meat – as if someone butchered a large animal, cut the meat into pieces, and then petrified each piece. [9:05pm]

Image: Spiral tunnel

The next down tunnel, the last one that goes straight down, is nearly on the opposite side of the circular hallway. And Carnail and Lee are just a short ways from the entrance to the Hive Mother’s chamber. They decide to check in on the rest of the Team before they continue.

Lee levitates Carnail up into the passageway between the two chambers, and they look down into the Hive Mother’s chamber, which is still lit by the captive fire beetles, but is blanketed in fog, so that it seems to be covered with a red, swirling mist. [9:10pm]

Carnail calls out that they are coming down, then says the password quietly as Lee levitates down. She asks them how it is going. Jizam says that they are fine, but that the fog from the wand does not last long – just over ten minutes, and then it clears, condenses on the walls, and is gone. The wand has lots of charges, but he will burn through them fast if he needs to keep the fog maintained all the time Carnail and Lee are away.

Carnail asks him how long his alarm lasts, and whether he has another one prepared. He does, and it lasts over six hours. Carnail has Lee take Jizam up into the passageway between chambers and cast his alarm in the middle of the passageway, then lowers him back down to the chamber. She tells Jizam that he can let the fog in the chamber clear, but if the alarm goes off, he is to immediately renew the fog. She says she will be back in less than six hours. Carnail and Lee return to the floor of the main corridor. [9:25pm]

8:30pm – WoF lasts 11 rounds – Fog wand now at 91 charges.
8:41pm – WoF lasts 13 rounds – Fog wand now at 90 charges.
8:55pm – WoF lasts 12 rounds – Fog wand now at 89 charges.
9:08pm – WoF lasts 11 rounds – Fog wand now at 88 charges.

Hive xp (22)

Carnail and Lee walk around the corridor until they get to the last unexplored downward shaft. Some sixty feet down the shaft the chamber opens up into one of the most bizarre chambers they have encountered. The chamber itself is more or less egg-shaped, although a bit more narrow, but the most stunning feature of the place is the myriad of overlapping formations of stone that fill the place from top to bottom. They all seem to be designed for channeling water, although no water is found here now.

Image: Tyrant Chamber 3

Carnail spends a few minutes making sure there are no life forms in the room, and then the pair leave. [9:40pm]

With the entire known complex searched, Lee and Carnail turn to the diagonal access tunnels from below. They all came up one, but there are three more that could potentially house side tunnels or branches. Taking the one nearest the dry “water garden,” Carnail stands just inside the level main circle, lowering Lee down the tunnel with the rope. With her glowstone on full, Lee carefully checks the walls as she descends all the way to wear the four tunnels come together into the vertical shaft down.

Image: Hive Complex

Diagonal tunnel two: [9:40-9:45pm], three [9:45-9:50pm], four [9:50-9:55pm]

Carnail and Lee find nothing for all their searching, and return to the rest of the party in the Hive Mother’s Lair. [10pm]

By this point, Carnail is forced to agree with Lee that they have slain or driven off all of the tyrants. They need to prepare to wait out the rest period for Awn and Digger until they are ready to travel. Carnail gives the books they sacked from the laboratory room to Jizam and tells him to examine them.

It doesn’t take Carnail long to realize that she won’t last a week in this room with the statue of Reamer silently incriminating her. He needs to be moved to the statue room to hide him while they are gone, and the sooner the better so as to not acquire too much of their smells or auras or whatever.

Lee puts on the girdle. With Lee in girdle and boots, she moves the statue of Reamer by herself. A rope is tied soundly around the statue, and Carnail spots for Lee. They move the statue down and out of the Hive Mother’s Chamber, halfway around the circle, and up and into the statue gallery. There, they try to arrange it in as inconspicuous place as possible. Carnail asks Lee to step back while she mumbles a few words to Reamer, a promise to return for him. They then go back to camp. [10:45pm]

At the Hive Mother’s lair, Carnail asks Jizam for an analysis of the three books taken from the laboratory room. One, he says, is a bestiary, but focusing on ingredient harvesting for potion making. Another is a book of alchemical recipes. But the third is a spellbook, he believes. Carnail grins and tells him to prepare read magic at his next opportunity. Actually, she adds, he should take a read magic and two comprehend languages. At his curious glance, she says, “We’re going to the library.”

Jizam has been casting alarm spells, so he will need to rest fully before studying the four new spells. It will be four hours. [11pm-1am]

Back to Hive Day 3 (Uath 15)
Ahead to Hive Day 5 (Uath 17)

Back to The Hive

Hive Day 4 (Uath 16)

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