After a couple weeks preparing the tools they believe they need, the party descends into the old Gnomish caves unsealed by Ilgrind at the back of his workshop (built in an old entrance to the caves). By the rough and possibly outdated directions Ilgrind provides them, they expect it to be 5 days in the caves before their reach the mine with the explosive gas. On their newly built handcart they take the compressor along with two high pressure tanks, and 20 days of food and water. They are:
- Doane Six (ByW): Level 6 Nekolyn Monk
- Lamila (BiW): Level 6 Half-Orc, Half-Elf Fighter
- Benquil: Level 2 Spider Monkey Animal Companion
- Lucifer “Lucy” Underfoot (RiH): Level 6 Halfling Bard
- Gelda Roughsole: Level 4 Halfling Thief Follower
- Eymen Hunyadi: Level 2 Drow Padfoot Follower
- Rav Lugulu: Level 2 Goblin Chemist Follower
- Hilderek Ferlwinkle: Level 2 Gnome Tinker Follower
- Alfred (JaH): Level 6 Human Thief
At first they descend rapidly, but by the time they stop to sleep the first day, their course is becoming more level and meandering. They travel by the light of a single lantern (for which they have 20 days of oil), but Hilderic goes ahead, just beyond the feeble nimbus of light, using his Gnomish echolocation to scout the way. Halfway into their second day of travel, Hilderic detects an large crab or insect lying in wait and returns to the party to inform them.
They leave Rav and Hilderic (those with echolocation) at this cart and the rest go to clear the way. Gelda carries the lantern while Lucy sings a boisterous battle anthem. Doane and Lamila go in front, probing deeper into the darkness with their ultraviolet vision.
When Doane sees the lightning fisher, he fires upon it (using his new hollow points), Lamila following suit but missing. By the light of Lamila’s lightning bolt, Alfred takes a shot with his crossbow, hitting it as well. The fisher in turn sticks Doane with an adhesive that shocks him. Doane fires another two rounds, shattering large sections of its armor and causing it to fall from the wall. The damage causes a surge of energy down the web, shocking Doane again.
Alfred runs to the fallen insect and cuts into its neck, mostly severing the head. Eymen too comes forward, cutting Doane free. In the darkness ahead, Alfred hears more coming and withdraws to the rear. Five more appear, one or two at a time, and in the battle that ensues, Doane exhausts all but one of his hollow points while Lamila (having missed with every bolt attack) devastates in melee range, all with the support of Lucy’s powerful battle song.
In the aftermath, Lucy finds an egg sack which they load on the cart while Alfred (trained as a doctor) surgically removes a web gland from one of the bodies. Lucy then proceeds to crack one open for a full dissection while Doane, Alfred, and Lamila search the rest of the cave, Alfred finding an ancient Gnomish corpse with mithril weapons: two throwing axes and a war hammer.
In his dissection, Lucy comes upon a large, yellow, uncut crystal inside the creature that makes his hair stand on end as he gets close. He elicits Alfred’s aide in removing it safely. They pack in all of their loot and continue on their way.
The third day passes uneventfully, but in the fourth Hilderic reports a climb ahead to a narrow passage near the ceiling. The wall rising up to the passage was steep, bumpy, and quiverng, so he didn’t investigate further. They again leave Rav and Hildric with the cart and go to investigate.
As they advance against the darkness, Doane and Lamila suddenly see a great, bumpy wall advancing toward the group in the darkness. Doane yells for everyone to run and Lamila and Alfred attack the wall with lightning and bolt respectively before all flee. Doane is the swiftest and soon takes the lead, yelling for Rav and Hilderic to get the cart turned around. When he reaches the cart, he turns and quickly casts a spell to partially wall the cavern while the others pass.
With the wall formed and Lamila pulling the cart, they continue to run, their speed if anything matching the does if the wall. Soon, Eymen, who saw the wall as hot with his infrared vision, looks back and sees no sign of it.
They decide to return without the cart or the short ones, just Doane, Lamila, Alfred, and Eymen. At a distance, Eymen can see a hot blob occupying much of the tunnel beyond Doane’s wall. They approach and Eymen hurls one of Rav’s firebombs, engulfing the thing in flames. As the others attack, it rapidly splits, quickly becoming nearly a dozen smaller ones. Between kicking and using her Laithe weapon in hammer form, Lamila soon splatters all of the small ones (except for some very small specimens Alfred captures in syringes). By the end of the skirmish, Lamila is sporting bad acid burns on exposed feet and legs half way up her shins where her boots and pantaloons have been eaten away.
Having learned how effective her hammer shape weapon is against it, Lamila uses it to carefully batter the other half of the slime to death, only getting lightly spattered with acid in the process. With the way cleared, they continue, reaching a worked passage marking the approach to their destination toward the end of the fifth day.
After a side quest, the Tyranny of Mundanity campaign returns to the main story line. I welcomed the side quest because I needed more time to prepare what’s coming. I think this campaign should rush to a finish fairly quickly now.