Akiva Stein was a bum: he was crazy, he didn’t bathe much, and (crucially) he had no dwelling or employment. Sister Zamada insisted that Jorma at least handle the bathing part, as Stein was in no state of mind to take care of himself. After much hemming and hawing, Jorma overcame his fear of bums enough to construct a bum-cleaning apparatus out of a bucket, a sponge, and a ten-foot pole.
At the same time, Gron Swiftriser entered town in search of adventurers to measure himself against. After visiting the tavern and sampling Karl’s Afternoon Tea Pilsner (served with cookies) several times, Gron located the town marshal to enlist him in the search. Jorma had finished his bath by this point and revealed himself to be the very sort of man Gron sought! One race over the town hall later, and they were fast. . .not friends, but at least acquaintances.
Lindwell, meanwhile, busied himself directing his minions, since those rocks aren’t going to explode themselves. Rocky floated the idea of recruting manpower from the southern cities; Lindwell concurred. As operations were at an impasse until the machine shop was constructed, Lindwell left in search of the mayor.
Lindwell ran into Gron and Jorma near the town hall, shortly before he himself was located by Mayor Branson. Branson expressed some irritation with the presence of Stein; several citizens had been attacked by a man claiming to be a grue and had complained. Jorma suggested that they make good on their promise to relocate Stein to the cave system that housed the Underground Temple of Pelor. Lindwell agreed, and soon the party was on the road to Nissus Point after Jorma’s attempt at teleportation (standing very still and thinking teleporty thoughts) failed miserably.
The cave appeared to have seen some activity since the adventurers had last walked its halls, but none recently. Stein found the place much to his liking. As the party entered the oval antechamber that had led to the temple chambers lower down, they found that the Peloric inscription in the floor and the dais that had covered the entrance to the temple were gone. Further, the staircase leading down had been replaced by a hole cut in the floor of the stone. Gron and Jorma raced each other down into a previously unseen chamber.
The new chamber was a raw cave that looked nothing like the temple the party had previously visited. There they found the most recent visitor – a bandit with two tame fire beetles! The bandit ordered his animals to battle as the rest of the party descended, and the two groups clashed by the glow of strange magical energies. As they fought, ankhegs stealthily moved into position to attack. Lindwell nearly ended up trapped in the jaws of one of the beasts, and only timely action by Blizzacane rescued him. Eventually all of the enemies were slain, and the magical energy transformed itself into a portal of unknown provenance. Without waiting to investigate, Jorma leapt through, followed closely by his companions.
The adventurers them found themselves in a sandstone chamber filled with columns and carvings reminiscent of ancient Egypt. Two archers sounded an alarm and fired on them. Jorma charged forward, triggering a section of the ceiling that swung down and nearly bowled him off his feet. Forewarned, the rest of the party advanced more cautiously. Although Blizzacane triggered another trap and was knocked down, the archers were ultimately defeated. Jorma identified the remaining traps before the group advanced to the next chamber.
The PCs next found themselves in a cavern of ice, opposed by Norse berserkers. The berserkers charged them, taking a heavy toll, but were less apt in their defense. Carefully, Jorma and Blizzacane maneuvered them beneath heavy icicles in the cave. The icicles, once jarred loose from their moorings on the roof, knocked the berserkers flat. Hampered by their tactics and lack of anything resembling a defensive posture, the berserkers were vanquished, allowing our heroes to advance.
The party was then deposited in the cargo hold of a starship, littered with crates. A service droid and two security drones sounded an intruder alarm and engaged the party. Gron stayed back, dispatching his spirit companion to assist the rest with healing and beneficial effects. The service droid was destroyed swiftly; its explosive termination failed to catch Blizzacane and Jorma in its nimbus. A light security drone dragged Lindwell into the blast zone of a heavy security drone’s flamethrower; Jorma, Lindwell, and Blizzacane were all endangered. Lindwell pursued the light drone while Jorma, Blizzacane, and Gron destroyed the heavy drone. Lindwell narrowly missed a shock from the light security drone’s pacification appendage, and from there the outcome of the battle was all but inevitable. The team rested on the metal floor, enjoying food-like substances scavenged from the hold.
- 575 XP each (total XP: 3987)
- Painting of Georg Olaf II the Mighty (250 gp)
- 240 gp