From the Journal of Kurbis Nadaar.
To say the excursion into Wave Echo Cave, the trials therein, and the showdown with the creature known only as The Black Spider was eventful would be an understatement.
After rescuing Gundren our party was quick to resupply and set off for the mine. Time was of the essence as we knew not what had happened to Gundren’s brothers who had been at the hands of the Spider.
Irony is a cruel mistress, hundreds of lives have gone to waste…even lost in searching for the Wave Echo Cave. All the while, it sat just a few miles outside of town, hidden by a dense grove in the forest. A cruel mistress indeed.
Upon arriving to the entrance we were saddened to find the body of one of Gundren’s brothers. Kill from a lack of cooperation, or simply for sport, we have yet to find out. The sight however was just another enforcement to our purpose. Retribution must be enacted against the Spider and his minions.
We left the Gundren at the entrance to grieve and bury his brother, tho he is of fierce soul the work that was to be done inside the cave was beyond his martial skills.
As Dregan was quick to point out, the entrance levels to the mine still illustrated the craftsmanship of dwarven miners. The battle centuries ago had left scars no doubt, but the structure of the mine had stood the test of time easily. We were speaking on this when our first intersection presented itself.
Feron and I took to the short hall to investigate. His door presented what appeared to be the pay master’s office. . A chest rewarded us with gold silver and copper as one might find in the coffers of such an office. My door however yielded ….less than desirable results. Nine Skeletons rose and began to shamble towards me. Simultaneously A large group of Stirges descended upon Dregan and Wren. Despite being outnumbered (as a group) roughly 1 to 5 the creatures were slow or fairly weak or both. I managed to use the doorway as a bottleneck so I would only face 2 undead at a time. The rest of the party focused on the mass of blood suckers swirling around them. Quickly dispatching them with magical incantations. Once free of the bat like creatures the group came to my aid and burned down the undead as well. If such was to be the norm in the cave, we had quite the challenge ahead of us.
We gathered ourselves and moved the coin chest to a safe location and continued east. It was not far till we reached a grove of fungi and cave plants. Not knowing what effects these plants may have on us, we doubled back and took the north passage.
The cave constantly presented options in destination. We decided that the best course of action would be to move north as much as possible. If the way north was blocked, then east. If neither, we would go west. While not a plan based upon a scientific method, it got us in and out of the cave alive. The constant and rhythmic “BOOOOM” that originated from the north also had peaked out curiosity, so that certainly had an effect on our decision making processes
We faced Ghouls and Zombies along the way. Beasts long dead and cursed by dark magics. I hope by destroying their physical forms the spirits that may be trapped inside could move on to the next plane of existence. Of note, during these fights Wren occasionally had exceptional bursts of power. Her wielding of the arcane is proficient to be sure, but on one instance in particular it appeared that the force of her spell was such that it even caused her physical harm. It was when we faced the Flame Skull…
We had found a room where we could use as a safe harbor, marking it on my map. Anxious to press forward we continued down a long hall to the north. Shortly we found ourselves in what appeared to be the main smelting chamber. The equipment (still in remarkable shape, another comment from Dregan ((MID BATTLE NO LESS)) noted more fine craftsmanship) had stood the test of time, unfortunately so had the bodies of many of the fallen, Zombies rose as we entered the room. On the far side of the chamber a skull surrounded in green flame with red eyes of malice rose from the ground as well. As soon as it noticed us it attacked. Sending beams of fire from its eyes.
The group acted quickly, with blade, hammer, and magic. The Flameskull, however, was sending such devastation towards us with its abilities we were finding ourselves overwhelmed. Two instances of note during this encounter. As the zombies surrounded us I noted Wren distracted in her spell casting for just an instant, as if something was speaking to her silently. As she released the spell an explosion vaporized many of the foes. After this we thought we would have had the upper hand, this was not the case. The Skull had sent high level abilities against us, Fireballs and Spheres of pure flame. Most of the party collapsing from injury and exhaustion. Just before the darkness closed in upon us I saw Dregan whispering to himself, as if in negotiation with some unseen, unheard voice. A flash of light erupted from his hand, the usually hidden dwarven mark pulsing with energy. My wounds healed instantly, so fast in fact I could feel a broken rib painfully knit itself back together. The Flameskull emitted a hellish howl as it’s flames were somehow ripped from away, washed away in the energy storm, Then silence.
Dregan lay on the ground still, looking drained of life, but alive.
We took measure of ourselves and realized we had to recuperate on all levels. With the eerie silence following us, we made our way back to the room we had discovered earlier, barred the doors with and quickly fell into rest.