Recap from 1/15/2005
While adventuring deep in the bowels of the Lost City of Barakus, the group made its way into a very large and sprawling cavern. Here, they encountered a massive multi headed Hydra and fierce combat ensued. Hraal managed to sneak around its flank while the rest of the group engaged it and its many heads from the front. After the rest of the group managed to cut off several of the heads, Hraal managed to backstab the creature doing double damage and finally killing the massive beast. After the combat, the group split up to look for loot. The wizard found a magical sword in one corner on a long dead adventurer and the rest of the group found various other items of treasure as well.
This is when the hidden Duergar chose to attack, however, catching the group totally by surprise. We were still wounded from the encounter with the Hydra and had no idea the cruel and evil dwarves were hiding nearby, using their ability to blend into the dark and shadowy stone cavern walls so efficiently. We found out later that they had been trapped in the Lost City, unable to return to their subterranean kingdom. The presence of the Hydra prevented their exit to their dark underground realm through the passage on the other side of the large cavern which was its lair. Since we hadn’t had time to heal our wounds after the encounter with the Hydra, more than one character was knocked unconscious in the initial surprise attack. Eventually, Master Ho, Quan and Eltherian were all down while the wizard picked up the sword and tried to defend himself as best he could. He too eventually fell to their blows and soon enough it was only Hraal the Reaver that stood against a rather large group of evil dwarves.
The dwarves began looting the fallen adventurers and made off with some of their gold and magic items while their leader, a warrior priest, pointed at Hraal and said with an evil grin “I will take care of this one”. A fierce one on one combat ensued with the well armored priest pounding on the Hudan barbarian and the barbarian returning his blows with both broadsword and hand axe. The blood rage of the berserker was upon him and after both opponents took blow after blow from each other, the full fury of the barbarian eventually brought the cleric down with a savage blow that crushed the priest’s skull into a bloody pulp. Covered with blood and gore, Hraal held both sword and axe high and screamed triumphantly at the remaining dwarves with all of his primal fury. The dwarves, seeing their leader fallen and a blood stained and blood mad berserker challenging them to fight on, decided that discretion was the better part of valor and beat a hasty retreat out of the tunnel on the opposite side of the cavern that we had yet to explore.
Hraal took stock of the situation and used a healing potion to heal Master Ho, our Spirit Shaman healer first so he could then heal up the rest of the group as necessary. Amazingly, none of the others were dead but merely unconscious and were soon brought back to life by the Balduin healer. We cursed our carelessness at having been caught off guard by the dwarves and decided that we should pursue them to try and regain our lost magic items. The group followed the winding cavernous hallway that they had retreated through for a long time. The tunnel just kept on going until we thought that perhaps we had left the lost city altogether. Since we didn’t have a dwarf with us we couldn’t tell how far we had gone or if the passage was sloping down.
Eventually, we came to a large natural stone cavern that dwarfed the previous one in comparison. At the other end of the cavern was an old woman that begged us for aid. As we approached, the old hag attacked us and combat once again ensued. We eventually overcame the evil hag but a few more of us were wounded in the encounter. We decided to push on into the next passage convinced that the evil dwarves and our lost magic items couldn’t be that far away. It was a fatal decision that those who survived would later regret.
We entered the next subterranean cavern and were surprised by a group of four hungry trolls. Three of the four trolls attacked the barbarian in front with three attacks each and the other one pounced on the surprised Master Ho with its claws and fangs. To make matters worse, the trolls then won the initiative the next round and after another four claw, claw, bite attacks they were busy devouring the remains of the unfortunate barbarian and spirit shaman. Seeing their front line go down so quickly, the rest of the group did what they had to in order to escape the hungry beasts. Three of the trolls were busy devouring the legs and arms of the fallen adventurers but one gave chase eager for another kill to add to their grisly feast.
Quan polymorphed himself into a unicorn and distracted the troll long enough for Elthyrian to beat a hasty retreat and then followed suit while the wizard cast invisibility on himself and also retreated down the hallway from whence they had come. They eventually made it back to the surface above the lost city and back to civilization. And so passes Hraal the Reaver and his faithful companion Master Ho from the world of Braxus into the halls of Valhalla. Many a tale of the brave Hudan warrior and his stalwart Balduin companion is sung to this day in smoky taverns by the bards of Braxus praising their adventurous exploits in Hammerstad and the fabled Lost City of Barakus.
Eventually, the remaining members of the group recruited a new fighter to lead them in their quest for the sword of Kel in the lost city. His name was Wolfric the Wild, a stout human fighter from Dortland decked out in wolf skins who fought fiercely with his great axe against the denizens of the Lost City. And thus the mighty adventurers concluded their exploration of Barakus when they finally retrieved the sword of Kel from its subterranean resting place. The fate of the sword and its finders is the subject of a future tale that is, as yet unwritten...