Galadeus heard strange snarling and growling noises from further up the tunnel. He tried to use his Ring of Mammal Control but to no avail. He threw a torch into the darkness and in the brief moments of flickering orange light, he spotted two side tunnels, two on the left and one on the right.
At this point, the rest of the party came back down the tower to see where their ranger had got to. They found him edging his way towards the first turning on the left. They followed on and Galadeus tossed an oil bomb through the entrance. As the burning oil died down, the party moved down the passageway to see a room beyond. Creeping carefully into the room, they were confronted by four trolls who had emerged from another room further beyond.
|"Yeah, so now we're just orcs for high level parties."|
The party then looted the trolls and their stash of treasure in the room beyond.
Alurax had noticed in the treasure room that there was a passage which led towards what appeared to be a faint light. He followed it for several yards and then found that it gave onto the roof of the left-hand tower where Florin had been snatched by the barbed devils. There was still a scorch mark there but no sign of the missing phoenix.
The party then went back through the troll rooms towards the main passageway while Galadeus decided to check out another side passage to which nobody else had paid attention – on his own.
As the voices of the party faded down the tunnel, he found that the passageway led to another room in which the smell of foul, festering corruption met his nose. A mound of rotten material lay on the floor, amidst which were several glinting objects. Enticed by the shiny things, Galadeus stepped forward to see what they were, at which point the roper, for such it was, rose up and launched its attack. Five of its six tentacles scored hits and the luckless ranger felt his strength ebbing away; the roper began to drag him towards its yawning mouth.
|Is it me or does this guy look a bit like Kodos and Kang?|
Elysia hurtled into the room using a Fly spell and swiftly assessed the situation. She tried to cast Fear on the roper but her spell seemed to have no effect. Her nimble flying skills meant that the remaining tentacle flailed through the air and failed to hit her. Ferros, who was hot on the magic user’s heels, tried to Command the creature to die but again, his magic seemed to have failed. Alagon hacked at the creature with his hand axe and the rest of the party readied their attacks.
Running out of options, Elysia webbed the roper’s mouth to ensure that it could not begin to eat Galadeus, who had been dragged to the ravening mouth of the creature. Meanwhile, the last tentacle hit Ferros and the cleric, never the strongest of the party to begin with, found that he could barely hold on to his weapons now as he was dragged off his feet and towards the roper. He did, however, have the idea of calling on his zombies and skeletons to ‘help Master’ and that is exactly what they did, heading towards him and ignoring Galadeus.
Alurax drew a bead on the eye of the roper and fired an arrow which sunk deep into the monster’s body, then flung a torch at it, which made the roper shy away from the flame. Finally, Alagon managed to get close enough to fling his second hand axe which sailed through the air and buried itself in the creature's eye. It shrieked and collapsed in a pile of festering corruption, on top of Galadeus. The party only realised that the ranger was still alive when they saw his feet sticking out of the pile of rotting muck and dragged him to freedom. Once they were clear of the roper, both Galadeus and Ferros felt their strength slowly returning.
The party returned to the point at which they had heard Galadeus’ cries for help. This time, they were torn between pressing on up the main passageway or investigating the other side passages. As they were deliberating about which way to go, Alurax and Ferros, who were bringing up the rear, heard a strange growling noise from further up the main passageway. Alurax, in what was rapidly becoming a new trend, flung a torch up the tunnel to see if it illuminated what was making the noises. He could see nothing apart from a huge shadow, parts of which were writhing worryingly. Elysia decided to use the Illuminate function of her wand and lit up the cave so that the source of the noise could be identified. It was an eleven-headed hydra; the wisest tactic for this monster was to attack en masse so that it could not concentrate its bites on just one party member and pick them off one by one. Galadeus eschewed such a simple plan and instead picked an even simpler one – full-scale, frontal attack by ranger. On his own.
|But with many more heads. All the better to kill you with.|
|"Galadeus! What took you so long?"|
Meanwhile, Alurax, Elysia and Lydia braced themselves for the arrival of the two huge figures which they had seen coming down the passageway towards them. They turned out to be frost giants. Elysia cast a Fireball which exploded and caught the giants in a sea of flame; while the giants were still recovering from that attack, they were caught by Magic Missile and arrows from Alurax, Gullhar and Alagon which finished them off.
|"This bodes well for G2"|