Thrice The Brinded Cat

Filtchers, Goblins and Vamps

Moonday Reapingday 6, CY 593 (Part I)  

The rain has returned this morning. It is dark as the group meets to again battle the challenges of the deep. We are geared for battle and are ready to thwart our new nemesis.

*

Kenric smelled of garlic when he arrived. He had fifty pounds of garlic on him and smelled worse then a male dwarf after his yearly bath. Kenric shared the garlic with the group and Listens to Wind shared some wooden stakes he had made.

We ate breakfast to fortify ourselves for the upcoming events.

We went to the bathhouse; nothing had changed except the sounds. In the bathhouse we found Sergent Charlie’s very tired City Patrol standing guard. They had been ordered to stay until we gave them an “all clear”. Unfortunately we had not been able to give them that order. The patrol was wearing garlic but Kenric and Braeden checked them out for any “marks” just in case. The group appeared to be okay.

We headed down the stairs. The smell was the same but there wasn’t any sound coming from the deep. An ominous silence permeated the darkness.

We decided to search the first room where the cots were located. Gerran, Listens to Wind, and I searched the room for secret doorways to see if we could figure out how Drakthar was able to disappear and reappear so quickly and quietly.

Except for the graffiti on the walls the room was perfectly clean. We searched the foot lockers, they were unlocked and empty. As we were searching, Gerran and I both noticed the ceiling was made of the same granite as Jzadirune. We also noticed small grooves and holes in the ceiling; smaller than finger size. Kenric determined the holes were newer. We left some garlic in the room and moved on down the hallway.

Listens to Wind checked the next room and noticed the goblin corpses were missing. He then moved back down the hallway to check the room next to the cot room. In the room, Listens to Wind saw small holes in the ceiling, some with wood sticking out of them. He determined this was a good spot to set up his Alarm spell to warn us if anyone approached from this end of the hallway.

The group then headed away from the room. As we moved forward we noticed there were holes in the ceiling of the hallway. This was probably where the bats had come from.

We moved on into the room were Gerran and I fought the goblin horde. The four rooms smelled horrible. There was garbage, feces and rat bones inside. We thoroughly searched the rooms and found there were also holes in the ceiling. Kenric determined the holes were made by stone-eating termites. We had never heard of stone eating termites but I guess anything is possible.

We headed down the hallway and came to a cross section. There we found two goblins with crossbows ready. Suddenly another goblin appeared behind me! I killed one and then moved into the room to challenge the others. Braeden moved in and killed one of the goblins. Listens to Wind ran to the cross road to protect our backs. I killed another goblin and moved to open the door. There was a goblin wizard there who cast a spell, but nothing happened. Braeden rushed in and swung at the goblin. He hit it but the goblin stayed standing.

Down the other corridor Listens to Wind found another room. Inside the room were some pallets and more garbage. He moved down the hallway and prepared for additional goblins. Kenric put more garlic in the room.

I rushed into the room and took out the goblin-wizard. Braeden moved through the room and went through the door. He found another room. Inside there was a glow of fire in the corner. There was a cauldron with green goo inside. There was another goblin, another wizard. He sent out a burst of flames from his hands. He hit Braeden did little damage. Braeden moved forward and struck at the goblin.

Listens to Wind moved forward and found a doorway heading east. Kenric chucked more garlic in this room. Listens to Wind and Kenric heard a faint scream. For Gerran the scream seemed to be right next to his ear. It said, “Stop that! Get out! Get out!”

Gerran turned to see a tall white and green blob with multiple limbs right behind him and one of the limbs had been trying to get into his backpack. Gerran waved his torch in the creature’s face to get it to back off. The creature backed off and then Gerran asked, “Who are you?”

In the meantime I moved into the room with Braeden and hit the goblin with my axe, but the creature lived on. Suddenly, the goblin cast a spell and we saw little lights that settled down upon us, but nothing else happened. Braeden took another swing at the little goblin and missed.

Listens moved to help Gerran with the big white blobby thing. Kenric, the mage, also moved up to assist. The creature made a high pitched noise and then with a “pop” it disappeared. The three then stood in wonder. Where did it go? Kenric realized it was a creature that happened to access the Ethereal Plane and were known for going behind adventurers to see what was in their backpacks. They are known as Ethereal Filchers. They are intelligent creatures, an aberration.

Gerran stopped to check his backpack and he noticed everything in his backpack was perfectly organized – too organized. It was freakishly neat. Gerran reached in for a snack but drew back when he saw a tiny human like arm move inside his bag. Gerran said nothing and just closed his backpack up and slung it over his shoulders.

Braeden and I checked the room and the body of the goblin we had killed. There was a cauldron in one corner of the room. In the opposite corner was a table with clay flasks on it. The floor was dirty, ash and soot along with black and green goo was everywhere. We looted the goblins and began to search the area. Listens to Wind found a round room with gnomish drawings and goblin shit. There was a pool in the room that was three feet deep with a foot of clear water in it.

Listens to Wind determined that the face at the end of the hallway was a large stone head that had been broken off of a statue of Moridan, god of the dwarves. The granite stone of the statue had been broken and it didn’t appear to belong here. Listens to Wind checked out the head and he found crude weapons had been used to hack it off of the original statue. There were dents on the floor and the statues’ features were damaged from being rolled.

Kenric determined the goblin magicians were brewing healing potions. He then moved into the pool room and determined there was magic being used to set up and to clean the water. He also determined there was magic on the Moradin head. Kenric determined two schools of magic were present; divination and enchantment.

We then headed down the hall. As we moved I heard a quiet voice speaking goblin and what sounded like a dog whining. At the corner I saw a hallway. The floor appeared like rough rock, sloping to the east and down to the west.

As I went into the room, Drakthar suddenly stepped from around a corner and into my path. “Enter my home without my permission . . .” he growled and then swung at me with his fist and missed. As I ducked his swing I saw that the room beyond Drakthar was a gnomish room of Jzadirune that someone or something has ripped it in two. There was a cave, with blackish stone further to the south, too..

Drakthar swung at me and missed both times. I then saw a wolf and a goblin. The goblin was different. He was dressed in nice leather armor with a whip and a drawn short sword.

Listens to Wind pulled out a vial of Holy Water and threw it at Drakthar. It hits him and made him scream. We heard him yell, “Mother!”

Kenric then cast a haste spell on us. I attempted to hit Drakthar with my trusty battleaxe but he was too quick. I swore at my lack of skill. Braeden then drew upon the might of Pelor and cast a magic circle around us which Kenric told us would keep Drakthar out of our heads!

The next few moments were a blur. Drakthar and I smacked each other with little damage being done on either side. Braeden then cast a powerful spell at Drakthar which hit him with a beam of bright light. We watched as Drakthar screamed and then burst into greenish mist that began to rise up to the ceiling.

We only had a moment to consider this as the wolf and his rider then attacked me. Listens to Wind and Kenric both attacked and hit the wolf. I then swung and killed the wolf. As it heads was cleaved completely off it’s body, I continued my swing and also struck the goblin. The goblin ended up straddling the corpse of his dead wolf. After a few more attacks the goblin also fell dead at my feet.

To the west we heard more wolves howling and above us we see a rough cavern roof. The cavern appeared to be an old lava tube. Two strange straw pallets lay off to our left.

I opened the door at the opposite side of the hallway. The door handle was a melted piece of steel. The door was stuck so I broke it down. Beyond was a Jzadirune hallway. Another lava tube cut the hallway off.

Before we headed through the door we went down into the cavern. Listens to Wind spotted a ledge twelve feet up with two goblins, crossbows aimed at us. I killed one but we soon discovered two more behind us. Gerran moved in and killed one of the goblins behind us. The battle continued on but I became frustrated since I couldn’t get near the two goblins. Listens to Wind sent Hoppy down the tunnel and Hoppy got his first kill! Listen then killed the remaining goblin.

We continued down the tunnel and we saw another tunnel heading east. We saw another ledge with two more goblins on it above us. At this point we decided to go back to the level above us and clear out the ledges of snipers rather than continue to play this game of cat and mouse.

Just then the filtcher returned. Gerran waved the torch at it and the creature backed off. Kenric grabbed a sunrod out of Gerran’s bag and handed it to him. Gerran calmly gave it to the creature. It yelpped once and then disappeared!

I turned and opened the door in front of us. The room appeared empty except for rubble, some of which is malachite. We moved through the room and I opened the next door. Two crossbow bolts rushed pass me. Yet another set of goblin ears to add to our count.

We returned to the room with all the crates and barrels. We check them to make sure Drakthar is not hiding in any of them. We then moved on, into a new room. We found a room with four pillars shaped like dwarven warriors. At the end was a headless dwarven statue. We searched the room and found holes in the ceilings and walls. We mainly searched the statue area. We found the base of the statue was the same size of the shrine of Moridan which we found at the Malachite hold. The brassier in front of the statue was filled with goblin dung. There was nothing else in the room.

We went through the next door and we found another hallway that went into another room filled with smashed furniture, a broken kiln and broken shards of a mirror. We searched the room and found nothing of interest and no sign of the vampire.

Using Kenric’s wand, we then began to search for secret doors and we found a few. When we finally got back to the cavern entrance where we defeated Drakthar, Listens to Wind noticed a white mist, over by the two strange pallets on the ground and he sees a glint of something through a rough crevice. In looking closer, we saw the mist was actually white things, jumping off of the mats. It was a cloud of lice. Gerran detected two sources of magic in the crevice. Gerran used a great sword to break something free and out fell a mummified dwarf holding a sacred symbol of Moradin. The medallion was a hammer and chisel. On the mummy was a magic medium chain shirt and a magic amulet. The amulet was a chain with a reddish brown chunk of rock hanging from it.

We continued our search for the vampire’s coffin. During our trek into the depths of the vampire’s lair we came upon creatures called dark mantles. We were able to destroy these pests and continued our search.

We came upon more goblins and defeated them. During the battle we were able to keep one of the goblins alive, thanks to Kenric’s sleep wand. Gerran woke the goblin and interrogated him. Soon the goblin was leading us to the vampire.

The goblin led us to another goblin and two lizards. We took out the lizards quickly and after a bit of a chase we are able to kill a bunch more goblins.

In an adjacent room we found a throne made of bones and skins. The throne suddenly begans to move and we found ourselves once again in battle. After destroying the animated bone-chair, we could see through a crack in the wall and spied a cavern beyond. We decided to drop down and see if the vampire was there. We knew we didn’t have much more time left before the vampire had healed and once again could take form.

In the cavern we found moving difficult. As we were making our way carefully across the chamber we were suddenly attacked by a giant bat. We defeated the bat and moved to climb a ladder we saw earlier on the far wall. The ladder led to a ledge. At first glance it appeared to be a dead end but thanks to keen eyes we found a trap door. We lifted the door and discovered the vampire beneath. Kenric leapt down with a wooden stake and a hammer and ended the vampire’s ability to regenerate. As he struck the stake into the beast’s body we could hear howls in the the distance.

We decided to take Drakthar’s body with us as proof of the vampire’s existence and to maybe help free the bathhouse owner, Orak, from jail.

When we reached the surface it was late morning. We immediately dispatched the guards to bring various town representatives, including some from the various churches. We put Drakthar’s body in a closet for safe keeping.

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