Session 48: Trolled

The group stared into the mud pit where Tazara had dove, as Yanliz and Lawrence appeared at the cave entrance.

With Valeria's guidance, everyone sprung into action. Jess pulled out her rope and Valeria helped her tie it around Prynhawn's waist. Philip grabbed hold of the rope. With the rope being wrapped around his waist, Prynhawn sheathed his sword and drew his spear, poised to stab the monster. Lawrence and Dubricus also waited for the monster to reappear, with burning hands readied. Yanliz shot an arrow into the mud. Vernim and Brother Martin left through the secret door to fetch the barrel from the goblin cave. The ripples on the surface of the mud pit continued to settle.

Prynhawn stabbed into the mud. Valeria and Jess secured a knot around Prynhawn's waste, and grabbed one of the two long lengths of rope extending behind, while Philip held the other length. Yanliz continued to loose arrows into the mud. Vernim and Brother Martin returned with the barrel and held it aloft, ready to toss it into the mud.

Prynhawn continued to stab, and Yanliz continued to shoot into the mud, while the others waited. "We have to do something!" Jess cried.

While Prynhawn and Yanliz continued, Valeria gave the order, and Vernim and Brother Martin tossed the barrel into the mud. It landed right in the center and made a splash that extended to the edges of the pit, but there was still no sign of the monster (or Third).

Prynhawn and Yanliz continued stabbing and shooting into the mud, while Vernim and Brother Martin grabbed the rope with Valeria, Philip, and Jess. "I have an idea!" Dubricus shouted. "It might have some way out from within the pit!" Everyone else groaned at the possibility.

Prynhawn noticed that the mud began to stir, and cried, "Watch out!" as he stabbed into the mud. Yanliz held his arrow and waited for the creature to reappear. Vernim closed the secret door to the goblin cave and returned to the rope.

Prynhawn tried to stab farther into the mud, where it had stirred, and slipped on the muddy edge of the pit. Valeria, Philip, and Brother Martin were caught unawares and Prynhawn slipped into the mud pit until the rope was pulled taught by Jess, who had wrapped it around her waist. As Prynhawn was sitting on the ledge of the mud pit, Third's pike darted out of the depths and stabbed him in the chest, but the creature remained under the surface.

Valeria pulled the rope, dragging Prynhawn from the edge of the pit. Prynhawn stood, dropping his shield and tossing his spear to Philip, and grabbed the pike as it was withdrawn into the mud, and yanked it out. Thin green arms emerged from the mud and grabbed the barrel, hurling it at Prynhawn. Prynhawn braced himself as the barrel shattered against his armored frame. Lawrence and Dubricus both reached forward and cast burning hands. The scorched arms were immediately withdrawn as Yanliz loosed an arrow into the mud nearby.

Prynhawn reversed the pike and stabbed into the mud. He felt the creature's flesh under the depths. Vernim cast cure wounds on Prynhawn. Jess drew her short bow and waited for the monster to reappear. "If the creature reappears, do you want me to cast thunderwave?" Dubricus asked. Before anyone could answer, the lanky creature's head and shoulders did emerge, right next to Prynhawn. Its claws slashed at the half-orc's legs, ripping into his calf and knocking him prone. It pulled Prynhawn towards the mud pit. Valeria pulled back on the rope, with Philip's help, and managed to keep Prynhawn from being drawn off the ledge. Lawrence cast the scorching ray he had prepared and hit the creature with two of the three rays. Dubricus hit the creature again with burning hands, and it flailed from the flames, releasing its grasp on Prynhawn. Jess and Yanliz tried to capitalize on the opportunity, but their arrows disappeared into the mud.

Prynhawn stood and stabbed the pike into the mud, but did not feel any resistance. Vernim cast cure wounds on Prynhawn again. The creature rose from the mud again, dug its claws into Prynhawn's leg, and pulled the paladin into the mud. Valeria pulled hard on the rope, with Philip and Brother Martin also holding on, but the creature was too strong and the rope pulled them all closer to the mud. Prynhawn's struggling form went limp in the mud pit as the creature bit into his shoulder. Dubricus threw a fire bolt, but it disappeared harmlessly into the mud, as did Yanliz's arrow. Lawrence scorched the creature's face with burning hands, and it relinquished its hold on Prynhawn and disappeared once more.

Valeria and Jess pulled Prynhawn back to the surface. Vernim revived Prynhawn with healing word, and the paladin stood. Everyone else stood ready with their bows and spells, but the creature remained hidden beneath the surface.

Prynhawn stabbed the pike into the mud pit, but felt nothing. Vernim cast cure wounds on Prynhawn again.

Prynhawn continued to stab the pike into the mud pit, but felt nothing.

Prynhawn stabbed the pike into the mud again and felt it hit something. He drove the pike father into the pit, pinning his target against the side of the pit.

Prynhawn withdrew the pike just enough to stab into again, but when he tried to pin it again, the pike was pushed back briefly and he felt it scrape against stone.

Prynhawn stabbed again, and felt the pike pierce his target, and again the pike was repelled when he tried to pin the creature.

Prynhawn stabbed it again with the pike and this time was able to pin it against the far wall again.

Prynhawn plunged the pike deeper until he felt the pike hit stone. With the pike impaled through its gut, the creature emerged from the mud, undeterred, and clawed at Prynhawn, rising up on the weapon's pole. Lawrence scorched it again with burning hands., and it recoiled and splashed mud on its burns. Jess and Yanliz both hit it with arrows, but it seemed unphased by the arrows protruding from its green hide. Dubricus missed it with a fire bolt.

Lawrence blasted it with three scorching rays, and it screeched in pain. Holding the pike in his off hand, Prynhawn drew his sword, casting searing smite, and stabbed his white hot sword blade into its bony green chest. Jess hit it with an arrow. Dubricus hit it with a fire bolt, but the flames were quickly extinguished by the splashing mud. Yanliz aimed for its head, but the creature was flailing about, and the arrow disappeared into the mud.

Valeria cast cure wounds on Prynhawn. Lawrence scorched it again with burning hands, and it screeched in pain. Prynhawn slashed his white hot blade into the creature's collar bone, melting through its flesh. Dubricus hit it with a fire bolt, and it screeched again in agony. As the creature was flailing about uncontrollably, Jess hit it with another arrow, and Yanliz landed an arrow right into the wound Prynhawn had opened.

Valeria dropped the rope and pulled out her wand, but her eldritch blast missed the creature as it began to slide down the pike back into the mud. Prynhawn slashed with his sword, but the creature disappeared into the mud. "I have an idea!" Dubricus shouted. "Lift it out of the mud so I can hit it with thunderwave!" Prynhawn sheathed his sword and heaved on the pike, but could not lift the large creature. Philip lunged onto the far end of the pike with all his weight, and the pike went down, lifting the limp creature out of the mud. Dubricus hit it with a fire bolt, and Lawrence fanned his hands vertically, casting burning hands. The flames sizzled across the entirety of the creature until it was a husk of charcoal.

Together, Prynhawn and Philip dumped it onto the ground by the cave entrance.

"I think that must have been a troll," Dubricus suggested. "I think they can heal themselves and we killed it with the fire."

"Are we going to retrieve Third's body?" Yanliz asked.

"I have an idea!" Dubricus announced. "How about I jump in the pit and cast thunderwave, dispersing all the mud out of the pit?"

"I could use destroy water," Vernim suggested, but Dubricus calculated that he would not be able to destroy enough water.

"We could use barrels," Philip suggested. "Where I grew up, at the end of the harvest, we would have our bales that we would carry and we would make a chain, and like toss them one at a time in a row. Maybe we could do something like that.."

Eventually they headed to the goblin's eastern guard post. From one of the barrels there, Philip refilled his skins with as much (flat) beer as he could. Then they dumped it out, and the rest of the beer washed away the line of chalk that had been drawn through the center of the chamber.

A black rock rolled out of the barrel onto the floor. "This is pretty," Jess said, picking it up. She asked if she could keep it, and they should she could.

"It's just coal," Philip said.

"No, this is onyx," She explained. "It could be worth something."

They retrieved the two barrels and brought them back to the troll's cave. Tying ropes around the barrels, they began scooping the mud from the pit and dumping it outside the cave. It took them over an hour until there was only a couple of feet of mud left, and Third's helmet poked through the surface.

With Vernim and Philip and securing the rope, Prynhawn, Valeria, and Yanliz descended into the pit.

Yanliz searched through the mud for his arrows, and found a rope.

Jess descended into the pit and, pulling on the rope, discovered five sacks tied along its length. Tied to the end of the rope was a closed keg of liquid.

Yanliz retrieved most of his arrows, and with Jess and Prynhawn, helped lift Third's body to the surface. Valeria took Third's pike.

Vernim cast gentle repose on Third.

Jess looked into the sacks and found hundreds of pieces of silver, copper, electrum, and gold. In the fifth sack were two vials, one red, and the other appeared empty, though they could feel that it was full of liquid.

Philip opened the keg, but could only taste mud. Valeria tasted it and determined it tasted like fine brandy.

Jess suggested they search the troll's nest.

After rinsing off quickly in the stream, they circled around and entered the cave from the secret door.

Among the foul nest of sticks, furs, rags, and mosses, Vernim discovered that among the thicker branches woven into the nest were a quarterstaff, six arrows, and a small, straight piece of iron with arcane carving on it. Lawrence determined the carvings were a rune for "stop" and Valeria guessed that it could be used to cast hold person.

Philip took the darkwood staff, and swung it around. It was extremely well made and balanced, and while it was unusually light, it hit with an unnatural heft.

Yanliz examined the arrows, which were also made of darkwood, making them exceptionally hard and light.

Dubricus said he would try to identify the potions when they return to the keep.

They gathered their things, and Prynhawn carried Third, as they departed the valley and made their way back through the woods to the road towards the keep.

It was twilight when Yanliz noticed movement in the woods close to where they had previously found graves.

Valeria agreed to have Yanliz, Philip, and Jess sneak over to investigate.

Philip and Jess were uncomfortable with the noise of Yanliz' overly eager movement as they passed the graves, but the figure did not seem to notice. Yanliz thought it was an old hunched figure, but Philip recognized the movement as that of a zombie.

They returned to the group, noticing that a few more were rising from the ground.

Valeria suggested they return to he keep, but Brother Martin suggested they should deal with the danger.

Vernim said he could channel divinity to destroy them, so they agreed. Vernim approached the zombies with Brother Martin, and they rounded them up. Vernim cast radiance of the dawn, damaging all of them, but felling none. They were surrounded, as the zombies closed in on them.

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