Dark Sun: Spirit Champions
I dismissed Sparkles and as the last shimmer of him vanished the rest of the party emerged from their hiding places and slowly made their way to the only sanctuary of safety in the area, once they were all huddled around me an audible sigh of relief could be heard from all. I looked down and scanned their faces, they were visibly frightened by what they had seen and heard. I patted the monk in the head, “There, there my friend all is well and fear not for we will find your missing brethren.” I reassured him.
Once I had calmed the party’s nerves I led them deeper into the tombs. The deeper we went the older the tombs as they spiraled deeper into the earth. We had traveled more than 4 miles when we came across a vast hole in the wall of one of the rooms, the hole opened into an ancient corridor. We entered into the passage way and noticed we had two directions to pick from. The Southern direction seemed to slope upward, knowing that would lead us back to surface and back to safety I chose to take the Northern path, the party was not pleased.
We had been snaking our way down the passage for the better part of three hours when I heard the sound of earth giving way behind the party. We all turned just in time to see a large bug like creature emerge from the wall. The screams of fear from the party members drowned out the noise of a second one ripping its way through the wall behind me. Had it not been for my gladiator reflexes it might have caught me with its massive pincer. This one was much like the other but larger, two perhaps or three times larger. Seeing that mine was bigger and that they outnumbered the tiny one 5 to 1 they sprang into action. The big bug was tough and was starting to deliver a few blows; I wasn’t sure how much longer I could continue playing with it before I was forced to do what I could have done 30 seconds into fight. The others cheered as they finished off the tiny one and all moved in to attack the behemoth I had been toying with. “Finally” I mumbled under my breath. My plan to unite the party and teach them to overcome their fear and most importantly turn them into a fighting force to be reckoned with was starting to pay off.
They continued to pound on the massive bug mountain for the better part of an hour when I noticed the creature was about to launch a deadly acid blast, fearing for the safety of my fellow party members I lashed out, striking it hard in the throat blocking the escape of the acid and forcing it to seek other paths from the body. The creature fell with such force that several members were knocked off their feet, its bulging eyes rolled back in its head and a large volume of acid leaked from what I can only assume was its ass.
After talking a few moments to rest and loot what we could from the beast we resumed our trek into the unknown. In this case the unknown turned out to be a sunken city for us to explore. Unfortunately for us we were not the first to uncover this wonder or the thousandth by the looks of things. Another loot free waste of time, but while we are here we might as well have a look anyway I thought. There were still the missing monks to consider so I told group that we should make a quick search of all standing structures for signs of the missing monks.
I took the lead because of my low light vision and the others followed. After searching a large portion of the standing structures we came upon a section if the city that had been crushed by the ceiling forcing any that enters to crawl from structure to structure. Still no sign of the monks and the scurry sound I had been hearing for over an hour seem louder in the crushed section so I went in and made my way into one of the buildings. There was room enough to stand so I began a thorough search of the entire room. My search yielded numerous bones and not all animal, I also found the remains of one or perhaps both of the monks. Who could tell, the bones with its gore still clinging to them were scattered among the shreds of robes. I tore a piece from the robe and said a pray for the fallen and then moved on the next structure. Here I found what appeared to be a last stand of sorts, a battle fought perhaps a hundred of more years ago. By the amount of crushed bone and broken weapons it must have been a glorious battle, how I yearned to have been a part of it! As I made my way through the room following the path of the ancient battle I noticed a break in the wall that led into a large darkened area, I looking in and though another time perhaps, but today I must continue my search. Leaving the building I made my way to last structure in the fallen area. I entered and began my search when the ground started to rumble and another bug like creature burst forth from behind and tried to grab me, I quickly backhanded it sending the creature scurrying with its tail between its legs back down the hole. Finding nothing of interest here I moved out and back toward to party.
Once out I brought everyone up to speed and handed the monk the remains of the robe, I didn’t go into details because I could see he was already in pain. The scurrying had died down in the section we hadn’t searched so we headed toward the only structure that seemed intact. We entered and to our joy we found the remaining monk alive but unconscious. Quick search once again yielded nothing so I grabbed the fallen monk and told the others it was time to head back to town. Most of us were outside the building when the ground erupted and we were surrounded a huge swarm of giant bugs with only one intention, having us for dinner. The rest of the party were happy to be leaving and all the bug swarm did was kick them in fighting mode.
I’m not easily impressed but this group did just that, they all held their own and seeing first hand a bugs head explode just by thought was worth the trip down here. As the battle progressed I could see the group was tiring so took out the remaining two bugs by crushing ones skull and splitting the other in two with my axe. We stepped out into the awaiting dawn, few people were up but those that were after seeing our bug covered gore forms avoided us like the plague. We all parted ways, some went back to farm to clean up while others chose to make due with a spit bath went on to open their booth for a day a sales. As for me I had a party to prepare for.