Episode 74: Three owlbears and a worm
The passageway led deep into the earth, twisting and turning for some time before intersecting with another of large, rounded burrowed tunnel similar to the one the party noticed as they exited the Wanderer’s Temple. The passageway split on the opposite side, continuing south. As the party quickly made their way through, a great purple worm burst up from the ground beneath Magnus, swallowing him whole and burrowing into the earth above the startled party. As Magnus writhed in the belly of the great creature, the party attacked, Ara, and Sirlius attacking from the ground while Yuna, Whisper and Keen ascended into the tunnel behind. The beast moved erratically, tunneling into the earth at random turns, before the combined strength of the party’s attacks caused it to vomit up Magnus.
The worm turned suddenly, burrowing further into the earth and leaving the stunned party behind. They resumed following the smaller passage south, now moving quietly, attempting to avoid attracting the worm’s attention. After some hours of exhausting, tense travel, Magnus suddenly fell unconscious, his limp form collapsing into Yuna. The grizzled warrior felt his mind travelling through the earth, and the familiar group consciousness of a Myconid colony welcoming him to Joy. The colony beckoned Magnus to them, granting them a vision of the entirety of the underground complex, including the burrowed tunnels of the great worm and a network of dangerous arachnids. Magnus gifted the colony with knowledge of the first Myconid colony in the Underdark high in the Thorimfel Plateau, as well as an understanding of his connection to the rest of the party.
The Myconids released Magnus, who returned to consciousness and in a rush related his experience to the party. Ara and Yuna, both of whom had encountered the first Myconid colony with Magnus took his explanation in stride, but Sirlius and Whisper regarded him with open concern for his mental well-being. Together the party debated whether to accept the Myconid invitation to rest in their colony. Magnus was adamant the colony would provide them a safe space, but his companions were worried the Myconids concealed some hidden agenda, and instead decided to press on through the tunnels. They did so, and thanks to Magnus’s extensive knowledge of the area were able to avoid multiple encounters with both the giant purple worm and the nest of arachnids.
After a long day of tense travel, the party found themselves just a few dozen feet from a crack in stone through which a faint breeze of fresh cold air issued. The crack was opposite them, across a purple worm’s tunnel. Exhausted as they were the party was less stealthy than they might have been, and as they struggled to squeeze through the tiny opening a great trembling of the earth signalled the approach of the purple worm. One by one they pushed through, but as Yuna struggled the worm appeared in the tunnel, bearing down on the party. Whisper turned to face the great beast and with a wave of her feathery hand the tunnel filled with gnarled, twisted tree roots. With a crash the worm slammed straight into the mass of growth, slowing it. As it thrashed, Yuna pulled through the crack in the stone, and Whisper followed.
The party had escaped the tunnels into a large cave open to the outside; the faint glow of late afternoon light glinting off snow was visible some distance away. Unfortunately in the middle of the cave lay three large sleeping owl bears. The party tiptoed across a floor strewn with old bones, attempting to avoid waking the fearsome creatures. They were nearly out when a bone snapped under Sirlius’s foot, rousing one of the owl bear. The party ran for the cave mouth, owl bear in pursuit. As they emerged blinking into the deep snows, they were met with a bent old woman in a heavy hat and cloak, both made of owl bear pelts. With an odd song of clicks and whistles, the woman calmed the charging owl bear, which slowed, turned, and retreated back to its hibernation. “Not wise to anger the Old Man in his home,” the old woman said. “Now, you all seem like you could use a cup of tea. Come along.” And she turned, walking back into the forest. Sirlius followed, along with the rest.
Mushroom Hospitality: Rejected
Encounters Avoided: 3/5
Days Until the Full Moon: 9
RP Rating: Awesome!