Early one morning, having rested thoroughly from their previous adventures, our heroes Trogdor, Sa’reen, Amatsu, and Tealy set off on the road to Panward’s Crossing. B. Elzebub and Chopps sought their own path as they continued their adventures. Gleepglorp is probably drunk somewhere.
Our four adventurers travel half of the day to finally reach the bustling trade town of Panward’s Crossing. The guards nod a greeting to the four strangers as they enter the gates. Without much trouble the party is directed to the barracks where they meet Captain James Daniel. Captain Daniel informs the party that the Earl’s keep has been infested, from below, by a horde of creatures that seem eager to kill the people of this town. Due to the Earl’s best fighting men being sent away to war, the people of this town need adventurers such as our heroes to assist. Of course there will be a hefty reward.
Our heroes are led through the Earl’s keep to a back room, where a door leading to the cellar is heavily barricaded. Striking a Sunrod, Tealy peered warily down the stairs into the darkness. Amatsu crept silently down the stairs into the dimly-illuminated storage room. The signs of a struggle were all around. Responding to a signal from Amatsu, the three remaining followed down the stairs, the heavy wooden door closing behind them. They quickly spotted a large hole in the far wall that seemed to open up into a tunnel beyond. Without warning, two creatures dropped from the ceiling and began attacking Trogdor and Tealy, clawing at their backs. The team made short work of the beasts. Upon examination, Amatsu knew the creatures to be Kruthik, subterranean insect-like creatures that make their homes by burrowing through the earth. They expand aggressively, clearing an area of food before moving on to another.
Advancing through the hole in the cellar wall, the party found that the tunnel opened up into a wide cavern, where a pack of the beasts had set up camp. The largest of the creatures clicked and hiss at the others while they charged at the intruders. Twice our heroes felt venomous barbs pierce their flesh while fending off the smaller spawn. They found themselves victorious in the end.
Across the cavern they found three cocoons. One by one, Tealy sliced them open with her blade. To her horror, the cocoons contained men. Only one was found to be still living, though he was pale and wasting away. The party carried him back to the surface to recover. He warned the party that the creatures seem to be able to sense vibrations in the ground.
Wearied from their battle, our heroes took it upon themselves to rest for a time in the keep before returning to the caverns. Once their, they were dismayed to find that more Kruthik had advanced into the space. Tealy rushed in head-long to slay the beasts. She immediately regretted this decision when she was swarmed by a rush of Kruthik. Fortunately, her allies were right behind her and the creatures were destroyed.
Advancing through the cave, Sa’reen soon learned what the ailing man had meant about the vibrations in the floor. After walking no more than 30 feet further into the cave, a Kruthik hatchling burrowed up from below her and clamped down on her ankle. After destroying the pest, the party crept carefully across the next open cavern. As Sa’reen reached the far side of the room, a young Kruthik burst from the wall and attacked her. It wasn’t long before it had summoned its compatriots to its side. With a series of intensely vicious blows, our heroes annihilated the beasts.
Nearby, the party found that the Kruthik had burrowed their way into an old tomb, which they found to house several knights and a lord. Above each sarcophagus was displayed the weapons of these heroes of old. The adventurers were tempted by the finely-crafted weapons, but ultimately felt it best to leave the dead to their rest.
Nearby, the four found another hole dug by the Kruthik leading farther into the earth. As they stared into that dark hole, they could hear the sound of hundreds of clawed feet scuttling about underground.
To be continued next week…