The party found themselves unable to do much to the attacking swords and shields, largely because they were being propelled by poltergeists bound by shamans over the years to protect their holy site. Likewise, the poltergeists were not skilled enough at combat to do much to the experienced players. Dwain dodged and parried their attacks with ease, Letholdus and Blade had little to fear with their +8 armor, and even Ranson, the mage, was wearing goblin plate and could go invisible, which reduced the poltergeists’ chance to hit. Ranson revealed his location by replying to his comrades, but only took minor damage before discovering he could banish the spirits. Letholdus was more frustrated. He at first disbelieved the attack and was vindicated when the poltergeist fighting him fumbled and embedded his sword in the wall. Letholdus soon discovered the sword was real and spent most of his time fighting for control of the single sword and shield attacking him. Blade’s dancing sword, Swoosh, proved to be the only effective weapon in the group, so Blade recalled Swoosh to his hand and used the demon blade to destroy the various spirits one at a time. It was a rare moment of glory for the swordsman, and he made the most of it.
When finished, the party headed north and spent a number of paranoid minutes wondering why there were holes in the cave ceiling (no reason). They then sent their Air Daggers and Ranson’s invisible servant (a Krepgan again) north to reconnoiter. Powered by air elementals, one of the stupidest creatures in creation, the Air Daggers were (as usual) of little help as Scouts. The demon Krepgan went further and told the party that a tomb filled with ancient warriors lay to the north. Laying it on thick, he made it clear that these warriors were undoubtedly waiting for the party to advance. In reality, a mild Fungi Forest lay to the north, and the moldy smell that wafted south convinced most of the party that the Krepgan was correct. Ranson had been abused more often than the others, so he wasn’t buying it, and took point. The other players followed, only to be terrified of the Akii, the extremely common and harmless balloon-spider-rats found in local caverns. Standing at the threshold of the cave, Letholdus got in some target practice and the poor little things scuttled away or floated up into the holes in the ceiling as best they could. Letholdus missed a lot (rare for such an expert archer) but he popped a few of the Akii with satisfaction. The party then searched and found nothing, but their lanterns wilted the largest of the mushrooms.
When they went south again, they found the traditional pile ‘o treasure, which they again scrutinized carefully before taking. If nothing else, this party is careful!
And thorough, as they then decided to search the underwater sections of the cave. Dwain’s player had left the game, so it was decided by the other players that Dwain wanted to jump into the grotto with the giant shark and look for treasure, since he had the only Zephyr Helm. Luckily for Dwain, the giant shark and his colleagues had already fed well on the many bodies tossed into the grotto that day, but the adventurers found little in the pool (the shamans had removed most treasure and put it in the pile ‘o treasure already).
Finally, they sent Dwain down the underwater tunnel they had encountered much earlier in the cave. Ranson lost his ability to Send Thoughts when Dwain went around a corner, but managed to retain his ability to Read Thoughts, so when Dwain found Bracers of the Waterlords far down the tunnel and tried to hide them from the rest of the party, the rest of the party knew. Kudos to Rainer for roleplaying Dwain in his owner’s absence! Dwain was allowed to keep the Bracers and now is the fastest Dwarf under the sea.
Finished with the Tunnels, the party now prepares to visit righteous retribution on the village of the Sharkmen, and especially to find and punish the Shaman who stole the gear of Letholdus, including his Shifter Ring. They only have a few hours left in the day before the Shaman can use the ring again, and they hope he used it to teleport back to the village rather than off the island.