Thornkeep (Druid's Head)

Lobbi's Musings #12

Healing, Helmets, Holodecks and Hatred

Standing over Hob’s unconscious body, I look to Reeda as to whether to heal Hob as I’m not sure if the spear has yet been devoured by the bag and am worried he may still be under its influence. On Reeda’s assent I approach Hob. As hog does not attack I heal Hob and he picks up his sword for the first time in days. Looks like he’s back. Not sure if he is convinced he was under a curse but he seems to have developed an aversion to spears. And being hit on the head by helmets.
After several more suggested complex communication methods we decide the best option is for the helmet to nod for yes or shake for no. Having been alone for a long time with no companionship it is a bit rusty and dented, so I offer the services of my armour-smith’s kit. After a few minutes of enthusiastic oiling, scouring, tapping and buffing, the helmet is shiny and pleased, a happy ending for my polishing skills. I decide to call it Buffy, a name which it seems to like. Buffy continues to follow me. It appears it was created by the same person who created at least this part of the Kingdom of Zog. It is some sort of guardian/protector. Its creator is not down here and it does not know how to find them.
Bored, I go down the corridor and listen at the first door. I can hear sounds of chirping and rustling so decide to carry on to the other door. Not hearing anything, I open the door. It reveals a red desert as far as I can see. Looking back I can still see the corridor. I know we are far below ground. Confused I shut the door and return to the others.
Obviously intrigued Reeda open the first door and this reveals some sort of rain forest or jungle.
I fly up on bats to scout the desert room but discover that it is only a 50’ x 50’ x 50’ room with an illusory horizon and sky. There appears to be an exit at the far side. I can see two large red ants near the centre. I throw down some Halfling for them but tentacles come out of the ground and grab it instead!
I return to the entry door and shoot at an ant with a crossbow. They draw spears from the ground and go into cover – hadn’t realised they were sentient and used weapons!
Also appearing on a raised area are a 4-limbed humanoid giant and some sort of large troglodyte with an immense hammer. Crowded room this. Perhaps it is where homeless wandering monsters rest when not strolling around Zog’s Kingdom?
Reeda summons two earth elementals who perform a stomping dance where the tentacles came up. They are soon engulfed in five tentacles. We win this fight.
Reeda then tells us to attack the ants. One throws a spear at me and hits Bats. Hob charges in on Hog but they somehow avoid him. It appears they are using poison. The ants eventually succumb to our military prowess and advanced tactics, but Hog and Hob are looking at bit wobbly.
Without a pause Reeda then orders us to attack the giant and troglodyte. I open fire with a bomb but one charge and a mighty blow from the troglodyte’s hammer renders Slinky unconscious so Jimbob runs away – out the door, along the corridor and up the stairs. I wonder if we will see him again? Meanwhile Slasher, Reeda and Hob rush off and attack the 4-armed giant. The troglodyte runs back to his comrade’s side so Reeda and Slasher also run, leaving Hob facing the enemy on his own. Hob charges away.
Flying, I continue to bomb the two giants until they retreat via the far door. We claim a moral victory and rest on the stairs to heal up.
Returning to the desert room it appears the giants have not returned. Looting, the ants have three masterworked javelins each. Pulling up the tentacled creature reveals no loot.
It seems each level of Zog’s Kingdom is getting progressively difficult. Surely we must be near the end of this vast complex? I have already learnt to do more things than I believed possible, and have obtained some incredibly powerful magical items.

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