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What Lurks Beneath
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What Lurks Beneath IV
The Want of the Water
Running Quest Log

October 27th, 1012:

At the request of Sir Aeston and Sir Symir, the heroes of the Realms once again gathered in Cold Springs, Rhiassa in order to make their next foray underground and to delve into the secrets of the troll clans and their mysterious master, The Great Eye. Initial scouting attempts had revealed that the next leg of their journey would be to an area of the underground containing ancient waterways and a vast, subterranean ocean. Aeston was able to hand over to the questing party two copies of a songbook that his scouts had come across; a relic of those ancient times, the song seemed to indicate some of the wonders that might await them on their journey.

As the heroes once again breached the dark chambers beneath Rhiassa, they were met again by their old foes, the trolls and goblins wearing the heraldry of The Great Eye. As they had so many times before, the questing party battled their way past these beasts, this time finding on each of them necklaces made of shells, magic items that would allow the creatures to breathe underwater; a necessity for the trip ahead.

Fighting in the Caverns Also among the trolls was an odd creature with a tentacled maw and long tentacles for arms. This creature, called a squidhead, seemed to be bent on carnage, but obeyed the commands of a troll shaman who was garbed in a strange red frock and who shook a red rainstick. The heroes could kill this odd new creature but it would quickly spring to life again, revived by the power of the nearby waters. They were soon able to kill the shaman, however, and retrieve the frock and rainstick. When the heroes gained possession of those items they realized that they, too, could command the red-garbed squidhead and in doing so, could open the way forward, for the doors ahead were locked with combinations that only this odd creature could dismantle.

The Mermaid Princess After making their way past more hordes of the troll army, the heroes came upon a tranquil cavern and a fortress embedded into the coral and rocks. Within the fortress they found a mermaid princess upon her throne; beautiful beyond compare, haughty, and in need of their help. She was the last of their dying race, though could lay a clutch of eggs and begin her civilization anew, but needed a specially tended coral garden to do so. Her last coral garden had been destroyed by the malevolent naga queen and the alchemical components needed to create a new one were stolen by the queen's clay soldiers.

Growing the Coral Garden The heroes accepted this task, and made their way to the naga queen's domain. They found her there, surrounded by living statues of warriors, with a mane of writhing golden snakes upon her head. The adventurers knew that, in order to strip away the wards that made her invincible, they would have to rip off the snakes on her head while battling past her stone guardians. In the attempt to do so, many heroes were killed or turned to stone by her magic but they eventually succeeded in their task and slew the vicious snake-woman. Retrieving the potions, they returned to the mermaid fortress and mixed them together, watching a new coral garden grow before their eyes. For their efforts, the mermaid princess awarded them another rainstick, this one yellow, much like the red one they had already found. No doubt it would be needed soon.

Filling the Machine Soon afterwards, the heroes came upon a room where at the exit sat a mammoth, ancient, machine attached to a giant door. They realized that in order to open the way forward that they would need to activate the machine by filling its awaiting vessel with water. At the other end of the cavern was a tiny spring, leaking water onto the floor below, and next to it, a pile of aqueduct pieces that had obviously once created a channel across the room. The heroes lined up, end-to-end, holding the pieces and directing the water to its destination. Each drop that fell into the machine seemed to increase in volume many times and soon they had triggered the mechanism to lift the way forward and proceed on their quest.

The questing party again engaged the army of trolls and goblins this time finding amongst them another squidhead, garbed in yellow. The rainstick given to them by the mermaid was sufficient to control this new creature and again, they had to use it and its red-garbed brother to unlock they way forward as they went from cavern to cavern.

The Pufferfish Game The heroes then came upon an odd sight. a large cavern where two groups of trolls and goblins seemed to be engaged in a game. On each side of the room there seemed to be a puffer fish with its mouth agape, holding within a large number of colored eggs. Apparently the goal of the sport was to take the eggs from one team's fish and move them all to the mouth of the other fish. The trolls seemed to pay the adventurers no mind as they engaged one another in this contest. The heroes noticed that the troll in charge of the game seemed to have another rainstick in his possession, this one blue, and they asked to play the game and wager one of their rainsticks for this new one. The trolls agreed. After a hard-fought engagement the heroes bested their troll adversaries, collected their prize, and were on their way.

The Bucket Brigade In the next room, another giant, venerable machine sat blocking the way forward, again with a vessel awaiting water to activate it. On the opposite side of the room sat a pool of water. The room was divided into small areas, separated by colored bands of seaweed stretching its width. The colored canisters that were scattered about the room were there to hold and move the water, but could only be moved within the area they started in. So the adventurers had to pass the water from canister to canister, across the room to fill the machine. This was accomplished in short order, the ancient gears on the machine turned, and the way forward was opened.

More trolls and goblins awaited the questing party as they moved forward, and among them a blue-garbed squidhead that they could then command thanks to the rainstick they got from the puffer fish sport. They fought their way through endless waves of minions of The Great Eye, knowing that they were drawing closer and closer to a final confrontation.

The Turtle Race After a while, another strange site met the heroes' eyes. They stumbled upon a racetrack where trolls were betting upon cave turtle races. The creatures were lined up at a starting line, and as the heroes watched, the shelled beasts waddled around the track while the trolls and goblins cheered and jeered relentlessly. In the center of the stands was a betting table, and the grand prize that sat under frosted glass was another rainstick; this one green. The troll pit-boss said the heroes could only bet for it if they proved to be high rollers, and so the heroes scraped together gold and shells to use as currency and tried their hands at betting. Some seer magic made predicting the winners of each race quite easy, and before long, the questing party had won the rainstick, and were on to their next challenge.

Soon afterwards, they came into contact with yet another ancient door device. This one was behind a short wall, and they could only get water to it by throwing it in the form of water balloons. While dodging a horde of enemy archers, the heroes had to fill these balloons and throw them onto a target connected by hose to the machine. After a short while the heroes' relentless assault bore fruit, and the machine opened the way forward.

Fighting the Demon As the questing party made progress into the next room, they found a foreboding and familiar sight. In a greater circle of protection stood a demon protected by an ancient troll shaman. There they stood to face down the heroes, secure in their knowledge that no magic that the heroes possessed could breech their protective area. But the demon did not count on the mighty squidheads being on the side of the heroes, the other three joined by a green-garbed companion. Using mystical filaments formed by the waters, the squidheads struggled against the demon, trying to pull it out of its protective circle. They did so amidst a hail of fireballs and magic missiles, finally beating down the elder shaman before they could finish their task. As they pulled the demon, struggling, from his circle, the assembled heroes destroyed him and prepared to celebrate their victory. It was then that the massive doorway in front of them opened.

The Great Eye A wall of green hide faced the adventurers, and as they struggled to comprehend what they were seeing a slit in the hide opened up to reveal a giant, angry, red eye. The heroes found themselves unable to move as a thundering voice echoed around the cavern. The voice of The Great Eye chided them for their persistence and hastening their deaths, but admitted that the time was not yet right for their confrontation, for it had not yet revived enough from its slumber. It claimed that in a year's time they would again clash, and that it would end their struggles and heroics much as it had done to the civilization which once opposed it long ago. Then, before they could even take another breath, the heroes found themselves in the Great Hall in Cold Springs, surrounded by Aeston and his countrymen. The Great Eye had banished them for now, but the time of reckoning with it would come soon enough.

 
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