Dear Diary…underground – again!

Alert: May contain spoilers for the adventure “Scourge of the Slave Lords”

Following the pebble-arrows led us, by nightfall, into a ravine. We took a vote, and decided the ravine was sheltered enough, the fortress wouldn’t be obvious from a distance…and that, given we’d been led into this area where we could be easily surrounded, having a bit of protection would be nice.

Turned in a bit early, as the sunlight disappears more quickly in a sheltered place like this, and had some nice time to ourselves. Someone brought up Edralve, that mysterious Slave Lady who was writing notes in two different hand-writings, and everyone had to give a theory.

Raven says he’s on the look-out for a villain named Evlarde.


No more arrows this morning. I did some scouting around while Mikael was “meditating,” but couldn’t find any signs of heavy traffic leading out of the ravine (understandable, given the weather recently).

There were four cave mouths in the west wall of the gully – the same direction both the trail and the arrows were directing us. With no other direction, we decided to investigate. None of the caves seemed more popular than the others, so we started on the right…not a bad system.

The rightmost cave seemed very rough and twisty – very much what you’d expect from a natural formation. In the very back, we found a pile of old bones that I’m pretty sure some kind of hyena had been chewing on…only the teeth-marks were larger than I expected. That said, the bones didn’t look like they’d been disturbed in some time.

We kept our eyes open, but found no more signs of giant hyenas. We did determine, after several hours of mapping and comparing and walking back and forth from dead ends, that the next three tunnels all connected with each other…and the passage second-from-the-right seemed to be the main thing.

This tunnel led, after a couple twists and false turns, to a carved passage, then to a suspiciously square-ish room, with two narrow mats made of hide laid on the floor. Ezekiel turned them over, and found rock crystals stuck on the bottom that Raven confirmed were salt. Ez said, from his mountaineering experience, they reminded him of toboggans or sledges…only he couldn’t think where the salt flats were that these mats had been dragged over (nor what heavy thing needed to be dragged).

A carved passage led out of this room, to a place where Raven said there was a pit trap. He poked with one of Mikael’s sticks, and a pair of doors swung down, revealing a floor of salt about fifteen feet below. As we were theorizing what the salt could be for, the doors snapped back into position on springs or something, which made me very disturbed.

We could see some kind of door at the end of the passage beyond the trap, so Raven helped everyone cross the pit with ropes, and we formed up. “Some kind” of door! Raven was confused that it had a keyhole, but didn’t seem locked, but still wouldn’t open for him. Ezekiel went to open it, and – crunch – ripped it right off the wall…and that’s all that was behind it – the cave wall, and some rude graffiti!

That leaves no path forward except the salt pit…or stumbling around outside on our own. By now, the sun has fully set outside, so we’re calling it a day and taking votes for how to proceed.


We wedged the doors of the pit with crampons so they stay open, and Raven scouted down below on a rope. He says the salt is pretty deep, but there’s a tunnel sloping away into the mountain. The walls glow with some kind of fungus, and it seems to be where we need to go. I do hate when there’s no clear path of retreat…but I think it’s our only option. At least, with the doors jammed, none of us will get beheaded – and with the hides, and the fake door, there should be enough sleds for us all, so none of us sink into the salt. (Raven says we could walk on it easily, but he also thinks armor is a silly luxury.)


Back door! The salt tunnel frayed my nerves a bit, but at least I didn’t scream the whole way down like Agnar. I can’t tell if he was having fun or not (caves being a dwarf thing, you know). At the bottom, a couple squads of gnolls were waiting (maybe they were the ones chewing on the bones upstairs?). They shot Lydia full of crossbow bolts – but then Ezekiel covered her, and Heiron and I got our bows out. Even Usin got in on the action with his sword. Heiron went around afterwards, stabbing the bodies and stomping on them to be sure they were dead.

One of them had something unusual – a piece of black papyrus in a scroll case. Either Ezekiel or Lydia is carrying it; I don’t remember.

Now we are faced with a bank of corridors, leading off into darkness…we’re going to need a bigger map…

Read the previous entry here.

2 thoughts on “Dear Diary…underground – again!

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