Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess

Part Five - Chapter Two: Water and Fire

It was on the morning of the 15th day of Planting, in the Common Year of 581, when the Company of the Green Dragon killed the last of the troll forces in the chaotic faction of the Power Tower in the ruins of Castle Greyhawk. With the five powerful troll witches now dead, the band took the time to search their bodies and the vast cave in which they had just died.

Beneath the troll’s throne, the band found a stash of treasure and in a nearby cave were several barrels of water that appeared to be enchanted with healing and protective properties. The band took some samples of the water and continued looking around. In a passageway to the south, they ran into an unusual, invisible, elastic-like barrier of some kind that blocked further passage into the cave beyond. But they found that if they slowly applied pressure, they could force their way past the barrier. One there, they found a stream of water that emerged from a set of five natural springs inside some dead-end passages. Each of these springs appeared to be enchanted differently from each other and where they combined they created the water that the band had found in the barrels. Using Brom’s knowledge of potions, they were able to get an idea of what each spring might do. Tadwin took a drink of one of the springs which appeared to cause some kind of more permanent healing ability. But an augury indicated it would not be a good idea for him to drink water from any of the other springs. Unsure of how to proceed from there, the band decided to hold off, for the time being, on any further experimentation of the spring water.

Instead, the band retreated from the troll lair and headed back to look at other unexplored passages. By this time, the elixirs of diminution that the band had consumed in order to get into the troll lair had worn off. So they had to drink more of the elixirs to make themselves small enough to get out of the lair. Once they had made it through the narrow passageway, the band investigated other passageways. All but one of them lead to dead-ends, however. The only exception to this, led them to two more trolls-turned-to-statues and a partially blocked passageway. The band crawled over the partially blocked area, but after following the passageway beyond for a bit, the band realized it was headed towards the dungeons under the central tower of Zagig. Not yet ready to go there just yet, the band turned back again.

From here, there was nowhere left to go but down the stairs to the next level. By this point, the elixirs of diminution had worn off again. It was shortly before noon then, when the band arrived on the seventh level. Unlike all the other levels, this one actually had lit torches on the walls of the first chamber they came upon. It also had an archway on the far wall and a sturdy door next to it. On the wall to the right and just below one of the torches was an arrow slit.

As the band entered the room, a small bell could be heard ringing in the direction of the archway and drawing the attention of the band. But Brom scouted the area out and found nothing of interest in that direction but a collapsed passageway. Suddenly, the band found themselves under attack as crossbow bolts flew out of the arrow slit. The band moved to the sides of the arrow slit where the crossbow bolts could not hit them, and since they relied now on darkvision spells, they extinguished the torches. Zeke then cast a light spell on a coin and tossed it into the arrow slit. But moments later, the lit coin was tossed back out.

The door was both locked and barred from the opposite side. But Brom managed to get the door open anyway. He then led the band, invisibly of course, into the next couple of rooms where the band had to fight off several humanoid creatures known as spriggan, which are distantly related to gnomes and have the ability to assume giant-form. While in their natural gnome-size, the spriggan are generally very stealthy and they rely heavily on rogue-like abilities and surprise attacks. However, without the advantage of surprise they are more formidable in their giant form, and so once the element of surprise is gone they typically take their giant-forms.

The band then had to fight off spriggan in both of their sizes, depending on the circumstances. Fortunately though, regardless of which size they took, the spriggan were not as formidable as some of the other forces they had had to fight recently. As a result, the band had little difficulty in cutting their enemies down. This was despite the fact that the spriggan were armed with several magic items such as a flaming sword that shot rays of fire, a ring that that emitted spark showers, and a potion that allow its imbiber to breath fire. Even a pair of ettins that had sided with the spriggans did not proved to be all that challenging a test against the band. When the battle was over, eight spriggans lay dead on the floor alongside two ettins.

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arkhemedes

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