Ches 17, 1372 DR
The party enters the tunnel beneath the cabin that supposedly led into the forest near the home of the druid they searched for; the man behind the kidnapped acolyte they searched for. The tunnel did contain a scythe trap that Xanos spotted before it caused any harm. Hundreds of feet long, the tunnel does finally end with a large rock blocking the exit.
As they leave the tunnel, they hear a feral noise deeper in the woods. Tictok sends his mechanical owl to scout ahead for them. It flies off, returning a few minutes later and relays to its master that two large creatures are tearing an animal carcass apart near a cave. Making their way forward, they find the beasts, large canine creatures feasting on an elk. Spotting the party, the dogs growl and leap towards them. As they near, it’s easy to spot that the dogs’ mouths are both foaming and stained black. And though they attack in a crazed frenzy, one unexpectedly teleports behind them, revealing themselves as unnaturally large and quite mad blink dogs. The blink dogs fight to the death, their madness consuming any sense they may have once had. The party takes care of them rather quickly before investigating the cave.
The cave opens into a very steep natural passage leading down into the ground. It opens into a small cavern filled with bones and fur and smelling like animal. The passage continues downwards, if not quite as steeply. The walls of this passage are lined with a dark black sponge-y fungus. Keeping careful not to touch the growths, they continue down the passage, which eventually splits three ways. Looking down the forked passage, it’s obvious that the single passage has become a winding natural labyrinth.
Using a “keep-to-the-left” strategy to navigate the passages, the party tries to make their way through the maze. After a few minutes, a large creature snorts and charges Gardain, crashing into him head-first with a pair of large horns. The large minotaur sneers as it hefts its large axe, swinging it with skill despite the cramped space. The resulting fight leaves Valas and Gardain unconscious and bleeding before the beast falls. The party drags themselves back to where the minotaur came from, finding an alcove where it lived, including a small chest full of treasure. Being defensible, the party chooses the spot to rest and recover. Though the druid may have heard the fight, they don’t think they are in any shape to confront him in his abode.
As they rest, the sound of chanting and other unusual noises can be heard echoing through, but the party decides to wait and rest before investigating. When they do, they find a large cavern split by a deep crevasse, spanned by a natural narrow bridge. Vines line the walls and there is no ceiling; the cave is open to the sky, though the opening is dozens of feet above the floor.
On the par side of the cavern is a stone altar covered in symbols. A young women lies naked and tied to the altar with vines. She doesn’t move as they approach because it becomes obvious that the woman, who appears to be Shella, the acolyte from Berlingford, is obvious she is dead, her heart having been savagely ripped from her chest cavity.
A noise disrupts the group from the grisly scene. A passage behind the altar leads to dark room where a large black badger-shaped creature is tearing apart a humanoid corpse. As the party enters, the beast turns toward them, a glint of savage intelligence in it’s eyes…