A picture with runes which makes 
this page look cool ;-)

Chapter 5
Into the tree

 

This was the biggest tree any of them had ever seen. It has an diameter of about 150 meters, and an height of 30-40 meters, as it had broken there from its full height which would have been way over 100 meters. The lowest branches of it were at about 10 meters height, but still with a size of a normal tree. At ground level there was an opening into the tree, about 6 meters wide and 4 high, big enough for a wagon to pass into the tree. Outside of the opening were tracks of something heavy being dragged several times back and forth. Dormin took the lead when they entered the tree. Inside it was a huge cavern, and in one end of it gleamed two red eyes. They were the eyes of a size 32 snake, which obviously had caused the tracks outside the tree. Dormin did not scare of it, but killed it with one single blow in the head of it. Warran used his butchery to take the hide of it for future use as armor. They got enough of it for a siz 14 armor, which would be very light compared to its toughness. After this the party decided to make camp for the night.

The following tunnel ended in a 6-meter steep cliff downwards. From the ceiling were hanging vines to the floor below. Hanging only from one vine, would not be enough, but using several of them could help in climbing down. The others except Dormin made it easy, he fell down and bruised his leg, which had to be healed. Soon they met the other end of the "hole" they had climbed down, as there was a similar steep cliff, now upwards for them. This time Warran fell down hurting his leg even worse than Dormin had, but it could be healed, and they continued. The tunnel divided into two, and the right one ended into a cavern with a pond of water in the other end. It was a natural spring, as more water flowed from the wall to the pond. In it the saw albino toads and newts swimming.

The left tunnel ended in a room filled with mushrooms of every size and color. Warran touched one mushroom and it exploded making him sneezing for one minute unable to do anything else at that time. From the other end of the room went stairs down. Also a weird rhythmical sound came from the stairs. Below the stairs was a huge room with a big metallic thing that made these clanking sounds regularly. Two skeletons of dwarves were also in the room. One of them had a weird tub beside him, which they took with them. The tub had in one end grip and two levers for something. They did not know what this item was, but maybe somebody in New Pavis would. As there was nothing more in the room they climbed again up to the mushroom room.

A narrow passage lead from it upwards to a room filled with spikes on both sides. It was very difficult to walk through it, as they had to zigzag to avoid the spikes. Small spikes flew from the walls on the, but did not penetrate their armors. The passage continued even more steeply, so they had to climb upwards to a room with daylight. Two killer bees attacked immediately the party, as they had been disturbed in gathering honey from all the flowers growing inside it. Dormin killed the first two, while Urded killed the third. After this they went to the hole where the light came in, and saw that it was at a branch of the tree, and that they stood about 10 meters above the ground. They did not want to go further so they turned back. From a narrow entrance they saw a room filled with huge rats, so they did not enter it, but backed again silently away. A third tunnel opened, but it was so narrow, that Dormin had to remove his armor to fit inside it. When they crawled forward a stench came from the room they could see in front of them. The room was filled with bat dung, as thousands of bats hanged from the ceiling high up. A maybe four-meter wide hole in the wall opened outside, giving them light in the cave. Suddenly the dung started to move, and fur giant dung beetles attacked. At first nothing happened, neither could hit, but then Dormin and Warran both killed a beetle each, then Warran and Urded killed the third while Dormin soon hit the fourth, killing it. A tunnel lead forward on the other side of the room, inside it was a weird looking carving with men worshipping a strange bat god. Warran became a batfriend by sacrificing a power to the god. Urded had meanwhile healed himself from the battle. As there were no more rooms to explore, they climbed down to the ground floor and into the last unexplored tunnel.

When in the cave, they saw an altar in the other end of the room with the following runes: Harmony, Chaos and Movement. Six plants, runners, jumped from the walls attacking the party. Even if the party cut an arm or a leg of it, they continued to fight, so the party had to start hitting only the heads, and thus killing the plants. After a long hard fight, Warran had killed four plants, while Dormin and Urded one each. All of the had got hits, so they had to heal themselves, and as the day was about the end, the went to the poolroom to make camp and rest for the night.

In the morning they went back to the shrine. Dormin hit the altar, but he got a zap from the warding guarding the altar. Urded continued, but Dormin had already broken the warding, so he could easily chop the altar into pieces. Below it was stairs leading down, they way the all had dreamed about. The tunnel was partly natural, partly manmade. They followed it forward, when Warran saw a trap among the floor tiles. A few meters had to be crawled to pass the trap. Warran found a second trap, which Urded disarmed. They came to a room with holes in the ceiling. Unfortunately they had not noticed the trap, so they activated it. The doors got closed and gas started to flow into the room. With a huge effort they managed to lift up the door forward, but Warran got some damage of the gas, as he couldn't keep his breath long enough. Forwards they saw some hints of light, and when they came to the end of the tunnel, from a small hole they saw into another tunnel with torches burning in it. That tunnel was obviously in daily use, while the one they had been in had not been used for a long, long time.

To be continued...


 


Copyright © 2005 by Kim Englund. All rights reserved. How to contact me. Last modified 22.06.2005.

A picture with runes which makes this 
page look cool ;-)