Wherein the heroes need to go further but encounter firm resistance.
An incredibly loud screech pierces the silence of the underground. The sound cascades through the hallway in waves, sounding somewhere between an eagle’s cry and a bagpipe. The group had been discussing which hallway to proceed down, since they had decided to stay and search for the children without giving the Kobolds time to regroup. However, there is agreement to go investigate the source of the screeching.
Most of the group hears the noises coming from the northern corridor. Meander hears it to the right, and runs back to peer around the corner to the south. However, after reaching the crossing, he hears it from the north as well and jogs back to the group as they make their way north.
The long passageway opens into a big room. As they near the end of the passageway, they can see and hear signs of a fight. They can see a Kobold with a spear in hand, waiting for an opening. A girl’s voice is barely audible over the constant shriek, “Get away from me.”
The constant screeching is loud, but the golem’s steps down the hallway are louder. However, the Kobolds appear to ignore it until Stone Man walks into the room. The entire melee freezes in shock when he finally walks into the room.
The room is the site of a heated battle. Three large stone tables are arranged across the room, with long benches that have been knocked askew. A half dozen Kobolds are fighting a half-sized, strange mushroom man. Two Kobolds have a girl pinned against the corner. There is also a child hiding underneath one of the tables. The mushroom man seems to be the source of a horrid sound vortex, making it extremely difficult to concentrate and fight in the room.
Broken moves into the room and takes out one of his enchanted daggers. He casts his dancing blade spell, causing the dagger to whisk into battle. The dagger stabs into one of the Kobold’s arm, causing it to flinch. Red scoops up a rock and lobs it at one of the Kobolds, striking his hand. ToughBark sees nothing but monsters in the fight, moves out of the hallway and into the room to assess the situation from the back of the fight.
Stone Man steps up to the nearest Kobold. He swings his great sword across the Kobold’s stomach, killing it instantly. One of the Kobold’s attacking the mushroom man whirls around and stabs at Stone Man, but the dagger just glances off the stone.
One of the Kobolds moves up to attack the girl, but she strikes out at the same time, causing it to back off. The other Kobold crowds the girl from the other side, but misses with its dagger. Meander moves into the room, circling around the fight to help the girl trapped in the corner. A Kobold in the center group stabs at Meander, but the strike seems much too late. The Kobold seems to be impaired by the deafening shrieking.
One of the Kobolds appears to be chasing the boy underneath the table. He circles the table, but the boy moves from corner to corner underneath, staying one step ahead.
The Kobold leader pulls out a wicked knife attached to a chain and swings it around in a tight circle. He releases it at a low angle towards the golem and it wraps around the golem’s leg. The Kobold leader yanks and yanks on the chain, but the Stone Man seems unaffected. The leader roars in frustration.
Meander charges at the kobold attacking the girl, trying to smash through him with the small battle axe. As he leaves the sound vortex, it becomes easier to concentrate on the fight. As he slams into the back of the kobold, the haft of the axe bends slightly. The kobold falls to the floor, dead.
Red moves around to get in a better position to attack.
The Mushroom man’s shrill cry stops momentarily, follow by a long terrifying, bloodcurdling shriek that fills the Kobolds with dread. They look around at the fallen Kobolds. All the Kobold warriors drop their weapons, visibly shaken. The Kobold leader drops his jaw in awe. The Kobold warriors start running toward the northern corridor with all haste.
ToughBark takes the opportunity to nock and arrow and pepper the fleeing Kobolds. He strikes one in the foot, causing him to stumble and fall. Red throws a rock at one of the Kobolds as well, hitting him in the hand.
Meander rushes by the leader, striking him in the chest with the axe as he flies by. The leader falls unconscious. Broken continues the attack by causing the flying dagger to stab into the fallen leader. Stone Man thrusts his sword down, skewering the leader.
The Mushroom man approaches Meander after the fight, both hands out, making soft musical noises. Meander is taken aback by the strange man, “Back off little Mushroom Man.”
The girl blurts out, “Don’t hurt him, he helped us escape.”
Meander turns to her and asks, “Are you Kitten?”
Kitten, “Yes, Who are you?”
Meander, “We were sent to save you. So is this Jabs?”
Kitten, “Yes. We were put in a place with two other guys. They don’t look alike except for their faces. They overpowered the guards. It took us awhile, but we finally got up here. But we’d already lost Hawler and the other guy that was helping us, ‘Silver’. This horrible thing dragged away Junior. Vale got away, but he ran the way the Kobolds ran.”
Meander, “Unfortunately, that’s not the way out.”
Broken, “We will help you get them all.”
Kitten, “I didn’t think that statue was going to show up. We call the little guy Songs, because he sings all the time. He’s been making sounds to confuse the Kobolds. I didn’t think the sounds of the statue were real and neither did the Kobolds.”
Meander, “What is wrong with the Mushroom man?”
Kitten, “When he did that to Junior, his wounds got better. Neither him nor Silver really speak.”
Red, “So, we need to go rescue the children. We need to go back the way they came, until we find the kids.”
The group proceeds down the northern corridor. Shortly afterwards, they come to a junction branching off to the east.
Broken, “Which way did you come from?”
Kitten, “I think we came from the right.”
Stone Man turns and starts to go down the hallway. Several javelins come whizzing down the hallway and strike the golem, followed by the sound of a door closing. Javelins strike him in the shoulder, vitals and chest. Sparks fly from the wounds and the golem stops moving.
Broken moves up cautiously behind the golem and start peeking around to examine the golem. Seeing multiple breaks in the lines of power that trace the surface of the golem, he starts making repairs as best as he can. Meander peers down the hallway, seeing a corridor branch off to the north, causes his body to quicken to painful levels, getting ready to sprint. Red begins chanting and gesturing.
The sound of the door opening comes down the hall. Song starts murmuring and the sounds transform to the stomping footsteps of the golem going down the hallway towards the doorway. A squawk of horror is heard, quickly follow by the thump of the closing of the door.
Red and Meander move down the hallway. Meander sprints over to the adjoining hallway, using the corner as cover while Red moves down the hall at a normal rate.
Song walks over and places his hand on the golem. He looks at Broken and shakes his head. The damage to the golem is significant. Broken is unsure how much he can fix without his lab. However, after several quick fixes, Broken repairs the golem to the point where it starts to shudder to life for a moment. The golem shudders again and then freezes in place. Broken slumps to the ground, having pushed himself too far in his weakened state.
Song looks down at Broken and moves his hands towards him, singing softly. ToughBark tries to waves him off, but Kitten reassures him, “No, No, Let him do it.”
Meander waits for Red to get close to the door before rushing up to it. The double doors open towards them.
Red, “Be careful opening the door. There are more people right there than ran from us.”
Broken wakes up with the mushroom man singing to him. He feels much much better. He closes his eyes and lets Song do his work.
The stomping sounds stop right behind Meander. The sound of stone scraping stone ring in their ears. A deep bellowing voice yells something odd.
Red looks quizzical, “It might have said… I die? It sounded Dwarvish, but not really.”
Broken feels much better once Song finishes. All the pain seems to be gone from his wounds. He rests a moment before checking on Stone Man again.
Meander lets his body resume back to normal speed while waiting at the door, wondering what to do. Red and Meander discuss their options.
Broken spend more time repairing the damage. He gets Stone Man to move again but he quickly stops again. Broken figures out the root of the problem. The Stone Man’s energy store is damaged and leaking energy faster than it replenishes. Broken can push energy into the store, but it will only power Stone Man for a few moments. He will have to move quickly until out of power and then need another power infusion.
Broken takes the torch off the Stone Man’s arm and pushes some more energy into its store. He tells the golem to charge down the hall and block the door, while the group talks over what to do about their situation. Meander and Red get out of the way as Stone Man charges down the hall. He comes to a halt at the door and then shudders and is still.
The group takes the adjoining hallway to the north. It ends in a set of double doors. Red listens at the door and can hear some scratching at the door.