When the chaos of the attack of the Lich had finally settled we took an accounting of the fallen. There were many dead. We busied ourselves with attending the dead, set up watch and tried to rest for the night. It was a long night. In the morning a human appeared, which set us all a bit ill at ease. He said he had come from the mine nearby and that something was amiss there. We were at a bit of a loss as to what to do next so we decided we would investigate the mine. We prepared ourselves for the journey and headed out.
The closer we came to the location of the mine the more unsettling the landscape became. It was like a blight had been cast upon the surrounding forest, the trees withered, the underbrush curled up upon itself and the very air itself was stifling. We did not take comfort in the fact that we would have to camp in this dreary forest for the night. The mine location was proving difficult to find again.
Damned this forest and the blight upon it. During our rest at night it seemed that the very forest itself would rise up against us. While Varis was on watch he thought he heard something, but soon dismissed it as normal noises of the forest. It wasn’t until a huge branch of a blackened oak tree came crashing down upon Jacare that we suddenly realized something was amiss. The large branch didn’t just fall either, it was still attached to a large blackened and withered oak tree that somehow was lumbering towards Jacare and flailing it’s massive branches at him, tearing his flesh and battering him like a rag doll. Although this aberration was brutal, we moved in concert to stop its savage attack of Jacare. And then to try and rest again. Another long night.
I do not know when I will stop being surprised in my travels with these fellows, but I was shocked at the events of the next day. We approached the mine and soon slowed as we all noticed a large crater in the open area just before the entrance of the mine. There was also a small shack. Jacare and Moonglum went to investigate the shack. It was no sooner that they yelled back it was simply an outhouse that all hell broke loose. It was if the little shack exploded in a million pieces, a cloud of dust and debris filling the air. After but a moment, the dust settling, there stood a massive worm-like creature with thick scales and a gaping maw. Jacare and Moonglum dashed away from the beast and the crater that it was extruding from, but not quickly enough. Before I had loosed more than a single arrow the maw of the beast enveloped Jacare and he was gone. Moonglum back peddled, loosing huge balls of fire that exploded around the head of the great worm. I loosed arrow after arrow, Benus unleashed magical attacks that were similar to those that I have seen Moonglum produce, and Varis and Badger charged the beast. Just as quickly as Badger had reached the creature, it twisted around and opened its great maw again. Badger was gone! As quickly as the creature had swallowed Jacare and Badger it contorted itself and disappeared back into the crater that it had produced. I stood in shock.
I’m not sure what overtook me, fear, disbelief, anguish? I simply couldn’t seem to react to the situation. Benus and Moonglum moved quickly though. Before I knew what was happening they told Varis and I to stay above and stand watch, and then they disappeared down one of the craters. I stood there for what seemed like hours, tense, uneasy. After a time, and much to my surprise, Benus and Moonglum returned. It was when they pulled both Jacare and Badger up out of the crater with them, alive, that I was surprised again. Not only were they both alive the four of them had managed to find another entrance into a back chamber of the mines. We decided that we would save that entrance for later and focus our efforts on the main entrance. I checked my quiver and steadied myself, we would be entering yet another underground lair, and I needed my wits about me.