Othwic, Maud Balliol, Jarl The Lame, Hob The Bastard, Konrad, Alys and Baine
Current Date: May, 1012TR

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Chapter Seven - Strangeness Afoot In The Trollstone Caverns...

With Wu Bao trapped behind the stone portal and Red suddenly (magically) vanished, Clodius stepped up to answer the next riddle and managed to guess it surprisingly quickly for a fighter not gifted with the greatest of intelligence.

Behind the door, Wu Bao had been instantly charged by a great troll, intent on making a meal of the dwarf. However the brave dwarf stood his ground and was soon joined by Clodius and together (thanks to Wu Bao smashing its kneecap quite spectacularly) the troll was defeated.

However, by the time Gregor had answered his riddle and gained access to the room all he could see was Clodius standing next to a troll... and a second troll, seemingly dead, on the floor. It was also about this time that Clodius' armour gave up the ghost and fell off his body, shattering into dust on the rocky floor.

It didn't take a genius (which was lucky as there weren't any in the room) to realise that Wu Bao had been transformed into a troll, and enchanted to protect the troll's treasure horde.

A long drawn out fight/discussion ensued as the original troll came back to life and attacked the Wu Bao-troll, while Clodius and Gregor tried to resolve the situation (and steal some of the treasure... a collection of hefty golden hoops). Gregor cast magical light on the original troll's face, but was then attacked by the Wu Bao-troll when he was trying to ferret around a pile of old bones and discarded armour in the cave.

Gregor reacted with fine half-orcish pride and smacked - with the flat of his scimitar - the troll, which had recently been his dwarvish companion, into next week. However, by the time the troll hit the wall it had transformed back into Wu Bao... and Gregor had transformed into a troll!

Clodius carried the dwarf out the room (Gregor had previously found a way to open the stone portal from the inside) and left the two trolls fighting while he and Wu Bao (who soon regained consciousness) tried to figure out a solution to their dilemma.

It was only upon answering more riddles and returning to the room that Wu Bao realised the only way for Gregor to shake off the curse of being the "guardian of the treasure" was for the first troll to defeat him in combat, so he would resume the mantle of "guardian".

Gregor-troll, however, would have none of this - he wanted to guard the treasure. So Wu Bao and Clodius contrived to sneak round behind him, while he was still locked in mortal combat with the original troll, and trip him up so the original troll could batter him unconscious... thus triggering a magical return to half-orc form.

Clodius and Wu Bao hastily dragged their druidic colleague out and, once he recovered, they decided to explore more of the caverns, rather than chancing the troll room again. Gregor revealed that he had managed to load about 40 of the gold hoops into his backpack before he was transformed though, so it wasn't a total waste of time.

Nimbly evading a corridor of traps, the party came upon a cavern illuminated by a stream of sunlight from a hole in the ceiling. Possibly still punch-drunk from his encounter with the troll, Gregor wandered into the room to study the light and was promptly attacked by a host of strange bat-creatures.

He managed to magically keep about half-a-dozen at bay, but others pressed home their attack and before his colleagues could come to their senses and wade in, he was almost on his knees from blood loss as the vampiric creatures sucked out his life blood. Obviously, it didn't help when he stabbed himself in the neck trying to get one off of him.

Staggering from the cavern, Gregor healed himself with some magical berries, and the three explorers found themselves on the opposite side of a chasm they had encountered earlier.

Wu Bao was lowered into the crack in the rock, but found nothing of interest. So he climbed out the other side and secured the rope so the other two (and Billy the badger) could get across.

The corridor on the other side of the chasm took them back towards the iron door that marked the entrance to the caverns. After easily dispatching a lone orc who foolishly attacked them, the party headed out of the door into the welcoming sunlight.

Heading out of the tunnel entrance of the Trollstone Caverns, they again passed the point where a strange wave of giddy vertigo hit them. But then they realised that the view in front of them had changed (they were no longer in a woodland, but an open grass plain) and Red was walking along beside them.

Gregor looked back... and the Trollstone Caverns (and the hill they were in) had disappeared!

Something very odd had just happened to the party and they didn't feel quite themselves...
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