While the rest of the party went a-spelunking, Tipsy participated in the dwarven wake for Tharden Rockseeker. With Sildar, Gundren, and Vyerith in attendance, they constructed a hasty stone cairn over Tharden, and Sildar spoke a few words. Gundren then broke out the last of the dwarven brandy, and the 4 mourners drained the cask.
Before sending her back into the mines, Gundren entrusted Tipsy with Tharden’s prized possessions: his Boots of Striding and Springing. And so, Tipsy springs and strides back into the mine by her lonesome.
She quickly picks up the bloody trail that leads from the stirge battle, and follows it through the western branch of the complex to the large tunnel chamber, where the rest of the party is standing around yelling at Hank, who is trying to make the giant mine cart go.
Meanwhile, Ander is eyeing the creepy wizard skeleton they’ve spotted at the bottom of a dark pond. They use mage hand to fish out the skeleton’s erm, mage hand, and retrieve a Wand of Magic Missiles and two platinum rings. They respectfully put the hand back in the pond.
Tipsy rejoins the party in the tunnel chamber, but soon discovers that she’s been followed-–by a GHOUL.
The beast emerges from the barracks chamber gnawing on a dead stirge and following the trail of bloody footprints, and lets out a monstrous shriek as it spots the party. Battle commences, and as Hank tries to shut the undead predator on the other side of the door, he sees that it is not alone. Three ghouls soon overpower him and rush the room.
Slashing and biting, the ghouls try to paralyze anyone who gets close, but they cannot land a good hit. The party is wearing them down when the worst smell they have ever smelled wafts through the chamber, and a bloated, scabby ghast wanders in from the Great Hall. As Danquayle takes in the sight of this wretched undead creature, her blood turns cold and the splinter of fear that her nightmare* left in her mind begins to take over. As the ghast approaches her, she manages to overcome her fear; she names the hideous beast “Geoff” and vows to send it to undead-hell in the name of her goddess Selune.
*I haven’t posted it yet, but Danquayle got dragged into hell by an undead creature in her Halloween nightmare.
Now that they ain’t scared of no ghouls, the party sets to work picking apart their smelly foe. Geoff the Ghast manages to paralyze Danquayle and nearly poisons her with his stench, but the blessing of Selune protects her. No one wants to get too close to him, so Ander casts cloud of knives on his location and he is shredded to the bone. As he collapses in a puddle of reeking black blood, the party hears the clitter clatter of skeleton feet rushing into the room, having escaped their ad hoc prison. Mistria shatters one of their skulls into powder with a handaxe, and the remaining bone men silently glance around at the carnage before them and tip toe back into the darkness from which they came.
They follow the skeletons a bit and explore the Great Hall, where it seems the ghouls were hanging out and munching on a poor goblin. A small, winding corridor leads from here to a cramped, messy chamber, instantly recognizable as a gnome workshop. Ander decides that they have wandered into too many ambushes for one day, and naps up in the aqueduct. Chinny begins to search for the burrow that must be nearby, while the others wonder at the many contraptions and tools and intricate gnome-armors that remain in the room.
Chinny and Tipsy discover the burrow, containing a gnome skeleton clutching a strange, ornate bottle, and Tipsy notices movement out of the corner of her eye. Upon inspection, she finds a tiny mechanical crab. It tries to scuttle away as soon as she takes her eyes off of it, but she captures it anyway.
The others in the workshop notice that the floor is littered with smashed, broken orc skeletons. Taranion has taken an interest in the gnome armors and is trying to pick at the gem on one of their chests when it suddenly slaps his hand away. 4 animated gnome armors spring to life and all start trying to punch the sun elf in the junk. Two of them lock together and rearrange into a 4 armed dwarf-sized armor, at which point the party decides to leave.
As three armors combine into a human sized, 6 armed warrior wielding the 4th armor as a club, the party shuts the door and resolves to never speak of this again.
Defeated: 3 ghouls, 1 Geoff the Ghast, 1 skeleton. Scared off 5 skeletons, evaded 4 animated gnome armors
Acquired: 2 platinum rings, wand of magic missiles, a very fancy bottle, mechanical crab trinket, boots of striding and springing
Quests: Help the Rockseekers retake Phandelver, rescue Nundro Rockseeker