Rise, Oblivious Abductees!
Three unwitting, and apparently unwilling, adventurers found themselves unconscious in a dark, stone room. The oddly-accented halfling, Jean Benoit T. Kruglerler, was the first to awaken. Stripped of his possessions and wearing only common rags, he soon discovered the unexpected presence of a heavy weight on his left wrist. Flailing about in the darkness, he soon discovered what appeared to be an unlit torch. At the same time, fledgling paladin Ser Gareth Dubhghlas awoke from his own induced slumber. Finding himself in a similar situation as Jean, he quickly cast Light upon his own unbound shackle.
Despite the low-powered light, the enclosed space was sufficiently illuminated to allow him to discover not only Jean, but also their accustomed possessions scattered around the room in several piles. Shockingly enough, an unmoving pile of cloth in the corner turned out to be the last of this burgeoning trio, dwarven foreigner Kesuri Ishimoke. Unable to wake under his own power, Gareth was forced to roughly rouse the sleeping samurai.
Uncovering what was determined to be a series of Everlasting Torches, our unexpected allies determined that they had each been suddenly captured, and had no idea what had led to their tortious bondage. The far corner of the cell, till now bathed in darkness, was upon further exploration found to house 3 very well-stocked Handy Haversacks, and a gift wrapped box, containing even more necessities for any well-equipped party. The mysterious silken black handkerchief, carelessly tossed on the floor in disregard, was quickly revealed to be a Portable Hole, perfect for the storage of bulky supplies or other non-perishables.
Although our heroes’ fears of starvation were quickly set aside by their new-found supplies, they decided to move on through one of two obvious doors leading out of the chamber. Casting their lights about the dark room, they heard the iron door slam behind them. After a quick test, they determined that it was firmly latched. Going back was no longer an option.
Out of the darkness, a muffled cough and half-hearted moans soon drew the party’s attention. Jean, leading the way, hoped to find others in the same situation; however, he quickly withdrew when he realized he was staring at a trio of orcs! Alerting his compatriots to the potential danger, he stood aside and let Gareth and Kesuri move forward. Despite every attempt at eliciting a response from the orcs, no progressed was made, as the party soon discovered the irony of the party dwarf, ancient racial foe of the orcs, was the only one who could speak their language. Sadly, Jean’s poor attempt at singing, while playing his apparently-out-of-tune banjo, may have worsened relations between the two trios, judging by the irritation shown by the disheveled orcs. Having gone as far as to offer supplies and food to the pitiful, yet still uninterested, remnant, Gareth decided that he had met his moral obligations, and led the group onwards to one of the rooms eastern doors.
Opening the closed door, our heroes were quickly overcome by the smell of rotting flesh. Moving into the room, they discovered the half-eaten remains of an orc, determined to be a companion of those just encountered. Kesuri, the resident healer, determined that the orc was indeed dead, citing numerous bite wounds as the likely cause. With nothing but an ominous dead body and broken spear occupying the room, Gareth Shielded himself and boldly stepped forward into the next. With time for only a brief glance at the open door leading out of the room to the north, our audacious swordsman was suddenly plunged into pitch-black Darkness. No sooner had he readied himself for a fight, than he felt a large mass quickly pass him by. Jean took up a support position on the near side of the doorway, being sure to enable his Mage Armor. But the true hero of this encounter was Kesuri, who, realizing the Darkness was not truly black, but only cast the room in shadows, quickly moved forward and addressed their opponent, a Fiendish Darkmantle. With precision and grace developed over many years of training, he struck with his katana, felling what could have been a deadly foe in but one strike.
Gareth, despite his brush with what could have been a constricting death, quickly moved forward to the doorway he had seen earlier. Determining that the room was empty, he prepared to exit to the hallway ahead, when the sound of a thousand tiny nails scraping on smooth stone began to drown out even the hush of his own breath. Kesuri and Jean, creeping more cautiously behind the point man, were perfectly positioned to stare in horror as a swarm of rats flooded into the room, crawling over the halted boots of our foolhardy paladin. Revulsed by the surging swarm of rodents, Gareth, despite only receiving several small bites, could only manage an abbreviated stagger away from the advancing hoard. As he did, Gareth quickly slipped a small black cloth out of his pocket, and tossed it into the churning maelstrom of filthy brown fur and gnashing white teeth. The unexpectedly weaponized Portable Hole spread out on the floor, and quickly swallowed the hoard to a one. Surprised that his sporadic plan, which would have surely failed against any enemy larger, smarter, nimbler, taller, with more limbs, holding a tool or weapon, capable of flight, or at the very least catching the falling cloth before it spread out, Gareth breathed a sigh of relief as Kesuri folded the Hole back into its Portable state.
Deciding they had pressed their luck enough for one day, Kesuri Cured Gareth’s Light Wounds while Jean secured the rooms doors with two of the party’s Ten Foot Poles. With luck, they would have a peaceful nights rest.