Beneath the Blighted Copse
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Within the blasted oak at the centre of the copse the trunk is blackened by fire and a chamber, some eight feet across, is floored with a mass of dried leaves, twigs and fragments of bark.

While Aleanor remained at the top of the shaft the others descended into the large chamber below.

The western door appeared to have been gnawed by rats but there was no sign of them when Chang swung the door open. There were harmless white tendrils hanging from the ceiling and clay jars slotted into holes in the walls, at least one of which contained gold coins.

Leaving the coins for later they investigated the east door, after Mixnan had disarmed the trap on it. Beyond was a room containing a number of hanging cocoons. Mixnan sliced one open revealing the long dead remains of a creature similar to the gatekeepers.

Mixnan sliced open another cocoon and found the dessicated corpse of a man, not Zan. On the body Mixnan found a selection of gems and a note:

“ So I, Hurvild, am the last of our party, at least the last that is still of sound body and mind. I will return to the gatehouse and apologise to the gatekeepers that our mission failed The First and Master Kesryk will have to find the giants by other means. We were not able to reach the tower or find the horse-men. Caron we lost at the mill, we sorely needed his healing skills later when Nolan was taken and I was wounded by the troll under the bridge. Vester was the last. He was studying the sarsen, hoping to find some clue as to where his familiar and the other birds had vanished. I only turned my back for a moment and he was gone. He shouted something about druidic magic gone wrong, the grass gateway. I write this note in case I fail to make it back to the gate-house and someone else tries to find the giants. Beware your lost friends and wish not for their return. Don’t leave anyone alone, no one is safe. Dated this 9th day of Thaumont 985.”

Jedon and Mixnan raced back up the rope to discover that Aleanor had gone missing…

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Mixnan is lowered down into the level below and hanging upside down he looks around the room.

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A giant slug occupies the chamber. Thanduil and Chang throw down some of the dire badger corpses found above and this has distracted the creature with easy to digest food. Thanduil examined the western door and was attacked before he could slam the door shut! Mixnan studied the southern door and sprung backwards as it opened revealing a large insect like creature.

After a brief battle Jedon, Chang and Thanduil dispatched the giant insect but just as they were catching their breath - a bright flash illuminated the room and the slug awoke.

Chang and Victor tried to hold back the advancing Moonflowers while Hurvild threw alchemical bombs into the midst of the vegetable villains. Thanduil cleverly used a Scroll of Creation to generate a pile of salt and with this finished off the wounded slug.

Chang was plucked off the ground by one of the Moonflowers but managed to kick, punch and butt the creature enough to kill it off. The other plants retreated and shut the door behind them.

Opening the trapdoor in the floor revealed another shaft leading downwards. Chang accidentally discovered he can see using the fungal fibres - a gift from the king of the mushroom folk. Hurvild almost blinded the monk by dropping one of his bombs down the shaft. He then cast a fly spell upon himself and descended into the level below.

He found some of his missing gear then as he moved towards it was attacked by a trio of huge spiders - the spiders started to climb out of the pit towards the others but were damaged by Hurvild's bombs. As the smoke cleared a strange creature - half ettercap half construct gazed at Hurvild before starting to climb out of the pit.

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A combination of attacks from Thanduil and Hurvild killed the spiders and the ettercap/construct allowing the last chamber to be seached carefully.

Click to enlarge images
1 square = 10'
U = Trapdoor in ceiling
D = Trapdoor in floor

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