Good morning! Well, let’s hope so anyway… So it is Wednesday, March 3, AC997. After a good night’s sleep in the barn, Nailo, Valak, and Farunwe wake up to the sight of a small man standing in the middle of the barn waiting impatiently for someone to acknowledge his presence. As he notices the beginnings of the group to stir, he introduces himself as Fotch – a person whom the group should appreciate. He indicates that he would be quite a good addition to the group – he doesn’t sound like he’s bragging, either.
Then Kryton bellows from in the house with the name “Fotch” on his lips. Fotch looks only slightly unnerved by the large man’s outrage. Kryton makes his way to the barn to find that Fotch has already introduced himself. Kryton demands that Fotch returns the items he took from his bedroom while he was asleep. Fotch does so rather sheepishly, but also indicates that his abilities allowed him to acquire said items without even waking the dog. Kryton develops a puzzled look on his face and tells Fotch that he does not have a dog. Shortly after this statement, Kryton’s assistant is heard shooing a barking, mangy-looking dog out the back door of the house. It is immediately obvious that Fotch brought the uninvited “guest” into Kryton’s house during his faux robbery. Fotch casually shrugs off the look of irritation given him by Kryton.
Fotch, having proven himself a capable thief – among other things – asks to be part of the group for equal shares of the payment and take. The group agrees with a small amount of apprehension, but also finds humor in Fotch’s antics, which relieves some of this doubt. Fotch does not seem to be a truly evil Hin…
With equipment gathered and prepped and a short trip to the ruins of the Old Mill, a search for some sort of entrance to a bug nest begins. It doesn’t take long for the group to find this hole in the ground. Fotch “supplies” a rope and a rather bumpy descent into the underground ant colony commences. Oddly, Farunwe is the only one to actually make GOOD use of the rope and gets to the bottom of the hole with the least amount of bruises and kicked up dirt.
It takes very little time for the group to encounter the first of the giant ants as their home is invaded. The soldier ant and a worker are dispatched quickly. The next “interesting” place is a colony food storage chamber. It becomes painfully obvious that these giant ants are omnivores since there are human body parts in the pile of “food” in the center of the room. This, of course, does not stop Fotch from nearly diving right in when Valak indicates he sees something among the body parts. After some digging through the disgusting mass, several items are retrieved for later examination. But it is certain that there is some money in the pouches…
A secret entrance leading away from the food storage room is discovered. Once opened the PCs quickly realize that the tunnel behind this door is man-made. They choose to explore this area in hopes that the source of the magic pouches may be close by. Fotch, being the “man of adventure” that he is, heads first down the tunnel. It is the mere fact of having nearly super-human reflexes that he avoids being impaled by some rather nasty looking darts that are flung from hidden spots in the wall. He is almost comical as he chides himself for not spotting the tripwire sooner.
A right turn at the first intersection puts the group into some sort of room apparently used for dissecting ants. The “home owner” arrives soon after the group begins searching the room for anything of importance or value. Saruf – a goblin wizard – is obviously unhappy about having his home invaded, and locks them in the dissecting room. They hear Saruf enter the door at the other end of the intersection and begin to wonder if there is any hope of survival, much less escape.
An unknown amount of time goes by, and the group hears Saruf come out of the other door. Some sort of chittering – ant communication apparently – ensues. The group then truly begins to fear the worst. Without any idea of how to escape this possible disaster, Fotch decides to do one of the things he does best, really piss people off. He begins to antagonize and attempt to provoke Saruf. Fotch’s success leads to an angry Saruf opening the dissecting room door. Without hesitation, a fight begins, and Saruf ends up dead. Fotch gets hurt rather badly. Valak scouts back down toward the secret entrance to find out if any of the ants they heard prior to the fight with Saruf have decided to hang around and acquire some more “food”. He kills another worker ant then returns to help get Fotch into Saruf’s other room. Searching Saruf’s body reveals a key that allows entrance into the living area and lab opposite the dissecting room. The group searches the large double room and finds the proof that Saruf was the source of the magic pouch found in Simi’s warehouse. They also find Saruf’s journals, 3 vials of some thick brown liquid, and a small chest.
Thursday, March 4, AC997
After letting Fotch rest a full day in the safety of Saruf’s former hideout, the group heads back into the ant colony to finish the rest of the mission – extermination of all of the ants. Three rooms are hit, eight ants are killed, and a pouch of coins is found in the second food storage room found. With some significant injuries, the PCs decide to return to the hideout to rest and heal. By this time, the group believes there is not much colony left to explore and that the queen must be one of the last of the members of the colony to take out. Friday, March 5 holds the promise of the end of the mission and a nice payday…