About magic mushrooms and ogres

Phaedra leads the way from the blood moss cave, and soon they leave the smell of decay and wet leaves behind. Mushrooms and spores are everywhere. Phaedra is fairly sure she’s taking them in the right direction, past deep chasms and caves. Finally, they emerge onto an open plain. In the distance, a circle of shadows and lights shimmers. Phaedra feels an uncanny urge to check it out. Half in trance, she sees weird walking mushrooms within, and she veers sharply to the left.  Her brothers are under the influence as well, their gaze focused on the fungi ring. Lilith is the only one who isn’t affected by the lights, but she follows the others, wondering if Phaedra suddenly has found a new route. Or has she seen something?

The scout manages to shake off the effects of the fae ring just in time, but is too late to stop her brothers from entering the magic circle. As soon as Alvra passes through the mushrooms, he comes to his senses. He feels how his life force slowly is pulled from him. It is as if he wakes from a bad dream, but the reality is even worse. Feeling dreadful, he moans: ‘What am I doing here?’ Beside him, the moisture is sucked from Jharrath’s skin.

Mushroom ring

Lilith yells at them to leave the mushroom ring, and both drow snap to attention. Alvra looks gray and Jharrath is dehydrated. ‘This fae ring works like a trap,’ the wizard explains. ‘It is a combination of nature and magic.’
‘Come on, guys, I think there are myconids around; I saw movement earlier on. We need to get away immediately.’ Again the scout searches the area, but all seems safe for the moment. Quickly she leads them back to the route that will take them home.

After a while, deep manmade tracks become visible in the soil, and abandoned mine carts are scattered around the area. They are nearing Ogran, an old dwarven city. Ogran has long been destroyed, but there are still a few dwarven enclaves left, which specialize in bat riding.

Suddenly they hear an enormous rumbling and thundering sound behind them. From high up, huge rocks tumble down the slope. A cave in – the way back is closed, and the only way left is forward. Then a huge humanoid shape appears, and he yells loudly. The earth starts shaking: Phaedra and Alvra manage to stay upright, but the others go down.

Ogre

The horned ogre has a big club as a weapon and is aided by an earth elemental. He demands a toll for their passage: 250 gold each. Lilith tries to engage the ogre –his name is Bolgoreth– in a conversation. When she tries to stall, the impatient creature takes a big sword and slams it into the earth. The earth groans and shakes once more, and now the way forward is blocked as well by another cave in. Lilith loses her footing again and gets pissed. She starts arguing with the ogre, so he calls another friend to help him: a two-headed ogre, that goes by the names Crusher and Cracker.

ogre 2headed

Lilith, not feeling the need to fight without a cause and impatient to get home with the blood moss, pays the toll – gold they found on their quest anyway. The ogres, happy with their accomplishment, leave through a side corridor, while Phaedra nimbly climbs up the unstable mountain of stones and rocks. The underground is still settling. The space between the boulders and the ceiling is very narrow, but the scout is able to squeeze through the gap. On the other side of the cave-in, all seems to be quiet. Alvra takes his time on the wobbly surface and joins his sister near the top. Phaedra wraps a rope around a huge boulder so her siblings can use it to climb up too. They untie the rope and crawl through the claustrophobic space.

The rest of the journey home is blissfully uneventful, and after a couple of hours, they reach Erelhei-Cinly once more.

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