It was midday when we arrived at the giant Sycamore tree, its branches stretched out long and gnarled setting a very ominous picture even in the light of day. This was definitely the tree the Kobold leader Sootscale had told me about and it wasn’t long before we found the hole which led into the mite’s lair. Tying the horses up just outside and leaving Geronimo “That’s pronounced Her – On – Eh – Mo” back to guard the horses in the case mites should threaten them, we proceeded to enter the hole one at a time.
As I entered the small room below I could already hear the sounds of combat, there was plenty of giggling followed by the sounds of frustration from my companions as they began to clash with the small creatures but found that the low ceiling and cramped space made swinging a weapon to be very difficult. I also found this to be a problem as I begin to engage one of the mites; the creature dodged my attack and proceeded down a passage straight ahead of me which looked to proceed down deeper under the great Sycamore.
Following the mite down deeper into his lair I did my best to keep to the shadows watching the poor mite as it ran off toward a small group of its brethren and a rather good sized centipede about the size of a human in length. I saw my chance and instinctually produced an arrow notching it as I drew the string back. Aiming was not an issue, this mite had its back to me, was running in a straight line screaming and flailing its little arms about and attempting to get the attention of its comrades; As its comrades began to notice I loosed the string and the sound of my arrow striking the back of the mites head produced a loud crunching sound as its feeble skull collapsed under the force of the impact. Its lifeless body hit the ground with a thud and slid toward its brethren ceasing its forward motion directly in front of them. The mites had a look of shock and disbelief on their faces as they watched the lifeless and bloodied body of their fallen comrade slide to a stop in front of them.
It was then I heard the sound of someone rustling through the passage behind me, I looked back to see Aramis coming down to join me, while I was appreciative of the extra help I was still very weary of this new member to our illustrious party and decided it would be best to let him take the front. At the same time he motioned to me wanting to pass, without hesitation I squeezed myself against the side of the passage and he took up position in front of me. I thought this rather amusing considering when we first met, I snuck up behind him to greet him as most ninja’s do and he proceeded to go on and on about how I like to give it to people from behind, him now being in front willingly was either a sign of trust or a gesture that maybe he likes it from behind. As the mites began to prepare for battle and the large centipede began its trek toward us these thoughts quickly vanished from my head. It was then I began to notice this large section of ground and ceiling that seemed to be moving ahead of the large centipede. Knowing this couldn’t be a good sign I yelled to Aramis to watch out!
It was too late. The swarm was upon him he was now covered from head to toe in a swarm of nasty centipedes. He yelled “Oh gods! There everywhere. There in my hair! Please it’s hideous, kill it with fire! “. I didn’t hesitate for I knew there was only one solution to this situation. I quickly produced an Alchemist Fire and threw it at Aramis covering him in a lake of fire as we began to move back up the passage toward the first chamber. He screamed in pain and earned some of my respect for taking it like a man and not crying like some sissy nobleman trying to play solider. As soon as Aramis could manage he also produced an Alchemist Fire and doused himself in it earning even more respect from this seasoned assassin who has seen plenty of hardened veterans give up in situations such as these crying for mother and home. At this point the swarm was now nothing but a bunch of charred husks lying all about the upper chamber and Aramis was still covered in flame, he instinctually dropped to the ground and began rolling around trying to put the fire out. In doing so he covered himself in caltrops that happened to be littering the whole upper level. I could hear the sigh and sound of relief from him as the final flame went out, he was now quite hurt, burned and bloodied, I produced a potion of water I retrieved from a sacred pool at a temple we cleansed of evil earlier that week and tossed it too him hoping that it would cure him of any poison or ailments he may have suffered at the pincers of that swarm. I then proceeded back down the passage alone.
As I entered the large chamber I found that the mites that remained began retreating down another passage at the back of the chamber. I began to chase after them. Entering the second passage I couldn’t find many places to hide as the passage quickly opened up to another chamber packed from wall to wall with mites, there must have been at least 12 of them in this tiny area, I was quickly overwhelmed by a hail of darts all of which either missed me or bounced off me with no ill effect. I could hear at this point the screams of Rainfall from within the chamber ahead “Oh Gods it’s draining me by the pint!” Not knowing what kind of evil was causing our rather stout monk to cry out in fear was very disturbing but I knew I had to press on to help my comrade. As I began to wade into the lake of mites I noticed that this chamber had extra vines and roots sticking out of it making it very difficult to connect my swords with the tiny creatures. As I continued to wade into them Aramis showed up and did the same, it was then that we heard a loud clattering noise, and saw a 2 large glowing eyes appear from down the end of the chamber. It was a Giant Centipede and its fangs seemed to glow red hot.
Aramis shouted “What the hell is that thing?” as I let loose an arrow, piercing its hide, but all that did was anger the giant. It reared back and launched a flame from its mouth toward me. I jumped clear and watched as the ball of flame melted the dirt and rock beneath it. I moved to the back of the chamber and began to prepare for my next shot. Aramis pushed through the group of mites knocking many of them out of his way and skewering a few. He now stood face to face with the giant centipede. The fearless nature of our new companion impressed me, he was not only face to face with a giant flame shooting centipede but also surrounded by an army of mites. I saw a chance and immediately sniped one of the mites dead with my bow as Aramis engaged the beast!
Lunging forward Aramis attempted to pierce the giant with his rapier but at the last moment the large centipede showed its agility and moved clear of the blow, returning a blow of its own sinking its fangs into Aramis as he let out a rather loud cry. Aramis was clearly staggered by this blow he didn’t seem to be expecting such a big beast to be able to dodge his attack as well as deliver such a devastating blow at the same time. It was then that Chet came charging into the chamber sprinting as fast as his little dwarf legs would carry him, seeing his companion in danger he charged head first into the sea of mites and began to do his best to stabilize Aramis. I began letting loose arrows at the beast but to no effect the beast was still ravaging Aramis every chance it got and it didn’t seem to be slowing down. Even with the combined efforts of Mitchell and Chet, Aramis knew he couldn’t continue to stand toe to toe with this giant and he ordered a retreat. It was then that Mitchell’s companion Geronimo that’s pronounced “Her – On – Eh – Mo” showed up. Mitchell ordered the cat to cover our retreat which it did without hesitation.
Entering the chamber I had just come from I noticed a giant tick with a mite riding on it come from the upper chamber. I also saw the look of fear and dread on Rainfall’s face, he began to retreat for the upper chamber as I charged the tick attacking it with everything I had. It latched onto me and drained me of some of my blood, I immediately began to feel a bit more sluggish as it did this and I knew it was going to be some time before I would recover from this ailment. In seeing my predicament Rainfall’s demeanor changed and he instead charged the tick laying into it with everything he had, Aramis joined in as soon as he made it back up the passage and the tick was down within mere seconds, the rider followed shortly there after. During this time we could hear the growls of Geronimo that’s pronounced “Her – On – Eh – Mo” and the loud screech of the giant centipede as it was barraged by the large cat. Impressively this went on for a good 30 seconds before we heard a low growl followed by giggling from the mites as what sounded like Geronimo’s that’s pronounced “Her – On – Eh – Mo” body slumping to the floor of the cavern.
Glancing at Aramis we knew what we had to do. Approaching the opening of the passage I hid in the shadows preparing for the Giant to make its appearance. I didn’t have to wait long, the clattering of spike like legs against the chambers passage soon produced the head of the giant centipede followed shortly by the rest of its body, it began to move past me unaware of my presence charging straight for Aramis. It was then I saw my opening, I stepped from the shadows catching the beast completely off guard, My first blade struck true, going in one side of its body and out the other as it moved past causing many internal injuries. I swung with my second blade and impaled the creature once more. The centipede screeched in pain and began to turn its head toward me. I knew it was now or never and channeling my Ki I pulled my first sword out of its body and struck with all my might nearly severing its head from its body. At that point there was no screech it was almost as if the whole cavern went silent as the giant’s carcass fell to the ground causing a small quake and much of the loose dirt above us to rain down on the party.
As a group we we’re able to clear the passage of the giant centipede by dragging it through the rest of the way and into the chamber. Worried about Geronimo that’s pronounced “Her – On – Eh – Mo” and with the passage clear we began our decent back down into the bowels of the mite’s lair. We began wadding into the army of mites, who where still attempting to harm us with their little daggers no larger then a pin in size. Every once in a while they would get a good jab in that would pierce skin but mostly they where just a nuisance. While Aramis and I dealt with most of the mites, Chet and Mitchell proceeded to aid our fallen Cat. Shortly after reviving Geronimo that’s pronounced “Her – On – Eh – Mo” out of the passage that the centipede had appeared, now appeared a human sized mite with a white beard and a creature covered in dark rags. At that moment two things happened, the room filled with a mass of webs and then it went dark, completely absent of all light. Even as an elf I was unable to make out anything not even my own hands in this darkness. Somehow I managed to dodge the majority of webbing and blindly finished off the mite in front of me, I decided to push forward in the direction I believed to be forward.
My eyes needed a second to adjust and they did as I moved clear of the darkened area and were able to see again. I saw the chief mite and his dark companion next to him starring at me in shock, surprised that their spells hadn’t stopped me, the chief took a swing at me with his flaming club which I expertly dodged at the same time plunging both of my swords into the creature in dark rags. It let out a groan as it slumped to the ground dead. At this point Aramis came charging out of the blackness that was now dissipating and slammed into the chief mite pinning him against the wall. Between me impaling the chief from side to side, and Aramis sticking his rapier up its nose, the chief fell quickly and the mite lair fell silent absent the screams and sound of the remaining mites scurrying for the surface and escape from this now tomb. It was time for rest and everyone was in dire need of it. Aramis and I nodded at each other in respect for each others skills and determination and the rest as they say, is history.