After a brief night’s rest to recover, and giving Roderick a good opportunity to have a scent of the weasel pen, it was off down the tunnel whence the troglodytes had emerged. This part of the tunnels was much less finished than the dwarven areas – cracks, mushrooms and mould, and the floor was quite uneven. But with only one way to go, we headed down the tunnel.
As we headed further down, with little misadventure other than Maul tripping over and hurting herself surprisingly badly, we began to notice that there was a lot of fungi around, and also a rather surprising absence of any other wildlife. The tunnel became steeper and steeper. And at about this point, Mel fell over… and took Maul with her. Maul managed to stop after a bit of tumbling, but Mel kept right on rolling. Cog valiantly (if foolishly) attempted to save her, and was swept along (that may, of course, have been his plan all along). They were now falling very fast, and Roderick was barking enthusiastically. Al looked on in disgusted horror.
Maul followed carefully, and Al… came tumbling after. Ow. We could potentially have climbed back up, but it would be long and slow and difficult.
And so we found ourselves in a large cavern, the floor of which was covered with huge mushrooms – we had landed on the caps, and those had broken our fall. There were spots on the wall of the cavern that had artwork on them in red and white. It looked very old, and we guessed it to be troglodyte art. Cog noticed that it had been laid down over a very long time by many different people. Maul noticed vaguely recognisable religious symbology of demon worship.
We got the distinct feeling we were not alone in here. One direction of the cavern looked like the direction the troglodytes came from. Al cast a Detect Magic and found a general haze of magic, but with no specific location. Maul then noticed movement from what we thought to be the troglodyte end of the cavern, and we prepared for battle.
The initial fight went well, except for one much tougher magic-user dropping fireballs on us. He then ran away calling for help (presumably the troglodyte version of “Guards! Guards!”), and an overwhelming force returned (about 20 heavily armoured trogs), so we began to beat a hasty retreat across the mushroom caps towards the other end of the cavern. Cog cleverly suggested that we drop below the level of the caps, which we managed to do fairly stealthily and successfully. The troglodytes charged right over the top, and underneath we found… a surprised but friendly-looking gnome. The gnome – presumably recognising us as no friend of troglodytes – gestured us to a tunnel, that led to another cavern with even more and more different types of fungi. A mycologist would lose their shit in here (which would in turn, presumably, provide welcome nourishment to the fungi).
Now that we could stop for breath, we saw that the gnome had greyish skin, great big eyes, and short fuzz for hair. And there was also… a rock troll in the corner. It wasn’t doing anything, but it seemed to be watching us. It also had tendrils growing on it.
Well that’s rather interesting, isn’t it?