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Session 14: Not Quite Invincible (A Bulette to the Head)
The party attempted to clear the fallen rocks from the cave-in. Once they cleared most of the smaller boulders, they reached an impasse. Regardless, they could hear screaming and rummaging on the other side, alerting them to the presence of danger. Egg-spiker used his Paladin senses to determine whether their was an evil being awaiting them, but he heard only the harmonic sounds of fleeing good souls on the other side of the rocks. A few Telorian wizards came forwards and created a near-complete passageway through the rock-slide by implementing a few magical spells. The final few feet was cleared by the Pillarmen's muscle.
With the rubble cleared, the group stepped into the dark tunnel to assess the scene. Before them were a few tunnels that appeared to have been dug out by some kind of terrestrial creature. The accompanying wizards announced their intention to remain behind and urged the party to do the same--better equipped Telorians would be along shortly to vanquish whatever threat loomed further down the passage. Deciding to help the distressed rather than wait for assistance, the group pressed onward, finding bits of blood and gore and areas of heavily disturbed dirt and rock as they traveled through the tunnel.
A voice from the dark called out with urgency. In a hushed voice, they were warned to stop moving and be silent. A Duergar sat patiently waiting for a rescue, but nevertheless explained that there was a beast tracking people through the tunnel. It burrowed through the ground, and would quickly pounce out and take its victims by surprise. Seeking to confront the beast, the party began creating noise in certain areas so that they could effectively ambush it.
A large, armored Bulette (or Land Shark) sprang forth into combat and attempted to rip the heroes to pieces, but skill in martial arts assured that Sklooh and Igan suffered only minor injuries as they engaged the creature, dealing fatal wounds. The Bulette would burrow and pounce, burrow and pounce as a part of its hunting method, but at one point, it stayed obscured by the soil and rock, presumably waiting for an opening. After being fooled several times and critically injured, the creature refused to be ambushed again.
At this time, Lena, attempting to lure the creature out, feigned a limp down the tunnel away from her family and friends. The Bulette was enticed and went for the kill. Lena was unable to resist, and immediately collapsed due to severe goring by the shark's razor-sharp maw. Taking her limp body in its jaws, tearing her flesh, it traveled back down the tunnel while the desperate allies pursued vigorously. It was no use, however. The creature was to fast.
Igan, Sklooh, and Egg-spiker tracked the creature back to one of its burrows and filed in. The wounded beast made a final assault, pouncing on Eggsy before being felled by a swipe from Sklooh's ax. With the beast killed, the party rushed forward to find what had become of Lena. To their dismay, they found her: dead and with much of her body ripped and dismembered alongside the remains of many miners in similar condition.
Igan is overcome by grief and rendered unable to move or speak. Eggsy gathered Lena together as best he could and, falling back on his religion for comfort, made supplication to Bismuth. Sklooh, though, left immediately for help, losing track of little Kasj along the way. Upon leaving the mines, Sklooh observes a small task-force of Telorians who were prepared to evacuate and inspect the tunnel. Sklooh communicated poorly but urgently the situation before seeking out Akasha for a miracle. When he arrived, he growled out a partial explanation, but Akasha understood that something was terribly wrong. She bolted to the scene as quickly as she could with Sklooh to address whatever the large lizard-man was trying to convey.
Akasha and Sklooh entered the mines as the Telorians were getting started. Upon seeing the remains of Lena, Akasha became sick to her stomach and expressed that her magic was unable to help. At that time, Dan Malloy came to investigate and despite Sklooh's imploring, he told him that there was nothing he could do. Their best hope of salvaging Lena's soul rested in finding out the identity of a so-called "white-robe"--a very powerful ceremonial caster that commanded limited power over life and death. These beings' identities were carefully guarded within Telor, though.
Akasha left the mines in a nauseous state, intending to put out the word and look for help. Sklooh ran off to the Cave-In tavern with hopes of finding a white-robe. His journey was non-effectual despite discovering that the next ceremony where white-robes would be present wasn't for another nine days, so he put his final efforts in going to the Telorian government where Eggsy had been abducted earlier that day. All of Sklooh's efforts were fruitless.
Once Lena's body had been successfully gathered up, Sklooh took it to Akasha's and met Kasj along the way. She seemed to have been badly beaten, but the circumstances surrounding the injuries were mysterious. Eggsy went home to conduct worship.
Igan went home in despair.