12. Flanked at the Dark Pool

Leofric swam against the weak current of the dark stream and through a submerged tunnel. He found himself in a large cavern and saw three bugbears up ahead. He heard them talking about “looking for intruders” and quickly returned to warn the others. Before they were able to rest, Leofric relayed what he’d seen and went back along the steam with Darry. Two bugbears came through the cavern exit to the east and attacked Xanthe and Hinnerk but found themselves hampered by caltrops and ball bearings. At the same time, two giant spiders appeared from the south and engaged Tunwéya who they restrained in a projectile web. A spider closed on Tunwéya as he frantically tried to defend himself. Half submerged in water and covered in web he improbably impaled the spider with an Ice Knife spell but the resulting magical explosion also hurt him. As the spider sunk its venomous fangs into him he again used Ice Knife but missed. However, the projectile explosion killed the spider but also knocked Tunwéya unconscious. Ogodrok ran to his aid and together with Leofric fought off the second spider which fled.

Caught between two bugbears, Xanthe valiantly fought them while her shield spell deflected most of their blows. Surrounded in almost complete darkness Hinnerk exchanged ineffectual melee strikes with one of the bugbears. Leofric and Darry took their sweet time on a flanking run. Darry managed to get the drop on the third bugbear that was out of sight of the main group. Leofric landed the killing blow before joining Ogodrok in tackling the last spider.

The party looted the bugbears in the fading light of Tunwéya’s bonfire spell and fruitlessly debated whether to retreat or press on.

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