After wiping out the enemy at the raider base, we head back to camp for a debriefing. The humans talk a lot, but accomplish little. Our next step is obvious, it just takes them a while to work up their courage to take that step. We strike out into the unknown, destined to uncover the secrets of another vault.
When we arrive at the vault, the humans and orc are scared. They urge caution, so I stow my whistle, but march forward. They follow from a coward’s distance. I enter the vault with my new trainee in tow. We move into a large room in the vault and are immediately beset by a crocidilian creature (a 0ft encounter)! In the opening strike, the monster tears my trainee in half and then lashes out at me. I do my best to counter while my sheepish companions move into position. Thank Acavna that I was able to take a beating while they danced and dithered. Eventually, the monstrous crocodile is deflated, and my companions clamor for retreat. I offer to watch over them while they rest at the cave entrance. They are determined to flee toward camp, a sentiment that I rebuke. Bolstered by my courage, they sleep in the jungle that night.
The next day, an argument breaks out between the orc and the human about our equipment. They feel slighted by the quartermaster, but differ on how he should be approached. I ignore them, as they are like wind chimes; they flutter about and make a lot of noise, but accomplish little else. Once again, I’m proven right. Given the chance to disrupt the system and overthrow the free captains of the shackles, they cry and then demure. Nothing changes.
I continue to press my companions to return to the vault. They agree and we hike back to it. I enter the cavern and find the remains of my trainee and of the crocodile, exactly where we left them. I push forward. As we descend into the deeper darkness, I notice a gossamer web obstructing the path ahead. I advise my companions of this and suggest that the orc blast the cavern from afar. Soften up the big bad before I charge in. Alas, he is not keen to assist, so I head in with shield and mace in hand. Upon entering the cavern, I discover a tangled mass of spider webs. Iyum Kreshton notices something scurrying along the ceiling.
The battle begins. The spider sticks to the ceiling and sprays us with webs. It appears to be avoiding direct physical confrontation. After a brief stalemate, I-Da-Dak kicks in to action and uses his magic to set fire to the webs. This greatly agitates the spider, and melee combat ensues. During close quarters combat, we discover that our enemy is a phase spider. Whenever we hem it into a corner, it teleports away. Still, it decides not to abandon the vault, so the struggle is allowed to continue.
After a brief, but eventful bout (I-Da-Dak’s cat is knocked out), Iyum Kreshton speaks to the abomination and offers it clemency. I feel confident that the Gatekeeper Druid will not allow the abomination to leave with it’s life intact. I am disappointed. The Gatekeeper forsakes his vow and allows the spider to leave. It is an unsatisfactory conclusion.