Encounter 11

The group enter a large stone room, empty but for one large pillar at its centre. When Grimlock wanders forward to look around, leafy vegetation suddenly appears from nowhere. Trees stand high above, grass pokes up from beneath, the ceiling disappers to reveal blue sky and canopy and the pillar becomes a huge redwood. The room transforms into a woodland glade, complete with a tranquil lake that shimmers to one side. Unfortunately, the scene is not idyllic. Through the trees a huge boar paces back and forth, grunting angrily.

Intending to make a “stealth attack”, Grimlock charges at the nearest tree and attempts to kick it down towards the forest hog. Only a complete fool would expect this to work, and obviously the tactic fails completely. The impact makes the branches above rustle loudly, which alerts the wild boar. It squeals in piggy anger and barrels towards Grimlock, but the warrior kicks it in the face. During this tomfoolery Lumen moves to the other side of the room and climbs a tree, and Gravilla is grabbed as she walks into the glade by a number of rough vines hanging from the foliage above. Within seconds, three more groups of vines descend and thrash at the group. Soon Poobeyr is also ensnared.

Gravilla pulls herself free from the vines and kindly cuts Poobeyr out too, but the plants are relentless and both are quickly tangled again. They drop onto the ground, writhing and bunching to create humanoid figures. Seeing this, Wistark gets onto his floating disk and hovers out over the lake, providing a safe vantage point for his attacks. Grimlock cuts up one of the boar’s forelegs with his axe. The boar uses a tusk to cut into the dragonborn’s leg in return. Lumen takes a good look at the hairy beast from the top of his tree, but leans too far forward and falls instead. He crashes through branches to the ground, and gets up to see a vine-man approaching. The elf legs it.

Spyro wanders over to Gravilla and Poobeyr and fries everything with a fire shroud. With the tangling vines burning, Gravilla again gets free. She helps Poobeyr out a second time and then the pair destroy their smouldering captors. Lumen, meanwhile, is still on the run from a vine-man. The speedy plant pursues him doggedly, then gives up and channels its power into the ground. Rough vine tendrils emerge beneath Grimlock, Poobeyr, Gravilla and Lumen and grab at their legs. Spyro too is grabbed, and the poisonous vines destroy his solid form. Purple smoke channels back across the lake to Wistark and vanishes.

Having vast experience with wild game, Lumen fires two arrows from his bow and kills the boar instantly. Wistark shocks its corpse with a thunder wave, causing its muscles to spasm and lash out at the remaining vine-man. As this last enemy dies, the forest disappears and reforms into an icy waste. The giant redwood at the centre of the room becomes a giant block of ice. Lumen becomes suspicious and suggests attacking this frozen pillar, but as he does so a polar bear steps into view. As it roars its vicious intent, Wistark uses the floating disk to fly Grimlock and Poobeyr over the slippery ice at this raging creature. The axe-wielding pair use their momentum to add weight to their blows and score good hits.

Gravilla runs to their aid, but a blue-footed booby swoops down and clubs her with its webbed feet. The goliath is not pleased with this mockery, and swings her hammer at it. Surprisingly, the bird is stupid enough to be in range, and the war hammer smashes its head against the ground into a brainless pulp. The polar bear stands on its hind legs and punches both Grimlock and Poobeyr in the gut, winding them quite heavily. Lumen uses a hand-made dragon-gullet-based grenade to explode the side of the ice block, creating a vulnerable hole. Following the elf’s lead, Wistark unleashes a fire blast not just at the bear but at the ice pillar as well. Its frosty armour melts away, revealing wires and electronic contraptions.

Additionally, the wizard swings the floating disk away from the polar bear, giving the two fighters standing on it a chance to catch their breath. Gravilla takes their place within reach of the beast’s claws as Lumen covers her with arrows. After a moment of rest, Grimlock is ready to get back in the action, and Wistark hovers the floating disk back at the polar bear. Poobeyr hops off midway and attacks the hole in the pillar with his axe, but fails to cut any of the wires within. The bear is distracted by the goliath, and Grimlock uses this opportunity to jump on its back, locking its arms from behind with his own.

As he does this, Wistark is divebombed by a great crested grebe, and the wizard breaks from his cover at the end of the room as the bird slashes his back and buttocks. Lumen shoots it out of the air. Poobeyr continues to hack at the wires, but alas, he also continues to fail. Grimlock and Gravilla kill off the polar bear. The room changes again. This time it reshapes into a desert dotted with short segments of tall stone. The large corpse of the great bear vanishes along with the two broken birds. The pillar changes into a great boulder, but its damaged transformation is this time incomplete. Swarming groups of aggressive centipedes burst out of the sand and attack Gravilla, who naturally attacks them straight back. Lumen climbs onto a rocky ridge, runs along the top and fires an arrow at one such swarm. Wistark quickly disposes of the rest with effective fire bursts.

Throughout this battle Poobeyr continues to chop resiliently at the pillar in the room’s centre, despite frequent attacks on either side. A poisonous viper attacks Grimlock, but the dragonborn is not at all intimidated by the venomous snake. He gets his penis out and cockslaps it in disgust, then begins the long process of putting his dragon-schlong back into his trousers. The pillar is soon destroyed, and Grimlock smites the viper with his axe. He tries to collect its skull, but with the machine broken the illusion fades away, revealing the empty room that the adventurers originally stepped into.

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Encounter 11

The Whisperer in Darkness Wistark