Got a chance to use displacer beasts against the party for the first time, and I have to say, being forced to miss 50% of the time regardless if the target is "hit" really dragged the battle out. The group watched their hit points fly away and as a party had to struggle against the beasts. I had the druid try to faerie fire the beasts and for the life of me, I had to rule on whether it stops their displacement - I opted for no. Hate to arbitrarily go against the party, but it was the decision made and I'll make sure it is kept like that for now on.
Write up follows:
After getting back to sleep we rested, with Draugmor eventually taking over most of the watch. Many hours passed and then Detheron woke up suddenly, shaking, as the power of Frey flowed through him and we knew that it was “sun on” for a new day. We broke our fast and prayed until it was time to break our camp and march onward.
We decided to take apart the sled that had served us well and cannibalize it, spreading out the food and wood and reshuffling the use of the travois to stretchers so that we can carry much of our draggble gear. Guyus even summoned his war steed and we placed almost 90 lbs of foodstuffs on it. Detheron then cast Greater magic fang on Smokey and even asked Frey for a detect snares and pits spell.
From there we drew ourselves into marching order, relying on the fact that the corridors seemed wide, we walked three abreast, with Aleron acting as scout. It wasn’t much of a walk before the ranger felt something ahead of us. He asked for silence. We heard nothing, but he was still convinced something was there. Gwyn had the party douse the lanterns and the dwarf peered ahead with his darksight – and saw at least two wavering heat signatures of 10’ long broad chested cats at the limit of sight. Crouched low on either side of the wall and creeping closer.
He instructed us what was coming, and Draugmor used his Illumination wand, firing off a bolt of light to hit the wall roughly where the cats were on the left – revealing THREE dark shadowy 600 lb Bengalese tigers – each one with a 15’ pair of whip like tentacles coming from their shoulders. The party fired their bows and crossbows – and we were dismayed to find 3 of the 4 bolts just flat out missed the beasts; passing through their forms. Damn it.
The beasts surged forward, leaping on the group and barreling into the party. And then we realized that we were in trouble. Unlike normal cats/tigers, these beasts just weren’t there for most of the blows, our swords and blows passing to the right, left, and over the beasts. An attempt was made to hit them with Faerie Fire but it did not fix their position in place.
Smokey was biting wildly but the taste of blood made the bear berserk, the grizzly picking up the closest beast and whipping it sideways into the melee. We tried to give the bear some room but Smokey tripped, bashed his head on the ground, and was knocked out. One beast was down but we were having a rough time with the last two, especially with every other blow just missing. Hit points were fading and then finally the death blows were given and the displacer beasts collapsed.
However, the fighting was so long and loud that we attracted the attention of some 8’ tall ice toads! They froze the air and ground around them and fell into the party. Their bites and cold aura were having a small effect on the party, their impact lessened due to Detheron raising the temperature in the area around him by over 70 degree higher. The ice toads tried to turn back and escape but the group fell upon them and finished them off as well.
We waited, nothing new was coming. So taking Thurin’s advice we dissected the ice toads for their “cold sack” gland behind their throats and we did learn that Displacer Beast brains, if devoured early upon the animal’s death, can potentially either gift the devourer with special skills, make him ill, or kill him. Mebali wanted to eat a brain, and Thurin did as well, with Guyus opting for the third. Most of the group thought this was god damned stupid.
But we hacked out the brains (thanks Detheron!) and Guyus went first – choking it down and gaining permanent Constitution! Mebali went next, got very sick, but gained a level! And then Thurin went – and dropped dead! No save, no do over, just dead! Holy crap!!
We spent almost an hour stripping the elf of his belongings, dividing up his gear, and then taking him out to the exterior of the cave and burying him as far down in the snow as we could. From there we went back into the caves and consulted the map, knowing we had to go north east (for many miles!) to come to the other cave exit.
We once more walked carefully, passing where we had just been until we arrived at long last to a larger area of the cave. It was almost 60’ oval, with 5 other potential exits from the chamber ranging in a spoke arcing north and east from due west. West was a downward slope, North west and north were featureless, and east and north east had a slight breeze blowing down it that came to the chamber we were in.
We opted for east first, walking a short distance in until we noted that the breeze that blew towards up was vaguely damp, as the smell of the cave. Detheron ordered us out and back to the main chamber where we decided on North east this time. After a short walk we noticed patches of mold growing on the wall, patches that seemed to grow more numerous and larger as we progressed down. This also bothered the party and we went back to the main chamber.
Feeling silly now but forcing ourselves to make a choice, we opted for north and kept walking. After over 120 paces we saw the floor of the chamber was slowly being covered with a cool mist or haze. It displaced easily as we walked over it, but it was still disconcerting. Telling us to continue no matter what, we eventually came to an expanded section of the cavern where the ground mist was the thickest. A crack was along the northern wall, almost 6’ tall and a good two inches thick at its center. It was from here that cool air was coming in and was making a mist on the floor that spread out across the chamber. We noted at least two other ways out of this chamber and discussed our options.