This is second Card Quest adventure in the 3 friends campaign. Earlier adventure can be found HERE.
Word has reached Hadrad that the village of Montoress has been under siege for some time by monstrous creatures. Although the villagers have been able to hold off most of the attacks, occasionally one citizen will fall and be dragged off screaming into the surrounding forests, never to be seen or heard from again.Upon arriving at Montoress to offer their assistance, adventures were told that the marauders appear to be grotesquely enlarged insects! And during every attack, someone catches a glimpse of a humanoid creature in the background, apparently coordinating the attacks. This shadowy figure - often seen riding a giant red ant - is referred to as “The Insectomancer” for it is he who is orchestrating the chaos.Many weeks ago, the village sent its strongest warrior - Gorshyn - into the woods to put an end to the attacks. He never returned and is feared dead. He was armed with an enchanted weapon that they‘d like to recover.The townspeople don’t have much, but they offer our heroes to keep the Mace of Gorshyn if they are able to locate it and if they are able to defeat The Insectomancer and his fire art steed. They will also reward adventurers for any mutant insects they defeat and if they can locate the body of their fallen warrior.And so, elf ranger Vullesar, human illusionist Ganimed and dwarf trekker Hadrad were taken to the edge of the woods and pointed in the general direction the attackers retreat to. After several hours of walking, adventurers come across a huge pile of loose earth in the middle of an open glade. Climbing to the top for a better look, they discovered what it actually is - the largest anthill they have even seen.Entrance chamber was too small for all, so only Vullesar and Hadrad descended, while Ganimed held the rope for them.At the very entrance, elf ranger stumbled into Pit critter. He was able to see it on time, but while trying to destroy the monster, Vullesar was careless, got bitten and lost one health point.
Little bit deeper, Hadrad supprised Giant hornet. His second attack missed, and hornet stroke back, but dwarfs battle worn shield deflected this blow. The battle continued, and dwarf cut of hornets head with the precise blow of xis axe. But dying insect managed to sting our hero with the last breath. First quest point earned, but with a health point lost.Taking the wrong turn, Vullesar found himself in front of collapsed tunnel.
A ghost of fallen hero suddenly appeared in dwarf trucker's way. But Hadrad was not afraid, and just walked through it. Ghost dissolved behind him into nothingness.Retracing his steps, Vullesar took another tunnel. Unfortunately, this one was cut with the bone pile. Elf returned few meters back, started running and jumped over the obstacle, leaving it behind him.
The corridor Hadrad took ended with bottomless pit. It was not a problem for experienced trekker, who descended down the pit, leaving supports for legs and hands for everyone who might come this way after him.Moving on, elf detected wasp's nest. While removing it, Vullesar lost another health point.
At the bottom of the pit, Hadrad concentrated to decide where to go next. Therefore, he was really surprised when he was attacked by giant mantis! His battle worn shield was useful again deflecting the first blow, but the battle was fierce, and until the moment mantis died, dwarf was left with only one health point. This epic battle earned him second quest point and improved his knowledge, so he become level 3 trekker. One old wound felt better, but he was still left with only 2 health points, so Hadrad decided to leave the ant hill, and leave further explorations to Ganimed.Vullesar's way was suddenly cut with volcanic fissures. Elf was surprised to see them, but he managed to avoid being hurt by jumping from one rock to another. This experience was new to him, and made our hero a level 3 ranger. Proud of it, elf got careless, and burned himself, losing one health point he just recovered.
Wizard first encounter was frightened rat's nest. Invoking the image of a cat, Ganimed scared them even more, so they run away. In now empty nest, human found amulet of insight.
Wizard could not use it with his pipe of warmth, so he give it to his friend Hadrad.
Deep within the ant hill, ranger detected giant beetle. He eliminated it with three precise arrows, earning third quest point. On the insect body, elf found rune of stealth.
Ganimed got to the wobbly log bridge. He created illusion around it, and this way crossed securely to the other side, not having to be afraid to look down.
The next pathway the wizard took turned out to be unfinished, so he had to retrace his steps.
Vullesar surprised a green ooze, and eliminated it on the move.
Looking for the new enemy, Ganimed forgot to look down, and stepped into small ant hill. Ants crawled up his leg and bit him, so he lost one health point. Illusionist tried to escape, but his wiggling made ants only angrier, so they bit him again. Finlay, with only 4 health points left, human managed to run far enough from the pesky insects.
Entering the deepest level of the lair, Vullesar detected Insectomancer. He used rune of stealth, wishing to sneak on the monster, but it used arcane wizardry to prevent ambush, and elf lost one health point!
Battle raged for a while, and ranger managed to kill his enemy, but lost another health point in the process. He was lucky to found some healing herbs on monster's fallen body. Elf used them immediately, gaining one health point, therefore continuing this adventure with 3 left. 4 quest points were rewarded for killing insectomancer.
In the next room he entered, Ganimed found the body of a fallen hero. He picked up his mace and earned one quest point.
Behind Insectomancer's lair was a stable for giant red ant. Vullesar fired an arrow from distance, end it found it's mark. But then the red ant came charging, and ranger lost one health point. Elf fired second arrow, and then another one, trying to keep monster at the distance, but he was unable to load his bow for the forth time. Using arrow as dagger, he pierced creature's heart from point blank. But he was not fast enough, and ant acid heart him one more time, leaving him with just one health point!
With insectomancer and his steed dead, our heroes decided to bail out of ant's hill. But the road was closed for ranger, with bone pile standing in his way. Elf was too week to jump over it again, so Ganimed entered the corridor from other side, planing to remove this last obstacle.
Ganimed came ready, and started to clean the way through bones. It was the tough job, and he had to pause to take a smoke from his pipe of warmth, not knowing that it will be for a last time
(remove is success, but hero has to take defense roll. Defense is success thanks to pipe of warmth). Magic required for removing bones required drop of Ganimed's blood. So he cut himself losing one health point. He didn't even notice when his trusted pipe of warmth fell out from his pocket!
Angry because he has lost his his favored item, human got careless, and lost another health point, having only 2 left. And another drop of blood was needed for the magic, so Ganimed hurt himself again, having only one health point left. And this time, again, he lost an item, a mace of the hero, but illusionist couldn't care less. The road was finally wide enough for his elf friend to pass.
The road was finally clear, and the three friends were free to leave the ant hill. Although our heroes finished it barely alive, it was another successful mission! For their troubles, heroes were rewarded with Amulet of protection (level 14 item) that was given to Ganimed, who lost all his equipment in bone pile.