The party, having picked up a new member, Grinrut the dwarf, in the traditional spirit of adventurer fellowship and unquestioned acceptance of total strangers, returned to the dungeon beneath the ruins of Trelleborg.
Upon reaching the third level, home to the Nezumi people (a term loosely applied here), they found two black metal goblin ashigaru and a large hairy goblin-ish type waiting for them. Xero wisely displayed the pass they had been given during their previous visit and the party was allowed to pass.
Immediately inside, a celebration of sorts took place as the Nezumi welcomed the party in a way typically reserved for diplomatic envoys - paper lanterns, music, dancing, drinking.
After the celebration the party was led by a young samurai Nezumi and an escort of goblins and bugbear to the entrance to white ape country.
For the first time, they found themselves in caverns and caves, rather than paved and finished corridors and rooms. A pale blue glow, produced by an abundant fungus lit the walls, floor and ceiling.
The Curate gave the fungus a bit of a taste and experienced only minor hallucinations.
Proceeding left (this time determined by a die roll), they entered into a cavern with faint writing on the walls, and a niche, some 15' up the caver wall, which Braggle and Xero explored (and which Grinrut tried to climb to and fell, but was caught by the Curate) and which appeared to be a lair of some sort.
The caterwaul (see Fiend Folio) was vicious and strong, and things looked rather bleak for the party, and bleaker still for Taylor, who knocked on death's door. Fortunately, fate turned the tide in their direction and the hellish beast was slain.
In no condition to continue they retreated to the land of the Nezumi, where they received, and were confined to, accommodations and spent the next two days resting for their return visit to the land of the apes.
On return, they found a well groomed fungal garden, with tools scattered as if dropped in a hurry. A short time later, they found two cave bears feasting on the remains of a large human-ish creature, which explained why the tools were abandoned in haste. The bears weren't interested in the party other than to growl in warning and pull their meal closer to themselves. Since the party wasn't in the mood to go at it with 2 large ursine, they carefully passed by, keeping a safe distance.
In the next cavern, they came upon three white fury riders mounted atop enormous centipedes (around 15' long, 3' wide) shouting and grunting at a small band of cowering Neanderthals.
Chaos would ensue:
- The ogre had to be restrained from attacking the Neanderthals
- Polarion really wanted to feed one of the Neanderthals to his ogre. Curate Burkey was decidedly against this.
- The ogre feasted on white ape instead.
- The party rounded up the centipede mounts and took them and the Neanderthals back to the garden
- Lacking any means of communication, Curate Burkey attempted to sign to the Neanderthals to farm and feed the centipedes, which amazingly they understood and were wiling to do.
- Ape reinforcements arrived and were cut down - and the difficulty of communicating with Polarion's charmed white ape became quite apparent.
- The party explored a cavern with a large fungal forest (The Fungal Jungle), wherein they were attacked by giant grey worms. One was killed and the other badly injured, but not before swallowing Jezebel whole (and then spitting her out from some height).
- Runes were cast (I'm not sure if that was in character or out of character)
- Desperate for some kind of treasure, the party cut open the worm hoping to find some coins or gems in its guts.
- Grinrut decided to start a fire and make worm kabobs which drew the attention of the tuatara in the jungle.
- While the rest of the party went to take down the tuatara for eating, Polarion and Grinrut sat around enjoying kabobs.
- At some point THREE more party members arrived, making them a small army.
- The party drove the tuatara right back at Grinrut and Polarion. Fortunately for them, the lizards ran towards the garden and the Neanderthals.
- Some of the Neanderthals cowered in fear (a recurring theme) while others scattered.
- Polarion redeemed himself by casting an illusion of a wall of fire to drive the tuatara back toward the party and several of the lizards were cut down.
- Some eight white ape cavalry attempted to ride down the party, but Polarion noted they could retreat down the 5' wide passage and limit the apes to riding single file.
- This eventually led to the ape slaughter, although one was allowed to escape, presumably to report back to their friends that they don't want to mess with the party.
Victorious, the party turned to head back to the Nezumi, leaving behind several Neanderthals and some roped together enormous centipedes.