Silverhair's Rappan Athuk

Devons sees the Goblin City

We sat at the door for a while, debating how best to get through. the magical ward on it makes me leery of breaking it down. We opt to have a giant earth elemental open it up for us.

We walk around this area and find the statue of the giant cyclops. It is rather impressive and we suspect it can come alive in some fashion. We encounter a couple Xorn who are happily munching on things, but become very interested in the scent of Parabast. He tosses them some diamonds and they gobble up their snack. They confirm to us that the statue is capable of becoming alive and they think the goblin town is rather boring.

We encounter a group of drow who are hiding behind a locked door. Their teleportation spell went awry and it left them several miles higher than they expected, in RA instead of the darklands below. They tell us that they were viciously assaulted by some Xorn upon first arriving. We tell them how to properly bribe the Xorn, so they can continue on their way. They also tell us that the side passage we skipped leads down to the Darklands. We are hard pressed to stop Bamf and Gedonik from malevolently assaulting them before they go. Those two have some violent tendencies.

We go exploring a bit more and encounter a relatively large squad of goblins. They demand to know who our escort is and Bamf raises his hand. Unfortunately, this was a retorical question and goblins became even more violent than normal when Bamf honestly annswered it. We kill the squad of, interrogate the survivor and let him become our official “escort”.

We go off to check out the goblin town and they are as unfriendly as can be expected. The drow are friendly to us, resulting in Bamf and Gedonik wanting to kill all of them. These guys are openly hostile to us resulting in Bamf and Gedonik accepting it. I have a real hard time understanding what motivates those two. We’re trying to find interesting things to do here and so far the only one that has arisen is taking out a hydra which was sent here to annoy Orcus. Assisting Orcus isn’t on our todo list, so we’re a bit confused.

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Devon's Journal - Bamf should not be allowed near little girls

We’ve been discussing amongst ourselves and Bamf really wants to go back and take out Roachman. It is odd that I find myself agreeing with him against the majority of the party. Our cowardly fighter doesn’t seem to harbor him much ill will even after getting killed by him. Other people just seem him as misunderstood. While he is no longer a threat to us, he does prey on the unawary. The world would be a safer place with him gone and someone nicer running that establishment. Bamf will survive without the sausages from there.

We continue on from where Bofred hid his items and run into a room where there are indentions on the floor which match the rather odd artifacts. We place an artifact in its place and a small girl is unleashed from where a door opens. The girl appears unhealthy and Bamf rushes over to her. Initially I thought he was trying to assist her, but then she vaporized in his arms. I was unaware he had life draining powers and he unconvincingly claimed no fault in her demise. (I swear she fell down and stabbed herself 39 times) We walked into the room she came from and found her laying in bed. I called Bamf over to see what was happening and he arrived just in time to see Gedonik mercilessly kill her. I think both of them need some serious psychological help,, but I’m not trained in that. The other objects release some rather powerful vampires, except for the last one which had the unfortunate luck of being jumped by all of us before she could do anything. From this fighting we have gotten an intelligent sword named Gluttony that wants to drink blood. I’m not sure if that is from being held by a vampire too long or some part of its innate power. I’m going to hold onto him for a while and research him. It makes me think that creating an intelligent item would be rather interesting.

We find a very long room with lots of pillars. At the end we realize there is nothing here and we begin to walk back. We learn that wraiths appear as we walk back and Krush gets drained by their ambushes. We finish this by sending him down the hall with several protective spells and a couple pots to make noise. All the wraiths assault him, but he is luckily uninjured by them. At that point I drop a bunch of fireballs on him and kill off the wraiths.

The last thing we have found is a barricaded door protected by a Protection from Good spell. We don’t want to destroy this ward since it was probably done to protect people from something evil. As such we have agreed not to bash the door down but to magically bypass it. I used my gloves to look past the door and found that there is a large statue of a cyclops on the other side and there is some strange item on the door’s face from that side. In addition the door is also barred from that side. I suspect I’ll be turning into an earth elemental and bypassing the door very soon.

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Devon - Psaki leaves to go on her own.

Psaki gets frustrated with us, because we have not gone to the Frog Temple yet and decides to go it alone. I think she is a bit impatient as we are nearing the ability to travel through the swamp in relative safety and comfort. We then meet Root Redley who was watching Bamf and Gedonik flirt. He tells us that there are some additional entrances to Rappan Athuk and I eagerly have him point them out on my map.

Bamf then goes about a major recruitment drive to find someone to replace Psaki. He puts up about 100 posters per person in Zelkor’s Ferry. We tell him it is overkill, but he is adamant that everyone must know of our search for a sixth member. We get a plausible candidate in Dr Jacklyn Robertson. We talk to her a bit and learn two things.
1) She spent some time in the same gnome village that Parabast grew up in. Evidently he was there when a large dragon got drunk or drugged and proceeded to destroy the place. She showed up soon afterwards and saw the aftermath.
2) She doesn’t actually have any doctorate degrees.
I was looking forward to having another educated person to talk to, but sadly we got someone who falsely claims to be well educated. Her special skill involves finding traps and then destroying them with the battering ram she lugs around. It is an odd career path. We have our doubts, but we agree to let her prove herself.

In total we spend about two months, training, fabricating items and interviewing candidates before going back down the spiral stairs in Rappan Athuk. The level we come to has a large open area with 3 large mounds and a ten foot wide river flowing about 3-4mph. We investigate the mounds, but find they are nothing of note. When we go to cross the river, we are attacked by a group of Ropers. The fight is quite brutal, but we manage to survive while using several magic items.

We find a set of double doors leading to a carved section of the level and Jacklyn announces that she can tell it is trapped. We allow her to disarm the door and we go in. Which triggers the trap on the other door. This results in two Glabrezu appearing, filling up the room in its entirity.

Afterwards we find a secret passage that leads to an apparently empty room. We search around and find a secret compartment. We allow Jacklyn to demonstrate her abilities, but she becomes frustrated and leaves. We are a bit concerned at this point as our “trapsmith” has given up on her adventuring career. I inspect it a bit more carefully and find that there is a powerful Antipathy spell on the compartment. My mind is strong enough to resist its effects and Parabast and I soon dispel the enchantment.

We open the compartment and find it has some strange artifacts. After thinking for a while I’m able to figure out they are from Lord Bofred, a powerful cleric and vampire hunter. We aren’t sure what their purpose is, but we take the Silver Spoon, Jade Cat, Lapis Earth-Mother and Mithril Sword. The story is that Bofred was able to defeat a group of vampires and seal them away. Unfortunately he was not strong enough to kill them, so they are locked away for all eternity and we may have just found the keys. Honestly, I think I would have just destroyed the keys and leave the vampires locked up. Regardless, I feel that we should finish up where Bofred left of and remove these vampires.

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Bamf's Journal Fifty-six [IN PROGRESS]
Entry 56

Dear Diary,

It has been quite sometime since I have written, and I admit that I have been remiss when it comes to updating you. Truth be told most of what has happened has been yet another return to Zelkor’s Ferry for training and crafting of gear. I continue to improve my stamina through both physical exertion as well as magical equipment. I am feeling more confident in my ability to resist the more deadly challenges we are facing should they manage to hit me.

I am getting ahead of myself once again, and I need to recap what transpired on the next level…

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Devon's Journal - A long absence.

It seems to have been months since I last wrote anything in here. Time just flies I guess. We went into a large temple complex filled with followers of Orcus. There were three figures which stood out from the rest.

A large clay golem which exchanged blows with Krush
A large demon whom I locked down with The Staff
A “high priest” of Orcus who fled from Parabast’s tauntings.

Thankfully the demon was unable to do anything too horrible to us, once it changed gravity on us. Smashing our heads on the ceiling was quite a surprise and rather hurt. It also took our wall of stone fortification and made it irrelevant.

Upon their defeat we had examined the shrine for a while. We spent a couple days here dispelling the vile enchantments, destorying the altar and its corresponding evil circle and crushing a Sphere of Souls. The Sphere was worth quite a bit, but were not really interested in this kind of magic. I temporarily turned Krush’s maul into adamantium and let him live up to his namesake. Some day I see us going into business selling evil artifacts and killing anyone who shows up trying to buy them.

We persued the “high priest” into his secret chambers where Parabast began mocking him another time. The “high priest” seemed quite bewildered by this taunting and was slain while he attempted to come up with any kind of verbal retort. Evidently, Orcus’ minions are slow of thought in addition to being cowardly. We carefully examined everything they had accumulated and found some nice items. The highlight is a platinum statue of Hecate with a permanent Hallow spell bestowed upon it. While not the diety I follow, I appreciate fine art and the magical enchantment makes it worth storing in our lodge.

We also found a Decanter of Endless Water which should prove to be useful and great for practical jokes/taunting. I think Parabast will want it the most. There was also an adamantine puzzle box. We spent a long time trying to figure it out and in the end it was Krush who figured it out and released the wand it contained.

We continued on and found the lair of a large group of minotaurs. Somehow they had acquired an incredibly valuable sword, but aside from that they were uninteresting. They did have a door which they had barricaded from their side. Anything they were attempting to keep out was bound to be interesting to us. We entered and began looking around. We found the remains of a few petrified creatures and the tracks to multiple gorgons. We quickly retreated and began discussing how we should handle this. In the end we decided to leave them alone since we were too vulnerable to petrification to risk it.

We have decided to go back to the surface so we could make some wands and other magical items. I’m glad to see we’ll have more magical protection when we enter the cave again.

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Bamf's Journal Fifty-five
Entry 55

Dear Diary,

I have struggled to find a way to put my thoughts to words as to the events of the last day. You see I died again today, however I am really annoyed and puzzled by the circumstances of my death. Never mind how embarrassing it was! I am blaming this all on Noir, to be ever so crystal clear.

There we were, twirling and dancing against a bunch of undead and oozes. My form was flawless, my stance impeccable, and my contribution to the Fellows was a credit to my training. Then suddenly, in the middle of combat, I ran Noir across my throat with significant force; enough in fact to unequivocally murder myself.

Noir said that I slipped on a pebble, but frankly that is bull-cocky. From the tone I got, Noir obviously was just making something up rather than tell me what really happened. This is quite annoying as most of the Fellows now worry that I might have a suicide tendency and are even more concerned about my overall mental health. Which for the record is a complete overreaction and I don’t know why they continue to think I am unhinged. I wish for the days when Matty was with us as her mental affectations were considered far more requiring of attention than what problems they presume I have.

Moving on, I remember being so surprised by what happened. The pain wasn’t too bad, all things considered. I just remember looking at Parabast with a very confused expression on my face, as I was not really sure why I had slit my own throat. I then fell over and things went black.

The next thing I remember is I was standing in what apparently was an outhouse. In front of me, sitting over the hole and with his britches down around his ankles, was Ralnor. He was quite intent on a folio he was reading which was thankfully obscuring his more compromising parts from my sight. The title of the literature he was reading was very odd, something like, “The Smoking Hot Efreeti Babes of the City of Brass!”

I stammered a, “Uh, hey man, what’s up?”

Ralnor screamed at me, turned beet red, and yelled, “Bamf! What in tarnation are you doing in m—”

Unfortunately I didn’t hear the rest of what he was saying as I was suddenly I was pulled back to my body on the prime material plane. It seems that Devon, ever the clever one, had a spell to resurrect someone immediately after their death, without even giving their soul a chance to say no. Which is fine I suppose, my soul was far too discombobulated at the time to make decisions about whether I still wanted to live or not and I might have answered wrong.

Anyways, I am rambling. We spent the rest of the day wandering through really annoying mazes that were a pain to map. We found a ton of minotaurs that were phasing all over the place. This was a difficult fight as their unique movement made it very hard to defend all of the Fellows at once. We managed it though, and killed them all except for the king who ran off. This is actually becoming very common and I am not super comfortable about it. My mind imagines all of our fleeing foes meeting in a bar to discuss our demise. Not a happy thought.

Regarding my death, I have continued to question Noir about it. Seems that one of the undead that I was fighting reminded Noir of someone Vroeteus used to play poker with (it is probably the same person actually). Noir remembered that we technically still owe that person money, and due to an involuntary, reflexive reaction caused by this realization, they jerked themselves as far away from our undead debtor as quickly as possible. This just happened to be at the worst moment possible for me.

Much to my irritation, Noir’s embarrassment and guilt about killing me seem to be very fleeting as at this point they think this entire episode is the height of hilarity. Or maybe they think my encounter with Ralnor was mirthful, as Noir can’t stop laughing since I mentioned it. Not exactly sure why, and I am starting to wonder if Noir is a secret asshole.

What is really bothersome about all of this is that despite the fact that I know I was a victim in all of this, the Fellows aren’t so willing to take my word for it. I am apparently no longer allowed to take night watch alone, for concerns that I would take the opportunity to harm myself. Ridiculous! Needless to say though I wouldn’t be adverse to swinging Noir into a boulder as hard as possible a few, oh I don’t know, hundred times or so.

That is about it Diary. Tomorrow we go down to a new level that is, according to Pesaki’s owl, uncomfortably hot. We are going to memorize some elemental resistance spells and take a look in the morning. Until next time!

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Devon's contemplation on Bamf's suicide

Suicide is a messy business. I don’t just mean that in a metaphysical sense either. If someone gets jumped by a hydra, they get devoured and are never seen from again. In Bamf’s case he decided to do it in the middle of combat, which left us with a corpse to deal with and a fight that became harder than it normally would be.

The fighting I’ll ignore, but what do we do with Bamf? When you raise someone from the dead, you normally talk to the soul and see if it wants to come back. However, that is an expensive process and we came up with a much cheaper alternative. The catch is it must be done mere seconds after death. That means no chance to ask the soul if it wants to come back and considering he slit his own throat, there is a distinct possibility he doesn’t want to come back.

To be honest,, I don’t pay careful attention to Bamf’s face when we are getting attacked. However, Gedonik pays a lot of attention to Bamf, even in the middle of combat. He says that Bamf had an expression of surprise on his face when he slit his throat. That and as non chalant as he may appear, he does have some feelings for his boyfriend. So I brought him back and his soul really did want another chance at life.

Which brings us back to; whydid Bamf kill himself? We’ve fought these oozes before and they showed no sign of mental control. Could his fiendish nature taken offense to the fact that he was killing an evil abomination? The most likely answer is his sentient black sword. I’m guessing it does not like the path Bamf has taken and revolted against him. Since I feel this is the answer, that means Bamf’s strength of mind is weaker than I thought and I’ll need to keep him covered by my anti-mind control magic. The other part is did his sword react violently to his killing of Orcus’ minions or did he have a change of heart, change sides in his mind and the sword reacted to that. I’m afraid we’re going to need to use some pretty powerful magic to find out what is going on inside his head.

In other news…
We have found a level that is nothing but huge ponderous mazes. Of course they are populated by minotaurs, but these are special phasing minotaurs. They repeatedly phased in right behind Parabast and I. Looks like I’ll need to stop investing in knowledge so much and invest a bit into my defense. Those axes really hurt. This mess was going to take a real long time, so we hatched a plan to charm a minotaur and have him guide us through. It worked quite well and he took us through multiple mazes. We finally came to their king’s throneroom and a huge melee ensued. Thankfully we took them down. However, at that point my charmed minotaur left due to the carnage we had wrought upon his friends. We found a small passage that headed through a flooded area. Thankfully I was able to ride on Parabast’s carpet, i really need to get one of those too. This lead us to 3 sarcophagi that we in small side alcove in 3 foot deep water. Due to the lack on undead here, I think their souls passed on peacefully. We finally finished exploring this place and found 4 entrances to other levels. This place has a large assortment of passages to other levels. We’ve opted to go the hot one.

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Bamf's Journal Fifty-four
Entry 54

Dear Diary,

It has been a few days since I last wrote as we had a really tough fight and ended up resting in town for a couple of weeks afterwards. I have spent my time training and getting my apprentices to craft me some gloves to help me cast ranged spells through Noir. This should allow me to cast my snowball spell in combat as well as shocking grasp, so I can do cold damage to creatures immune to electricity, and vice versa.

Anyways, going back to my last entry, we headed back to that boulder of “gold” a the bottom of that cliff. We knew that the gold was an illusion and not real, or at least that is what I was told, it looked real enough for me. After carefully scrambling down the cliff sugar-buns was able to tell us that the boulder was actually a secret door. How strange someone would conceal a door with an illusion of gold.

We were really scared and had Peskai go over it with a fine toothed comb, but she couldn’t find any traps of note, so we opened and went through it. This lead to a winding hallway that ended in an impressive iron gate with a particularly nasty trap on it. There were three holes and a warning saying that to open the door we would have to pull a level from within the hole, but in doing so we would lose a hand.

No of us wanted to do that trade so Parabast summoned an elemental to try this. The first one we tried didn’t even work and killed the elemental no less! The second one we tried didn’t remove a hand and opened the door. Our curiosity piqued we entered less cautiously than we probably should have.

The room had four iron statues, two of which sprung to life and breathed a toxic gas on us. I did not feel good after this happened, and I felt sick for most of the fight. I recalled my magical studying with Mr. Dark and identified these as Iron Golems, which wasn’t good as these things are really tough to kill. One of the first things they did was hit me so hard I know that they broke multiple ribs, and I immediately had to go on the defensive.

Furthermore early in the fight something happened to Krush and he began trying to kill us. I am not sure why, but he took out one of my mirror images. Poor Krush, despite being mind controlled the golems did not ignore him, and in fact began to focus their attacks directly on him. He took a pounding and I am really surprised he didn’t get killed.

Part of that was due to my help. The golems are all but immune to magic, so it is not an easy task trying to kill them. But I did remember a certain weakness they have to electricity magic; it slows them for a short period of time. I wreathed Noir in lightning and began to control the fight this way. I was able to keep their speed lowered for the rest of the fight.

Devon’s quick thinking allowed Krush to regain his senses while Parabast healed him, Pesaki cursed the golems, and Gedonik shot them with arrow after arrow. Meanwhile something rained fireball after fireball down on our heads. It took a long time, and at one point Parabast was really hurt bad, but I held the line and mah man was able to finally kill the deadly constructs.

Before we could even celebrate the door to the room slammed shut, leaving me trapped in the room with whatever it was that had been casting spells. I was nervous and immediately rushed forward to where we saw the spells originate from. I figured maybe I could kill it quickly, though I didn’t have a lot of hope.

Suddenly I felt a wave of an incredible will press against my brain, as if trying to force my mind out of my body. I was able to resist, but I knew I would not last for long. Thankfully the rest of the Fellows had opened the door at this point and came protect me with Devon’s magic.

It turns out that we were up against what remained of the great wizard Zelkor. It seems he was corrupted by Orcus and turned into some manner of powerful undead. It was a real pain in the ass to chase him away, and he dropped some more spells on us, but eventually we destroyed the crystal he was hiding in, and he ran off cursing us in the process. I do not think we have seen the last of him.

Otherwise this was a very good day, and we made out with a lot of treasure. We were pretty spent at this point and decided it was a good time to return to town and recover. Which is what we did the last few weeks. Tonight we head back to Rappan Athuk and continue our explorations. Until next time!

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Devon's Musings Apr 22nd

Yesterday we spent more time backtracking through the dungeon than anything else. Maybe we should try throwing some light up here and there to see if this place has anything of interest in the carved sections. We ended out going down that cliff face to where the fake gold boulders were sitting. Down there we found a secret passage and a trap door that in bright bold letters threatened to cut off the hand of anyone who didn’t operate it correctly. Thankfully we have summoned monsters for things like this.

Once inside we quickly found ourselves fighting two mamoth iron golems and a possessed Krush. The golems were problematic and Krush almost lived up to his name yet again. Afterwards we faced a box that loved to throw fireballs at us. It was a very long drawn out fight, but with our magic we were finally able to overcome him. This room turned out to be the funeral hall of Zelkor, whom the town above is named after. Evidently he has had a change of heart and decided to join Orcus. Zelkor has become a spectre while keeping all the magical talent in life. Upon his defeat we took his spell books, so from now on he’ll be just a rather fancy looking spectre. Though this fight did show us we might need to add to our anti-magic capabilities.

As that fight completely drained us, we went back to town for some magic item creation, training and R&R. I personally worked on my magical headpiece and worked out a bit more than I’m used to. However, I make sure to take some time out to continue my reading.

We’re know left thinking about what to do next. There is no shortage of pathways that we have not explored yet. I want to continue expanding my magic abilities and have gone into the art of crafting magical rods, which should also be a boon due to the number of caster i adventure with. While we’ve done a good job of clearing out what we find, the sheer scope of this place makes our work seem relatively minor. I wonder if there is something we could do to expedite this. Would redirecting the river into the dungeon help? There is a ton of water there and it would fill up the place really fast. We also have not focused on defeating Orcus. We don’t have any specific anti-demon weaponry, nor do we have any great anti-magic tricks as our last fight proved. I’m wondering if that floating skull down in the dungeon has any good answers for us.

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Bamf's Journal Fifty-three
Entry 53

Dear Diary,

Let me give you a report on this level: The Well.

That is right old friend, we explored The Well today. No wonder my nerves were screaming at me on the way here. That said, we are all still alive at this point, though I am not relaxing just yet. There is “something” here, I just know it.

If I am being honest though, the worst challenge that faced us here was when we first landed at this level. The boat took us into a large cavernous room with a man-made harbor as well as funeral pyres. When we went to investigate, two undead spirits attacked us, ethereally flowing off of the bodies and coming towards us.

These guys were actually a bit of a pain because we couldn’t hit them easily. Noir is magical, and was able to get a little some purchase on these wraiths, but it was much less damage than I should have been doing. Worse they really started to go to town on Krush with sapping his fortitude and weakening him with their very touch.

Ultimately we were able to kill them, restore Krush’s vitality, and move on. We explored the rest of the chamber and found a odd cliff with what appeared to be a boulder made of gold. It was pretty easy to determine that this was an illusion, and we were very unsure what to do about this. It obviously screams trap, but we couldn’t detect one, and were unsure about going down to investigate closer.

We decided to move on and began heading through thin tunnels which spiraled and looped around. There were occasional larger open caverns ten to fifteen feet in diameter as well as forks in the tunnels. At one of these places we were attacked by unusual zombies that crawled on the ceiling and were much faster than normal zombies. That said, beyond a lucky hit on Krush, we easily defeated them.

It was at the end of one of these tunnels that we found the bottom of The Well. This was confirmed by Pesaki’s avian companion. The bottom was full of silt and murky water. Magic was able to make this clean over time, and we found something very interesting. I gigantic plug at the bottom of the water with a symbol of a circle with a triangle inside of it. At each point were complex locks which Pesaki was unsure if she could even unlock.

This came as surprise as there has thus far been nothing that seemed to be too complicated for her to pick. Further investigation of this with magic caused us to whiten with shock. There were eldritch spells placed on this plug that were so beyond our ability of magic, even our understanding of magic. As I am to a lowly apprentice who can barely cast the simplest of cantrips, whomever enchanted this portal is like that to us. And honestly, that is painting me as having an understanding of magic probably far more advanced that it really is.

Needless to say, we decided that this was not something we should investigate, and we continued on. We found a large cavern which was very odd. There were large spikes on the walls and the floor was sunk towards a depression in the middle of the room. All investigation of this room was for naught though, so we continued on.

The next room had a pool of water it in and was full of stirge nests. Devon made quick work of them with a fireball spell. We found that there was a tunnel under the pool of water and we went ahead and investigated it. This lead to another room full of the same kind of zombies from before. Their eyes and mouths were sewn shut and them mumbled “braaaaains’ as they turned to attack.

After we finished them off we found another room with what appeared to be four portals. Some of them seem to lead to places far away, and others lead to what we presume is other parts of the dungeon. While interesting and potentially worth investigating at a later time, our test proved that most of the portals were one way only, so we chose to come back to them later.

Going back to the stirge room the next cavern had a bunch of “black” skeletons which ultimately turned out to only be painted black. Another curved cavern was fully of piercers, which were pathetically outmatched. I danced under them causing them to drop, but not with me under them. They were easy to finish off at that point.

We found a concealed door that lead to another large cavern full of rats that were wise to not attack us. We found a cliff with a pool at the bottom and another tunnel. This appears to lead away from this level, and so we are currently discussing whether to continue down that tunnel, or first investigate the “gold” boulder more. Until next time.

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