In Boston, the merry band once more met with the hole-y young woman, returning the majority of the stone (minus a few shaved samples—purely for study, of course!). This required some fast talking of Lucy’s doctor, as no one present had the necessary skills. After a bit of negotiation, the intrepid adventurers are off to Ohio with 2 new additions to their steadily increasing entourage: the doctor and our mysterious Acolyte.
One relatively peaceful train ride—despite debate on various subjects such as religion, politics, magic, and other sensitive topics that drove off the other passengers of their first class accommodations—later, our treasure hunters arrive in Chillicothe, Ohio, as short hour-long drive from the scenic Serpent Mound park. After spending the evening making merry &/or scoping out the area, the morning was spent acquiring trucks and cars large enough to hold the entire group. and the afternoon procuring extra supplies. As it was then to late to do any safe demolitions, another evening was spent enjoying the hotel’s amenities.
Bright and early (unGodly early, according to those hungover from the night’s festivities) the morning, the sun rises on the convoy pulling into the park. Our friendly neighborhood explosives expert, Henry Shetrone, after much consultation with archeologist Professor Currie and geologist Joe Simpson, cleared the path into a heretofore unknown set of caverns below the Mounds, excavating a rather steep and deep tunnel entrance.
The descent was uneventful if entertaining for the more athletically inclined. A bit of debate led to the left turn only idea, and the group, lanterns lit, set out. A discovery of a possible silver lode and a small, misty, almost tunnel-like offshoot in the second hour was duly noted in their journal, before being completely overshadowed by the discovery of a huge, cathedral-sized cavern with niches carved at chest height all around.
By breaking out every light source the troop had, they were able to light the room The mostly flat surface of the floor—completely cleared of any protrusions—sloped gently toward a rather large hole in the center. Despite the nagging certainty that it should go on forever, dropping a glow stick revealed that, while hundreds of yards deep, it did indeed appear to have a bottom.
As they did not have the gear for the descent, the rest of the tunnels leading off the chamber were next on the agenda. Repeating the left theme, they found a smaller cave with many vessels and jugs of oils, obviously native American in origin. While some of the vessels had decayed over the ages, enough were intact to light the cavern, allowing the troop to retrieve their lanterns and continue onward.
Counting back the marked passages, they again headed left into the a slender, dark, and winding tunnel. The darkness’ suppressing their normal tendency to chatter allowed them to hear the soft susurration of wings ahead of them when they had only travel a couple hundred feet in. Pulling back to the lit cavern, our adventurers armed themselves with guns and lanterns, and waited, staring into shadow.
After an agonizing eternity of seconds, they glimpsed the passing of a darker shadow in the dimness of the tunnel. It seemed to have more than four legs and huge wings that brushed the tunnel ceiling. Though it hesitated at the mouth of the cavern, it would not enter the light and instead moved further through the tunnel until it came to a smaller cavern, sheltered from the light.
Empowered by its apparent fear of the light, the George and Henry set lights to illuminate the passageway in that area, hopefully containing the creature until they could procure more impressive armaments.
With that settled , they found that the party had diminished by one—Martin Blount had vanished! They and the bodyguards split into teams to backtrack and look for him, only to find him just yards away in a tiny, dark crevasse. He was non-responsive to questions, remaining face towards what appeared to be a blank cave wall and mumbling in a strange, horrifying tongue that none of our linguistically-educated party members could identify.
With Martin Blount staring into the darkness and babbling, it was easy enough for him to be knocked unconscious. One party member down, the crew abandoned their forward progress, to go in search of more kerosene and bigger guns!