Dungeons & Dinosaurs
A new chapter in the journal of the stalwart Green Knight Jack Summerisle, and companions various and sundry, as they emerge into the hollow world of Pellucidar
After climbing downward for many hours, our group encountered an oddity: a zone where we went from climbing down to suddenly climbing up! Without changing our heading, we began to ascend from the pit, which eventually opened up enough that those not riding climbing mounts (Flagan the Halfling Pugilist, Jade the Half-Elf Ranger, Yuv the Dragonborn Cleric of Radiance, and Thia the Elf Tempest Cleric) were able to walk, as if on a mountainside. Rhea the Witch remained on her enlarged spider-bat familiar, and I of course rode Cassius, my giant cave weta companion.
It was at that moment that stone-skinned snakes attacked our party. At first we believed them to be magical creations of stone, but our weapons bit through their calcified hides, and lo, they bled. Only one of the serpents, captured by Rhea in her bag of holding and then let loose, escaped our blades.
We emerged onto a plain or prairie with many strange creatures grazing hither and yon. Some were large mammals with downward pointing tusks and trunks like elephants, only covered in fur. Some were great reptilian beasts with triple-horned frills upon their heads. Flying creatures flitted overhead, but did not seem exactly to be birds. We set out for a high prominence not far away, in order to survey the lands. From the heights, we could see a forest and later mountains to the 'north,' an ocean to the 'west,' a great river flowing through a canyon before another stretch of mountains to the 'east,' and a rough and broken desert also leading to mountains to the 'south.' Divination magic hinted that our quest, to find the means to awaken the mountain so that it could rid itself of the infection that is the Ghoul Kingdom, lay in a ruined city in the mountains...and likely to the northeast. We set out north, towards the forests.
While we traveled, a great thunderstorm passed over, and the lightning started a fire in the prairie. Finding a massive herd of the local animals headed our way, we used a magical drill device to carve out a trench for us to take shelter and avoid being trampled, while our spell-casters burned away an area of grasses so that the conflagration would pass us by. We weathered the stampede of three-horns and furred elephants, and waited until the fire burned itself out.
Resuming our travels, we noticed sometime later a pair of giant lizards headed our way. At first I took them to be dragons, because of the sail-like fins on their backs, but they were not dragons, but some sort of primitive reptiles, like the three-horns, but aggressive and hungry. They attacked.
During the battle, my companions focused on one of the beasts, while Cassius and I focused on the other, which was partially distracted by one of Rhea's illusion spells. Despite the distraction, it destroyed my mount and even took me into its great jaws, crushing and biting at me as I relentlessly brought my battle axe down around its head and neck. Without healing magic from Yuv, I would have been joining my companion Cassius in the Feywild, or some other, farther Realm. With great effort, we brought down both beasts.
We stopped to recover from this ferocious confrontation, and I used a spell to recall Cassius, but this time in a form suitable to the strange land of Pellucidar - a form Cassius tells me is called an Andrewsarchus. Rather than a gigantic insect, Cassius is now a beast that looks like a cross between a wolf and a hyena, and the size of a destrier.