Journal Entry: War of the Lance
Entry Date: 9/22/2002
Day 24 - December 3, 351AC
Over the night, ten more refugees had died. Goldmoon and Elistan offered prayers and held a brief memorial. Refugees and heroes moved out early, with but one day of food left.
Their course took them north=west for a short ways until they found a crossing, and then due south. After about three hours, the heroes broke off from the refugees and turned east to the cliffs.
It was noon by the time they reached the base of the cliffs. Many caves dotted the face and lumps in the stone, like fallen boulders, lay at the base. A buzzing could be heard in the air.
Riverwind investigated one of the lumps and found it was not a rock, but rather the carcass of a long dead honeybee. A honeybee over three feet long. Further investigation found a larger, black, armored carcass of some sort of soldier bee, the likes of which none had seen before. Riverwind decided he might be able to move freely through the hive if disguised and he and Flint spent about an hour modifying the body so Riverwind could wear it.
The party used Tas' magic rope to scale the cliff face and soon found the entrance to the hive. They had to crawl in on hands and knees. Tas, the only one who could stand, led the way.
The wax coated passage wound lazily into the cliff face and into darkness. Goldmoon cast light on a stone and this was passed forward to Tas so he could see his way. Finally, the tunnel ended in a chamber, some six or seven feet high. The honeycombs were suspended above disappearing into the darkness of the cavern, and a mass of bees buzzed in a huge mass at the center of the ceiling.
Tas ventured out a little further and two massive black bees, covered in thick armor, dropped down to defend the entrance. Realizing the best he could do to help the party was get out of the way, Tas dropped the stone and leapt up into one of the honeycombs. He began climbing, digging his fingers into the wax.
Gilthanas charged in next, wielding Wyrmslayer, which bounced harmlessly off the bee's tough armor. The remaining adventurers followed suit, surrounding the bees. Caramon, in the very back, did not make it to the battle until it was almost over.
Swords flashed in the darkness, and bees bit and stung. One went down and the hive suddenly became deafening with the angry bussing of the rest of the bees. Thinking quickly, Raistlin webbed the whole mass, trapping them for an hour.
Goldmoon was stung, and the poison made it difficult to breath,. Finally, Sturm and the Brightblade brought the soldier bee down.
Raistlin informed the party that he had sufficient web spells to keep the bees contained for about two hours. After that, they would be loose. Tas found a few bees tending the larvae. He climbed higher. Tanis picked a different honeycomb and also climbed up.
Higher up they found stores of grain, nuts, etc which the bees were making into paste for the young. Finally, at the top of the hive, they found more honey than they could ever hope to haul away. Tanis opened a few of the cells up to let the honey run down to the hall below. River wind hauled up bee carcasses to be used to hold the honey, and an assembly line was begun to get as much out as possible in the time they had left.
Tas continued his exploration of the hive, hoping to find the royal jelly. He found the Queen nursery, unused this time of year. Finally, he found were the drones were raised. Watching a moment, he saw a few of the larvae being fed a white milky liquid, mouth to mouth. This was what he was looking for, but they were guarded by two more soldiers. He went back and told Tanis.
Caramon, Sturm and Tika joined the two of them. Carmon attacked the comb itself to try and attract attention. Very soon, he got it as the two soldiers attacked. The battle was brief and the soldiers killed.
Tas climbed back up to try and determine how to get the jelly. Riverwind joined the group. Caramon suggested pretending to be a bee and maybe they would feed him, but Tas didn't like that plan. Finally they decided to kill the bees and take the jelly by force.
The first was killed easily, but the bees turned hostile, attacking Tas. The second went down, and Tas leapt down, getting stung twice. The tough little kinder threw off the effects of the poison, but plummeted twenty feet to the bottom of the hive, six bees in pursuit. The fighters engaged the bees and soon killed them.
Tanis and Riverwind soon found the sacks in their mouths which held the jelly and cut them out, 16 in all. They tried the jelly and found it restored Goldmoon to health. They decided to keep two and the rest would go to the dwarves as agreed.
Harvesting the honey resumed until time was nearly up, at which point the party fled the hive. The party split up, one group heading south with the honey, hoping to catch the refugees before the food ran out, the other going back east to deliver the royal jelly to the dwarves.
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