After introducing Bruce Banner to the party, the Pathfinders continued through the underground cavern. Batman scouted ahead, investigating a massive cavern opening. At the center stood a Drow druid, who was in the middle of a rousing speech. His audience was a pack of nearly two-dozen swamp wargs, with eerily mechanical mannerisms. The Drow stood atop a ledge, shouting is dire intentions:
The Pathfinders discussed the prospect of the overwhelming odds, being outnumbered and in darkness. While some wanted to leave, Batman urged everyone to stay. “Should these beasts make it to the surface, who knows what kind of destruction they could bring on the people of this realm.” Finally it was left to the leader, Green Arrow, who proposed they stay and fight.
Thor, Iron Woman and Green Arrow formed a barrier in the cavern entrance while Batman scouted ahead. Banner, Magneto and Elixir stood back to focus on ranged attacks. As they moved into position, the wargs picked up their scent. They beasts rushed the Pathfinders before they could get completely settled, and they rallied to defend themselves. Thor unleashed Mjolnir, easily dispatching wargs with every blow. The numbers proved overwhelming for the others, however, who were tripped and viciously bit by the mindless creatures. Still, the Pathfinders held their own for some time.
That all changed when the druid returned, having prepared for battle. He launched a massive fireball at the center of the clustered heroes, devastating their numbers. As the Pathfinders recuperated, a bestial and thundering roar echoed through the cavern. Banner kneeled, flesh burning, as he grew larger and more muscular. In his place the Hulk stood, furious. Hulk charged passed the gathered wargs, shaking off their attacks as they bit his now-hardened skin. Thor continued whittling their numbers as Elixir feverishly healed and tended to his allies.
Across the water-filled cavern, Batman crept ahead. While investigating a side passage he accidentally set off a fire trap, taking damage and alerting the wargs to his presence. He quickly found himself surrounded, but before they could attack Batman vanished into shadow. Spreading his cloak, he flew across the water’s surface to escape. He landed on the outcropping behind the druid, and the two scuffled at close range. The druid, amused at Batman’s persona, summoned a deadly bat-swarm, which attacked the Dark Knight. Following with a fireball to his face, the druid nearly defeated Batman – who tried to fly away. The bats followed, however, and bit him to unconsciousness.
Hulk continued his rampage, picking up a huge boulder and smashing it on several wargs at once. Green Arrow and Magneto fell to the wolves, though Arrow clinged to consciousness. Magneto, however, was helpless as a ravaging warg bit him on the neck – killing the Master of Magnetism.
Thor felled more and more of the wargs, racking up an incredible body count. In he zeal, however, he accidently hurled Mjolnir directly at the near-death Green Arrow. As Arrow braced himself for impact, from nowhere a star-spangled shield flew in and deflected the hammer. It returned to the arm of yet another survivor of Tartarus, none other than Captain America himself. Steve Rodgers saluted his former comrades – Thor, Hulk and in a sense Iron Woman. Taking position beside him, he helped finish off the last of the wargs.
Hulk ran and leaped across the water, but hit the wall just underneath the druid, falling into the water. He climbed up just as the other Pathfinders surrounded the drow. Cornered, the druid cloaked the area in darkness and dove into the water. Everyone ran to the surrounding shore to search for him as Hulk jumped in after. What he found, however, was a large shark that attacked him instantly. Struggling beneath the waves, the enraged Hulk grabbed hold of the shark’s jaws and could not be shaken free. Captain America dove in as well, stabbing the shark just as the Hulk ripped its jaws open. In a fury he reached for Rodgers as well, but instantly recognized his great ally and relented.
Wounded and exhausted, the Pathfinders finally got a chance to rest. The gathered together in the central island and decided to make camp for the night. They lost an ally, but regained an old comrade, the entire group feeling more invigorated and cohesive as a unit.
Pathfinders: 2,750 XP