It is early morning, several days after our fruitful trip to the Under Ground Market.
The ladies had left before dawn the morning before, for a well deserved and relaxing day Spa appointment at the highly esteemed Bath House of Mingxia Zhongying, a lavish ladies only establishment.
(DM’s note, we may have to adjust the exact date to make things make sense, and even go back and add in some things that happened or things you did before you left to find Jhamba. Please don’t get hung up on it please)
The sunny day the ladies has left for the Spa had been filled with martial spectacles and displays of craftsmanship, everything from armor to beer, robes to wagons, a jolly guys day out.
The following day was to be a lazy day for the rest of us, we rolled ourselves out of bed at the Little House, for a late breakfast with Evon at the Gazebo.
We sat together as the servers brought out a sumptuous breakfast, we dug in with the gusto of the starved, or condemned. Evon regaling us with the happenings of interest within Fan Lu of the last few days.
About halfway through our meal, Black Stone alerted us that we were not alone, only moments before a grim, well-armed fellow emerged silently from the nearby bushes. Rugged, lean, dark and tall, with shaggy dark hair, dark eyes, and a stern pale face. A hardened man of say thirty five.
After the requisite moments of tension, weapon rattling, interrogation, and near murder, this skilled stranger introduced himself as Bren of Dawn. The ragged fellow came all the way from Otto looking for our friend Evon. Bren held his hands up before him in peace and his story, slightly jumbled, poured out in a rush.
Nearly four weeks earlier Bren had lost contact with a supposed dear friend of his. He was left with only a strange drawing, purportedly done by his friend the night before he disappeared.
Troubled when his friend did not return and concerned for the welfare of his friends family, Bren took the drawing to a Seer near Otto, She told Bren to seek out The Master of the Sacred Leaf, Evon, east in Fan Lu, that this Evon would know what the picture meant.
So off Bren of Dawn went, eagerly eating up the miles between Otto and Fan Lu. Somehow he was able to slip into the Sacred Leaf, passed all of Evon’s Security measures and join us for breakfast. He was fairly nonchalant about this achievement when questioned on it. “I was knocking at the front door for five minutes and no one showed up, so I just hopped the fence and came looking for Evon.” That was his very simple answer when he was questioned on how he got in.
Bren freely admitted that he and his friend worked for the Bandit King of Otto, mercenary-spy-adventurers, forced into service via black mail by the Bandit king. Something Stern and Grey are acquainted with. Finally as he stuttered to a stop Bren ended his story with the name of his missing friend- Jhamba.
This of course got Hrothgard and Grognak’s attention and Grey and Stern recognized the name as someone who had helped their friends travel to Yunshan. Of course the meeting got even tenser at this revelation. At length, after establishing Bren’s good behavior, Evon agreed to take a look at the drawing Bren offered. It was a strange almost pictogram, basic gibberish to the rest of us. Even Glyphic prodigy Stern knew nothing of it, but Evon saw something there, something he recalled from a distant memory and identified it as a Thallish geoglyph.
This geoglyph, an artifice of a race of beings known as the Thall. A people with their own language but somehow unable to speak the common tongue, or any known tongue at all. Interacting with outsiders via a wrist bangle with various tiles equating to various themes, measurements, etc; These Thalls are said to live in cities beneath the earth, but to also have settlements above ground in remote places. One such place, Crag Town, three days march from Fan Lu.
Crag Town, a dark place of old world architecture combined with modern semi magical technology of the Thall. An obscure town where the outcasts outcast go, where the shadiest of bandits go to hide away. A dismal haven for Gaki and other rogue spirits. A murky town clinging like rotting moss to the inside of a yawning mountain crevasse, a place where light rarely touches the cobbled streets. The weather is always cold and misty, the sky cloudy and even on the brightest of summer days the light hitting the streets below would be filtered through the gossamer webs of the giant spiders who call the heights of Crag Town home.
After this glowing description, Evon told of how the Thallish seers are able to draw a picture such as this, and that it can be read only by another Thallish seer, that somehow it would magically impart upon the reader the exact location embedded in the drawing, like some kind of magical GPS. Evon told us of a Thallish seer he knew of, one known only by the enigmatic nickname, “The Mind”. This man…Thall I mean, lives in Crag Town and would be able to read this glyph and impart the knowledge of the location it represented to Bren…again, like some king of Magical GPS.
Since the moment Jhamba’s family had showed Bren the drawing, made the night before Jhamba left, Bren was gripped by the idea, convinced to his bones, that the symbol had something to do with Jhamba’s disappearance. Now Evon had revealed to him the symbol in fact represented a specific location! Bren readily jumped at the clue to his friend’s whereabouts, ready to strike out then and there, sensing that his friend was in dire trouble, that whatever place this geoglyph pointed to must be where Jhamba had gone!
With little trouble the Guys convinced him to hold a few moments while we gathered our gear, Evon sent word to bring Tealia, Caris and Ameatheon back from the Spa early and then as a whole and united group we would then set out for Crag Town.
When the frazzled messenger returned unable to find the ladies and letting us know that the ladies had never even checked in at the Spa. Grey stopped packing up his worn back pack and turned, dismissing the messenger with a glance, looking to Hroth and Grognak, raising one arched eyebrow in silent inquiry. Stern likewise, stopped his preparations and leaned against the stairway to the second floor at the awkward silence that ensued before Hrothgard began to speak.
Slowly, in that kind of guilty, slow cadence Hroth sometimes takes when he is relaying bad news, he began to tell a story about the girls that explained where they might be. Grognak’s silent nodding was an admission that he too was involved, and that both of them just hadn’t gotten around to telling Grey and Stern yet, probably because they didn’t think it mattered or just hadn’t gotten around to mentioning…
It appears that the night before last, the five of them, Tealia, Ameatheon, Caris, Grognak and Hrothgard were sitting around the fire outside the Small House. Relaxing after a vigorous day of guided immersion in the day to day world of wonderful Fan Lu. A day of sampling local delicacies, sake, culturally significant plays, the open markets, spirit appeasement, sake, delightful dinner complete with dazzling entertainment and more sake.
Staring intently into the cedar scented fire rubbing Ameatheon’s mighty shoulders, Tealia stated boldly to Hroth and Grognak that she wanted to return to the Blasted Point to seek out the spirit known as the Light in the Wind………Now we go back in time to that fateful conversation…
”Well there’s no way I’m going back there anytime soon if that’s what you’re asking.” Scoffed Hroth over his sake cup.
Serious and focused Tealia continued her impassioned voice growing louder. “I feel I must go back, I have to connect with the Spirits of this land. I never wanted to leave in the first place until I had a chance to speak with the spirit, but I left to stay with the group! I should have stayed at the Blasted Point, spent day and night in communion until I gained the notice and trust of the Light in the Wind. Gained its blessing and learned its magic, but I left for you guys! Now i feel an ache inside, like I am missing something…..” Tealia finished voice trailing off, a little hurt that Hroth seemed to dismiss her quest outright.
“It’s not that we don’t want to help Tealia, it’s just, going to the Blasted Point means going by Littlemountain, and I think we got into enough trouble there already….” From his comfy place on the other side of the hospitable fire Grognak calmly stated, he was about to continue when Hroth burst in again.
“We have no idea how Kito will receive us after what happened. We go messing around there and we could run into him and his people, and I’m guessing the Keeper of the Pacified Shadows won’t show up again to save us from another awkward situation. Kito seemed pretty upset at the whole thing.” Hroth finished, taking a drink and looking around at his friends, as if his statement had the weight of great wisdom and obvious fact.
Turning to more fully face the warrior, “You just want to sit around and read that damn book you found in the market that cost us so much.” Tealia answered accusingly
“Well, it’s actually important Tealia, you’re not the only one who needs to seek out power and improve. If I can finish this book it will help all of us…we are a team aren’t we? Hroth spoke with a little hurt in his voice.
“That’s what I’m saying to all of you, we are a team, and I need to go up there and find out what I can about that Spirit, but if we’re not going to be a team, I’ll go alone…I can fly, disguise myself, blend right in, and I have Amaetheon, I’m perfectly capable on my own if you won’t help me.” Tealia confidently related with certainty.
“Stop!” Grognak hissed leaning forward, letting the firelight bath his patrician features, he continued;
“No one is saying we are not a team, but speaking of books I have a book as well which is a key point of our current situation, and relevant to our current conversation. Recall if you will that The Keeper of the Pacified Shadows appeared as Kito was getting ready to demand that we give up Akiban’s spell book to him. The Keeper risked war with Kito’s faction so that we could keep this book, or maybe just as a front so he could have it!? We don’t even know.” Shaking his head, Grognak carried on warming to his audience.
“We are forgetting that we decided to keep this book, and I haven’t even had time to find out what’s in it. I know it’s powerful, I can feel it. This book is as important to me as Hroth’s book is to him, but since we’re talking about teams, if I get more powerful, so do you!” Eyes flashing, grandly gesturing for effect, Grognak basked in the attention of his fellows, all eyes on him.
“Now you guys have been dragging me all over creation since we met and I’ve finally found a spell book! An important one! I need to study it, unlock its secrets! I need to stop running off to deadly places, and take some time to study! And Hroth is right, we need some time to let things with Kito blow over. Grey and Stern would undoubtedly agreed with that point if no other. I need some time to see what The Keeper and Evon have in mind for me and this book as well…I’m not even convinced it’s really mine to study yet…we just need time to see how things turn out Tealia…I just can’t leave right now, hell I ache to return to the Manor and get some good uninterrupted research time in.” He finished in a placating, flourish sinking back into his chair and the shadows.
“I said, I can go alone” Tealia proudly stated, “since you’re both so busy with your books.”
Hroth, annoyed speaks;
“You are not going anywhere alone, because that would be dumb. You are going to let me and Grognak, and the rest of us have some time to relax and plan. We will go back there, but first we will wait, and we’ll wait for weeks and weeks if that’s how long it takes! You are just going to have to wait on us Tealia!” He growled with finality.
“Guys, stop.” Contemplative Caris finally pipes in trying to defuse the situation. “Tealia, let’s go get a cup of Tea from the Sacred Leaf before we turn in for the night, tomorrow is another busy day, we have our early appointment, we can discuss this again tomorrow night, when Grey and Stern return.”
“Ok Hroth” Tealia spoke a little defiantly as she turned to leave with Caris.
“What if she does go?” mused Grognak after the girls and Ameatheon left.
Hroth turned to Grog in reply, “She aint goin’ nowhere!”
Now travel back to the present as our heroes are there in the gardens with Bren and Evon. Hroth has just finished his story and looks up at Stern and Grey sheepishly, Grognak fidgeting beside his warrior friend as Hroth haltingly finished…”I guess she did go, probably talked Caris into it and left that morning…they would be to Little Mountain by now….”
Turning back to his preparations, nonplussed, Grey spoke back over his shoulder, “They left from the South Gate as soon as it opened at dawn. Then headed directly up into the hills.”
“You knew?” Incredulous, asked Stern from the stairs.
“As soon as we returned to Fan Lu yesterday my agents informed me of their departure. From there it was easy to deduce where they were going, up towards the Fire Pine Road House and Little Mountain beyond. After that the Blasted Point.” Shrugging into his well worn great coat, Grey stops to survey his friends, opening his arms wide in explanation;
“I for one am proud of them, it takes conviction and commitment to do as they have done. Should we have expected anything less from our friends?” He asked rhetorically, grabbing up his pack and slinging it over his narrow shoulders.
Stepping lightly to the doorway of the Little House, Grey pauses to take down his wide brimmed hat, a gift from Li Ting of Little Mountain, settling it just right on his head he turns his head just slightly back towards them and says smiling faintly; “Have faith in them comrades as they would in us.” before stepping outside to speak with Evon and Bren of Dawn.
Sensing that time was of the essence, we left word with Evon and Old Chang for the ladies and began our quick uneventful trip up the White road into the mountains, learning more of Bren of Dawn along the way. We arrived at Crag town just before dark on the third day.
After Grognak’s masterful negotiations with the Thallish gate guards, we entered the dismal bandit haven. Stopping briefly to ask directions from a seemingly friendly Hobgoblin bounty hunter, by the name of Rodan, we hurried on to our destination only to find the one we were looking for, The Mind, had shut up shop for the evening. We hustled to the nearest Inn to eat, drink and rest.
Beyond the leering Gargoyle watching from the heights above us, an idiosyncratic half orc bartender of diminutive build, Sharing the bar with Rogan and the hookah smoking Thallish merchants, our time at the Inn bar was much like any other time we have gone out. So I will skip that part.
Before dawn the next morning we were up and hustling back to the Red Tower, a small mansion/tower near the west side of Crag town where The Mind lives, some of us still hung over from the night before, I know, big surprise.
What happened at the Red Tower is difficult to describe but I will try.
We were admitted through a series of waiting rooms and into the seer’s chamber. Here we took up positions around the room and waited and watched as Bren offered The Mind the scrap of paper with the geoglyph. Ceremoniously The Mind dropped the parchment into the brazier before him releasing a great plume of dark smoke. Smoke The Mind promptly inhaled in a mighty intake of breath before blowing it out as white smoke, and blowing it into Bren of Dawn’s startled face.
The Mind and the scout locked eyes and stood that way unmoving for close to an hour before they shuddered and broke contact. The seer looked mightily concerned and Bren looked semi confused but none the less ecstatic, proclaiming loudly that he knew where Jhamba was!
Just then the Seer began to shiver and shake motioning for Bren to come closer showing the scout a succession of tiles from his wrist, trying his best to communicate haste and danger, which we should flee from here as soon as possible. Not waiting around we hustled out into the foggy streets of Crag town and began making our way across the dank cityscape. Soon we came to realize we were being followed, then actively hunted.
Thinking quickly we deferred to Bren and he lead us quickly across the city, his innate sense of direction and seeming experience at loosing tails helping us. Slipping into and out of sleeping people’s homes without them even knowing , creeping down back alleys and hustling over walls we made it most of the way without conflict.
But clash with our pursuers we did, Other-Blooded men, seemingly determined to end our lives. Brief, lightning quick and brutal skirmishes ensued in the foggy streets. Leaving them dead or fleeing and us wounded and harried to one of the lesser gates of Crag town, which of course, was inch thick steel and locked with a master crafted lock. Grognak handily defeated gate by turning hazy and walking through the steel door, remembering to reach back and unlock it for the rest of us. Off into the wilderness and the mountains following Bren, who in turn was following some kind of embedded magical path in his head towards the location identified by the Thallish geoglyph.
Another three colds days later we found ourselves entering a valley north of Crag town. This shallow valley obviously created by the eons of runoff from the lands waterfalls, as huge boulder fields barred our direct path across. Rocks of all shapes and sized deposited here by he raging waters of the winter storms ripping through this valley, possible submerging the entirety of it during the winter months but here and now only a good sized stream flowing in and out from under the rock field before us. We had made great care to take notice if we were being followed. To the best of our abilities, and those abilities are pretty awesome, we were pretty sure no one was following us. Whoever had tried to take us down in Crag town, it seems had no interest in following us this way.
As the sun set, halfway across this landscape we discovered not only the location identified by the geoglyph, a good sized hill with a cave entrance, but we also found a good sized band of Ogres camped out on the other side of it. Deciding quickly to allow Bren to do his thing, we settled in to rest as he scouted the area silent as a shadow over ice. He reconnoitered the area and returned to give us a detailed description of the area and the band of Ogres. Deciding that rescuing Jhamba was of paramount importance, Bren sensing that time was running out, we decided to sneak across the rock field together and into the cave, leaving the ogres well alone, until later 🙂
But we made it only to within easy sight of the cave mouth before magical fire sprouted from nearby rocks. Instantly we hunkered down and went silent and still. More fire and mocking laughter ensued in various parts of the area by the cave entrance and before us but not harming us. It was apparent there were at least two foes out there in the darkness mocking us, perhaps invisible.
Then a glacially cold cone of magical energy came crashing down upon our hiding spot, revealing the flying blue skinned ogre magi directly above us and revealing us.
As usual all hell broke loose then. Fighting the three magi and their ground bound brethren was a hard won battle that almost cost us Grognak but in the end we survived, barely. All the Ogres slain and two of the Magi sent back to hell, the third escaping into the night sky.
Assessing the situation we decided to hustle forward into the cave. Within we found a spacious chamber with, now defaced, magical glyphs covering its walls and a well-like opening at its center. Excitable Bren, said his fare well and gave his thanks, leaping into action roping himself off and dropping into the well after his friend, rappelling down, down down. Until he ran out of rope, high above the floor of a magnificent cavern.
After a bout of loud swearing Bren returned, climbing red faced back up moments later to find us still standing there amused. We tied our ropes together and as a group roped down into the cavern.
Standing by in awe at the sight before us, we speculated on the nature of this structure for awhile before assessing our situation as a whole and deciding that we were still combat effective and to enter and give it a quick look see inside. Immediately by the entrance we found a warning sign that read in an ancient Tein Ming (Can’t remember who deciphered it?) No Transportation Magics or Dimensional effects were to be taken or cast in the place beyond.
After explaining the vagaries of dimensional magic to Bren, he scurried off to hide his trusty back pack of holding before coming back to lead us into this strange place.
We passed through a strange roundish portal below the warning sign, it looked as if beyond there was more cavern, but upon passing through it we found it an illusion, for we were in some kind of abandoned entry chamber, a place meant long ago to impress visitors, but now aged and neglected for who knows how long. There was a now dry reflecting pool, its bottom now stained by rust and mold that dominated the center of the chamber. A tall, circular brass door, closed with a masterful locking mechanism at its center, stood at the end of a short recessed entryway with marble floors just beyond the pool. Two statues, life sized female wizards, flanked the door, difficult to see at first because they themselves stood recessed in alcoves to either side of the fine brass portal, which was the only thing in the room that seemed to shine like it did when it was first made.
A smaller iron door, noticeably devoid of rust, propped open by a short wooden block, stood to our left. Bren hurried forward to head Hrothgard off before the door, stopping him in time to let Bren search the area for tracks as well as traps.
Skilled Bren found one of those. Tracks, a group of (six) people traveled this way relatively recently (within a time period to suggest it could certainly have been Jhamba’s group. a roll of 20 goes along way here:) )
Beyond that door we came into a good sized “holding area”. Along the left hand wall a row of three, ten by ten cages, with iron bars stretching from floor to low ceiling, bars that seemed to shimmer in the dim light coming from old glow globes along the walls. A large semi rotting table to our right took up most of the rest of the room. Ahead another well crafted door, with a stair case leading up to the right of that door.
Sneaking into the room, Bren and Stern went to check the door, Grognak standing back ready looking at both the door way and up the stairs, while Hrothgard and Grey went a bit up the stairs. Grey stopping within sight of Grognak and Hrothgard continuing up the stairs to the room above. Everyone keeping eye contact until Hroth stepped into the room above.
What happened to Hrothgard is only open to speculation at his point but some of the facts are:
Hrothgard entered the smallish room. Within he found a double row of padded benches facing a floor to ceiling glass wall. Across from where he enter was the opening of another staircase leading downwards. Creeping into the room for a better look. Hrothgard saw into the room below through the glass wall.
Below was a large room, with a marble dais at its center, upon that dais a (surgical table/alter). Directly below the window a large multi colored sphere sat in an ornate stand like one of those huge globes in a captains quarters. On the left and right sides of the room there were large well-crafted doors, made of Iron like the others you had seen so far. His eyes were drawn to a huge glowing Glyph taking the entirety of the wall across from him beyond the dais and above another huge, round brass door, much like that back in the entryway.
Just then apparently a ghostly old man appeared and spoke some troubling words to startled Hrothgard, who was stunned speechless.
When Hrothgard refused to back into the stairway at Grey’s call, Grey skittered up the stairs and stopped at the threshold to the room, the sight of a stricken Hrothgard, halting him in his tracks. While Grey was trying to communicate with Hrothgard about what happened, Bren and stern breached the door in the room below, causing the entire structure to reverberate with the unearthly sounds of steel on stone, a trap?
In the room above Hrothgard and Grey saw 8ft tall automatons of Iron with floating skull like heads, also made of Iron, which drifted above them as if connected as they came forward. They came marching through the right hand door of the observation room and across to the left door which opened magically at their sinister approach. These strange guardians had not hands, but in their place, mirror shining spheres of Mithril the size of bowling balls, that constantly spun in their sockets with a metallic whirling sound. Hurriedly deducing the route of the terrifying automatons Grey called urgently down to Stern, Grognak and Bren to hustle up stairs and prepare to make a stand.
What happens next would probably have been funny without the looming threat of the marching automatons. As Grognak, then stern, then Bren began to ascend the stairs an ancient, half broken trap triggered.
Simultaneously each step gave a rusty groan and tilted in place, so that the staircase became more like a ramp to tumble the guys backwards towards the spike lined pit that opened at the bottom of the stairs. At the top of the stairs, above Grey’s head the ceiling dropped down at an angle. Now we guess that originally the chute at the top of the stairs was filled with flammable oil to heighten the effect of the stairs-turned-ramp and drop the unlucky into the spike pit below. Upon further instepction, later we also found that there were immense blades that would have sliced through the pit below obliterating everyone within.
Though happily our people have more luck than most, Grognak easily steadying himself on the stairs, Stern bulled his way up and Bren almost took the plunge into the pit saved by Sterns prodigious strength.
Up into the room we scurried, taking up positions and preparing for a hell of a fight. A fight that never happened. We heard the automatons reach the room below, March around it for a moment then began tracing their way back to their resting spots. The lower doors magically closing behind them.
After a brief discussion and speculation session, we sent Bren down the other stairs from the observation room to recon that way. At the bottom of the stairs he found another well crafted unlocked Iron door that he silently swung open and almost died of fright as he looked across the hall the door opened into at the sight of four more of these strange floating skull headed constructs seemingly resting in alcoves along the wall opposite him, one directly across from him, Silent but menacing.
When they did not instantly leap to attack, and after soaking up as much information about the area beyond the door he could without going into the hall, Bren switched with Grognak, hoping that Grognak may be able to sue his arcane abilities to glean some kind of information about the automatons. After a few moments a stymied Grognak returned unable to discern anything useful about these constructs.
More discussion and speculation ensued. Deducing that the lower door somehow set off a signal that “woke up” the iron guardians. We constructed a plan to open the door to “wake” them again, using a rope and grappling hook to keep the door open when the golems leave again after finding nothing, with us safely ensconced in the room above.
So like the professionals we are we set our plan into motion with Bren heading down to the door with stern, Hroth at the bottom of the stairs Grognak at the top with Grey in the Observation room. Stern and Bren to tie the door open using rope and the cage bars nearest the door, Hrothgard to relay to Grog, grog to relay to Grey who along with Grog were to watch and count out the time from door open to golems reaching the room below. This was some fine ass classic Zelda problem solving! Took up a shit load of game time but was cool we came up with it…a lot of the credit goes to Stern, but pretty much everyone contributed some detail to the plan…which, did not go quite as planned.
So Bren got the door open again setting off the signal to the automatons. Stern gave Bren one end of the rope to tie off the door while Stern tied the other end to the bars. Only when he went to tie the rope to the bars the bars dissolved as the illusion of floor to ceiling cages faded from view and a monstrous glowing green giant spider was revealed and attacked.
Like the courageous heroes they are Bren and Stern sprang into combat, hacking the poisonous spider to pieces in moments, only to have it burst in a sparkly puff of green smoke and reappear as two identical spiders.(honestly the look on shayn’s face was priceless!!) The pitched battle that ensued is difficult to describe but each spider that they killed returned as two more. Hrothgard made his bad ass presence known, and proportionally increased the spider’s ranks! 🙂 Bren, Hroth, and Stern with the Iron guardians’ inevitable approach were forced to withdrawn from the room fighting backwards up the stairs. Though a quick thinking Stern managed to save the operation by taking a moment to wedge the end of a grappling hook into the space between the door frame and the door on the hinge side ensuring that the door would remain open. By the time the guys were halfway up the stairs I think the spider total was in the low thirties (?) before the last of the vicious bastards was dispatched.
Safely up in the observation room we waited and listened to the skull faced Iron guardians fan out into the room below, then turn and begin their trek back to their resting points. After watching the golems pass through the room below and hearing the sounds of their march cease we, believing the golems were all gone, resting in their not too distant alcoves, we headed back down to the room below, nervous laughs about the spider incident echoing in the quiet room.
Beyond the propped open door we found another smaller room with a short dark hall leading from it opposite the door we entered.
Creeping, Bren first, through this room and down the short hall which turned to the right we were confronted with another set of options on how to proceed, a well-crafted hallway beyond another Iron door to the far left and a strange “melted” looking crevasse in the near left hand wall that seemingly would lead us in the direction of the strange room with the dais and multi colored sphere.
Bren went first into dark crevasse, his bow lighting the way with flickering fire light. He stopped just inside the entrance sensing the approach of something menacing. He fell back to us at the mouth of the short hall and we all fell back to the other side of the hall letting whatever it was come at us through the confining space.
A black, amorphous blob piled up on itself, a quivering mound of midnight sludge that glistened darkly before surging forward down the hall towards us. Grognak bravely stepped forth and supremely confident called forth fire from the very stones beneath the deadly black pudding. His arcane flames sizzle and pop, causing the acidic creature to bubble and boil but undeterred it surged forth like a wave around rocks engulfing Grognak’s legs and staring to climb(Death of Tasha Yar anybody?) beginning to slowly dissolve our pet wizard. The rest of us through ourselves into the fight quickly beating it down, causing it too to split into two identical creatures and attack. In a frenzy we attacked them until they dissolved into thin pools of soupy slightly acidic goo.
With loud sighs of relief we carried on back down the hall towards the crevasse and into another small room with a few rotten pieces of wooden furniture and two wooden chests, one empty one with some treasure.
And here we stopped.