Assessing the Damage
The two fallen companions were laid out with care by the party who soon assessed the situation. Each of the survivors felt the sting of oozing cuts. They knew another battle might be their last. Ghevont produced healing salve and waved his magical staff of healing. Strength began to return.
Meanwhile, Ferris reasoned aloud that the level of the water in the tunnels below would soon recede with the tide. He pointed to the general lack of barnacles on the temple walls above the water line. Ghevont questioned how well a common rogue might understand the magic of the tides, but the three pirates confirmed his basic understanding.
Despite some warning of the plan being unwise, Ghevont suggested a quick exploration of adjoining chambers. He sent the three pirates to the room to the west while he and Azrak peered into the room to the east. “Splitting the party!” lamented Tienarth, who stayed behind.
Peering into the eastern chamber, light shown down through the open roof on two iron statues of lizardfolk in alien poses. Between them crouched a stone statue of a hideous monster with bat wings, webbed feet and a pointing nose. The moment that Azrak called out movement, the figure leaped into the air to attack. It was a kopoacinth, the so-called aquatic gargoyle.
Savagely, the beast slashed and bit at Ghevont. The rest of the party ran to his aid. The two spellcasters were already nearly depleted of mana. The fighting men did their best, knowing that only magical weapons might harm the monster. Geliz the pirate wrapped his arms around its waist, then lost his grip as the gargoyle pounced upon his companion, Enel. He gurgled a stifled cry as the gargoyle tore into his throat. Moments later, enough blows rained down on the stone foe to render it senseless.
A Proper Rest
Realizing the careless risks of pressing on, the party made camp in the large room with the mural of many temples along a river cutting through a jungle. No threats disturbed their rest and a few hours before sunrise, the spellcasters were once again recharged. Fresh healing commenced soon after.
More Conversation with a Jellyfish
Noting that the water level had fallen dramatically, the party returned to the room with the jellyfish. Azrak resumed his senseless series of questions of the animal using his magical ring. The dull sea creature, languishing in only a foot of water, dutifully answered a number of binary queries, producing a confusing picture of its hulking body perhaps hiding a crack beneath it.
Meanwhile, Tienarth noticed a thin line in the wall that turned out to be a secret door. Beyond was a room painted blood red. The water from the jellyfish room rushed into the formerly dry room. Additional searching revealed a small cupboard, inside of which were four vials of black liquid and a kris.
Ghevont stowed the vials. Tienarth took up the blade and swung it about to measure its effectiveness. Immediately he knew it was cursed. To confirm, he attempted to toss the blade down only to find it jump back into his hand. The curse was confirmed. Optimistically, Tienarth announced that it was best for the curse to land on his mostly incapable hands where it would have the least effect.
Frustrated with the situation and especially the jellyfish, Ghevont pounded the life from it and pushed the mush flesh aside. There he proved the lie of the jellyfish. No large crack was hidden by it’s now lifeless body. The pointlessness of looking beneath a transparent blob for a man-sized crack floated past them like flatulence let loose when alone.
Next, they returned to the chamber that they formerly found too deeply flooded to explore. Now it was approachable, and Ferris dared to dive into the chamber for there was a bit of light from above. Presently, two shadows descended upon him. One touched him as he scrambled from the water, draining a small measure of strength. It was not long before Azrak cut both shadows down. The party was relieved.
Ferris and Tienarth dove back into the water and then climbed stairs wrapping around the inside of a 30-foot cylinder. They guessed they were inside one of the towers they’d seen. They reached the top of the stairs to find empty space where a wooden platform had been before rotting away. Dawn shown through a large window.
Retreating down the stairs, Tienarth noticed another secret door, through which a dark passage stretched. He and Ferris crept down towards a glimmer of light only to be faced with more fishmen guarding several chests! The two companions turned and sprinted back to the flooded chamber, diving head first and swimming back to the stairs. They heard the squishy feet pursuing.
Fire on the Fishmen
Expecting the fishmen, the entire party returned to the mural room, flaming oil in hand. The moment the ugly fish faces appeared, they let loose those fiery missiles, burning up one fishman on the spot. Two more were splashed with fire then charged up the stairs. Azrak quickly cut them down.
Meanwhile, more fishmen were circling around. Just as the two who’d come up the stairs were dropped, a larger leader appeared from behind with two more guards. A few mighty blows were landed but ultimately all the fishmen were killed.