Though skeptical, the party exchanged information with the trolls who explained they’d come up into these caves from a deep pool in an adjoining chamber. The trolls had never been to the surface world and were indifferent to offers of escape from the cave. They discovered cave worms here and were fattening them up on bugs before perhaps taking them back down the pool.
The trolls warned of giant scorpions near the pool, though the scorpions will not enter the pool and typically shy away from the trolls. They lamented the loss of their friend who climbed a 10-foot wall of irregular boulders and turned to stone himself.
Discounting the scorpions, the party agreed to investigate whatever lay beyond the wall, wary of likely gaze attacks turning them to stone. Ferris scrambled up the wall of loose stone with a mirror. Through the reflection he counted five basilisks shuffling around near a stagnant pool.
Attacking the Basilisks
Ghevont outlined a plan involving invisibility, silence and mirrors. Between them, they had four mirrors. With spells for silence and invisibility, he hoped to surprise the basilisks who might see their own reflections and thus turn to stone. Ghevont, Aderian and Pippen took up mirrors. Azrak agreed to fight but only with eyes closed. They crawled over the wall and jumped down among the reptilian monsters. With the invisibility extinguished, only one of the monsters were surprised and it narrowly avoided looking in the mirror.
Claws rended and jaws snapped at the fighters who kept their eyes pointed at mirrors. Pippen eagerly stabbed his magic goggler dagger, but could not avoid taking on his own wounds. A moment arrived when Ghevont shouted for him to retreat, but not wanting to turn, he fought on. Presently, his basilisk foe crunched down on this left thigh, severing it as blood gushed into a widening pool.
A moment later, Ghevont dropped his weapon and leaped on the back of the basilisk, shoving his mirror it its face. Instantly the beast stiffened into a statue with Pippen’s leg still hanging from its mouth.
Four basilisks lay butchered along with the newly-created statue and the lifeless body of Pippen. Ferris jumped down and grabbed Pippen’s excellent dagger.
They searched for some time in the basilisk nest and found nothing of value, even in the shallow, stagnant pool.
Rust Monsters in a Box
Across the chamber, Ferris climbed up another wall to find an elven sarcophagus. Using his headress of Ghot, he read inscriptions about the superiority of silver over iron. He also noted a green glow coming from a passage.
Ghevont approached the box and pushed the top off where it clanged loudly. Inside were two rust monsters who were surprised to be animate. Instantly Tienarth fired magic missiles and Ferris dropped burning oil into the box. Aderian followed. The rust monsters were promptly burned up.
Taking another look towards the green glow, they recognized another glowing half-orb and a black pudding beyond. They rained down flasks of burning oil, one shattering the glowing orb. Presently, the horror was destroyed.
They took note of a mural on the cave wall of an elf warrior fighting a white dragon. They turned from an exiting passage to return to the sarcophagus room which offered another passage out.
Flanked by a Black Pudding
This passage forked, each way ending in an elf grave. Before one, a large black pool blocked progress. Aderian and Ferris approached the other and were set upon by two displacer beasts. They retreated to keep the party together for the fight. Suddenly, the black pool from the side passage slimed forward. It was another black pudding.
Tienarth let loose a lightning bolt that merely split the pudding. Blows were traded with the displacers as the pudding advanced. It reached out a sticky column of goo that burned Tienarth who pulled away and fled. The displacers were put down and the rest retreated to the wall. Ghevont also was struck by a pudding as he backed away.
Once again, they hurled flaming oil at the slowly approach pudding. As it got close, they climbed down the one wall and up the next. The pudding moved up the wall and to the ceiling to avoid patches of misplaced burning oil. It grabbed and absorbed Pippen’s body as it went over the wall and towards the trolls.
Recognizing the danger, the trolls took up burning mushroom logs and made to advance, but Ferris landing a perfectly-placed strike on the of the pudding now above water in the stream. It expired and slipped down the stream towards the scorpion lair.
Retreat to the Surface
Badly hurt, the party stepped past the dead hydra and into the fading light of dusk. They tended to wounds and made camp. The next day, Ghevont offered healing. They considered a second incursion over a cold breakfast.
- Treasure: none
- Characters present: Tienarth/Tre, Ghevont/Jeff, Aderian/Jason, Ferris/Henry, Azrak/Nick, Pippen/Michael
- Virtues: none
- Vices: none