Thinking they would be returning to Cabed Mor with a couple of days to rest and debrief Lady Kenyan about the Goblin invasion, they were surprised to return to town only to find it in chaos. Many of the townsfolk had moved outside beyond the new palisade and others were in the process of evacuating. The palisade gates were heavily guarded and, upon their approach, the guards called for Lord Captain Blaylock and Lady Kenyan.
Lady Kenyan met the group outside the palisade and explained that the Lord Captain was overseeing the evacuation of the town and trying to maintain some sense of order and discipline. Lady Kenyan explained that as one of the merchants was clearing their remaining stock from the storage cavern, they discovered a crimson and caustic substance oozing from a seam in the wall. Word of this quickly spread throughout the town and, because of its similarity in color to the monstrosity that had destroyed Telreador, coupled with the coincidental timing, the people quickly began to panic and hysteria swept through the town.
Lady Kenyan explained that her guard resources were strained since she had recently sent some of them to the west to investigate the reports of were-creatures which had attacked some of the hunters over near the river. This, coupled with the hysteria led her to ask the group to investigate the storage room. She explained that her Council had been unable to determine much about the oozing substance except that it was extremely caustic, however it didn’t appear to be affecting the stone around it.
Upon close study, the group noted the seam of a secret door through which the ooze was seeping, and Weyland was able to determine that if dowels were inserted into three small holes at the top of the door it would unlatch. With Reynard’s assistance they whittled down 3 arrows and inserted them into the holes. Unfortunately the pressure on the opposite side of the door forced it open with such force that it slammed into Reynard causing some minor damage. Weyland was nimble enough to escape without damage, however his position was such that the large crimson blob fell directly onto him, giving him some significant caustic burns. He quickly grabbed a nearby torch to attack the creature but that didn’t seem to be as effective as he’d expected, however Higgss’ and Ezmeralda’s magic seemed to do it damage. Kyrani stepped forward to engage it with her new magic sword and between the three attacks they did some significant damage. Once he’d recovered from his initial shock, Reynard joined in the fray while Weyland stepped back to use his ranged weapons for more effectiveness. After a few rounds of battle with both the creature and the party taking damage, the creature shuddered and divided into two smaller creatures.
Now the party needed to divide its attention, unsure of whether each of these 2 opponents were the same strength as the original, or whether it had divided its remaining strength. After a few rounds of combat it appeared that each half of the creature was also half as strong so the battle progressed well for the party. Now with two creatures to battle, however, their forces could not concentrate on only one opponent and one creature was able to quickly move past Kyrani and Reynard to threaten the spellcasters. Consequently Higgs suffered some minor damage from an attack before Reynard could take up a new position and recapture the creature’s attention and quickly dispatch the creature which burst into a bubbling liquid which spread across the floor, apparently losing its caustic properties upon death.
Kyrani and Weyland were still engaged with the other oozing blob and continued to deal it damage. After a few more rounds of combat it attempted to retreat back into the room beyond the door but Weyland finished it off with one final attack, bursting it like its partner and rendering it harmless.
After bracing the secret door open the party looked into the small chamber that had held the creature and found only a small 10 foot square room with another stone door on the opposite wall. When the group moved to examine the door they triggered a spike trap set into the floor and Weyland and Reynard suffered some minor damage. Weyland determined that it took the weight of 2 people to trigger the trap but was unable to disarm it so Reynard quickly left and requisitioned some wooden planks to bridge across the area.
The door was untrapped and led into a medium sized room which was magically illuminated by torches upon their entry. In the center of the room was a with a pool of bubbling red liquid. Surrounding the pool was a stone ring inscribed with symbols, before the pool was a worn stone slab that seemed to be an area to be knelt upon. Higgs, Ezmeralda, and Kyrani attempted to detect magic (arcane and divine) and were overwhelmed by the fact that the entire room had a protective magical “glaze” over all surfaces, keeping it from aging and preserving it in pristine condition. The pool detected as a different sort of magic and, upon further investigation, Higgs was able to determine that it had restorative properties, although it appeared that the properties slowly degraded once the liquid was removed from the pool. Because of the earlier trap, Reynard had also brought back a 10 foot long pole which he used to determine the pool was deeper that he could reach with it.
Ezmeralda decided to examine the ceiling since, as she put it, no one ever looks at the ceiling, only to discover a mural of a battle between Humans and Elves losing a battle with some bipedal feline creatures which Higgs was able to remember vaguely he’d seen a reference to similar creatures called Silent Striders. However, he noted, Silent Striders were only mythological and he’d only seen one reference alluding to their ancient past. Upon additional study the party noted crimson tendrils in the mural’s background. Tendrils like the ones which had destroyed Telreador the year before.
The party exited the room through another stone door opposite the one they’d entered through after finding no traps on or around it and proceeded down a short curved staircase that lay beyond it. Pausing occasionally to check for traps with the pole, the group proceeded by a long passage also illuminated by magical torches which lit as they entered it. At the end of the passage they saw a closed portcullis. Upon approach they Weyland detected that the floor adjacent to it was trapped with a false floor which he as able to trigger and brace open. The pit was only 10 feet deep with a few bones scattered around the floor beneath, apparently of a victim who’d failed to notice the trap. Weyland had noticed that the portcullis was latched so he decided the best move was for Kyrani to lower him into the pit and he would climb out the other side and unlatch the portcullis. In the meantime Reynard went to requisition more planking to bridge the trapped floor.
Once in the pit, however, the bones assembled themselves into a poorly formed skeleton and attempted to attack Weyland who reacted poorly but still avoided taking any damage, easily dispatching it with a single attack. He then climbed out on the portcullis side of the pit as planned as Reynard returned with the planks.