Having vanquished the guard spiders, our heroes continued to explore the rows of cells. One of the hallways eventually opened into what looked like an ancient torture chamber, littered with the rusted tools of the trade. As the party gingerly stepped into the room, unsure of what they would find, Thark began to moan, and then to yell. He burst through the room and down a side hall yelling in distress. Concerned and confused, Queck and Kevin ran after him.
The remainder of the party stayed where they were. There was another cell in the room, and it was occupied by a creature like nothing they had yet encountered. As they approached, it gabbled at them and bit at the iron bars. Unable to understand any of what it was shrieking at them, they followed Thark and Queck.
The short hallway opened out into a room with large a fountain in the middle. Thark was sitting in the fountain, still breathing heavily, with Kevin making soothing bird noises as she butted her head against Thark’s shoulder. Queck was eyeing the water in the fountain curiously. She reached down and brought of handful of water to her mouth. She drank and felt somehow restored. Kevin, intrigued buy her master’s sudden vigor, ducked her beak into the fountain to take a drink.
Nigel filled his flasks with water from the fountain. The others suggested giving some of the water to the creature in the cell. Perhaps it would calm him or make him more intelligible. They trooped back to the torture room, leaving Thark and Queck at the fountain. Nigel approached the creature, offering bread. He poured some water into his hands and attempted to sprinkle it over the creature, but his approach only made it more agitated. They concluded that there was nothing to be learned from this thing, and they might as well just leave it where it is and continue exploring.
They called to Thark and Queck that they were going to move on, but Thark stubbornly refused to re-enter the torture room. Queck told him to close his eyes, and place his hand on her head and she would lead him through the room. Thark agreed. With their barbarian’s eyes tightly shut, the group approached another door at the other end of the torture room. It was locked, but Thark easily shoved it open.
There was nothing beyond but another abandoned torture chamber and long hallway. Queck nudged Thark and told him it was okay to open his eyes now. He hesitantly obeyed, and seeing nothing to trigger his anxieties, began down the hall, the rest following.
The corridor ended at a massive room, with evenly spaced columns and a statue of a woman holding a ranseur in the center. Along one wall ran a now-empty grotto. Close to the statue sat a large crab-like creature. The party immediately readied their weapons and slowly entered the room. Lester, Nigel, and Kevin snuck forward, quiet and stealthy. Queck attempted to follow, but tripped on an uneven bit of ground and tripped, rattling, alerting the crab to their presence. As she fell, she noticed something—a pouch—hanging from one of its legs. Interesting.
The crab turned to face them, and Lester immediately loosed two shots, hitting in square on. Kevin rushed forward to snap at its legs, and it scuttled backwards. It reached a column and began to climb, getting thirty or so feet into the air before pausing. Lester, Knarra, and Kenzo let fly with arrow, acid dart, and shurriken, and Lester’s shot found its mark. The crab tumbles from the column, dead.
Queck rushed forward to snatch the pouch from its prone form. It was full of stones, and something else. Queck dumped the rocks to the floor and pulled from the pouch another bracer exactly like the one she’d taken from the mite king. She pulled out the original bracer and immediately tried them on. Oddly enough they fit, perfectly.
Fitted with her shiny new armor, Queck explored the room. She called to the others from the grotto—there was a secret passage! The rest of the party hurried over and began to make their way down the passage. It ended quickly enough, and at the other end—six skeletons. The creatures lunge fro Queck, but miss. Trapped in the narrow passage with no way to attack, Lester, Knarra, and Kenzo backed up until they were once again in the grotto. Queck struck a skeleton with her sickle and then began to retreat down the passage, followed by Thark, who joined the others in the grotto.
The skeletons moved into the passage, savagely attacking Queck and Kevin. The two beat a hasty retreat back to the rest of the party, followed by the skeletons. Kenzo moved forward so that he and Thark could take down the skeletons one by one as they entered.
Thark smashed, Kenzo pummeled, and the skeletons went down. The rest of the party looked on. Lester, in an attempt to strike fear into the skeletons’ bones, summoned the ghostly sound of the cleric praying. Knarra, Queck, and Nigel let loose darts and sling bullets, but missed. Thark, almost lazily, continued to strike down each skeleton as it came down the passage. Eventually the rest of the group realized it was best to let him handle it. With a final roar and smash, Thark crushed the final skeleton into powder.
They headed back down the passage, and through a door in the skeleton room to another passage way that lead, eventually, to a large kitchen. There were ovens against one wall, and other kitchen accouterments along the others.
Nigel approached one of the ovens, and tossed a lit torch into it. There came a crackling sound and pained scrabbling. As it died down, Nigel peered into the oven. It was full of dead and dying centipedes, set on fire by his torch. He hurriedly threw a second torch into the other oven, and again there came crackling and scratching. Gross.
Finding nothing more of interest in the kitchen, they head back the way they came, eventually returning to the barracks where there had been another passage. They head downstairs.
The stairs end at another hallway leading to a large room. The floor is covered in slime, and sitting, as in wait, is giant slug-like creature.
Lester cast daze at the thing, but it failed. The slug oozed forward and slimed Thark. He shrieks as its acid begins to eat through his skin.
Nigel aimed a crossbow bolt at it and it hits. Knarra searched her vast store of knowledge for any information on this creature, and informed the group that it is a slug from hell.
Kevin moved forward to bite the hated creature, and Queck summoned a hyena to join the fight. Knarra hit it with a burning hands spell but did no damage.
Thark raged. He began howling in a strange language and as his howls increased in volume and cadence, an eerie presence began to coalesce around him.
Having no time to figure out what the hell was going on, the party continued to attack. Lester hit it twice with arrows and it emitted a squelching yowl. It dived again for Thark and nearly swallowed him whole. He staggered. Nigel shouted and pushed forward, attempting to pass some of the healing water from the fountain to Thark. As he moved, the slug attacked and Nigel was lain low. Thark grabbed the water, chugged it, and regained his footing.
Queck cast a spell to cure Thark’s wounds. Kevin darted forward and landed one final blow on the creepy slug. It gurgled, and died.
Exhausted, they retreated back to the kitchen to bake cakes and recuperate.