Sunday, 8 Fireseek, CY 596 (continued)
Investigating the black marble fountain more closely, the party is able to see the water for what it really is – an endless stream of worms magicked to appear as crystal-clear water. So, disaster averted there, at least.
Tyrrell searches the room for traps or secret doors, but finds nothing, and the party decides to investigate another hallway. Leaving the group behind to utilize his ability to see in the dark, Long Fist moves ahead to get an idea of the layout of the area. Straight ahead is another hallway and a couple of corpses just at the edge of his sight. To his left is another hallway, shifting from worked stone to rough existing cavern walls. The rest of the group can hear, coming from that direction, a delicate sloshing sound like an ocean of goo gently lapping against a shore. Long Fist moves ahead to get a better look at the corpse hallway. Within the chamber ahead are the perfectly preserved corpses of 2,000-year-old Kuluth Mar citizens. The worms covering the floor stop at the edge of the room. Long Fist picks up one of the worms on the ground and throws it towards the chamber of the dead. When it hits the edge of the room it turns to mush and splats on the floor.
Obviously the next course of action is that Riddle uses control winds to sweep vast amounts of worms towards the chamber, and the party ends up with a nice huge lake of goo at the edge of the chamber to show for it. After three or four minutes, more worms come creeping around the corner from the un-searched hallway to the left.
The party examines the barrier and Scar-Eater determines there is a modified version of gentle repose on the chamber, which explains the preservation, but not the effect that the spell has on the living green worms. Jane suggests the corpses were being preserved for future necromantic experiments that never happened. Certainly the magic required for a room like this is beyond the party’s grasp at the moment.
Riddle suggests raising one of the dead with the Staff of Life for questioning, but Jane wonders whether it is moral to raise someone who died two thousand years ago just to answer their questions. Tyrrell wonders what they are going to do with this person once raised — are they then responsible for feeding and protecting them and won’t that be a bit of a problem down here? Riddle suggests they ask the questions first and decide what to do with them after, to which Jane strongly objects, arguing they do not have the right to decide whether someone they raise gets to keep living afterward or not. Won’t a simple speak with dead achieve the same purpose?
Riddle decides the question with an awkwardly-phrased divination that tells him that none of these innocent souls have the information about Kyuss that the party seeks.
Beyond this chamber is another exactly like it, except with a hallway leading off to the left. The hallway ends in a door, but before the door is another hall to the left, leading towards the goo-sloshing-sounding room. Tyrrell makes a couple of sloppy checks around the door, and hears some male muttering inside. It is in a language he can’t understand. Riddle moves forward to listen, and hears a voice saying, in the Abyssal tongue, “There must be a way…there must be a way…I must keep looking. There must be a way.”
The party brushes up on their knowledge of demons, who are known to speak Abyssal and prepares for a fight. Beyond the door is a massive nest, curved troughs through mounds of fabric. Within is a giant ten-foot-long segmented worm with a human head, crazy black hair, and an assortment of scrolls and books surrounding him. It makes no move to attack, so Riddle addresses the creature with a “Hello.”
“Welcome,” the thing replies. “Has the war been won?”
“Yes,” Riddle replies, and why not.
“I am still trapped here,” it notes.
Riddle says, “You didn’t finish and fulfill your part of the bargain, did you?”
The thing offers Riddle all of his books for one teleport to anywhere of his choosing that is not harmful to it. Riddle asks for a moment to confer with the rest of the party. They toss around several ideas, including a dismissal and teleporting it into the gentle repose chamber, but decide that Riddle will cast a heal spell into his hand and then touch the creature as if he was going to teleport it. When he tells the creature they will accept the bargain if he answers one question: is this his native plane? The creature replies that it is, but hesitates when Riddle says it must allow him to touch it for the teleport.
The worm blasts Riddle with a ray of negative energy and Riddle touches the creature with the heal spell which, sadly, actually heals it of any damage it might have had. No sooner does the rest of the party join the fight that Tyrrell is devastatingly feebleminded by the very look of the creature. It casts a spell and Archie releases a volley of arrows into it. Riddle touches the creature again in an effort to absorb some knowledge of it before teleporting to safety. Jane sends a column of water into it, pushing it against a wall, and Scar-Eater smashes it with a dispelling touch, causing it to lose the false life spell it placed on itself earlier. Long Fist charges it and deals some more damage to the now-bloodied worm.
Tyrrell, while feeble-minded, still knows stuff about friends and bad guys and flanky-flanks and sneaky-sneaks so he hits the thing he doesn’t like and makes it hurt real bad. The thing, however, is not feeble-minded, and quickly heals itself of all damage. It probably has a moment of smugness before Archie schmacks it back into bloodied territory in, like, less than a second. Riddle nails it with a blade barrier and Jane gives Scar-Eater an extra whap at it with his flail, and he follows that up with a scorching ray that pretty much sets it on fire to death.
Within the creature’s thing the party finds a manual of bodily health and a lot of ancient tomes on the religious and arcane studies of necromancy that are valuable in many ways.
Long Fist, feeling drained of resources, lobbies for another night’s rest, and the group retires to the gentle repose chamber for the night.