Sludge Skating

Standing on the rocky bank of the slude river, Nat keeps insisting that our destination is down below the sludge. But there’s no way we can go swimming in it, and there are no paths around it. Dalish even burns the toe of his boot to make sure. Exhausted from the trip down here and the fight with the oozes above, we decide to take a short rest and heal up a bit.

Afterwards, Dalish wants to try flying out to scout the river. So, I tie a rope around him in case of disaster, and he heads out. Eventually, we have to add another rope to let him go a bit further. When he gets back, he reports some silver snakes on the wall, and other iconography worked int the stone. There’s a bit of a bulge in the water that followed him, but doesn’t attack, and went away when he got back to shore.

Then the random attacking begins. Remy shoots the river, nothing. Someone tries a tiny spark, but it doesn’t light the sludge. A flamebolt simply burns a tiny bit. Gerhard tosses out a Ray of Frost, and a section freezes solid. Success! This seems like the way forward. But that doesn’t stop the rest of them. They toss out more and more elements, while I fume in frustration. Clearly Frost Works!

As this winds down we discuss Gerhard using Wall of Force in case of emergency, but otherwise, we’ve got a pretty solid plan. The three folk with Ray of Frost will make a bit enough path for us all to walk down the river together. It’ll melt behind us, but if we move fast enough, it should be fine. It’s slow going, but it does work. When we reach the snakes, the studious ones try and study them for a moment, but they’re just shiny snakes telling us we’re going the right way.

The sludge river narrows as the stone around us becomes more and more worked. More of the pattern survives here, showing the mountain above us and six god figures blowing ice over it and a snake deep within guarding a black blob. Well, that seems pretty straight forward, if dramatic.

Eventually, we get to a huge cavern of worked stone with a temple in the middle. This place is filled with stalagtites and stalagmites, but in the center is a worked temple area where the sludge is erupting from. There is a massive silver serpent statue overlooking a recently destroyed fountain. The fountain is the source. It seems our friends may have been the ones to cause this damage and the river of sludge.

Dalish and Remy discuss digging a hole beside the fountain, but we don’t know how deep or how to dig through solid stone. I point out the Snake, and Dalish and Nat take a look. Someone has cut bits off it, and recently, too. It used to have large jeweled eyes and fangs. What about Dimension Door? We’re not sure where we’re going. What about freezing the flow? Well, okay, but then what? Nat sends her arcane eye down the sludge, and about 40 feet down is a small cavern that leads to a large cavern where the other group is encased.

Dalish wants to go down with Klyce to investigate, but Klyce doesn’t want to be touching the sludge, so he asks me to levitate him. It take way more tries that it out to, but I manage it. I Hate This Place! The cavern shakes and rumbles and the sludge starts geysering out of the hole. Nat says she can see a huge monster down there and our friends are actually encased in its body, lets her eye drop and manages to cast control water to split the stream enough for the rest of us to climb down a revealed ladder.

Dalish puts up a fog cloud and makes the rest of us pretty useless for a bit, but when it drops, it’s clear that the monster has been putting our friends in the way of our attacks. It also has managed to grab a few of us, as well. It’s a rough fight, and I hardly manage to do much of anything, but eventually we put it down. I’m not sure how, I was unconscious at the time. We do, however, have to bring quite a few of the other group back from the grave in the process.

Once everyone is up and mobile again, we get out of there and head back to the hotel.

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