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.

Rescue Party

The minotaur goat monster resists all my spells, but between Remy’s shooting, Klyce turning into a giant ape, and some other folk getting through with their spells, we manage to put him down. Klyce rips the shard out of his forehead. When Nat puts the two shards together, they vibrate, but don’t quite match each other. The new on gives the same visions as the first, but the ones we have found no longer appear. The glacier still does, though, which is upsetting.

Then everyone gets obsessed with the hole the monster came out of. It’s covered in mucus and there’s a pool of it in the bottom. So gross! Nat climbs down on a rope. The liquid rusts her crowbar immediately, and burns her hand. I insist Klyce pull her back up immediately before she jumps in. So, instead, she sends an arcane eye down and moves it around until she finds something, then goes down to grab it. As soon as she’s up, I teleport everyone back home before she can go back down again.

Upon arrival, the guys look at what she found, and discover it’s a stone so soaked in the acid that it now can absorb acid damage to the user. We take a rest and I try to send to Locke in the morning. Still no response. Nat tries scrying on them while the rest of us discuss if we should go find them or go find the last known shard first. She is able to find them under the glacier down south. The whole cave is full of viscous tarry muck. In a small circular chamber, she can see Shelly suspended, encased in yellow/black hard mucus.

Well, that seems bad enough, we’ve got to get down there as soon as possible. They aren’t dead, but who knows for how long. So, we head out to the shops and get cold weather gear and food for the journey. Nat has scryed, so she can teleport us down, but from there, we don’t know how long or how cold it will be.

We head down and are immediately assaulted by sleet, hail, cold and wet. I toss up some weather control to put the worse away from us. Nat pulls out the mirror bits and leads us on, down into a steep crevice to the bottom. It is covered in an oily layer that burns my staff end. Klyce reminds us we have climbing gear and boot spikes, so we put those on and keep following our path.

The ice closes over our heads, and folk throw up their lights. We trek for hours down these icy, oily caves. Until it finally opened up into a small cave coated on every surface with this acidic oil. It’s thicker here, and seems to be flowing back up the way we came.

Then eight goopy, black masses drop from the ceiling and begin attacking us, melting off Nat’s clothes again. I manage a thunderstep away from the one attacking me. But my lighting again is useless, and I can’t manage to cast anything offensive. I do manage some healing spells for folk. Klyce manages to finish off the last one, and we hurry out of there.

Into a much bigger cavern with some worked steps and a dias. We are looking over a full on river of sludge this time. It’s a bit warmer down this far, and Nat says it looks familiar.