Having rested some eight hours, I awoke to find Aiden cleaning his weapons and Lillian sitting cross-legged in an apparent meditative state. The others still slept in their cots laying about the room. I studied my spellbook for a time and sitting down beside Aiden began to inspect my own weapons.
Continuing to clean his already gleaming shortsword, he asked me how my bruises were. We had both been knocked unconscious from the padded arrows. “It brings me only slight discomfort to move about,” I said offhanded. Continuing on I asked him, “Should we not place Runyasar and Scrawl’s platinum pieces into a fund for the group till they return? In this way, we all get equal shares. And if their is any extra loot we can do the same thing.” I had been meaning to ask him since yesterday and now seemed a good time to do so. “I think that is the right course.” It was good to hear him say that. Sometimes when people start getting loot they tend to think of things as finders keepers. But I think the fairest way to do things is to do it diplomatically. Divide out coins and share around the other loot giving items to whomever needs them most or for whomever it is most appropriate.
The others were soon stirring and after gathering our supplies and eating a bite, we headed out of the room. Back in the room with the still inactive golem, we decided to head down the stairs, with Milo taking the lead. He proceeded down the stairs, checking for traps and just being careful in general. We came to a room from which all the first story stairs descended into. That room led to a circular room with a central pillar. From this room three passages branched outward. One straight ahead, one left, and one to the right. Picking the passage straight ahead we turned a short corner and found a small drinking fountain with pure and clear water. An inscription told us to drink and be refreshed. We did and it, not surprisingly, felt refreshing. This might prove useful later.
We continued on and decided to take the passage to the left. As we entered the passageway we descended slightly downward and began trudging through about one foot of water. The path corridor split in two and we decided to take the left route. Milo however soon found he could go no further as the water reached three feet which was too high for our 3 foot 1 inch friend. He stayed behind as we moved on a bit further to a door. It was soaked and bulged out slightly. We decided to leave it alone for the time being and went down the other passage. It was only a foot deep there.
Approaching the room we noticed a blue fungus, called Azure Fungus, covering most of the room and several corpses floating in the water. Myself and a few others who knew something of such things recognized this enough to know it produced an electric current. We also knew that it could be rendered inert by cold. So I cast my Ray of Frost Cantrip across the room and we moved safely through it, unlike the three rats and particularly large frog floating in the water. We came to another passageway and turned to the right. We trekked through the water and into a decently large room. Aiden, Bob, and Milo fanned out into the room while Elf and I moved behind them taking position against the nearby wall. Lillian took charge of guarding our rear. Aiden suddenly jumped back noticing that in some spots the floor dropped away under the water. There were two pits in the middle of the room, restricting movement to a single five foot walkway down the middle of the room to get to the other side. Bob took the lead while Aiden followed with Milo behind him.
As they moved, six skeletons rose up out of the water. In front of Bob were four and the other two rose up beside Elf. Aiden instinctively threw his mace at the first one he saw shattering its skull at which point it collapsed into the water. The skeletons nearest Bob swung at him unsuccessfully while Elf fended off one of the skeletons attacking him. I cast a Disrupt Undead spell but in my haste I struck Elf instead. Luckily, Elf isn’t undead. Milo lunged at one of the skeletons but missed. Lillian tried to get between Elf and the skeletons but the pressed her back too much.
Aiden worked to help Bob who was struggling with a nearby skeleton. Meanwhile, another one struck him on his side with its scimitar. He cried out but continued to fight the skeletons. I cast Disrupt Undead once more this time at the skeleton trying to flank Aiden. It struck and the monster faltered but did not fall. Elf tried to push a skeleton off into the pit but fumbled and nearly lost his quarterstaff in the process. Lillian relieved some of Elf’s pressure as she struck one of the skeletons down with a vicious slash.
Bob meanwhile also sliced one of the skeletons, cutting it in half. However, the other skeleton gave him a tremendous gash in his leg at which point he stumbled back. Milo caught him and courageously, if somewhat strangely, stepped up to defend him. Aden cut down the skeleton he was facing and Elf used an elemental attack to destroy the fifth skeleton. Milo struck the last one, severing some of its ribs but it swung back but missed over the halfling’s head. Lillian finished off the last one and Milo kicked it for good measure.
Aiden and Lillian rushed over and lifted Bob up as he groaned and held his wounds. They hurried him to the fountain where he was able to drink and within just a few moments was standing before us, his wounds mostly healed over. He leaned on his previously wounded leg and bounced on it. “It still stings a bit,” he said but otherwise he seemed fine.
With the insistence of Elf, we returned to the room with the three foot water and tied the rope on the handle and tugged. With all of us tugging, the bulging door gave way and we immediately heard the croaking of frogs. It was particularly loud croaking. A few of us turned and looked over at the rather large body of the dead frog nearby. It was nearly as large as an average sized human.
As we gathered ourselves considering what we should do, one of the beasts rounded the corner and struck out at Bob with its tongue, grappling him. Aiden slashed at the frog’s tongue causing it to release Bob. Myself, Lillian, and Elf headed for the other door so that we could flank them. Another frog rounded the corner and this time tried to bite at Aiden but missed. Trudging through the thigh deep water, I reached the door first and tried to pull back on it but had no luck. Lillian coming up behind me reached for the knob and pulled, finally managing to open the door. I should like to mention that the door did creak as I tugged on it and so I must have simply loosened it so that she could open it.
She entered the room followed by myself and Elf. The stagnant water reeked of rotten flesh. In the corner we could see a cowering frog, blood dripping from its mouth. It was the frog Aiden had just struck in the corridor, at which point it ran back into the room from which it came; the room we were now in. We could hear a loud wretched croaking sound coming from the corridor. The others must have slain one of the other frogs. Just two left now. The wounded frog, knowing it was trapped, bounded for us. A second croak from the corridor signaled the death of another frog. Crossbows in hand, I let fly two bolts. The first struck the moving frog, piercing it in the throat. The other bolt missed but it mattered little for the creature was dead.
Looking around the room, Elf found the creatures’ nest and called over to us, as Aiden and Bob walked into the room with Milo staying behind in the other room. Within the nest, he found the decaying body of what used to be a human. On his finger we found a ring which I soon determined to be a ring of swimming as well as 24 gold pieces. We divided out the gold pieces and gave the ring of swimming to Milo, who was struggling in the deeper water. Of course we made him work for it a bit by tying it on a string and dangling it above his small reach for a bit, till he kicked Aiden in the shin and grabbed the ring.We moved on, stopping by the fountain long enough to heal a bite Aiden got while fighting the frogs. We returned to the room with the pillar because we finished off the left wing. We took the right wing and entered into some sort of catacomb-like wing. Along the walls were a series of standing insets which would house the bodies of the dead. Luckily, all the ones we could see were empty.
The party began moving through the catacombs when four zombies, each covered in oozing sores, stepped out from the insets and hobbled closer to us. They stepped out from amongst us and a one of them separated the party in half. A zombie next to Elf reached out for him but he pushed the zombie back with his staff. Bob struck at the zombie nearest him, but the monster stumbled on. Lillian pushed the same zombie back with her shield, bashing it up against a wall. It crunched and fell over but crawled on. I stepped around Aiden to get a clear shot at the zombie opposite us and cast Disrupt Undead. It went wide and the zombie, its stomach bulging with sores, began stumbling towards me but fortunately Aiden stepped up right alongside me and forced the zombie back.
Milo meanwhile managed to flank the zombie fighting Elf and struck the zombie on the side. The creature sagged down but continued groping at Elf. Bob slashed the zombie in front of him and cut the zombie right across the abdomen. It immediately ruptured and exploded, pieces of zombie flying all over both Bob and Lillian. Neither one of them seemed affected in the least. Elf clobbered the zombie opposing him with his quarterstaff, the zombie’s head twisting around with a crunch, but it continued moaning and reaching out towards him, its broken fingers curled wickedly.
Aiden sliced off half of the nearest zombie’s arm though it seemed not to notice. Lillian lunged at her newest opponent, a different zombie from the one fighting Aiden, striking the zombie square on the head. As the monster’s skull split, it exploded like the other. Again, Lillian didn’t seem very phased. I attempted another Disrupt Undead spell on the now one-armed zombie hitting it on its already limping leg. It stumbled and fell into the wall but managed to stay upright. Aiden, though, decided to end its suffering and lopped off its head. As the zombie’s head fell from its shoulders, the whole thing exploded. Like Bob and Lillian, Aiden was unphased by the disease riddled cloud of zombie guts. Elf, seeing all the other zombies explode, turned and left Milo alone to face the last zombie. As Lillian and Bob ran to help him and Elf ran to leave him, Milo sliced into the zombie chest and it exploded in a particularly large cloud of diseased flesh. It covered Lillian, who seemed to shrug it off. Milo, though, staggered as the cloud filled his lungs. He coughed and leaned back against the wall, trying to catch his breath.
We gathered around him and with looks of concern patted him and we checked to see his vitals. Someone said it was zombie rot disease. If he could manage to fight it off for a couple of days then he would be fine. Otherwise… well he would simply have to fight it off. Bob found a blood stained pack with some gold pieces which we distributed among the group, with one left over to add to the group funds, as well as a cure moderate wounds potion, some moldy rations, and a handbill mentioning an in from somewhere in Aundair. There was some recognition but we simply couldn’t pinpoint where it was at.
We decided that Milo needed his rest so we gathered our loot and gear and headed back to the fountain for one last drink before bunking down somewhere for the evening. We figured that Milo especially might get some good out of the fountain water. At the very least it couldn’t hurt and so we drank our fill and after filling our water-skins we then headed back to the barricaded room we stayed in the night before last as that was somewhat more roomy as well as provided better protection and had some gear and rations left there. We all made our bunks and settled in. I situated my gear around the goods I had left in the room and picked up some of the rations I had left behind. Roldare was still there, chatting to himself and paying us only a little mind. Lillian was meditating and Bob cleaned his weapons. Elf counted his gold pieces and munched on some rations. I rearranged my gear and studied my spellbook as well as watching the others, mainly Milo.
He was trying to make a good show of it but he was a bit nervous. The water did seem to help some, as their was some color back in his face, though it remained a bit pale. He had already laid down and was drifting off to sleep. He had survived the first day. Now if he could manage to survive the second he would be fine and healthy as normal. The rest would help him. I looked over at Aiden and he had the same look of concern on his face as I had on mine. He will be fine. We hoped.
- from the Journal of Galadriel Ly’istrel