Recovering from the battle with the dragon, the heroes start gleefully looting the body as Blandington watches in disappointment. They start stuffing the Bag of Holding with scales and dragon bones. Kiera spots and Acid Sack and carefully reaches in and tries to remove it, but punctures it on a rib on the way out.
Preparing to move out, the party follows Aelar deeper into the labyrinth. After running into some dead ends that kind of dissipate the faith the PCs had in Aelar’s role as guide, they suddenly come upon a group of Wraiths.
Thun-Thun charges at the first one, swiping with his axes. Blandington follows suit, and they are both caught in the creature’s aura. Dazed, they warn the others to keep their distance. Kiera fires a necrotic arrow at the second Wraith down the hall, hoping to keep it out of the fray, then backs off down the tunnel they used to enter the cavern. Dire hits the first Wraith with his baleful Eyes of Vestige, but the 2nd Wraith sneaks up on him and tries to swipe at him with his ghostly arm. Thankfully, Dire has mastered his mind to perform powerful incantations and the touch of the Wraith on his soul doesn’t overpower him.
A third wraith appears out of the northwest, standing near Aelar and dazing him. Meriele summons a giant toad, which attacks the third one and pulls it to itself with its long tongue. It’s not enough to get Aelar away from the dangerous aura, but it will help. The first Wraith, being close to death’s gate at this point, attacks Blandington. Thun-Thun strikes back, but the Wraith turns incorporeal and his blades fly right through. Thun-Thun waits a beat, and as the Wraith turns back into a physical target, he uses his offhand and pulls the blade backs, right through the chest cavity of the Wraith. It hisses and dissolves into mist.
Kiera takes aim and shoots the third Wraith with a necrotic arrow, careful not to hit Aelar or Meriele. Blandington turns and runs at the third Wraith, valorously smiting it. His brave leadership gives everyone nearby a boost of vitality. The 2nd Wraith is still behind Dire, so he moves away from it. It swipes at him as he goes, but is still unable to boggle the powerful mind of the warlock. He turns around and smites the 2nd Wraith with a thunderous spell, and it crumbles to dust.
The third Wraith tries to hit Aelar, ignoring the Holy Sanction placed upon it by the mighty Sir Blandington. Simply the act of letting its guard down to attack Aelar gives Blandington to stab it in the midsection. Aelar grunts and gets hit, unable to fend off the attack.
Aelar focuses his psionic power and drags the wraith telekinetically into a force shard, which explodes in its face. Meriele stabs it with her spear, and the toad tries to attack it with its tongue again, but misses.
As the fight was raging, a Gelatinous Ooze crept into the fray unnoticed. Kiera hits it with some powerful shafts, and shouts to warn the others just as Blandington swings at the Wraith. The Wraith returns to the underworld shrieking as the adventurers turn to face their worst nightmare. Blandington starts shaking and muttering to himself ‘Not again!’
Meriele has never faced one of these creatures, and before Thun-Thun has a chance to warn her, she uses her Firehawk attack on it. The Ooze moves closer, and swallows her giant toad. Kiera uses her training in Thundertusk Boar Strike to deal a huge amount of damage to it and would have pushed it back 25 feet but it was simply too large to move. Dire’s spell fizzles. So does Aelar’s. The toad’s rough hide starts sizzling in the midst of all the acid. Meriele, in a foolish attempt to rescue her toad, stabs at the ooze with her spear. Instead of hurting it, it just swallows the shaft up to her forearm, and pulls her all the way in. While they stand there shocked, the ooze rears up and swallows both Blandington and Thun-Thun. The only party members free to escape are Kiera, Aelar, and Dire. Kiera scores a critical hit with Evasive strike, and then uses Nimble strike to keep piling on the damage. The ooze must be nearly dead by now. Dire hits it with Eyes of Vestige, and it bursts asunder.
Gasping and gagging, Meriele staggers out of the puddle that is all that’s left of the enemy while Kiera comforts Blandington. The poor guy has PTSD when it comes to slimes. As she kneels to help the big Paladin to his feet, she notices that there were three skeletons in the ooze this whole time. One of them is clutching a tattered parchment. She tugs it out of the skeleton’s cold, dead, fingers and sees it’s written in some demonic language. She passes it to Dire, who announces that it’s a map with something scrawled in the margins. He translates: “The way is shut, and the dead keep it. Only the blood of an immortal, placed in the holy vessels, with unlock what lies within the chamber.”
Scratching their heads about how they’re gonna find an immortal to donate Ichor, the party heads back to town to get some sleep and ask around.
Will the group discover the meaning of this strange tome? Will Aelar actually be able to lead them to the Chamber of Eyes and the Bloodreaver headquarters? Will Blandington need to speak to a shaman to get over his encounter with an ooze? Find out next week, on DragonCast! THUN-THUN-THUN!!!!