Keyword: THINK. Out player for Ronin was absent this day, so it was just myself, Carric, and Haltz.
We searched through the wizard’s stuff… finding mostly that, aside from the bodies and circular torture-portal-sculpture he was trying to create on the wall, it was terribly organized. We did find a chest with 400 gold, a nice dagger that Carric takes, and a longsword that had once belonged to a guard. There’s also a few trinkets in there – Some gold and silver jewelry, mostly, along with six iron rings. (Finger rings, not great iron hula-hoops). I take all of the wizard’s papers, intending to study them later, and also spend some time securing a vial of vile liquid. It’s the same glowy-red color as the stone pillars, and knowing what the pillars can do entices me to try and save it. I also write down the runes on the pillars, for further reference.
The shaft down from this chamber leads into the water table, and while there is a small tunnel leading out from it, Carric’s inspection shows that it simply leads out, a slight curve making it so that even with the lantern, he can only see so far.
We proceed back up to where Stacia has been camping, taking all the valuables with us. We also pause to pick up the plate armor, as that stuff isn’t particularly cheap. A good day or so and I should be able to use the Mending spell enough times to get it into shape.
Through the hours of our travels, Stacia has gone from “Scared to death” to “Trying to murder anything that comes nearby.” We only barely managed to not get stabbed in the face, with her recognizing us just in time. After spending some time discussing if it would be best to set her off towards the town or the guards, she pipes in that it would likely be best for her to simply stay where she is.
We finally agree, and leave the bulky, unneeded, and/or dangerous items behind with Stacia. I would be unsurprised to find that she managed to have made the plate wearable by the next time we came back.
Haltz, Ronin, and I decide to head to the shaft that seemed to be paired to the one we were in before. From where we are, the posts on it aren’t straight down, but we can get to them. Carric goes first, and when he signals the all clear, I follow with Haltz just behind.
As I enter, a stalactite falls from the ceiling, barely missing Carric. Only a moment later, two more fall – This time, hitting both myself and Carric. Unfortunately for us, they latch on and start doing awful things to us. After initial attacks by all of us fail to do much, I rip the creature off of my own back, spotting an eye looking back at me. It doesn’t take long to dispatch it, as even living stalactites can’t move quickly. Hatlz aids Carric with his, killing it before they remove it from his back. We pause as we hear buzzing, but it fades away shortly afterwards.
There is a single shaft upwards, and a ladder leads up it. This ladder isn’t in the best condition, so Carric, his elven form being the smallest and lightest, heads upwards after only a slight mis-step. He secures a rope at the top and gives the all-clear signal. Haltz heads up after me, as my bulk will be more likely to break something – And having more than 300 pounds of human fighter fall on you generally doesn’t help your own climbing efforts.
As we are part of the way up, Haltz sees Carric pulled away by – Something. He hurries up, and I hurry after him. When I reach the top, both Haltz and Carric have been knocked unconscious by a madly flailing mushroom that’s probably about as evil as plants can get in their alignment.
I manage to keep out of the range of its tentacles and use one of the spells I found among the wizard’s book to kill it and set it on fire. It turns out Firebolt is really handy. With Carric having self-stabilized, I assist Haltz, stabilizing him. Without being able to do much more than wait until they wake up, I set about casting the Find Familiar ritual.
About the time they wake up, I summon an owl, a creature that will greatly assist us, especially here in the mines. My first task for it is to have it check the room, and I fail to mention to this owl what sort of threats await it. It evades one more of the tentacle mushrooms, but is caught and killed by the other. Thankfully for me, familiars can be re-summoned, and killing one doesn’t actually kill it. We decide to wait for another hour as I re-summon it, and from now on my owl doesn’t truly ask “WHO” it asks “WHY.”
There are two further shafts in this room – One going up, and one going down. I send the owl up, using the familiar’s ability to see through its eyes to see what is up there. It turns out that it is the main chamber! We’re almost finished.
I send it down the other shaft as well, warning it this time that there likely will be things that will harm it. Again, I use the ability to see through its eyes, spotting a gallery that was likely in progress when the mine was last used. Additionally, there are two further shafts down, along with a dwarf hanging from one of the body portal pillars that is curiously attached to the ceiling.
After relaying this information to my companions, we decide that, due to how difficult it may be to get the dwarf down, it may be the most prudent thing to kill him if needed. At that point, it is time for the night, and we will only figure out next week what sort of horrid things we need to do to close this dwarf’s body portal.