Before the party could rest, they were alerted by Dacien's alarm. Looking outside their chamber, nothing was visible, but Zhedd could make out the sounds of someone casting invisibility spells. The party crowded around the doorway, as Stefanie tried to use a jet of water to find the invisible foes - a couple of feet were spotted, but quickly retreated. In the end, Zhedd launched off the balcony on Banshee to locate the enemies, and was pounced on by two Vrocks that appeared mid air. Soon after, a skinwalker appeared near the column of flame, and launched a fireball into the midst of the party. Two more skinwalkers started to move to flank the party but Faldak cut them off. The vrocks spread their toxic spores amongst the party, and leapt into melee.The foes were soon brought down, but the spores continued to eat away at the party. Eventually, all were healed and managed get back to rest.
The party decided to venture to the lower levels via the main steps they had seen to the west, and found themselves on a landing. to the east there was a flooded murky chamber with a large snake motif running around its walls. Antony snuck down a corridor to the south and found a storage area - urns, crowbars and fishing equipment, next to a large underground oyster pond. As Antony beckoned the others to join him, three Hezrou teleported to flank the party and attacked.
Their stench sickened several of the party, but Dacien and Stefanie acted quickly to use their magic to send two of the toad-like demons back to their extraplanar holes. The third was killed off soon after, allowing the party to continue. The urns held strange substances - a quivering red mud or planar origin, and disturbing headless insects, not immediately recognisable as being of this planet. Stefanie and Zhedd went to explore the oyster pond, but Ji noticed Zhedd starting to behave strangely - under the influence of kopru mind control. Before they could command him to act, Dacien used protection from evil to ward off the kopru influence, but by the time the party ran across the chamber to find the beasts, they appeared to have disappeared into an underwater tunnel. The party did their best to block the tunnel, finding another that led into the lake outside too, and returned to the oysters. Six of the creatures were abnormally large, black and pulsating with red veins. Cracking these open with the crowbars was difficult, and caused the oysters to shrill and shriek with an unearthly keen. Inside each of them was a large black pearl.
The party set off back to the north, and followed a flooded corridor west. Antony stepped into pool that contained a green slime, and had to be rescued by Ji burning the slime off as it ate away at his legs. Whilst ji set about clearing the pool of the rest of the slime, the rest of the party bound and gagged Zhedd in case the kopru mind controlled started again. What they hadn't factored in was his ability to shapeshift, and so, under the kopru influence, Zhedd turned into a squid to escape the bonds and flee. Mendel quickly pinned him to the wall with some well placed arrows, allowing Dacien to break the enchantment the kopru had on the druid, leaving a sullen Zhedd to skulk back to the party.
In a room at the end of the corridor, the party found an old library of wax tablets, that had long since lost their writing for the most part other than a carefully bound section of stone slabs. An obsidian dagger was also hidden in a stone drawer, and seemed to draw shadows into itself as it avoided the flickering torchlight.
In another corridor, the party were attacked by a large ochre jelly, but managed to fend this off to battle out of the water. Antony cleverly spotted the risk of opening doors in flooded corridors and cut off the top half of another door to access the chamber beyond, without washing themselves away. This led to a steam vent that the party bridged, and beyond that a statuary. Mendel entered first to investigate the room, only to be trapped by a falling portcullis, as four of the statues moved to attack. Zhedd summoned a wolverine to swap places with Mendel, but it was taking too long and Mendel was being beaten heavily by the statues, so Dacien dimension door'd him out. The statues were relentless, and bashed down the portcullis to pursue the party. It became clear the party's weapons were not harming the creatures, so they retreated, laying a trap by the steam vent. Ji acted as bait to lure the statues forward; the first one fell intothe steam vent and backed solid, and the next two got swept away by the on rush of water as they broke down Antony's dam. This left one for the party to defeat in melee. The wounds the statue caused itched and were difficult to heal, draining the party of much of their remaining healing to finally cure them.
A set of stairs led down, and Antony went ahead to explore. The stairs opened up into a large chamber filled with bubbling pits of boiling mud. Anthony felt a kopru invade his mind, and managed to break free before it took real hold. Running back upstairs, the party decided to avoid this for now, and find somewhere to rest - the kopru would wait for another day...
The Best Box of Monsters
5 hours ago