Session 3, Part 2: Something Fishy
Dripping and splashing echoed all around them. The tunnel seemed to exaggerate the noise. Just then, from somewhere down in the cavernous spaces they couldn’t see, they heard a scream. It was a woman’s scream, pure agony. It reverberated through the tunnels like a wind.
“Casey!!!! Kelsey!!!” Stammered Humboldt, and before anyone could grab him, he took off running in the direction of the noises. But he didn’t get far before his feet gave way and he began to slide down into the darkness.
“We’d better after him,” Ariea groaned. She rolled her eyes in a much too playful way for someone who had nearly been killed so often today. The others were starting to think she might actually like this sort of thing! As if she were about to play another round of Spottle, she unsheathed her daggers and took off towards the captain, but before she left she glanced back playfully. “Careful you lot, there’s something fishy going on here… and slippery too!” Laughing at her little joke she hopped from one drier section of tunnel to another, leapfrogging down the tunnel into the black. Thrak thought he heard her mumble something about “nobles.”
They didn’t find Humboldt, but they did see his hand or rather the tops of his knuckles. All ten were white, holding on for dear life onto a ledge. A large hole lay in the middle of the space he had ran into, and he obviously in it, hanging. Around him sewage and filth flowed downwards into some unknown cavity beyond. They sprang into action to pull him up and that’s when the walls came alive!
To them, it was as if the mud simply sprouted fishy creatures, full of teeth and gnashing claws. They looked like giant monster cookie cut shapes in putrid dough upon the wall. The beasts had nets and hooked spears, which somehow sprung from the walls with them. They immediately used their weapons to restrain their prey, hooking Humbolt, just as he was being pulled upwards by the party. Morn slid on his belly in the muck, and reached out with both arms to keep the captain from falling into the abyss below. The others fought back for their very lives. Humboldt screamed as something small and whip-like grabbed at his legs from below and began to crawl up his torso towards his face. It reached out with slimy tentacles.
Behind him, Thrak was soon struck down, and Morn became a still target stretched out as he was, holding onto Humboldt’s hands for dear life. Their hands wrapped around each other. He saw Humbolt’s face in absolute terror while coils of slimy appendsges wrapped thmsleves tightly around his neck and shoulders, the whole of the beast crawling towards his face. A spear from the creatures above found it’s mark into Morn’s back and his grip loosened but uckily, one of Andril’s spells found it’s mark, hitting the last of the creatures. It slid across the floor and lay in a heap against the wall. Like the others, a familiar face began to return as a monstrous one faded.
Just as Morn cried out, dying, several others pulled Humboldt upwards. He looked around, and yanked the squid-like beast off as it was trying to smother his face. It’s ropelike arms flailed for him even airborne. Throwing it across the room, he cried out, “Kill it, mage!” In answer, Andril pointed a finger and singed it with icy energy from his fingertips.
“Morn!!!No!!!” Yelled Inara, “He’s dying. Can none of us save him?”
Humboldt crawled over to the cleric, careful not to slide back down the precarious opening. Splashing through the water, he pulled from his tunic a small bottle, and flipped off a cork. Tilting Morn’s head back, he poured emerald green liquid down his throat. Morn’s color returned and he gasped, eyes wide.
“Don’t.” Morn said.
“Don’t save you?” Said Areia. “Don’t drink too much ale?” She looked at the others pretending to be confused, “Morn, you crack me up, you know that?”
“Don’t. Run. Off. Again, Humboldt.”
Currently Tied Up at the Moment
Now injured, and their means to heal now exhausted, they knew they needed to find Humboldt’s daughters quickly. Areia listened into the tunnels that led off, but it was hard to distinguish with the water and the storm brewing above. They knew they were quite far below the city, if they could still hear the storm, it must be fierce indeed. Motioning to the others, she moved off into a nearby tunnel. Behind her, the others crept, weapons drawn. Andril went last, his torch making shadows on the walls and in the water running down the center of the corridor.
“Here, they are…” but she didn’t finish. She seemed to be, whistling? “Oh my,” she sighed.
“They are what, rogue? Some of us do not see in the dark,” called Andril from behind. “Be clear!”
“Right, right. I should thrust you”, giggled Areia remembering how just a few hours ago the wizard had needed her so that he wouldn’t fall over when he stood up She got serious though as the chamber came into view, “There are men and women here, and some are , well, may be still alive.”
“What do you mean, may be?” asked Thrak, coming up from the rear. He held his axe aloft.
“Well, they’re currently tied up at the moment so it’s hard to tell.”
The others stutter stepped down the tunnel as well, and saw Areia standing in a dark chamber. She was staring hard at one portion of the tunnel as if she were trying to see something small there. Around her, a few stones protruded through the slick mud, but in several places an odd shape bulged from the muddy wall like more cookie cutout monsters, making even stranger shapes then the ones they had just fought. Thrak shrank back thinking they were more of the beasts hiding in wait. But then he heard a moan coming from one of them. Walking towards it, he saw the mud give near where he thought it’s chest would be, and a clearly outlined figure wiggle against the wall. It looked like a nest of snakes wiggled under the mud there. But the figure resembling a person or beast looked stuck there, beneath the mud and the snakes, and soon he saw why. A creature like the one that had reached for Humboldt earlier was wrapped around a humanoid’s torso, holding the person against the wall inside the mud! The figure struggled, thrashing it’s legs and arms but he could see it wasn’t able to move. Tentacles tightened around it, it was hard to tell which was which as mud covered everything. But then a set of lips emerged with effort through the muck, and a gasp oozed out of it, “Saaaaaaavvvveeee mmmmmeeeeeee.”
That was when Areia saw other parts of the walls shimmer. In several places a small snakelike form emerged and more of the creatures burst from the mud, whipping over the surfaces of the tunnel on thrashing arms, or legs. Both floor and ceiling, they covered the space almost too fast to be possible and wrapped their bodies quickly around her. She tried to scream as a tentacle covered her face and tightened around her neck! “Aaaaagghhh!” Her throat closed off, and she dropped her weapons, clawing at the things suffocating her!
“I cast magic missile!” Roared Andril. Glowing projectiles shot forth from his fingers once more and flew into the beasts with a singeing noise like a flame being doused by water. This gave her just the time she needed and drawing from her boot, Areia twirled and twisted around, slashing their bodies off of her with her dagger. She threw the pieces off her in disgust, fixed her hair and smiled at the others.
“Sushi anyone?” She smirked. Thrak, had already opened his sack.
The lizardman chuckled, “I cast magic missile, mage?”
“What?” Murmured the wizard, “It helps me remember…”
With care, they killed the other creatures in the muck and pulled several bodies out. Cleaning the mud and grime off wasn’t easy or pleasant, but soon they recognized who they were. Two bodies were dead, all but mere corpses, and only parts of who they once were was left. These looked eaten, and the thought of being stuck in the mud alive, while something gnawed at them was enough to give them all pause again. But one seemed alive and they knew him to be Haryk. Andril knew him to be an interesting character and a couple of them had once raised mugs with him in a pub in easier times. Another was Audrey, the daughter of a barkeeper, and H.E. Pennypacker, a noble.
With care, they awoke each, one by one. And one by one the awakened screamed and thrashed as they came to, pulling their minds and bodies out of the terrible hell they had been in, behind the mud.
“I can fight,” said Haryk, his face was not yet clean so they couldn’t tell his expression, but his voice sounded matter of fact and serious. “Trust me, you’ll need me.
The only other person alive was a young elf named Thoria. She momentarily opened her eyes but closed them uncontrollably once more. Thank you she mouthed. and then she was out. Thrak threw her over his shoulder. The others were stopped, looking at him. “What?” He snarled. “I’m saving the humanoid, I’m not having lunch”. He made a strange sound and began to carry her across the chamber, “I’m not even hungry right now. Sheesh.”
“Here,” said Areia, removing a bow and handing it to Haryk along with a quiver of arrows, “but just so you know we’re on a suicide mission. As for the rest of you, We won’t be able to carry you Mr. Pennypacker, Audrey. You’ll have to keep up I’m afraid. Stay behind and please keep up. We’ll get you out of here as soon as we can.”
“Welcome aboard,” Thrak said to Haryk, he held the elvish firl over his back like a sack of Celn potatoes “Sssorry for wanting to eat your fingersss.”