“Well it’s been interesting little furrball,” said Ares. He lifted Gerrell and placed him on his shoulders. The two of them, shrunken to a mere 12 inches or so, were still short enough to fit well within the tunnel. From atop Ares shoulders, Gerrell once more felt safe, and Ares felt more powerful. It was a combination and a cooperation they had gotten used to. The crippled little gnome looked down at the little pixie, who in his natural height was as tall as they were now after the potion. “Thanks for the fun, best of luck.”
Poo Doo looked as though he were about to cry, and then, to their utter horror, he did. Long slow sobbing cries filled the darkened void beyond their light in the vault. “AHHHHHHHHHHHH……EHHHHHHHHHHHH…..ERRRRRRRR…..,” moaned the little man. Theros walked back and forth in the tunnel, trying to think of one reason they had set him free that would counteract killing the little thing.
“Look, little man, I don’t really care what your favorite dessert is, if you don’t close your mouth, you are going to wind up on the end of my sword.” Theros grabbed his sword hilt to make a show of his words. “This is life or death, and you either help us, or we don’t need you.”
His face and nose bright red from the crying, Poo Doo stood tall and wiped the tears away. “You need bravery,” he said pulling on the edges of his shirt, while puffing out his chest. The result was hilarity, extreme hilarity but Poo Doo was clearly serious. He lifted the bottom edge of his only garment and blew his nose on it fiercely, “And I can give you that.” They weren’t sure if he was talking about the new stain on his shirt, or the bravery he had brought up.
Then, taking a deep breath, Poo Doo sucked in his gut, extended his chest and marched like a tiny soldier through the tunnel and out into a huge chamber beyond.
“Follow me, brave friends,” he smiled passionately, “This way to yonder riches.”
“Well, well,” whispered Gerrell in Ares ear, “Maybe he is good for something after all.”
“Probably good for getting us killed,” answered the sorcerer. They exited the tunnel, along with Theros who was holding his crossbow out and spinning around to take in the ancient chamber they had stumbled into.
They were standing in something that to them seemed vast, and grand, with a high domed ceiling. Several holes were in the ceiling, and looked like ventilation shafts similar to the one they had just come out of.
Gerrell cast a magical spell and a door, outlined in the stones appeared. “The way out,” he said atop Ares shoulder. “The room is enchanted. We must find a way through there, no doubt it is meant to be a puzzle or challenge of some kind..”
“You can tell all that just by casting a spell?” asked the ranger.
“Magic is a language, we can all speak it if we try hard enough,” piped the gnome.
“Listen,” said Poo Doo. “I can hear something rumbling and tumbling down.”
“This better not be another one of your attempts to get us to listen to you pass gas, you nasty little…” started Ares. But then he heard it from above. Cautiously, they each backed away against the wall and watched and waited.
A think black gel began to ooze from the first hole in the ceiling above them. It dribbled to the floor, where it spread out quickly like a living pool of filth. While they watched in terror, tiny mouths began to form there, hundreds of them. Each opened and emitted the sounds of wailing, yelling the same name over and over again.
Creeping and crawling, the muck formed blobs like arms which reached out from the inside outwards in all directions. “Get away!” roared Ares, breathing his fiery weapon at whatever evil new monstrosity had been conjured in this forsaken vault. A glob reached out for him. His fire engulfed it and the mouths inside the thing cried out. But that wasn’t going to keep it back for long.
Theros loosed an arrow which landed deep in it’s middle, betwixt several bemoaning mouths, “Light, they sound just like a Cillandrial drill sergeant,” chided Theros. “It’s a mouthing thing that gibbers, and it eats arrows!” For surely as they looked, the wooden shaft and the metal tip as well were dissolving in the beast’s body leaving a smoky whisp behind. His jest was the last of the battle, as he tried desperately to get as far from the things as he could. That’s when they noticed, they had grown again!
“Blast it! The potion has worn off!” yelled Ares. Ares was stuck in the little tunnel they had escaped in and had to back out, and quickly too. Just as his body grew, he would have been trapped inside, crushed by his own size.
“It isn’t the potion, it’s this place, it’s dispelling the magic of the elixir!” Gerrell tried desperately to counter the spell, but his efforts were in vain.
Only Poo Doo remained small. Once again his voice was a squeak, “Uh sorry fellas, looks like we get both hair gel and body wash.” He pointed to another hole in the ceiling where a thin column of clear goo was cascading down onto the stones behind the gibbering mouther. It began to coalesce and form into a massive prism, which somehow, insanely, seemed alive and menacing at the same time.
Neither Ares nor Theros had ever seen anything like either of these beasts from Ket itself! One thing slithered and slunk across the floor, it’s mouths opening and closing, gibbering absurdities that made them grow uneasy. It seemed to have a more serious effect on Theros who at one point dropped his longbow and put his hands to his ears. Then, a portion of the beast lashed out at him striking his armor, and dissolving a metal strap upon which his daypack was attached! “Close call,” he murmured. Taking note that his enchanted armor was untouched, he drew his sword. The sword struck the beast and sent it backwards, but the metal of the blade was dissolved almost instantly from the creature’s innards! “Ares, use your sword! Use your enchanted sword!”
Dave! You heard our friend, I am needed! Let me…“Oh do shut up!” Grunted the dragonborn, and slashing out, he struck the gibbering thing in it’s center! Part of it spilled out. It looked like putrid, rotten guts. He stood there watching it’s entrails form into new appendages while the other, more clearer prism shaped thing was building into something gigantic behind him!
“Ooey!” yipped Poo Doo, hiding behind the sorcerer’s legs. The innards oozed out along the floor towards them, still alive! “Gooey!” he yipped again, pointing for Theros to watch his step.
Gerrell, from a much darker, stranger place as he often told them, knew what it was, and yelled it out to them. “It’s a gelatinous cube! Be warned my comrades, do not let it near!” But words alone would not work, and the thing slunk behind them, as the gibbering monster crept closer in front of them. To Theros, horror, a part of it began to ooze out, like a waterfall, cascading over his body!
“Up!” quipped Gerrell. From atop Ares’ shoulders he spread his hands out and called forth a magical spell. As the cascading ooze fell over Theros, the little gnome’s hands lifted the cube high into the air, well above them, bringing the oozing waterfall with it! Theros had been untouched!
Ares moved to the beast with the many mouths and hacked it down. While the mouths moaned and screamed, it seemed to liquify and leaked into the spaces between the stones in the floor. Theros watched it all in fascination if not horror.
“Goodness!” quipped the little hairy man. He was jumping up and down clapping his hands, clearly quite entertained.
“Welcome to my world,” sighed Gerrell. “But what would these beasts be doing here, in this tomb? This vault. And who is this Andrar person?” No one seemed to have an answer, so no one replied. Gerrell was thinking as he sat atop Ares’ metallic shoulders. Above him the gelatinous cube swayed and lashed out with globs of it’s clear body, but couldn’t quite reach him. It was quite the sight.
“I think I’ll plan to stay in my world,” said the ranger. He was looking at what was left of his sword. He tossed it on the floor.
“Where’s the little..” began Ares, spinning around. It was nearly comical watching such a large creature as he with a little gnome atop his shoulders while overhead a gelatinous cube reached out! Ares found what he was looking for. There on the opposite wall as they had entered, where the outline of a secret passageway had been was now an actual passageway! Dark and mysterious, inside, still no higher than a foot tall, was the fat little pixie.
“Is it just me or is anyone really hungry for jello now?” He sighed.
Ares pulled his magical sword from the first creature’s body, and ran through the doorway. Gerrell ducked and they entered into whatever darkened space this was. Theros, came last. With Gerrell gone, the floating cube dropped, squishing out in all directions and nearly reaching out to get them as the secret door slid closed once more.
Theros bent over and pat the little pixie on the belly. “There’s always room for jello, my friend.”