As the party stands on the other side of the raging underground river, Varren begins making a simple rope bridge across it and succeeds, allowing the party to be able to get across should they need too. After, Shar (transforming into a porpoise) and Varren dive into the water to look around, seeing nothing and managing to fight the quick current to get back to the safety of dry land.
Listening to the sounds of the cave, the party begins making there way even deeper into the forgotten caverns and soon Shar tells the party of the invasive smell of acid permeating the air. Shortly after announcing this to the party, the sounds of the creatures begins to fill the chamber they are in, Shar shifting in the the form of a bear and Shyr casting a spell to protect the party from acid, learning from previous encounters with them.
Kyhber and Saneic draw their bows and fire, striking two of the small creatures down quickly. The remaining ones turn tail and flee, a rapidly and irritating habit they seem to have acquired. Varren rushes after them, intent on ending their threat for good, unaware of more of them hiding in the shadows as they let loose a torrent of acid, Shyr’s spell thankfully holding strong. The fight is fast and and deadly, the magic helping to keep the creatures from using their acid to the best of their ability, but one of the creatures running off to gather reinforcements. After the creatures are put down the party discusses them again, noting that a few of them were larger and had arms then past examples, and that some were speaking in backwards Draconic stating ‘Gather’.
Meepo, not willing to let more bad news simply slide by without notice, mentions that the running away to draw victims in has never happened before, and almost seems like a trap. Something that they had previously been unknown to do. The party reflects on the horrifying thought that these monstrous abominations may be growing smarter before assuring a now almost speechless terrified Meepo that they would protect him and pressing on.
Shar, again in the form of a wolf, begins to scent more of the smell of the creatures and even notices that one of them may have gotten away without the party noticing. Varren, picking up on these thoughts takes off running in the direction of the trail and ends up setting off a trap, just managing to avoid it. the party takes this time to catch up with him, with Saneic berating him for setting off the trap instead of letting her check for them as they move. Finally realizing he had not at the point actually informed the party what he was doing and forgetting that only he could hear Shar’s thoughts, he informs the party that one of the creatures took off during the fight and that he was pursuing it.
Saneic propeses that she and Shar go first, Shar to track and herself to check for traps. The fact that is her sunrod goes out she can hold onto Shar’s wolf fur being an added bonus. Varren agrees and follows right behind, ready to intercept anything that may move against them. Shar does mention that many of the creatures have made their way through the area and some time later she loses the scent, managing to pick it back up shortly after.
Passing lower into the caverns, they come across a very strange area. Instead of the cool cave air, the air feels warm and humid, with spores floating softly through the air. The walls are completely covered in a strange fleshy growth that Kyhber and Shar think resemble a cancer more then a fungus. Kyhber scrapes her rapier across one of the growths, puncturing it. With a wet splat a mass falls from the thing, something resembling a fetus. Observing it, Saneic finds that the sac was filled with acid and that the fetus seems unharmed by it. Looking at Kyhber they both acknowledge that it has to be the creatures they’ve been fighting. Observing the wall behind the now damaged sack, it seems fine, unharmed by the appendage.
Draka tries using the fire from his sword to set them alight and Meepo tries freezing them with his ice, but the growths seem unaffected by both. Observing the sacs and the creature closer, Zarik idly mentions they seem to be some sort of aberration, something that should not exist, the remark illicting an angry smack on the head from Varren. Saneic asks the party if they think that maybe this was the plague that the Zheechdrain device had mentioned before, Shyr agreeing with her. Observing the growths even more closely, movement can be seen inside them, meaning that the creatures inside are alive, and probably growing.
Seeing little options left, they decide to destroy the growths as they move, heading even further into the now warm stick air of the caverns as now Khyber begins tracking, as Shar has since lost the scent, coming to a fork in the road as a large rock separates two routes. Spotting a group of the larger creatures up ahead, Shar casts a camouflage spell, allowing the party to get closer then previous times, close enough to hear the creatures speaking again, hearing them say ‘gather’ backwards in Draconic. Suddenly one of the creatures leaves its group and begins moving towards the party and spotting them, hissing ‘Zheechdrain’ before launching itself at the party.
Sadly the quick scuffle alerted the remaining creatures to the parties presence before they were ready, rushing towards the unprotected party as Draka and Varren in front set themselves up to let the creatures smash into them and keep them from the rest of the party. The creatures seem even larger and hardier then before, hissing in rage at the interlopers as they step over their own fallen members to get at the party. Soon, Shyr turns and moves away, back towards the split in the path and swears, announcing to the party that they were being flanked as he sets himself up to hold them off to protect their back lines. Meepo momentarily freezes in terror as the thought of being in the nest of these creatures proves to much for him to handle.
Khyber, enraged at what these creatures are, lets fly with a storm of arrows. The projectiles take their tole, ripping into the creatures with abandon. Shyr just manages to get off another spell of acid protection before another torrent of it washes over them. Attempting to get a small breather to regroup, Zarrick summons undead ogres to soak up the some of the hits. Surprisingly, as soon as the undead appear, the creatures turn on them, ripping into them with a furious abandonment surpassing their previous rage.
The moment of fresh air allows Shar to summon her own assistance, a Rhino dropped right in front of Shyr and Meepo as it rushed, its horn laying low several of the creatures before being taken down and being sent back to where ever it was called forth from. After the loss of one summoned creature, Shar brings forth a Unicorn, asking it to heal Shyr as Meepo’s magic causes him to grow larger and stronger as the creature acquiesces to Shar’s request and heals Shyr, keeping him up as he protects the party’s back.
Meepo, watching Zarik’s mastery of magic continue, finds a renewed strength from his friends and even causes his magic to strike Boney, as well as Draka and Varren. The magic warping around the skeleton causes the crystals in its eyes to react, shooting out pure arcane force in a line, obliterating everything in front of him. Soon the creatures stop coming and the party retreats to a hide away to heal and sleep for the night…