The battle with the 20 Alerics tests the party’s mettle but not to the extreme measures they had initially thought it would. Kendrick and Flynn easily dispose of two each right at the start. Mukaku and Francis get two each also by the Alerics attaching to their heads. A rather grisly scene unfolds with the killing of the Alerics attached to Francis and Mukaku. Aleister kills all remaining Alerics with a tremendous fireball. Immediately, large grubs well up from the floor of the cavern and begin to burrow into the skin of Grimthorne, Flynn, Mukaku and Francis. Stabbing at their skin and prying them out only releases a few of the grubs from under the skin. Kendrick casts Greater Restoration to remove all grubs from the party members and Grimthorne finishes all the grubs off with a Thunderwave spell.
Grimthorne discovers a fake wall. Behind it lie several more dead Alerics. Mukaku uses Psychic Impressions to see that a large brain thing feasted on the living Alerics before their bodies were cast into this room. The party continues searching the caves and are ambushed by 5 intellect devourers which are easily defeated. The cave appears to be cleared when a magic portal in the floor is discovered. The portal transports the party into a hallway that leads to a room with a large statue of a mind flayer. Upon entering the room several Drow are discovered hiding in shadows. Another battle ensues with all Drow being killed except for two who cowardly run down a hallway. For fun, Kendrick attacks the statue which brings it to life, however, it is defeated with ease. As the party continues their search of this cavern they encounter many orb devices that attack psyonically. To defeat the orbs, they must be knocked off the pedestals in which they sit. Many of these are throughout the caverns and it proves to be quite the test for the party. Along the way, they also discover two whirling pools of purple liquid. One rather large pool in a room by itself and another smaller pool in a room that contains a mind flayer statue and some sort of huge roving beast. The larger pool smells badly and radiates a sense of dread and sickness but appears to be a portal to some other place. The smaller pool seems ok. Aleister senses that the smaller pool is an exit portal only. Other discoveries in this cavern are two large rooms each with a pool of viscous, gooey liquid. Within the liquid are many humanoid bodies. It appears that their life forces are being drained from them while in these pools. Mukaku uses Psychic Impression again and sees a beefy mindflayer with the Hand of Vecna attached to him. The party decides the only way left to go is thru the large portal. They jump thru, however, Grimthorne jumps thru with panache. Immediately after he leaps, he changes into a killer whale and dives into the purple liquid with Kendrick riding his tail. The rest of the party applaud the move.
And so the party jumps through the portal…each member taking 37hp of damage…and landing in a room with only a handful of spells still available to them…and are greeted by 4 displacer beasts and a gargantuan beholder caught in some type of stasis or energy field holding him in place. It appears the same orbs that caused the party so much pain before sit atop each pedestal of the energy field.
…to be continued…