Recovering from the battle that nearly destroyed them, Platinum Expeditions delves further into the caves beneath the Spinestone Mountains.
After forcing open a large set of doors that took four bodies and a set of drake skeleton teeth, the party followed a set of tracks embedded in the floor into a large room. Prodded forward by the detection of a magical aura, Brundle and Merrilyn, with their dark vision, moved further into the room, discovering shelves, large barrels, and a rotting, moss-infected dwarf. Clearly dead, Merrilyn suspects that the moss itself is keeping the creature mobile.
Before they’re able to analyze it further, however, the dwarf attacks. Within seconds, the party is surrounded by more dead humanoids, all covered with the same yellowish fungus, which is also covering the walls and floor in great patches. They party attacks, but soon discovers that many of their attacks do more harm than good: cold spells only cause more fungus to appear on the bodies, and slashing the bodies cause them to explode in a fine yellow mist. Merrilyn and Thistle soon fall prone to the poisonous air.
Soon, the door slams behind them, and a shriek is heard across the room. After realizing that their weapons are useless against the exploding horde, Brundle and Cyrus run towards the horrifying scream, Brundle diving between two shelves while Cyrus climbs up and over them. They find a corpse, coated in the same yellow fungus, with its intangible double standing beside it, screaming in horror as it tries to wipe away the unseen moss. Both fighters attempt to subdue the spirit, but both are blasted backwards by an unseen force.
Meanwhile, the zombies are taken down by a combination of Carol’s holy power and not-so-holy babies and Thistle and Lilliana’s fire spells. Cyrus takes down one zombie, strong constitution allowing him to fight through the putrid cloud it emits, and the party soon turns to the spirit, which it makes short work of now that their ample firepower can be turned towards what is essentially a supernatural trap.
After searching the bodies and finding a Rod of Frost, two gems, and a large amount of gold, the party resupplies itself as best as possible before turning back to the first room and attempting the other door, with Brundle taking advantage of his newly-acquired long-range lock-springing skills. Sending Trapfinder the goblin skeleton ahead, with Cyrus and Lilliana casting Spark spells to light the way, the Expedition soon stops, realizing that their footsteps are much more pronounced than they should be. Unsure if it’s a magical enhancement or simply an acoustically live chamber, Brundle casts a Silence spell on the party rather than attract any undue attention.
The group soon comes upon a room with two large portcullises and a catwalk surrounding it, reminiscent of a prison yard. Lilliana deals with the portcullises quickly, flying overhead and pulling two cranks to raise them. In one corner of the room, they come upon a footlocker filled with crossbow bolts of the normal and (after firing one against the wall) tangling variety. Cyrus scoops them up, while the rest (four cases worth) are added to the Bag of Holding for future use.
In the next room, the prison theories are confirmed as Platinum Expeditions comes across an abandoned cellblock. Somewhat abandoned, that is, as two Hook Horrors emerge from the dilapidated cells and attack the party.
Thistle makes the first move, flying forward as a crow before landing in front of one of them, shifting her shape into that of a dire rhinoceros in mid-flight. Brundle also jumps into the fray, doing major damage to one of the Horrors before taking some licks of his own, getting chomped hard by his target’s friend.
Carol does not leave unscathed, either, with one Horror shattering her jaw.
As all this is happening, dragonhead sculptures lining the walls light up, and a booming voice orders everyone on the floor back to their cell, stunning any who don’t comply.
The battle is fierce, but Platinum Expeditions takes down the beasts. Finding a nest in one of the abandoned cells, the group finds a large cache of platinum pieces, as well as a set of magical gauntlets and gloves that create unlimited javelins.
The delve continues…