“We’ll split into two parties,” Aerndin spoke up. "I’ll take Darnell & Gaffgarion. We’ll go back to the ground floor and search for that man we ran into earlier. Arcadian, you go with Slegna & JessaKat and finish clearing the halls on this floor. We’ll meet back up before proceeding to the level below.
“The only entrance to the floor below we’ve found,” Slegna grumbled, “are the stairs in the northwest corner.”
Slegna turns towards Arcadian & JessaKat, stepping over the corpse of a dire rat along the way. “Elf, Jess. This far we’ve has been successful in slaying our foes, but it has been sloppy and filled with mistakes. Mistakes get you killed.”
“Is the staircase I’m at going up or down?” Arcadian asks.
“You tell me, imbecile” Slegna replies, bellowing in laughter alongside the nearby halfling who was reloading her crossbow. After a good laugh, the dwarf continues. “It’s been fun, but you forget that there is a wizard in this area, presumably waiting for our arrival.” The dwarf continues antagonizing the elf. “Ye shoot me in the rear with one o’ them clumsy arrows, and you’ll die before yer second shot.”
As the party moves down the hall with JessaKat scouting ahead, she begins to notice webbing & cocoons along the hall. “Hmmm looks like some spiders may be lurking in these parts” the halfling points them out. Arcadian haphazardly fires an arrow into one, knocking it down. “What the fuck mate?” she jumps back, avoiding the falling cocoon.
“I wanted to know what was in it” the elf says plainly, frowning at the partially decomposed kobold corpse inside. “Anything of value on him?”
Slegna readies his axe & shield. “Doesn’t appear to be, elf.”
Arcadian begins digging through the web, convinced he’s spotted something. He’s so preoccupied he doesn’t notice the monstrous spiders creeping down between he and the other two. Slowly they crawl, before one long hairy spider leg reaches out to snatch at Arcadian. The moment he feels it he dives aside, ducking the creature’s fangs. While the other spiders creep towards his party members, Arcadian aims his bow and lets fly a pair of arrows, dropping the monstrous spider attacking him.
One of the spiders attacks JessaKat, nicking her with it’s fangs. She feels the poison immediately, her stomach barely able to hold the contents of her ‘second breakfast’. Weakened, she tumbles aside and throws a dagger, striking out one of it’s eyes. She ducks another strike from the spider and stumbles into a room behind her.
Slegna’s shield easily blocks the poisonous fangs of the spider in front of him. Not the least bit intimidated by the spider, he growls as he counters with a mighty blow from Skinner that cleaves it into mush. He gets his footing, and begins charging down the hall. “Jess! Arrggh!! Fucking motherfucker spiders!”
JessaKat barely notices the coins floating in the room in front of her before she runs into an invisible wall. She’s able to see and duck away from the nearly invisible gelatinous blob as it strikes at her, the floating coins shifting as it moves. Slegna charges in behind the spider cleaving it in half. He pushes JessaKat aside and attacks the cube while she darts back down the hallway. The cube chases, filling the hallway as it moves. Slegna drops his shield and swings his axe with both hands. The gelatinous cube absorbs his strike and slams into him, its acidic membrane burning his skin, the dwarf seizes up and he falls limply to the floor. It continues, rolling over Slegna & scooping him up along the way, and roilng down the hallway the ooze chases JessaKat & Arcadian.
Arcadian steadies his bow and looses arrow after arrow down the hallway, sticking into the ooze one after another. JessaKat ducks into a nearby side hall, narrowly avoiding both the ooze & the elf’s arrows. The gelatinous cube rears up, ready to slam into Arcadian as he fires two more arrows into it. Suddenly it flops and bucks and dissolves on the floor, it’s remains oozing into the cracks on the dungeon floor, and leaving behind a small pie of coins, and Slegna’s limp body.
JessaKat moves over to Slegna’s body and checks him for signs of life. His open eyes and slowly moving chest hint towards his current state. “Hmmm elf” the halfing says to Arcadian, "Perhaps you have something to wake my friend here? Seems he may be paralyzed.
“I don’t even know what he would need,” Arcadian admits.
“Well I guess we can wait a few minutes and see if he comes through,” she shrugs, and starts digging into one of the spiders, harvesting it’s poison glands.
After a minute or so, the dwarf coughs as he takes a lungful of air. He groans with discomfort as he rolls over and collects his axe from the floor, before collecting the coins that were floating in the cube. After collecting coins, he groans again and cracks his neck, picking up his shield and throws it over his back. After a few moments rest and silence, the party gathers itself and moves on cautiously.
Around the corner they find another set of stairs leading down to the second basement level of the ruins. In the rear of the group Arcadian stops, his intuitive glance catching an anomaly in the wall. He began inspecting the borders of the bricks, and before long finds a switch. pressing it, the wall begins to slide open. With a low grinding noise, it reveals a passage clogged with dust and cobwebs, clearly unused for a long time. Just inside the wall, a series of musical notes are carved along the wall, covered under a thin layer of dust. The dusty smell of ancient room stinging his nostrils, he recognizes the notes. “It’s the same lullaby that was playing on the elven urn Darnell currently carries!” Behind Arcadian, stands a statue flanked on either side by large chests. He barely has time to enjoy his discovery, before the statue fires a scorching ray at the elf, barely missing and singeing the wall nearby. Not phased by the trap, Arcadian moves to the chests, only to discover they’re bolted to the floor. Another ray fires from the statue, blasting the elf. Severe burns sizzling and the smell of burnt flesh in the air, he quickly ducks back out of the room, rejoining the shortfolk.
The party exhausted from their struggles, JessaKat cracks open her bottle of wine, and shares some with the dwarf.