Anxious to hang around Sundabar further with these strange agents possibly on their trail, they set off eastward, riding into the night. Eredon used his new Create Campsite ritual and everyone enjoyed the magical convenience of little fairy wisps unpacking their camp and making the dinner.
The next morning (Mirtuk 23) arrived without incident, and once their sprites had taken down their camp and restored the copse where they slept back to its original state they headed off. By midday they discovered a signpost marked with the Silverymoon Mages’ Association, but the words had been scratched out and a bloodied wizard’s hat was jammed on top of the post. Inside the hat they found a single glowing mushroom, which Eredon suspected was the mushroom in question. The turned off the road and headed into the hills, sleeping again, and arriving at the cave by midday of the following (Mirtuk 24).
They went for the stealthy approach, but the Kobolds hear them coming and launched a barrage of boulders and javelins upon the group as they charged up slope to face the little buggers. Despite several nasty blasts from the Kobold shamans, Claw and Baelian punched through their lines and forced the survivors to retreat back within the cave. Inside the found the same plus reinforcements, including an oddly sluggish ogre who rampaged through the group, smashing with his club. Someone (the dm forgets) scored a critical hit, and at that moment, to everyone’s surprise, Tarnruth’s Orb burst from Eredon’s bag like a firework, and blasted the room with a blinding light, then floated down to hover over the crit dealer’s shoulder. When they finally beat back the kobolds and toppled the ogre, who got up once after being knocked out, they discovered an odd mushroom growing out of the top of his head.
After picking through the kobolds’ possessions, Never, Claw, Eredon and Baelian spotted something shiny in a trash heap. This bit of bait was sufficient. A carrion crawler burst from the garbage when Eredon fired magic missiles into it and they thumped the bug to get the shiny. It ended up being a +1 Luck Blade Scimitar, which Claw turned his nose up at (too small), and which Eredon had little interest in. Baelian took it gladly. Never went dumster diving and came up a little richer, a lot stinkier.
The next chamber was a large cave pool, cut in half by a landbridge leading to another tunnel. The PCs were spoked about this vast quantity of water conspiring to be all in the same place at the same time, so they tried to placate the water gods or whatever might have lured within by illuminating chunks of half of Claw’s rancid deer carcass, which he reluctantly parted with, and tossing them into the depths. The monsters down there were probably disgusted by this offering, refusing to touch it or attempt to eat those who’d carry such a thing around, and didn’t appear.
They had their hands full anyway. When the group entered the chamber some chokers lurking on a ledge above snatched Never up and began to throttle him. He fought back with some savage blasts, but wasn’t able to break free. Claw jumped in, trying to slash Never free, but the choker juxtaposed Never between itself and the greatsword, and Claw cut a chunk out of the blue-in-the-face warlock. Baelian looked gormless for a while, but then scored a critical hit with his sling. Yay! When Never finally was dropped by the sorely wounded choker as it attempted to flee, he took revenge and blew it to bits where it scuttled along the wall. Upon destroying his cursed enemy he teleported to a small island where a chest sat, hoping to save himself a swim. This chest had teeth, unfortunately.
Catching Never unaware, the mimic dropped its guise as a treasure chest and chomped him, knocking him unconscious. Baelian, sensing his comrade’s pain, took a running jump and fell pathetically into the pool, nowhere near Never. Claw also dove in, landing closer, while Eredon blasted the beast with fire.
Swimming proved difficult. Baelian thrashed away lamely but then rolled a crit, squirting out of the water like a show dolphin. Claw was treading water when he was smacked by the mimic, and its slowing effect caused him to start to sink deep underwater. A second swim attempt later he dragged his soaked body onto the rock next to Never, who was recovering from the chomp. Despite the mimic’s slippery dodges they managed to gang up on it and reduce it to a pool of treasure-devoid muck.
They did manage to find a little bit of coinage on the choker ledge before tromping off to the next room. This chamber was dominated by a massive glowing mushroom, which was surrounded by several kobolds, which seemed to be worshipping it. As the PCs charged a whole slew of other baddies came out of the woodworks: dwarf-sized mushrooms detached themselves from the floor to attack them, alternately spraying them with spores and spearing them with long spines. A human wizard, whose movements were slow and who didn’t speak, was among the attackers. The combination of the spores, which prevented the heroes from acting, several area-effect attacks from the wizard, and the ability of the mushrooms to split damage received between them made the fight a fierce one. Everyone got in several good licks, but Baelian and Never took a beating. Eredon stayed back for most of the fight because he was out of healing surges, but finally he lost his temper and dove into combat, roasting huge groups of mushrooms and kobolds. Due to their damage-sharing ability, when one mushroom man finally fell, the rest were nearly dead too, and a final strike caused most of the colony to die at once in a shower of fungal bits.
The guys fished a little loot from out from under the giant mushroom, collected some samples of the blue ones and decided to rest before exploring the remaining tunnel. The next day (Mirtuk 25) they explored the last tunnel. Claw, scouting ahead, nearly ran into a gelatinous cube. He hightailed it but the cube was after him. The rest of the guys blasted away, trying to slow its advance, and Never attempted to give the barely sentient cube of jello a bad dream, which didn’t go quite as he had hoped. Baelian suffered the worst, getting immobilized and engulfed twice, knocked down to zero HP and finally getting dumped on the floor when the rest of them reduced the cube to a puddle of goo. On the upside, the party found a Lunia’s Bracelet in the goop, which will help them fight against the Jackals, should they be so lucky.