Invidia was… not pleased to find the armor empty and the party proceeded to ask the tiny Augur Kyton what on earth happened. Unable to speak, the creature had to resort to nods, shakes and writing in blood to communicate. Unfortunately, it could only get out “HELP MY MASTER” before they noticed the gasses in the magma chamber start to coalesce and take form into strange acidic mist creatures. Poisonous and acid-belching, the caustic creatures gave Invidia a painful coughing fit and melted a bit of zombtaur, but they were slain before they could kill anyone or break the thin bridge they were standing on.
With the creatures dispatched, the party could talk to Aoz. Through struggles, he explained that it wanted the party to take the body of Chaid up to the hellknights for them to raise. Not seeing any reason not to, they dragged Chaid’s body out of the obsidian-encrusted tomb the rock had made around her and readied it to be brought back to Fort Inevitable.. once they were done exploring the level of course. As a bonus, Chaid had a Wand of Shield clutched in her hand which was freed when her body was removed from the wall.
When asked about the strange, magical blob of black on the floor, Aoz only explained that it was blood of a sort and couldn’t be much more specific. When asked why the armor was empty, Aoz could only say that the occupant left by some kind of magical means that wasn’t teleportation. Perplexing… and unhelpful.
Slightly more helpful though, Aoz was able to explain the presence of the magical aura back in the hellknight encampment. With an impressive memory it relayed that the hellknights had a Stone of Alarm that they kept to warn them of intruders approaching and even gave them the command word to deactivate it. The stone was valuable in itself, but the few goods that weren’t worn away through time could prove to sell for a bit.
Feeling they were learning all they could and not super eager to watch it write in blood anymore, the party moved on with Avarita scouting ahead… for about five seconds before a strange, bladed magma ooze stabbed at her with a giant blade, able to sense her even without sight. The party fell back to fight the ooze but were a bit surprised when a gray render burst through the wall instead. The ravenous beast was felled quickly and the party moved into the next room to find the shard slag lazily settling back on its platform, not bothering to give chase. Not happy to let sleeping oozes lie though, the party threw frost magic and blade at the creature. Though the ooze was a bit dangerous for weapons to get stuck in it, the ooze was quickly felled and the party was able to relax again.
They didn’t have to go far before they spotted the emerald spire in the middle of a large lake of magma and, disturbingly, a Xorn who was licking the spire with what could only be described as drunken, lusty passion. Quesh helpfully explained those creatures are enamored by gemstones… and apparently the spire fits the bill quite nicely. While Avarita observed the caldera, Ividia busied herself with exploring a small alcove in the rock where she found a Kolyarut Inevitable half buried in the igneous rock. It explained it was on its way to assist in a war against the proteans down on level 15 and sought to use the spire to teleport downward. Though it clearly could not escape, a creature like it would never bring itself to plead for assistance and it was left to calmly explain its purpose and duty to the inquisitive party. Disinterested in the conversation, Remnus decided to walk around and find a good place to stone shape the cavern walls while Avarita had a closer look at the lava pool.
Will they find a way across the lava? Will they assist this stuck inevitable? We’ll find out next time.