Edmund returned the library books. In the run up to this play session, he had experienced a premonition or frightening dream in which he became convinced of his own imminent demise. Not his own, exactly, but the death of his persona. Or, the death of the thing holding him together. He couldn’t tell. He sometimes felt as though there were someone standing over him, adding to and erasing from his memory, subjecting him to cruel truncations of time in which one day could burn itself out in a minute, or that he would be kept immobile while someone conferred with the gods.
Meanwhile, Grigori got someone to appraise the gems the party had found. The party seemed unclear on whether they had received a fair price, but immediately turned their attention to reentering the Capondercity.
As this was all happening, Jed hired a young boy to be his consort and torchbearer. The new party member and NPC, Xal, was apparently selected for his “litheness,” whatever that means.
It was clear to Edmund, who generally can be identified as the clear leader of the group, that it was worth trying to decode the contents of the scroll that had been discovered after defeating the evil monster. There were spells contained in the scroll. Exciting and dangerous magic.
After a day spent doing almost nothing, the group reentered the Capondercity and returned to the room in which they had eked out a narrow victory against a gang of murderous fish people. It was then that someone in the party, who suddenly felt himself very wise, remembered that the Kuo Toa are immune to sleep spells. This sparked intense discussion. Had the Kuo Toa been deserted by their monstrous, barely-sentient god? They didn’t know. But what was more interesting was that the bodies of the Kuo Toa the party had slain were missing. There were dragmarks leading off in one direction or another, the party weren’t sure.
Out of options, the party hastened to unlock the final door on this level. The tochbearer Xal used his thieves’ tools, which had been procured by Jed as a kind of gift or tribute (it wasn’t clear which) to unlock the door.
The party then had a disgusting encounter and in this scene Edmund was excellent also, using his “Affect Normal Fires” spell (from the scroll) to cause the party’s torch to flare and illuminate a sort of semi-sentient flesh creature made from limbs and bits of other semi-sentient trash, crudely animated and manipulated.
Jonos was bitten terribly in the ensuing combat, and then Jed severed a crude flesh limb in the second round. In the third round, Edmund cast a Magic Missile (either from memory or from a scroll) which caused the creature to collapse during the rest of the third round and then die at the end of the round.
The Office of the People
After slaying “flesh beast,” the adventurers discovered that the creature was in fact created to guard an office, accessible via trapdoor in the floor. Ultimately the locked door had proven a more challenging obstacle than the flesh creature and had caused the party to even leave the dungeon to purchase a thieves’ tools.
Inside the room, which was kind of an office, the party discovered various objects consistent with office work, such as a bloodstained library book which may have been used as reference material for the creation of the flesh creature. There was also some treasure concealed absurdly amongst other treasure.
Again out of options, and with only a cursory trajectory binding them together into a functional adventuring group, the party looked downwards, always downwards, looking ahead but downwards, pushing on to the spider cave even as exhaustion set in, and slaying another giant spider and another one after that. Someone was injured but probably said nothing about it. It didn’t matter. There were no more options, only to fight and perhaps die, or perhaps descend another level into the city, or to stay motionless, frozen with indecision, as still as a statue, completely stationary, without movement.