Session Log 2022-01-21
The party escaped the elongated figures through the room of floating rubble, scrambling across the rubble strewn across the middle of the room. Ekkels watched from Klaitos's backpack as the creatures began spilling through the door, and noticed overhead that some of the floating rubble was beginning to hover towards the walls.
The party reached the archway room with a plan: Robin would use an illusion of Ekkels to mislead the pursuers and try to lure them somewhere risky. The party hid in the path of glass trellises beyond the archway, Robin peering out to keep her spell going. The figures chased the illusion up to the threshold of the room of void, but did not enter. Robin's line of sight left her unable to place "Ekkels" anywhere they could not simply grasp at, and so she settled for distracting them by having the illusion glow with power and teleport around the room while the party strategized.
Focused as she was on the matter at hand - "teleporting" Ekkels to evade an indeterminate amount of giant grasping hands - she failed to notice the black slime creeping out from the planter beds beside her. Ignis threw a pebble at her, and the party silently alerted her to the danger. The group slipped deeper into the path and had the illusion follow, seeking to lure the creatures into the path, escape, and break the entrance behind them. The figures beyond grasped for "Ekkels" with their tremendous reach, but did not enter the path after him. Some gathered at the entrance, but in the dim light, it was difficult to tell what, if anything, they were doing there.
Robin switched the illusion of Ekkels to her customary illusory torch. The party, wary of the black slime that had aborted Robin and Ekkels' previous expedition, conducted some experiments to see what drew it out of the dead soilbeds. It seemed as though it was reacting to the magic emanating from Robin's illusion, and it slowed to a crawl when Klaitos lit a torch to replace it. The party resolved to be wary about their use of magic going forth.
Uninterested in attempting to flee past the marauding figures outside, the group walked further into the trellis maze. At the first intersection, they noticed some of the cobblestone glittering brightly under the torchlight; Ignis recognized it as another line of Old Elven script: "Riding the tumult of love’s surging waves, we find our equilibrium of passion."
Klaitos led the party into the maze, following the ever-reliable right-hand-rule. The paths might have once been something impressive, but made now for a samey, dusty stroll, up and down artificial slopes, through portal archways leading to other interminable trellis-walled paths. Ekkels, in the meantime, nestled comfortably in Klaitos' backpack, pulling the cover up and over himself. Robin kept a keen eye out for other Old Elven poetry, but found nothing until the party inadvertently returned to the first fork.
Robin, Klaitos, and Ignis decided that the Old Elven poetry was likely a clue to how to proceed through the maze. Ignis propositioned his party members for a kiss as Klaitos and Robin ignored him to puzzle out the specific-sounding "equilibrium". Klaitos led the group back into the maze, this time alternating right and left turns.
After some walking, the party found a sight they had not seen before - the planter and trellis to their right appeared to be broken open to the point that any of them could simply cross to the adjacent path, as did the other wall across that path. The torchlight, shining through the opening, revealed four dessicated, dust-coated corpses in Torch-red uniforms lying in the middle of the central path.
Robin, eager to pick the pockets of the long-dead, leapt over the damaged planter and immediately slipped in the broad puddle of black slime coating the floor of the adjacent hall. Panicking, she abandoned her just-cleaned overshirt and acrobatically vaulted back across the planters. In her rush, the slime clinging to her feet, hair, and legs was spattered across the ground and onto Ignis and Klaitos.
Klaitos hurriedly set down his pack containing the aether core, the ancient books, and Ekkels, passed the torch to the relatively-slimeless Robin, and tore his shirt away to reduce the amount of slime clinging to him. He found it growing and feeding off his innate wind magic, draining him on a concerning level. In his panic, he began crackling with electricity, but quickly cleared his head and focused as he saw the slime feeding on the electricity as well.
Ignis watched the slime grow across his magical armor and felt it sapping the magically-enhanced durability. He elected to rely on its fireproof nature to try to burn the substance away, and began pouring healing brew from his magic bottle over his head. Robin gleefully ignited him, but the slime seemed to feed off the ale's magic as fast as it burned off, leading to an equilibrium where his upper half burned as his legs were encased.
Robin, having enjoyed some cathartic pyromania, quickly used up the rest of her forger's paper to blot away the remaining slime on her person. Ignis ceased dousing himself in ale and hurriedly removed his greaves to free himself of the slime, and the two of them backed away to wait for it to become less active.
Klaitos struggled to rid himself of the slime growing across his skin. He threw himself on the ground to try and scrape it off on the cobblestone, but it continually clung to him. Ekkels began firing off bursts of chaos magic to lure the slime away from his friend. This succeeded - Klaitos was able to clear himself - but left Ekkels and Klaitos's pack surrounded by a moat of encroaching slime puddles.
Klaitos rushed through the moat, unable to leap across and unwilling to let the slime get either his friend or the goods. Ekkels, the Little Dudes and Klaitos worked to clean Klaitos's slime-spattered feet and ankles, aided by Robin luring the slime away with another illusion. The party was able to catch their breath, but were now separated - Ignis and Robin ahead, Klaitos and Ekkels back - by a treacherous spattering of slime-puddles several yards across.