Session Log 2022-01-25
Klaitos, unwilling to further deal with the slime on the floor, elected to bash through the trellis-wall on the other side of the path, walk to Ignis and Robin, and bash back through. At a safe distance from the slime, Klaitos treated his minor glass lacerations and the party travelled on, alternating turns according to their right-left strategy.
Eventually, they found themselves walking back the way to the path on the other side of the corpses and the puddle. Having learned from their previous attempt, the party examined the site more cautiously. Robin recalled a lesson from her illusionist teacher, in which he warned her of this hazard - magebane slime, a hazard usually found in the southern Torch Empire where it borders the swampy Blight. He had imparted unto her a rhyming mnemonic, that described the slime's propensity to eat the magic out of a mage and turn them into short-lived but deadly monsters. The slime was said to be held at bay by bright light, sunlight scouring it best of all.
Lacking sunlight, but unhurried, the party gathered dry brush from the trellises and planter beds to burn a clearing in the puddle. They were unable to find any more mosiac text in the cobblestone floor, but were able to take a closer look at the bodies in the center path.
From the looks of things, three torch spearmen and a mid-ranking mage died here some hundreds of years ago. The spearmen looked as though they had been flung outwards from the mage. The scattering of the mage's body parts and a scorch mark under the largest seemed to indicate that the mage had exploded from the torso, but the spear driven into the corpse suggested a conflict before the group perished. Unfortunately, most of their possessions were tattered and deteriorated - the only notable possession was the mage's antique badge of office.
Robin, concerned that they might be crossing their own path, began dragging her cultist's robes in the dust behind her and began taking notes on the party's path. They continued along their route and found themselves at the entrance once more. Robin suggested they alternate the last path they had tried - left, then right turns - but when this crossed their previous path, and eventually brought them back to the torch-robed corpses, she realized that the routes they were taking were inconsistent in a way that would make any sort of exhaustive search an exhausting prospect.
Klaitos led the group back to the entrance and peered beyond. It seemed as though the elongated figures had left the entrance. A Little Dude, sent to scout, claimed they weren't visible from the archway, but highlighted some new inscriptions carved in the stone floor outside. They resembled the chaos-magic trap under the tarp in the room with the floating apparatus and the knifed corpse, but were already glowing with ambient power. The carvings were broad enough to form a "moat" several feet wide, making it difficult to leap across.
Ignis attempted to step on the runes but immediately felt a force assault the magic of his armor. He fought it off long enough to step back. He and Robin then used the dusty robe to block the sunlight over a portion of the spellwork. Ekkels scraped some magebane into another paint-pot and spilled it into the ward. It infested the shadow-covered section quickly, partially disrupting and dimming the flow of power through the overall moat. However, it did not disable the effect, and began bubbling and spilling forth from the grooves in the stone as it fed on the chaos magic. Ignis and Robin lowered the robe-tarp and let the sunlight vaporize the magebane before it became its own problem.
Experimentally, Ignis removed his armor, magic bottle, and heraldic blade, and stepped forth onto the runes once more. It registered as an odd sensation in his mind but did not have any overt effect. However, the party was unsure if they wanted to risk exiting this way, as only Ignis was innately unmagical enough to walk across safely. They weighed their dilemma - further foraging in a labyrinth that mocked their efforts to delve its depths, or escaping the chaos wards placed while they had been exploring it.