Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (7)

    The room below, and the passage that leads out of it, was flooded with wet mud.  At my suggestion, Pireseri (the short elf) looked for a way to drain it, but there was not.  There was wood only for a raft for Miyara, but she declined and chose to wade with the rest of us.  Pireseri would not walk in the liquid up to his chest, and insisted that he would only ride on Mongo's shoulders.
    The rope was anchored and hidden, and we all descended.  Gorudurumu left his pack, with all his non-combat gear, hidden amongst the refuse of the goblins' room.
    We formed up single file to explore the passages.  I lead, of course, since I could see.  Mongo, with Pireseri on his shoulders, followed next to use the little elf's strange sight.  The mud impeded our progress -- those shortest were slowest, Goru of course limiting our pace, while it seems that Pireseri was perhaps right to insist on being carried like a baby.
    After a short while, the passage turned south.  Soon after this, another branched off to the left while we continued on to an open room.  The large room was unfinished, with one exit to the east.
    It soon became apparent that there were worms all over the room in the mud.  They moved slowly, and attached to the feet of Miyara and -- mostly -- Goru.  The largest were about a foot long and about a 1/4" in diameter, resembling muddy strings.  They reminded me of leeches in their shape and behavior.  Miyara stabbed the ones attached to her with an arrow, whereupon they dissolved instantly into mud.  Goru copied her with his dagger.
    We chose to leave this room as soon as we could, proceeding through the east exit.  Pireseri failed in his clairvoyance, shouting in surprise as a wooden portcullis sprung from the wall and struck me as I stepped through.  I realized I was falling back into the large room, and remember nothing from then.  As I fell unconscious, I was glad it was me who had been struck and not Miyara...

    I recovered consciousness to find Rawena tending me with her healing magics.  Others were hurt too, as if from combat.  Ashu was worst, and Rawena divided her efforts between us.  Jeison soon finished hacking through the wooden gate trap and returned Ashu's axe to him.  We all waited while Rawena finished her task of restoring us all.

    This time Pireseri climbed onto Jeison's shoulders, and led the way to look for traps.  I was concerned about this, as not only should I be leading in the dark but the little elf didn't see the last one, but it is what Miyara wanted too so I took second.
    We proceeded down the passage, which soon opened out into a 20' x 30' finished room with high 18' ceilings.  Inset into an alcove the south wall was a small stage, 15' wide by 10' deep.  We all were delighted at the prospect of getting out of the foul mud, as the stage rose 4' above the top of the liquid.  There were two closed doors in the north wall, while on the stage an opening lead west and a doorway east.  On the stage were several ceremonial chairs, built as if for someone of the White Fairy's size.
    As we waded towards the dais, Pireseri pointed out benches and chairs under the mud, also built for the Fairy's stature, and these fell apart readily as the barbarians inevitably bumped clumsily into them.
    We climbed onto the dais and began to dry out and check for worms.  The mud is sticky, smells of disease, and is hard to get out of clothing.  Goru threw a tantrum, raging and moaning as he showed us his damaged boots -- anything metal directly in the water had gone.  Miyara's katana and wakizashi were of course safe, being housed in scabbards of fine workmanship rather than crude barbarian craft.
    The walls of the stage were decorated with find deep blue cloth, but it was rotted and fell apart as Jeison touched it to check for anything hidden.  The opening to the west revealed stairs leading gently upwards, but Miyara was still seeking Shishei Godanji's dragon statue, and so that was not our path.  Behind the door there were stairs heading gently down, and thankfully there was no mud to descend into.
    Before we left, however, Mongo dropped back into the mud to carry Pireseri to look through the other doors in the large room.  The one near the center of the north wall opened onto a finished passageway going north; about 10' down was a passage leading to stairs headed west up out of the mud.  The eastern door in the wall of the large room was also to a finished passage, in this case going briefly north and then curving back to the east.
    We rested on the dais before continuing into the depths of this stronghold.