Episode 88: The Palace of Ice, Part II
Magnus stepped forward to pick up the sword, but out of sorts and more careless than usual, was surprised to find himself engulfed by a Gelatinous Ice Cube, all but invisible in the passageway. The giant ooze slid forward, Magnus stuck within, and attacked the party, its cold blistering their skin from mere proximity. The cube bore down on Keen, but Whisper stepped between them and was engulfed. The remaining adventurers kept their distance, pouring arrows, bolts, and spells into the creature. As it took more damage, the cube turned itself into solid ice, trapping Magnus and Whisper utterly. Hearing the pleas of the suffocating Magnus over their residium binding telepathic link, Ara closed the distance and launched a vicious series of attacks against the ice. He poured into his strikes the power of his ancestors and the block of ice shattered, his companions tumbling to the ground.
As they took their breath, Keen was the first to see that several of the larger broken chunks of ice on the ground were reverting to a gelatinous state. He barked a warning as three of them formed into Icy Oozes and attacked. Two leapt from the ground like a mockery of jumping spiders to partially encase Ara in freezing gelatinous ice, while a third attacked Sirlius, which Keen skewered on the point of his rapier and flicked into the river of ice. Sirlius unleashed a torrent of fire at Ara, engulfing the two oozes.
Whisper scrambled over to the sword to find it partially embedded in the ice.As she began working to free it, Magnus regained his feet and regarded the river of flowing, gelatinous ice. He realized that the river itself was the source of these creatures almost at the moment that four Icy Oozes emerged from the river and began flowing across the ground towards the party. Magnus shouted a warning, but Sirlius and Whisper were still struggling with the sword, its hilt embedded in the icy floor.
Just as they succeeded in pulling it free, seven more oozes emerged from the river. The party fled down the passageway, the oozes in pursuit. Panicked, Sirlius used his Wand of Wonder, which filled the passageway with magical darkness, which seemed to slow the oozes not at all. The passage ended in a T-junction. To the right, the tunnel ran uphill and ended at a cave-in; a narrow opening atop the rubble looked passable. To the left, the tunnel ended at a wall of cut stone into which was set a heavy iron door.
After a few moments of indecision, the party made for the door. They found it locked with a complicated mechanism consisting of four levers. As the oozes rounded the corner, Whisper and Magnus stepped forward to ready attacks. Sirlius tried the Wand of Wonder again, and turned invisible. As the oozes continued to close, Keen pulled a lever at random. To his dismay the floor beneath his feet dropped away and he, Ara, Yuna, and the invisible Sirlius were dropped twenty feet, falling into a heap at the bottom of the pit trap.
Meanwhile, Whisper threw a handful of seeds down the hall at the oozes and cast Plant Growth. While the spell was only partially successful, it was sufficient to slow three of the approaching oozes. As one group closed the distance they launched themselves through the air at Magnus and Whisper both. One hit the ranger, but the other two sailed past Magnus to land in the pit atop his companions.
The trapped party members dispatched the oozes, and Keen began scaling the icy wall of the pit, trying to reach the levers on the door. Stella, still in her Coatl form, was hovering above the pit and closed her jaws around the scruff of Keen’s jerkin, pulling him the rest of the way.
As Magnus and Whisper fended off the approaching icy oozes, Keen leaned across the locking mechanism and depressed all four levers at once. The door swung open, the floor of the pit trap jerked upwards rocketing the trapped adventurers into a Gelatinous Ice Cube released from the ceiling. Keen and Sirlius tumbled to one side to avoid the cube, but Stella, Ara, and Yuna were all swallowed by the cube. The situation seemed dire, but Yuna directed Stella to use her powers to change shape and in an instant a giant Allosaurus shattered the cube from within, expelling Ara into the room behind the door.
The party destroyed the remaining oozes and hurried into the room, locking the door behind them. As they collapsed exhausted from the exertion, cold, and fear, the adventurers rested and took in their surroundings. The room appeared to be an antechamber of sorts, and looked as though it might lead into a larger underground structure but for a cave-in that had collapsed half the chamber, cutting it off completely. In one corner of the room they found the corpse of a high-elf knight, six arrows buried in his chest and a rotten journal frozen in his hand.
Whisper was able to recover four of the six arrows. Each shaft was covered in delicate filigreed carvings, and the fletchings were green and gold and orange and brown, the colors of late summer turning to autumn. Their style closely matched the design of the longsword’s hilt. Magnus cast a ritual identify spell, revealing these to be enchanted weapons of the Greenthorn, the titular dead knight of summer.
Ara pulled the journal free of the knight’s corpse and was able to read the last page. It spoke of a doomed assault on the Palace of Ice by Summer forces seemingly at the urging of Oberon, Titania’s consort. The party realized they had followed in this group’s footsteps, also at the behest of Oberon, and wondered if they too had been tricked.
Ice Status: Oozing
Dinosaur Physics Rating: Explosive
Detect Traps Levels: Dropping
RP Rating: Awesome!