We returned to Eastdale with our prizes, having discussed the idea of trying the gibbering mouther and deciding against it. The guards on the south gate were suspicious and did not want to let Sanfire into town, fearing he was linked to the fey because of his (lack of) stature.
After a day or so of rest, I asked Denara for her wisdom about the treasures we had recovered. The silver dagger and obsidian amulet we’re both magical; the crown and necklace were not. The sale of both came to 556 gp each, the majority of which went to my temple fund immediately. The rest I would invest in further adventures to find yet more treasure.
We took a few hours to investigate a prominent windmill near town. Nothing there but a fanatical miller with a basement and an overly inquisitive halfling. (We brought the halfling).
After restocking our gear we decided to try the gibbering mouther once more, with a little bit of a plan. We would put candle wax in our ears, send in the halfling to lure it into the u shaped hallway where the black pudding is, and then let the halfling out the second door while closing it in. This seemed promising; perhaps the pudding and the mouther would kill each other, or at least the mouther would be locked away from the goblet.
It didn’t chase the halfling.
Also it might be growing.
Sanfire suggested a ten foot pole with a loop of rope at the far end to grab the goblet without waking up the creature. Worth a try. It’s hard to strategize against a creature that can keep you from acting on your plans. Perhaps some other members of the gray company will want to try our ideas. Bern seems to have a dislike for this creature…
Stria came back to town talking about a big haul they brought in from the Grotto, and how the guards wouldn’t let the new halfling group member in. Yggians, so paranoid. She banked 600 gold towards her assassin school. She said she needed a break after almost being strangled to death by the walking corpse. Don’t blame her. I offered to take her spot in the group for the next trip. She’ll keep our room rented at the inn.
Met up with Oscar, Ahnjela, and the halfling, Sanfire. They wanted to inspect a windmill just outside of town, so we headed there. Lovely storm as we walked. They didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. The windmill was occupied, and the man didn’t want to let us in when Oscar knocked. Oscar had to offer him a gold piece per person before the stingy bastard would open the door. I tuned out most of the conversation, staring into the fire contentedly. Lots of babbling about St. Ygg. Oscar stepped on my foot pointedly for some reason, but I wasn’t even doing anything this time. He should have been reining in the halfling, not picking on me. Sanfire had proceeded to rudely wander around checking for hidden doors. The man noticed him, of course, and threw us out. I lost the fire, but at least I got to go back out in the lovely storm. We passed a group of trolls carrying a body, but we gave them a wide berth, and they must have been satisfied with the dinner they were carrying, because they didn’t come after us.
We kept heading towards the Grotto, and made camp along the way. Ahnjela and Sanfire were sniffling, so I took a watch and Oscar took the other one. Nobody looked at me funny, maybe because the woods were too wet to burn anyway if I did play with the fire. The morning dawned bright and burning hot, so another lovely day from Zuul, just for a different reason. Again, the others didn’t seem to enjoy it as much as I did. We were almost to the Grotto when we came across unnatural little hills. Then we saw giant centipedes. At least six. Eating animals they had killed, and fighting over the corpses. Sanfire disappeared. Ahnjela, Oscar and I climbed trees. AFter a while, the centipedes all left. I wonder if giant bugs are approved of by Zuul, or if they are unnatural things I should destroy. I’ll have to pray about that.
The walking in the heat made Ahnjela more sickly, so we camped once we got in the grotto, in a little room. Oscar and I took watches again. Oscar said a mushroom grew from the wall and beckoned to him during his watch. Our purpose for being there was to get the chalice back. And kill the monster, if we could. We stopped our ears with softened candle wax after making our plans. The original plan was for the group to shoot the monster and get it to attack us, while either Sanfire or Ahnjela snuck past it and got the chalice off the altar. I was looking forward to this plan, because it meant I could set the monster on fire. The plan morphed into Sanfire luring the monster into the arching hallway, so we could shut it in there. Then we could get the chalice safely. So, Sanfire set off through the first secret door. And we waited. And waited. Heard a dim noise through my plugged ears. Ahnjela and Oscar suddenly started staring off into space. Finally, Sanfire came running back out, shutting the secret door behind him. Divesting ourselves of the wax earplugs, we discovered that as he stepped on the floor, there was a click, and the pile of what he thought was dirt and trash around the altar started making the noises that drives people crazy, and he ran. So, we at least learned two things. One, the chalice is on the altar. Two, the monster sounds bigger than what everyone said it was before, and was disinclined to chase anyone who didn’t attack it, so maybe it’s full at the moment. The original plan of torching the thing is still an option.