Once again I found myself at Castle Nicodemus, in the company of Philip the Bloody, Darf and his bugbears, and a newcomer who introduced himself as Hayle, and proudly announced that he was a Thief. What is the Guild teaching youngsters nowadays, I ask you?
We returned once more to the building where I had previously bested the Gelatinous Cube, hoping to find the stairs down and perhaps recover some more treasure. I swear that I’ve spent more on oil on these expeditions than I have recovered in gold. But hope springs eternal, eh?
Taking care to spike the doors open behind us, so that we would have no more of the foolishness of being unable to chase the mysterious spear-flinger due to recalcitrant doors, we were able to map out the section of the building that led to the room with a desk where the dwarf lost his hand (and no more, thanks to my quick action with a tourniquet, not that he ever thanked me. Dwarves.) and past the greasy remains of the Cube.
We were attacked by a shadowy figure, again throwing a spear. The mage, Philip, used a wand of unusual design the emitted a weird ray, but was unable to hit the fleeing creature, nor were we able to overtake it before losing it. We suspected a secret door, and indeed it was slightly past this section where, Philip sensed some opening, but was unable to pinpoint it. With the aid of some fine sand, I was able to detect an air current, which revealed a secret passage. The passage was narrow, and led to a room much like the desk room, but full of shelving with shattered jars. There was a funny, acidic smell, and a ochre-colored sludge started flowing towards us.
We retreated through the secret passage, and attacked it with fire. This had some effect, but it kept advancing. The wizard used his wand of rays (which he called his phaser, I know not why. Perhaps its power is related to the phases of the moon? At one point he handed it to me, but I was unable to examine it closely). As usual, he was ineffective, but it caused the jelly to retreat to a position above the doorway and out of our line of sight. A jelly of unusual cunning, it seemed.
I poured out some of my stock of oil in front of us, and threw a chunk of rations beneath the doorway. This had the desired effect of luring it once more into view as it oozed down to engulf the treat. Once again we attacked it with torches and the “phaser”, and it oozed forward and attacked me. Unfortunately, it scored a hit on me, and only my armor saved me from certain death. The armor was ruined, but I was merely stunned, and my companions had the wit to drop a torch into the oil slick that I had prepared and roasted the beast… it retreated but this time the wizard was able to hit it with the beam and it finally stopped moving. He fired into it again to make sure.
At this point I was more than ready to retreat and lick my wounds, but my companions wished to press on. Not wishing to dare the way out alone, with the mysterious spear-thrower lurking about, I reluctantly followed; at least one of the hired men offered me the use of his armor. I demurred, since even I would not stoop to taking candy from the mouths of babes, but he insisted that he hadn’t been in the slightest danger so far. Seeing as how God loves fools, it seemed to me he would be safe enough. Since I am not one, I donned the armor.
Past the ruined room, we found a door, and from behind the door came the sound of heavy breathing. After a quick, but not nearly silent enough conversation (honestly, amateurs), the party opened the door, only to be confronted by an enraged Owl Bear. Philip’s sleep spell was ineffective. We ran, proving we were not so foolish as all that, and made it safely out of the castle, shutting the secret door on the Owl Bear….only barely after the dwarf made it through. I harbor some doubts as to whether Philip actually intended to wait for the dwarf; I should perhaps be more wary of letting him get behind me in the future, should our paths cross again.
Having restocked my supplies, I intend to have another go tonight. We shall see if I survive, or manage to recover anything of worth. Should you not hear from me again, know that that I remain,
your obedient humble servant,