The party left the Whorlstone Tunnels and decided to let the Stonespeaker know about what they found. When they got to Cairngorm Cavern, they were surprised to see nobody was there to greet them. They tried “knocking” but got no response. Leona and Alyndra snuck in to see what was going on. They heard some deep sounds, almost melodic. Turns out the stone giants were in the middle of prayer and they waited for it to be over before sneaking back to the entrance to pretend like they just arrived. They told the Stonespeaker what they found and suggested the stone giants go down and clean the place out to quash any further threat. He thanked the party and gave them a gem for their troubles.
The party made their way back to the Darklake District and to the Shattered Spire, where they would wait for Werz Saltbaron to arrive. They were not that surprised to find Jimjar inside, collecting a bet from those at the table as they came over. They made room and Jimjar filled them in on what had been going on while they were away:
- the twins seem to leave the boats, but he doesn’t know where they go
- he’s apparently been busy here in the Shattered Spire, collecting a lot of coin, enough to settle up with Harbeck
- he saw Ilvara Mizzrym and her crew arrive at the docs
Werz arrived later in the evening and the party went over to speak with him. They informed him that Captain Errde Blackskull told them he knew a way to the surface, but they were a bit disappointed to learn he knows a guy, who knows the way to the surface. He gave the party a sack full of raw gemstones and told them to deliver them to Kazook Pickshine in Blingdenstone. Jimjar recognized the gems as empty spell gems, similar to those used in the defense of Blingdenstone. The party asked Werz about hiring a navigator. Jimjar was confident he could get them to Blingdenstone but they seemed more comfortable having a more experienced navigator. He said he would help and they would meet the party at their boats.
With the new navigator, Noria Cutwater, the party was ready to depart. On their first day out, the party came across a strange symbol, etched into one of the stalactites. A few party members noticed the symbol, as did Noria who made sure to take the boats far away from it.
The next day, the party came into a large cavern, probably a mile across, filled with patches of bio-luminescent fungi. Off to one side, however, there was a dim yellow glow that Noria seemed to recognize. She took the boats over and discovered a smaller cavern. This one only 80 feet across and 60 feet high. It is lit by tall, bizarre, tube like fungi that grow in several clusters around the chamber. They illuminate many two-foot tall, orange and red toadstools, half a dozen four-foot tall gray green four mushrooms, and two massive, forty-foot tall mushrooms (zurkhwood) clustered in the middle of the chamber. Leona also noticed a metal glint coming from the center, near a bubbling puddle of mud. As they got closer, it turned out to be chain mail armor on a dead stone guard. Even though the party has food provisions, they are still traveling with a lot of people and foraging is still a high priority.
They cautiously make their way into the smaller cavern when the mud of the hot spring bubbles, gurgles and pops as they approach. The warmth is palpable. Suddenly, the mud rises up to a height of eight feet, sprouts limbs and a roughly bipedal form, and lunges! Two smaller forms come out of the mud and begin attacking the party. Gerald hits the two smaller ones and they both split into two smaller forms. The larger one ends up engulfing Issander, but he survives as the party defeats the mud creatures. They take some of the fungi for food and Leona inspects the duergar body. The part of the body that was in the mud was being eaten by it, leaving nothing from the waist down but part of the chain mail (of acid resistance).
After being cast asside by Gerald, Dawnbringer has still not recovered. Issander has been trying to revive her with the help of Harbeck and his daylight spells. So far, he has managed to activate Dawnbringer, but her light is dim (candlelight), power weak (a +1 sword), and still not speaking.