In the smoky, fiery darkness the multi-headed beast thrashed and bucked, its many necks slithering over each other and the slick ground, striking repeatedly at the tiny intruders who had already harmed it.
Fire burned across the creatures back and many necks, oil burned atop the fetid pool as well, smoke rising to the ceiling, choking adventurer and monster alike. Four of their party had been dispatched by the monster, ten remained. They fought like tigers.
When things seemed at their grimmest, Zoltar had an idea. He drank one of the potions of firebreath. Thus armed, he blew a thick line of fire directly above the Hydra’s body. Perhaps he was trying to scare it, or perhaps the goodly cleric had a moment of doubt. In any event a moment later his aim proved true and he dispatched the wretched beast.
At the same time, Eres cast his last spear, catching one of the heads in the eyeball, pinning it to the wall.
All this abuse was too much for the beast. It slumped to the ground, its body and necks smoldering in the blaze. The party recovered their downed allies and were delighted find that they had all survived the fight.
After examining the room for a moment and finding it sadly bereft of treasure, they investigated the door set into the stone wall on the far side of the room.
There was a pretty impressive lock on the door, but Hodor made short work of it with the handle of his sword. Lock destroyed, the door swung open on its uneven hinges. Inside, the room was something from a nightmare. A dozen humans hung on the walls, their wrists spiked to the stone wall by large nails. The humans had been eviscerated, their innards removed and a strange, gooey substance placed inside their chest cavity.
The viscous goo was nearly opaque, but strange shapes could be seen moving sluggishly through the thick slime. Beyond that, there was a strange spider which skittered around the room. It had metal grafted onto its body and was examining the humans and their implanted larva one by one.
Thoroughly spooked, the adventurers retreated to the previous room, closing the door to discuss what they should do.
After a lengthy discussion, weighing all their options, they decided to consult with the Ifrit they had met at the start of the cave.
Ig answered as if the answer was unimportant and obvious, “You mean the incubation room? That’s where Borem was growing more of his kind.”
“What happens if we don’t destroy them?” asked Eres.
“Well, They’d escape out into the world and there’d be more of his kind,” was his reply.
“Any downside to killing them?”
“Your conscious might be pricked, I suppose.” They all joined in a hardy round of laughter.
There course clear to them, they returned to the incubation room.
The team set up a strategy to attack several times before the spider could respond. They lined up their archers and spear throwers, followed by their melee combatants, all prepared to rush in. They counted to three, knocked opened the door and began their assault.
Firing two arrows and two spears they struck the creature twice. It did not respond, except to walk a little less straight. After a moment, it became clear the creature was non-hostile. They all ran in and crushed it to smithereens. Pink was particularly alert and noticed that there was an electrum piece inside the creature. She reached inside and retrieved it.
Next, they set Hodor to destroying the creatures nesting within the humans. He set to with gusto, cutting the strange, octopus-like creature out of the humans and then crushing them to death under his heel.
When he reached the last one, the human began jerking slightly and opened its eyes. “We’re watching,” it whispered, “we’ve you seen you murder our children. We won’t forget, we won’t forgive.”
Hodor, totally unconcerned, began the process of cutting the creature free, but Eres interrupted and stepped forward, “You’re watching us? Just who are you?”
“We are the ones who walk among you, who watch and prepare. You, human, we won’t forget your face.”
“Oh yeah? Well, you were all pretty easy to kill. Bring it on.”
“You, lowly human, you will regret your words.”
“You think you’re more advanced then us? You can’t survive without humans. You’re just a brain without us.”
“We can survive in any organism. We prefer humans because they are the dominant race on this miserable planet.”
They had Hodor slap the human around a bit, but he said, “Go ahead and hit this vessel, it does not hurt me.”
“Oh yeah? Pull him out, Hodor.”
Hodor happily obliged. They kicked the creature around a bit and stuck it back into the human. They were disappointed to find they had killed the creature, but perhaps it was for the best.
They continued on, another door led into the treasure room where they found a large catch of both currency and loot. Of notable mention were a magical scythe and full-plate, which were a set, and Ig’s Oath stone.
They returned to the room where they had originally encountered Ig. He was there, looking more vibrant and alive, tiny flames flickering through his eyes and over his arms and hair. He was prepared to accept the stone, but they asked if he would first prepare some potions for them. He hesitantly agreed to prepare four potions of healing, two potions of regeneration, and two more potions of fire-breathing. He began the preparations immediately, and the adventurers settled in to wait.