Chapter 6 - "How Can You Have Any Pudding If You Don't Eat Your Meat"

The next morning, though there was no sun to mark it as such, the group prepared to continue deeper into the tunnels. Viselys and Duxil felt unusually stiff as they stretched and noticed the first signs of the disease.

"You know, I may be able to cure you all," Urol offered.

"Please," Viselys said. Duxsil nodded in agreement.

Urol was able to magically cure Viselys, Duxsil, and the Olman of the disease. And though the Olman was no longer a contagion threat, his feeble mindedness necessitated his continued restraint.

As they pressed on with Irgzid leading the way, they come to a cavern in which trickles of water emerged from a crack in the ceiling, splitting into numerous rivulets that roll slowly down stalactites and drip off into deep, milky pools that dot the floor of the chamber.

"The burning poolsss," Irgzid said as he came to a stop.

"Does the smell get any better in this place?" Saris asked from behind Viselys as they glanced in.

"Acid isss not good to breath or drink," Irgzid replied.

"If we hold our breath, I bet we could make it," Duxsil offered.

"Yeah, but what about that?" Saris asked pointing to the southeast corner across from them.

A gargantuan puddle of seeming black goo moved towards them through the acid filled air of the cave.

"We could distract it with something that'll otherwise slow us down while we make a break for it," Liamae suggested indicating the Olman.

"I could cast a Floating Disk, put the Olman on it and push him the other way," Duxsil offered mater-of-factly.

"We are not sacrificing the Olman as bait," Viselys frowned making Duxsil and Liamae smile.

"Don't get bent out of shape. I was kidding about the pushing him the other way, but I can cast the disk to pull him quickly behind us," Duxsil said still grinning.

"Good," Viselys affirmed before looking down at Urol. "Sorry about this," he offered before scooping the gnome up, tucking him under his arm and breaking into a sprint across the room with the others close behind.

The group managed to elude the gooey grasp of the black pudding, which did not leave the cavern of burning pools. After continuing on for about eight more miles, they stopped for lunch.

"What's up ahead?" Viselys asked Irgzid as they finished eating and prepared to push on.

"A large cavern. There isss a path down," the troglodyte responded.

As Irgzid had said, the group found the seventy-foot-wide cavern that dropped away into a black gulf below. A forest of stalactites hung from the ceiling, some dropping away out of sight into the darkness. A ledge, its surface glistening with moisture and mold, winded down the inner wall of the cavern, providing the descending path of dubious safety that Irgzid had mentioned without the dubious details.

Continue to Chapter 7

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