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Many Alternate Doors, No Exits in Sight (MADNES) 16: Cleaning up Loose Ends

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Actual footage of fight with ooze . . .
Can't an amorphous protoplasm watch a movie? Racism I tell ya!

Welcome back. Where we left off, Maiphere had finally succeeded in becoming whole again, and was regretting it.

While Hazel attended to him the rest of the group took a break. A long break. During that time Kale (Maiphere's skeletal friend) came in, checked on Maiphere, and deposited a large bag in the corner of the room. The bag had what appeared to be a body in it. He then left again, off to do whatever skeletal giants do. He was there barely long enough for the group to realize he was sporting some nice looking armor.

Sometime early the next morning they began to hear the sound of a large heavy something scraping along the hallway outside. Loki went to investigate. Not because he was considered the most capable of the task so much as because he was already investigating while everyone else was still trying to place the sound.

Loki stationed himself behind a suit of armor (what dungeon doesn't have suits of armor standing around?) and waited. As the endeavor creating the sound came around the corner he realized it was Kale again. Only now the recently repaired giant skeleton had a will-o-wisp in his rib cage, and the best way to describe his armor was shredded. Oh, and he was dragging a 5 foot by 10 foot stone slab with a similarly shaped, ancient looking chest on top.

Loki stealthed back and suggested 'the muscle' give the Skeleton a hand. Thor, Nebula and Steve went out and began pushing. The skeleton pulled the slab right up to the library door, and knocked.

Inside, Maiphere struggled to his feet, helped by Hazel, and went slowly to the door. Despite his condition, he did a double take when the door opened to reveal one skeletal best buddy and one evil looking coffin. Also some truly messed up carpet.

Maiphere took one look at the chest and hobbled back to one of the reading tables. Kale began rounding up book from various spots in the library, placing them on the desk. Maiphere then began reading through them, trying to figure out what the chest Kale had brought was, and more importantly, how to open it.

Meanwhile, out in the corridor, Fauna made an appearance, immediately demanding to know who had brought the coffin-of-holding to this spot. When they explained she entered the library, at a normal person's gait. No one knows why.

Inside Loki was reading over Maiphere's shoulder, (thank you wand of comprehend languages) and had become convinced it held the giant skeleton's body and that there would be two body re-associations in as many days.

Fauna waited until Maiphere acknowledged her presence before stating that there was a serious problem in the graveyard. Fuckwits of some sort had apparently let an ooze out. A bone eating ooze. And it was acting like a glutton at a Pizza Hut buffet. Skeletons were leaving the graveyard by the droves. The witches were angry. Flora was pissed. And did he know anything about it?

He immediately referred that question to the Cupcakes. Cupcakes that were all apparently trying very hard to take up as little space as possible at the moment. Loki had it though. He pointed out that no slimes had been loose when they'd arrived at the graveyard, but that they'd take care of it.

What? He didn't lie.

Not completely convinced as to the group's innocence (with good reason) Fauna asked if they'd released the slime. Loki responded by asking if they looked like the kind of idiots that would just let a slime go. She still didn't seem quite convinced, but she had to accept that answer. (His bluff beat her sense motive by 2). Once assured that the group would deal with the situation she left, still at a sedate (downright unconscious for her) pace. Maiphere went back to his reading. As he would finish looking through one book, Kale would take it, passing him the next before shelving it. Eventually they found the box. It was an evil artifact, made from the body of a demon. It could only be opened by an evil person, yet it required that any item taken be replaced with an equally sized item.

Maiphere then closed the book and asked if this was what the body Kale had delivered the previous day had been for. To which Kale grinned. Which is really, really creepy.

Really creepy.

Like, I didn't know skeletons could do that. It alters my entire world view.

Anyway, Maiphere's next question was to ask why Kale hadn't simply opened the coffin of holding instead of dragging the entire thing up to the fourth floor. Kale responded that he though Maiphere's stuff was in it. Stuff Maiphere really wanted. They then turned to Loki (fully aware that he understood everything they were saying) and told him they needed help looting the body.

Loki immediately turned to Thor saying that the skeleton needed help with the body. Thor shrugged and walked over to the sack. Kale followed. Once the body was unsacked, the skeleton called out the bits he wanted. Loki boiled it down into two words: 'strip him'.

Kale glared at Loki, then began pointing out the specific things he wanted. Once that rather smelly task was completed, Kale led them back to the coffer and opened it. Black smoke immediately billowed out as the seal was cracked. Once opened, a skeletal hand came out of the box, offering a ring. Kale took it, immediately replacing it with a ring from Thor. This continued until every bit of the corpse's gear was swapped out.

Afterwards Maiphere suggested the group go deal with the grave problem. Feeling dismissed, the group headed down to the cemetery. The trip there was uneventful, but as they approached the gate they saw that the pixie guards they'd so easily thwarted had been replaced by a horde of skeletons on one side of the gate, facing off with one of the hags on the other.

The hag was holding the gate shut, and flinging any skeletons that climbed over back across. Loki stepped up again, greeting her as a 'Madame' and informing her that they were here to handle the slime problem.

His grandiloquence notwithstanding, she responded with a grunted 'then do it!'. She then indicated a hole in the fence off to the side. The group quickly followed her instructions, bypassing the horde of frightened skeletons.

It was not hard to find the slime's path; they just followed the trail of upended graves. That trail led straight to the mausoleum in the miscellaneous quarter of the graveyard, and the biggest ooze (see above) they'd ever seen.

Despite it's size, the fight went pretty easily, with one wrinkle. As the thing was hit with slashing weapons it would split. Once enough damage was done it would become inert. Of course, Thor was using a slashing weapon. In other words, there were a lot of little dried bits of slime on the field in short order.

The first time this happened Fauna appeared out of nowhere and yelled at them to put the thing in something glass. Hazel, still having beakers from their organ Easter egg hunt, quickly bent to the task.

Once all of the oozes had been neutralized they were brought to the crypt that they'd been released from. This could have tripped the group up if Fauna hadn't raced ahead to show them where it was.

So, with two watching for anymore escapees, Thor slid the lid off again. Hazel deposited the ooze flasks. And, while no one was looking, Loki took the scarab they'd left the last time. Steve caught the motion, but missed what had been taken. Once the lid was closed Fauna raced back outside to tell the Hag that the deed was done.

After that the group returned to Maiphere's. Only to find yet another unfinished task awaiting them. Somehow, in their absence, he'd learned that they had not looted all of the stuff in the strange humanoid chimera's cave, as the dragon had asked when they were looking for Maiphere's lungs. He suggested they do so. As it turned out, the chimera possessed an egg that was the sibling to the dragon they'd been dealing with. He also suggested quite strongly that they kill the chimera that had been guarding it.

The group agreed, (even managing to convince Loki to come along by suggesting the possibility of loot) and headed there on foot this time. They made it to the lava pool just fine, again getting the dragon to open the way.

Once inside they paused just before entering the cave, to make perceptions. That was when Loki noted a shadow in the lantern light from the room that indicated that the chimera was hanging above the entrance, just past the threshold to his cave. Ready to ambush them.

{Player's Note: Got the look again! The DM was pissed that we'd actually taken that precaution. Of course, considering our past decisions, he had every right to be surprised.}

Clearly The Chimera wanted a plaything. So Loki provided one, by means of a silent image that looked a lot like Thor (except less handsome). The image walked into the room. The Chimera fell upon it. As illusory Thor winked out of existence the Chimera said 'oh no', and proceeded to get curb stomped by the party.

Steve and Nebula then went below to get the egg. Loki went for loot. But, as they worked their way through the cave the bodies pasted to the walls began falling. Figuring that was a precursor to the walls falling, they hoofed it to a purple egg, grabbed it, and bolted back out of the cave.

They were met by an expectant older sister who took the egg, nuzzled it, and placed it on an island in the middle of the lava. The group again returned to Maiphere, though Loki was beginning to feel a bit like an errand boy.

But, even errand boys get paid, this payment coming in the form of one scroll of Water Breathing. Which meant they were up for a nice pleasant swim . . .

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