So, the party was reasonably certain that the goblin boss had run downstairs to where the 'creepy crawlies' lived. They tried having Shannarea scout ahead again, but this time it didn't work so well -- the rats saw her first, and leapt out and nibbled on her a bit before the rest of the party could join in.
The rats were sneaky, but really weak -- they kept hiding in the stalactites that made moving around the room a pain and blocked many lines of sight. Obviously, the best way to take them out would be to AoE the clusters of stalagmites that they were hiding in, but they were pretty nimble and kept dodging. The second best way was for Bore to wander in and tempt them to attack him, at which point he could cleave through them two at a time...
As it turned out, the rats weren't the real threat -- it was a giant ochre jelly that used the same tactics, less effectively on the stealth part but much more effectively on the burning people up with acid part. Bore and Alaric tried to circle around through a side passage behind it, but that turned out to be a bad idea since the side passage was long, didn't go anywhere fast, and was full of stalagmites and rats. By the time they got through it, Shannarea and Ariel and Sam had already defeated the ochre jellies (it split in two when it got badly hurt), Ariel in particular taking a pretty bad pounding and using up all her healing surges.
So they figured... one more fight, then they'd have to head back to town to rest. They checked a dark tunnel first, but saw signs that it was a hive of Kruthnik -- probably not where the goblin boss had gone, since he would have been eaten. So they backed up and took the set of doors instead, and found... a blue slime?
The slime was, at least, obviously guarding treasure on its little island. They tried to take the treasure using a mage hand, and got most of it actually before the slime attacked... but since it was there, and possibly hiding the path the boss might conceivably have taken, they decided to fight it, at least unless it looked like they were going to lose.
The slime's initial stench-burst made retreating hard anyway, since half the party was dazed... and it had an annoying AoE that kept hitting Sam over and over because he wanted to keep firing magic missiles at it instead of moving back out of range. Bore was *secretly* glad that additional targets stayed in range to make it keep AoEing, because he was the one tanking it mostly and it hit really hard when it decided to go for a single target. He burned through four different methods of self-healing in addition to the cleric's aid, and still almost dropped when the slime finally popped, doing a dozen points of damage on its final revenge attack.
And afterwards, they discovered that the slime pool *was* a dead end -- apparently, the slime was a rehydrated assassin sent from Thunderspire Mountain to eat Calarel (the bad guy trying to open a portal to the Shadowfell) about a month back. Apparently, the messenger had been tossed into a dank room to be eaten by his own slime instead of getting an audience. There was no way that the boss had gone THAT way -- had he really gone to the Kruthnik? Or had he gone into the undead tunnels that their goblin informant had assured them were not possibly the way he would have gone?
At any rate, the party was pretty wiped out after taking on the slime, and headed back to town to rest the night in safety, before returning to (hopefully) finish the job.
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