Nix takes a closer look at the cages in the room, casting her eyes about and lingering on oddities: the small patch of red mushrooms growing out of an odourous ichor on the floor of one, the way the mould in the corner seems to avoid the cages entirely, the bloodied rags that lie rotten and musty from centuries of neglect.
Adrik, Jila, Bennet and Simon rest for a moment near the back of the group, awaiting a solid command forward. Darrin edges forward, the bright light from Simon’s staff combined with the distant clacking sound and the otherwise silent room gave him a dread and forboding most disquieting. Korik, quickly dressing himself and reattaching various pouches, weapons and armour pieces, awkwardly approaches Nix as she leans into one of the cages to see the mushrooms a little closer. As he begins muttering something, Jila leans in and tries to overhear, but to no avail. Suddenly alert, everyone turns as an orange flash and furious windblow escapes the room down the corridor at the top end. All eyes are on Darrin, his arm in front of him, the sizzle of the air in his palm betraying his act.
“WHAT THE HELL?!” Korik hisses at both no-one in particular, and at Darrin. At least Darrin seems convinced of this. Blade drawn, Korik begins stalking forward as Nix asks: “What is it?” When the flame dissipates on a distant wall of stone, silence falls again and Nix begins to focus on the clacking, along with Lorawyn. Almost in sync, they cock their heads to one side and strain to clear the sound up and place it. It sounds organic, certainly, not like falling stones or a stuck wheel… Insects, maybe? Some tiny insects make sounds like this, only quieter and higher-pitched. For these sounds the creatures must the huge, if they are creatures at all.
Nix warns the group and motions for Bennet and Korik to take the lead, Korik already having done so. Bennet scurries to catch up to the Bugbear and stalks next to him, both trying to keep an eye out for anything to actually hide behind; alas, only the shadows conceal them in the round-roofed tunnel. They creep on, Talison and Lorawyn following behind. Simon covers the lit end of his staff with his hand, the room suddenly plunged into darkness leaving Bennet and Lorawyn groping and effectively blind.
The tunnel ends in another room, roughly the same in dimensions, only the tunnel connects at this rooms’ back-right corner, with Korik noting another large corridor heading down at an angle in the middle of the far wall. No other entrances or exits seem obvious, but the room is certainly not without cause for concern.
All around in the dark room are hanging strings stuck to the ceiling, coming from lightly pulsing and shifting organic-looking material that’s spreading like a fungus, tendrils and nodules scattered about. In a couple of places near the walls, the strings touch the ground, and have begun to spread out on the floor a little ways. The room is full of this stuff, and there’s little room to get around without striking a string. There is about 2 feet of room from the floor. The walls are, for the most part, only lightly touched by these growths, small sections pulsing and looking like they’re alive. The air has small spore-like dust motes lingering amongst the strings, and the smell of stale bread and old fish seeps from everywhere. The clacking noise is clearer, and seems to be coming from the tunnel heading down at the top end of the room.
What do you do?
Lorawyn, you notice, before the light goes out, that there are bloody hand prints on the walls of the tunnel, both new and old.