Perverse Osmosis In the Mouth of the Mouther - Perverse Osmosis

In the Mouth of the Mouther

MouthThe cave was damp and stripped bare, with none of the usual lichen or moss associated with the underdark. Rodericke and Dorengar held their usual positions at the head of the party and looked warily into the semi-darkness, hoping to catch some movement or hear some sound indicating who or what claimed the cave. It had been a difficult stretch for the paladin; being turned to stone by the Wand of Wonder was not fun and he still was sore from fighting the goblins and the berserker in the last encounter. The dwarf, on the other hand, was in high spirits, at least for a dwarf.

The dwarf returned The Gobliminator to its scabbard; this cave was too clean for a goblin lair. In place of his magic sword, he grasped his stained but effective battle hammer. It had not gotten as much use as Dorengar liked; when a fighter spend too much time wielding only one weapon, that fighter becomes lazy, relying on the weapon instead of skill. And Dorengar wanted to make sure that no one called him lazy. The dwarf moved in front of the clustered party, slowly walking into the cave.

About ten paces in front of him, Dorengar noticed a pile of what looked like dirt. Next to it lay a couple pieces of fabric. The cave remained surprisingly silent; to the dwarf, the silence felt as if the cave was holding its breath. He advanced nearer to the lump on the ground when Dorengar heard a faint spitting sound and then saw a blinding light as the spittle collided with his armor. Unable to see, the dwarf kept enough of his senses to begin backing away towards the cave’s mouth. He made it about three steps when he heard a high-pitched keening that mixed the worst parts of a lunatic’s laughter and a baby’s crying. The dwarf tried to ignore the sound but found himself unable to move away from it.

The paladin and the cleric also saw the flash and heard the sound. Rodericke ran down towards the dwarf, only to find himself suddenly off course and headed toward the far back wall of the cave. Karyn began to ready her bless spell, but the chaotic noise worked its way past her concentration, preventing her from starting the incantation. As she listened closer to the noise, she began to discern what almost were words: “Flee,” the voice said. “There is nothing here for you.” She felt her mind starting to loosen. “Please, Lady Westra,” the cleric muttered, “please keep my mind at peace. You have given us much, so continue your blessings.” With a quick intake of breath, the cleric steadied herself and felt her mind clear.

Jindar also saw the flash and immediately moved to get a better defensive position, nocking an arrow and preparing to fire. But the ranger quickly realized that there was nothing to shoot at; as far as he could see, there was only a stunned dwarf, a confused paladin, and a staring cleric. He also heard the terrible sound and briefly felt its power. But Jindar’s mind was strong and his will firm. Shaking off the effects, he dropped his bow and ran into the cave, drawing his short sword as he did so. He ran past the stunned dwarf when the ranger’s feet began to stick in the cave floor. The ground itself had turned from stone to an almost soupy mess, slowly Jindar’s quick movements.

It was during this slowdown that the ranger felt the first bite. It struck his calf; it was not extremely painful, but Jindar knew something had bitten him. In quick succession, the ranger felt four more bites on his legs. The bites started pulling the ranger down, down into the soupy floor. Jindar tugged against the mouths, hoping to break free from their grip before he lost his balance. He felt two of the mouths let go, but this breaking threw the ranger off balance and he fell to the ground.

In less than a segment, the ranger felt himself covered with small biting mouths. Some attacked his face, some attacked his back, and some attacked his legs. Wielding his short sword, he began to stab at what he assumed was the body of the beast. He felt his hand enter some viscous, gel-like substance, but the sword seemed to do no damage. Jindar stabbed again and again, hoping that he could hit one of the vital spots of his attacker.

It was the unlikely combination of the barbarian and the thief that kept the ranger from death. Imlari saved against the insane cry of the mouther and sprinted towards the trapped ranger, followed closely by the also immune halfling. The barbarian’s keen senses saw where the ground was liquefying; without breaking stride, Imlari jumped over the soupy ground and landed directly on top of the mouther. He began to hack furiously, even as mouths began to cover his exposed skin. The halfling hurled himself at the enveloped ranger, hoping to break the mouther’s grip. Liligar heard the ranger cry as he smashed into the struggling human, but he also heard several popping sounds as the mouther’s pseudopods snapped. The thief grabbed the ranger’s shoulders and started dragging the stunned but living Jindar away from the mouther.

Imlari’s hacking continued; jellied parts of the mouther were all over the cave. Despite this, the mouther kept wailing its unearthly cry, and the barbarian could see other party members wandering in different directions or staring into the distance. Then Imlari’s blade found the mouther’s brain, hidden deep inside its gelatinous body. The sharp steel went through the tissue and into the semi-liquid floor below. The gibbering stopped, and Imlari found himself covered in gooey remains. He looked up and saw that the thief was already looking through the piles of fabric for loot. Imlari smiled to himself, stood up, and started looking as well.

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Behind the mouther are two ornate doors:

Rune-covered papers are tacked to the door on the left.

A fragrant smoke drifts beneath the door on the right.

Do you enter the door on theleft or the door on theright?

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      In the Mouth of the Mouther

Sing Along!

The lump of earthy material, not what it looked to be
With multiple eyes to see
Always ready to feast and feed, animal or vegetable
it's reprehensible
Spit, babble, and confusion make up its special attacks
Standard form is what it lacks

Gibbering, gibbering, gibbering
Sends the soul a shivering
Mouther, mouther, endlessly devouring
Gibbering, gibbering, gibbering
Sends the bravest scurrying
Mouther, mouther, tirelessly babbling

Blinding spittle is one such plan, six mouths each trying to bite
Saving throw the only way to fight
Transmutes the ground around its form, moves quickly through the mire
Consuming life is its desire
Insane noises distort the mind, don't know what direction to go
Stumble into its viscous flow

Gibbering, gibbering, gibbering
Jellied flesh all quivering
Mouther, mouther, fighting and confusing
Gibbering, gibbering, gibbering
Gelatinous obliterating
Mouther, mouther, mouther, mouther
Into the mouther's mouth!